Another ChiChi

We just lost Chichii, I don’t know how or why, but it seems maybe we were not meant to have one. It may be hard to understand, but I really feel a loss. She was in my care, depended on me, and I failed her somehow. Maybe they are just too beautiful a fish to keep in an aquarium.



So, Ludington trip was pretty cool. Great Lakes casting is a foundry, so rather foundry like stuff. Making sand molds, filling them with steel, breaking them out, particle blasting, and then shipping. The tour guide kept stopping in front of operations so we could watch them, which would be cool, but he had a habit of stopping in front of crappy operations. Sure, it’s cool to stand and watch molten steel being poured, but we can’t watch that because there is ladles of hot steel all around and we were in the way, so instead we watch some guy filling molds for 10 minutes, not as cool. The machine that breaks apart the molds is fun to watch though.

Whitehall Industries was a bit more fun. They heat a log of Aluminum about 20 ft long and 8″ round to 900˚F, cut off a 4 ft length like it was butter (which aluminum pretty much is at that temp), and ram it through a little tiny die under a few hundred thousand pounds of pressure. That 4 ft of log comes out as a perfectly formed extrusion up to 175 ft long, amazing. They have one extruder that they change the dies out on every so often, and as pieces come out they cut them to length and send them to the various machining and punching operations through the plant. A good part of what they make is rails for sunroofs for pretty near every manufacturer, as well as splines for convertible tops, and some parts to the C5 corvette frame (which is almost all aluminum, unlike the standard corvette which is steel framed, but still fiberglass body, apparently). They said roughly 80% automotive parts. They just expanded, so had some open space, but were already talking about next expansion in a few years, sounds like they are doing rather well.

My Industrial Engineering test came back as a 63, which sucks. I could have done better, a 93 would have been more my style. Not sure what happened, but will need to make sure it doesn’t again.

Jill has become very big, and has spent the last few days chasing Sunny around. I am not sure if I should do something, or what I could do. I feel bad for Sunny, because she was chased by the first Chi Chi so much when we first got her. The problem is Jill is really big, and only going to get bigger. I don’t want to have to get rid of a fish, but I don’t want to loose one either.

Yesterday want well in the machine lab with the seniors. I had to be there at 8, but we were done by noon, so that wasn’t too bad. I was afraid would be there till 4 or 5 or something. They pretty much finished their machining, have to re-run a few parts, then do heat treat next Friday. I don’t know if I will be there for that or not, will talk to partner Monday and make a decision.

I still need to do tags on all the posts, but it is a scary thought, having done categories on all the posts once already. I know it will end up taking a month or so, and obviously don’t look forward to going through over 500 posts again.

I was looking through and found out my longest blog was not 1071 Words and No Point, but Back from Vacation about Jenn and I’s Mackinaw trip. I was surprised to find that out. My longest post are my two process planning assignments from MFG-111 at Delta.

Speaking of long posts, this one is about long enough. I will see you all later I suppose.


Five Hundred!!!!!

It would have been cool to name it ! (500 times), but that would be really long and time consuming to count.

So, for the 500th I figures something good was in order. After much thinking, I came up with it, then put it off, then put it off more. But, now, I am here to do it. For the 500th, I will do something that was a fundamental part of the founding of this blog, and it’s first several posts. Sadly, I have not done it in a while, and that needs to be remedied. Yes, I am going to bitch.

For anyone who has ever lived in Big Rapids, a fundamental flaw in the area is the radio stations. Somehow, they all suck. Not like “ehh, there are 20 stations and I only like 1 a lot, but there are 5 I will listen too” like, no, no this is “there are 10, and I will listen to 2 sometimes, but end up flipping more than listening to any of them”. I hadn’t really noticed for 5 months because I had no radio in the neon, but it is now a major pain in the ass. Yes, I have a 6 disc cd changer, but I don’t want to listen to one artist for 12 straight songs, and I don’t want to burn 20 discs. I should be able to listen to decent radio. And, worse, Ferris has a radio station that I really like, but it isn’t actually a radio station, it is on a TV channel and online only, not over actual radio. WTF?

Of the stations that there are, the vast majority are country. There are also 2 top 40 and 2 oldies (I think). The top 40 stations literally only play 40 songs, if that. Maybe they are each top 20 stations and thought it would work out, I don’t know. The oldies stations had a chance, as I will listen to some oldies, but they just rather suck. Maybe I grew out of it, maybe Oldies 96 was just a better oldies station.

Either way, I wanted to bitch about that.

Also to bitch about, is the people who go 35 down Perry, which is a 55. Why did they even make it a 55? The right lane everyone goes 35, the left there are people going anywhere from 45 to 60. Yes, I am more pissed at the people that go 35 than the road engineers, but maybe it would be better if it was a 45? I doubt it will change though, and until it does, I am going to be cussing at people going 35 up the hill because their K-car can’t make it.

What else can I bitch about? If I can bitch for 9000 words or so, I can get the 150,000 word in the 500th post. That would take forever and be boring as hell though, for you to read and me to write.

OK, enough bitching I guess.

Jenn and I went to Mt. Pleasant yesterday and got ChiChii (notice 2 i’s at end, indicating 2, hahahahahahahah). She is really tiny compared to other fish, but getting along fine. I think is just right size of too small for others to worry about, but too big to be food. We also ate at the Italian Oven, which Jenn had never had and I haven’t had since they were on Euclid about 10 years ago. Thank got they don’t use the noodle straws anymore. They were kind of cool, but tasted funny.

I think that is all.

501, later this week.


Of Rodeos and Dress Clothes

Alot to cover this time.

Wednesday, Jenn and I went to Grand Rapids for the SME show. Show wasn’t really bad, but not good. Nobody hiring like I was told, but we got some cool swag. Afterward, we went car shopping up and down 28th street. There were a few cars that maybe had some small chance of possibility, but not much. We had lunch at Red Robin, which was pretty good. We did some quick shopping through Woodland Mall, including checking out the new iPods which have grown on me.

After enough of not finding cars, we went to Centerpointe Mall where Jenn bought a new work uniform and I bought a suit and dress shoes. It was originally marked $550 and I got it for $145, not bad. I need to have the pants tailored, but it should be good. After all that, we headed home.

Thursday, Jenn’s parents arrived around 9 am, and after chatting for a while they left with Jenn to GR for their own shopping (Jenn and I avoided shopping because we knew she would be back the next day). So they shopped around most of the day while I enjoyed a day off because my professors were all at the SME expo. Jenn stayed at the hotel that night, rather than driving home, as she worked the next morning.

Friday, I had my class and lab, then sat around for a little while before driving Jenn’s vehicle down to GR. On the way, a semi blew out a tire in front of me, and I accidentally took the wrong exit, but got there OK. Once at the hospital parking garage, I tried to call Jenn and tell her I was there, but had no signal, so I decided to go into the hospital to check if I had some there. Once in, I figured I could try and find her, not realizing the size of the hospital. I actually managed to find the right building, and take the right elevator, but for some reason thought she was on the 4th floor, when she is actually on 5th. Having signal, I gave her a call and found her quickly.

When she was done, we left and headed over to Van Andel Arena for the Built Ford Tough Series Presented by Wrangler Professional Bull Riders Tour (Yes, that is actually the official name) rodeo. So, we found parking, made our way in, and found our seats. It was actually pretty good, we all enjoyed it. The actual bull riding was not bad, but the show between was really good. When you think that 45 people compete to stay on a bull for 8 seconds, thats only about seven and a half minutes of the 120 minute show. From the rodeo clowns to contests and pyrotechnics and all kinds of other things, they fill the time. They even shot bratwurst from a t-shirt cannon (note: spellcheck doesn’t like the word bratwurst).

After the rodeo was over, we tried to find our way back to the hotel, where we spent some time in the hot tub, then went to Steak n’ Shake for a Caramel Apple Shake, which was awesome.

Jenn left for work before I was up, around 6. Her parents woke me up around 9 for free breakfast, then we drove back here where they left me, and continued to Traverse City, then home. Jenn called me around 6:30 (actual, 4:30, but I was asleep, and she didn’t mention it in the message) to tell me that she accepted OT, and wouldn’t be home until 12 – 12:30. Last night, she was complaining she wanted to call in, and then she took a 16 hour shift? Well, she gets out early tomorrow at 3, 4 hours early, so that’s something.

So, I went to KFC for dinner, and was sitting outside after ward since it was nice out. As I sat, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, jumped startled, and it was a deer. As I stare at it, it just stood there and stared back, then her 3 kids walked up one by one and did the same. After a minute of “Whoa! Look, there’s a dude there. Why is he in our yard?” They decided to walk off into the tree line.

So, right now, I am watching the rodeo again and it is really sucking. If I wasn’t mostly blogging I would have turned a long time ago. All the cool between the rides stuff, is not of TV. No t-shirt guns, no pyro, no Enterprise rent-a-tank, nothing. Oh well.

Fish are doing better, ich is nearly gone. Will keep treating for another week to make sure though.

My dad might be by tomorrow, he is going fishing in Baldwin, which isn’t far away.

I think that’s all.


It’s a Sad, Sad Day

Jenn and I left Friday for Bay City for the weekend, to go to Munger Potato Festival, see my Uncle Steve and family who are in, and go canoeing. The trip went mostly fine, but our return on Sunday was markedly not. We arrived to find, to our dismay, Chi-chi had passed away. Judging by his state, it had been at least 24 hours before, probably some time Saturday. He was not eating or acting quite the same since we separated him, but he had always eaten a little different from the others. It could have been the lack of constant feeding, a change in water circulation because of the separator, the loneliness of being separated even, or any of several other things. He was just so cool, although sometimes very evil bastardish. It scares me because he was the first, and I would hate if our 4 other fish also passed over the next week or two as well. I’m not sure what we will do, if we will get another Chi-chi, or a different fish, or leave it as is for a while.

So, as I said, bay City was fairly good. We missed Todd in the Demolition Derby Friday, but did see the Figure 8 on Saturday. Jenn’s Parents came down and spent most of Saturday with her, and I accompanied them to Munger to tour the festival. Jenn’s sister and her 2 kids who rode the rides and made it a little more fun. We all went to Rudy J’s after, then Jenn and I went back for the Figure 8 with my Dad and Uncle, which was very good except that a driver had to be taken to the hospital.

Sunday was the canoe trip, which was a bit of a pain in the ass. It was the first time we have tried the 5 hour, and all the really shallow rocky areas seem to be in the section between the 5 hr and 3 hr start points. After tubing here, the Rifle River is a joke. Jenn fell in 4 times, mostly while I was trying to drag us over rocks. One fall the current held the canoe down on her, and another we managed to get out, but the current had the canoe to hard pressed on a rock that it took my and my uncle 5 minutes to free the canoe. Thank god they rent aluminum, or we would have broke it on that one.

Today Jenn works, with a sunburn and several bruises, and rather sore from paddling 28 miles. We actually slept almost 18 straight hours from being tired and off of our normal night schedule. She luckily has tomorrow off though.

Tour de France has wrapped up, I am watching the recaps of what I missed on demand. Will be about 20 min before I see winner, though I have a good idea.

Ok, I wont sit here and wait to post the winner, I will just leave it at this.

Today, btw, is the anniversary of Jenn and I’s first trip to Big Rapids.

Hopefully next update sooner than later.


Vacation Weekend

So, we took a vacation for the weekend, as Jenn had Friday through tomorrow off. Tomorrow isn’t really off, as she goes in to work at 7:30, but kind of. Anyway, we went down to Grand Rapids and got a hotel in Kentwood, and shopped around the two malls for the evening. Dinner was at Carrabba’s, Jenn got the Pasta Weesie (similar to scampi over linguini alfredo) and I had the Linguine Pescatore (shrimp scallops and muscles in a spicy marinara, over linguini). I also had soup, a spicy sausage and lentil, and we split calamari. After dinner we went across to Grandville for a little more shopping, then back to the hotel for bed.

Saturday we went to Holland, to visit the New Holland Brewing Company. We planned to tour their brewery, but we didn’t see any other potential tourers when we arrived, so we went to their pub. We tried the sampler, consisting of their Zoomer, Lucid, Red Tulip, Sundog, Poet, and Mad Hatter brews. We preferred the first three the most, as well as the pint of (hard) Apple Cider we tried. Jenn tried a chocotini, but it was rather bad. We ate as well, I had a phili steak and Jenn a stromboli, both of which were quite good. If you are ever in Holland, we highly recommend it. We walked around a few shops downtown afterward, as we were not in condition to drive, then went to the outlet mall which was rather dead. The mall was next, but also dead, so we said goodbye to Holland.

After a nap, we had some Thai food from a place Jenn heard of from work. Mine had red curry in it, and I regretted it until the next morning, as did anyone within about 25 ft of me. After eating was a little more shopping, a soak in the hot tub, a trip to Steak and Shake, then bed.

Sunday we checked out, and went up to Comstock Park. We had some IHOP, decided we were shopped out, and headed home. About 20 minutes away, we got a call from Jenn’s parents, who were in Clare and wanted to come visit. So, we did a quick cleanup at home, then visited with them for a while. Thery had been up in Soo St. Marie for the weekend, and were on their way down to Mt. Pleasant. We wnet out to eat with them for lunch, and they headed off on their way.

After some sitting and enjoying being home, we had a Meijer run, then more sitting, and that was our weekend.

At Meijer, we got our 5th fish. We have Chi-chi, our Electric Blue Cichlid (sick-lid), Rosy and Barb, our Rosy Barbs, Kitty our Pleco (like a cat-fish), and now Sunny our Electric Yellow Cichlid. Though not the biggest, she is the first, and Chi-chi obviously is dominant over all the other fish, almost to the point I want to remove her. Not forever, just for a week for her to loose her instinct of it being her territory. Maybe adding some more caves and tunnels will help, will try that first.

Part of shopping on Friday was of course a stop at the Apple Store. While there, I eventually got a chance with an iPhone. We were playing with them, and they are quite cool. Jenn decided to try calling and believe it or not, they all have service. I called home from one, but nobody was home. They are cool, but I don’t see the need for one for me.

So, that’s what I have for now.

Scott, you are not supposed to vote “by July 4th” on the 15th, as you obviously will not be here by 11 days ago.

That’s all.



So, we left for Bay City on Monday afternoon and checked into our hotel, the which was rather crappy (the one across from KFC/TacoBell). Jenn went to see her friend Karen from SVSU while I hung out at home. My dad came over and we made some bbq chicken, and had some german potato salad, deviled eggs, roasted potatoes, and cheesy garlic biscuits. After Jenn was done and we sat and talked a little more, we went back to the hotel for the night.

Tuesday morning, we went to Macy’s to look for bedding, but found nothing good. On the way to Bay City we stopped at Papa Georgio’s for their pizza buffet, which Jenn enjoyed by I was rather so-so. We hung around at my house until about 4:30, then went to the mall and checked Younkers and JC Penny for bedding, before our movie at 6:05. Transformers was REALLY AWESOME! I liked it, Jenn was so-so. Nice to see guys from library, Jeremy and his girlfriend, Davey, and McGrath made it, rest were busy. Following that, we went to my house and walked toward Lafayette bridge to watch fireworks. We were rather tired after that, especially Jenn who was really being hit by a cold, so we stayed their for the night, and came home to Big Rapids Wednesday morning.

When we got to BR, we stopped at the airfest before coming home, which wasn’t real great. Later that night, we watched the BR fireworks from across the street. There was some guy who spent a crapload of cash in Ohio, and we actually thought he was the fireworks until the real ones began a while later.

While in Bay City, we picked up my aquarium, but couldn’t find anything here to put it on. We checked Meijer and Wal-Mart, and ended up buying a stand 1 size smaller, but after putting it together it obviously wouldn’t work.

Today, we went to Mt Pleasant and bought a proper stand, and a blue chiclid. We just got it set up and it seems to be happy, very active.

Sadly, I seem to have what Jenn suffered with for a weeks now. Hopefully it will be gone in time for her vacation. I think it is my August sickness, hope so anyway. I don’t want to go through this twice.

Tour de France begins today for anyone interested. As always you can catch it on Versus (formerly OLN).

OK, that is all. Here is a pic of fishy.