Can you find Jim and Stacey in this photo?

Star Trek old school

Star Trek old school game. These dudes are ripped.

Star Trek pinball

Wee Enterprises.

Star Trek pinball

You get three balls to live long and prosper.

pinball players



From a movie-themed game.


Jim gets a K.


Happy Popcorn.


LOTR game was popular and had two towers, a Balrog and everything.


Is Gandalf wearing high tops?




Bobby Orr Power Play! It pits the Chicago Blackhawks against the Canadiens.


Or maybe just vs. the whole country of Canada.


Another self-portrait.



Jim gratified his ten-year-old self by attending the inaugural Michigan Pinball Expo today. I came, too, and shot over his shoulder. I’ve never seen so many pinball machines. They ranged from old school with gas-station rotary numbers, to the latest “Ironman” and “Lord of the Rings” games. Some owned by collectors and loaned for the event, some for sale. $15 at the door gets you unlimited free play. Pretty cool.

Fishflies adorn the house

A new decorating scheme? Only an ephemeral one.

Oh, Stacey, you’ve redecorated! What is that fancy paint finish called…oh…wait…is it…moving? Yes, the fishflies are here, my friends. Forming very large arrays. Hitching rides on hapless runners. Flocking to streetlamps in the night and dying in big smelly heaps. Crunching under your car tires as you drive over their piled up corpses. As bugs go, they’re really rather benign. They don’t bite. They don’t even fly all that much. And they don’t come in the house much – at least not without being noticed. ‘Cause they’re large, you see. The easiest way to remove one is to pick it up by its wings, which are about the size of the pads of your thumb and forefinger, and find it a new location. The only thing really creepy about them, besides their numbers, is they way they all face the same direction on any given surface. Like they’re praying. Or in contact with a great leader. Best not to think about it.

fish flies on the house

While they often cluster on white or light-colored things, they seem to like the blue house just fine.


A sunlit fishflie on the siding. They come in dark brown, ivory or even green.

array of fishflies

They tend to form very large arrays.

fishfly and sock

This photographer was arrayed in fishflies herself while taking these pictures.


They have lovely long tails.


...and lacy wings (also used as handles).

From my morning at the Eastern Market.  Flower Day comes but once a year!  I, alas, have no wagon, so I just kept returning to my car, over and over again.  The kid in the final shot carried impatiens to my car, too!  He was shocked I asked to take his picture.  “That’s a first,” he said.  I’ll post pictures of my yard when things have grown in a bit.  Happy Spring!

Welcome to the Vinsetta Garage on Woodward, where they love their old time look just as much as I do.  (Click to enlarge any of these photos.)

It’s a real working garage that’s been there since 1919, though they no longer sell gas from these old pumps.  Did you catch the license plate displayed in the window?

And does that really say 33 gallons of gas for $2.22?

Maybe it’s 3.3 gallons.  Where would one put 33 gallons of gas?

More from Woodward this afternoon below.

Kicking off the my Detroit signs project with this gem. (Click to enlarge any of these.)

I wanted this in my portfolio the first moment I drove past the sign last week on the way to my new job!  In a startling coincidence, later today at work, I read this facebook update from Laurel:

Laurel Taylor salivates at the thought of the 53 pounds of grass-fed beef that Evan is going to be bringing home tonight.

While not salivating, the beefcarver looks pretty pleased with himself.  Perhaps that’s what inspired his generosity, if it was he who left this little gift on the wall…

Take a closer look and you’ll see…it’s a coupon for dinner!

I just took this for a bit of perspective.  It wasn’t until I looked at it later that I began to find it hilarious.  “Mommy?  What happens to Bessy when…”

More photos with the new toy.  (Click to enlarge.)

I’m a little late to the game, but I have just discovered the concept of TTV photography – shooting through the viewfinder of an old twin lens camera.  This is so low-tech that even I can do it, and the results are awesome.

High-tech contraption

High-tech contraption

I’m not the kind of gal that delights in building my own softboxes and seeks out old film cameras to experiment, but even I can handle this level of DIY.  I did have to buy duct tape and an old camera.  Both were found instantly at a thrift store and a Rite Aid.  The tape was more expensive than the camera.  Cut up an old cardboard box to mask the light, and walk around with this elephantine contraption on the end of my macro lens and we’re in business.  Instant totally awesome filter!  I am going to have fun this weekend!

(Click photos to enlarge…)

My house in reverse

Jim in the dining room
My kitchenFrom the front porch

It is snowing like crazy – it’s the perfect day for Winterfest on The Hill, the neighborhood fair featuring ice sculptures, cookie decorating, a pro-am chili cook-off, Coney Islands, smores, face painting, and…wait for it…sled dogs!

Alexander and Polen butchers in Grosse Pointe Woods

Alexander and Polen butcher's in Grosse Pointe Woods

The Detroit metro area is rife with Signs with Character.  I need to do a whole book, but here’s just a sampling.

Cadieux cafe, home of Belgian beer and featherbowling

Cadieux cafe, home of Belgian beer and featherbowling

I dont know what Mothers used to be.  Corner of Conant and Mt. Elliott in Hamtramck.

I don't know what Mother's used to be. Corner of Conant and Mt. Elliott in Hamtramck.

Former service station in Grosse Pointe Park

Former service station in Grosse Pointe Park

From top, Gideon, Nicki, Jim and Jim at Lafayette Coney Island in downtown Detroit

Where can you tromp through the snow, past a boarded-up building or two, downtown in a major American metropolis, and climb into your choice of early-morning, late-night, semi-dives serving the famed Coney Island?  New York?  No, Detroit, of course!

What is a Coney?  It’s a chili dog.  And a source of regional pride and oneupmanship.  And it’s hot and cheap and you can get it with fries.  While you’re at it, have a swig of local fave (and America’s Oldest Soft Drink), Vernor’s.Coney with everything and a cold can of Vernors

Did we mention this was the only time we let Nicki out of the trunk on our wee outing that day?  I hope the fries were worth it.