Archive for the ‘Advice’ Category

Soil to Till: MI City Home Toolkit

I absolutely adore my haven in the sky overlooking the city and river; however, it would be delightful to own some soil to till.  The MI Toolkit seems like a really good place to start.  The Toolkit, counter-intuitively, is an event versus an impersonal package of literature and glossy promises.  The MI City Home Toolkit is a recurring event one Sunday of each month through October.  Each event focuses on a given area/neighbourhood.  The first is scheduled for Sunday, June 8, 2008 and focuses on “the Villages,” for which I will be taking some time out of the Festival of Arts to attend.  These events appear to be free but you have to register.  Per the website these events will feature home-buying and ownership experts (realtors, contractors, mortgage brokers) and will feature home-buying incentives such as NEZ property tax discounts and historic tax credits. 

Summer is Here: Ditch Your Car

Ditching one’s car in the Motor City takes some serious mental preparation.  It is an automatic reaction to grab for your keys if you need to go to the pharmacy or grocery store.  I have done so many a time only to realize that the taking People Mover ($0.50/ride) or walking (free and healthy) would be less infuriating as the city fills with summer visitors.  This increased saturation means that the only parking available is from some shady person for $20 attending a field-passed-off-as-a-lot that clearly is not his/her property.  There are many non-shady options, but they too are ridiculously expensive.  I have turned right back around many times to the only parking I could find downtown – back at home.  The just shy of $4/gallon gas prices helps the process of ditching keys right along.  Bottom line: try something different – walk, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, Segway, rent a tandem-bike from Wheelhouse – because the cost of driving and parking are not going down any time soon. 

Cultivating Detroit’s Creative Culture

Interested in learning how to use social media sites to draw new customers to your business? Want to know what Internet tools are out there to help you target niche groups of consumers? Scheduled for next week, the local event, “Cultivating Detroit’s Creative Culture Through Social Media”, will answer those questions and more. (more…)

CatBurglers are Prowling the Streets of Detroit

Now that most of the copper has been scraped clean from the numerous abandoned buildings in Detroit, it seems that thieves have moved on to our parked cars.

I’ve spoken to several people who have had the catalytic converters stolen from under their parked cars overnight or in the early morning. My neighbor in the relatively quiet Woodbridge neighborhood had his catalytic converter stolen in the early morning. A turn of the key in the ignition resulted in a loud engine roar that could very well have awakened the rest of the block. Another neighbor reported that she saw a guy in a Crown Victoria get out of his car, get under my neighbor’s car for about 1 minute, and take off with a large metal object seconds later.

That’s all it took: a total of about two minutes to stop, saw, and go. (more…)

Your Last Chance to Help Detroit’s Children’s Hospital

I’ve posted a couple of times about Colgate’s contest. We were in the lead all last week, but now Houston has barely bumped us into second, as of today at 11:00am today.

There are only two more days to vote–today and tomorrow. Vote at work and at home–you can vote once a day on every computer you use. Just 5 seconds of your time can bring joy to sick kids and a sense of pride that we do care here in Michigan.

Vote at this address right now and tomorrow:

The contest ends tomorrow. Let’s win this one for Detroit.

Math Dork

I’m looking at collecting a masters degree from Wayne State but before I can get accepted I need to hammer out some post-graduate mathematics courses (I only got to Calc II at MSU). Does anyone have any recommendations on a good place to hammer out Calc II all the way through Diff EQ? I think I am going to go visit Schoolcraft College on my lunch break today to speak with an adviser. Does anyone have any experience with mathematics courses at area colleges? Any recommendations or things I ought to look out for?

Helpful air travel tips for Turkey week

If you will be traveling out of town by plane next week for Thanksgiving, check out this article in today’s Free Press, which talks about the rise in travel prices on everything from parking at Metro to taxis to hotels.

The article is part of the FREEP’s nifty Detroit Metro Airport Guide, which so far has covered everything from where to drop people off, what you should expect at the airport this holiday travel season, what to do if something goes wrong with your flight, and on and on. I found it particularly helpful and clear.

Things NOT to take to Detroit’s Third Circuit Court

Having received several of those “Your name was drawn for possible jury duty service, please complete this questionnaire and return it” notices over the past 5 years or so, I wasn’t surprised when I opened my mailbox a few months ago and found an official Jury Duty Summons.

Should I stay or should I go?

I haven’t seen an advice/question post on here in a while, so I am going to take a stab. I currently live in a high-rise in Midtown and pay in the neighborhood of $700 for rent. I’m in the process of moving my auto insurance (I need full coverage – $1k deductible) from my prior residence in East Lansing into Detroit. This has yielded a less than desireable result: rates increase from $120 in Lansing to around $350 per month in Detroit. I’ve gotten quotes from more than 20 firms now, and I get the same result every time, usually a range from $340 to $500/month. Read on for the rest…

Pure Coincidence or Speed Trap

This past Saturday, I had driven I-94 quite a bit. First going westbound, I noticed a state trooper on the shoulder with his lights on behind a car with a man changing his wheel. I pointed it out to my girlfriend, because its not often you see something like that. About 30 minutes later, I’m driving eastbound past the same area. Once again I see a trooper pulled behind a car, standing outside while a man is kneeling at a wheel with a tire iron. I had my suspicions, but it still could be pure coincidence. A few hours later I am once again driving westbound on 94 (this time on the way to see the Tigers, awesome game). Once again there is a trooper and another car setup like the other two times.

This is obviously a trap.
So many drivers in Michigan believe if a cop has someone pulled over, its okay to speed past them. This looked like a tactic to grab some of these people. I must say, I’m impressed by their cleverness.

Usually I would say I’m against speed traps, not because I like to speed, but because they are not effective — ineffective for road safety, very effective in ticket writing. However, in this case the cop is in clear view. If you feel you can still break the law since the officer is ‘too busy to catch you’, well then you had it coming.

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