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Category: holiday

11/22/10 01:52 - 56.ºF - ID#53152

Black Friday

When Steely Dan released that song many moons ago, I don't think they were referring to the 3AM opening of Kohl's on Friday, Target's 4AM start or Walmart's midnight sale.

Does the success of your holiday hinge on getting a good place in line outside Best Buy in the middle of the night? Notice, I said holiday, singular, as it is one day.

Now, dear reader, lest you think I'm some kind of scrooge, let me assure I'm not. It's all good fun. I remember being up for quite a few showings of "A Christmas Story" on TBS as my wife and I assembled and wrapped the offerings for our three lovelies for Christmas morning. I'm pretty sure there is photographic evidence as to how healthy that was.

I guess I await the inevitable, the poor bastard who gets trampled in the doorway at Walmart trying to get a deep discounted HD television set. It tempers things a little.

I used to get a little frustrated with my own limitations financial wise when it came to the kids, but they've thankfully grown up with healthy perspectives in regards to the holiday.

I suppose the mania of early openings has good intentions. Being the skilled marketer that I am (yeah, right), I'd have my store run regular hours and let folks get the deals at civilized hours like 10:30.

I suppose that explains that come friday morning, I'll be sleeping in.
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Location: Buffalo, NY
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Category: work

11/17/10 06:52 - 46.ºF - ID#53117

I know I can do better

but at my age, can I wait?

image
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/17/10 06:52


Category: random

11/16/10 10:25 - 49.ºF - ID#53114

Long Dark Tea Time for the Soul

Ever been in a funk without realizing it initially.

Everything seems a little off, somewhat? Well, perhaps not, but it has seemed like that since, well, moving back to standard time from daylight savings time.

Haven't really slept well. Got hassled by Customs going into Canada? WTF? They are usually the polite ones. Went on a date that was such a train wreck we needed another date to confirm it. Listened to my boss pass out "good jobs" for a recent Halloween campaign at work to everybody on its sucess except the guy who created it and ran it (You guessed it), willingly took place in a media event thinking I'd come out of it with a decent souvenir for my troubles except my lovely coworkers hung me out to dry (so no picture of me getting kissed by a Sea Lion) (I know I can do better, but at my age, can I wait?). The night job has been a little stagnant, haven't work there (at the Arena) in a month, giving me an affinity to life as Patrick LaLime.

Think the time change affected a lot, still trying to catch up on that hour we were supposed to get back.

It will happen, just got to power through it. Made a good plan tonight though, made arrangements to take my younger daughter to Manhattan as a christmas gift.

Progress is a sign...just around the corner from the Light of Day, ya know? of course you do.
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/16/10 10:25


Category: random

11/05/10 04:34 - 37.ºF - ID#53063

Spit-ballin at the end of the week

I’m “shocked, shocked” that Keith Olbermann gave money to democratic candidates. While it was poor judgment to be so blatant, an experienced guy like Keith should be able to learn a few tricks from his short time at Fox. Those folks know how to funnel New$corp, indeed. Buchanon and Scarborough helped the GOP, but since Olbermann has an audience, perhaps it is headline related. Take all 3 off and at least be consistent there, MSNBC.

Because she wasn’t enough of a lightning rod as majority leader, Nancy Pelosi wants to run for minority leader in the next congress. After looking at Rep. Boehner, I’ve concluded that she isn’t nearly orange enough as the gentleman from Ohio has enough spray on tan going, I suspect his office is run by oompa-loompas. Never mind that she was pretty lacking as a leader

Rogers Communications supposedly wants more Bills games? This surprises me as the apathy during a visit in August was palpable. I can only imagine the yawns as the Bills are on a road to nowhere with their current stellar record. This keeps up the promotion will be something like come see the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers……take on the Buffalo Bills. I don’t think the Canadians are ready to attach “our” to that sentence yet. Hope the folks at Fox Sports have some crowd noise prerecorded as the Bills’ previous visits to the Rogers Centre have been almost librarial in their cavernousness.

There has been a gap in my ushering work at the Arena, which has been okay as my attention has needed to be extra focused on the full time gig in recent weeks. I think they need to put me back in soon as the home team hasn’t had it since. If ever there was a case of the pre-season being a big ball of hooey, the Sabres are proving to be it. Last in the standings, as they commemorate the first year like playing its their first year. There has to be more soul in the room other than Ryan Miller, but I haven’t seen it. Something has to change, else we just have a bunch of well-dressed losers. The contract policy about long term deals seems to have blown up in their faces as I bet Tyler Myers would like to see Hank Tallinder walk through the door. Has it really been eight years since Darcy Regier traded to get Chris Drury? almost. We need more than a few warm bodies to keep selling 40th anniversary t’s.

Voting on Election Day brought back SAT memories, filling in the circles and waiting for the scanner to do its trick. The partitions for kids voting a few years ago looked a little more up to the tasks than the ones employed at my polling spot on Tuesday. Too bad the company that made the machines with the levers disappeared because between the paper form, the folders, the cardboard partitions, it didn’t seem like an especially green way of voting.

I remember in 84 and 85 making tidy sums of college age beer money stringing for a handful of media organizations collecting voter information. A buddy and I drove around Olean to the polling places, reading numbers off the single big sheet that came off the back of the old school lever machines. Silly, yes, but no sooner than you can say “Reporting live from Little Valley,” the Labatt’s tasted quite good.
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Words: 580
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/05/10 04:34


Category: fatherman

10/29/10 03:05 - 46.ºF - ID#53027

one of the signs of the Apocalypse

Both daughters now have their learner's permits. I'm pretty sure just typing that sentence may have caused my Dad's hair to regrow
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/29/10 03:05


Category: random

10/21/10 10:30 - 41.ºF - ID#52993

I'm Mr-Mike and I approve this message

You can understand how the political process makes people yawn, become disinterested, or just go flat out postal in frustration. Not a day has gone by over the past few weeks, that I don’t come home to find anywhere from 3-7 glossy 9″ x 12″ mailers from all the candidates up for election in my area. The common thread is that everyone is, and I mean every document, craps on the opposition.

Regardless if it is a local, state, or federal election, the vitriol is directed at what a crappy person his or her opponent is. And pundits have the nerve to wonder why people don’t vote. I make it to the polling place because you are supposed to, but you can understand how people can become disengaged because the bulk of the candidates are.

It comes as no surprise to this independent that we are not sending choir boys to Washington, Albany or even County and City Hall. I long suspected there is something in the water at the State Capitol where Caribbean junkets are written off as “economic development” and 20 years in other public offices makes you an “outsider” in Albany.

I don’t care that two candidates for the same office hate each other and everything they stand for, don’t particularly care if they speak of each other with affection either. Stop polluting my mailbox with laminated crap!

The masses are cynical, if ill-informed for a reason. There was an almost throwaway bit of dialogue on The West Wing that I think is pretty on the nose: “Politicians are always running for something. When one campaign finishes, the next one begins.” Okay, it sounded better when Stockard Channing said it, but you get the idea.

Just once, I’d like to open the inbox and be greeted with something telling me what you are going to do if I vote for you. Not in blank platitudes, no pronoun-laden propositions, just tell me your plan. You want my vote? Fine, what is in it for me? Can my kids schools be safe from funding foolishness? Are you going to do something to improve the jobs situation? Can you help make the government work for the people? (And don’t say run it like a business). Can you quit spending on stuff for you when cutting programs that improve the quality of life here? Can you just quit spending what you ain’t got?

But I’m not counting on those questions getting answered anytime soon.

I’ll queue up on Election Day, but I’m tired of picking between “Who gives a rat’s ass?” and the “lesser of the established evils.”

I want it to be a case of why I should back somebody other than he or she isn’t the other guy.

Yet, that seems to be the reason to go this year.
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Last Modified: 10/21/10 10:30


Category: work

10/17/10 09:45 - 52.ºF - ID#52974

Just around the corner from being Overwhelmed...

lies something. Not sure what exactly. It's been a little busy around the old workplace. My department temporarily shrunk by one and all those responsibilities landed on my desk. We hired a replacement who couldn't be expected to dive in so the seasonal activity planning stayed with me. The past two weeks, I've also had to pinch it for our press person who was out until Friday.

My ex teased me about the large irish cranium coming in handy for the wearing of many hats. I've wracked up a decent streak with 3700 people over the past couple of weekend dates and I have next weekend to get through and I'm done.

Not a moment too soon. Staging something like this is educational to say the least and you are prone to pontificating as everybody who has done their part has helped put the pieces together, with all eyes looking in my direction. It has kept me up as the details have me talking through it a lot to make sure nothing gets overlooked.

Maybe it is self inflicted pressure, but the assurance for one of my work buds that it was going okay and I've done good wasn't quite as satisfying as it should have been. I think I had already moved on to the wheeling and dealing that needs to be done in the days ahead to make sure that the next weekend runs as well as this weekend.

Makes your head hurt. I half-jokingly told a student that the key to a successful event on a grand scale was to take your preventive Advil right at the outset.

Today I took two. It's a little freeing to have them out of the way, but you invest so much in the thinking that when the Beatles "Golden Slumbers" came on the car stereo it reduced me to a bit of a mess before I event got out of the parking lot.

To balance out how much that messes up with the child rearing schedule, I was trying to dress up time with number one son over the start of the weekend. I lucked into some hockey tickets for friday night which was good, as it felt like I was giving him a bit of bum's rush to immerse myself in the foolishness at the office.

Yeah, I worry, I'm irish, it's how I roll.
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/17/10 09:45


Category: music

10/10/10 12:55 - 63.ºF - ID#52929

The Wall

Phenomenal show at the Arena on Friday











Absolutely amazing
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Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/10/10 12:55


Category:

10/03/10 09:49 - 46.ºF - ID#52886

Election Day

The political process makes my head hurt. In an unintentional environmental statement, I called the board of elections to bail on both the republicans and democrats since the primaries are such a moot point lately.

Literally independent as I now have a card that says so.

So, Carl Paladino will “take a reporter out?” And Andrew Cuomo‘s minions are digging up old news on staffers working for Paladino. When you read about the exchanges in the press this week, you can’t help but wonder if either is really concerned with the abhorrent state the state is in. We are fooling ourselves if we think we are getting choir boys with any election and the media fixation with things that have nothing to do with governing doesn’t aid in the discussion. The state has been a poor business model for a very long time and so far, nobody has said what they are going to do about that. That matters more than ANY of the shenanigans being talked about this week.

With the transparency, power trips, and manipulation that was evident in plan site from the Espada episodes onward, you’d have to wonder who in their right mind would want the job?

The authorities are bloated, you have assemblymen saying things like “My boss, Shelly,” implying the peoples business was only getting attended to unless Mr. Silver said so, and in the flood of glossy postcards that filled my mailbox leading up to primary day, nobody was going to fix anything, nobody has a plan other than beating and insulting the guy they are running against.With candidates campaigning on things they DIDN’T completed like UB2020 and the party chairs picking their guys before the primaries, it’s a wonder people showed up to vote in the primaries at all. But if we get the leadership we deserve, as the saying goes, we must really suck.

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Last Modified: 10/03/10 09:49


Category: random

09/23/10 04:42 - 78.ºF - ID#52822

Midweek Mental Gumbo

These could have been separate entries, but I figured just empty the pockets and we can resume what we doing…

So, I drag my weary self to my Monday night Bikram yoga class. Yeah, if you know me at all, that is an interesting mental picture all in itself. Near empty room and I hide toward the back with the thought being I can see and hopefully not distract the more graceful with my elephant on a high-wire schtick. Young dude comes in and set his stuff right in front of me, despite the near empty room. So, for the next ninety minutes, I got a guy who thinks the three inches of boxers then the shorts is a good look. Really? Yank the damn things up fool! Nobody has ever pulled off that look.
Getting a kick out of those who are behind the “Anger is not policy” argument against the candidacy of Carl Paladino. While he won’t get a chance to try most of what he espousing, at least he appears to be for something. “Status Cuomo” (come on, you wish you thought of it) is trotting out the email “Scandal” that disappeared almost as fast as it appeared last summer. I’m sorry, democratic operatives are doing the trotting, but it won’t matter.
I don’t condone that stuff, but to pretend he is the only guy in the capital to have something question in either his in or out basket is folly too.
Think the Bills could sell Michael Vick to the fan base now?
Fun hearing the Hawaii 5-0 theme on TV the other night. Given the time the original was on, I was half tempted to call my folks and ask if I could stay up to Danno “book-em.” Like any pilot, full of exposition and former “Lost” actors who are suddenly available, but it shows some promise.
Back to the Bills for a second, maybe they should follow the Sabres model and switch uniforms back again. It worked for the Sabres as people spent a day or two talking about shirts and not about players.
Speaking of the Sabres, I think one of their poobahs was a little off in lamenting that a few newspaper columns drove Bass Pro away. I don’t they were really considering it for the same reasons Ikea didn’t want to build here. We’re not a destination point. Instead of being the nerd pestering the hot chick at the dance, the Canal side guys should (I know I’ve said it previously) look at the Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Baltimore waterfronts and see that one huge retailer isn’t going to change the dynamic. Give people water access, reasons to be there (like a beach, like a navy pier type thingy, a proportional version of Chelsea Piers and the money will come.
Remember when you stopped to parallel park, people would stop? Now, I see it all the time as everybody just loops around without regard for the car that is parking or the truck that might be coming the other way.

Sigh, and so it goes

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/mrmike/52822/Midweek_Mental_Gumbo.html
Words: 522
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 09/23/10 04:42


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paul said to mike
Its an official title. I had to get a degree for that....

paul said to mike
I'm still working on the same goals at 37....

paul said to lilho
So cute. When are you coming back?...

lilho said to mike
I wish I had been on that walk......