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Category: weather

01/28/10 10:51 - 23ºF - ID#50920

The Blizzard of '77

Sure, it stunk getting into work this morning, then I got the reminder about this lovely storm from somebody who had the termerity to not be alive when it hit. 33 years ago today, I got a whiff of capitalism. Neighbors went to Florida two days before and hired me to shovel their driveway while they were away, figuring they'd pay me for a couple of passes. Then the Blizzard of '77 hit. Without sounding too old man like (since I know most of you weren't here yet), that was a storm. Can you say eight trips?? My best childhood chum and I went on a record purchasing bender at National Record Mart with our proceeds.

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Till that storm, helping my dad with the snow removal largely consisted of staying out of the way while he ran our behemoth of a snow blower. Mom would say "perhaps you should help your dad." I could sincerely reply "I am" while watching tv. This made sense as the snowblower was a big one and the last thing you needed while running it was somebody else "helping" at one end of the driveway.

This was mammoth snow and the blowing made things impressive until you had to move them. My childhood had such an odd shape that a roughly eight foot wall formed outside the back door, but left enough of a canal to the garage that we could make it to the garage to access our "Battery of snow-fighting equipment."

The winds made it a multiple day chore, but by the time the worst was over, I was an ace snowblower pilot and using that on those Florida bound neighbors, who are still stuck listening to everybody else's Blizzard tales.

My longtime partner and crime used the almost two weeks off from school on some arctic architectural pursuits, constructing a snow fort still legendary in its expanse, two floors, complete with slide to get from the balcony level down to the mezzanine.

Even the neighborhood bully was impressed



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Permalink: The_Blizzard_of_77.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: random

01/25/10 02:40 - ID#50905

Extreme Home the Mania

I'm a bad buffalonian

I took a little good natured guff about not being over the moon about the finished episode of the Buffalo edition of "Extreme Home Makeover." I certainly to mean to be negative, I strive more for a sense of pragmatism. It was a great week, especially for an area that doesn't see that many great weeks. You can barely see City Hall from Massachusetts Ave., and there is more than just a little metaphor for that.

I don't begrudge the Powell Family at all. I think it's great for that amount of light to get into a space where precious little was shown before. It's terrific for the City to be national tv with nary a snow joke, but it, when all was said and done, a tv show.

More people have used the word momentum since the broadcast schedule was announced, like there is some great cosmic effect taking place. We had a beautiful week and the highlights made for a nice program, mercifully free of downtown talking heads who didn't contribute anything anyway. Somehow, that never slows them down from getting face time typically.

I read all the sound bytes from City Leaders during the production and with the amount of smoke being blown, it's lucky the Powells don't need a humidor. "We can keep it going," "We should build upon this," and from a councilman who controls the purse strings for just such ventures: "We should do our own on the east side." Yeah, sure, I'll cop to being a bit of a Deputy Downer on this one. You betcha, we should do this on the east side. A former classmate of mine pointed out that it was November when this was done.

Understood, but hey momentum is momentum, you can plan a little. I'll eat those words a little as David Stapleton, owner of David Homes, is rallying his considerable forces. That is great, laudable and impressive and that will work as Push Buffalo, Buffalo Reuse and Stapleton lead a considerable charge. He said he was going to make it happen and he backed that up. If he ran for office, I'd vote for him.

It came up in a discussion that we are stuck in a silver bullet mentality and it is true. From the casino, to Bass Pro, to new convention centers, and hypothetical headquarters for cable companies that have ceased to be, to the 42 year old newspaper that exclaims "Buffalo Waterfront ready to take off!" the photo ops have been a plenty and the results, not so much. You want the photo fine, but first find the scumbag who sold Mrs. Powell the place in such disrepair.

An area got a second chance at life and I'm looking forward to the sequel, but the work that was done that week was infinitely more important that any program will ever be. Sure a few narcissists got on tv for showing up, but they showed up and that is what was truly important.

I'm a bad buffalonian

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Permalink: Extreme_Home_the_Mania.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: random

01/21/10 03:04 - ID#50874

Heckzapoppin!

With all the southern accents running the Buffalo Bills at the moment, the Bills should be ready for Friday Night Lights next season.

Had she run any kind of decent campaign, Martha Coakley could have won and spared us a bunch of pointless analysis and Kennedy hand-wringing. I don't think it's a referendum on anything other than the new Senator Centerfold ran a perfect campaign. Eventually politicos will realize that every vote counts.

The Democrats are undisciplined,the bills they do pass will be so watered down, but that faucet was turned on long ago.

The pettiness of the state government is amazing. Because of complex nature of charter school legislation, the state senate decided not to act on a bill that would have yielded much needed school funding, when they've been misfunding regular schools for years. Lottery proceeds were supposed to be additional monies there, folks. It would be nice to see stipends, raises, committee money, hell, copier repairs slow down a little there. We're going to have to live with this and it would be nice to see the folks in Albany suffer and sacrifice like us a little. Or, at very least, lose an authority or two. Can we have a federal control board for Albany, yet?

Been hustling goodies for a work benefit. When the economy went to hell, big time sponsors got increasingly rare and even donors are getting tight.Now, the baskets are getting smaller. It's getting tougher to be a huckster. My younger sister works for Credit Suisse in NYC and says it's like nothing happened in there. Sadly, that also explains what is happening out here too. The work benefit should be pretty good, a nice happy hour style benefit. Let me know if you wish to partake.

The Jay/Conan nonsense has been a little ridiculous. The penultimate thing for me was NBC's lawyers wanting Conan to say only nice things about NBC. Wonder if they should give some thought toward watching what their own executives say as that does the real damage.

Friday yet?




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Category: work

01/15/10 04:46 - 35ºF - ID#50823

Some of the kids from around the office

Some of the attractive folk from some of the nearby cubicles:



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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: random

01/11/10 08:00 - 19ºF - ID#50797

Breaking News

needs to be redefined. With all the snow lately, my car keeps saying "Low traction" because apparently the No Shit light is burnt out.

For example, Mark McGwire admits to steriod use when he broke the home run record? Really? whodathunkit? To watch him as an Oakland A, he could swing for sure, but like Bonds before him, he made the transition from gangly to Popeye before our eyes. That was more than eating right and lifting a little

Sarah Palin signs with Fox News. Seriously, I'm gobsmacked, didn't see that one coming.

In a related note, the Pope apparently is still Catholic and Generalissimo Franco is still dead.

"Nothing new to report in the Bills and Bill Cowher..." then why report it?? Airtime is at such a premium that most of the reports on the local news sights segue off to their websites and nondevelopments warrant hyping? If you got nothing to say about the matter, move on. This is a philosophy that will help keep food on your plate at the dinner table as well. tell what we need to know, like the details behind the circus of the Erie County Legislature or even if the funeral procession for Gumby's deceased founder will all move on their right leg only.

In other news, bears, if left to their own devices, will shit in the woods.

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Permalink: Breaking_News.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: random

01/09/10 11:01 - 11ºF - ID#50778

New Year, New Rules

The first full work week of the new year felt like everybody was getting repatrioted to their desks. I wasn't completely off for the holidays like some folks, but still it felt like the five days were 12 days long.

We have all the snow that everybody was pining for, enough so that I went to kick a little off the back of my car, a small continental shelf of ice and snow dropped out of my wheel well. The persistent cold does alter your reality. After a string of days in the teens, I saw a forecast for a day in the twenties and it seemed downright balmy. Skipped the hat, left the second scarf at home and turned the heat in the car down a notch. That brings me to one of Murphy's automotive laws, you never lose a headlight when the temp is over 40. It is always bitterly cold and you have to move some metal parts in that cold that cannot be manipulated with gloves on. Somewhere, the automotive gods chuckle.

I occasionally get Mitch Albom's column through a variety of sources and his recent "new rules" column cracked me up, sort of a practical nod to Bill Maher's feature, however indirectly. I didn't agree with every tenet, but he did give a lot of food for thought. Here's what I'd like to see:

Politicos have to know what the word "reform" actually means. Many use it like something is going to change, but most often for them it just means "we'll be the ones screwing you now." Reading about shenanigans in the Erie County Legislature from thursday, no fewer than four speakers used that word in dubious context. And so it goes.

I'd like the Buffalo Bills to quit playing with us. I know Bill Cowher is positioning himself for his optimal next job, and the Bills quest is still in its early stages. While Cowher to the Bills would be great, I don't think it's going to happen. But on the upside, the last winning Bills Coach, Wade Phillips, will probably be available the moment the Cowboys lose. So there are always options. I got a feeling, some coordinator somewhere will be the next guy.

Good thing the Sabres are doing well. They have been a lot more fun this year than in the past two seasons, but they make me nervous still when trying to sit on a lead. Our guys took the third period against the Leafs off and played defense, decent defense, but the Laffs nearly got back into it. The goalie situation is fine, defensively life is good, but Darcy should find the team another offensive threat and who knows where things can go.

Albom mentioned something in his column about Fox, MSNBC, and CNN going off the air at 6. I think they can stay on, but they need to just keep covering news. Rachel Maddow can keep her show since she's smarter than all of the others collectively, but I think the prison hologram in Superman II can accommodate Hannity, King, O'Reilly, Olbermann, Matthews, and even Wolf (as any professional broadcaster who uses "UM" as much as he does could use some downtime.

NBC screwed up with Jay Leno and Conan O'brien. And they continue to screw up, by not figuring this out. Who couldn't see that coming? Dragging out the "what's next?" only makes the Law and Order network (since they will be showing a lot of that soon) look even dumber. I'm thinking it's ultimately going to mean Conan going to Fox as Jay won't want just 30 minutes. Can't see that as an answer as that would mean the Jimmy Fallon show, which has become pretty good, would get blasted to 1:05 am, making it worth a little less.

The local company bought all the tickets to a meaningless football game last week, then announced it was raising rates. That's timing for you.
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Permalink: New_Year_New_Rules.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: weather

01/04/10 04:57 - 16ºF - ID#50738

Snow is a four letter word

My inner crumudgeon is showing. We had a heavy snow fall, which is no big deal. We get them every year, and the snow is fine. Never had an issue with it as it is a fact of life living in this region. I do think the Weather Channel might be better served by going some place where this is news as opposed to the skulking around they've been doing in regions south of the city.

I still chuckle remembering my mom telling the 12 year old version of me that perhaps I should help my father with the driveway. In all seriousness, I was able to reply that I was and I went back to watching tv. I knew that my Dad liked fewer targets when running the snowblower.

Like I said, I have no snow issues. It's the effect it has on some folk that is troubling. I think it should be a ticketable offense if you can't be bothered to clean the snowdrift off your car without the aid of your gas pedal.

The false bravado that creeps up in here strikes me funny as well. When that huge storm blew through the East Coast, there were a number of Western New York based facebook posts that lamented "Where's Ours?" like we got gyped out of the power failures, traffic accidents and school closings. Personally, I was happy to sit that one out.

We got our cold and snow and I read about some moron who took three kids to the Bills game only to pass out in a snowbank because he's a "such a fan". Bet the kids had a great time standing next to the snowbank wondering what happened.

Trouble with this is that now that the holidays are behind us, it's not a White Christmas, just snow. It has some novelty at the moment, but right now it looks nice outside my office window. The Park is nice and unspoiled, but that is a transitory state. It's beautiful, but the beauty tends to make some folks a little myopic.

It was fun to watch the Bills play in it yesterday as the snow on tv made the pros look like a pickup game. It was not so fun to look at my windows facing Delaware and see them iced over.

Going to go tubing sometime because that is cool,and have some other outdoors exploration planned, but please unless you are Bing Crosby or Andy Williams, don't use phrases like "Winter Wonderland." You sound like an idiot.
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Permalink: Snow_is_a_four_letter_word.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY


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