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Last Visit 2013-07-09 08:56:20 |Start Date 2006-06-08 17:52:06 |Comments 398 |Entries 87 |Images 82 |Videos 5 |

08/08/08 09:53 - 62ºF - ID#45274

update, and good "beater" car for $100

Hey friends,

Long time no post... have had the busiest craziest summer in terms of work, plus the typical trying-to-take-advantage-of-good-weather-whenever-possible types of shenanigans in and around Buffalo. Highlights: Spiritiualized at Town Ballroom (utterly fantastic), Sam Roberts Band at ArtPark, Babik and Latin jazz at Bidwell, and getting caught in the downpour at Taste of Buffalo, plus a long weekend in Niagara Falls Ontario. Good stuff.

In other news: after some soul searching, I have decided: I am letting go of my car. I'm sure I'll regret this sometime in January, but I live close enough (2 blocks) from the NFTA rail station to make this work on a daily basis, and my gf has a car, so groceries and occasional trips to Hertel, Amherst, etc. remain fairly easy. The trouble is, it's been a good car to me, and I hate to see it go.

That said, anyone need a "beater"? There's nothing pretty about the car... it's a 1992 Dodge Spirit, sort of a grandpa car. Well, actually, it is a grandpa car -- it's a two-owner car (my grandfather and me) with just under 100,000 original miles. It's light blue and has a relatively clean interior. It needs a little work but nothing overly dramatic. Here's the skinny:

The Good


low miles for old car
4 cylinder with no known motor trouble
automatic transmission
good tires
reliable battery
mechanic once said, "the only thing that'll stop this car from running is a tree"
front wheel drive, good in the snow
no serious accidents, ever; clean title
"The Dude Abides" bumper sticker

The Bad


clunking right front end, needs repair (prob tie rod) immediately
needs tune-up to bring gas mileage to where it should be
trunk leaks a little

The Ugly


grandpa car -- see pictures below
some peeling paint
small dents in trunk lid and beat-up front driver's side fender (but all lights are intact and work, last I checked)
"The Dude Abides" bumper sticker

I'm looking to sell it for $100. I believe that after repairs it will still be a little less than what Edmunds would suggest is fair market value for the car. Obviously this is NOT a luxury car or something that will improve your social status in Buffalo. But if you need a set of four wheels, four seats, and an internal combustion engine to propel you around town, you're all set.

If interested, let me know ASAP by email.
NOTE: I am not interested in fixing the car to sell, I just want someone to take it as-is. I've got too much going on at work to spend the time fixing the car.

Here's a photo off the internet of another 92 Spirit, same color and styling, with representative wear-and-tear:
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If you want to see the real thing, it's parked on upper North Pearl just north of Allen Street.

Here's a front-angle shot of a slightly cleaner 92 Spirit, same color and styling:
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Category: science/lgbt

06/17/08 12:42 - 58ºF - ID#44689

Gay Men, Straight Women: Similar Brains

Interesting article in the Washington Post about some brain-imaging research. Don't know whether the study is any good, methodologically, but if there is a neurophysical similarity between gay men and straight women and between lesbian women and straight men, then... well, I don't know what exactly, but it's food for thought.

MRI and PET scan studies are showing remarkable similarities between the brains of gay men and straight women, and between those of lesbians and straight men. For example, the brains of straight men and of gay women share certain common features: both are slightly asymmetric, with the right hemisphere larger than the left, ... [while] the brains of gay men and straight women are both symmetrical.

Similar trends emerged when scientists tracked connectivity in the amygdala, the region of the brain involved in emotional learning and in activating the fight-or-flight response. They noted strong similarities between gay men and straight women, and lesbians and straight men.



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rainbow brain image courtesy of stianrasmussen.com
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Category: chores

06/11/08 10:51 - 69ºF - ID#44623

Drinking...

...an ice-cold brewski out of a brown paper bag really takes the edge off of fighting for dryers at the laundromat.

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Category: buffalo

06/11/08 10:16 - 68ºF - ID#44615

Pride in the Name of Unicorns

Sorry I missed the party on Saturday, I was exhausted from a long week and an unexpectedly long Friday night, and was resting up for Sunday. I ended up blowing off a friend's going-away party too and I feel bad about both... Friday was totally weird, A and I went to the Hellenic Festival and lucked into free tickets to the M*A*S*H Bash on the walk home, so we drank free beers and ate free bad pizza and smoked cheap cigars with like 147,000 of our closest friends, some of who were barely clothed.

Sunday was great fun. Started the day with a bike ride up Elmwood to Cecelia's, where we sat in the sun on the patio sipping drinks and eating brunch. Nothing like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and bacon to start your Sunday!

We timed it perfectly, settling the check as the Pride parade came up the street. Checked out the parade (sorry no pics), cheered a lot (Go Bears! ha) and collected a few strings of beads.

Next we walked up Elmwood and checked out the newly relocated Shoefly. A got a fabulous pair of Fluevogs on sale and I picked up a pair of boots for $50. They're great and it was the only pair left, and by sheer chance they fit (despite being 1/2 size down for me). What luck!

We walked up to Bidwell, looked over the scene, and settled down at Caffe Aroma for beers in the sun/shade, partially under the awning. Got a little bit fried (though not near as much as (e:fellyconnelly,44611) !) and sipped Rolling Rock from little bottles kept ice-cold in a bucket of ice (just five bucks for five beers during the soccer game!). Amazing people-watching at the corner next to the big tent, wow it was just so much fun. Among the people we saw were (e:paul), (e:terry), (e:matthew), (e:fellyconnelly), and (e:lauren)... and we had seen (e:lauren) walking ralphie on Saturday but we were whizzing by on our bikes and didn't have time to stop and fawn over the cute little SOB. ;-)

I did take one picture because I couldn't resist... a woman was walking her little dog and it had a t-shirt featuring a gay-pride rainbow with, yep, a UNICORN superimposed on the rainbow. I think even dogs are watching Planet Unicorn now! (see (e:jim,40361) ) Sweet.

Little dog with hard-to-see gay unicorn t-shirt catching some rays outside Aroma on Sunday
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06/06/08 10:49 - 76ºF - ID#44562

Geek Alert -- Book Sale; also Thurs/Sq

I skipped Thursday in the Square last night to go to the AAUW Book Sale in Crawford Furniture Plaza on Sheridan at Sweet Home Rd. Wow! If you like books, this is the place. A and I bought 27 books for $23.50 -- some good stuff, too. Most hardcovers are only a buck, and paperbacks 50 cents. A lot of older titles but some current stuff; the most current they have in a special section with specific pricing, but even these weren't so bad (e.g., I got Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation" for $2.)

If you're looking for DVDs or vinyl records, don't bother, but if you love books, check it out.

Also went to Ming's on Main in University Heights for dinner -- omg their food is delicious. I'm addicted now, which is bad, b/c it's a little expensive as Chinese food goes. But it is damn fine Chinese, and the restaurant closes for the season at the end of June. :-(

Follow-up on TiTS SuCKS post (below): I saw a good chunk of the Galactic show last week and thought it was decent. Mr. Lif (that's L-I-F-with no m-f'in T) appeared with the band for a while and gave it an old-skool rap feel to go along with the band's rather difficult-to-pigeonhole style. It was really funny to watch all the uptight folks and bikers make a beeline for the exit as soon as Mr. Lif came onstage.

How was TiTS this week? Were Disco Biscuits any good? Did anyone get absolutely drenched heading home from the show, when the skies opened up and dumped what must have been an inch and a half of rain in 40 minutes?

Someone else's photo of some random food from Ming Cafe
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Category: buffalo

05/16/08 12:54 - 57ºF - ID#44363

TiTS SuCKS

Warning: Rant below. Stop reading now if you wish to avoid bad vibes about Buffalo, or if you are supersensitive about your taste in music and I am about to insult said taste.



All winter long, I have eagerly awaited the Thursday in The Square lineup for Summer 2008. Ice? Snow? Sleet? Icy wind off the lake? It matters not, because Buffalo has a fantastic summer concert series -- for free! -- with beer!! -- and really good acts!!! -- that make my Thursday evenings in June, July, and August a lot of fun.

Last year, there were some truly fantastic shows. Sam Roberts Band was great. The Old 97s, with frontman Rhett Miller dancing with girls from the audience, a total blast. Violent Femmes played to a huge crowd. Dropkick Murphys were pretty good. And there were some pleasant surprises like up-and-coming Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

I have been anticipating this year's lineup with bated breath. And finally, it's here! And... it SUCKS!!

http://www.buffaloplace.com/ereport/graphics/sponsor/THURSDAYATTHESQUARE.pdf

MAYBE the Gin Blossoms won't be terrible. And I guess it's sort of nice to have Jakob Dylan. But my GOODNESS, what of the rest of these lame acts?

"Galactic kicks off the 2008 season on May 29th with their unique blend of hip-hop, electronica, latin, rock, blues and jazz."

?????

"June 5th will bring straightforward, "almost earnest rock" with The Disco Biscuits."

I'm almost not falling asleep yet.

"Colorado natives Yonder Mountain String Band make their return to Buffalo on June 12th. This quartet is heralded for their "untraditional" bass/mandolin/banjo/guitar line-up and love of bluegrass music."

I heard good things about their show last year, but can't we get some fresh blood in the lineup?

"Grammy Award winning David Sanborn will bring his Grammy Award pop-jazz fusion to the Queen City on June 19th. If you don't already know this 22-solo album smooth jazz musician, we're sure you will leave Lafayette Square a fan."

Guess again!

"Syracuse native Martin Sexton will headline Thursday at the Square on June 26th. Influenced by the magical sounds of the 70's, the Boston Globe says Sexton is "ripe with... raw, expansive talent.""

I'm ripe with raw, expansive irritation. And we're almost into July already. Oh my. This is getting frustrating.

"Kick off the 4th of July weekend with the son of iconic folk rock musician and lead vocalist of The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan & The Gold Mountain Rebels."

I probably will, but you gotta love when they use a singer's parent's reputation to justify his importance.

"Revered guitarist and founder of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jimmie Vaughan rocks the stage of Lafayette Square on July 10th."


Revered, eh? Guess I'm not the only person in Buffalo with a shrine to Jimmie Vaughan in my living room. I'll be sure to keep a constant vigil until I get the opportunity to genuflect in front of his actual corporeal manifestation on July 10.

Somebody kill me... (so I can die and go be with Jimmy Vaughan for eternity.)

"July 17th will be an amazing evening with percussion master of the infamous Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart Band featuring Steve Kimock and George Porter Jr. Hart has composed numerous scores, soundtracks and themes for movies and television and written four books documenting his life."

Those four books should go a long way as credentials for this once-revered (!!!) now washed-up acid-addled jam-band. Surely he must put on a great concert if he wrote four books! Ugh.

"Alternative rockers famous for the 90's hit, "Hey Jealousy," Gin Blossoms will take the stage on July 24th. We think fans will "Follow Them Down" in droves to Lafayette Square."

Yes, but only because there are no other half-decent acts lined up for TiTS this summer. Hey, I'm jealous of cities that attract good bands!

"Canadian folk rockers, Spirit of the West, will play Thursday at the Square on July 31st. This outfit hit the scene in the 1980's before becoming one of Canada's most successful alternative rock bands of the 1990's."

Most successful, eh? What did you say their name was again? I'll need another Blue Light, please.

"Zappa Plays Zappa on August 7th. Need we say more?!"

Um, no. No, you needn't.

"Bass player and vocalist of the improvisational rock band Phish, Mike Gordon will take the stage on August 14th. Gordon has written 17 Phish original songs and 22 Phish tracks."

He's also eaten 2,342 pints of Phish Food ice cream. Ergo, he will put on a Phistastic concert! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

"Post-grunge rockers, Saliva, will make their way to Lafayette Square on August 21st. Their single, "Ladies & Gentlemen" made it to #2 on Billboard's U.S. Mainstream rock charts and has been used by Sony in commercials for PlayStation 3 as well as the theme for NFL Network's NFL Total Access show."

Arrive early to catch opening acts 'Expectorate' and 'Hocking Loogie'!

"Modern rock icons, Candlebox, will play Lafayette Square on August 28th. Their self-titled debut album went platinum four times and the hit "Far Behind" reached the pop Top 20 Chart."

Um... icons? I suppose I do own Candlebox's entire catalog, which I acquired for $6.52 from the CD bargain bin at the almost-dead New World Record. But then again, not everyone has a homemade Candlebox tribute jacket made from black stonewashed denim. Oh, and did I mention, Candlebox's drummer is a retread from 'Ugly Kid Joe'? The talent pool runs deep, my friends. Can you believe these guys have a "Best of" album? Is it an EP?

Candlebox
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"Big Head Todd and the Monsters will close the season on September 4th. These indie/alternative rockers are known for their powerful live performances and their 1993 album, Sister Sweetly."

Fifteen years later, we shall enjoy their indie/alternative stylings in Buffalo, New York -- which is just about right: 15 years behind the times.

Thursday evenings in downtown Buffalo should be a great time -- in principle. For some reason, this year I think for once I'm actually looking forward to the moment at which the concert engineers flip the switch to Petula Clark's "Downtown". Or maybe I'll just stay at home and listen to some DECENT music.

  • sigh*

It's not that I don't love Buffalo. I'm just disappointed by it.

This concludes my rant.



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Category: food

04/30/08 08:56 - 43ºF - ID#44196

Falafel Bar II in Allentown?

Some potentially great news for Allentowners and Roswell (e:peeps)... looks like the business space at 69 Allen St (near Franklin) is going to be a new Falafel Bar! (If someone else has already posted this as news, I am posting only as my own personal celebration of this development). The relative dearth of inexpensive ethnic food joints in Allentown (no, Jim's Steak-Out doesn't count) is something that A and I were just bemoaning, and then, lo and behold, as if from our mouths to God's ear, here is the sign announcing a new Falafel Bar. Sweet! And we have it on pretty good authority that it's the same owners as the fabulous Falafel Bar on Elmwood. Can anyone confirm that?

Mmmm I can taste the Lebanese deliciousness already...
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Hope I'm not jinxing this place by posting. It would be a horrible mind-f--- for them to tease me and then start up a really lousy falafel joint.
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Category: weird science

01/23/08 05:45 - 19ºF - ID#43003

Filthy Lying Robots

A friend from NJ sent me this link to a story about an experimental complex system of robots that, by the 50th generation or so, evolved to communicate and even to brazenly deceive each other in order to survive. Crazy.



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Category: travel

01/16/08 09:56 - 30ºF - ID#42919

Paris -- Eiffel Tower

(e:joshua)'s posts from San Francisco (e.g., (e:joshua,42887) ) have inspired me to post some pics from my recent trip to France and Belgium. I'll start with a few highlights from my walk up the Eiffel Tower.

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12/31/07 04:26 - 32ºF - ID#42696

happy new blahhhh

hey peeps -- long time no post.

happy holi-daze... i'm feeling a little dazed myself today.

let's see, what's new(s)...?

great christmas gifts from ami... grey ribbed Calvin Klein sweater and... wait for it...

...a new Islanders jersey!! SWEET. she gave it to me early so i could wear it to the isles-sabres game on 12/12/07. isles lost but it was fun getting hostile looks at Irish Times and at the arena, ha.

went to long island to see the 'rents and g'rents and spent down time with my sisters. my youngest sister Jessica and her bf Dan met me in NYC and we saw the tree. we also went to the east village, ate in a fantastic tiny little Mexican restaurant and drank Christmas ales at Hop Devil, a beer bar.

after a few days on LI i actually missed buffalo. bizarre.

anyway back now and ami and i are trying to pack in some good times before i head off to europe for a few days (strasbourg, paris, brussels). we've succeeded so far but today is kinda blah.

the only interesting thing that's happened today -- save for a nice catching up phone call from chica -- is that i got mildly gay-bashed on the metro. maybe my fashion sense is too allentown, but i got called a fag and a fruit-cup on the train this afternoon. nice.

stay classy, buffalo.

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ExBuffalonian said to paul
That's some really beautiful and fresh looking produce. Regarding prices, I guess it's all relative....

tinypliny said to paul
Chicken Wing - Road Kill from Queen City....

tinypliny said to paul
Simple - just poach their chef. ;-)...

tinypliny said to mike
Okay, you are letting go. I am taking it on. That video was head-ache inducing......