When Tech Support Tells You Wrong

I am embarassed.

Apparently, my resetting of a bunch of previously published posts to private a week ago, then back to public yesterday, triggered a flood of new post emails to those who subscribe here or follow otherwise.

Apologies on steroids for this WordPress blunder. I have tongue-thrashed the help desk, although that won’t soothe your bruised inboxes from the deluge! Even unleashed the bad form police to chase after the perpetrators of this #firstworldproblems crime.

Anyway, just wanted to apologize for the mess. Technology! Can’t live without it, and it’s a harsh bedmate not really to be trusted all the time!

Fools Can Be Fun

There’s a community art experience that happens in Ann Arbor every year about this time. On April 1, a fool’s national holiday, FoolMoon takes over Ann Arbor for an evening of lights and downtown strolling and foolery. Then on Sunday, April 3, the FestiFools annual parade of fantastical, colorful puppets takes over State street near the UofM campus. Link to the group’s annual efforts, which first started in 2007.

Enjoy the gallery below of the puppets in the parade. And although you can’t see the smiles on the faces of children watching, you can imagine the wonder of it all.


Time Machine: Cloud Museum Part 2 – Antiques & Ephemera

Yesterday’s post showed a few of the 150+ vehicles available at the Cloud Museum. I thought it was interesting that while I appreciated the restored models, I was more in touch with the well-used, rusting hulks that predominately cover the outdoor part of the museum. Something about that patina and what must have been (at the time) wide-spread marvel at these mechanical vehicles made me appreciate these rusted knights of a time well past.

Today’s post will feature a small taste of the antiques and ephemera available at this amazing little-known museum. There is a vast amount of items in this category, and if you’re fluent in antiques and ephemera of this era, then you’ll go crazy over all that’s here.

The Cloud Museum had one building set up as a period post office, complete with antique safe of this era, post office boxes, and a small clerk’s window to the public. Adorning the walls were a variety of wanted posters, although back in these days I doubt these were framed!

If you travel to this area of southwestern Arizona, be sure to check out the Cloud Museum. It’s definitely worth the time to wander through the grounds and buildings.

Time Machine: Cloud Museum Part 1 – Autos

Cloud Museum23
Cloud Museum

Between Yuma, AZ, and the Imperial Dam LTVA (long-term visitor area) where I’ve been hiding from nasty Michigan winters for the last few months, there is a private collection of cars and machines from a bygone era. The Cloud Museum is one person’s vast lifetime collection of vehicles, antiques, and ephemera from the 1910s through the 1930s.

On my runs to Yuma I’d driven by this tempting place to stop and wander back through time, but was always thinking “next trip.” On a warm and sunny day last week, I finally made the stop to wander through the vast collections of old cars, appliances, and ephemera from that interesting and sometimes violent period of American history.

The collection includes over 150 Model T and Model A autos, some restored but most worn-out veterans of the early age of automobiles. As their brochure touts, “The President of the Model T Ford Club of America stated…’It probably is the largest collection of Model Ts in the world!'” If these early Model Ts and As were all that was here, it still would be fascinating, but fortunately there is an extensive collection of antique farm equipment, motors, small appliances, and other extensive antiques and ephemera.

I took well over a hundred photos while there, far too many to post in this blog. This post features a selective gallery of auto-related images, and part 2 will explore some of the more interesting antiques and ephemera.

Change Is A Fickle Muse

Why do I seem to get restless and sometimes embrace change as a curative? Is it boredom? Do I accept or settle too early on some arrangement, thing, or situation before the idea’s baked enough?

Or is that we humans should probably never stick to one plane of thinking and instead, like a nomadic Zen bird, happily float to wherever the wind of change takes us.

Sometimes Ms. Change shows up wearing her evolutionary colorful robe, making me think I was the one discovering how to do something different or arrange something better (when it was really her idea).

Other times, Mr. Change appears clad in prison garb, as though his only option is to escape from or to something.

Or those moments when Mrs. Change knocks on my mind’s door wearing random, miss-matched clothing, each still with the price tag affixed from whatever store she klept them from. This wily muse sometimes offers dangerous suggestions, such as “You should go spelunking but to make it interesting, wear those funky shoes that look like your foot’s painted, the ones where you can see each toe’s, and, oh I know, do it in cutoffs and a tank top emblazoned with some forgotten band from the 60s.”

Don’t get me wrong: sometimes change, no matter which muse brings it, can be wonderful and make us think it’s a highly needed course-correction change, taking us on a path where the sun shines in a crystal blue sky, 70-degree temp, with a fresh, light wind.

Then there are those times when he/she/it/they don’t seem to help but instead make things worse, hell-bent on causing chaos and emotional hari-kari. Does change have a gender? Maybe, but if so, probably random and, despite the humor attempt above, certainly not stereotyped.

Yet what fun would life be doing the same things over and over, in the same place, always with the same people? Rutted. Colorless. Boring-ish… meh.

If you examine a life lived long, no doubt you’d see a life lived in phases, with each phase shifting what that person was like, or liked to do, or choices made. So change is not necessarily a bad thing and, in fact, is probably part of our human DNA, so to speak, evidenced by such phases lived across a life’s long timeline, or through self-examination realizing our own phases lived through.

So embrace change, challenge it, ask questions, but don’t automatically dismiss or avoid it. Okay, maybe that one time it suggested I take up skydiving wearing only a thong, but that’s an easy one to say no to. Probably.

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If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy this previous muse post (fictional, of course… or was it?).