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Biped Report 2004

Latest Biped Report. See also our 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1998 Biped Reports.

Dec 18 - the baby is born prematurely, but is doing well for his age (29.5 weeks). Weight: 3 lb 5 oz, length 17 inches, name to be announced (we weren't prepared). He is now in an intensive care unit.

Dec 5 - We are expecting a baby, due on March 1st. Anne now likes to spend the weekend napping, so there has been less biped news recently.

Nov 26 - We took Anne's parents to the fire engine museum in Ypsilanti. The cardboard dalmatians were all wearing red Santa hats. Hopefully, the next step will be real dalmatians in Santa hats.

Nov 25 - We had a traditional standing rib roast for Thanksgiving dinner. It's traditional for us, anyway. We also had a cranberry-apple pie, which stands a good chance of becoming traditional as well.

Nov 23 - We break out our bizarrely enormous wine glasses for dinner, only to be told by our more knowledgable guests that they are supposed to be that size.

Nov 21 - Anne's parents arrive for Thanksgiving. They are a few days early.

Nov 14 - we paid some people from a local community group to rake our leaves as part of their fundraising effort. Virtuous laziness, the best sort.

Oct 31 - lunch in Ludington. Saw noisy flocks of cranes at the Baker bird sanctuary near Jackson.

Oct 30 - visited Sleeping Bear Dunes. There was a high wind, and we ended up sandblasted. Attempted the Dune Climb, but were eventually blown back.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

MI 22 north of Manistee
Crystal Lake
Crystal Lake

Oct 29 - drove out to the west coast. Stayed amongst the bright lights of downtown Manistee, Michigan, which include a glowing kayak.


Oct 26 - enjoyed the spectacular sight of a lunar eclipse, captured in the awe-inspiring photo below. This dramatic image makes average viewers feel small and insignificant.

Lunar eclipse

Oct 24 - painted one wall of our bedroom. That was four years after moving in, so it should be finished by 2016. One of us isn't happy with that calculation.

Oct 11 - a cold walk to a waterfall. We need to find our woolly hats.

Taughannock Falls, NY

Oct 9 - visiting Anne's parents in Newark Valley, NY.

Oct 8 - a drive to the airport, a flight across the pond, then a late evening dinner in Geneva. The city is on a large lake, but it was too dark to see it. The "pond" is of course Lake Erie, and (as everyone knows) Geneva is on Seneca Lake, NY.

Oct 3 - lunch at Bell's Diner. The check listed two food items, an A2 and a B3 (Ann Arbor burger and Be Bim Bop).

Oct 1 - A parking meter refused to give us any time for several dimes. Apparently, they are too small to bother with. Most vending machines return rejected coins, but local meters embrace Ann Arbor parking banditry and keep them.

Sept 25 - visited a fire engine museum in Ypsilanti. There were cardboard dalmatians alongside the engines, but live dalmatians would have been better.

Sept 19 -visited Great Bear Lodge in Sandusky, a hotel and water park where some friends were staying. The big attraction was having a huge bucket of water emptied over your head, though we didn't join in the fun. The dining room had a fishing theme, including the usual fishing paraphernalia such as hooks, shotgun cartridges, etc.

Sept 3 - 6 - long weekend overlooking Keuka Lake, NY ... read more ...

Hammondsport, NY
Vineyard, Keuka Lake, NY

Aug 28 - A division of labor. Anne went shopping for wind-up toys for a forthcoming college reunion. Martin almost started the preparation for painting a bedroom.

Aug 10 - The spam menace could soon be over, as the spammers seem to have finally run out of realistic aliases. For example, today we got spam from "Gingerbread R. Indespensibles". Yes, that sounds like a real person ...

Aug 3-8 - vacation in Ontario, Canada ... read more ...

Yet another sunset
The lake slopes in Kincardine, Ontario

July 27 - Anne visited Pittsburgh to see her grandmother. Martin visited Lansing for a two-day mini-vacation. Laser visited Dog Jail, feeling hard done by.

July 18 - visited Lansing Zoo. There was a fluffy penguin chick making plaintive "Feed Me" squeaks, sounding remarkably like our dog. Admission was free with our Toledo Zoo membership.

Magellanic Penguin
Magellanic Penguin

July 11 - visited Lake Erie Metropark on the shores of (you've guessed it) the Detroit River. A small boat went by, then lifted off the surface of the water and flew around for a few minutes.

July 3 - lunch in Ithaca, NY. Somehow, we managed to avoid visiting a waterfall while in town. Dinner at Anne's parents, within the bright lights of Newark Valley, NY. Local attractions include a horse in the field next door.

July 2 - visited Anne's parents in New York state. We stopped at a Cleveland area park on Lake Erie on the way.

June 27 - Breakfast on a patio high up in a Columbus hotel. Lunch in German Village, which was having a Pedestrians Wandering Around the Middle of the Street festival.


June 26 - In Columbus for a friend's wedding.

Autofocus selects the important image content
Airborne petals

June 20 - headed up to Novi to see Life of Brian. Presumably, this movie is too weird for Ann Arbor. We had dinner at a Thai restaurant in Rochester, MI. We then sat around on an outside riverside patio with one of Anne's college friends from Rochester (in this case, from the real one in New York state).

June 5 - we picked up a piece of jewelry in Grand Rapids, Ohio, and listened to the adventurous tales of the store owner. We then headed across to Kelleys Island in Lake Erie. In some ways the island is like Hawaii, but with less warmth, palm trees, and scenery. These minor omissions are more than compensated for by the abundance of golf carts and incredible (as these things go) glacial grooves.

May 31 - Spent the weekend in the Bay Area (Saginaw, Michigan). Went for a scenic drive, ending up at a bird-filled bog by Lake Huron. Anne's parents would have really enjoyed this. We took the dog for a quick walk around, disturbing hordes of redwing blackbirds.

May 24 - Anne gave a talk at a conference in Baltimore. She is well on her way to becoming a guru, and may already be a gu (or a ru).

May 23 - breakfast in a diner in Nottingham, featuring local mushrooms and a sausage-like thing called scrapple. Headed off down U.S. Route 1 (which is a much smaller road than it sounds) to Baltimore, where Anne was staying for a conference.

May 22 - visited a friend in Oxford, Pennsylvania. It was much, much warmer than in Michigan. Long walk around Longwood Gardens, which has a huge array of plants and trees, as you might expect. It also had a man-made waterfall fed by the dramatic "Watering Eye", and fountains choreographed to music. We then had dinner in Newark, Delaware, a town overrun by students. We stayed overnight in a nearby town called Nottingham.

Nice fish
Attractive fish

May 16 - Anne's parents leave. They spend about five hours traveling the first hundred miles. There were bird sanctuaries on the way.

May 15 - visited by more in-laws, a contingent from Columbus, Ohio, and some Michiganders.

May 13 - Anne's parents visited a local park, which features a bird called a dickcissel. That sounds rare and exotic, but apparently the dickcissel is a sparrow-sized brown bird that looks like a sparrow, and which often flocks with sparrows. That will make a change from sparrows, then.

May 11 - Anne's parents arrive, after spending several days birdwatching in Canada. They seem unimpressed by our local sparrows and cardinals. They are impressed by our enormous local squirrels.

May 10 - lunch by the scenic Maumee River in Toledo, which almost made up for the cabin disappointment of yesterday. We saw a boa constrictor emptied out of a trash can and a snapping turtle attack a mallard duck at the Toledo Zoo. Afterwards, we continued along the river to Grand Rapids, Ohio, where Anne spent some time looking at jewelry.

May 9 - headed out to a cabin near Jackson. We sat outside by a lake, and it was very relaxing. A storm drove us inside, and then general mustiness drove us back home again. We had planned to stay for a week.

May 8 - Anne saw a performance at the Hill Auditorium.

Oxygen masks and binoculars recommended

April 7 - we installed a new tan brown couch cover. It was chosen to match other fixtures in the living room - in particular a tan brown furry fixture.

April 3 - in Pittsburgh to visit Anne's grandmother. Our car sensed it was a long way from home, and refused to start in the morning. After further problems, we called in the Pittsburgh AAA car battery delivery service.

April 1 - both Anne and Martin's computers at work had hard drive problems recently. Maybe this is due to a return of the Neuroticat virus.

March 16 - finished painting the dining room. For some reason, we have developed decorating momentum in the last 10 days.

March 7 - finished off painting the living room at last.

March 6 - saw a friend's extensively renovated house, including new kitchen, restored hardwood floors, etc. Our unambitious living room painting project stalled half-done about two months ago.

March 1 - Anne wondered if there was a magazine having maybe an article or two about log cabins. We went to the bookstore, and discovered that this is a remarkably big field in itself. We bought three magazines, Enormous Log Palace, Beyond the Log Palace - Celebrate Deforestation, and My Log Home is Bigger Than Yours, showing 'dream houses' that looked more like state park lodges.

Feb 29 - after our Texas vacation, we became interested in buying (or renting) a cabin in Michigan. Traditionally, this involves a 5 or 6 hour drive to the Upper Peninsula. Instead, we investigated local alternatives in the Irish Hills, an hour or so southeast of Ann Arbor.

Feb 28 - visited Port Clinton, Ohio. We saw an air-boat cross Lake Erie from South Bass Island. The vessel was very fast and very loud. A small dog was extremely reluctant to get on the boat for the return trip, taking evasive maneuvers such as reversing back through his owner's legs.

Giant fan
Incoming ferry from South Bass Island
The 'Hard Water'

Feb 20 - 24 - spent a long weekend in Texas ... read more ...

Feb 15 - It was a sunny day, so we put the dog in the car and drove around southern Michigan in a fairly random manner. Eventually, we ended up in Hillsdale, which had some nice lake-side cabins to the south of town.

Random Building
Unusual color sky

Feb 14 - Anne bought some Spanish language tapes, and learned a few words. We can now pronounce simple but useful words like "taco". Apparently, its not "tar-co". We had dinner at Fiesta Mexicana, but ordered in English as our language skills are definitely not ready for prime time.

Feb 10 - There's been snow on the ground since Jan 4, so it was time to book a midwinter break. We're going to San Antonio, because it looked a long way south on the map. [The next day, we looked at a weather map and saw that it wasn't much warmer in Texas. The crowds go to Florida for a good reason]. We're staying in a Leakey cabin, it just had a ring to it.

Feb 8 - did an Ann Arbor thing, and went to a free University of Michigan music faculty recital at the Rackham Auditorium. Unlike the Hill Auditorium, this clearly hadn't been renovated recently, as the seats were spacious and comfortable.

Feb 7 - visited Hidden Lake Gardens, which has a cactus room, temperate house, and tropical house.

Temperate House
Genetically modified test tube cleaner

Feb 1 - We spent the afternoon cross-country skiing. Well, at least 20 minutes. Anne was skiing, Martin was cross-country shuffling on skis. Fortunately, only a few other people were using the flat and boring trail.

Huron Golf Course
Across the tundra

Jan 24 - Anne got very cold while we were walking around local park.

Not warm

Jan 23 - More snow. We both had a long commute home. Our birdfeeder attracted every cardinal in the neighborhood.

Jan 17 - For a change, had both snow and freezing drizzle. Saw a local amateur performance of Fiddler on the Roof. On the way, we had to steer around a truck that had slid into a roadside pole.

Jan 11 - Hasn't gone above freezing during the last week. The snow from the 4th is still hanging around.

Jan 10 - Visited the automobile museum in Ypsilanti. Old-timers were hanging around, chatting about V-12 Wallace Gromits.

Jan 8 - Anne flew out to a business meeting in St Louis on a corporate jet.

Jan 4 - A winter storm passed through, leaving lots of snow and icy temperatures.

Jan 3, 2004 - returned from England. The weather in Michigan was mild and damp, similar to what we had left behind.

Latest Biped Report. See also our 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, and 1998 Biped Reports.

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