Two years and counting
Two years ago today, the original Schick Happens was born. With over 180 posts, I think I’ve really taken to this blogging thing. It’s been quite an interesting year in the blogosphere with several highs and a few lows, but I’ve enjoyed sharing them with all my loyal readers.
As always, thanks to everyone who taken an interest over the last two years. For whatever reason, people like my writing, so I’ll continue to indulge you.
Before heading off to California for Christmas, this winter seemed to be similar to winters in the Golden State: warm and dry. But since coming back, temperatures have dropped and snow and ice have returned to Michigan. Whereas I don’t think it was below freezing for most of November and December, it has hardly been above freezing here in the last two weeks.
The joke about weather in Michigan is if you don’t like it, wait five minutes and it will change. But the changes in the last month have been ridiculous. Al Gore was right about the internet; I guess he’s right about climate change too.
Photo: Ice accumulation from last week's storm
Fame at last
The internet is really incredible sometimes. It gives anonymous people like me a chance to carve out a niche for one’s interests and hobbies, no matter how bizarre. You just never know who is out there looking at your stuff.
A friend sent me a link to an article in today’s Baltimore Sun that included a quote from one of my pages. Maryland recently inaugurated a new governor and had to change the names on its welcome signs. The story includes a quote lifted directly off the Maryland page:
"This is how all welcome signs should be: easy to get on and off the freeway and right on the actual state line (not miles down the road)," Brian Schick, of Saline, Mich., wrote of Maryland's I-83 welcome on his Web site, schickhappens.net/america. "It has an unconventional shape with the semi-circle top and prominently features its state flag, which I think is the best in the country."
When I started my website about a year ago, my goal was to create a place that friends could look at some of my writings and pictures, not to have international notoriety. But I have to admit, this is really cool.
2007 off to a good start
In the past, whenever a new year rolled around, I always had a hard time being optimistic about the next being more exciting than the previous. This isn’t your typical Schick cynicism, just Jan. 1 felt no better or worse than Dec. 31 the night before. This time, it’s different.
For the past month or so, I’ve started dating. Based on the reactions from my parents and co-workers, this will probably come as a surprise to most people. Her name is Kim, and we get along great. We met on a nationwide sports message board, and we were the only two from Ann Arbor. She actually approached me to meet for a drink, and I’m glad she took that chance.
She’s really easy to talk to, since we have a lot in common. Being a big Michigan fan scores huge points in my book, but she loves road trips too. Her job at a local radio station allowed her to hook us with free Michigan hockey tickets this week. It also doesn’t hurt she’s cute too.
Compared to last time last year, things are pretty good right now. Maybe I am following through on my resolution to be less cynical this year... but I doubt it.
Hail to the Wolverine
Perhaps Michigan’s most famous alum, Gerald R. Ford was laid to rest yesterday in his adopted hometown on Grand Rapids. He was placed in a difficult position to replace Richard Nixon after his resignation and took considerable heat for Nixon’s pardon. Yet in hindsight, it was the right decision for a county that was ready to put Watergate behind it.
I think everyone in Ann Arbor loved that fact that Ford not only attended the University, but also played football for three years and won two national titles in 1932 and 1933. Recently, a new school building was erected on campus to house the School of Public Policy, and it was named in Ford’s honor. There is a large window in the front of the building, and my co-workers always joked it was the perfect place for a stained glass window with Jerry’s likeness in it.
Ford will probably be forgotten in the annals of history since he only served for two years without much fanfare. Ford does have the distinction of being the only person never elected vice-president or president; his lasted elected position was in the House. Yet he was a selfless public servant, accepting the call to be vice president when all he wanted was to be speaker of the house.
It’s been a tough year for the Michigan football family, losing Bo Schembechler and Ford within a month of each other. It’s too bad this year’s team couldn’t pull out big wins in their memory.
Back from SoCal
Just got back into town after spending New Year’s down in southern California for the Rose Bowl. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth all the trouble if Michigan keeps losing year after year. The Wolverines were completely dominated by USC yesterday, and shouldn’t have made such a big stink about being snubbed for the BCS title game (maybe the Trojans should have took their place). Since Michigan obviously doesn’t belong in the title game, I’m throwing my full support behind the Gators. I will say, everything but the score of the game was great about my trip.
Bob was nice enough to let me crash at his apartment and it was fun hanging out with him watching bowl games all week. We ended up heading out early on New Year's Day to tailgate at a campground south of the stadium. A friend from work’s dad rented a camper and we grilled dogs and drank before the game. We even had a great parking spot that didn’t cost us anything.
Travel was remarkably easy around the holidays, although it helped going in and out of Burbank as opposed to LAX. It was much smaller and therefore the security line wasn’t a nightmare, although it didn’t have jetways and its baggage claim was outside. I was disappointed one-way flights were so expensive, that way I could have avoided flying from LA back to San Francisco then on to Detroit in one day.