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September 2017

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Normal-paced sort of week on my mathematics blog, so here, enjoy the work done there:

Now for the way we ended the week in Omena. Your heart may break.


To take the edge off our leaving we stopped at the Omena Beach and then, on impulse, thought we'd see what our pet rabbit made of the sand. It turned out he rather liked the beach so I'm glad he was able to experience that.


Our lost rabbit enjoying his beach experience much more than we had expected since as you can see it's a very rocky surface.


Our lost rabbit, ears up, ready to supervise the beach and disapprove of anything going on.


The wonderful thing about letting an animal be is that, given time, they will do something you never imagined. Here, our lost rabbit got up and moved towards the water. Did he understand this was essentially the same thing he fought against in baths back home? What did he hope would happen?


Our pet rabbit getting a wave washing up on him. I had expected him to get furious at this, but no, he seemed happy to have the waters of Traverse Bay soaking into his dewlap.


And it was not a fluke! He got to experience several waves and seemed content there. Notice his paw, holding back the tides. I'm assuming that he enjoyed the water but --- what kind of rabbit enjoys getting wet? What a strange and compelling fellow he was.

Trivia: In February 1858 Japan and the United States agreed to the opening of eight port cities in Japan, and that the opium trade in Japan would be outlawed. Source: A Modern History of Japan, Andrew Gordon.

Currently Reading: The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, Kwame Anthony Appiah.

I finished another week of my humor blog without running out of things to write about. I do have fears of that, yes, and you can probably tell there are days that I'm slumming, especially when I have a high-effort thing going on my mathematics blog. But I haven't run out yet! Somehow. If you didn't read all this on your RSS reader or your Friends page then here's the week's pieces:

And now to pictures from the last day of our Omena vacation. This'll close out what we saw of the house and then on Sunday should come some pictures that will blow your mind. Promise.


The kitchen of the rental house. It was also the room we'd kept our rabbit in, inside a pen in front of the oven there. He seemed to take it well enough and we didn't have any serious issues except where we discovered how the sink was backed up through no fault of our own.


See? We can clean up a dining room well enough. Under the table you may be able to make out the trap door leading to the basement.


The living room with the carpet we were so afraid of getting dirty we didn't use the living room for anything until the last night.


And the ... other ... living room, including it turns out a modest but respectable DVD collection underneath. We put the stereo cables back where the house's instructions told us they should have been; when we had first got there the cables had fallen to the floor or something and we were a bit lost.


Reverse angle on the rug too scary to use.


[ profile] bunny_hugger consults with our lost rabbit during his last morning in the yard of the house we rented. Considering that he was just barely recovering from a fly strike that left him closer to death than we imagined he is in really good shape. But I notice his nictitating membrane in his eye there, often a sign of pain.

Trivia: About 190,000 persons hired by the Civil Works Administration were classified as ``non-manual and professional'' laborers, including artists, teachers, window dressers, bookbinders, historians, architects, statisticians, and clerks. Source: American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put The Nation To Work, Nick Taylor.

Currently Reading: The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, Kwame Anthony Appiah.

PS: Reading the Comics, February 11, 2017: Trivia Edition, some more comic strips none of them very deep.

My mathematics blog stirred from its torpor just enough this week for one of those monstrous 2,000-word essays that always comes out when I'm trying to write something quickly. The conclusion: I would be so much more productive a writer if I had no time to do it in. Run the past week, though:

And with that out of the way let's go back to our last evening in Omena. It featured a loved one.


[ profile] bunny_hugger carrying our lost rabbit out to the backyard. There's a towel wrapped around her shoulders, which we'd wrap him in so that flies couldn't harass him further.


Our lost rabbit, enjoying what might have been his favorite thing of that week: the chance to eat an entire lawn.


Our lost rabbit, confident in his plans for those dandelions.


The house, at dusk (which was something like 10 pm because sunset comes really late in Michigan in summer), with the lights inside that make it look like the house is winking while grimacing.


See how well we cleaned up the dining room table? Well, we'd get serious about it in the morning. Mostly I wanted to show off what a nice place it was that they could have the dining room lit by flying saucer.

Trivia: Into the 20th century the people of Iceland used a calendar with 364 days over 52 weeks for normal years and 371 days over 53 weeks for leap years. Source: Marking Time: The Epic Quest to Invent The Perfect Calendar, Duncan Steel. (He doesn't go into more detail about this.)

Currently Reading: The Complete Peanuts 1983-84, Charles Schulz. Editor Gary Groth.

Let me review my humor blog for the past week and then we'll get on to the last evening spent in the rented house in Omena that we liked so.


Would you rent to people who make a mess like this of the dining room table? Yeah, well, we cleaned it all up. The pile of stuff on the far end, from the Bird Songs Bible through the Yahtzee game were the homeowner's. On the near end of the table are the books borrowed from the Omena General Store and which I suppose we'll return when we get there again, except for the one [ profile] bunny_hugger's father sold to the used book store.


View from the dining room to the living room of the rented house. The rug there was so thick and comfortable we were basically terrified to step on it lest we drop something staining on it. We overcame that enough the last night to play a round of Talisman and I think one of Betrayal at the House on the Hill.


Overgrown weed something in the backyard. Our lost pet rabbit kept trying to shuffle his way generally in that direction and we're rather sure he did this with a plan involving digestion.


The house's back side, as seen from about that impressive-looking tower of weed. The grill to camera right of [ profile] bunny_hugger we were terrified to use because we had the idea it was brand-new and we didn't want to spoil its newness. After investigation revealed it had ben used at least once before we were comfortable grilling stuff for the last night there.


View of the rented house from up front, and a door we didn't really use. The back door was more convenient for getting to the car and getting any view of ... anything, really. Houses turn out that way sometimes. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.


View from the end of the dead-end street on which the rented house was. The trees in the background were part of the rented property and were once part of a working orchard. No more, though. The trees near the camera were still farmed, if I am correct in my understanding of things.

Trivia: One woolsack, a large square bag filled with cloth and used since the reign of King Edward III as symbol of England's staple trade, remains in service, as the seat of the Lord Chancellor presiding at the House of Lords. Source: Shakespeare's Kings: The Great Plays and the History of England in the Middle Ages, 1337 - 1485, John Julius Norwich. And I bet they went and abolished that since the book was written anyway since Britain seems to be determined to toss off all its charming quirky stuff and cling to the bad parts anymore.

Currently Reading: Tubes: A Journey To the Center Of The Internet, Andrew Blum.

PS: Reading the Comics, February 3, 2017: Counting Edition, more of last week's comics.

I had a slightly less lazy week on my mathematics blog this week. Two of the four posts weren't even about comics! And only one of the others was about me. Here's what you missed:

I've nearly got to the end of the week we spent in Omena! This starts pictures from Friday, which we spent walking around the tiny town of Omena mostly and then finally having a dinner on the grill.


Baffling statuary of the Omena art museum: some kind of metallic possibly robot Abraham Lincoln looking over the bushes. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.


Inside the Omena General Store. They have a pile of paperback books that are free to borrow. And they have the biggest pile of VHS I've seen since I came back from Singapore. We assume this is for free borrowing to people in the area and I don't know how VCRs are provided for. Yes, that's at least three Robin Williams movies in the set there.


In the Omena General Store looking away from the videotapes. There's some pretty substantial icebox-like contraption on the top shelf on the left there. I have no explanation for this phenomenon.


The Omena Presbyterian Church, a fairly old (by US standards) structure, and just a little bit away from the beach. I went off wandering around while [ profile] bunny_hugger and family were looking for fossils and the like.


The middle of the day at the Omena Beach. In the shade is the Knot Just A Bar restaurant. Also it turns out I can do some pretty nice dramatic lighting stuff with my new camera and its willingness to let me fiddle with the aperture settings.

Trivia: The 1908 New York Giants set baseball's single-season attendance record of 910,000 patrons. The record would not be broken until Babe Ruth joined the Yankees. Source: Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History, Cait Murphy.

Currently Reading: The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell.

So here's my humor blog from the past week, if you didn't read it originally or on your RSS feed. Here you go.

Another day, another day ending at the beach, from our summer vacation.


Found inside Joe's Friendly Tavern: Fish Tales. It's an old familiar pinball machine to us at this point. And we looked at it and noticed the factory-default high score on the table there and figured, oh, we could take that. Well, we only got one game in each and ran out of quarters, not enough time to figure out where the shots were, so we didn't get to leave our initials on a pinball machine in a tavern in a small town up north.


The beach in Empire, Michigan, almost walking distance from Joe's Friendly Tavern. You get nice sunsets like this on the Great Lakes.


The Robert H Manning Memorial Light, on Empire Beach, a memorial to a lifelong resident of Empire. I do not understand why he gets a lighthouse like this except that, you know, you make friends and this sort of thing happens. It dates to 1991 and is the second-newest lighthouse in Michigan, says Wikipedia. (Detroit's Tricentennial Light is newer.)


Meeting of gravity planes on the starbase Yorktown as seen in Star Trek: Beyond.


[ profile] bunny_hugger kneels, camera and coffee in hand, ready to take a photograph of the sunset from the beach. Folks were packing up, strangely, since the sun was about to go down and the place looked all the better for that.


Everybody's Dad caught piddling off the boat launch.

Trivia: Josiah Dwight Whitney, head of the Geological Survey of California from 1860 to 1874, surveyed the highest point in the contiguous United States (Mount Whitney) and the lowest (Death Valley). Source: Maps and Civilization: Cartography in Culture and Society, Norman J W Thrower.

Currently Reading: Barnaby, Volume Two, 1944-45, Crockett Johnson. Editors Philip Nel and Eric Reynolds.

My mathematics blog this week? Was lazy. Sorry. Should have more this coming week. What ran since last Saturday:

Lot of anthropomorphic numerals jokes the last couple days in the comics. Well, that'll happen.

We could hardly ignore lighthouse-visiting chances in the Leelenau Peninsula and so here's eight, count 'em, eight photos from the grounds of one, count 'em, one lighthouse.


The Point Betsie lighthouse, at the south end of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. As common for Great Lakes lighthouses it isn't that tall, and it is connected to the lighthouse keeper's house.


The lighthouse's museum. I just really like how the boat's framed here.


The Fresnel lens on display in the lighthouse museum. I believe it's a fourth-order lens but if I'm mistaken that's just the normal way of things.


View from one of the side rooms of the lighthouse tower, the lake, and the sky. We had a long wait to get into the tower as there were huge groups ahead of us and so I got many chances to take this picture and get it just right, which I did not. But you can see what I was going for anyway.


View from the top of the lighthouse, with the fog signal building the structure off on the right there. Way off in the distance is, I guess, the start of the Sleeping Bear Dunes.


Panoramic view from the top of the lighthouse which shows just how lovely and jpeg-artifacty the waters were that day.


View of the water, sky, and the side of the oil house, complement to my picture of the lighthouse tower a couple snaps up there.


Gravestone for Martha Madsen Wheaton, mother of 1934-46 lighthouse keeper Edward Wheaton. He made the gravestone and found that it was too heavy to lift into his car for transport to Cheboygan, where his mother died. So he left it at the lighthouse. This anecdote was rejected by the publication Ferociously Poignant Or Something Moments For Overly Stylized Naturalistic Stories Magazine.

Trivia: Beethoven completed what we call his Sixth Symphony before he finished the Fifth. (He had begun work on them in the other order.) Source: Beethoven: The Universal Composer, Edmund Morris.

Currently Reading: City On A Grid: How New York Became New York, Gerard Koeppel.

My humor blog the past week had more longwinded titles than usual. Wasn't on your RSS feed? Here's your chance to read them all now:

Back to photos of the summer trip. Today's are photographs of Glen Arbor.


One of the nearly infinite number of little artist boutiques in Glen Arbor. It's a small town, quite photogenic, and full of stuff for tourists like us to look at or maybe even buy perhaps? Anyway, picture your classic small town with maybe two traffic lights only the whole main downtown area is this.


Central garden and main shop and main cafe for the Grand Cherry Republic, which sells all kinds of cherry-based stuff to eat or, in soda form, drink. Lots of stuff to sample inside if you are willing to on sampling more than you would realistically ever buy.


Another boutique in Glen Arbor and actually a shop I didn't venture into since we weren't sure how much time we had and I really do have to get my book-buying habit under control. But aren't you charmed too? Yes, yes you are.


On the main street in Glen Arbor. interesting to me mostly because one of [ profile] bunny_hugger's grad student hangouts in Lansing was Art's Bar, which I think might try to style itself a tavern in some references.


The miniature golf course on the far east side of Glen Arbor (maybe like five blocks east of Art's Tavern) and while we didn't have the time to play, we could at least look at some of the sculptures and stuff.


Some very homemade signs for stuff around the miniature golf course. You understand why it was hard to resist just buying our way in to walk around at least.

Trivia: When Apollo 1's Command Module was delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in August 1966 it had 164 incomplete engineering change orders. Within a month there were 377 incomplete engineering change orders. Program manager General John G Shinkle estimated seven-tenths of the changes should have been identified at manufacturer North American. Source: A History of the Kennedy Space Center, Kenneth Lipartito, Orville R Butler.

Currently Reading: P T Barnum: The Legend And The Man, A H Saxon.

PS: Reading the Comics, January 21, 2017: Homework Edition, finishing up last week at last.

After plugging my mathematics blog and its RSS feed with a list of the past week's articles I'll get on to pictures of the beach at Suttons Bay, where we spent a lovely evening.


And at the Suttons Bay bech, a little girl scares off a seagull. Can't fault the girl as the seagulls around here were clearly up to something.


[ profile] bunny_hugger's parrot kite during one of its short flights on the Suttons Bay beach. The wind, we'd learn later, was too strong for flying the sort of kite we had and who knew the breeze we had was too much for just keeping a kite in the air? Huh?


[ profile] bunny_hugger's parrot kite about to end one of its short flights on the Suttons Bay beach.


Panoramic view of the Suttons Bay beach taken from at the edge of the water and looking back because, really, isn't every panoramic view of the water the same picture? The distorting effect of a panoramic shot really comes across here; the shoreline is a basically straight line at this point.


[ profile] bunny_hugger reading a magazine and thinking back in the old days before the neighborhood declined and this became part of the Ladle District. The ladle was there, unattended, all afternoon. We ended up closer to it as we moved our chairs into the shade. The ladle was neve claimed.


Seagull casing the joint before figuring out whether it can make off with those sneakers. Nobody ever claimed the sneakers, so far as I was aware, through to sunset.


A faint rainbow-fragment caught in the dusk light. It's just over the left edge of that tree sticking up one-third of the way from the right edge. Trust me. I did everything I could to make it show a little better with indifferent success.

Trivia: Universal studios newsreel cameraman Norman Alley and Fox Movietone newsreel cameraman Eric Mayell were both abord the US gunboat Panay when Japanese bombers sank the ship. Both raced their footage back to the United States. Source: The American Newsreel 1911 - 1967, Raymond Fielding.

Currently Reading: Barnaby, Volume 1, Crockett Johnson.

Back to the summer and a day spent in Suttons Bay. There were two really big photographic targets there. One was the garden shop. So here's some of that. After my update on what happened in my humor blog this past week. Remember that RSS is still a thing so far as I've ever heard.


One of the dragons in front of that Bayside Gallery garden shop in Suttons Bay. It and another dragon sit in front of the entrance when the place is open; when it's closed, they're out of sight.


Bayside Gallery outside attractions because how can you not be captivated by a bundle of light and texture and shape like that?


Goldfish in the pond outside the Bayside Gallery. There's a healthy number of them there in a lake with a good bit of space and a little waterfall and everything.


Dragon and hatchling statue from the garden shop that's just so adorable you'd hug them if they weren't solid concrete.


Translucent fairy with all those wonderful colors in the background: sundials and yard decorations and all the sorts of complicated things we might find at the gallery.

Trivia: William Henry Harrison was, at inauguration, older than seven of his eight predecessors were on leaving office. Source: From Failing Hands: The Story of Presidential Succession, John D Feerick.

Currently Reading: Innumeracy, John Allen Paulos. It's been a while.

PS: Reading the Comics, January 14, 2017: Maybe The Last Jumble? Edition covering more of last week's comics and admitting my fear that I won't have many more Jumble comics to mention. Warning: rambling memories of the 1990s Internet included!

My mathematics blog took as near as it ever does to a full week off last week. I feel better for doing that. But here's what did run:

More of hanging out in Traverse City:


Reasons to love Traverse City: they have shops that look like this, even still. Who wouldn't want to go someplace it can be 1979 and you're seven again and everything is happy and there isn't anything to worry about except if the next Peanuts special isn't going to be as perfect as What A Nightmare, Charlie Brown was? I'm not alone in this, am I?


Photo inside the pharmacists/convenience store. Traverse City doesn't allow chain stores on the main street which is why the place doesn't look like every CVS ever or, possibly, ever since 1978. There's a lot of nick-nacks and apparently you can get Folkmanis puppets in small convenience stores these ays and oh boy look at that paneling and look at those department signs.


Seagull getting ready to address the audience from atop a Traverse City traffic camera. While we sat here drinking soda some fairly hipster-y fellow admired my camera, which has some classic old-fashioned styling to it but isn't all that anything.


The pinball machines in the hipster bar where we had been promised FunHouse. They had the world's slowest Tales From The Crypt instead. Very floaty ball, slow enough it was a bit tricky to play because our reflexes were faster than the ball allowed. I got my name on the Jurassic Park high score table, but it was the #6 position (most games only record the top four after the Grand Champion) and the high score table had been reset recently.


The Coin Slot arcade, which we didn't know was there, and is just across the street from that hipster bar. It had the 1991 Data East Simpsons and an Earthshaker as well as a bunch of video games. If we could have bought an hour pass, instead of an all-day pass, we'd have probably played even though in the heat of summer it was like a hundred and two million degrees inside.


Just a quick view of Traverse City's main downtown drag, State Theatre in the center.

Trivia: Larry Gelbart's first Broadway musical was The Conquering Hero, an adaptation of Preston Sturges's Hail the Conquering Hero. It opened at the ANTA theater on the 16th January 1961, and closed after eight performances. Source: Not Since Carrie: 40 Years Of Broadway Musical Flops, Ken Mandelbaum.

Currently Reading: The Values Of Precision, Editor M Norton Wise.

Normal: do you remember it? Yeah, me neither, really.But my humor blog's carried on almost as if normal, as you can put on your Friends page or your RSS reader. And run there since last week at this time were:

So here's some of what we got up to in Traverse City that Tuesday we were in and hoped to find FunHouse and other pinball.


Little Free Library in Traverse City, just outside the State Theater. It imitates the theater, as the picture suggests.


Catching my eye in Toy Haven: your child's own play parking garage! You can almost feel the child discover the world of magnetic-stripe tickets. The part with the elevator I really like. But I'm that sort of nerd and always was.


Among the Toy Haven toys were these pretty cool translucent dragons. Because kids don't have enough cool stuff, they get translucent dragon toys too. You know? It's not fair.


Bijou By The Bay: another little theater, in a park on the water line. The building only looks like a WPA power substation. It was for many years a museum set up by/in honor of one of the first people to run a movie theater in Traverse City. And it runs a mix of art-house stuff and popular movies plus whatever you want to say The Secret Life Of Pets was. It just looked too dire to actually watch.


Stuff we missed at the State Theatre or the Bijou By The Bay: some interesting movies for the Cherrry Fest. They might have got carried away or hoped they'd have more pirate movies.

Trivia: After months in 1924 spent trying to convince the owners of the New York Tribune to sell to them, as the only way the two (Republican broadsheet) newspapers could survive in the crowded market, Frank Munsey admitted defeat and sold his Herald to the Tribune. He got five million dollars, a tenth of that for the Herald's Paris edition. Source: The Paper: The Life and Death of the New York Herald Tribune, Richard Kluger.

Currently Reading: The Wandering Variables, Lois Trimble. And if I thought Chad Oliver had set a new word record for violently inhumane social experimentation along comes Trimble with multiple societies set up to prove out grad student theses. It's fun enough and keeps brushing up against being funny but still, wow, I've got a new entry for the next time someone wants to know what books top Pohl's Starburst for this sort of thing.

PS: How December 2016 Treated My Mathematics Blog, just going over exactly what the title says it is.

Last week's mathematics blog was all about building stuff up out of what I already wrote. I was on vacation. (Could you tell?) Here's what went up:

So in Omena on Tuesday the first thing we did was go to Leelanau Township to find a letterbox.


Peterson Park, location of the letterbox and, we'd find, a hitchhiker, a portable letterbox hidden inside the letterbox. It turns out to be a park with two major accessible locations and we of course started from the wrong one as we always do that. Or we never find out about the second location of the bifurated parks where we start from the correct part.


A fallen tree. My joke is that every letterbox involves finding the fallen tree, one of many fallen trees in the area. I'm exaggerating. But fallen trees are good location markers for letterboxes, since mostly people don't go relocating them. And they often will provide spots good for concealing a box. If you see something that looks like this in a park near some feature of local interest there might just be a closed Tupperware box waiting to be discovered.


Peterson Park looks out over Lake Michigan, although it's something like a hundred-plus feet above sea level. So you can take a stairway down, and note the pronoun in that. Well, we might have gone down to shore level except it was fairly hot and we wouldn't have time to go home and shower before we'd need to get going again as we hoped to make it to Traverse City in the afternoon.


Another bit of the park, and the trees, and way off in the distance our car. It was a nice enough day but we didn't see anyone except, of course, for the car that drove into and back out of the lot just as we were doing the most suspicious part of letterboxing. That would be our going slightly off the normal paths and rooting around looking for a tiny, concealed package. Somehow somebody always comes along when you're at the moment of finding the confidential part of the hobby. They're never along when you're having an argument about whether the ``old water pump'' landmark the clues mention might mean the water fountain that doesn't work.

Trivia: The Lux Radio Theater, near the end of its twenty-season run, was estimated to have gone through 52,000 pages of script, 496 stars, 1,467 supporting players, 18,667 music cues, and 22,667 sound effects. Source: On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning. I would have been satisfied had they estimated the sound effects to the nearest ten.

Currently Reading: 1919: The Year Our World Began, William K Klingaman.

This week my humor blog featured the start of a fresh Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan fiction. Hope you like. Also run there:

Now for some strolling along the beach at Omena.


Entry to the Omena Beach. The set of rules for the beach were so worded that I argued it was against the rules to take your trash home for disposal, and you instead had to toss it out in the bins there. Can't imagine they prosecute many of those cases though.


Stuff to do at the Omena Beach if you don't want to swim or toss pebbles or fossil-hunt. Also we would learn those rubber-strap seats hurt when you're a grownup and have hips wide enough that the hooks holding the strap on will dig into your hips and will never, ever stop digging.


The former Harbor Bar as viewed from kind of a little way along the beach. Now it's Knot Just A Bar and a winery and feels like the natural habitat for my mother's college friends.


Setting sun at the Omena beach. Half-moon and a bird in view there.


Water rushing in to the Omena beach. I couldn't line up a picture that perfectly if I tried.

Trivia: There are at least 2,500 species of mosquito. Source: The Path Between The Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870 - 1914, David McCullough.

Currently Reading: 1919: The Year Our World Began, William K Klingaman.

<> PS: What I Learned Doing The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z, furthering my little recaps.

And in my Mathematics blog the past week? This stuff, particularly, the end of my End 2016 A To Z project. Thoughts about the project to follow.

Now on to the last stretch leading up to the Omena Beach.


The Old Boathouse, one of the larger homes in Omena that I thought had used to be a hotel, only [ profile] bunny_hugger's father says we were looking at the wrong one. It's hard to keep quite straight just what used to be what.


These two robins would never resolve their disagreement.


I think this is the house [ profile] bunny_hugger's father old us used to be the hotel, although it too seems small for that role. Maybe parts were removed when it got turned into a private home? I don't know, really.


Herbs-by-the-bay, planted just across the street, and next to the parking lot, for the Omena Beach. It's a tiny beach and the herb garden, with the parking lot, might reach farther along the road.


Just a couple sitting by the shore on a private lot in Omena.

Trivia: At the time of the Spanish conquest Andean farmers grew about three thousand different types of potatoes. Today about 250 are grown in North America, and twenty varieties make up three-quarters of the United States potato harvest. Source: Indian Givers: How Native Americans Transformed the World, Jack Weatherford.

Currently Reading: Mirror Image, Michael G Coney.

Getting back to whatever normal is with my humor blog. This past week's included such entries as:

One of the quiet little highlights of the trip's Monday was walking down to the Omena beach, this time without a poison ivy scare. Here's a bit of what it looked like.


Do you see it? I had forgotten why I took a photograph of this leaf. It's because there's a frog beside it. A tiny little frog that stood still a while as we towered over it and finally made its way off to the woods when it figured it had a clear chance at things.


The path from our rented house down to the beach. The sunset glow is why there's a rim of such bright orange and yellow and such. Summer ends early in the northern areas of the lower peninsula, but not mid-July early.


We had not been tempted to explore the trail until we saw this sign. We don't know members of what or what one has to do to gain the trait of member-ness.


Well, make up your mind. What you get if you walk past street signs and can catch a T-intersection at just the right spot.


Oh yeah, one of these trees. Very, very poofy cloudy tree near the beach.

Trivia: Between 1851 and 1854 some $175 million in gold reached New York City from California. Source: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.

Currently Reading: FreeMaster, Kris Jensen.

PS: The End 2016 Mathematics A To Z: Yang Hui's Triangle, which you know. You just don't know you know, maybe.

And then there's the mathematics blog entries that I would have posted if other stuff didn't get in the way.

Back to Leland now.


Antique car, one of many, just driving around town. I don't think there was any specific antique-car event going on; there's just a lot of old-fashioned cars puttering around town.


And then public art. There's sculptures all over the place much as there are in Northport and Omena and all that. Here's a horse.


Some river running through Leland, which leads to some falls right before Fishtown. It's fine pictures in either direction.


Guys from that garage crowding around another antique car. I think they were bringing this one out of the garage, maybe for road testing. They'd had several vehicles over the course of the day.


And outside Leland: Fischer's Happy Hour Tavern, a frequent dinner spot for [ profile] bunny_hugger's family back in the day when they'd visit up north regularly.

Trivia: By the 1862 incorporation laws no single stockholder was allowed to hold more than two hundred shares in the Union Pacific railroad. Source: Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad, David Haward Bain.

Currently Reading: The Golden People, Fred Saberhagen.

I guess that exhausts the report on our pet rabbit's last day although goodness knows I can't avoid thinking about it still. Well, here's the list of stuff from my humor blog that would've been there on a happier last Thursday.


In Leland, on the way to Fishtown. There's something about the town that encourages people to bring antique or oddball cars there. There's a garage near where we parked which was working on several antique cars. And then on the way to the pier we saw this whatever-it-is.


Looking down into Fishtown. It's still a properly working fishing pier, although nearly all the buildings have given over to tourist-trade items like cheese and ice cream. There are still people gathering Lake Michigan fish from the spot, though.


One of the charter boats that does ply the waters out of Fishtown. I think that on the far side is one of the fishing boats and a house that is either occupied by an actual fisher or else by someone rich enough to own lakeside property in a touristy town.


Looking upon my works, ye mighty: ``This plaque marks the site of The Leland Lake Superior Iron Company. Began operating as a blast furnace in 1870. Dedicated by the Leelanau County Historical Society. May 9, 1958.'' Former industry.


[ profile] bunny_hugger and her father examining the tree stump. From the plaque: ``Leland Champion Cottonwood Tree. This trunk remains as evidence of the Champion Cottonwood Tree that watched over the entrance to historic Fishtown for more than 100 years. The tree was planted circa 1901 by Ozzie Cordes, and was taken down on November 7, 2011.'' Cuttings from it were taken in 2008 so its clones could grow, somewhere.

Trivia: A&P stores did not carry toothpaste or shaving cream until 1951, when an experiment on a hundred toiletries began. Source: The Great A&P And The Struggle For Small Business In America, Marc Levinson.

Currently Reading: Exile From Xanadu, Ian Wright

We'll be back up north, to Northport, after tossing out my normal pitch for my mathematics blog. Stuff that's been there the past week:


[ profile] bunny_hugger peers into an adorable Little Free Library in Northport. One of many delights of the little town.


Art, as put on display outside what I assume to be a gallery. The gallery(?) itself is set up in what looks like a very old-fashioned railroad car.


UFO! Tiny little-bitty UFO! This fluttering spot of brilliant white fascinated me for a while and it took some investigation to work out. It's a leaf caught in a spiderweb, loose enough that in the breeze it flutters around like a special effect. And it had got caught in a shaft of sunlight in what's otherwise the shade of a tree, for maximum eye-catching effect.


A most surprising thing: abandoned shops in Northport. So very abandoned even the letters were falling off. There was a for-sale sign in front of the complex. And a couple of business-type guys were walking around the property talking about something. No idea what. I suppose it'd be nice if some fresh successful project were to grow here, but it'd be a shame to lose a sign of this vintage.


Peering down --- maybe twenty feet or so -- into a creek. There's a concealed water wheel here. This is the side of a gelato place formerly an ice cream place. The building itself used to be a restaurant open to all comers, but it's narrowed its focus down to special events.


The grease truck falls outside camera range but I did want to get a photo of that sidewalk sign. It's wonderful, not just because each line (breaking up lines by different colors) could be the name for an indie band.


Ice cream shop that we'd get to several times. I don't know why it's The Tribune; perhaps this reflects the local news industry.

Trivia: J.P. Morgan, in 1990, became the first commercial bank which the Federal Reserve allowed to underwite securities. Source: How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities, John Cassidy.

Currently Reading: After Apollo? Richard Nixon and the American Space Program, John M Logsdon.

Let me get you my humor blog. If you skipped it the last week and haven't heard about its RSS feed that's because you have never ever read this blog ever, and so are not reading this now. Well, there we go.

Back to Omena!


Put this way, how could we not stop there for a snack?


[ profile] bunny_hugger puts a towel around our pet rabbit, who's skeptical of all this but willing to try anything that lets him get closer to those bushes and eat them. He would do very well with the long towel: using it and [ profile] bunny_hugger as support he could walk, run, even hop.


From the orchards, some of them still working, around the house we rented.


Looking out on fallow fields from the edge of the property we rented.


Exploded(?) tree trunk that we found on the edge of the road leading from the rented house to the beach. A few steps toward the tree would reveal that the road was lined with poison ivy. Mystery not pursued.


Our pet rabbit enjoying a late evening on the lawn he would do so very much to eat. We warned him that we could see his fluffy white belly. He was unconcerned.

Trivia: Boris III, Tsar of Bulgaria from 1918, was an avid train enthusiast. Engine drivers on the Orient Express were warned not to let him anywhere near the cab. Source: Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed The World, Margaret Macmillan.

Currently Reading: In The Hand Of The Goddess, Tamora Pierce.