September 5th, 2015


In State Showdown in Kalamazoo

It was billed as the biggest football game... for Kalamazoo's Western Michigan University, at least. They stuffed 35,000 people into Waldo Stadium, many of them Spartan fans, for a game starting around 7pm Friday night.

I never saw any of it. No one was carrying the game on TV. Apparently being #5 in the nation for Michigan State didn't warrant getting covered, when it was just an early September sacrificial lamb. But you have to be careful with early games. The Michigan Wolverines on Thursday night lost to the Utah Utes 24-17, running about a touchdown behind the whole game, I gather.

But I promised to start off with the winning team's LJ icon, so here's the deal.

So the 11 o'clock news on Channel 3 WWMT had the Spartans scoring first, 7-0. On the kickoff, though, Western managed to run it back 100 yards. Tied, 7-7. I think they said the runner had a 70 yard return on his first place last season, too.

Final score:
#5 Michigan State University -- 37
Western Michigan University  -- 24
Sounded like a good game. Though Western didn't actually anticipate winning, they did want to show well, and having been 17 points behind at one point, finishing within two TDs has to be considered a good performance. Close enough.

Good job, Broncos. Off you go -- have a great season!

Dr. Phil
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Copycats and Evil Out There

For the last several weeks there has been some disturbing news affecting West Michigan. One wishes that the plagues of stupidity and evil elsewhere don't light here -- but that's sadly just wishful thinking.

There's at least one sniper targeting cars on West Michigan freeways.

There have been upwards of 30 reports going back into August at least -- three have them have been confirmed to be bullets. Sad to say that Michigan roads are crappy enough with debris and broken pavement -- and Michigan truckers carry such large loads which might be falling out of or bouncing out of open top trailers -- that it takes some forensic work to determine if something striking a car or even breaking a window is actually a bullet.

3 to as many as 30.

I hate to call it good news, but... So far I don't believe any people have been hit. Certainly no one killed, that we know of. And this seems to be happening east and west of Kalamazoo on I-94 and I-69 -- and I think some other smaller roads. So far none of this has been happening on US-131 or any of the roads I'll be traveling on five days a week starting Tuesday.

But I don't take any comfort in that.

Statistically, there are far more cars than shots taken. If the police have more information, regarding patterns, times of day, types of rounds -- either it's not been reported or it didn't show up in anything I've read/heard. And I'm far more likely to get hit by drivers trying to text, merge in without warning or, as we head into fall, deer bounding across the road.

Of course, in many parts of the United States, including West Michigan, there are plenty of shooters taking shots at STOP signs, insulators on power lines, whatever. Even read how priceless petroglyphs in the Southwest are being destroyed by such wonderful plinkers. Graduating to moving cars is but a small step, I'm afraid.

Though I haven't done it in years, I do enjoy target shooting. Even went deer hunting in the U.P. a number of times, but the brush is thick up there and the deer regularly makes fools of mere humans -- you can sit against a tree for two hours and find fresh deer tracks in the snow not more than six feet behind you -- and never even got a shot off.

But I was taught how to shoot and firearm safety by a Marine Corps gunnery sergeant at Northwestern University -- and it would never occur to me to shoot at property, most especially occupied vehicles.

Either this guy(s) will quit as inexplicably as (t)he(y) started, or there will be mistakes or too many attempts and they'll get caught. Not looking forward to the nervous behavior or even panic if this escalates.

I do hope someone explains to me how "a good guy with a gun" will be able to deal with this situation In Real Life.

Dr. Phil

PS- These days I occasionally hunt trains, but I use a Nikon. Bagged one last week -- have to put the pictures up Real Soon Now. But this is not the time for levity.
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