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Category: crime

09/12/07 09:07 - 62ºF - ID#41070

Ever been mugged in Buffalo?

If so, where were you mugged and what was extorted out of you? Have you ever thwarted a mugging in Buffalo - either yours or someone else's? What are the ideal weapons that one should carry - would you be likely to be called into court or arrested if you stabbed a potential mugger? And lastly, where would one get the weapons of choice?

I got nearly mugged today, less than an hour back in the semi-dark sidewalk near Delaware and Summer. The creepy character was hiding behind one of the many parked cars on the south side of Summer. As I passed the car he was hiding behind, he tried to spring at me, but I dodged and ran the fastest 30 metres of my life, into my building and up 5 levels of stairs in under 2 minutes!

Though its flattering to find out that I can indeed run and that my lungs are not the mass of solid mud that I previously thought they were, its not so comforting to confront the fact that I could potentially be mugged and that it doesn't always happen to "someone else but not me".

I think its just awful that any creep can have a gun here. At least you can outrun people in countries where guns are outlawed, but unless you are one of those loopy characters in some crazy movies who can dodge bullets, how are you supposed to escape being mugged?? Talk about total unfairness!

Update: My brother just sent me this excellent article:
It has some very sound advice and I think I will just take it *and* get the loudlest little foghorn I can get, so I wake even the dead at Forest Lawn Cemetary, the next time I am mugged.

Update 2: I filed a formal police incident-report.
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Permalink: Ever_been_mugged_in_Buffalo_.html
Words: 311
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: science

09/07/07 07:47 - 87ºF - ID#40994

Why you should hate the housefly

and any restaurant that allows these vicious chunks of loathsomeness to even come near your food.

I am sure all of you know how evil the common housefly (for the latin among you - Musca domestica) can be. But I constantly come across people who forget the filth and disease that this hideous curse among species can bring to your dining table.

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While humans start and end in the earth, the housefly starts and ends in the garbage. As many as 120-200 eggs transform into these revolting harbingers of squalidness at any one time. They most often do so in a bed of warm rotting garbage - the kind that is decomposing and already infested with a variety of other microbes from similar domains of filth.

The loathesome housefly can host up to 30-40 million bacteria in its body and additionally have another billion sticking over the detestable ~12 mm of its revolting body surface - majority of which is covered in dirty sticky coarse hair.

When a fly lands on your sandwich, it first vomits some of its last meal (could be your dog's or your neighbour's excrement) on your sandwich so it could bring up some digestive enzymes to break down the surface of your sandwich and dissolve it. It then treads all over the vomit and your food thus mixing in all the bacteria and parasitic spores and eggs that it picked up from its last shuttle stop, into your sandwich. It then sucks up the semi-solid goo that it created on the surface of your sandwich. As a final touch, it defecates all over your sandwich before leaving for its next victim's tortilla wrap.

Unlike what Neumann lead us to believe, the housefly was never human to begin with and will never be human in any way, especially because it chooses to kill its victims in a most inhuman way.
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There are surely better ways to spend your last minutes than lie retching in a hospital and die of complications of gastroenteritis. Do yourselves a favour and avoid restaurants with flies, like the plague. Zap and spray those disgusting minions of excrement at home. Do everything you can to spread the rumours about this nasty demonic insect because all of them are unerringly true.

A good way of getting rid of houseflies without insecticides is to spray them with hairspray -- this affects their ability to fly and thus transfer vermin. You can easily sweep the sprayed flies into garbage, where they rightly belong.

And to the two ladies in the Kaminsky Park today afternoon, who swatted away the flies that landed on their food and continued to eat the entire thing - I hope you got home safe and didn't get any violent dysentery.

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Permalink: Why_you_should_hate_the_housefly.html
Words: 462
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: carbon neutral

09/04/07 07:50 - 74ºF - ID#40936

My new blue recycle bin!

I finally went to the city hall today and got my recycle bin!

@@******@@@@******HuRRRRRaYY!******@@@@******@@
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O my blue recycle bin
To you my hopes I pin
Over the seas of unrecycled waste
Ferry my plastic and paper with renewed haste!


On a related note, denizens of Elmwood & Around, can you point me to cardboard/plastic/paper recycle drop-off boxes that you may have spotted in and around the Elmwood/Downtown area? I have a ton of cardboard, and milk cardboard cartons that I need to drop-off before I find the right neighbour, whose recycle-box-family I can put my new recycle bin next to.

I know of a couple, but they are a bit of a hike away:
1. On Virginia, on the way to Betty's, across from the fire-station
- Cardboard/Paper drop-off box.

2. On Lafayette Ave, just before the Lafayette-Grant crossing.
- Newspaper drop-off box

Thanks so much for your input!
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Permalink: My_new_blue_recycle_bin_.html
Words: 155
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: e:strip

08/31/07 02:16 - 63ºF - ID#40849

Happy Birthday, Mike!


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Permalink: Happy_Birthday_Mike_.html
Words: 2
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 10/22/11 11:01


Category: eating in

08/30/07 09:56 - 66ºF - ID#40842

The Sicilian in Paul might be happy...

to hear that the first fully automated restaurant in the world has finally arrived! Goodbye obnoxious, snooty waiters/waitresses! Behave yourselves or you might just be made redundant!

Read all about it here: .

Since I addressed this post to Paul, I feel I should include some kind of food picture now.

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This was my dinner tonight. Spaghetti in a bed of Italian-Thai-Chinese fusion Curry.

However, Paul may not necessarily be alive if he ate this. It had a liberal dose of raw cilantro.


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Permalink: The_Sicilian_in_Paul_might_be_happy_.html
Words: 92
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: carbon neutral

08/28/07 01:32 - 82ºF - ID#40782

I am a carbon godzilla!

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I had an absolutely hideous nighmare some days back where I was the garbage bin and people were throwing their disposable cups/plates/boxes/tissues at me. I have had this nightmare recur several times since then and I have thus decided that it's time I did something about it. This is a self-reminding list of what I can do to decrease my leviathan, bloated Carbon Footprint . Some of it may sound like extreme measures, but who said bringing about a change was easy or comfortable?

Outside:

1. Stop taking plastic bags from any grocery store - yeah, including those small baggies I grab off rolls for my veggies/fruits. Alternative: Always carry a backpack. Use a thin-cloth bag for individual veggies.

2. Buy local produce as far as possible. They are way cheaper anyway.

3. INSIST on paper/cardboard take-home containers for take-home food at restaurants and *DEFINITELY* not take-home stuff in those evil styrofoam boxes. Keep a store of brown paper bags/one lunch-box in my bag/backpack if the restaurant does not have any other option.

At home:

1. Recycle and re-use all my existing plastic bags/boxes.

2. Replace all my incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent ones (I did this yesterday.)

At work:

1. Stop printing out stuff that I am not likely to read anyway or can read on-screen.

2. Stop using that hideous printer which doesn't have a duplex printing option. Instead, print on the huge printer upstairs which can print double-sided and take the effort to trek upstairs everytime I print out something.

3. Turn off my monitor before leaving work.

4. Bring my drinking cup to work and avoid all plastic/styrofoam packaging/cups.

5. Take a ceramic plate to the cafeteria (whenever I am eating there) and request that they put the sandwich/buttered toast on that plate. Avoid using any of those plastic boxes/styrofoam cups that will end up in a landfill.

6. Not grab a handful of paper tissues and end up wasting most of it. Instead, take my own cloth handkerchief/towel.

7. NEVER EVER use those plastic fork/spoon/knives - have a set of my own in my drawer at work.

8. Avoid eating anything from the vending machines - they wreck havoc on your body anyway *plus* they generate a lot of totally avoidable garbage.

9. Bring lunch from home and not buy packaged food, as many days as possible. Make that little effort to get up 5 minutes early to fix lunch in the morning - be it a salad or a sandwich.

10. Turn off the lights when they are not needed.


I think the list is endless - so I will keep adding to this list and make those changes in my carbon-smashing-foot-aggressive life slowly and steadily... even if it means sacrificing some pleasures. Because I hate nightmares - I have seen that they have a way of turning real at some point in time.
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Permalink: I_am_a_carbon_godzilla_.html
Words: 487
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: grocery

08/26/07 08:35 - 61ºF - ID#40735

Buffalo Grocery Review Washington Market

The Washington Market is a very spiffy-looking clean grocery store and deli located on Ellicott street between Chippewa and Tupper Streets.

It doesn't really seem like one combined grocery store. Rather, it gives you the feeling that you are walking through a food court or a market - hence the name, perhaps. Somehow, I was very impressed with the fact that the floors were SO clean. I don't know why I was so attracted to the floors or why I paid so much attention to them. I think it was the lighting. They have really bright lighting in the grocery section of the market.

The marketplace starts out with a small "lobby area" which has newspapers and periodicals in racks to your right. The ceiling is high and the right wall is covered in a big and colourful mural, depicting a period marketplace. To the left is a small check-out counter and rack of baked goods. At 5:30 PM, they had an interesting array of breads such as Rye, Italian, Sourdough etc. The prices of the baked goods rivaled those at Wegmans - but I am not sure if the breads were baked in the store.

Next is a small produce section, with a variety of veggies with prices equivalent to the Lexington Coop (Read: Pricey).

If you walk further down the centre of the market, on your left is a small dessert bar with cakes and cookies, followed by a salad bar, that had a variety of cheese salads on sale for a low price per pound. Further down is a sandwich bar and meat market.To your right is a nifty seating area with small tables and high stools.

The sandwich bar had about 3-4 varieties of Tribe Hummus - at a price cheaper than at Wegman's ($2.19 as compared to $2.59 at Wegman's). They also had the Tribe Garden-Veggie hummus which I have never seen at Wegman's.

At the very end of the market are the grocery aisles. This is the most brightly lit part of the market. The light is so bright, all the bottles on the shelves reflect the light and you feel as if you are shopping in a space-ship with silver walls.

Surprisingly, the grocery aisles had a very varied assortment of international foods. To give you an idea of the variety, if you take the Wegman's international aisle, added some Guercio's Italian aisles to it and a sprinkling from the international aisles at the Lexington Coop, you would have the grocery aisles of Washington Market. In fact, I think the whole grocery space was filled with international foods and had very few "regular" groceries. They had the *entire* range of south-east Asian cooking sauces from the "House of Tsang" brand - for about $3.something each. The snack aisle had food with an ethnic/organic tint - eg. Terra potato chips, rice crispies, NY pita chips etc.

The very back of the store has the frozen food, milk and juice section. The prices throughout the Washington Market were not something to dance about. They looked very standard to me, say, compared to any other non-chain-store in town. There were no discounts and no sale-prices - just prices which had been designed to make a decent profit for the store.

To conclude, I would say that this is a clean and well-kept market to go for emergency international groceries, some regular groceries and perhaps meats and breads or for an occasional sandwich/salad . However, don't expect any drastic savings.
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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Washington_Market.html
Words: 610
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

08/25/07 12:58 - 78ºF - ID#40719

Is real-estate hunting this loony? :)

I think I would like to see this movie. How about you?


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Permalink: Is_real_estate_hunting_this_loony_.html
Words: 20
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: grocery

08/22/07 11:47 - 76ºF - ID#40688

Buffalo Grocery Review:Lexington General

Thanks to (e:Drew) who tipped me about this grocery store.

The Lexington General Store is a unique (and somewhat weird) hybrid store; a cross between what could have been a very cool Spot Coffee type of café/European cheese market and one of the handful of corner grocery stores that dot Buffalo's downtown terrain.

Points in favour of a trendy café are lofty ceilings, walls in earthy tones, unknown ambient alternative accoustic music, an ice-cream bar called "Scoops", a few sit-down tables, a kitchen-like shelf with assorted groceries, a very chic handpainted sign announcing the name of the store and benches artistically fashioned from unfinished tree-logs. Points in favour of a corner grocery store are the wildly disorganized groceries, veggies and fruits in a few random cardboard boxes, carbonated drink, milk and juice coolers and newspapers (I saw The New York Times at this store).

In contrast to the coop, which is neither on Lexington, nor a true "cooperative" and is thus a prime example of an appellative deception, the Lexington General Store lives up to its name. It is located on the south-east corner of Lexington and Ashland Avenues (next door to the famed Kuni's) and is about as general as a store can get.

The two pieces of merchandise that this store is absolutely worth making the hike for are:
$1 for 1/2 gallon milk --> Think about all the milk money you will save!! (The store had fat-free, 2% and 1% Upstate Farm milk today)
0.75 cents for a scoop of ice-cream: They had a decent selection of flavours. The ice-cream bar also had a cold-coffee-ice-cream shake for $1.75, that looked interesting. I think I will try this next time. I wonder how it compares to the $3.75 java shake from SPoT Coffee.

The veggies and fruits in the boxes today were:
6 fresh ears of corn for $0.99 (1 more than Wegmans, but the corn looked somewhat sad)
Green bell peppers for $0.50 each
Oranges for $0.35 each
Pound of grapes for $1.99
Onions for $0.45/lb
Potatoes for $2/huge bag (5lb?)
Sad looking bananas at $0.35/lb
Hot green peppers at $0.25 each.

The huge kitchen shelf was packed to capacity with everything ranging from salt to pasta to olives in brine. (Don't ask me what the "everything" comprised; the store was lit by cool-looking but dim lighting from globe lamps that hung from the lofty ceiling).

The store has two glass-door coolers - one in the front for the carbonated drinks, water and small-bottle juices, and another in the back for milk and big-bottle juices (eg. 100% grape juice for $2.99).

They also have a wide assortment of cheap candy and lollipops - ranging from just $0.01 each to about $0.10 each. There is also a side-table with desserts such as chocolate eclairs, crossants, apple turnovers, and some fruit pies.

On the whole, the Lexington General Store is waaaay cooler than your average corner grocery store but can't quite decide whether it wants to climb into the hardcore grocery pool or float around in the hip café scene cloud. Somewhere in between though, it did decide to have excellent consumer-friendly prices. Definitely worth many visits!

PS: I just hope that no one at the store reads this review and decides to hike the prices tomorrow.
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Permalink: Buffalo_Grocery_Review_Lexington_General.html
Words: 533
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

08/18/07 07:44 - 54ºF - ID#40606

Reaching for the elusive...

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Permalink: Reaching_for_the_elusive_.html
Words: 2
Location: Buffalo, NY


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