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Category: weather

01/04/12 10:24 - ID#55847

Six Degrees

Alright, I need a word with you, yeah, you, the yahoo who posted on his Facebook or Twitter feed to "Bring it On!" with the forecasts of cold and snow. You, dear sir, are a schmuck! You complacent, commuter cup swilling, jug head. I thought of you while waiting for AAA Tuesday morning. I enjoy the seasons to be sure, but those who somehow measure their manhood by snow piles I think need to be smacked back to consciousness, preferably with something frosty. Changing tires is not a six degree sort of activity.
Yes, we have handled snow just fine, but 6 degrees is cold, too cold to enjoy the snow for very long.

It's cold, especially if you develop a car issue, as mine did, on the way to work, for the first time in almost a week, on a busy street, during rush hour, with a grumpy teen in the car.

While waiting the admirably fast AAA folks, (helpful dude showed in 30 minutes) all I can think about were the yahoos who filled social media spots with "Finally" "Bring it On" "Bout Time." There will be time for all the fun stuff as we enjoy Winter until May, then have near winter, not winter, then near winter again. So, settle down as the tire that might need changed tomorrow morning might be yours. Don't go tempting Karma like that, she's burn out a headlight in temps like this and make you drop the most important screw into a dark corner that you can't see into and your fingers will be too big too reach.

It snowed in real numbers in the southtowns. Go there, and settle down, we'll get ours.
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Permalink: Six_Degrees.html
Words: 281
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 01/04/12 10:24


Category: gadgets

12/30/11 12:50 - ID#55815

Kindle - ing

Always been as much of an early adopter as my bankroll and credit lines would allow, but age is catching up there with me as number one son now regularly cleans my clock at Madden and NHL on the Xbox, and apparently I slow him down on Halo missions. That said, a friend's facebook posting about a $100 Plasma tv set had me thinking.

Anyway, it happens, I think I'm losing a step. I was watching a discussion about Nooks versus Kindles via twitter the other day with a little bit of interest. I've always been a pretty avid reader, but I'm loyal to the printed page and that will remain, but....

My final christmas gift arrived yesterday. My son's lovely mom imparted a Kindle on to me. It's a straight forward reader, which is good as I don't need another data port at this rate, but as somebody who rarely needed the directions for gizmos, I found I was looking for some directions (a first). With a little futzing and learning where the buttons are, I had two books that I was curious about, but not enough to buy loaded up at nice discount prices.

So, it's a noble experiment, figured out how to work it all in the privacy of my living room, reducing the silliness of figuring it out in front of, well, my tech savvy kids.

So far? Kinda cool. Don't think it will get in the way of any real book store purchases, but might digitally get my arse to the library a little more.
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Permalink: Kindle_ing.html
Words: 259
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/30/11 12:50


Category:

12/15/11 01:36 - ID#55746

More Truckin



It's a silly debate and the foot dragging on the legislative side makes my head shake. Only here can we make a federal case over "Rocket Sauce"
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Permalink: More_Truckin.html
Words: 29
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/15/11 01:36


Category: work

12/15/11 08:51 - ID#55741

Usherman!

Able to leap a split coke in a single bound, look up in the Aisle, it’s Usherman!!

Nope, despite that dramatic intro, I left work today for the part time fun in my First Niagara Center finery to work the Sabres-Senators game. As far as supplemental income, it’s pretty great, you don’t have to work terribly hard. No heavy lifting, just know where the bathroom, the people watching is hilarious, and there are other people who’s job it is to escort the overserved and unruly away from the premises.

Now, the bulk of the force is pretty established, many having been working events since the Aud, so with just 35 or so over the past year, I’m a bit of a newbie, but just established enough to get some decent spots, always get to see the event in question as some folks get a door. Me, I’d be scared the door might just be smarter than me so it is good to be doing what is roughly a bit of stand up act for a thousand people except on a one to few basis. So, I get a good spot tonight.

My regular vocation has me well-schooled in the art of the schmooze and that comes in handy as you get folks of all sorts. With tonight’s game, it was premo territory, where the Sabres would shoot twice and one of the big questions was were was there regular guy along with “good to see you again” as I had worked the same post a couple of weeks ago. Head usher swings by and give me a quick “you look tired.” Told her I had a full day of real work prior, but I’m ready and with that the doors open.

But the people watching. There is a almost cult like following to the warm up skate before the hockey game. Fans of all types line the entrances from the dressing rooms to the ice in a hope of getting close to a favorite player or a fist bump as they enter or exit the ice. This makes sense if you are an little boy seeing your heroes or a teenage girl with a crush, but the guys my age looked a little silly. The folks who wander down just to have a look before retiring to their seats at the top of the Arena make sense to me. You want to see them a little closer to remind you they are human as it does look like a different game from various levels of the place. It is hard not to smile at the little kids who come down the tunnel with their eyes as wide as saucers, seeing the place they’ve only previously seen on television. By the same token, slap that expression of wonder on a 40 year old face and it is downright hysterical. But, with a nod to good karma, I found a puck that had gone over the boards and was able to give it to a little guy who has a really bitchin’ object for show and tell.

I enjoyed chatting with two guys from the exotic land of Akron, Ohio. We bonded over the shared ancestral homeland and their first hockey experience. I brokered a seat swap on behalf of a guy with a prosthetic leg, connected with a bunch of folks on the need for hockey manners, especially waiting for the break in the play to let people return down the aisle, and with a rotating band of participants held sporadic roundtables on which Sabres would you trade. While folks were either decked out in Sabres garb or the occasional evil doer in Senators garb, there were a few who just grabbed was available. And for that I have to give mad props to the gentleman sporting the California Golden Seals jersey. That was old school as I think the Seals went out existence somewhere prior to my turning 10.

Much has been written of late about the Sabres game presentation of late. When you think of all the time honored chants of everything from “Let’s Go, Buffalo” to “1,2,3,4, we want 5″ to even “Hey Seymour, we want cheeseburgers” they all popped up when the Sabres were winning. That solves a lot. When the team is in a prolonged slump like they are, the building gets a little quieter, the music selections lame and more intrusive and the Carruba Collision isn’t a great idea when one of the colliders gets hurt. When the Sabres held a 2-1 lead, the place was jumping. Then the team started to get pushed around by the Senators. When Drew Stafford went to sleep on Ottawa’s winning goal, nobody remembered or cared what crappy pop songs got played.
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Permalink: Usherman_.html
Words: 800
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/15/11 08:51


Category: holiday

12/11/11 02:59 - ID#55721

Frosty the Snowman

Been trying to find some cool tunes to get into holiday spirit and this one certainly qualifies. It's one of my favorites


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Permalink: Frosty_the_Snowman.html
Words: 24
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/11/11 02:59


Category: humor

12/07/11 08:58 - ID#55663

Winter

Broke out the winter coat last night for a trip to the movies and this little bit from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (a favorite show of mine) appeared on my mental remote control


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Permalink: Winter.html
Words: 34
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/07/11 08:58


Category: holiday

12/02/11 07:37 - ID#55640

F*CK Yule

Ain't that some shit
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Permalink: F_CK_Yule.html
Words: 5
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/02/11 07:37


Category: holiday

12/01/11 10:28 - ID#55638

Holiday

It's a Love Hate sort of thing, me and this holiday season, that is.

I guess it is such a dominating thing, that you can't help but think about what was. I always fret a little over doing the right amount for my kids. It always works out, but the self-inflicted stress over doing that and the imagined comparisons to the seeming magic tricks that my folks used to work annually for me and my siblings makes my head hurt sometimes.

Perhaps if it didn't try stealing Halloween's thunder on the shelves of Target and Wegmans (I'm sure there are others), Christmas wouldn't seem so looming. While I really would like to give the season the big old sloppy kiss it seems to command, a little pause comes. I sometimes get a little sad over the divorce and what those circumstances have done mostly to me, and how that makes you (well, me) pretty much everything. The demands of the office secret santa, the adopted family, the board functions, decorating for members, and the dreaded office party (I'm skippin) can make my chest feel tight sometimes. The office party--nothing like the parade of significant others to reinforce the sense of holiday bumhood. Dating life is picking up a bit, but not enough to subject anybody to the coworkers.

So, this isn't a currier and ives, rah, christmas post, but I'm still in favor of it, just have a bit of tom waits and bourbon where the unicorns and rainbows ought to be.

It really made me feel Thanksgiving got screwed in the holiday pecking order. I felt bad for the people who had to go report for work at 10:00 that night, because I'm pretty sure that if the stores opened for holiday shopping at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, people would still shop.

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Permalink: Holiday.html
Words: 302
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 12/01/11 10:28


Category: holiday

11/27/11 09:54 - ID#55609

"Be vewy qwiet..."

"We're hunting cwistmas twees....hehehe"

Well, enough Fudd-isms, as we no longer do such foolish things. But the day after Black Friday, before American Express sponsored it, used to be known as...Saturday. Quite the revelation, I know.

My older brother and our dad had taken to procuring a real honest-to-gosh Christmas tree for the folks' place on this mighty day. With the appearance of my lovely eldest daughter, I joined in the quest. When you have baby at home, suddenly tossing some lights on top of a six foot tall artificial plant that was there all the time, didn't seem to cut it. The boys had done their due diligence and found that Ulbrich's tree farm had a good selection of free range trees (A joke for those of who take shopping at the co-op too seriously). While the good folks at Ulbrichs had already had some on the lot already pre-cut and ready to be attached to your car, those were for the wimps, the candy-assed & generally inferior.

Okay, chances are those were also taken by the smarter people, but the real men, the hairy chested, not afraid of rear-wheel drive cars, drinkers in the good dive bars, went to get our own. Well, it was also cheaper to cut your own down as it saved the Ulbrichs folks from doing it. In our thriftiness, we also became snobs. That first one, that's a good one, but let's see what else is out there. My first escapade on this adventure had either my dad or I leaving a glove to mark a potentially worthy tree. From a distance it looked like the glove was giving us the finger. That system evolved as the old man made markers out of material, so we could TRACK the trees, as the good ones wouldn't stay where we left them.

The uniting factor in all this is that I think with one exception the weather was mostly crappy. It was raining one year and even the staff was looking at us like we were nuts, which truth be told, we probably were. Either rain, snow, or ground that mostly resembled walking on a fudge sundae, it was never ideal, but you came away with the right tree from the space. I don't think it mattered much to my kids where the tree came from, but it was an all too rare window in my brother's soul. He battles a variety of issues, but can tell you about each jaunt in remarkable detail, even though we stopped some years ago.

That is what I take away, when I read about people tsk-tsk-ing about the midnight shoppers Thursday night, or self-righteously shopping local because a credit card company told them too, I tend to think more about this kind of silly stuff. There wasn't a year that we didn't look like the Keystone Kops heading into the woods of Alden, and that was pretty cool.

That said, shop the local shops at the damn time, the Black Friday deals are marketing (as they pop up again and again, during the year and the season) and cyber monday? Click on the "watch" buttons and you don't have to do things because some smarmy marketer told you so. I say this as one of those smarmy marketers.
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Permalink: _Be_vewy_qwiet_.html
Words: 551
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/27/11 09:54


Category: holiday

11/25/11 03:46 - ID#55602

Black Friday



I mean seriously, I know some bars were opening back up Thanksgiving Night and all, but can you imagine being the guy who has to leave dinner to put his stuff on to head off for the 10 pm shift at Target?

There is a reason that people like Thanksgiving more so than Christmas, less constant pressure. This occurred to me, thinking of the poor devil who actually had the misfortune to need an essential, underwear, or whatever at the closest Target.

I mean, I understand, Friday is a day off for most folks and it's the season and all that, Remember when the season started at the civilized hour of, say, 10? There wasn't anything wrong with that. The bulk of the "incredible" deals often resurface during the season and even during the "mystery days" of Christmas, you know, that space between Christmas and New Year's.

I guess this all stems from me seeing the inevitable news piece of some poor slob who had to line up at 2 in the morning for the deal on a flat screen at some big box retailer, only to stumble and get trampled the moment the doors open. Nobody needs a new set so badly that they need to risk safety and regard for other people that way.

And I think that is at the heart of it for me. Christmas and I have had a love hate relationship over the past few years, mostly from my own odd belief that I wasn't able to do all that I wanted for my kids only to find out we were doing fine all along. Yet, the season actually is a "Season" with displays creeping into the Halloween racks at some retailers last month, before Halloween.

It is the one time frame where people generally act the way they should all year long, provided you aren't seeing them in a retail setting.

You want to embrace it, but it can sometimes be too big to get your arms around.
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Permalink: Black_Friday.html
Words: 335
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/25/11 03:46


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