Thursday, November 19, 2009

Silver Dome Sells for a Half a Million

NEW YORK ( -- An unidentified Canadian real estate company was the winning bidder for the Silverdome, snatching it up for a mere fraction of its original value.
A Toronto-based family-owned company bid $583,000 for the under-used stadium on Monday, which is currently owned by the City of Pontiac, Mich., according to auctioneer Williams & Williams.
The company plans to refurbish the Silverdome into a stadium for men's Major League Soccer and women's professional soccer teams, said the auctioneer. While the stadium was the former home of the National Football League's Detroit Lions, it also played host to some of the World Cup games in 1994. Brazil's victory over Italy occurred elsewhere, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
The auctioneer Williams & Williams, based in Tulsa, Okla., said it will not identify the buyer "until the final details are worked out and the sale closes."
"The Silverdome will now be in the hands of professionals who can devote their time to transform this high-profile property into a vital asset instead of enabling it to continue to languish as an empty facility," said Fred Leeb, the emergency financial planner for Pontiac, in a press release.

The sale of the Silverdome takes a large financial burden off the hard-hit city of Pontiac, which has fallen on hard times, with budget shortfalls and high unemployment. Earlier this year, GM announced it would close a truck plant, taking about 1,400 jobs from the city.
As a result, Leeb said, Pontiac could ill afford to continue paying $1.5 million in annual upkeep for the stadium. With a private owner, the property "will go back on the tax rolls," he explained.
The 80,000-seat Silverdome was the biggest stadium in the National Football League when it was built in 1975 for $55.7 million. The stadium, which sits on a 127-acre plot, is also the former home of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons.
The stadium reached its football zenith in 1982 as the site of Super Bowl XVI, when San Francisco's 49ers beat the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Silverdome has also served as a music venue for some of the hottest acts in show business, including Michael Jackson, Madonna and Elvis. Another high profile visitor, Pope John Paul II, once delivered Mass from the field.
But the Silverdome's biggest event was Wrestle Mania III in 1987, when 93,000 fans packed into the stadium to watch Hulk Hogan body-slam Andre the Giant. That was the biggest turnout ever for an indoor sports event.
Despite its rich history, the stadium has seen little use since 2002, when the Lions concluded their last season there.
"We want to convert a major premier asset of the city - convert it from something that's been languishing into a new, vibrant marquee asset of the city," said Leeb, in an October interview.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whiskey in the Ice of Antartica!?!

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - A beverage company has asked a team to drill through Antarctica's ice for a lost cache of some vintage Scotch whiskey that has been on the rocks since a century ago.
The drillers will be trying to reach two crates of McKinlay and Co. whiskey that were shipped to the Antarctic by British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as part of his abandoned 1909 expedition.
Whyte & Mackay, the drinks group that now owns McKinlay and Co., has asked for a sample of the 100-year-old scotch for a series of tests that could decide whether to relaunch the now-defunct Scotch.
Workers from New Zealand's Antarctic Heritage Trust will use special drills to reach the crates, frozen in Antarctic ice under the Nimrod Expedition hut near Cape Royds.
Al Fastier, who will lead the expedition in January, said restoration workers found the crates of whiskey under the hut's floorboards in 2006. At the time, the crates and bottles were too deeply embedded in ice to be dislodged.
The New Zealanders have agreed to try to retrieve some bottles, although the rest must stay under conservation guidelines agreed by 12 Antarctic Treaty nations.
Fastier said he did not want to sample the contents.
"It's better to imagine it than to taste it," he said. "That way it keeps its mystery."
Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay's master blender, said the Shackleton expedition's whiskey could still be drinkable and taste exactly as it did 100 years ago.
If he can get a sample, he intends to replicate the old Scotch and put McKinlay whiskey back on sale.
"I really hope we can get some back here," he was quoted as telling London's Telegraph newspaper. "It's been laying there lonely and neglected. It should come back to Scotland where it was born.
"Even if most of the bottles have to remain in Antarctica for historic reasons, it would be good if we could get a couple," Paterson said.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Van Andels trying to buy Macatawa Bank

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A filing published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago indicates Steve and Dave Van Andel are trying to take over Macatawa Bank.
In the November 7, 2009 filing, a "notice by White Bay Capital LLLP" and "Stephen A. Van Andel" plan to acquire 100% "of the voting shares of Macatawa Bank Corporation, Holland" and "thereby indirectly acquire Macatawa Bank. "
Dave Van Andel controls White Bay Capital. The company bought nearly 10% of Macatawa Bank in 2008.

Leonid Meteor Shower

If any of you like meteor showers, or any thing in the great beyond. I think you should check this out tonight, well early morning tommorow.

One of the best annual meteor showers will peak in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, and for some skywatchers the show could be quite impressive.
The best seats are in Asia, but North American observers should be treated to an above average performance of the Leonid meteor shower, weather permitting. The trick for all observers is to head outside in the wee hours of the morning – between 1 a.m. and dawn – regardless where you live.
The Leonids put on a solid show every year, if skies are clear and moonlight does not interfere. This year the moon is near its new phase, and not a factor. For anyone in the Northern Hemisphere with dark skies, away from urban and suburban lighting, the show should be worth getting up early to see.
"We're predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas, and as many as 200 to 300 per hour over Asia," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Other astronomers who work in the nascent field of meteor shower prediction have put out similar forecasts.
Urban dwellers and suburbanites will see far fewer, as the fainter meteors will be drowned out by local lights.
Behind the Leonids
The Leonids are created by the comet Swift-Tuttle, which passes through the inner solar system every 33 years on its orbit around the sun. Each time by, it leaves a new river of debris, mostly bits of ice and rock no bigger than a sand grain but a few the size of a pea or marble.
Over time, these cosmic streams spread out, so predicting exactly what will happen is difficult.
"We can predict when Earth will cross a debris stream with pretty good accuracy," Cooke said. "The intensity of the display is less certain, though, because we don't know how much debris is in each stream."
When Earth plows into the debris, the bits hit the atmosphere and vaporize, creating sometimes dramatic streaks of light and the occasional fireball with a smoky-looking trail that can remain visible for several minutes.
The Leonid stream is moving in the opposite direction of Earth, producing impact speeds of 160,000 mph (72 kilometers per second) – higher than many other meteors.
"Such speeds tend to produce meteors with hues of white, blue, aquamarine and even green," says Joe Rao,'s skywatching columnist.
How to watch
The best viewing will be in rural areas. Get out of town if you can. If you have local lights, scout a location in advance where the lights are blocked by a building, tree or hill.
Dress warmly, and take a blanket or lounge chair so you can lie back and scan as much of the sky as possible. "At this time of year, meteor watching can be a long, cold business," Rao reminds people.
Leonids can appear anywhere, but if you trace them back, they all point to a hub, or radiant, in the constellation Leo – hence the name.
Give your eyes 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Then give the show at least a half-hour. The hourly rates stated above typically come in bursts, with lulls that may test your patience. No special equipment is needed. Telescopes and binoculars are of no use because meteors move too quickly.
When to watch
Earth will pass through one of the denser debris streams at around 4 a.m. EST (1 a.m. PST) Tuesday. If you have only an hour or less to watch, center it around this time. Leo will be high in the sky for East Coast skywatchers, putting more meteors into view. In the West, Leo will be low in the eastern sky at this time, so fewer shooting stars will be above the horizon, and therefore Western skywatchers should also try to stick it out until daybreak.
Across Europe, the best bet is to watch anytime between 1 a.m. and daybreak local time.
The planet will pass through an even denser stream later, just before dawn Wednesday in Indonesia and China, but that show won't be visible from North America because it will be daytime here.
One truth about the Leonids: They always produce, and they sometimes produce spectacular, unforgettable fireballs.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jon Gosselin Suing TLC

( -- In the latest skirmish in his war with TLC, Jon Gosselin has filed a $5 million claim against the network, saying its representatives damaged his reputation and career by preventing him from working with other media outlets.
In the suit, the reality star dad claims that the network contacted various media outlets he'd been in touch with to persuade them to stop dealing with him.
"Their behavior has caused Jon great anguish and it has caused him financial losses," said his attorney, Mark Heller, who maintains Gosselin did not have an attorney or a manager present when he signed the contract for "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" with TLC last year. Levi Johnston calls Jon Gosselin a 'good guy'
"They had a cadre of lawyers so they had a one-sided agreement," added Heller.
Gosselin's lawsuit -- a counterclaim against a lawsuit that TLC has filed against him -- also claims the network breached its own contract with Gosselin and owes him $175,000 for shows that already aired. The Gosselins' contract, dated April 28, 2008, says he gets $22,500 for each half-hour episode and $45,000 for each one-hour episode, according to the lawsuit.
The counterclaim was filed in District Court in Rockville, Maryland, where TLC's parent company, Discovery Communications, is based. Earlier, the cable network had filed a lawsuit against Gosselin, claiming he is in violation of his contract with them for making paid and unpaid TV appearances without the network's permission. Jon Gosselin enjoys time back with the kids
Gosselin is scheduled to be in court on December 14 for a hearing related to TLC's suit against him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Power Mullet!

Sweetest mullet Ive ever seen...spotted this guy at target last night!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sammy Sosa turning White???

HAHAHAH So supposively Sammy Sosa is undergoing skin treatment for all the sun exposure he had from playing baseball....HMMM Looks a little crazy to me!!!

Just Pictures

Just a few pics from downtown Chicago

So as I was riding to downtown Chicago this past weekend I saw an ad for this company...Seguin...hahah REALLY!?!?

Details taken from :

About Seguin Services
Seguin Services is a not-for-profit agency that offers programs that enable children and adults with disabilities from around the country to fulfill their dreams of happiness, productivity and independence. Children with severe emotional, behavioral and medical challenges are living with Seguin trained foster parents through Seguin's foster care program. Educational services coordination helps children reach their highest potential. Supports are available for those who want to adopt a child in need of a permanent home.
Seguin's job developers work with local employers to find adults with disabilities employment in the community. Job Coaches support each participant at the job site.
SeguinWorks is a group of enterprises founded to provide jobs for people with disabilities while securing revenue for essential social services. Participants can hone their skills in preparation for seeking employment in the community.
Classes are provided that are designed to help people with disabilities reach greater independence and confidence in their everyday lives.
Community Integrated Living Arrangement homes that Seguin supports represent a secure future for adults with disabilities. They can enjoy life enriched with family, neighbors and friends in beautiful, fully wheelchair accessible homes in welcoming neighborhoods. Seguin owns 62 residential facilities in 21 communities throughout Chicago's south and western suburbs.
Our headquarters are located in Cicero, Illinois, at 3100 S. Central Avenues on the corner of Central and 31st Street near Ogden Avenue. Seguin has an annual budget of approximately $20 million and provides daily services to approximately 300 adults and 161 children (people under 19 years of age). Seguin employs over 600 people, of whom nearly 500 (83%) are direct care workers serving Seguin clients.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A little Naval History

Bull Ensign (also Boot or George Ensign)

The Bull Ensign is the senior ensign of a Navy command (ship, squadron, or shore activity). In addition to normal duties, the Bull Ensign assumes various additional responsibilities such as teaching less-experienced ensigns about life at sea, planning and coordinating wardroom social activities, making sure that the officers’ mess runs smoothly, and serving as an officer (such as treasurer) for Navy-related social organizations. The Bull Ensign is responsible for preventing junior ensigns in his command from embarrassing themselves and the Navy. Though the position often has little formal authority, the Bull Ensign serves as the focal point for the unit’s expression of spirit and pride. A Bull Ensign will often be recognized by his uniform’s oversized gold ensign collar device engraved with the word “Bull.”
The origin of the term Bull Ensign is uncertain, though the combination of the words “bull” and “ensign” likely occurred in the mid-20th century.
The first published use of the word “ensign” indicating the lowest rank of commissioned naval officer dates to 1708 when it was used in the London Gazette. The US Navy adopted the rank in 1862 as a replacement for the rank of passed midshipman (a Naval Academy graduate).
“Bull” has a wide variety of meanings ranging from a male bovine (circa 1200), or other large animal (1615), to an ecclesiastical (1297) or civil edict (1696), and even a falsehood or nonsense (1630). Bull is slang for a Royal Navy ship and an English person (1835); a railway locomotive (1859); a police officer/prison guard/detective (1893); something large and powerful (1889); and a logging foreman or boss (1942).
Terms possibly related to Bull Ensign are: Bulldog, a watchman or police officer (1828); Bulldozer, a bully/thug (1876); Bull-eater, an aggressive soldier (1918); Bull gang, a labor crew (1918); Bull nurse, a cowboy accompanying cattle on train destined for the slaughterhouse (1922); Bull camp, a labor camp (1931); and Bull Chief, a US Navy chief petty officer (1961).
Although the term “Bull Ensign” may signify an ensign behaving in a dominant manner, like a bull toward a herd of ensigns, it has also been suggested that the Bull Ensign’s actions can be seen as “bullish” (optimistic and hard working), seeking promotion to Lieutenant (junior grade).
The opposite of a Bull Ensign is the Boot or George Ensign - the officer with the least seniority in the wardroom. The term “Boot Ensign” likely originated in the first half of the 20th century. A “Boot” is an inexperienced/ignorant Navy or Marine Corps recruit in basic training (1911), or a junior officer, as mentioned in Martin Dibner’s World War II novel, The Deep Six, published in 1953. The origin of the term “George Ensign” is uncertain. George is slang for letting someone else [George] do a task (1910), someone who is knowledgeable and wise (1917), and a low-status Pullman railroad porter (1939). Saint George’s Ensign, traditionally flown by the Royal Navy, is a flag with a red cross on a white field. It was first mentioned in 1611, and subsequently described in Naval Tracts (1704) as being flown by admirals from the head of the top mast of warships.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I so want to stay at this CASTLE!!!

So when I finally make it to France I am totally going to stay here. Its a castle south of Paris. Below is the article I found taken from the website:
Castle in France
If your aspirations are a little grander, perhaps a castle in France is more your speed. The 900-year-old Chateau d'Alogny has been spruced up since its earliest days, and now boasts a modern kitchen, satellite TV, and under-floor central heating. With five bedrooms and four bathrooms, the castle sleeps 10 people comfortably. Located just south of the Loire Valley between the cities of Tours and Poitiers, there's plenty to do nearby. Split between 10 people staying for a week, the nightly rate comes out to $44 to $75 per person, depending on the season.
The Château d'Alogny is a hilltop castle, small and romantic, lying south of the Loire valley. A private home, it is located midway between the historic cities of Tours and Poitiers. It is surrounded by intriguing gardens and terraces. The large, private swimming pool commands outstanding views over the surrounding countryside.
Begun in the time of William The Conqueror (XIth Cent) Alogny's buildings today date mainly from the XIVth Century. While fully preserving its medieval ambience, it is both welcoming and comfortable, with all modern amenities.
For almost a thousand years the Château d’Alogny has dominated the valley of the Creuse, where the historic Touraine and Poitou regions meet. Standing on a wooded bluff overlooking the river, it enjoys breathtaking panoramic views across the surrounding countryside.
On the lawn in front of the château, a great megalithic standing stone or menhir provides mute testimony to the fact that this has been revered as a sacred site for over ten thousand years.
Alogny is located near the attractive spa town of La Roche Posay, which has been famous since Roman times for the healing properties of its medicinal waters. These waters are still valued today and our visitors too can enjoy luxurious massages, facials, and other therapeutic treatments. La Roche Posay skin care products are highly regarded and are sold around the world.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A new Ocean...really???


Story taken from:

A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm.
The crack, 20 feet wide in spots, opened in 2005 and some geologists believed then that it would spawn a new ocean. But that view was controversial, and the rift had not been well studied.
A new study involving an international team of scientists and reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the processes creating the rift are nearly identical to what goes on at the bottom of oceans, further indication a sea is in the region's future.
The same rift activity is slowly parting the Red Sea, too.
Using newly gathered seismic data from 2005, researchers reconstructed the event to show the rift tore open along its entire 35-mile length in just days. Dabbahu, a volcano at the northern end of the rift, erupted first, then magma pushed up through the middle of the rift area and began "unzipping" the rift in both directions, the researchers explained in a statement today.
"We know that seafloor ridges are created by a similar intrusion of magma into a rift, but we never knew that a huge length of the ridge could break open at once like this," said Cindy Ebinger, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study.
The result shows that highly active volcanic boundaries along the edges of tectonic ocean plates may suddenly break apart in large sections, instead of in bits, as the leading theory held. And such sudden large-scale events on land pose a much more serious hazard to populations living near the rift than would several smaller events, Ebinger said.
"The whole point of this study is to learn whether what is happening in Ethiopia is like what is happening at the bottom of the ocean where it's almost impossible for us to go," says Ebinger. "We knew that if we could establish that, then Ethiopia would essentially be a unique and superb ocean-ridge laboratory for us. Because of the unprecedented cross-border collaboration behind this research, we now know that the answer is yes, it is analogous."
The African and Arabian plates meet in the remote Afar desert of Northern Ethiopia and have been spreading apart in a rifting process - at a speed of less than 1 inch per year - for the past 30 million years. This rifting formed the 186-mile Afar depression and the Red Sea. The thinking is that the Red Sea will eventually pour into the new sea in a million years or so. The new ocean would connect to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, an arm of the Arabian Sea between Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula and Somalia in eastern Africa.
Atalay Ayele, professor at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, led the investigation, gathering seismic data with help from neighboring Eritrea and Ghebrebrhan Ogubazghi, professor at the Eritrea Institute of Technology, and from Yemen with the help of Jamal Sholan of the National Yemen Seismological Observatory Center.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ford Motor Compnay reports $1B in profits

This story gave me a little smile, showing that the recsiion is taking a round turn. Detroit is getting back to what they do, make cars and profit from it. This industry affects so many people in Michigan in some way or another. Even more focused it affects my family because my dad works almost directly for the vehicle industry and faced many months of layoffs. With Ford making a turn towards profiting it makes me feel better that my dad will stay within work now, at least for awhile. As the common vehicle makes advances with technology I hope Michigan continues to be the center stage for development, and the auto industry.

Below is a story on this roundturn Ford Motor Company has taken, story taken from:

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford, the only Detroit automaker to dodge direct government aid and bankruptcy court, surprised investors with net income of nearly $1 billion in the third quarter and forecast a "solidly profitable" 2011. The automaker said Monday earnings were fueled by U.S. market share gains, cost cuts and the Cash for Clunkers program, which drew flocks of buyers to showrooms this summer. Ford's shares rose 53 cents, or 7.6 percent, to $7.53 in afternoon trading.
The latest results signal that Ford's turnaround is on more solid ground. The company lost more than $14.6 billion last year and hasn't posted a full-year profit since 2005. While it made a profit in the second quarter, that was mainly due to debt reductions that cut its interest payments.
Ford, based in Dearborn, Mich., reported third-quarter net income of $997 million, or 29 cents per share. Its profit forecast for 2011 was a step above previous guidance of break-even or better for the year.
Ford's key North American car and truck division posted a pretax profit of $357 million, the division's first quarter in the black since early 2005. Ford cited higher pricing, lower material costs and increased market share for the improvement.
Excluding one-time items, Ford earned 26 cents per share, blowing away analysts' expectations of a loss of 12 cents.
The earnings came despite an $800 million revenue drop. But Ford said it cut costs by $1 billion during the quarter, accomplished through layoffs in North America and Europe, reduced pension and retiree health care costs and improvements in productivity and product development.
Chief financial officer Lewis Booth said the company took in $1.3 billion more than it spent in the quarter, an improvement over its $1 billion cash burn in the second quarter.
"That's a huge deal," Booth said.
Ford's plan to create demand and get better prices for its products, coupled with cost cuts, gave the company confidence that it will make money in 2011, Booth said.
But Ford still faces obstacles in its turnaround. On Monday, the United Auto Workers union said its members overwhelmingly rejected a deal that would have brought Ford's labor costs in line with rivals General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC.
Seventy percent of production workers and 75 percent of skilled tradesmen such as electricians and pipefitters voted against it. The union said it would not return to the bargaining table.
Ford said in a statement that it will keep working with the union to make sure it stays competitive so it can keep making commitments to invest in U.S. factories.
Workers objected to clauses limiting their right to strike and freezing entry-level wages, and felt the company was healthy enough and didn't need further concessions. The rejected deal also would have changed rules so skilled tradesmen work in teams and perform more than one task.
Rejection of the deal isn't likely to place Ford at an immediate cost disadvantage to its crosstown rivals because savings from the concessions are longer-term, said Gary Chaison, a professor of labor relations at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Neither the company nor the UAW has released any cost savings numbers.
The third-quarter profit makes it extremely unlikely that the company will push to head back to the bargaining table before the current UAW contract expires in the fall of 2011, and union leaders also are unlikely to take another deal to the membership, Chaison said.
"I think the company has no credibility asking for concessions now, and I think the leadership is quite embarrased for making a case for concessions," he said.
Chaison said Ford could make some noise about moving new vehicle production to Canada, where unionized workers on Sunday approved a package of concessions, but it's more likely that Ford will live with the current contract until 2011.
The other area where Ford has a cost disadvantage is debt. Ford reported $26.9 billion in debt, up $800 million from the second quarter.
The company avoided the same fate as rivals Chrysler and GM by mortgaging its factories and even the familiar blue oval logo to borrow $23.5 billion before credit markets froze last year.
Ford didn't quantify the impact of Cash for Clunkers, which offered buyers rebates to trade in their vehicles. The program helped Ford cut costly incentives and raise production.
It also won buyers; the fuel-efficient Ford Focus sedan and Ford Escape, a small SUV, were among the top five sellers under clunkers. Ford sales climbed 17 percent in August thanks to the program.
Ford's revenue fell $800 million for the quarter, to $30.9 billion, due mainly to its financial services arm, Ford Motor Credit, making fewer loans.
But the division still posted a pretax profit of $677 million, and revenue from auto operations rose slightly to $27.9 billion.
Ford also has benefited from consumer goodwill after it declined government bailout money and didn't go into bankruptcy over the summer as GM and Chrysler did. Ford grabbed sales from its rivals, posting the largest increase in market share of any automaker in September. Ford expects an overall gain in U.S. market share in 2009, a feat it hasn't accomplished since 1995.