b 4.0
Monday, October 31, 2005
About 25 months ago I saw MSU pound Indiana and I was back for more this week, with Jenelle and her parents. It was a wacky, high-school-stuff game that featured a 98-yard TD on the opening kickoff, a safety on an intentional grounding from the end zone that the QB didn't bother to sling past the line of scrimmage, which MSU atoned for by returning a blocked PAT 90 yards for two, a timeout called with 0:03 left on the clock by a team down 38 points, a subsequent touchdown, then a no-time-left PAT just to reduce the victory margin. But it was, as they say at newly-refurbed Spartan Stadium "a great day for football." (The stadium, nice though it is, seemed suddenly suprisingly small - 74k on hand did feel like a midwestern town short of the Big House.)

Other than sports, we drank some cider, ate dogs and pizza, took in the game day atmosphere on campus and on Grand River, and hit the Dairy Store. There was also plenty of driving back and forth along the once oft-travelled I96/US23 corridor, time in Belleville with Ollie providing the antics, and a DST shift.

Today is the first of Fall B and thus the first of MKT 503 Marketing. It was interesting, but I can already tell that parts of it are going to be very much open for interpretation, which is contrary to my legacy training but hopefully in line with my current training. I'm enjoying the discussion with factual back-up model of learning, despite the ego bruising pitfalls that come with it.

A brave new architecture here on browncow... the feature image will now be served at random. So, you won't be able to tell what you are going to get - nor will I! It's fun to develop these things.

Friday, October 28, 2005
I promised that I would put up some pics from Tuesday, and I try not to disappoint. Mom took the day off, Dad had the day off, and we made a day out of it. Browsing at (bizarrely) a Rapid River contemporary furnishings store that is (bizarrely) really good, then heading east to Garden Orchards, lunch at D&J's (ex-Rosie's), and then on to Fayette. We walked around the point, Dad fell asleep against the wall, Mom and I were defeated by the wind in our attempt to Frisbee, and I snapped some snaps:
Fayette collage
Then we drove over to the Stonington loop (Mom and I fell asleep in the truck, completing the nap trifecta), stopping at Juniper and Grandskog before heading back to the Club. Mom made apple crisp from Grandskog apples off a tree we planted back in the '90s and I whacked together some pasta sauce and we feasted. That is a fall day in the UP.

Back in the mitt it has been business as unusual. Had a wisdom tooth out yesterday - there's a bit of barbary! "You'll feel some tugging!" said Dr. Sturtz. Yeah... tugging, that's it. You're pulling my tooth out not tightening my life preserver you neanderthal. After that, a derned lazy day as Motrin basically left me a human pile on the floor. Even Ollie thought I was a lame-O, but at least I was a lame-O that updated the M-Trek website. All he did was a chase stuffed toys.

Today I've done some b-schooling ahead of Monday's restart. I don't mean to gripe, but after dropping close to two Benjis on courspacks I really didn't want to wave goodbye to two-point-seven more for textbooks today. An $80 small-format softcover? Get off your high horse, lady. But now I am ready to go again.

FALL A is dead! Long live FALL B!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Someday soon I'll organize, edit, and upload some photos from Tuesday in Delta County with my parents, but in the meantime a plain jane text-based update.

Speaking of Jane, it's official that the Webb C|02 ski group is headed to Winter Park, CO, home of Mary Jane. Constable - master ski trip architect, head cook and bottle washer, snowboard aerial expert and all-around swell guy - has put things together quite nicely for spring break in the Rockies.

I drove south from the UP today after visiting with an old friend this morning. It's a hike, from RR to AA. Today was super clear, though, and I could see Mighty Mac from west of Cut River - just the tops of the towers but quite a sight just the same. And colors! I thought Sunday or Tuesday would have been the peak, but I dare say they were better this afternoon than either of those days.

Now back in the routine. Fifty one emails greeted me, along with requisite other internet tasks, and a great blog on Robin@Thailand. Good break but good to be back too.

Monday, October 24, 2005
Since the last post - dinner at Zingerman's (I got #2 The Rueben and Jenelle had #57 Nic's Opportunity, which we shared half of after..), the 250th Michigan v. Michigan State hockey game that was a sloppy/scrappy rivalry game that ended in a tie because neither team deserved to win, a looong but colorful drive north in the Vibe, some cider making, and some leisurely work at the Club and 8th Street Coffeehouse.

Fall Colors at Cut River
The 120+ mile stretch of the drive that traces the northern shore of Lake Michigan on United States Route 2 has been frozen in time for most of my life, but this time it seemed to have taken a step backwards. Usually there is a revolving door of struggling businesses along the way: "Open in Spring" or "Under new ownership" or "Back and better than ever!" are oft-made claims. This time there were very few claims and the revolving seems to have stopped. A flea market near Blaney Park was bulldozed, used car lots were grown over, one of the cement lawn decoration shops has gone under, and even the two enormous roadside restaurants 2.5 miles from each other near Naubinway have closed. It was very sad.

On a happier note, the apple guy outside of RRHS sold me two bags of the highest quality "deer apples" you can imagine (Jenelle's parents used them to make applesauce & pie filling) and Dad and I fired up the apple blitzer, disintegrated two bushels of apples, pressed them, filtered the extract, funneled into gallon jugs, and put the finished cider in the freezer. I decided that working with cider is like working at the mint...if you think about what you are doing you'll go crazy. It's impossible not to want to lie down on the ground and let the cider drip out of the press into your mouth rather than into the lawn once the bucket is moved.

Saturday, October 22, 2005
This is a blog for two voices.
I see what you're doing - this is "Punt-Counterpunt."



Sosha gave us a big bag of basil. Fresh basil. The Vibe smells like basil and that's fine by me.



Must everything be about Michigan football?

We're going outside to play frisbee on Mitchell Fields. It's too perfect to be inside blogging - even with two voices.



She says this is "Punt-Counterpunt." This makes me happy because that's just a Michigan Stadium memory if ever there was one.


We made pesto. Hauled out the Moosewood recipe and made pesto for the freezer.

Michigan beat Iowa, in OT. Not as good as fall colors but now we're almost bowl-eligible.


We're going outside to play frisbee on Mitchell Fields. It's too perfect to be inside blogging - even with two voices.

Friday, October 21, 2005
Eighty thousand. That's the number of shades of red, yellow, and orange the trees are. Seventy one million. That's how relieved I am to be done with finals. I turned in CSIB 502 about half an hour ago, then promptly switched over to career mode and made a phone call and followed up with an email. Now there's the requisite "Beer! Where have you been all my life?" single drink happy hour at prototypical MBA hangout Dominick's.

An email just came in with the first thumbnail exterior rendering of the forthcoming new Ross campus. Two hundred and seventy thousand square feet, six stories, terra cotta, sandstone and glass. Included are a glass-enclosed 'winter quad' and a 500 seat auditorium. Not included are the Ross Class of 2007 students, who bear the brunt of construction (and thus instruction) inconvenience. That's cool, though. We get bagels every Monday.


Thursday, October 20, 2005
This morning's statistics exam was much better...I'm not sure what happened to the last 50 minutes of the exam, but it flew by and that is fine. Either way this was a much better representation of how much of the subject I know.

After the test I headed home, not in any particular hurry, and did some domestic stuff: laundry, cleaning, taking care of this and that. Since the week is almost over and the ingredients weren't getting any younger, I made myself a pretty gourmet pasta lunch with fettucini ala pasta bar. To the uninitiated, this is a creamy, tomato and onion sauce that Mom concocted to mirror a wonderful entree ordered by one of us from Vancouver's excellent da Pasta Bar. (Mom also grew the bunch of Roma tomatoes I used and there's a good chance she would know the exact term for "multiple tomatoes.") After a fancy lunch I did some career-search stuff, which seems premature but there is, apparently, no such thing. Now it is back to work: studying for CSIB 502 Corp Strategy and attending OMS 701 Hopefully a Better Use of My Time Than Last Week.

While all of this is going on there has been quite a little murmur in my brain about skiing this spring. Hushhhhhh! Can anybody else hear that? That's right, it's snow falling on Winter Park Colorado. Foot after foot after foot of glorious puffy fresh.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005
I think you should reach an age, academically, when you are exempty from final examinations. Once you have taken 30 or more finals, you get a waiver to opt out of the test or an upgrade to opt to bring a cheat sheet or allow open books. This way, I could have had some kind of resources available to show that I could DO the accounting part, just not the memorizing random equations part. It's a little ludicrous, really, that we aren't given full opportunity to prove our understanding - especially when you consider that this is going to show up in living color on a transcript that recruiters will look at. I can see that interview already..."So, you had a little trouble with accounting, Mr. Bruno. How about a nice job down on the loading dock?" "NO way! I can do accounting, just give me a book and calculator and I'll account for everything." "Ha ha! A sense of humor - you'll be supply room captain in no time!"
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
This figures to be the most rapid-fire volley of brain dumps I've ever had. Four finals, four days, no study day, and the usual stream of MBA.other stuff going on. There's something really different about this without a weekend or a day off ahead of exams to study for things - projects turned into finals with an 18 hour break. I am guessing that that short transition might be reflected on my Econ final...it started off pretty tough and I'm not sure how much it improved.

Other stuff? Nah. End of classes? Been there. Ready for break? Ask me in three exams' time. Missing hockey & Big House football? Of course. Tired? A bit. Busy? Always. Ready to stand 'em up and knock 'em down? Yip.

Sunday, October 16, 2005
Parents' visit / sports / school weekend. Homemade pizza with fresh mozzarella before BC. Yost was rocking, Blue won 3-2. Power play goal, disallowed goal. Down with #4 Boston College! C-YA! Dance! Man it's hot up here. Join Dekers.

Saturday sun. Walk in the arb, beware the prickers, you may be in a movie. Downtown with the crowd, park at Hill Street, walk around. Tappan & Monroe, Kresge, Exec, Davidson, Hale. North past the Union for cheaper than clothes. Stand in line, watch the time. South past the Union for cheaper than food. Pile of Mexican food, plate bending under the weight. Jungle juice? JUNGLE JUICE! Hi-C and what? Ladies and Gentlemen, preeeeesenting the two hundred thirty five member Michigan Marching Band. Baaaaaand take the field! Go Mario GO! Let's go Blue! Two seconds do count you fool! Yes! Yes! Yeeeesssssssss! Down with #8 PSU, 27-25 win by two. Hail! Hail! Walk back. Up the hill towards home, ride in the Vibe. Pork falling off the bone. Corn. Coleslaw. After Eights after 9.

School work all day. MTrek handoff, handoff to Tripp. FUMBLE! Dive on it. Long ball, short ball, touchdown grab, run it up we finally fielded a team. Back to the other team. Blah blah blah dysfunction. Sundays in play ruin the day.

Friday, October 14, 2005
Fall Fridays in Ann Arbor are another great autumn tradition. They are sunny and bright and the town has a near-audible buzz. Penn State's fans are here - they arrived last night en masse and headed for, you guessed it, The Brown Jug. The Outback Steakhouse airship Bloomin' Onion 1 has been blimping around the airspace over town. Steve and Barry's has plastered their terribly loud blue ad for for prices cheaper than clothes on the back of the Daily and the Daily football issue, coating bins and busses in blue. Ads on the radio press "Maize Out" for Saturday afternoon and multiple groups are sending out last-minute tailgate invites. There's a showdown looming!

This Friday started off with a TMI LeadershipAdvantage module down at the Four Points Sheraton. There were industry folks on a panel and they talked about leadership...it was good and very real life, but nothing earth-shattering. The earth-shattering part was that Boeing's Director of Manufacturing was there, and I had at least 10 minutes of face time, exchanged cards, and discussed follow-ups. THAT is the gravy at these events; you have to feel good about this caliber of connection.

Thursday, October 13, 2005
The blog took a beat yesterday in the face of long classes, case studies, stats homework that didn't mean anything, and prepping for the weekend. This week has felt a day behind from the very start and so it felt pretty odd having to get up this morning and head to Ross for an 8 AM class. But, all went well and there were two 'last classes' today - half semesters are so weird! The thing with Thursday is that OMS 701 (Topics in Manufacturing) is from 5:30 until 8:30 this evening, so even though the day feels essentially over, it really isn't.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
The days are simply flying by. It seems hardly a wink from the time the alarm clock does its thing until I walk up East University towards the bus home. On Tuesdays and Thursdays this has been especially pronounced, because class ends at 12:40.

In the afternoon today I gave blood and finished my resume, which is a pretty big deal around here. There is a nifty online system that lets you craft your bullets, order them, select the ones you'd like to show and the ones you'd like to hide, and publish to PDF. It puts everybody, format-wise at least, on the same page. Your content still has to be flawless and synergistic but at least you can't blame Word if you don't get the job you always wanted.

Caught up with a friend from the north and past yesterday... Kids having kids! This is a sure sign of growing up; it used to be that I hardly knew anybody my age and having children. It sounds like a time to be excited and a time to be nervous. Congratulations and best wishes, friends.

Monday, October 10, 2005
It's tough to sit in class and not say anything, but it is tougher to sit and say something and have it implode. There I was in Corporate Strategy, disagreeing with how the calculations were done and the conclusion reached, knowing in between thoughts that this was class participation points suicide. "Death to thousands" Professor Hennings used to say, and today I was the thousands. Realistically I don't think it was too big a deal but all the same it is, I imagine, not unlike being in a car crash...you can see what is happening and know it is bad but can't seem to stop the eventuality.

Now I am off on an Art Tour of Ross with Mrs. Dolan - my new Mrs. The Dean. I have little hope that she's as cool as Jill Compton, but you have to play the cards you are dealt. Plus, Ross has a collection that very much matches my photorealistic, pseudo-propoganda, post-war industrialist tastes. Precisionism is everywhere, which I cannot get enough of. Plus there is free food, something else I can't get enough of.

Sunday, October 09, 2005
Yeah sure there's plenty to write about, but what hasn't been said? Politics and sports and business are well-beaten beats; browncow is about all three and then some. I guess today we'll focus on the 'some.' Let's see...Friday was a Habitat for Humanity of Huron River build day in Ypsi with other b-schoolers. The turnout amoung BBAs was great - MBAs not so much. That being said, I led a team that built a pretty sweet deck and lent a hand to some folks getting started on a shed. That night, after wine and cheese and pasta from Wednesday's festivities, we hit our first varsity hockey tilt of the year...a return to fun. It's amazing how different the atmosphere is at Yost than it is at Michigan Stadium. At times on Saturday I think we could hear the blimp; Friday night my ears were ringing when I got home. Saturday, of course, was the football game. We tailgated MBA-style at the golf course and enjoyed the band, but I have to say this was not a happy day for me. After the game we went to Jenelle's, took the Vibe for it's first spin, cruising with the moonroof open and Ben Folds (and then Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries") blasting on the impressive stereo. Home to watch "The Straight Story" and play Scrabble. First board game ever, we think. Sunday started with blueberry pancakes and kinda slid from there - S3 forfeited our football game, I botched some of my 25% of the group econ homework, and then I had a stats quiz to round out the evening.

Somehow, despite the joy of a great fall weekend, with cider and fancy cheese and plenty of time outdoors and hockey and time with Jenelle, the football game really black-holed the energy right out of me. I guess in my mind this was the year: a Maize and Blue Rose Bowl trip with b-school friends was just a few wins away.

Thursday, October 06, 2005
Last night was a Maine Event trekkers' reunion dinner, which I hosted. Jenelle came over after school and we cranked out farfalle ala pesto, fettucini alfredo, a nice tossed salad, some peas and carrots, and even Key Lime pie. Abby brought rustic Italian bread, I opened two nice bottles of wine - one from the Leelenau winery tour - and we had quite a time. There were seven people total, which means a crowded house and not quite enough chairs to go around, but it was fun to host and fun to get 'the old gang' back together again.

In other news, I found another Ross MBA blogger: Maisie Chan. Interestingly this isn't somebody that I know, but now I know she's in Section 2. My discovery of her blog wasn't all that serendipitous - I'd been searching for other Ross blogs just to see what I could find. There are a buffet of MBA-admit blogs, but invariably these starry eyed folks (of whom I gingerly admit I was a part) stop blogging either when they get in or get ding-ed.

I'm not really sure of what to make of the news today. First big thing I saw was the headlines from President Bush's speach this morning: "More sacrifice needed in war on terror." I want to be clear that I am against terror, but at what point do cross over from external terror to internal terror? My stance on 'fighting terrorism' has been stated before; you don't beat al Qaeda with tanks and guns and HUMVEEs that turn diesel exhaust into potable water. So keep raising the deficit and neglecting other issues, this issue won't go away. My sense is that the fear has gripped a key element of this nation...its leader.

Business news from the Journal today has GM selling its share of Fuji Heavy Industries and, subsequently, its share of half of its worthwhile brands in Subaru. To me, it would make more sense for GM to cut its share in Buick, given that Buick is grinding to an Oldsmobile-esque demise while Subarus fill the garages of happy drivers at record pace. The General needed a cold-weather wagon and a premium (but not super-premium) brand to fill a whole in its lineup you could drive, well, a Buick through, and they chose Saab. I like Saabs just as much as the next Nordic-descended upper-Midwestern male, but the quirks and cost of Saab just didn't pass muster...thus the rebadged Subaru WRX that became the Saab 9-2x. If there was ever a sign for GM, the so-called Saabaru was it, but now even that mild success is over. This is why Jack White is on tour singing "The Big Three Killed My Baby."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Do you ever just kind of get feedback on something and go "whoa, that is surprisingly unexpectedly good news"? I just had that experience with an accounting quiz on which I beat the mean and median.

There was news of a major land sale up north today, as NewPage unloaded the bulk of Escanaba Timber LLC's holdings to Seattle-based Plum Creek Timber LLC for $345m. The astounding part, though, is the acreage involved: 650,000 acres. That's 1,015 square miles - just a Wal-Mart parking lot short of the state of Rhode Island. Clearly there were not 1,048,000 people living on these acres, but that is an amazing amount of timberland changing hands.

Time to prep for corporate strategy! Read read read, review review review!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Kind of a busy old day! Class in the morning that wasn't too very exciting - statistics and microeconomics. Microecon is actually getting more interesting while statistics is getting less; we seem to cycle in and out of very familiar material in stats so some days it is challenging to keep up and other days it is challenging to stay up. I did get some good academic news from the school, though, as my waiver request for OMS552 (Operations) has been accepted. This means that I have a core slot open in the winter semester for some other interesting class...potentially a more advanced operations class.

After class I did some school work at home, which is never a good idea because home is where procrastination happens. I cleaned dishes, I emptied trash, I piled newspapers, I read irrelevant articles in the Journal, and I organized my Outlook inbox, but very little tangible work got done.

In the late afternoon and evening, though, things cranked up again as Jenelle's search for a car came to its joyful end. After some frenetic internetting and phoning hither and yon, we decided to set out in haste for Bowling Green, Ohio, where a silver (technically Satellite) Pontiac Vibe lay waiting. She'd been looking for some time and this particular car seemed like too good a deal to pass up, so we drove the hour south and took care of business. At the end of the night, she had a car and I had Waffle House hash browns. Deeeeeelicious!

Jenelle, the Vibe, and the closest Waffle House to AA.
It's shiny and practically new - just 28,547 miles on the ticker - and loaded with a moonroof and stereo and powered interior niceties and keyless entry. It was and is pretty much exactly what she wanted.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Some of the hairy, nitty gritty, down and dirty overhead of school never ends...I just had to sit through another Honor Code lecture. Who cheats on an open-book, open-notes, time unlimited multiple choice exam, and when you give it can't you pretty much kiss any discrete results goodbye? I grow weary of these things.

I also grow weary of quizzes, especially when they go badly. My practice quiz for stats took 90 minutes; the real one 160. Accounting quiz? Who knows...I think it went well but my judgment of late has been marginal at best. It's hard to gauge a closed-book test on unfamiliar material - my first principles foundation hasn't been established yet and it's more transparent to me than I'd like.

I'm off for S3 intersection football. I'm going to do my best Mike Hart impression.

Sunday, October 02, 2005
A couple people wondered about the contents of Friday's post and they were intentionally vague - there was a surprise hidden there that a certain somebody wasn't supposed to figure out. The lyrics there are from a song called "We're Going to Be Friends" by Detroit Rock City natives Jack White and Meg White of The White Stripes. Jenelle and I are into The White Stripes and the surprise was a trip to their Masonic Temple show Friday evening. It was a pretty great time; they have a sense of red and white style that is '70s hip and a rock sound that is any decade awesome. Meg plays the drums and sings a bit while Jack rocks the guitar, paino, vibraphones, and mic. The entire stage, down to guitar cables and vibraphone pibes, was white or red, except for a green apple held by a white hand on the black face of the bass drum. Check out whitestripes.com.

After the show we were feeling a little bit energetic about a night in Big D so we went the only place that seemed well-lit and safe: Greektown Casino. We went mostly for a place to hang out; while we were there we had Cold Stone, a round and hummus at Pegasus Taverna, and lost an incomprehensible amount of money (six dollars) in the slot machines. It was a pretty fun night, all told, and I think a solid birthday celebration.

About 11 months ago I posted about a triple-OT thriller that took place at Michigan Stadium, and I'm back to talk about the single-OT nailbiter that Spartan Stadium witnessed Saturday. It lacked the under-the-lights, come-from-behind, lob-it-to-Braylon brilliance of last year but this was still a heck of a football game. Mike Hart was the difference, though, and his 218 yards put Michigan over the top. Good to have you back, Junior.

© 2007 Corey Bruno