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Category: travel

09/27/05 11:48 - 55ºF - ID#24547

KC

Interesting... so is it true that Beast Blog took down (e:jasons) reponse? I guess getting owned in a debate is too much to handle for the guys over at the Cindy Sheehan Memorial Think Tank. Someone please actually tell me if this is true, as I would never give Beast blog traffic.

Anyhow, I'm in Kansas City tonight, one day in KC sandwiched between 2 days in Chicago (don't ask me, I didn't plan this trip). Anyhow the good news is that in 2 more 1-way trips I'm going to have a free roundtrip to any of 60 destinations thanks to Southwest. Yeah, I got enough for a free roundtrip in oh.... 6 weeks of travel? Lol. Anyhow, I think I'm going to save this freebie until the spring... maybe my bro and I can go to California. I've wanted to see San Fran and the rest of the PCH drive up the coast to Seattle. Oh, for the record - Nissan cars absolutely suck compared to good ol' Dodges. I shit you not, the Nissan Sentra has a shittier ride than a Dodge Neon, and the Neon is $3-4k less. Don't be fooled when you are looking for your next car - I guarantee I get to test more cars than 99% of the Estrip audience, and right now the best '05 cars outside of luxury models from Germany and Japan are coming from the USA.

My first impression of Kansas City is - "omgwtfbbq this city is much bigger than I thought it was going to be!!!" Seriously, Kansas f'ing City has WAY more going on than Buffalo. My first thought on that is, how is it possible for a place thats so remote to be in such a better position than Buffalo is? The answer is, of course, is that for 50 years nobody has figured out how to properly run a city, or even a state, in Buffalo and New York. Maybe I'm overestimating Buffalo's worth on a national scale. Above and beyond the obvious size and economic differences here, the people here are immeasurably more civil than in New York. People in this part of the world are honest, polite, sincere - virtues that are completely lost to the population of the Northeast. For how sophisticated people in the northeast think they are, you'd be surprised about how much people in the northeast have to learn from people from the midwest and south. Wonderful, so you live in New York City? Thats great, but there is a great chance that compared to other Americans you are a piece of shit human being. Yeah, that sounds harsh, but from a seasoned traveler I can tell you that in many cases this is rule and not the exception.

Anyhow, I saw Arrowhead Stadium and whatever the stadium is called that the Royals play in.... Arrowhead is of course one of the most famous stadiums in the NFL and is very unique from an architectural standpoint. Any football fan would easily recognize the place, and I have to say that I would love to see a game there. Kansas City is also famous for its BBQ.... I've gotten a tip about a place called Arthur Bryant's - its THE place for KC style BBQ, and is set in a way that would be endearing to most Buffalonians - great food in a shitty neighborhood. The place has pictures of Presidents who have visited there, but its not exactly the most polished place on earth. They basically slap a pound of slow-cooked beef on a bun, slather it with their sauce, and serve it up. I'll let you know how it goes, and for sure I'm bringing home some of that sauce so I can compare to the stuff I brought back from Texas.



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Category: non-political

09/21/05 06:36 - 75ºF - ID#24546

New Avatar

I scrunched my face in the most painful possible way for my brothers new digicam, and I thought it would be fun to turn it into an avatar for everybody to enjoy. Yes, my skin is red... I am telling you I don't tan, I burn!
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Category: non-political

09/19/05 10:41 - 66ºF - ID#24545

Interesting

So yeah, (e:joshua) has been living in the proverbial basement lately, keeping his head down and grinding through some work and fun. I guess you could say that the past few weeks have been busy beyond belief. When I'm not travelling I am in Buffalo working at my company's office, OR I'm doing some leisure yet non-leisure travelling because of previous commitments. When your job requires you to travel a lot, travelling on the weekends, even for a short trip, is HIGHLY undesirable. Most people hear about what I do and say things like "OMG SO COOL!" and "Wow you get to see so many places!" Yeah, thats true, but think about it - taking a vacation requires travel... so how am I supposed to look forward to vacation? For me, vacation has to satisfy one of two requirements - A) The destination has to be FAR as hell away, like cross one of the two big oceans far, and/or B) Vacation for me = staying at home in bed.

So anyhow its interesting to me that (e:paul) has been having a dialogue with BuffaloPundit. Yeah, I saw that he was butthurt a little over me calling him liberal, but hey... whatever. Unbeknownst to him (or perhaps knownst?) he had an e-mail convo with me and I have to say that he seems like a nice guy and not too much unlike me with respect to his concern for our locality. One thing that I know for certain is that there are a lot of concerned people on all political sides who can't stand the apathy here. Unfortunately, if you read about last weeks Democratic primary for Mayor... it looks like the apathy continues or perhaps has gotten worse. What are we to do when we can't change because so many people don't care? We work harder dammit!!

Speaking of the mayoral race - there are other candidates besides Byron Brown on the Democratic ticket that I prefer. My thing is, it looks like we are going to pick between Brown and Helfer... I think Brown is going to win but its just going to be another vote for the status quo. I'm sure he is a sincere guy, but when I see "former NYS Senator" on the resume I get extremely nervous. I think its about time our area had a mayor that is from outside the same noxious political sphere that we are used to at this point. At this point I don't care if its a Democrat or a Republican... I need something different. That being said, you can probably guess which way I'm voting. I'm pencilling in either Bill Crosby or J.C. Watts.
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Category: non-political

09/08/05 10:07 - 68ºF - ID#24544

HELP!

SCREEEEEEEECH!

Problem solved, hopefully we'll have the car later on today. I'll let (e:jason) decide if he wants to disclose the how's and why's. Now I want to drink out of joy! I have some relatively important shit to do at work but they don't want me to be there while I'm distracted with this. Anyhow at least we have a starting point, and hopefully this thing will be back in our hands soon! Definitely relieved.

The Larsonmobile got stolen overnight, out of the lot adjacent to Wilson Farms and Globe Market. If you see a 1997 Plymouth Breeze with the license plate # APV4031 PLEASE call the police and report that you saw it!

My boss came all the way down from Clarence to pick me up for work... he saw my brother and I and simply told me to stay home and fix this. The police and the private number listed on the board next to the lot do not have the car. We've filed a report and are hopeful that the vehicle can be recovered.

My father is leaving work and driving to Buffalo this morning... (e:jason) and I are just smoking cigarettes and contemplating getting hammered. If you see two drunk guys on the 750 porch this afternoon you will know why!

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Category: non-political

09/07/05 06:36 - 78ºF - ID#24543

Ho Hum

I've been staying in Buffalo and working out of the office... the company has a backlog of audit documents to verify. Therefore Joshy gets to work his fingers frantically around the hefty Compaq laptop there to get the documents sorted out. In a way not travelling is nice because I get to sort out things at home I don't get an opportunity to do normally. I spent the last two days strolling the office, staring out the window, surfing the web, drinking coffee, petting my bosses golden retriever, thinking about the noise reduction headphones I want to buy, reading e-mails. I actually will have some real and substantial work to do the rest of the week, followed by more real and substantial work to do beginning next week, followed by a short trip to NC and Delaware.

I tried port wine last night... its my new favorite thing! Nothing will ever top a rocks glass filled with a proper single malt scotch though.

(e:paul) - I took the sign down because I'm having major beef with my landlady and I didn't want to give her another thing to potentially bitch about. Is there voting for this "best of" and when is it over? I'll hang it until the "best of" issue is out.
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Category: rant

09/01/05 10:04 - 71ºF - ID#24542

Yawnbomb

I can confirm that the stretch between I-76 between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg has THE worst radio airplay this side of Wyoming. I wanted to die a quick death during this stretch... I was saved by my freshly reorganized iPod Mini. I put some new beats on there... absolutely killer stuff. If its not painfully obvious, I love music and I pride myself on my skills concerning sorting out the quality from the dreck. I'M TALKING TO MOST OF YOU, INDIE ROCKERS! Its cool to be different, but its not cool to listen to shitty bands that people will easily dismiss and forget a few months after they grace the cover of Spin. A guilty pleasure of mine is The Killers, but I refuse to have it on my iPod as that evidence might implicate me for a musically-related crime. I put some of my friends' music on there as well as some new things. I decided to give The Shins a listen, I'm kind of mixed on them at the moment.

(e:alison) - hubba hubba! Do whats best for you and ignore the white noise. I feel so badly for you right now... keep your head up, do what you know is right and you'll be better off in no-time... I know it!

Beware! Some people are bound to hate what they are about to read, but as everybody is well-informed of... schadenfreude is my specialty.

Anyhow I thoroughly regret that I missed the media bias discussion. To suggest that there is no systematic bias towards the left from the major media is an insane statement that could only come from someone punchdrunk with Kool-Aid. (e:jason) was being unnecessarily diplomatic with such a reckless and uninformed statement. Seriously... if you think there is no media bias its obvious that you aren't actually reading or watching. This is the same mentality from people who, by the way, get their news from "The Daily Show" and think that Fox News is Satan's Own Channel because they don't shun the right-wing viewpoint like the others have had for 40 years. AkA, if you don't hate and disrespect the other viewpoint you must be supporting it and are the enemy. Have any liberals stepped aside and thought about how absurd that is? These libs haven't actually watched the channel that they supposedly hate (or hilariously enough, the channels that they'd love), and have the balls to talk about this subject like they know what the fuck they are talking about. Anyhow, go ahead and check out merely as a starting point from only ONE of the major offenders. I see people are also forgetting Rathergate, or actually are foolish enough to believe that "the documents were forged but the story was real." Absolutely hysterical. Actually, my friend Danny stated on the air a few years back that right-wing talk show hosts were racist, among other reckless and shameful statements that the network let slide by. Someone want to explain that one to mainstream Americans? CBS certainly didn't, and I'll share the video with anyone reading this that thinks I'm lying right now. Did anybody happen to notice the radical left-wing organizationally funded Cindy Sheehan the past month or so? The major media flooded us with it, and at minimum the same number of Americans watched it in horror and disbelief as she basically desecrated her own sons grave to tell us that she thinks Israel should get out of Palestine... among other politically charged things that confirmed that millions of Americans think she is full of shit. The latest poll that Americans took on the subject showed that just as many people were inclined to counter her as they were to support her. The pro-war groups would have loved to have gotten a TENTH of the exposure the major media gave Ms. Sheehan, but they didn't. They managed to succeed anyhow, without the help of the so-called "unbiased" media.

I could write a 400-page book about the NYT; it is my favorite paper to read when I am travelling. Unfortunately its not just them and the alphabets though... Baltimore Sun, L.A. Times (my second favorite), Boston Herald... and actually I think I'd be interested to read the San Fran Chronicle to see how they hold up. I only have time to read 4 or 5 newspapers a day, though! I could flood this website with links demonstrating what the rest of America already knows... saying that there is mo media bias is a futile argument akin to people arguing that the Earth was flat and not round, or that Einstein was wrong and in fact Newton and Mach were right. The very idea of an unbiased media is preposterous.
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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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mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

mike said to grandma
I'm so glad you made it safely!...

joe said to grandma
OMG welcome!...

joe said to mike
New years resolution to top (e:strip)?...