Friday, February 13, 2015

SeaLife of Michigan review

Yesterday (2/12/15), we took Alex up to SeaLife of Michigan at Great Lakes Crossing.  My review, I think it is mediocre and not worth the hype.  We have been to other aquariums that for the same price or less than $5 more it is a lot more interactive (touch tanks for Rays and Tiger Sharks), had a bigger tunnel, more sea life, and penguins. The other places also provided better customer service and seemed more eager to treat walk up traffic the same as prepaid traffic.  I will most likely not be going back and saving my money for other things (heck I'd gladly pay an admission  for Rainforest Cafe, it seems like a better experience).

One of my biggest gripes was that we just walked up and they said they had to let the prepaid people in first.  So we patiently waited 10 mins, but just as they were about to take us another prepaid walked up and got in first.  I finally just pushed my way up to counter and said you're either taking my money now or I go home. They are also having problems with their website, they said, so even if we tried to buy tickets online while in line there's no guarantee it would have went through.

So my suggestion is enter at your own risk, be patient,  plan on at least 30-60 minutes to get through it, and go with an open mind. Also whether you liked it or not do the exit survey before leaving.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Vote YES to support your local FD/PD

This coming Tuesday, November 4th, many local fire and police departments will be asking their residents to get out and vote yes to support their agencies. There is a good reason you need to vote yes for many of them, but always do your own research and don't just listen to me or them. Some agencies are listed below.
One of the agencies asking you to vote yes is the Rochester Hills Fire Department.  14 years ago the department ran 2 on-duty paramedic firefighters out of 1 station 24 hours a day, they worked in 12 hour shifts. Over the years, they have added personnel and expanded as much as they can.  Unfortunately this is not enough, there have been times where there have been no firefighters available, because of high call volume and they have to call in assistance from surrounding cities. There are days where they run 20+ calls a day. A yes vote will now staff at least 2 firefighter paramedics and 1 firefighter EMT at each of the 5 stations and help with improving the stations to allow firefighters to sleep, shower, etc. at them. The Citizens for a Safer Rochester Hills are looking for volunteers to help them pass out information in the neighborhoods this Saturday, November 1st.  For more information, yard signs, or to volunteer on Saturday please contact them at
Another agency is the Orion Twp Fire Department.  Their millage request is to allow the construction and improvement of stations and the purchase of new equipment.  The big purchase they need to make is for a new ladder truck.  Their current ladder truck is 40 years old and as been through at least 2 departments.  They need to get a newer ladder truck that will have many of the newer safety features to reduce the risk of injury to firefighters, but also that they can rely on to make it to fire scenes. A ladder truck is not only needed if there ever was another fire downtown, but also at other structure fires, and new ones can even be used to aid at water and technical rescue scenes.
Another agency that will be asking its voters for a yes vote is the Oxford Fire Department.  A yes vote for them will allow for extra staffing at the stations.  They get critically low on staffing at times, because of their increased call volume and distance to the local hospitals.
Most fire departments are asking for millages for manpower due to increased call volume.  The only way they can provide adequate protection in the event of an emergency is with safe staffing levels.  If you live in a community like those listed above please not only get out to vote yes, but also check with your local fire department to see how you can help. Many departments are actively hiring paid on-call firefighters to help respond to fires or large incidents, this is an important and much needed role in the community.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fire Prevention Week 2014

Every year, since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has celebrated National Fire Prevention Week, during the Sunday-Saturday in which October 9th falls.  October 9 is the date the the "Great Chicago Fire" did the most damage, fires also did mass devastation in Peshtigo, Wisconsin and across Michigan.  The NFPA also chooses a theme for the week, this year's theme is "Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Test Yours Every Month."
Fire departments use this week in particular to do a variety of public education displays at schools, fire stations, businesses, etc to raise awareness of why fire safety is important and to showcase the equipment they use, answer questions, and let's kids (big and small) play with some of their toys.
Most fire department open houses include some sort of demonstration ( vehicle extrication, fire attack, rappelling, etc), a variety of emergency vehicles, freebies for the kids, etc.  Some of the open houses may include some food ( breakfast, hot dogs, cookies, etc), a helicopter, rides, and more. Check with your local fire department fore more information.
Below is a list of fire department open houses from across the state that I have been able to compile.  Of your local FD is not listed, check with them to see if they will be having one.  If you know of one that's not listed feel free to share with me as well. As time allows I will be updating the list and filling in address info.  Feel free to share with others.

*CANCELLED* Rochester Hills vehicle display at the Meijer's at Rochester & Auburn from 7-9

Northville Twp, 45745 6 Mile, 10-2
Oakland Twp, 1888 Rochester, 12-4
Waterford, 2495 Crescent Lake, 10-2
Bruce Twp, 223 E Gates, 10-1
Ingham Twp, 1420 Johnson, 10-1
Grand Traverse Metro, Home Depot, 10-2
Plainwell, 119 Island, 10-3
Canton, 1100 S. Canton Center, 10-2
Maybee, 8755 Baldwin, 11-3
Lambertville, 3056 Dean 12-3
Temperance, 7016. Lewis, 2-4
Whitehall, 299. N. Franklin, 2-6

Chesterfield Twp, 23 Mile & Baker, 12-3
Rochester Hills, all stations, 12-3
Allen Park, 6730 Roosevelt, 11-3
Springfield Twp, 10280 Rattalee Lk, 12-5
Commerce Twp, Community Center, 12-3
Troy, all stations, 1-4
Macomb Twp, 47711 North Ave, 12-3
Armada, 23175 Armada Center, 12-3
Pittsfield Twp, 6227 W. Michigan, 12-3
West Bloomfield, 5425 W. Maple, 12-3
Shepherd, 410 N. Chippewa, 3-5
Lenox Twp, 59960 Gratiot, 11-3
St Clair Shores, 26700 Harper, 12-4
Sterling Heights, 12850 15 Mile, 11-2
Utica, 7609 Auburn, 11-3
Grosse Ile, 24525 Meridian, 1-4
Tittabawassee Twp, 355 Church, 11-2
Orion Twp, Home Depot, 1-4
Swartz Creek #1, 8100 Civic, 1-4
Swartz Creek #2 1494 S. Seymour, 1-4
Milford, 325 W. Huron, 11-3
Carleton, 11120 Sumpter, 11-3
Dundee, 820 Dundee-Azalia, 1-4
Ray Twp, 20301 29 Mile, 7am-12pm

Walker, 4101 Lake Michigan, 6-8
Kalamazoo #6, 1414 Howard, 6-8

Milan, 45 Wabash, 6-9
Saginaw, 801 Federal, beginning at 10am
Grandville, 3215 Wilson, 6-8

Wayland, 160 W. Superior, 6-8
Dalton Twp, 1650 E Riley Thompson, 6-8
Forsyth Twp, 47 N Johnson Lake, 5-7
Benton Twp, 4713 Hartel, 6-8
Kalamazoo #2, 1207 Bryant, 6-8

Delta Twp, 811 N. Canal, 6-830
Spring Lake Twp, 148th & Cleveland, 6-8

Farmington Hills, 31455 W. 11 Mile, 3-7
Rochester Hills, Meijer's 3175 S.Rochester 7-9
Kalamazoo #45, 601 N. Park, 6-8

Burton, 1320 S. Belsay, 9-1
Nottawa-Sherman, 6263 W. Weidman, 10-2
Livonia, 35000 7 Mile, 10-1
Birmingham, 572 S. Adams, 1-4
Wixom, 1345 N. Wixom, 9-1
Hamlin Twp, 6463 S. Clinton Trail, 11-4
North Oakland Fire, 5051 Grange Hall, 1-5
Garden City, 6000 Middlebelt, 11-3
Clio, 3291 W. Vienna, 10-1
Metamora, 730 W. Dryden, 10-2
Fenton, 205 E. Caroline, 12-4
Newaygo, 177 Cooperative Center, 11-2
Dorr Twp, 4196 18th, 7-11
Otsego, Home Depot, 9-1
Comstock, 1960 River, 11-2
Portage, 7800 Shaver, 10-2
Shelby Twp, 6345 23 Mile, 10-2
Dearborn, 19800 Outer, 12-2
Gibraltar, 29450 Munro, 9-1
Metro Lansing, Eastwood Town Center,  10-2
Traverse City, 500 W. Front, 11-2
Peninsula Twp, 14247 Center, 10-2
Grand Traverse Rural, 2266 E. M-113, 10-1
Plymouth, 9911 Haggerty, 11-4
Huntington Woods, 12755 11 Mile, 430-6
Ottawa Lake, 9244 Whiteford Center, 11-3
Midland, 816 E. Haley, 1-4
Grand Haven, 525 Washington, 11-1
Grand Rapids, 1101 & 1181 Monroe NW, 10-2
Southgate, 14730 Reaume Pkwy, 11-2
Mason, 221 W. Ash, 10-2
Dearborn Hts, 1999 N. Beech Daly, 10-2
Texas Twp, 7110 W. "Q", 10-2
Williamson, 1296 W. Grand River, 8a-1130a
Royal Oak, 215 E. Sixth, 11-2

Bloomfield Twp, 4200 Telegraph, 12-4
Clawson, 111 Gardner, 12-3
Rochester, 277 E. Second, 12-3
Centerline, 7070 E. 10 Mile, 10-2
Howell 1-4
Monitor Twp 12-3
Clinton Twp HQ 12-3
Monroe Twp, 15331 S. Dixie Hwy, 1-4
Walled Lake, 1499 E. West Maple, 10-2
Saline, 205 E. Michigan, 12-3
Redford, 10101 Beech Daly, 1-4
Orion Twp #2, 200 E. Silverbell, 1-4
Orion Twp #3, 3365 Gregory, 1-4
Orion Twp #4, 465 S. Baldwin, 1-4
Elk Rapids, 209 Bridge, 1-4

Grand Rapids, John Ball Zoo, 10-3

Rochester Hills, Home Depot, 9-12
Hamburg Twp, 10100 Veterans Memorial, 10-3
Walkerville 4-8
Mt Morris Twp, 4136 N. Jennings, 11-3
Addison Twp, 1442 Rochester, 11-2
Inkster, 27717 Michigan, 10-1

Chelsea, 200 W. Middle, 12-4
Brighton, 615 W. Grand River, 10-2

Portage, Lowe's, 10-2
Lyon Twp, 58800 Grand River, 6-8

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bloomfield Twp Open House 2013

This past weekend was the end of National Fire Prevention Week, and it went out with a bang.  The best overall open house we attended this year was Bloomfield Twp. They not only had the fire department open house, but every department for the township participated.

The fire department lit a pan on fire on the stove to simulate a grease fire and show the proper way to put it out and what happens if something goes wrong.  They also did an extrication demo, had tons of information and things for kids to do.  As usual the trucks were on display and they even brought in a UofM Survival Flight helicopter.

The department of public works had 1 vehicle of everything they use on display for kids to check out, had some games for kids to do and even gave rides in a dump truck.

The police department had several vehicles on display including their brand new Ford Interceptor SUV and their BMW motorcycles.  They did a gun range demonstration, had a canine unit available, and even a drunk goggles simulator.

Other township departments were also on hand with flyers and to answer questions you may have.  This was hands down the best open house for families to enjoy over the past week.

Here is a link to some pictures that I took and posted on one of my pages.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Waterford Regional FD Open House 2013

Yesterday, 10/5, Alex and I went to the Waterford Regional FD Open House.  They put on a spectacular show.  First off they had every active Waterford based Engine, Rescue, and Tower there and on display.  This allowed me to get some great pics.

Second they had lots of great activities for the kids.  They had a smoke house there to go in and see how to safely exit a "burning" building.  They put on a puppet show (I'm told it was an award winning show) geared towards preventing kitchen fires, which Alex didn't seem to care about, since there were BRTs (Big Red Trucks) outside.  They had a "burning" house for kids to put out with a real fire hose, firefighting gear for the kids to try on, and even "Ember" a 4 year old Dalmatian owned by one of the firefighters who has become the station mascot.

There was also some demonstrations put on, including an extrication display.  There was hot dogs, chips, cookies, and pop all for free for those in attendance along with your other routine open house giveaways.  They were supposed to have Superior Air-Med 1 stop by, but due to the weather conditions they were grounded.

I have posted a few pics on this blog, but if you would like to see more here is a link to my Facebook page with more pics, just look under the albums for the pics you want to see.

Monday, September 30, 2013

DSO in your community concert series

This past week the DTE Energy Foundation sponsored the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in your community concert series.  The DSO played 4 free concerts in St. Clair Shores, Detroit, Taylor, and Clawson.

My family chose to go see the concert in Clawson at the high school and were very impressed.  The show was spectacular, the crowd was great, and the venue is awesome.

The DSO started out with the Star Spangled Banner and finished up with Stars and Stripes Forever.  In between those patriotic songs they played pieces from Aaron Copeland, Duke Ellington, and music from Star Wars and Indiana Jones.  The conductor was great by giving background on some pieces and even interjecting some humor.

If you ever get the chance to see the DSO whether it be in Detroit, Greenfield Village, or any other number of events they participate in, I highly suggest going to see them.

The only complaints I had were not enough handicapped seating for some of the elderly and no signage outside directing people where to go.  Otherwise this was a great event and I hope that they continue this series of concerts in the future.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013 Detroit Area FD Open Houses

Here is a list of 2013 Metro Detroit area Fire Department open houses events.  If you have any to add feel free to comment.  Aldo feel free to share with others.

-Berkley from 10-2

-Waterford, Crescent Lake Station from 10-2

-Pontiac, Home Depot from 9-12

-Trenton, Station 1 from 11-2

-Huntington Woods starting at 4pm

-Bruce Twp, Twp offices from 10-1

-Troy, All Stations from 1-4

-West Bloomfield Twp, Maple Rd Station from 12-3

-Roseville from 1-4

-Centerline from 10-2

-Rochester from 12-3

-Bloomfield village from 1-230

-Clinton Twp, Romeo Plank station from 12-3

-Sterling Heights, 15 Mile Rd station from 11-3

-Armada Twp from 12-3

-Argentine Twp from 10-4

-Commerce Twp, Richardson Community Senior Center from 12-3

-Oxford, station 1 from 12-4

-Chesterfield Twp, 23 Mile & Baker from 12-3

-Utica from 11-3

-St. Clair Shores, Central Station from 12-4

-Farmington Hills, 11 Mile Rd Station from 3-7

-Rochester Hills, Meijers at Rochester & Auburn starting at 7pm

-Birmingham, Adams Station from1-4

-Allen Park from 11-3

-Gibraltar from 10-1

-Canton, Canton Center Station from 10-3

-NOCFA (Holly & Rose Twps), Rose Center Station from 1-4

-Burton, All Stations from 12-4

-Addison Twp (Oakland), Station 1 from 1-5

-Dearborn Heights, Station 1 from 10-2 

-Garden City from 11-3

-Royal Oak, Downtown Station from 9-???

-Wixom from 10-1

-Clawson from 12-3

-Brighton, Station 1 on Grand River from 10-3

 -Rochester Hills from 12-3 at Station 1 (Livernois), Station 2 (Auburn between John R and Dequindre), and Station 4 (Walton)

-Brighton, Station 1 on Grand River from 10-3

-Bloomfield Twp, Station 1 from 12-4

-Milford from 9-3

-White Lake Twp, Station 1 from 1-4

-Almont breakfast from 8-12, open house from 12-3


-Mt Morris City from 11-3


-Hazel Park from 11-2

Updated: 9/25 to include RHFD 

Updated: 9/28 to include Bloomfield Village, Clinton Twp, Sterling Heights, Dearborn Heights, Addison Twp, Brighton, Bloomfield Twp, Mt Morris City

Updated: 9/30 to include Pontiac, Armada Twp, Argentine Twp, Commerce Twp, and Garden City

Updated: 10/1 to include Trenton

Updated: 10/2 to include Hazel Park, Huntington Woods, Milford, Royal Oak, Oxford, White Lake, Wixom, Almont

Updated: 10/4 to include Utica, St. Clair Shores, Chesterfield Twp, Bruce Twp