Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I present to you...

...the Ypsilanti, Michigan water tower.

Taken from Arborwiki.org:

Ypsilanti Water Tower

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Most. Phallic. Building. Ever.
Located at the highest point of elevation of the city on Summit Street, the Ypsilanti Water Tower is no longer in practical use but remains an important local landmark. It is only open to the public one day a year during the Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. For Christmas it is decorated with lights.
Long known locally for its suggestive shape, a recent article in Cabinet Magazine deemed it to be the World's Most Phallic Building. Many simply call it the "Ypsi Dick" or the "brick dick."
The text of the historical marker at the base of the tower, as given on MichMarkers.com:
Day laborers constructed this water tower which was completed in 1890 at a cost of $21,435.63. The tower and the city waterworks supplied 471 customers the first year. An ordinance passed on April 14, 1898, established a yearly rate schedule. Rates were based on the number of faucets in use, the type of business that customers operated and the livestock they owned. A residence with one tap was charged $5.00; a private bathtub cost an additional $2.00. Saloon keepers paid $7.00 for one faucet, $3.00 for each additional faucet and $1.00 for each billiard table. Each cow a person owned cost $1.00. People who failed to pay their bill were subject to a $50.00 and ninety days in the county jail. Until 1956 this structure was the only water tower in the Ypsilanti water system.
The Ypsilanti Water Tower was designed by William R. Coats and constructed as part of an elaborate city waterworks project that began in 1889. Located on the highest point in Ypsilanti, the tower was completed in 1890. It is 147 feet high and has an 85-foot base constructed of Joliet limestone. The substructure walls taper from a thickness of forty inches at the bottom to 24 inches at the top. The reservoir holds a 250,000-gallon steel tank. To protect themselves from injury, the builders made three stone crosses; one is visible over the west door. The Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority has operated and maintained the structure since 1974. In 1975 this tower was designated by the American Water Works Association as an American Water Landmark. It was restored in 1976.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saying "How are you as a greeting" in passing

Rant time! I'm a friendly guy and say hi to folks I know in passing if I know them but aren't friends with them. Or, I work at the front desk of an office and people often pass and I'll say hi. Sometimes they stop at my desk or they'll go down the hall to the other department on my floor. Typically in most instances, whether at work, school, etc, we exchange hellos and then that's that.

However, I never understood the point of adding on "How are you?" in a greeting. If that happens, it just prolongs what should be a 5 second greeting if you intend to go about your business anyway. What often happens in these situations is:
Me: Hi.
Clueless Guy: Hello. How are you?
Me: Fine. How are you?
Clueless Guy: Good!
I think it's a pointless greeting so whenever someone says, "How are you?", I just respond with, "Fine, thanks."

It isn't like people genuinely care or want to drum up conversation. I would understand if you're good friends with someone and genuinely wonder what they were up to today, but that usually isn't the case with passing greetings. What if something were troubling me? What are you - a psychiatrist? If I were to start rambling about my life to an acquaintance or stranger, it wouldn't make much sense. It just doesn't matter so just say hi.

The reason this came to mind was because one of my clueless co-workers came into work and I was trying to look something up for someone either on the phone or for another co-worker's work. I said hi to Clueless Co-worker and she said, "Hi, Ypsi Guy. How are you?" I just hate that question. I said "Fine." sternly and went back to my work. She then came to the desk before coming into the office and said something about smiling to show I'm fine or something. Then she said something but I really had to go back to what I was working on. Well of course, I'm not smiling - You took my mind off of the work I was doing and are asking a pointless question!

To end this entry on a funny note - I actually mentioned this pet peeve of mine to one of my other co-workers. Before I told her about my pet peeve, I said sarcastically, "Fine. I'm here aren't I? It isn't like I got hit by a bus or something." Ever since I told her my pet peeve, we have an small inside joke where she always says, "How are you?" and I respond with, "Good. I once again managed to not get hit by a bus on my way to work! =D"

Comrades - Do you guys have any pet peeves?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Misheard lyrics - "Your Kiss is on my List" by Hall & Oates

This entry idea came to mind recently after I got back from seeing "You Again" at the movie theatre. The last song that plays as the movie ends and the credits start was Hall & Oates song "Your Kiss is on my List". Have you ever had that where you know a song that's maybe pretty catchy, but you don't really know what the song is about or what the lyrics are except the main line or lines of the song?

I must have heard "Your Kiss is on my Lips" one thousand times during my time working at CVS when it played over the store radio. I always thought the lyrics were "Your Kiss is on my Lips"! I think that's a pretty reasonable thought since people kiss each other on the lips. I forget how I finally realised it was "list" instead of "lips", but it makes sense since the next lyrics are, "Your kiss I can't resist" (which rhymes).

So, in conclusion:
*The above image took over 9000 hours in MS Paint.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thankfully this didn't occur in England!!

I was checking out the most recent updates at Snopes earlier, and caught the following article:
To summarise, a young man fell asleep at the wheel and crashed straight into a guardrail. The picture is shown above and there are a few other pictures at the link. The guy is lucky to be alive. Good thing this didn't happen in England where the driver's seat in on the other side of the car.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Strange Random Encounter Whilst Driving

I just had the strangest random encounter ever. The backstory is: I haven't gotten an oil change since I moved to my current city of Ypsilanti this past April. I've finally hit the number on my oil change place's sticker, so I guess I'm due. However, I don't want to drive 15 miles east to go to my old place. It was an independently owned business, and I'm not familiar with oil change places otherwise. I did a Google search but that didn't help much. I've passed an oil change place many times on Michigan Avenue, but didn't know the name of the place. So yea, I got dressed and drove over there just to find out what the place's name was. As an FYI, I tried the streetview on Google Maps and that didn't help.

Anyway, I was driving south on Hamilton, which is a one way road going south. I was in the right lane, but needed to get in the left lane to turn onto Michigan Avenue. There was a car next to me almost the whole way on Hamilton and matched me in speed, so I couldn't pass. As I was getting closer to Michigan Avenue, I quickly speeded up and cut in front of the car and got into the left turn lane. I then continued east from there through Downtown Ypsilanti.

As I was exiting Downtown, I turned my head to look at the car who had caught up at that point and was driving next to me. It was a guy named Chris who I'd gone to elementary and high school together! He was a pretty weird guy, but he wasn't a loner. I'm sure I had a "mind = blown" face on because it was an amazing coincidence that I'd see him out in Ypsilanti at 1am of all places and times. I'm sure I waved and kept driving.

As I passed the Dairy Queen, I realised the car was keeping pace with me. I glanced over and saw Chris motioning for me to roll my window down. The brief conversation went something like this, going 40mph and speaking loudly to speak over with the wind blowing past:

CHRIS: I knew it was you - YpsiGuy! Do you remember me?!

ME: Chris!

CHRIS: What are you doing out here?! Drinking?!

ME: No! I go to school out here!

CHRIS: Good!

As we continued east, there was traffic, so we didn't end up side-by-side at the next light. I passed the oil change place, but this got me distracted. I wanted to lose them, so I turned right as they continued straight... Well at the time, I lost track of which of the cars was theirs. A light-coloured car turned with me, so I made an unplanned turn into a Taco Bell and got a bean burrito. I made sure to check the name of the oil change place on the way back home.

It's "The Oil Exchange" by the way.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Healthy Food and Cupcakes at School

There was recently an article in the Detroit Free Press (link below) where an elementary school in Redford has gone the route of offering only healthy food choices for lunch. Nothing is fried, there is a vegetable bar and the hot dogs are made from turkey. I'm all for healthy food, especially since childhood obesity is supposedly becoming a problem. I support what they're doing, but it isn't going to help all that much though if the students go home and pig out on half of a package of Oreos and a bag of chips in one sitting.

I think moderation is the key. The occasional burger or  brownie, etc. isn't going to mean much in the long run. There's a part in the article about the school banning students from bringing cupcakes to school for their birthdays. That was a tradition back when I was a student in elementary school, and here I am graduating college next year. It's a special event, it makes the student feel special and then 15 minutes later the class goes back to their schoolwork. Why so harsh?

I could rant about more about my thoughts about obesity, health and responsibility here in the USA, but I'll save it for another entry.