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Biped Report 2000

Latest Biped Report. See also our 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, and 1998 Biped Reports.

Dec 31 - drove around State College, PA, a small town in the middle of nowhere with a huge college campus.

Dec 30 - Looked out the window of our hotel in Danbury, CT, at 8 am, and saw that four inches of snow had already fallen. The Weather Channel cheerfully told us that we were in the 8-16 inches of snow region. Had breakfast at the hotel, but choices were limited as the kitchen staff had wisely stayed home that morning. We hit the road (I-84), and drove across southern New York state through a blizzard at about 35 mph, the fastest speed advisable on the snow-covered interstate. The snow started to die down at Scranton, PA, but it became even more slippery as the roads were covered with salty slush. Suddenly, there was roadway visible and we could go over 50 mph. Stayed overnight at State College, PA.

Dec 28/29 - visited New York City

Dec 27 - met up with Anne's friend Lisa in Somers, NY.

Dec 26 - given a tour of a foundry in Elmira, NY.

Dec 25 - Anne's young niece showed extreme patience in not opening presents until everyone had breakfast.

Dec 24 - visited Anne's sister's family in Binghamton, NY. It is their fifth house in five years. Anne's parents also arrived. Stopped on the way at the Horseshoe Curve, a large railroad bend near Altoona, PA, which is very exciting for railway enthusiasts (apparently).

Dec 23 - visited Anne's aunt and grandparents in Pittsburgh. Stopped at Tom Edison's birthplace in Milan, OH. The nearby Invention Cafe served an Inventor's Sandwich (a cheeseburger).

Dec 21 - Five is a serving size of cookies, not a temperature. Before we moved here, people told us that it didn't snow much in south-east Michigan, and when it did, roads were cleared in a fast and efficient manner. Misled is an understatement. A primary method of clearing snow off Ann Arbor roads is "letting cars drive over it". Even four lane roads, like Plymouth Rd (which is important enough to be named on a two inch square Ann Arbor inset map in our road atlas) was left rutted and slushy for days. Ann Arbor taxes are very low, compared with national GDP, so what do you expect?

Avoiding the boulders
A car makes it round the bend outside our house

Many shoveling opportunities
Our house

Snow ruts
Ann Arbor style road plowing
Not going anywhere soon
There's a car under here
Walking is less fun than usual
Anne and Laser

Dec 15 - Received a certificate of sponsorship for Precious the Hedgehog from Leicester Hedgehog Rescue, courtesy of Martin's aunt and uncle, Chris and Keith.

Aged 2 weeks
Precious The Hedgehog

Dec 13 - Another few inches of snow fell. Our Christmas tree (or holiday season tree) is a bit forlorn, as the decorations have yet to be unearthed from the basement box mines.

Dec 12 - About a foot of snow fell overnight, so no-one was going anywhere quickly this morning. Anne's employer was closed for the day. However, their Holiday Season party went on. The party had tables with food representing different parts of the world. The England table had roast beef, lox, and bagels, at least one third accurate. (For the benefit of readers in England, lox is smoked salmon and a bagel is a toroid-shaped boiled bread roll - bagel sounds better.). There was no shortage of shovelling opportunities.

Dec 10 - A car slid off the road into the next-door neighbors' ornamental boulders. So that's why they are there.

Dec 9 - There's a blue sky, snow on the trees, and the view out the window is picture-postcard perfect. Actually, we'd prefer to be looking at a postcard of Ann Arbor while sitting on a beach in Florida. Anne flew to Pontiac and back, and saw the Salem garbage dump from the air.

Dec 8 - Everyone else has raced out to shovel snow from their driveways. Someone at work said they really enjoy snow shoveling. We've yet to come round to this way of thinking.

Dec 6 - a few inches of snow settled. At least it hides the leaves I never got round to raking.

Dec 5 - a weatherman on TV said it would feel colder this winter, because it is colder.

Dec 4 - a downtown Ann Arbor parking lot now has a "Welcome" sticker on its entry barrier. That makes me feel a lot better about their overpriced parking.

Dec 3 - visited a local science museum.

Plasma ball
Anne looks through a plasma discharge

Nov 23 - Thanksgiving. Anne's young niece was busy stirring batter for a Yorkshire pudding (a pancake-like thing) when she suddenly fell backwards, dragging the bowl of batter back over her head. She wasn't hurt. Several people raced to the scene to see if she was OK, and Laser raced to the scene to help clean up the batter.

Nov 16 - A disheartening recycling experience. We piled cardboard along the curb, but nothing was collected as we had failed to comply with cardboard folding regulations (Ann Arbor is like that). A mystery person had added supplemental cardboard to the pile, and this was left behind as well. So instead of clearing out the cardboard, we ended up with more.

Nov 14 - We've had some disheartening unpacking experiences. We opened one large cardboard box to find it contained 5 other flattened boxes. Another box contained a bag of trash. This actually saved us money, as we paid for trash bag collection in Columbus. Also, it has started snowing in Michigan, even though there was no climate discount in the local real estate market.

Nov 10 - Movers arrived with another 50 boxes from storage.

Nov 9 - Finished unpacking most of the 50 boxes moved from the apartment.

New house
New house

Anne and Laser inspect the grounds
New house from back

Oct 27 - moved into the new house. If you're reading this in Columbus, how about visiting some time? We have several spare bedrooms.

Oct 26 - closed on a new house. Dingy apartment days are at an end. We went over in the evening to remove the ugly green bedroom carpet. The carpet was held on by evil spiky sticks which took a lot of prying up. The carpet had a foam underlay, held in place by hundreds and hundreds of staples.

North of Wierton, WV

Scenic West Virginia

Oct 22 - bought a lot of Fiestaware seconds from a warehouse in Newell, WV. Saw loons near Maumee Bay, OH.

Oct 20 - drove down to Pittsburgh to see Anne's grandparents.

Oct 15 - Packing boxes in preparation to move.

Pleasant Lake, MI Real colors, no filters or Photoshop monkey business

Pleasant Lake (see Sept. 16) Pleasant Lake, nearby Mud Lake is less popular

Oct 4 - Martin returns from Washington, and springs the dog from jail.

Oct 3 - visited the Mall and the Natural History Museum. in DC. Steamy summer-like weather.

Oct 2 - Anne started her drug development course. Martin visited the patent office. Excellent Korean dinner with yet more of Anne's friends. (Anne has many Washington connections.)

Oct 1 - Toured the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) archives in Washington. There are planes crammed everywhere. We had to leave after three hours, but the guide was just hitting his stride. It was the place to be to hear aviation anecdotes. Dinner with some more of Anne's friends.

Sept 30 - Flew to Washington, DC. Had dinner at an Afgan restaurant with one of Anne's friends. Exchanged e-mail addresses, and learned you can get a free e-mail account at ferretlovers.com; ("Making the world a better place for ferrets"). This is probably not a major threat to Hotmail.

Sept 29 - Martin's parents last evening in Michigan. Fish and chips for dinner, but not as good as the Old Bag of Nails in Columbus. (We need an excuse to go back).

Sept 27 - An inspection of the house we've bid on showed no serious problems. The 4 bedrooms mean that visitors will be welcome. Hopefully, we'll see some of our friends from Columbus, Ohio.

Sept 24 - wandered around the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn for several hours.

Sept 23 - visited Ann Arbor with Martin's parents and saw the panorama from 8th floor of the majestic 101 North Main building.

Sept 22 - made an offer on a house in Ann Arbor, the fourth one we've bid on.

Sept 20 - saw about 60 sandhill cranes on the way to work. Our commute from the cabin goes through a wildlife area.

Sept 16 - Martin's parents arrived in Michigan. We rented a cabin by Pleasant Lake.

Sept 13 - The apartment floods again. The maintenance man says its "the worst flooding he's seen since Novi" (which sounds bad, but doesn't mean much to me). We're told that landscaping people will come out and throw some soil around, and only if it floods again will they do foundation work. Great - three floods aren't enough to merit doing anything useful - it has to flood four times. We're less than impressed.

Anne had a worrying experience. She called up an apartment staff member, who said they had seen the flooding. Anne asked if the dog had caused trouble. What dog? The staff member hadn't seen any dog. Oh no - the dog is lost. Anne asks a co-worker to race her back to the apartment to find the missing dog. The dog is found making an impressive blanket nest in the bedroom, having been shut in the room by a maintenance worker earlier. (The blankets needed washing anyway.)

Sept 8 - Fiasco in Saline as we met up with a house inspector at a ranch we had bid on. A tenant emerged and told us to leave. An ugly scene developed between the seller's real estate agent and the tenant. The home inspector shrugged, told us to give him a call when we found another house, and walked away somewhat amused. We withdrew our bid.

Sept 4 - Returned from Colorado vacation.

August 11 - started house hunting again. Saw a nice house with a huge yard, but next to the scariest, most dilapidated house for miles. Too bad.

August 6 - our apartment at Traver Ridge partially floods again, making the whole place smell moldy. The apartment management actually take action this time, connecting some tubing to the end of the gutter down-spouts. These guys are just so effective, we're sure it won't happen again.

July 30 - Chicago traffic makes the trip back from Wisconsin very slow. Next time we'll take the ferry across Lake Michigan. Anne's new aviation GPS helped us find a small airport with experimental one-person gyrocopters.

July 29 - arrived at Oshkosh. Saw amazing aerobatics show, lots of flying straight upwards, then maneuvering an almost stationary plane. One biplane had a jet engine strapped on the bottom, which helped it take off in about fifty feet. We met up with Anne's friend Karen, one of the few people who look at this page occasionally (hello!). Anne bought a hand-held GPS system.

July 28 - set off for Oshkosh air show. We stopped at Indiana Dunes State Park, and in Chicago for dinner. Eventually reached Madison, Wisconsin.

July 13 - Martin visits San Francisco and Palo Alto.

Hamilton, Ontario
Canadian Warbird Museum

July 4 - Anne drags me to another airplane museum, this time the Canadian warplane museum in Hamilton, Ontario.

July 3 - visited Corning glass museum. In one exhibition, a craftsman did amazing things with a blob of molten glass, a blowpipe, and a curved wooden tool soaked in water. We also liked the display where you could make various rare-earth doped glasses luminesce by exposing them to UV light (a sign of nerdiness).

July 2 - saw government trout breeding tanks in Dryden, NY. The penalties for stealing these federal fish are severe. Every fish wears sunglasses and carries a badge.

July 1 - Anne goes flying from Cortland, NY, taking her father for aerial bog reconnaissance.

June 28 - We returned the rental car in France in the identical condition that we received it, but Budget (France) now sends us a bill for supposed "damage". Why did they pick on us?

June 20 - Apartment still has wet carpet, we're thinking about making bumper stickers:
* Wake up and smell the mold at Traver Ridge Apartments
* Traver Ridge - Indoor Swimming Pools
* Traver Ridge - Meet New Friends (crawling under the carpet)

June 18 - visited Lewis and Clark exhibition at the Ford museum in Grand Rapids. Also, the carpet in the small bedroom (office) of our ground floor apartment was soaked after a rainstorm. The water just oozed up out of the concrete slab.

June 16 - visited Island Lake state park with Laser. Driven back to the car by giant skeeters.

June 9 - returned from a vacation in France.

May 31 - vacation starts.

May 20 - Anne went on a trip with her flying club with the plan of visiting Chicago. Cloudy weather meant that they ended up at the Kalamazoo Air Zoo instead.

May 13 - Live from Groton, NY - dalmatian strangling.

Bonnie A. Dalmatian

Filmore Glen, Locke, NY
Filmore Glen, NY
You know, we were married in
this church
Groton, NY

May 9 - went out to dinner to celebrate not going to the grocery store. Sirens started wailing to warn us of twisters. Drove carefully, as tornadoes have the right of way at most intersections.

May 4 - our house in Columbus sold today. It's fairly sad, as we won't get anything as nice in Ann Arbor.

April 29 - visited van Gogh exhibition at Detroit Art Museum, part of the silent horde shuffling through. Left wanting a private viewing.

April 23 - visited lighthouse on Lake Ontario.

30-Mile Point Lighthouse

April 9 - stopped by Niagara Falls, NY. There were very impressive rainbows over the American Falls.

Rainbow Bridge

American Falls

April 1 - had an offer on our house in Columbus, at the full asking price. The last roots in Ohio are about to be pulled up.

March 29 - took a phone call: "Yes ... we would" ARF! "like to" ROLF! "offer you contract" WOOF! "work. Does 'Shut up you furry idiot' mean you aren't interested?" The second sentence wasn't said, fortunately. I gave the dog a paint brush to chew on, it was the only thing to hand. And it was only to hand because the dog had unpacked it a few days earlier.

March 25 - visited Toledo Zoo and saw two intensely bored polar bears pacing around their concrete enclosure. Someone obviously believed the bears would like concrete because it looks a bit like ice. If the pen had been hundreds of miles across, that might have been OK. We also saw a crazed, trumpeting elephant, spotted a leopard, and went on a view-challenged train ride ("behind that featureless wall are some interesting animals, behind that featureless wall are some birds").

March 23 - Driving around central Ohio, it is easy to forget how fortunate you are to be on smooth asphalt roads. Some areas of the world, such as Mongolia, the Central African Republic, and Washtenaw County, Michigan, still have significant numbers of dirt roads. One moment the driving is easy, then you see the dreaded words "Pavement Ends". However, you can do something to help your friends "up north". Please send any spare lumps of tar to the Michigan Asphalt Appeal, Department of Transport, Lansing, MI. Please label these pieces "Traver Road Surfacing Appeal".

March 22 - last of the unpacking. In some ways like Christmas, only with very dull presents. Another plate!. Anne's company paid for professional packers who wrapped everything - including empty beer bottles and a now very robust French loaf.

March 18 - Anne visits two local flying clubs. Club A:

Club B:

March 11 - visited Anne's parents in Groton, NY, driving via Canada. It sounds interesting and exotic to visit a foreign country, but this part of Canada is just Ohio with kilometers. Experienced Canadian Mist, which in this context was fine wind-blown snow.

Right: Anne's parent's barn
barn, Groton NY

March 10 - Anne's first paycheck in new job.

March 8 - Apartment in Ann Arbor turns into a National Cardboard Box Preserve.

March 7 - Movers take everything away from house in Columbus. Nearly everything - the dog travels up in the car.

Destination: Tundra


March 3 - Martin's last day at CAS. Forgot to take a paint chip to recreate the cubicle environment for contract work.

February 28 - Anne's first day at work in Ann Arbor.

February 27 - Looked round houses for sale in A2 - still horrifying. Someone pointed out that it was more expensive in Boston and New York. But these are major cities, not small college towns in the middle of a flat plain. We'll have to look at outlying villages, e.g. Chelsea or Milan. Ate pizza sitting on the inflatable couch.

February 26 - Moved some stuff into our new apartment: 2455 Lancashire Dr., Apt. TB, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Asked what "TB" stood for, was told "tuberculosis". It's going to be great fun living in a small apartment with a big, bouncy dog. Who will go crazy first?

coronado flight February 22 - Anne goes flying from Coronado airport in New Mexico. Only woollies need functioning instruments for visual flight rules. We took the Tramway up Sandia Crest - from T-shirt weather to brushing snow from your heavy coat in 15 minutes.

camel rock February 21 - Looked at closed museum doors in Santa Fe, Camel Rock (shaped like a cigarette), and burritos in Chimayo. You can't eat too many burritos, but you can eat too many refried beans.

Right: Camel Rock, NM

nmtaos Also visited Taos Pueblo (left) and the Rio Grande Gorge.

February 20 - Excellent breakfast burrito in Espanola, NM. Bacon, scrambled egg, and hash browns wrapped up in a tortilla and covered with red chile sauce. Visited Puye Cliffs, Bandelier National Monument (Indian cliff dwellings) and Los Alamos. Apparently, Indians lived in small cubicles. At least they had windows.

February 19 - flew out to Albuquerque for a few days in New Mexico. Trail through the desert to see petroglyphs.

February 12 - house is really clean for showing. However, it's impossible to us to live somewhere so tidy - everything we do spoils the neatness.

February 11, 2000 - Anne's last day at CAS.

Latest Biped Report. See also our 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 1999, and 1998 Biped Reports.

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