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Category: tourism

10/20/08 09:25 - 58ºF - ID#46218

Sunday at Forest Lawn

I admit it. I am totally jealous of (e:pmt) weekend trips so I determinedly took one of my own this Sunday. I headed out to Forest Lawn Cemetery and decided to do this entirely by foot. Took me around 25 minutes to walk to the Cemetery from home. Not bad at all. I sorely missed Mt. Hope all these days and I think Forest Lawn is a worthy competitor. It was beautiful and I loved the fact that it was hilly and had somewhat steep-ish slopes just like Mt. Hope. Some photos from the hike...

I love that the entrance is so grand and has a small road fork of its own!
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The entrance gate is actually crowned! Nice touch. :)
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Is the green on this statue actually Copper patina or is it just green concrete/sculpting clay? I was in a hurry to rush all across the cemetery so didn't stop to read the inscriptions. Usually, I like to stop and read all of these random details and weave them into my own personal story versions. Hasty me. :/
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There is something so soothing about walking on a bed of crackling yet soft leaves layered on grass...
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Fall was out in all its glory at Forest Lawn!
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The water-bodies across the cemetery are spell-binding. I could have easily believed that throwing coins in them and wishing like crazy might have made all my dreams come true! They were just that perfect! This is Jubilee spring - the first of the three.
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Crystal Lake - as you can see it lives up to its name. Each leaf colour was reflected back in perfection!
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A couple more view of that magical lake.
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There were these morbid looking dark mushrooms all over the place.
(e:imk2), can Slawa tell whether these are edible?
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The Bridge to the mythical geese kingdom. :)
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The compass for lost souls.
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There were sections of the cemetery that looked like you were looking through some virtual convex glasses, when in fact you weren't. Such a cool effect!
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Creek Scajjy. ;-)
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The ferocious guardian of the mythical kingdom of geese (otherwise known as the mirror lake).
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The Geese Kingdom!
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These geese actually posed for me. :)
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From one of the mounds near Delaware avenue, you can see across the road on to distant plains and I think that is Delaware Park? (Not sure, though.) It was like one of the scenic moments described in a George Eliot novel.
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The colours on the leaves were gorgeous!
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There was this monument with angels and gargoyles that reminded me of churches in Prague.
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These crosses were set off by a riot of colours in the background.
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Not to be outdone by those below, some really delicate clouds were floating in the sky.
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This monument somehow reminded me of a water tank and nuclear cloud all at once!
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A flashback to Mt. Hope in Rochester that has Egyptian sphinxes as well!
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I thought this Roman influenced priest had such a dramatic background!
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I wasn't paying much attention to the inscriptions as I always do but these two picked me up ;-) The husband has measuring tools and a hammer on his side and the wife has humming birds (?) :)
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And, having that name must have been hard at school...
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It was a lovely afternoon! Forest Lawn is a real treasure. :)
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Permalink: Sunday_at_Forest_Lawn.html
Words: 625
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: tourism

10/19/08 08:12 - 54ºF - ID#46197

Mayflower Terrace View of Buffalo

Okay, I don't have (e:Matthew) magic dust, but hey, I try! :D Here is the view from the Mayflower terrace.

Looking north towards Delaware Avenue:
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You can see the Zion temple and the uber cool condos on Delaware.

Panning east, that's the pretty house at the north-east corner of Linwood and Summer in the foreground. I am amazed at how pretty and colourful it progressively becomes as the leaves climbing it slowly turn in the fall.
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Far in the background, I think that building is ECMC. You can also see the South Campus and the white clock tower in this view but my camera is on the lowest resolution to cram in the maximum number of pictures in 16 MB, so yes, this is all you get. Bleh.

Further east is the Summer-Best junction and the paint company further down the road. You can also see the copper-topped bell tower that produces the deafeningly loud chimes that resound around Linwood.
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When I first came here, I thought someone's wretched job was to sit in that tower all day, every day, in all weather and strike the chimes by the hour. It somehow consoled me in rough times in a crooked miserable way. However, (e:Paul) broke the romance and pettiness by telling me that the thing was pre-programmed. *Sigh*


Alrighty, this view here is the direction of my school and livelihood of many on this site. Though you can't see much of it behind the towering presence of Buffalo General, the tiny bit of red sticking out beyond the big building is Roswell Park Cancer Institute. :)
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To the right of the programmed chiming copper tower, the central terminal building is visible. I can actually see this from my window, but I didn't realize that it was the central terminal building till I actually saw it from terrace. Yeah, I am that visually and logically challenged.

Panning south now down Linwood...
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Off in the distance, you can see the hope of the future windmills! :)

Further south is Buffalo's famed downtown skyline.
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Hidden behind the tree in full fall colours is (e:pmt)'s abode!
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And of course, a close up of the famed Buffalo downtown skyline.

Hiding my clear view of the Buffalo Harbour are these 10 storey monstrosities on Delaware Avenue. I used to think they were the same height as the Mayflower, but no, they are a full 2 storeys higher. :/
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To the west is the beautiful church on Delaware Avenue between North and Summer. Off to the distance you can also see that Water Arbour structure right in the middle of the water. I am not sure what that is but I think it might be a good spot for a lavish water wedding that Buffalo might make money out of.
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People could say their vows in that structure between Canada and the US and the guests could witness the ceremony in yachts floating around that structure. I think I have been seeing far too many romantic comedy/wedding movies lately.

Further west is this grand view of Summer Street.
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And THAT off to the north-west is the city of Niagara Falls.
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When there are absolutely no clouds, zero haze and it is somewhat chilly, you can see the mist from the horse-shoe falls. Again, I need (e:Matthew) magic dust and a better camera to prove this but there you have it.

And no terrace shoot can be complete without sky-focus shots. These are the some of the same views in absolutely magical lighting.
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I go up there so often now, its hard to not take my camera and shoot when you see such awesomeness.
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I think the second best place to see the sunset (after the harbour) is the Mayflower terrace. :)
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Here's sunset over distant Niagara Falls!
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Sunset over the famed Buffalo downtown skyline.
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Nightfall over the famed Buffalo downtown skyline.
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PS: I have noticed that the more you keep describing something as "the famed blah blah", there is a big chance that it actually does become "the famed blah blah" at some point. Hey, I love Buffalo. If this is the least I can do to make it famed in current times, I will do it with diligence. :D

PPS: I am somewhat disappointed by the resolution of this entire shoot. I need (e:Matthew) to come up here and shoot it all to show the world exactly how awesome it really is. :)
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Permalink: Mayflower_Terrace_View_of_Buffalo.html
Words: 778
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: e:strip

10/18/08 10:45 - 42ºF - ID#46185

Congratulations, Baby Fing!!!

Baby Fing is here!!! He made it!!!

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CONGRATULATIONS (e:fing) & family!!


PS: Now get little baby Jack to blog here! ;-)


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Permalink: Congratulations_Baby_Fing_.html
Words: 24
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

10/18/08 12:21 - 43ºF - ID#46170

Top ten random things I want to do

-- As of today and in no particular order --

1. Propose. Propose. Propose.
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2. Finish that grant paragraph/page.
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3. Learn how to bake bread.
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(I love the smell of bread, but I have never dealt with artificial yeast before. I am somewhat worried that whatever bread I do manage to make will come out smelling yeasty. This also seems like a ridiculous fear especially since I haven't even attempted to make any bread till now.)
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4. Learn how to low vault that wall on my way to Roswell. (I think I might need strong arms for this trick. Did I mention that my arms are out of proportion to the rest of my body? They look like sticks. If someone were to whack my forearms hard, I think there is a strong likelihood that they might break in two. Both ulna and radius in one go.)
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5. Get some wool yarn for my halloween costume.

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6. Actually sew my halloween costume
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7. Finish this literature search I am doing and write it up ASAP.
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8. Get a haircut (OMG, my hair is so long and untidy, its covering my ears now. UGH)
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9. Learn to make that perfect cup of coffee that I once had at this Italian restaurant called Pane Vino's in Rochester. Seriously, that coffee must have come from bean heaven because I was so enamoured that I had 7 cups of it. I skipped dinner altogether in favour of coffee. I know it must have made a weird impression on the faculty but hey, truly good coffee can only be appreciated via loon worship and erratic behaviour. I tried to explain later that it was done in the spirit of coffee but hardly anyone at the table agreed. Oh well. That coffee was awesome.

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10. Start on the practical part of my dissertation research. (And learn some cool laboratory basic sciency things on the way.)
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Permalink: Top_ten_random_things_I_want_to_do.html
Words: 331
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: dailies

10/15/08 07:52 - 63ºF - ID#46132

Vanity Fair

Overheard conversation on the bus:

Girl with a paper shopping bag that had "Coach" Leatherware written on it: *Holds up a small handbag for the inspection of the bus driver* I love Gucci. You know, Gucci as they made it in the 60s. You can tell the difference between the real thing and the fake. You touch it and you can tell the difference.

Bloke with apparently "designer" shoes and huge eyes: Yeah, folks here won't know it. Does an eyeroll with those especially huge eyes. You know, this girl at school flat out denied, I MEAN DENIED *taps the bus seat for effect* that outlets like Coach and Nordstrom even existed. These people...

Coach Girl: I am proud to say I wasn't born in this poor ass city. I was born in Chicago, that's where I was born.

Huge Eyes: *Rolls huge eyes* I went to Colombus *pulls out a mall map and waves it around* *Bus driver turns around 180 degrees in her seat while navigating an intersection, I almost pass out in fright* Now here's a Nordstrom, here's Gucci. Now that's when you know the economy of a city is doing well. When you have stores like Nordstrom. Here, there is no hope. I mean people don't know Coach and Nordstrom exist. You see here *waves around mall map once more* there are all these stores.

  • Here Coach Girl and Huge Eyes go off into a long long long prattle about the merits of designer stuff and the general ignorance of buffalo, making sure that the whole bus gets to know that they are really not from here.* *I zone out and my eyes glaze over.*

  • Ping: Now approaching Bird Street* *I shake out of my vanity-drivel induced reverie.*

Coach Girl: This here is an original Coach bag, I go there all the time. You know imitation, it just isn't the same.

Huge Eyes: Yeah, I am from New York City. I know. We can tell you where you get the real nice stuff. *Coach girl gives emphatic nod, clutches the "genuine Gucci" bag closer*.

  • Their stop comes around, they get off and bus driver hands her card to them and says, "Yeah give me a call. I like the good stuff".



I honestly couldn't believe this was not some kind of a sloppy ad-placement daytime TV show. Hahaha :)
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Permalink: Vanity_Fair.html
Words: 392
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: science

10/14/08 10:12 - 60ºF - ID#46119

And now for some party pooping...

Watch that alcohol intake this holiday/party season... oh wait, better watch it ALL the time because:


From:
In contrast to studies on cardiovascular disease, this study found that moderate alcohol consumption was not protective against normal age-related differences in total brain volume. Rather, the more alcohol consumed, the smaller the total brain volume*.



Yeah, I *love* to be the messenger of any news against my favourite two HUGE preventable causes of >60% of morbidity and >100% loathsomeness around the world.



Reference:
  • Paul CA et. al. Association of Alcohol Consumption With Brain Volume in the Framingham Study Arch Neurol. 2008;65(10):1363-1367.
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Permalink: And_now_for_some_party_pooping_.html
Words: 110
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: the odes

10/11/08 11:11 - 56ºF - ID#46057

The Financial Crisis: Whiteboard 101

I was looking up good presentation software alternatives for the PC (yeah, I do not have keynote, you elite mac owners!) when I found this very cool whiteboard explanation of the credit crisis. With my fascination for the KISS (K.eep I.t S.imple and S.tupid) principle for presentations and additionally, a new-found fascination for understanding what the hell is going on with the economic situation facing the planet, I could not help but appreciate the wonderfully coherent way, in which Paddy Hirsch explains it all.

Basically, its a champagne and whiteboard enhanced version of (e:jim)'s detailed and awesome explanation ((e:tinypliny,45704)).



It strengthens my opinion that the whiteboard is the most effective presentation software out there. I am still playing with the idea of going the whiteboard way for my dissertation proposal...

There are some other alternatives for out-of-options PC users who are sick of the clunky and ugly PowerPoint or even the open-source OpenOffice Impress (yeah, opensource is very appealing, but after 5 years of non-stop use, I think Impress is still not up to snuff with what makes an appealing presentation). Google Docs is at an embryonic bare-bones state. 280slides.com might be a messiah but I need to try it out first to be sure.

The real questions are, however:
1. Am I coherent enough to take this risk and let go of the presentation software crutch altogether?

2. Though my advisor here is at the leading edge of creativity, super-awesome, very open and receptive to experimentation, my remote advisor is old-school-by-the-book, too practical and grounded-to-rules kind of a person and might be difficult to persuade. The contrast between them is so striking when I think about issues such as these. :)
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Permalink: The_Financial_Crisis_Whiteboard_101.html
Words: 294
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: e:strip

10/10/08 10:17 - 57ºF - ID#46053

I meet The Evil Dr. Fing!

Yeah! It finally happened! I was walking out the main hospital and I thought the face in front of me was really really familiar - like a friend you see in a 125px x 150px window almost everyday. It was the evil (well, not really but it sounds so cool!) Dr. Fing!!!!!!

It was wonderful to finally meet you (e:fing)! I wish you and your wife good luck with the baby!!! Hope it all goes well when the exciting time rolls around. Personally, I am just jealous of the baby already. I always wanted my own room with orange-accented walls and cool artwork! :^)

PS: I actually can't believe I am so involved in my (e:strip) screen persona that I forgot to tell you my real name and introduced myself as tinypliny! Yikes.

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Permalink: I_meet_The_Evil_Dr_Fing_.html
Words: 134
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: opinion

10/08/08 10:44 - 60ºF - ID#46006

Single.. er.. Double Issue Voting

I feel like I should take a stance today, now that I feel conflicted about the shaky economic policies of not only the right, central and left winged but also, the wingless scum in politics.

If I had franchise (I don't, unfortunately. So this is basically building a stance-castle in pure air), I would MOST CERTAINLY NOT vote for:

1. People who are against abortion and euphemistically call themselves pro-life.

Several reasons:

-- I think the health and quality of life of women is important to the future of mankind. You cannot have unhappy, ill-treated women who are sick in mind and in body and expect their children (of either gender) to be healthy and lead fruitful and enriching lives or better this planet in the future.

-- Banning abortion not just takes away health-rights of women and decreases their quality of life, but also opens the wicker gate to the insanity of illegal non-medically approved life-threatening amateur abortion practices. Nothing can be more cruel to any living being than dying with a stick or a chemical abortifacient eroding your uterus just because some block-headed self-appointed judgemental delusional rich woman with several people to look after her own brood of kids decided that you need to carry your foetus to term as well, because she did and that some insular "God" of hers thinks its the "right" thing to do. Yeah, shame on you if you are not a "caring sacrifice-making parent" regardless of whether you can or cannot afford it, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially. Who cares about the mom, right? We just need to bring as many kids into this world as we possibly can regardless of the cost to the woman. They can take care of themselves and also their kids. If I did it, well, so can anyone.

-- Double-standard-ridden privileged freaks who are far far away from understanding what it is like to be a helpless real-world middle class single poor woman who is also pregnant do not really deserve to be honoured with the status and title of a "woman".

-- Making abortion a social stigma is just as bad, if not worse. Not only do you judge women for the simple fact that she wants control over her dizzyingly out of control life but make it mentally, psychologically and emotionally a trauma for her to get even a legal abortion. Can you be any more effective in violating the human rights of a living being? I think not.

2. People who still believe in Creationism.

-- Frankly, at this point, after centuries of scientific proof, you are shuddering-ly scary. Your ignorance points to the fact that you are happy living under a rock. What will you do when medical principles behind this "far-fetched" "fiction" of evolution lead to the conception and design of drugs/therapies that cure cancer (and yes, I see this happening in the future)? Will you go into self-denial and refuse to take these drugs. I hope you do. The world would be rid of morons like you. Ugh

Yeah, these two issues are going to be my two heavy and stable cornerstones of political decisions for now.



@(e:metalpeter): This is not my "tough" post either. That needs to be on the back-burner some more time.
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Permalink: Single_er_Double_Issue_Voting.html
Words: 546
Location: Buffalo, NY


Category: e:strip

10/05/08 05:53 - 57ºF - ID#45948

Apparently, E:strippers LOVE OMGBlog!

According to this site's statistics about (e:strip), we have a more than 138 times likelihood of visiting omgblog as compared to the average netizen. In addition, we are also 90 times more likely to be wannabe health care practitioners. Does that make us OMGdocs?

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And, that's not all. Less that one percent of us are official quantified (e:strip) addicts.
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The average (e:strip) visitor is a hispanic male teenage kid who comes from a middle income household and is not precocious enough to have entered a college.

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Who knew?!

___________
How the hell are these statistics even calculated???!!!
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Permalink: Apparently_E_strippers_LOVE_OMGBlog_.html
Words: 109
Location: Buffalo, NY


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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!...

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OMG welcome!...

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