We’ll be participating in Ann Arbor’s 4th of July parade again this year. We hope everyone can get out to see us! We’ll have a few vehicles including our largest truck and there will be mini beachballs! It has been an awesome event for the last several years and of course I will have pictures in a couple of weeks!
When our driver Dick Nolan came to work Monday morning, he brought along a special passenger in his engine compartment. It was a groundhog! He called the Humane Society when he noticed it and they promptly dispatched an animal rescue officer to help get it out.
After many trials and tribulations we got the little guy out and safely into a crate for transport. He was a fiesty little guy, but very cute!
We loaded him up in the back of one of our trusty Rangers and took him out to a field near where he hitched his ride to let him go.
It took a little coaxing, but we got him out of the crate and on his way. I didn’t know that the little buggers could run so fast, but he bolted right for the first tall grass he could see and was gone.
The story of Pheidippides inspires us here at Metro Delivery, as it has inspired millions of other messengers over the past 2,503 years or so…
Pheidippides, a herald, was sent off running, all 26 miles and 385 yards from the Greek City Marathon to Athens, to announce the first victory of the Greeks over the invading Persians, at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.
Yes, yes, this is where we get that “Marathon” thing that all your runner friends talk about- but that’s a secondary point for us here at Metro. The point is, the dude was a COURIER, and as such, prepared to give his all.
After proclaiming victory to the joyful crowd at the Acropolis (“Nike!” he gasped, forming a shoe company), he expired, tragically, from the exertion. That’s one sad version of the story (weeps).
In another variation, from Herodotus, Pheidippides completes a much more impressive feat of the feet, running round trip from Athens to Sparta and back again to request aid from the Spartans from the invading Persians. That story has him running around 145 miles over two days. The Spartans don’t actually get around to sending any aid and the Athenians have to handle the Persians themselves, but this more robust Pheippides does not die from the run.
Robert Browning, in his 1879 hit poem “Pheidippides,” tells a story that’s a popular confluence of events. Pheidippides runs from Athens to Sparta and back again, then actually fights in the battle of Marathon, and THEN runs from Marathon to the Acropolis in Athens to announce the victory and dies. That’s a total mileage of around 171 miles, and you know there weren’t any folding tables of Gatorade along the way.
Browning’s and Herodotus’s versions also feature a guest appearance by the Goat-God Pan, who Pheidippides happens across enroute from Sparta back to Athens, and who is persuaded to assist the Athenians, since the Spartans are of no immediate help.
Pan indicates his willingness to back the Athenians by handing Pheidippides a handful of fennel, a good portent for the battle, as the Greek word for fennel is Marathon. (Goat-Gods prefer metaphor to just plain saying something, as a general rule.)
So what do we, as messengers, learn from Pheidippides? First, we admire his resolution and dedication, and the sacrifice that he was prepared to make to see that his noble duty was fulfilled.
Secondarily, we recognize that if he really DID run himself to death, his dispatcher probably should have figured out a way to get the poor guy a lunch hour, and we have to suspect that under hours-of-service regulations the Athenians would probably be looking at some pretty steep fines…
Thirdly, they should have given Pheidippides an E250 van, like Metro Couriers drive, and then he could have carried a pallet or two of grapes and olives to drop to some other Greek city along the way, and improved his profit margin.
Yes, it’s Michigan, and it’s Fat Tuesday, and while at warmer latitudes that means a giant bacchanal with wine and dancing and music, here in Michigan it means just this: PACZKI.
This year, we’re offering our staff Paczki Varietals, so that we can feel like they’re having different food groups at each meal.
From left to right in the picture below, you see 1. Paczki from Dom’s Bakery in Ypsilanti, 2. from Copernicus European Deli, in the South Main Market in Ann Arbor who get them shipped in from a Canadian Polish Bakery overnight, including authentic “rose” and “plum/prune” flavors, and 3. the powdered- sugar-coated ones on the right are via Washtenaw Dairy, made by the Manchester Bakery.
…honestly, we can’t say that our Couriers run their fastest on Fat Tuesdays.
Late last fall as it was starting to get colder, especially at night, she started coming round in the evening looking for food or warmth, something. One of our drivers, Bob Bazzell, took pity on her and started bringing in cat food so he could feed her before getting on the road.
Next thing you knew, we had an official Office Cat. She was in bad shape back then, so emaciated her backbone felt like the edge of a table knife, her coat worse to the touch than it looked and it looked pretty bad. The vet said starved as she was, she’d lost the strength to keep herself clean.
We thought she was a kitten, six or eight months old we guessed. Surprise, vet said ten years old. That was shocking and kind of dismaying. She had a flea collar, too small it was digging into her neck, and she’d obviously been around people so she wasn’t feral.
Did she get lost or did somebody just put such an old cat out? We put her picture up on the Found Cats section at the Humane Society, but nobody ever claimed her. And nobody had reported her missing. The name we gave her came from having “no name,” which is what the vet first put on her medical records.
But her favorite person, Jessica Nowling, calls her Kitty Meow Meow. She sleeps (a lot) under Jessica’s desk and ventures forth as she will. She always has a full food bowl and all the attention she deems desirable. She is an inside cat who knows what outside is and wants no more of it.
Bob says he’s sure she still remembers he was the one who brought her in. She is plump now pleasingly so and her coat is all clean and shiny and nice to touch. She rules with an iron paw, queen of all she surveys. We all have a new boss now.
The Michigan Department of Transportation has decided that public safety would not be enhanced by allowing corrosive and flammable materials to be transported over the Ambassador Bridge.
Hazmat loads are currently carried across the Detroit River by a ferry, 30 to 50 loads a day.
Metro has operating authority in Ontario for deliveries to and from the U.S., and all the time we’re carrying time-critical deliveries back and forth over the 83-year-old-Ambassador Bridge, with the 8-10,000 other trucks daily, through all seventeen traffic lights to the freeway through the long-suffering downtown of Windsor. Take our word for it, we could use another bridge that connects directly to the freeway.
Click on the “NITC” link below for a printable PDF of the information sheet from the Consulate General of Canada which was distributed at the meeting; it has a lot of clear information on the new bridge.
We are really looking forward to a second bridge, as are many of our clients, waiting for supplies and parts to keep their factories and businesses productive and on line- let’s hope the new International Trade Crossing proceeds with all possible speed, despite the well-funded campaign being waged against it.
Thanks to the A2Y Chamber for this informative event! Here’s the article from Ann Arbor.com .