Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grand Rapids Michigan, oh how I hate you.

Dear Grand Rapids,

These are some of the reasons why you suck. Not that I need to tell you, because you probably already know.

1. City income tax. Not only do the suckers in the state of Michigan have to pay an income tax, but you have to soak them for an additional 1.3% And come on, what do they really get out of this money? NOTHING! See below reason why you suck for further explanation.

2. Parking. You ain't got none. And the few spaces you have go at a premium. $0.25 per 10 minutes? That must be because you have so many wonderful places to go that are worth the cost. The only other cities who charge more are New York and LA. Gee, and you wonder why downtown GR is like a ghost-town with tumbleweeds blowing through the streets.

3. Garbage pickup. $1.25 per garbage bag? Again... Just what the hell does your tax money go for?

4. Public schools. No tax money going here! Look at your state standardized test results, particularly on the 12th grade. Here is the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards... Reading-50%, Science-33%, Writing-34%, Math 29%. Again... just where the hell do the tax dollars go to?

5. State of Michigan unemployment rate- 6.9% Second highest in the nation, only under Mississippi. Mississippi... Dear Lord, beating Mississippi does not give you bragging rights. Alaska beat you for goodness sake.

6. By the way, your economy stinks! Take some more money from education while you're at it... I'm sure the less educated your citizens are, the better your economy will get. You'll be out of the red in no time! But who cares if colleges increase their tuition... your residents won't be accepted anyway. No graduates, no problem!

7. Weather. What's the temp right now, buddy? About 20F you say? Yeah, it's about 79F for me right now. We'll get a high of 81 tomorrow. What's that? You'll only get up to 17 tomorrow with about 3 inches of snow. Good luck with that.

8. What time do your bars close? 1:45? How boring. That would be about 4:00a.m. here, unless you're talking about the Hard Rock which would be never... and is only a 10 minute drive.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What I've read - Catch up

Great. I'm already getting behind on this!

Two books to add.

#1 Beyond the Deepwoods (part 1 of the Edgewood Chronicles) - Paul Stewart.
Pretty amusing, very imaginative, and tons of cool illustrations throughout the book. Although I did feel a little foolish reading a book in public with lots of pictures. I know, I'm ridiculous!

#2 Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares.
I've been wanting to read this book forever. I'm not too sure why I waited this long. A good, quick read if you are in the mood for a little chick lit. Although I found Bee to be a bit annoying. Bee and her glowing hair. Gack.

Goal - 3/50

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bad day

Yesterday wasn't so hot. First I locked myself out of my apartment. I fortunately had a neighbor who was able to help me break in to my place and retrieve my keys. Then moments after grabbing my keys, I got into my car ready to go. Unfortunately the car wasn't so ready to go. I tried to start it and got nothing but a bunch of clicks. So I called on my neighbor once again. We looked at the engine and scratched our heads for about 10 minutes before he decided to try giving the battery a jump. The old girl got started right away. After talking to him for a moment, I realized that this was the original battery... about 6 1/2 years old! So I went to buy a new battery.

While I was getting the battery changed, the guy called me over to my car to show me something in the engine. He informed me that the serpentine belt is on it's way out and I should replace it very soon... not cheap, and I trust him. The place that I took the car to doesn't do that type of repair and he didn't slip me a referral to his buddy's shop or anything, so I don't think he's trying to take me for the money. On my next day off I'm taking my car to the dealer to get an oil change. I'll ask them to poke around to see if there is anything I need to have done and see if they give me the same verdict.

Great. But I don't think this is an indication of how this whole year will go, it was just a bad day.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

#1 - Reading 2007

First of all, I have decided to try and keep track of how many books I read this year. My goal will be 50. I got the idea from a group in livejournal. I think I may end up being shocked at how little I actually read. I would read 1000 books a year if I could, but I just can't find the time!

So here is #1
Gregor the Overlander - by Suzanne Collins
Children's book

Gregor is babysitting his two year old sister, Boots, when they fall into a mysterious underground world. There they meet strange people, and gigantic talking rats, cockroaches, and spiders. While trying to get back to their world above the ground, they become the catalyst of a gigantic war between the different creatures.

The story is fast-paced, action filled, and a good basic sci-fi/fantasy. It's ending obviously points towards sequels, so anyone craving more is sure to get their fill.

Progress on goal:

Total pages read: