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Showing posts from May, 2012

The REAL Avengers (to me)

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This isn't the first time that I'm about to show my age or come off as a curmudgeon, nor will it be the last.

So it should come as no surprise that when I tell you my first thoughts when I hear "The Avengers" are not about comic book super heroes.

In fact, I can't wrap my mind around associating "The Avengers" with anything other than a derby-wearing Brit and his slinky female, crime fighting partner.

They made another movie called "The Avengers" back in 1998, starring Ralph Fiennes and Uma Thurman, but that is also not what I think of when I see or hear the A-word.

I'm about to tell you a story that isn't about box office records or men who turn green when angry or a red, white and blue-clad man who carries a shield.

It's not based on comic books and it has no traces of Robert Downey, Jr.

This is the story of that British-produced TV series of the 1960s starring Patrick MacNee and a trio of lovelies: Honor Blackman, Diana Rigg a…

Unfathomable? Sadly, No

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For crying out loud, now seven year-olds are hanging themselves.

The suspected reasons? Depression. Bullying.

Neither should apply to a second grader. The latter shouldn't apply to anyone.

A poor 14-year-old girl in Detroit found her seven year-old brother dangling from his bunk bed. The child had managed to fasten a noose from a belt and hanged himself.

How do seven year-olds even know about hanging, much less how to do it? How does a child of that age pull this horrific act off, physically?

The mental and emotional aspects are just as chilling.

The child was, according to published reports, despondent over his parents splitting up, and there was some bullying going on at school, for good measure.

Enough of each, apparently, to cause the boy to grab a belt, climb onto his bunk bed, and do himself in.

Think back to when you were seven years old. It may be fuzzy but you ought to have memories.

To do so is also an exercise in futility, because most readers of this blog (if I have my …

The Brit and the Bostonian

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At first blush, it would appear that the male Brit from Isle of Man and the black female from Boston have nothing in common, apart from being singers.

The Brit moved to Manchester and then to Australia and grew up in a family of singers, songwriters and musicians, and the American girl, one of seven non-musical kids, stayed in Boston, where, as her mother said, "She literally loved to sing. She used to go through the house singing, singing. She sang for breakfast and for lunch and for supper."

The Brit enjoyed the familiarity of being in a pop group with his two brothers---one a twin---while the American girl spent time as a backup singer for the wildly popular Three Dog Night in the late-1960s, early-1970s before making it on her own as a solo artist.

Then the disco rage hit America hard, and suddenly Robin Gibb and Donna Summer had a whole lot in common.

It was in 1977-78 when Gibb of the Bee Gees and Summer of, well, Donna Summer, made their splashes on the disco scene. …

What About Bob?

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On the one hand, it's hard to imagine what possible gain the mysterious man named Bob could have in deliberately misleading and misrepresenting himself as the case-cracker of the Oakland County child killings from 1976-77.

On the other, there are plenty of whack jobs out there, so you never know.

I have written a few times about the killings, which took the lives of four children, ages 10 to 12. It's a case that fascinates me, not only because I was 12 when the killing started and 13 when they ended, but because it is a high-profile cold case---possibly one of the most notorious in Michigan history.

Bob has gotten back into the headlines again, having conducted a rather bizarre round of interviews with reporters from the law office of Paul Hughes. Of course, Bob was nowhere to be found; the interviews were conducted, one-by-one, via a telephone placed on a table in Hughes' office.

Bob suggests that he, along with some fellow investigators, have a bunch of very useful infor…

The Dead End Kid

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In the relatively short history of the office of Wayne County Executive---not even 30 years---the job hasn't proven to be a launching pad or stepping stone to anything else, politically.

But there have only been three WCEs, anyway.

There was Bill Lucas, the first one, and he served four years (1983-87) before running for governor, and losing. Lucas, the former County Sheriff before becoming the county's first executive, ran unsuccessfully for sheriff again in 2004.

Lucas was followed by the late Ed McNamara, and while he served for four terms, McNamara was in the twilight of his political career, though his machine continued to work long after he retired in 2003.

Now we have Bob Ficano, aka The Little Italian General (LIG).

Ficano, another former Sheriff, is the first of three WCEs to even remotely have to fight to keep his job.

Wayne County Executive has been a job of emperors. No Republican candidate could ever dream of election. And once you're entrenched as the incumbe…

Seasons, Shmeasons

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They will tell you that Michigan is still a state of four seasons. Do not believe them.

Somehow, sometime---and I haven't been able to pinpoint when it happened---we in Michigan stopped having four seasons and now have two. OK, two-and-a-half---at best.

The seasons have also changed names.

They are now "bloody hot" and "chilly/damp."

Whatever happened to a crisp, fall afternoon? Or a soothing spring day with an air freshener-like aroma all about?

Seems all we have now is unseasonable weather; you know, weird, mild winters and blazing hot Septembers.

Actually, the word "unseasonable" is probably not even accurate, because as I said, where have the seasons gone?

We had 84 degrees in March, which was the tail end of a winter in which I picked up a snow shovel all of three times. I'm not complaining about the lack of snow; far be it. It's just that the human body is very sensitive to temperature changes, and in Michigan those changes have been as …

The Nerdy VP?

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Jerry Ford must be beaming, somewhere in the afterlife.

Ole Jerry, before he became the only Michigan-born President of the United States, was the Vice President, under Dick Nixon.

Ford is also the only president to ascend to that position without being elected. He wasn't elected VP, either, come to think of it.

Ford was the accidental president, assuming the role after first being picked by Nixon to replace the disgraced and resigned Spiro Agnew as veep, and then becoming president when Nixon himself also resigned under fire.

I say Ford must be beaming because, according to some reports out of Florida, Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, is under consideration to be Mitt Romney's running mate in the race for president.

The possibility was raised by Tampa Bay Online, and it says, to wit: "The RNC (and to a large degree the Romney campaign) is loving Michigan, though. Detroit, Michigan's largest city, is home to GM, the once-American company. Today, GM stands for G…

Just the Beginning

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I was walking our Jack Russell Terrier when I got the news.

It was a tad past 10:00 on a Sunday night when my cell phone rang.

It was my wife and she blurted the news out.

"BIN LADEN IS DEAD!"

I said one word, almost as loud as hers.

"WHAT?"

And that's how I found out that Osama bin Laden had been killed---on May 1, 2011.

I had my portable radio with me, so I immediately turned it on and scanned for some news, some confirmation---even though Mrs. Eno was watching TV coverage as she called me.

For the remainder of the walk---about 20 minutes---I listened on the radio as details of Bin Laden's erasure started to roll in.

The raid and subsequent killing of the Babe Ruth of terrorists was the kind of news that you remember where you were when you heard it.

So it's been a year; what has Bin Laden's death meant in that one year?

Well, now, with 2012 being an election year, you can guess at least part of the answer to that question.

The eradication of Bin …