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Last Visit 2011-01-17 23:04:23 |Start Date 2004-11-03 18:51:40 |Comments 1,935 |Entries 529 |Images 250 |Videos 22 |

Category: non-political

08/29/05 03:07 - ID#24541

Covert Ops

So, in the interest of seeing what the blog is up against for "Best Of" category I decided to inspect the other sites to see what "we" are up against.

1. buffalopundit.com - interesting blog. I like the focus on local issues since most people don't give a shit about it around here, or at most feign interest in order to maintain "street cred." Its maintained by a liberal who doesn't mind letting partisanship get in the way of the real debate on occasion. However, I will give him credit for being consistant on local and state government corruption. This guy hates Byron Brown.

2. buffalo rising - I'd put this blog a couple notches on top of buffalopundit. Why? Because its focused solely on local issues and filters out the local political bullshit that all of us are freaking tired of. I'd even use the word "awesome" to describe the sites content and design... kudos to whoever manages that thing.

Checking out the local blogsites reminds me of how I'd love to join WNY Coalition for Progress if it wasn't so jawdroppingly, blatantly politically insane. Nonpartisan my ass... I mean really... to even suggest such a thing as they do in their "About Us" link is laughable. I would absolutely love to be part of their WNY Developent and Economic Affairs group... what a shame. Are there any REAL non-partisan groups out there to join?
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Category: non-political

08/27/05 02:12 - 74ºF - ID#24540

The Fest

The fest is on, the sign is up, and my block is taken over by a bunch of hippies and older folks buying knick knacks. Its cool though.

But seriously though, tie dye is waaaaay played out.
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Category: non-political

08/26/05 04:59 - 85ºF - ID#24539

I'm baaaaack!

I'm back from California... its the only place I visit that I'm sad when I leave. I came back with some color though!

My apartment is a freakin' war zone... its in dire, dire shape. I'm never around to take care of it so eventually I have to suck it up and take like 4 hours of my precious Buffalo time to get it right. The best part of the project is going to be when I throw my old couch over the side of the porch.

I have mixed feelings on the Elmwood Art Festival. For two days my block is flooded with people and there is nowhere to park. This is why once the car is parked it ain't moving until the festival is gone.

P.S. Is now the perfect time to hang up the elmwoodstrip.com sign (e:paul)? I have no idea why Jay didn't hang it up before but I think with the festival and all it should be proper time to get some exposure.

For those of you who have never tried them - Jet teas from Spot are the best non-bean based thing on their menu hands down. I thoroughly encourage trying strawberry-banana or cran-raz. You'll thank me later with a small sack of green stuff to share... right? RIGHT?!

I think I leave again Tues. but I'm not sure. Until then I'm going to be bunkered up at 750. And no, my apt. will still probably not be clean.


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Category: travel

08/22/05 08:37 - ID#24538

Death Valley Pt. 2

Little did I know that in a six hour period I was going to experience a SIXTY degree temperature difference! Oh... and between my beach time and desert time I am fucking BURRRRNED... I planned on going to the beach again today but screw that! Tomorrow our audit got cancelled so I have an entire day to myself, my suntan lotion, my book, and my beach. I am coming back to Buffalo with color one way or another... aka red or brown.

This place was one of the most beautiful and humbling places I've ever been to. If you've never really appreciated the power of nature to give and to take away (like me, for example) then you'd be amazed by Death Valley. Its amazing to think that this virtually inhabitable place once was a lush forest and part of a coastal plateau - and at that time our continent was positioned at the equator. Over the course of 570 million years this place has made and eroded away entire mountain ranges, massive lakes have vanished and reappeared, life forms have come and gone... this place was here hundreds of millions of years before and after the dinosaurs. Hell, people lived here 5,000 years before the Egyptians fully blossomed.

To start, it was 115 degrees in the shade, and at the valley floor it was pushing 125.... ouch. When somebody says "Yeah, its 125 out" I'm telling you its meaningless until you are there yourself. The most accurate way of describing it is this - if you've ever opened the oven and put your hands out, you know that heat? Imagine being immersed in it. Outside of the National Park along our way we saw signs that read "Turn of A/C for next 15 miles to avoid overheating" (lol, suuuure buddy), and my personal favorite - "No Services For 72 Miles" - I hope you filled your tank up!

My work buddy and I met the president of my company and his wife out at Death Valley. It was nice - he had the foresight to bring a cooler filled with ice and Aquafina. We bought some shit, then took a drive to Badwater Basin, which at the bottom is the both the 2nd lowest point below sea level and one of the hottest places on Planet Earth. I took some rocks from the floor - I wish I knew somebody who knew a lot about rocks - I have some really neat looking stuff.

I have 168 high resolution images taken with a 3mp digital camera on my iPod right now. Most of them would make incredible desktop images. If anybody is interested in seeing some of them in high res form all you need to do is ask, and I'll send you as many as you want. Here is a sampling from our ride there, our stay, and our ride out of the desert.

Here are the gas prices at the last gas station you see for 80 miles.



This is a cropped image showing 8-10 miles of empty road directly ahead through the desert.



Another cropped image of a rock formation showing some evidence of an ancient body of water along our way.



The desert is practially Mars in some spots!



Here is an image of some crazy bastard blowing through the valley floor in his car.



An image of the valley floor, with an up close shot of the ancient salt formations.



Here is my boss, my co-worker Julio and myself standing in the 125 degree heat!



In the center of this image you can barely make out a rectangular "SEA LEVEL" sign - hard to believe that its 300 feet in the air!



Driving through the desert and leaving the park.



Sunset in the desert, baby!


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Category: travel

08/21/05 12:41 - 78ºF - ID#24537

Death Valley

So, I got paid before I expected... we are going to go to Death Valley today! its 313 miles from our hotel one way, but there is a spot there that is the lowest point in the USA - 250 feet below sea level. Its also *the* hottest part of the United States, has some totally incredible desert scenery w/mountain ranges. Supposedly it gets to 110+ degrees out there. We're going to take pictures and I'll link them here later!

- Joshy Wishy Washy (now you know what my grandma called me when I was growing up)
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Category: travel

08/20/05 02:12 - 75ºF - ID#24536

Ixnay Egasvay

Yeah... so we land in LA last night.... gas is 3 bucks a gallon. Seeing as the Vegas trip was going to cost out of our pockets for fuel, it was smarter to just stay where we are. AKA, within walking distance from the beach. Why spend 40 each on a round trip just to chill when we can chill at the beach here for free?

Here's some images - they are about 250k so I am going to have to link them from their URL.

First image is from the car, on our way to the hotel.


This second picture is me at the Manhattan Beach Pier... about a quarter mile from our pseudo-beachfront hotel room.



Not a bad place to be stuck in!

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Category: travel

08/18/05 09:13 - 77ºF - ID#24535

Houston

Today we left San Antonio and drove 200 miles to Houston. Next stop tomorrow is Los Angeles with a side trip to Las Vegas for some fun and good ol' fashion sinning!

You know, it seems like every week there is another (e:peep) complaining about how poor they are. My suggestion is to move to Houston and run like hell from Buffalo. If you've ever been to Atlanta you know that even the suburbs have skysrapers, but Houston is like Atlanta times five in that regard. There are at least three separate "downtown" areas within the inner loop. Today I saw the Enron building and really really wanted to get a picture next to the square E, but my work buddy wasn't down for it. I also saw Reliant Stadium - if you are a Bills fan like I am you would have been in awe if you were with me.

Fun facts about where I am now -

1. 4th largest city in the USA (fastest growing in the 20th century)
2. More than 90 languages spoken in the area
3. 13 Fortune 500 companies are headquartered here
4. 35 different national cuisines available
5. One of only 5 U.S. cities to have resident companies in the 4 major performing arts (symphony, ballet, live theatre and grand opera for the home gamers keeping score)
6. 11 museums
7. 240,000 college students in the area (yeah... um... the city of Buffalo is what, 270-290,000 citizens total? the burbs don't count)

I suppose the entire state of Texas might apply here, but Houston is THE single most bustling and thriving city I've been to thus far. Not NYC, not LA, not Atlanta, not Chicago, not Washington. Everything is brand-spanking new and there is new construction going on everywhere. There has GOT to be a lot of jobs here. You are near the coast, you have a football team with what might be the nicest and most immaculate sporting venue on Planet Earth, you have South Padre Island if you want to get your freak on, you have Johnson Space Center, various cultural things to check out, you have nice weather, this is also a hub for major international travel... truly an amazing city with deep, deep pockets.

Anyhow, by this time tomorrow my feet will be in the Pacific Ocean. <sarcasm>My job is incredibly hard sometimes.</sarcasm> Actually this is the first time that because of work I'll not be able to come home for the weekend... which I completely and utterly hate more than anything. At least if I'm stuck having to be out and about it will be somewhere incredibly pleasant. We stay at a hotel thats within walking distance from the surf and sand.

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Category: travel

08/17/05 08:25 - 76ºF - ID#24534

Texas

I got into Dallas/Ft. Worth last night after 1AM... Atlanta airport is bar none the worst in the United States when it comes to delays. Dallas airport is HUGE... bigger than Atlanta. 7 main terminals plus a separate off-site terminal only for the car rentals. Today in Central Texas it was 100 degrees w/little humidity - it was actually not too bad.

We audited a facility only a couple miles away from Crawford, TX and the infamously silly Cindy Sheehan fiasco. To an extent I think she is being used by the press, which I think is an absolute shame. I feel badly for her. I don't particularly care about peoples opinions for or against the war, but I think we can all agree that this situation is pathetic because it has made her A)family disavow her in writing, including her own grandparents B) husband divorce her, C) an eager and willing pawn for the mainstream media. CNN, ABC, NBC are eating this up yet its utterly meaningless and ratings couldn't be lower... so its also evident that noone is watching. She got to talk to the President once already and even accepted a kiss on the cheeck from him... nobody cares about her politics concerning Israel, and the most interesting part of this whole thing is that she intentionally wanted the media attention and now has the balls to complain about it! None of the locals I asked could have cared less about Cindy Sheehan, and if you believe in ratings that also holds true for the USA.

In general Texas is a beautiful state - people here are very friendly. There are lots of Texas stereotypes and none of them are true, except in rare instances that make people who know nothing about Texas pipe up and talk basically a lot of nonsense. Its a massive state with plenty of prarieland that stretches for miles and miles. Truly beautiful scenery. We ate that this authentic Texas-style BBQ place for lunch.... it was ridiculously good. I am going to learn how to make brisket now! Of course, the ladies here are gorgeous and are actually ladies, unlike plenty of specimen from the north. Its about as affordable to live here as it is to live in Buffalo, there is more opportunity, theres plenty of art-inclined things to check out here, including a great symphony orchestra - I think Texas jumped above Georgia on my list.
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Category: astonished

08/12/05 12:18 - 75ºF - ID#24533

Doubleyew Tee Eff

Southwest Airlines opens their online check-in at 12:01. I print my tickets out at 12:02, and I am NUMBER TEN!!!!

What does that mean?

It means that there are nine people that are apparently more obsessive/compulsive about being in the "A" group than I am.

I'm number one with my connecting flight from Baltimore from Buffalo though! What a coup. I hate open seating on airplanes.
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08/11/05 08:00 - 78ºF - ID#24532

Technical Problems

(e:paul) - I'm using an iBook G4, and I keep getting this object error... and the Freedom Chat will not work properly - i.e. when I type something in it will not appear. Odd - This is the first time I've had a problem. I'm using some version of IE. I wonder if Java is not installed on this machine or something. These are the problems I usually have (e:jason) solve for me.

(e:jason) no I have not downloaded the David Banner track yet - but I will!

I freely admit that my job has a lot of interesting benefits but there are weeks where the glamour is non-existant. In particular, this little town I'm in now makes me want to slit my throat. 11,000 people, and my choices for dinner tonight were chinese buffet (in the middle of nowhere in NC, fuck that), Wendy's or Bojangle's. We chose Bojangle's. If you want fried chicken I think that Popeye's is infinitely better.

Anyhow Wal-Mart is an omnipresent monolith - there is no escape. Seriously... there is nothing here but there is a Wal-Mart supercenter. To my surprise, you can buy beer at Wal-Mart, so I bought a six-pack of Tecate for $5.14! Bling bling. I'm going to drink myself to sleep, get up early, and I'll be back in Buffalo by 6PM.

I'm looking forward to Las Vegas next weekend. See thats what I signed up for when I joined my company! Free vacations in cool spots because you have to be there for work anyhow.
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