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May 2007 -- June 2007 Permanent Archive

permanent link 29 June 2007 (Seelinnikoi)
George Filev of Strange Fruit has kindly posted on his blog the musical credits for Swoon! performed last weekend for the Ann Arbor Summer Festival's Top of the Park. They're at the end of the entry headlined "Pitts to bliss in Ann Arbor".

The blog entry itself reveals a bit about the differences between festivals across the country, to which Amelia McQueen alluded on the totter. That blog entry of George's is also worth reading if you're curious to know what sandwich he ate at Zingerman's and to see a photograph of that sandwich before he ate it.

In any case, the musical number from Swoon! that I was keen to identify is this one: 5. Seelinnikoi - Traditional (arr Varttina). The translation of the Finnish lyric provided on Varttina's website is surely somewhat of a summary of a longer cautionary tale:

I got married without my mother's aproval.
Now I'm called a hag and I work like a slave.
Beware all stupid maids, don't be as stupid as I was.

As delightful as it is to see three blond Finnish women hopping back and forth in sychrony on that YouTube video, I'd just as soon shut my eyes and remember Strange Fruit swaying crazily atop their poles in the middle of Ingalls Mall.

permanent link 28 June 2007 (Sicko)
Michael Moore's film Sicko begins its two-week run at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor tomorrow. Russ Collins, director of the Michigan Theater, saw the rough cut preview several months ago. In light of Russ' positive review, and in light of the fact that I have not seen Sicko, the commentary in the cartoon below might be likened to diagnosing a patient based on their past history without including their presenting symptoms. teeter totter cartoon
On the other hand, any film made by Michael Moore to date has been about the same topic: Michael Moore. So I think that's a theme that's been explored already every bit as deeply as a bowel lit up by an endoscope, thanks. Further, in the documentary Manufacturing Dissent filmmakers Debbie Melnyk and Rick Caine suggest that the fundamental premise of Moore's first film, Roger and Me, was false: Moore was, in fact, able to meet with then chairman of GM, Roger Smith, but chose not to include the footage in the film. So for me, a prescription to see Sicko will be filled only along with an extra dose of healthy skepticism about the facts Moore has chosen to present.

permanent link 26 June 2007 (Top of the Totter)
If you missed all nine performances that Strange Fruit gave at Ann Arbor's Top of the Park this past weekend, then for all intents and purposes, you missed Top of the Park this year. Sure there's plenty left on the schedule in the next couple of weeks--I'm just saying if you missed Strange Fruit, you missed the TOP's soft juicy center. But if you're willing to travel, you can still see Strange Fruit before their U.S. Tour ends and they head back to Melbourne, Australia. It's a dramatic, theatric, acrobatic piece of entertainment that's just pure clean fun to watch--certainly a spectacle worth travelling to see, I'll tell you that much.

So it was quite a thrill Sunday morning to be able to enjoy an extra, nutritious serving of Fruit--when some of the performers in Strange Fruit's U.S. touring company proved their willingness to mount an apparatus far humbler than their high-tech fiberglass poles: the teeter totter in my backyard. I've grouped a couple of photos from Swoon!, which they performed at Top of the Park, with Strange Fruit's Talk.

permanent link 23 June 2007 (Top of the Park)
Here's a photo from Strange Fruit's Top of Park evening performance yesterday. Those poles are 4 meters tall. In the photo they're perfectly vertical, but the poles can bend. It's quite a challenge to come up with an adequate description for what happens when the performers strange fruit bend the poles to their will. You should go see this for yourself. There's two whole days of Strange Fruit left.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

6:30-6:50 PM
7:55-8:15 PM
9:30-9:50 PM

Sunday, 24 June 2007

6:30-6:50 PM (Children's Workshop)
7:55-8:15 PM
9:30-9:50 PM

What do I care about Strange Fruit? Well, these are performers who are used to swaying back and forth. Now swaying back and forth is a little different from the motion of a teeter totter, which is more up and down than back and forth. But the smoothest way to to get a teeter totter to go up and down is for the two totterers to adjust their center of gravity back and forth (not to push off the ground with their legs). This seems quite similar to how Strange Fruit performers cause their poles to bend. So I figured they might be especially receptive to a teeter totter ride while they're in town. So I hope things work out that this Australian theatrical troupe manages to make an appearance on the teeter totter.

permanent link 22 June 2007 (Now for a gentle poke in the ribs)

permanent link

teeter totter cartoon 18 June 2007 (Raise the Rafters)
With three exceptions, all the houses on my one-block long street were built with the same floor plan. So any remodelling projects that residents have undertaken over the years to these turn-of-the-century houses are a source of intense curiosity to other residents--because any project someone has undertaken could, in principle, be executed in their own houses. One of the more spectacular projects is diagonally across the street from me. It entailed blowing out the flat ceiling in the upstairs back bedroom all the way to the roof to create a cathedral ceiling with a skylight and storage ledges. It's well-known on the block.

The owner of the house who had the work done, Lauren, sold the house to Glen and Tresna who live there now. The project was done before I moved onto the street. I always wondered who did the actual carpentry work. But I never wondered hard enough to track down Lauren and ask her if she knew. Yet sometimes the answer to questions of idle curiosity just fall in your lap.

When Chris Buhalis arrived for his appointed totter ride, hopped out of his white van, and declared that he loved the street, I supposed it wasn't his first time here. So when he confirmed my suspicion by pointing across to Glen and Tresna's place and affirmed that he'd done some carpentry work there, I said, You know that house has a spectacular vaulted out ceiling in the back bedroom. And Chris volunteered, Yeah, I know--Dick Siegel and I did that. (Teeter Talk readers who've carefully tracked every name ever dropped on the totter will remember Dick's name from David Collins' Talk.)

Well, whaddaya know about that. Now, there's a lot of folks who think of Chris as a gifted writer and singer of songs recorded on a CD called Kenai Dreams almost 10 years ago, featuring a vocal by Townes Van Zandt. But for the next little while, the neighbors on Mulholland will probably think of Chris as 'one of the guys who did the ceiling in Glen and Tresna's house'. But what Chris is currently proudest of is not that ceiling. And it's also not the Kenai Dreams CD. To find out what what it is that delights him most these days, read Chris' Talk.

permanent link 15 June 2007 (Hot Air)
In the course of his totter ride, U of M Central Power Plant Manager, Richard Wickboldt, describes a system he's designed and installed in his home to capture the spring- and fall-time hot air that accumulates in the attic--by blowing the hot air from the attic to the house under the regulation of a differential temperature control. That's not all. He's also pre-heating the hot water heater feed with a self-installed system of PVC pipes leading to and from the attic. And next up on the DIY solar energy project list is a window-unit solar collector.

The just-do-it attitude Richard exudes is inspiring. I get the feeling that if he decides to run for Bob Johnson's open First Ward Council seat, and if he's elected, then on Council, he'll also do way more than just blow hot air. On the totter, Richard was still undecided about a possible run. To my ear, he seemed to be tilting in the direction of running. Judge for yourself by reading Richard's Talk.

Update: I ran into Richard at the Green Fair tonight and he said that he'd pulled the petitions to run and was signing folks up.


Richard's Talk sports a different layout from all previous Talks. The new layout is intended to (1) help readers quickly find topics of interest to them (2) provide anchors to which exact locations in Talks can be linked. The downside to this layout is that it will require more paper for readers who like to print out the whole Talk. I'll try out the new look for the next few Talks to evaluate its feasibility, before commiting to it for all future Talks. Time and energy permitting, previous Talks might be re-formatted.

permanent link 13 June 2007 (Titanium Totter 2.0?)
BikeFest in Ann Arbor is this Friday, 15 June, from 6pm to 9pm right on Main St. between William and Washington. That section of downtown will be closed to cars. How will BikeFest use this temporarily car-free piece of asphalt? Think bikes, ramps, wrenches, chains. Chris Zias, Manager of Great Lakes Cycling and Fitness, will be there with the whole crew from GLC&F. Chris and I talked a bit about that on the totter. But we also talked about titanium--because Chris has the talents and skills required to fashion a bicycle frame from this magic metal, spelled with two T's. And if he can build a bicycle frame out of Ti, I figured I'd explore the idea of building a new version of the teeter totter out of titanium. To see how that went, and to find out why Chris sometimes hangs out at the Masonic Temple in Detroit, read Chris' Talk.

permanent link 11 June 2007 (Off-leash Dog Parks, Chicken Houses)
It's not technically right on my street, but it's right around the corner, so I'm adding this photo to my collection dog pee sign of homemade don't-let-your-dog-pee signs. Regular readers of Teeter Talk might recall that City of Ann Arbor CFO and dog walker, Tom Crawford, requires no admonishment from such signs.

The proliferation of signs like these could be construed as prima facia evidence that Ann Arbor dog owners really need an amenity where their dogs and their dogs' pee can run free. At their 4 June 2007 meeting, the Ann Arbor City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that will finally make an off-leash park possible. Not that everyone waits for Council to act before unclipping their canine's collar. While I was relaxing away the evening on my porch steps yesterday, my across-the-street neighbor let Harry loose, and the dog bounded over to me and camped out with his paws hanging over lip of the porch deck. Now I like Harry, and Harry seems to like me okay, too. But you know it's not always like that with neighbors and dogs, if you remember Adam de Angeli's situation with his (very off-leash) dog and the mysterious misplaced chocolate cake.

If it takes ten years to get an off-leash dog park approved, I wonder how long it might take to legalize backyard chickens in Ann Arbor? It wouldn't be like chickens would require an extra amenity like a park where they could be taken to play off-leash with other chickens. So from that point of view, they'd be less of a burden on community resources than dogs. Here's an emailed update from Peter Thomason over in Ypsilanti on his chicken project:

... we have decided that their coop will actually be called Saint Joseph's convent for chickens because without a rooster they will all be virghens. The shed in which they are housed was already named after Saint Joseph according to an eastern Christian tradition of naming various building after saints.

permanent link 7 June 2007 (Reference Librarians Rule)
Back on 25 May 2007 I talked about trying to figure out which exact house it was down on Washington St. that Peter Beal described on the totter down as the former residence of Ben Zahn, retired fire chief and the last man in Arbor legally allowed to keep chickens. Dale Winling emailed with a suggestion to check out old city directories at the U of M Bentley Library. I'm sure the information was probably there at the Bentley, but equipped with this concept of 'city directory', courtesy of Dale, I figured I would give the Ask a Librarian feature of the Ann Arbor District Library's website a whirl. (The first person I think of when I think 'library' is Josie Parker, and that's the one she runs.)

Here's what I submitted:

com_id: 12639
type: reference question
source: website
location: Online
staff: Reference Desk

comments: Ben Zahn retired as Ann Arbor fire chief back in the 1960's and bore the distinction of being the last person in Ann Arbor legally allowed to keep chickens. (He's since passed away.) I've been told he lived in a house on Washington Street just east of 7th St. but I'm trying to find out EXACTLY which house it was that was the chicken house.

Does AADL have old city directories where that address information can be looked up? What would be ideal is if you could look it up FOR me, but I'm willing to haul myself to the building, too. ;-)

Thanks,

Dave

Here's what I received a few hours later:

From: Ask Us
Date: Jun 6, 2007 2:24 PM
Subject: RE: AADL Patron Comment Update: reference question (12639)
To: Homeless Dave

Mr. Askins,

We've checked a number of 1960s City Directories and we've found listing for:

Zahn, Benj J (Emma K) mkt master Muncipal Market home [xyz]* W Washington
Zahn, Benj J Jr. (Frances L.) inspector City Fire Department home [xyz]* Westwood

None of the 1960s City Directories list Zahn, Jr. as a fire chief nor do they list him as living on W. Washington (his father's house).

By the 1969 Directory, Zahn, Sr. is retired and still at W. Washington, Zahn Jr. is still a fire inspector living at the same Westwood address and Zahn III is a student.

If we can be of further assistance please call the reference desk at 327-4525. Thank you for using the AADL email reference service.

* exact address redacted for web publication in consideration of privacy

Wow. Although there's no confirmation of a Ben Zahn as Fire Chief, at least there's fire protection in the family. It seems likeliest that it was Ben Sr. that Peter Beal talked to. In any case, I now know which house I'll be calling 'Ben Zahn's place'.

permanent link 5 June 2007 (Stucchi's French Silk is Chocolate)
I went to the Michigan Theater to see a screening of the documentary Zeitouna a couple of weeks ago, and I appoached the concession stand with my standard Stucchi's ice cream order. Part of the reason I'm partial to Stucchi's is that it's locally made--in a facility in down in Saline. I was dismayed when my request for Stucchi's French Silk was met with a staffer's wave towards the sad empty space where the little ice cream freezer used to stand, along with his speculation that it would no longer be offered.

Russ Collins, director of the Michigan Theater, clarified during his totter ride that it was simply a matter of the freezer being on the fritz, and that that he figured Stucchi's would eventually be available again.

I never see a Stucchi's ice cream display in a grocery store that I don't think stucchis french silk of an encounter I had at the Michigan Theater concession stand a few years ago. I was in line behind a woman who wanted some vanilla ice cream. The concession stand staffer called out the various flavors on offer: Coffee, Cookies 'N Cream, Cookie Dough, French Silk ... Ah, French Silk! said the woman. She ventured, That sounds like vanilla, doesn't it? The staffer said he didn't know, but he allowed it might be vanilla.

Now I'd never tried Stucchi's French Silk for myself. But, at that time I happened to be working at Busch's, stocking frozen food (back when it was a Valuland and Your Food Store, not just Busch's. Fresh. Food. Ideas.) So I had some specialist's knowlege: I knew for a fact certain that French Silk was chocolate, not vanilla. So while it's not my habit to interject myself into random situations, I felt like the woman deserved fair warning. So I said firmly, Actually, French Silk is a chocolate flavor. But she did not accept my bald pronouncement as definitive. Instead, she mused, I think it sounds like it could be vanilla! So she went off to her seat with some Stucchi's French Silk. Sitting there in the dark theater waiting for the movie to start, I heard a voice somewhere in front of me say, Oh, it's not vanilla!

Well, no kidding. That's what I told her. But to her it sounded like vanilla. Granted, I was a perfect stranger, so why should she have believed me? It's not like I cited any basis for my assertion that French Silk was chocolate. I didn't say, Excuse me, ma'am, but as a frozen food stocker, I happen to know for a fact that French Silk is definitely chocolate.

Anyway, the conversation with Russ Collins covers way more ground than just movie theater concession stand treats. For details, read Russ' Talk.

permanent link 31 May 2007 (Seth Degrees of Separation)
Remember Gina Pensiero? As a reminder, she graduated from the University of Michigan, eventually moved back to the New Jersey area where she's originally from, but stopped by for a teeter totter ride on a visit back to Ann Arbor.

And remember Derek Mehraban, who during his recent ride was completely absorbed in promoting an Ann Arbor stop on Seth Godin's book tour (The Dip)?

Well, I heard from Gina today, who said "I actually work with [Seth's] wife, Helene, who is awesome. The company I work for also produced an audio version of his book, The Dip."

So I have to think Derek needs to consider which of his paths of personal connection to Seth Godin is better:

(1) met Seth Godin in person one day and enjoyed several quality minutes of conversational time

or

(2) rode the same teeter totter as a woman who works every single day with Seth Godin's wife

The correct answer is (2).

permanent link 30 May 2007 (Grillin for Gatherers)
If you want to nurse that Memorial Day holiday weekend feeling right on through til this Sunday, then a good way to do that is to head out to the Food Gatherers Grilling for the Hungry event at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds. There'll be live music, fun for kids, and grilled food galore, lasting from 3pm to 8pm on 10 June. Eileen Spring of Food Gatherers will be there, of course, which provides an opportunity for you to congratulate her in person on the courage she displayed by riding the totter. Grillin for the Hungry tickets can be ordered in advance online at a cost of $50, all but $5 of which is tax deductible. Food Gatherers depends on this event for about 20% of its yearly operating budget.

permanent link 28 May 2007 (Tottering Rules)
Ann Birch is the Community Development Director in La Vista, Nebraska. Here's her take on Teeter Talk's potential for eroding the tranquility of the neighborhood:


I began to think, as I often do after being a government employee for so long, that this could create a neighborhood nuisance and therefore should be regulated. We would need to know the frequency of these teeter-totter sitters; how many may be allowed at any one time and whether there is a waiting area while one is sitting and one is waiting. The number of vehicles which can be accomodated in off-street parking spaces in the driveway may determine the number of sitters and waiters allowed. He will also have to register this use of his residence as a home occupation which is subject to an annual fee and requires notice to 75% of the property owners within 1000 feet of the property line. If he cannot get signatures from at least 75% of the abutting owners, he must immediately cease and desist the teeter-totter sitting.

Sincerely,

Your friendly neighborhood code enforcement officer!

I'm pretty sure she's kidding.

permanent link 25 May 2007 (1960 South Maple)
As Easter approached this year, my thoughts turned to eggs. And soon after that, to chickens. The thought of chickens reminded me of Peter Thomason's expressed intention on the totter to start raising chickens over in Ypsilanti sometime this spring. I thought it would help balance things across the Ypsi-Arbor divide, if the chickens on the Arbor side could find some representation on the totter.

I hoped that whoever had constructed the sign for 'Eggs' at 1960 South Maple Road, across from the Ice Cube, might accept an invitation to ride. Because those are the first and only locally-raised chickens and eggs I could think of. The 'Eggs' sign has always been a familiar touchstone on summer bicycle rides out Scio Church Road or on the way down to Saline for the Demolition Derby in the fall.

But one day dont flip 1960 not long after Easter, I noticed the sign was missing. Dang. A missed tottering opportunity. Then a few days later, a story appeared in the Ann Arbor News explaining why eggs were no longer available at 1960 S. Maple. It was a story of unpaid property taxes, paid property taxes, liens, and eviction. The story has spawned spontaneous support for the owner of the property in the form of bumperstickers and SupportBeal.com

So not long after that, the connectivity of the internet allowed a missed tottering opportunity to be transformed into an epic ride with master furniture maker and designer, Peter Beal.

I discovered that Peter's craft is well-represented through our peter beal columns neighborhood. For example, based on Peter's on-the-totter description, I believe that these porch columns I found on 7th Street are Peter's work. From working in the neighborhood, Peter has not just contributed to its history. He's absorbed a bit of its history as well. That's why he can tell you who Ben Zahn was and why his former home on Washington Street should count as a historical landmark for anyone who counts themselves as a supporter of backyard poultry. Once I figure out which house it is exactly, I believe I'll start calling it 'Ben Zahn's place', even though he's since passed away, and it's likely no one named Zahn lives there anymore.

It will be interesting to see what happens to 1960 South Maple Road. Peter makes a convincing case that commercial development of the land isn't viable. If it's sold to someone else who wants to live there, they will probably have to get used to people calling it 'Peter Beal's place'. For a while, anyway.

For more on wood, eggs, land, historically accurate underwear, and directions to a roadside Mary in a bathtub niche, read Peter Beal's Talk.

permanent link 19 May 2007 (Current Totter Tall[e]y = 100)
Teeter Talk passed an important milestone on Monday, logging its 100th totter ride. The honor of that 100th ride was achieved by Kris Talley, who is the chair of the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition. hooray teeter totter Because she arrived on her bike, wearing SPD-compatible, cleated cycling shoes, she was able to give the laundry spinner a whirl after the ride (something that any guest is welcome to try). I regret that I did not have any wet laundry on hand that needed spinning, so she gave it a literal dry run. [Note to self: always keep a pile of wet laundry ready in case someone wants to try out the spinner.]

If the next 100 rides are anywhere near as fun as the first 100, I think I might just lose my mind. So now is a good occasion to thank everyone who's already ridden, those who are contemplating a ride sometime soon, those who've passed along guest suggestions, and especially those who have passed along an encouraging word.

Thanks.

Speaking of words, I was wondering just ball-park-wise, how many words there might be in the corpus that comprises the first 100 Talks. To get a rough estimate, I ran the files through a free-ware concordancer (KWIC Concordance). It counted 530,016 tokens (distributed across 16,757 types). In round numbers, that's a half million words.

permanent link 16 May 2007 (Miscellaneous)
The magic beans from Project Grow's Heirloom Garden, which Royer Held brought me magic bean sprouts on the occasion of his teeter totter ride, have now sprouted and will be transplanted to their permanent summer patch sometime this weekend.

Because they are pole beans, I'll need to get something built for them to climb on probably about the same time they're transplanted.

On the subject of food, Eileen Spring, of Food Gatherers, passes along some upcoming event news: Sunday, 20 May from 12-5pm is the third annual Circle of Art event hosted by Saline Picture Frame (7641 N. Ann Arbor Street in Saline). You can bid online or stop by any time 12-5pm to bid on Small Works of Art for a Big Cause. Every cent goes to support Food Gatherers daily operations.


Thank you to Sue S., who spotted this cast iron tottering pair at Treasure Mart and snatched them up for me, figuring that I would amish totter appreciate these Amish kids on a totter more than most folks. And she's right, of course.

In fact they remind me of a lovely tune called Teeter Totter Bride, which recounts an innocent tale of love found, then lost again on a teeter totter. Granted, part of the reason I think the song is so lovely is because I wrote it and stand to make around $10 if you decide to purchase the whole CD, which liner notes, by the way, include a recipe for the peanut butter pie mentioned in the song--a recipe developed especially for those liner notes by Yo D!, my next-door neighbor and food columnist for the Old West Side News.

permanent link 6 May 2007 (One Dip or Five?)
Anybody who knows me at all knows I like ice cream. From that it might follow that I'd like a book called The Dip. But here's the inside scoop: Seth Godin's book, The Dip, is not about ice cream. It's about figuring out whether you're in a dip that is worth working through, or if you're in a dead-end situation that you should just quit. That's about all I know about The Dip, but last Monday's totteree, Derek Mehraban has actually read the whole book. And Derek thinks highly enough of the book and its author, Seth Godin, that he--along with myriad other folks in and around Ann Arbor--has managed to divert Seth's book tour to Ann Arbor. Seth will be speaking at the Michigan Theater on Tuesday, May 22, 2007 from 3-5pm.

In the course of Derek's Talk you'll find some discussion of what it took to bring Seth to Ann Arbor and exactly how to get into the Michigan Theater to hear Seth speak. For $50 a ticket, you'd hope there'd be sprinkles and a cherry on top, and there are. You get five copies of the book, and you get to bring a friend for free if you're a member of a sponsoring organization, or for just an extra $10 if you're not. There's no way you can get through five dips before it all melts, so you'll have to pass along some of those copies to your friends.



A previous (virtual) totteree, Scott Schnaars has written about Seth Godin on his Knuckle Sandwich blog. But I've been reminded of Scott recently for a different reason. From time to time I like to report back to Teeter Talk readers the trials and triumphs of totterees after they dismount from the totter. In this case, it's a trial. Scott's wife, Holly, was diagnosed with colon cancer not long ago. Scott took a photograph of Holly that became the first entry in the Up Yours Cancer Flickr Group.

So, for Teeter Talk readers connected with cancer patients who'd enjoy the opportunity to show the world just what they think, pass the Flickr link along to them.

permanent link 4 May 2007 (FREE TICKET)
The person who was to previously accompany me tonight to Sensoiree, An Evening for the Senses to benefit Dance Gallery Foundation can no longer attend.

I'm still attending, but I have a spare ticket I'm willing to give to the first person to contact me asking for it.

You're not required to spend the evening talking to me, or even to pretend that you know me.

Update: No one took me up on the free ticket offer. I didn't win anything in the raffle. Peter reported no day-after soreness from his teeter totter ride.

permanent link 2 May 2007 (26 Teeth)
Mark your calendars: 5 May, 4:00pm, 2007 A-D, Northwest Corner of the Diag.

Riding the totter back in December 2006, Jimmy Raggett described the just-concluded Skids and Sprockets alley cat bicycle race this way:

JR: It's not just a bunch of unruly punks running wild on the streets!

This spring's race, 2007 A-D, is probably no different. It's actually a two-day event going through 6 May. Details are at jimmyrigged.com. It's an excellent reason to head outside on a Saturday afternoon and check out what's going on in one of Ann Arbor's best parks.

I'm fond of Jimmy not just because he rode the teeter totter (I'm at least a little bit fond of everyone who's ridden the teeter totter for just that reason). When he was at the house, also test rode the laundry spinner I had just cobbled together out of a broken washing machine and an indoor bicycle trainer. And just recently, he helped me upgrade the spinner by rummaging through his box of 'take-offs' at Ann Arbor Cyclery (on Packard) and finding a 26-tooth front chainring (for non-bike-tech readers, that's really small) with the correct bolt pattern to fit the upgraded crankset (a triple) that I had also just recently acquired from the new team at Great Lakes Cycling. Score two for local independent bike shops in Ann Arbor.

The end result is that my knees no longer feel like I've been banging on them with sledgehammers after I dismount from the laundry spinner. Whatever mileage I've got left in these knees, I want to use up on the teeter totter, not the laundry spinner. Which is not to say that riding the teeter totter is either hard on your knees or in any way dangerous.

permanent link 1 May 2007 (Totter One)

from: Scheduling1
to: Dave Askins
date: Apr 3, 2007 12:12 PM
subject: schedule request

Dear Dave Askins,

On behalf of President Clinton, I would like to thank you for your interest in The Clinton Foundation. We are in receipt of your letter inviting President Clinton to be interviewed while in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We appreciate the offer but unfortunately will have to decline. President Clinton has a very full schedule and unfortunately will not be able to fulfill all requests. Thank you for understanding and for the invitation. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Clinton Foundation Office.

Sincerely,

The Scheduling Department
Office of President William J. Clinton
William J. Clinton Foundation

So back at the beginning of the month, I was feeling a little glum. I held out some faint hope, however, because that email didn't say, "... have to decline the offer of a teeter totter ride." Still, I wasn't all that optimistic.

And whaddaya know, you never can predict exactly how and why people's plans might change. For some insight into the fuss on Mulholland Avenue last Saturday, read Bill Clinton's Talk.

Also, thanks are owed to Ann Arborite, Thomas Knoll, who was instrumental in facilitating President Clinton's appearance, even though this is not reflected in the conversation on the teeter totter.


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