Category Archives: October

2012 Lake Orion Pumpkin Launch was a blast!

Mark this down under "things to be sure to do next October" –

The 5th annual, 2012 Lake Orion Pumpkin Launch was a blast. It was held at Orion Oaks park, about 90 minutes from Ann Arbor. Five teams competed to launch pumpkins with trebuchets out into a field. The winning team, the Masters of Mayhem, lobbed a pumpkin over 1300 feet (a quarter of a mile).

Pictures when I have them…for now you can see the winner's Facebook page, the Masters of Mayhem, for some videos.


Snowtober: power outage maps for Halloween 2011 storm

THIS WEEK IN MAPS, for Sunday, October 30, 2011: A late October snowstorm is heading up the East Coast of the United States for Halloween. Here’s maps of the affected areas, showing what parts of the electrical grid have had the worst impact from the heavy, wet snow in the forecast.

New Hampshire

As of 2:00 a.m. Sunday, 32% of PSNH customers are without power.

Picture 28


NSTAR list of power outages by town (PDF) for midnight, Sunday; no map. The NSTAR outage center lists contacts. Over 52,000 customers without power out of 1.1 million served (5%).

National Grid at 1:30 a.m. on Monday shows substantial outages statewide.

Picture 30


Connecticut Light and Power, a Northeast Utilities company, has a map that shows that the outages from the storm are worse than from Hurricane Irene. Over 700,000 of CLP’s 1.2 million customers are without power (56%) as seen on this map as of 1:38 a.m. Sunday, October 30. Area codes affected include 203, 475, and 860.

Picture 27 - CLP outages for Snowtober

The Ridgefield Press storm live blog notes trees down, power outages, traffic accidents, electrical fires due to trees falling on live wires, and other storm-related damage in Ridgefield, CT.
More local news coverage of southwestern Connecticut news from papers in the Hersam Acorn Newspapers chain.
Power consumption, actual and forecast, from CT Energy Info.

New Jersey

Eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

The story about the outages has photos of the tree damages in Bucks and Montco counties. PECO spokesman spokesman Ben Armstrong told the paper that Saturday’s storm was the worst October storm in the utility’s history.

West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania

Is Your Power Out? Call 1-800-Allegheny (1-800-255-3443) and let us know.

Map as of 8:06 a.m., Saturday, October 29, 2011.

Map as of 8:17 a.m., Saturday, October 29, 2011. / Allegheny Energy / 1-800-255-3443

— 30 —

== Updates ==
* Tue 8:30 a.m. PA, NJ, CT updates
* Sun 2:25 a.m. More CT including Hersham Acorn news chain for SW CT
* Sun 2:00 a.m. Connecticut Light and Power
* Sat 8:21 a.m. start work on map collection for Sunday “publication”; Allegheny Electric

Typepad on iPad, edited elsewhere

No support for rich text editing in safari, but otherwise performant. Kind of nice.

I’ll need to really learn markdown for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it descends from setext.

Ann Arbor

A2B3 lunch is Thursday as always.
Ann Arbor Parks did trick or treat today, Sunday, noon to 4pm on the Huron River.

Arborwiki makes a good companion as you go for errands around town.
Ann Arbor City Council elections and a millage are coming up. The Ann Arbor Chronicle has characteristically thorough coverage of the League of Women Voters forums.
Some project, not yet identified, has North Main torn up at Catherine. A second project has North Division down to a single lane. Expect delays.

No one was hurt in last week's fire on Harpst.
I'm trying a neighborhood LinkedIn group to see what kind of density I need to get enough people to make a group worthwhile; it might make sense to grab people closest first and then out by distance.

Metro Detroit

Tigers lost in the ALCS, and I’m looking forward to spring training.

Power outages from the Saturday windstorms were worst in Warren.


Occupy Chicago has had a lot of protest, via the Chicago Tribune which was on the scene.

Occupy Wall Street took over Times Square.


I am tracking steps with a pedometer again, thanks to Paul Resnick and a research group at UMSI.
Statler and Waldorf have taken over the Muppets twitter account. New movie due for Thanksgiving. Cue the Muppets.


The wind on Saturday made farmers market blustery. Squash of all sizes and varieties were there, and there’s nothing like a big old Hubbard squash to keep the corner of a table down. A farmer was doing the frost dance but said they had none at the last full moon. Traditionally, it’s said that the best way to open a Hubbard is to take an axe to it, or to throw it down into the cellar.


It’s hard to have great weird ideas when you are closing trouble tickets.
My new employer Nutshell has an office where my former employer Pure Visibility used to have it's offices.


Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie, Einar Steffrud.


Books moved recently include Kawabata’s, Snow Country, to be shelved on the Heikki Lunta shelf to prepare me for winter.


Pinboard now supports Gopher urls in bookmarks.


Michigan football lost to State. It was as good an excuse as any to call my aunt who went to East Lansing.


Wow, I have a lot of categories.

Things I wish I had already written, October 2010 edition

A monthly recounting of stories not told, or code not written, or things otherwise that should have been done by me or at least discovered by me, but not done; this, the October 2010 edition.

A detailed breakdown of AATA route productivity by hour and by route, showing which of the routes are the busiest at which times of day.  (A start at bus tracking; the easy to grab data is late times.) 

A set of recipes for quince, with notes on what I actually made and where to pick quince off the tree in parks in Ann Arbor based on the city tree list. (An account of making quince jam, using a quince purchased from ZZ's; doesn't look any harder than making applesauce.)

The automated script to pull a council agenda and hyperlink or wikify it to match Capitalized Phrases to wiki pages inside Arborwiki. (Alas, The Council Agenda Is All Capitalized Phrases; This Will Take Some Effort.)

How to hyperlink directly to Ann Arbor City Code (by short URL) and also to Ann Arbor City Council agenda items.

How to get a personal protection order if someone harasses you online and in person, and how to get a trespass order written.

A walking tour of the October vegetation at Olson Park, complete with a bunch of photos and Latin names for everything.

How to get to Chelsea on the bus, based on a ride that I made myself, with a full day commute complete with kid dropoff, morning deadline, lunch, afternoon moderation and kid pickup here. (Start with the Washtenaw Wave schedule.)

How to quickly go from wiki markup to publication-ready HTML markup using tools, and how to edit those tools to reflect your peculiar world. (wiky is the closest, but it's in Javascript which isn't one of my native languages.)

A review of the new Mighty Good Coffee on North Main, and how the Workantile vibe has changed now that it no longer has a cafe for a front.  (Done, partially, here: The view out the window from Mighty Good Coffee.)

A review of the Embassy Hotel, based on a overnight stay. 

Local, seasonal recipe guide

It's harvest time, which means there are a lot of recipes you can do with food that you can buy locally. One thing that would help that a lot is finding the people who buy the same stuff you do, and who share the same tastes, and who can work with you to figure out how to stock up so you have enough on your shelves always to get a meal on the table.

The approach that seems best is to come up with a harvest calendar for each kind of produce that you enjoy, and then to use it as a set of filters into which you set in a bunch of recipes.

The end result could be as simple as tuning in to the local markets, figuring out what is exceptionally good quality or good value at the moment, and then getting back a list of recipes that takes advantage of that. For the handful of things that only show up once a year for a short season (quince, paw paws) you want to anticipate that with recipes so that when they do show you are ready to go.

Molly’s October coconut squash soup

Recipe adapted from directions and shopping hints from Molly at Farmer's Market.

Molly's October squash soup





winter squash, peeled and diced (I used butternut and delicata)

Saute onion, garlic, and ginger in olive or coconut oil.  Add the squash, cook until everything smells nice and the squash is a little bit browned.   Deglaze the pan with a little wine (I used rice wine), then add

diced tomatoes (canned or fresh, I used canned because tomatoes were $4/box)

coconut milk (I used about 1/2 can)

hot stock (I used vegetable stock, you could use chicken stock)

Bring to a boil then simmer covered for a long time until everything is well cooked and soft.  Next time I'll blend the soup so that it's a puree, but we ate it tonight without doing that, and it was still delicious – much, much better than last year's bland pumpkin soup attempt.  I'm sure it was the coconut!

October 26, 2008: Japanese kids culture at Ann Arbor Art Center

this is pulled from the Burns Park Press newsletter for November 2008.

What:  The Art Center has partnered with volunteers from the Center for Japanese
Studies at the University of Michigan to offer an afternoon of family friendly programming
that celebrates Japanese culture. 
When: Sunday, October 26, 1:00 – 5:00 pm 
Where Ann Arbor Art Center, 117 W. Liberty
Schedule of Events:
1 – 1:30 pm Japanese Singing Circle: Learn Japanese children’s songs taught by Stacey
Pratt from the Center for Japanese Studies.
1:30 – 2.30 pm Origami Workshop: Make Samurai helmets, cranes and more. Taught by
Naomi Fujimoto from the Center for Japanese Studies. Recommended for ages 8+.
2:30 – 4pm  Japanese Arts and Crafts for Children!: In Japan they even have a special
Children’s Day which is celebrated with arts and crafts and games. Join the Art Center’s
instructors in making a Japanese doll bookmark, a Gyotaku fish print and a koi fish
3:30 – 4:30 pm – Story Time – Sadako and the Paper Crane: Learn the true story of
Sadako Sasaki, the brave heroine of Hiroshima and her lasting legacy as a child of peace.
The story of Sadako & The Paper Cranes will be read by Heather Littlefield from the
Center for Japanese Studies. Recommended for children ages 6-10 years old.
Throughout the day, sample Japanese candy, make candy “sushi” and try your skill at the
Japanese board game of Go. 
All programs are free thanks to a generous contribution from Masco. 
Drop in for one program or make a day of it. For more information, visit or call 734 994-8004 x114.