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Last Visit 2018-07-20 13:50:56 |Start Date 2004-08-23 03:24:14 |Comments 2,268 |Entries 803 |Images 808 |Sounds 1 |Videos 53 |Mobl 36 |

Category: weather

01/28/11 01:20 - 27.ºF - ID#53504

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. 34 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. Can you say eight?? My best childhood chum and I went on a record purchasing bender at National Record Mart with our proceeds.

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.

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This was mammoth snow and the blowing made things impressive until you had to move them. My childhood home 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.” It was a rare occurence as usually helping my Dad clear the driveway meant staying out of the line of fire (and usually inside), but I think even my brother was party of the relocation of the driveway campaign.

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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
Words: 358
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 01/28/11 01:29


Category: work

01/20/11 01:43 - 20.ºF - ID#53459

The Rubber Chicken circuit

I embark on my least favorite aspects of my job at a reception this evening. The business development or sponsorship stuff falls to me and that is okay, I can fake sincerity with the best of them. I'm pretty good at it, but that sort of thing can be exhausting.

There is a raft of networking events here and I guess that is good, but seeing the facebook note about me being an "Executive to Connect" with makes me laugh.

Those of us with that distinction have to man a table and wait for people who attended come and network, hopefully become a sponsor or something like that.

The whole exercise reminds of those personal ads on late night tv, the phone services and what not. I'm thinking I should start one to encourage partnerships.

"Hi, I'm Mike and you want my public. People came to me over 400,000 times last year and signed up for more. You need my marketing demographic, you crave their power, you want them to scream your name. Come by, say hi, meet my people (eye wink, light glistening off tease.) Thousands play with our animals, shouldn't you."

Well maybe not, but it is easy for your mind to go out for a long walk when some carpeting salesman is telling you how hard it is to sell fiber based padding in these market conditions.

Hopefully, stuff comes from it that makes it worth it, but by the 12th or 13th commemorative pen, I'll be thinking about getting home in time for the Office.

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Permalink: The_Rubber_Chicken_circuit.html
Words: 258
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 01/20/11 01:43


Category:

01/13/11 02:36 - 18.ºF - ID#53432

Joy Division

“A female Jewish democratic congresswo­man representi­ng a conservati­ve district was saved by a gay Latino male rushing toward bullets. Meanwhile, the gunman was disarmed by a woman who’d already been shot by the gunman while a guy who was there and armed was deciding whether or not to use his handgun for defense. I believe some stereotype­s have been shattered here.”

You would hope. While the events in Tucson over the weekend resulted in a lot of theme music and serious graphics, you also hope the dialogue gets a little more civil. Normally, a social media junkie, I turned away a bit as the postings got more raw and bitter.

Immediately, linguistic finger pointing and politicizing seemed to become the order of the day. The forums have quickly denigrated into a liberal Dems vs. arch con republican bashing.

There are ways to be a person and the folks around Congresswoman Gifford showed that. Here’s hoping those with microphones, jargon laden websites, and airtime do the same. It says something about the human condition that we didn’t have any outrage about that stuff till now. A social media forum tonight showed me inroads these dialogues are making, which I still believe to be a good thing. But I remember when the attempt on President Reagan’s life happened. It was a “everybody’s concerned” atmosphere. The public air seemed devoid out any rancor, just concern that the President was alright and by extension the country was okay. It’s okay to disagree, in fact, we’re supposed to, but we are supposed to be able to talk it out.

That is troubling for all the obvious reasons. Hopefully, the calls to quiet the metaphors will be heeded.
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Permalink: Joy_Division.html
Words: 293
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 01/13/11 02:36


Category: sports

01/03/11 05:52 - 30.ºF - ID#53388

Blaming Canada

The World Juniors Hockey Tourney formally kicked off last Sunday at the arena. I spent the the bulk of the week camped at sections 305-306 for the day.

And I’m glad I have the next day off. Overall, it was an entertaining experience. One actual brawl between a quartet of ugly americans over seats was thankfully ended before anybody got hurt. It did take a little bit for my nerves to resume normal operations. This aging usher isn’t crazy about that sort of fun when I’m outnumbered by a bunch of guys hellbent on proving how tough they are. Thankfully for swift security response, I could employ my older brother’s floor hockey technique of avoiding the actual action, but looking busy at the same time.

That was to start my third game of the day, the eventual US victory over Finland. Understand, this is basically a big Canadian party and much of the crowd was left over from Canada’s win over Russia (that was the best game of the day.). The building was jammed and energized and felt like a hockey game. I got a feeling we were looking at the two best teams. The first game of the day was between Switzerland and Germany and was played to a roughly half full arena. Some of the crowd was actually there for that, others were there to check their sightlines for the Canadian/Russian battle at 4.

I don’t know if the Bills games had anything to do with it, or if the Fins aren’t a big name opponent, but it was a little off to see the USA playing in prime time on National television in both the US and Canada (and presumably Finland) and the place wasn’t entirely full. If you are in to hockey at all and have the post Christmas means, I’d recommend checking it out. For the same reason college basketball is more fun than the pros, these young bucks move. International rules means fewer offsides, no fights, arguments get broken up quick, so the game really does move along.

And even the trash talk is mostly good natured, one of the canadian partisans invented the fried bologna/pretzel sandwich at the concession stand and stood eating that gastrointestinal miracle while explaining how if Finland beat the US, that would be good for the tourney. That bit of barstool philosophy was impossible to be an audience to without laughing.
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Permalink: Blaming_Canada.html
Words: 412
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 01/03/11 05:52


Category: holidays

12/24/10 11:06 - 23.ºF - ID#53329

Happy Christmas

Hope there is some merriment to be found this weekend for everybody. In recent years, Christmas and I haven't always gotten along. From the nonsense of Black Friday, to the seas of people spending money they don't have, to being afraid of coming up short for my own lovely trio, to fractured family dynamics, it ain't always easy. But my amazing eldest daughter put things into some nice perspective. "You know, Dad, the best part is just the hanging out."

Little twerp is right. Hope everybody finds a little light, in spite of those who have gone off the deep end. In the meantime, this isn't the greatest video but the song is one of the few holiday songs that doesn't get overplayed.



Hope to see some (e:peeps) at for the NYE bash - I'll be a late arrival, moonlighting at the arena for the hockey tournament.

Ah, what the hell, got to have a fun one in there too



Merry Christmas, folks
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Permalink: Happy_Christmas.html
Words: 167
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/24/10 11:14


Category: winter

12/14/10 10:46 - 19.ºF - ID#53275

Behold the warming power of EStrip

Came out of work and waded through the snow up to my car and had to snap this pic of my car. If ever the power of this little community is doubted, check it out, together we can melt

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Permalink: Behold_the_warming_power_of_EStrip.html
Words: 41
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/14/10 10:46


Category: holiday

12/12/10 09:50 - 35.ºF - ID#53253

Christmas Holiday Lights

done really cool can be found here. This is out on Strickler Road in Clarence, but it is a sight. The picture doesn't do it justice, but the homeowner did some serious programming, lights of all types are set to music, broadcast on his own radio station.

It is really well done, go, now....
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Permalink: Christmas_Holiday_Lights.html
Words: 57
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/12/10 09:50


Category: holiday music

12/09/10 01:39 - 22.ºF - ID#53227

Seasonal Tidings

As I am already tired of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Santa, Baby", I would like present EStrip with a seasonal palate cleanser



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Permalink: Seasonal_Tidings.html
Words: 24
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/09/10 01:39


Category: home

12/01/10 04:33 - 33.ºF - ID#53187

I'm Batman

Deja Vu of the Nocturnal Animal Kind. This happened once before but apparently I didn't learn anything.

A close encounter of the nocturnal animal kind.

A bat got into my apartment last night. It was a stormy night with all the wind and whatnot. I wasn’t suspecting a thing until about 2:00 am, I heard the unmistakeable sound of something bumping up against the Venetian blind in my bed room.

Ironic, considering I had watched the Dark Knight with my kids earlier. I pretty much vibrated out of bed and into the living room where I retrieved my excalibur! (the kitchen broom). I turned on the lights and sure enough, this was a bat who took a wrong turn and was just looking for the exit.

He (I’m assuming it was a he as he didn’t stop to ask directions) flew in ovals in my living room so I opened my apartment door and the door to the porch across the hall. Ever mindful of my professional station, I just wanted him to find the door without my turning into Jim Lorentz (think about it aging Sabres fans).

Finally, after about four tries, he bounced off my broom and headed for the dark outside. I quickly closed the doors in a less than dignified manner for a man of my years and tried to not hyperventilate.

Given that it was raining, there is a slight leak in my living room ceiling and one of the building’s drains goes past my window, all those sounds seem to magnify immediately afterwards, rendering quality sleep an elusive thing after that.

“What if there is a second one???” “How the hell did the first one get in?” The mind races.

Of course, the rain outside the window, the leaky tub in my bathroom, and the leak the landlord is fixing this morning are all making greater impressions on mind at this point. Did the bat have a wingman?

Poking my broom stick into my closets (as I put every light in the place on) repeatedly reveal no other intruders.

Kept the broom by the bedside, just in case…
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Permalink: I_m_Batman.html
Words: 357
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/01/10 04:33


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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Permalink: Black_Friday.html
Words: 239
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/22/10 01:52


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