Thursday, June 29, 2006

Ugly Mullet Patriots Ripoff Logo

I'm going to be 1st to comment, but I know that Kevin shares this opinion. The latest rumored Sabres' logo, of which there is scary backup in truth, is absolutely atrocious. I'll send you to the Buffalo Geek's page if you haven't seen it yet.
Now, if you know me, you know that I have enough Sabres clothing to wear for a month without wearing the same thing twice (believe her-KJH). If this frightning logo is what is finally chosen, well, I will be highly disgusted.
A few years ago, an artist named John Slabyk designed various logos with the blue and gold. These are pretty classy. He has them on his website, which has a petition to Sabres' owner Tom Golisano and the Sabres organization. There are almost 10,000 signatures. Take a look. Sign if you like them. Or contact the Sabres. But remember, that godawful logo is could be on our team. Do we want to win the Cup dragging along that hamster mullet?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Chicago, So Far

As if it is even a real question, but to answer, yes, Val and I are having a great time so far in Chicago, and our city/downtown portion of the visit ends late today, when we visit Val's cousin, Beth, and family in Beecher, Illinois.
The drive here was pretty good; as you know, we took the Ontario to Michigan to Indiana to Illinois/Chicago route, and the driving went excellent, speed and scenery wise. The Ontario drive is always good, and we took the route to Sarnia instead of Detroit to miss the major backups at the Windsor Bridge and just driving in Detroit. The wait at the Sarnia Bridge, VERY similar looking to the Peace Bridge, if shorter, was about 10-15 minutes, with two vehicles getting serious going-overs, but we went through with just few questions in about a minute. I drove from Buffalo to somewhere in Michigan, when we stopped for a pee break and to gas up. Val is a major road warrior I have seen in action before, and she drove the rest of the way.
MIchigan driving was OK (the speed limit was 70 MPH for cars, 55 for trucks, the second apparently advisory), but things got a bit similar after a while. And no, we didn't see Michael Moore as we drove through/past Flint. Fortunately, at the pee stop we made just before Michigan became Indiana, there was a sign posted to avoid a certain part of Chicago (the Dan Ryan Way), which we would have taken to get to our hotel. Otherwise, before getting to Chicago, the only memorable site was Gary, Indiana, which we could still smell in the car and elsewhere after we got to Chicago.
After some confusion on where to get off Route 94 (mine, mostly), Val, the former Chicago resident, decided to get off at Route 41, which would take us all the way to the cross street for our hotel, the Marriott Courtyard downtown near the Northbridge area. Of course, this route would take us all the way from interesting South Chicago through various areas, past Soldier Field (very impressive, even from the car and later from a bus), lots of museums and other sites, over bridges, past parks, to the point where I recognized areas from movies and television programs.
Our hotel is rather nice, the kind of hotel Val and I could never afford and would never think of paying for, but our priceline.com $100 a night bid gave us the opportunity. We are located near tons of things, walking distance from the Magnificent Mile (lots and lots and lots of high-end and other retailers, specialty shops, clubs, restaurants, etc.), and the Chicago Transit Authority one-day $5 pass allowed us to save money from the normal $2 per ride fair and got us everywhere we wanted to go.
We swam, ate dinner and did some shopping and site seeing Thursday, and when we came back to the hotel room, we dropped and were asleep by midnight (I almost never go to bed before 1 a.m. on work nights). The queen bed, larger than our full at home, was taken advantage of, and I slept until 8 a.m. We then commenced a full day of activities Friday, which was Val and my fourth anniversary, including visiting the John G. Shedd Aquarium, which was simply amazing with its sea otters, Beluga whales, dolphins, sharks, incredible reef fish; the only bad part of that visit was the unbelievably rude, boorish people. After a few had walked into or cut off Val (who walks with a cane, as many of you know), instead of just walking in front of her to make a path, I started using my 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame to walk directly into people, until some families finally got the message. We also bussed and walked to the Hancock Building and looked just next to it at the building in which Val's late uncle and aunt, Al and Pauline, lived.
The rest of Thursday was more shopping and site seeing, a visit to the Navy Pier (more on that and its changes according to Val later), dinner and back to the hotel room for more serious sleep. As I write this this morning, as we complete our packing and leave for breakfast and a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry, I am drinking a complimentary cup of Starbucks coffee, good but not as strong as it usually is at an actual Starbucks; I would prefer the stronger cup.
We'll probably won't write more until we get home, as our free WiFi ends when we leave here.

Chicago-Day one



Here we are at the end of another long day! The first picture is of a couple of friends we met at The Shedd Aquarium- Unfortunately (for the photographer), most of the animals were behind glass, so pictures were not too much of an option. And the sea otters just knew it! All looking cute and just knowing that people'd have to take my word for it. Next is a rare shot of the two of us (rare 'cause I'm usually the one behind the camera). A friendly rather harmless looking tourist took it for us. The 3rd is the skyline at dusk- just before dinner at Navy Pier. I'm going to let Kevin fill you in with stuff- I gotta go to bed....

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Evening 1, Chicago

I'd say day 1, but we only got here at 5 central time. So far, a quick swim,a good meal at a coffee place/ restaraunt on Rush Street, then a long walk and shopping (looking) on Michagan Ave. This, and a 9 hour drive from Bflo today, and we're pretty glad we made out on priceline for this swanky hotel room.
I do love a big city. A city that is actually still awake, and will remain so well after Kevin and I hit the sack....
I didn't trust myself with a camera this evening, so we don't have anything as far as juicy photos to upload (though I was asked by a tourist to take her picture at the Michigan Street bridge). If we can get some energy together, we may go to the roof and get some night photos. Maybe. My feet hurt, and we have a long day planned tomorrow (our anniversary).

It's Off to Chicago

Chances are Val and I are on the road somewhere in Southern Ontario, Michigan, Indiana or Illinois by the time you read this; we are off to Chicago for a few days of time off and visiting some of the Dunne family from the city and suburbs. But don't pout, there is a chance you just might hear from us sooner than our Monday night return.
We are taking the Southern Ontario to Michigan, Indiana and Illinois route, as you can tell; Val and I have driven and taken buses through the Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois route, and we both feel it is one of the most dreadfully boring drives in the USA.
About the only bad thing with the trip is we are missing shows by the Tarbox Ramblers, Bauhaus and Saturday's Gary Bennett Band (ex-BR549 front man), which will be free at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street. Go to this show if you have no plans for Saturday night.
Finally, this trip also means that I have fallen further behind schedule in stories for our web site, BuffaloRoots, mainly my reviews and Val's photos of the Peter Case show at the Sportmen's Tavern and Music is Art on Franklin Street. Don't worry, the stories will be worth the wait.

I Can Name That Jingle in Four Notes

While Val and I were watching Comedy Central tonight (either The Colbert Report or South Park), a commercial for a Pontiac convertible started, and I immediately recognized the music and the singer as something I really liked, but it took me a moment to identify it: "Secret for a Song" by Mercury Rev. Wow, these guys must have made some decent cash off of this, and yes, it really surprised me.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

No Time to Be Sick

Among the reasons for the lack of recent posts has been that, starting with last Saturday's Day 1 of Music Is Art, I have been ridiculously busy with work, political, musical and family responsibilities, and by Friday was exhausted. This may have led to the next step, because I now appear to have a bad summer cold starting, with sniffles, plugged nose, swollen sinuses, slight stomach queasiness, continued fatigue and general malaise.
The reason that this may be such bad timing is that Val and I leave Thursday morning for a mini-vacation in Chicago; we are going to Val's hometown for some family and tourist reasons, and because this is our first vacation in two years, since we spent 4-5 days at friends' island in northern Ontario.
Obviously, I need sleep, so after the dog gets his evening meal and the basketball game ends, I will be taking a shot of Nyquil and going to bed, which, of course, due to the heat and humidity, will not be too much fun.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Internet worries...

Gonna get a little political on you. Big business is looking to have large a amount of control over what you can see on the internet. ISP's (Internet Service Providers) will basically be able to receive "payola" to push the big sites while hiding or blocking the smaller ones. This means that the blog content that you enjoy (you must if you're reading this...), the free exchange of ideas on the internet could be a thing of the past.
There is a grassroots group that is fighting for "Net Neutrality". If this means anything to you, visit the Save the Internet site, and sign the petition there. This is really big for those of us that take a lot of time and care (and don't make any money) on our websites, and could be really annihilated if this passes. Oh, and I almost forgot - Brian Higgins, the man I worked for and supported when he was running to be the Congressman for our area, voted against Net Neutrality. That is highly disappointing.

Another Successful Music Is Art

Val and I had a great time covering the expanded Music Is Art 2006 festival, spending about 20 hours Saturday and Sunday at this event, brought to you by Goo Goo Dolls' bassist Robby Takac, Chameleon West and a lot of other people, and we will have a large story and many photos on it posted to our Buffaloroots web site soon.
Over those two days, we encountered several members of the Buffalo Blogosphere, spending time both days with Jen of All Things Jennifer, and we also ran into and talked with Alan of BuffaloPundit and Marc of WNYMedia. Yes, we are both exhausted, but I have to head to work, so the review and photos will be posted soon this week.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Music is Art, Day One



Wow! Can Robby throw a party! Day One of Music is Art was a lot of fun, but man, are we beat. A couple of shots for you before I hit the sack to get ready for Day Two.
The top is, if for some reason you didn't know, Robby Takac. The open arms just make you want to go to Day Two, dontcha think? His band Amungus will be closing the party tomorrow night. The second is a pic of Heather Quigley, tireless volunteer at MIA's children's village, and Jen Smith, well known in the Bflo Blogosphere as All Things Jennifer , another dedicated soul at said village.
Must sleep. See you tomorrow on Franklin between Allen and North. Hope it's a bit warmer......

Friday, June 09, 2006

Robby Takac and Music Is Art

We got to interview Goo Goo Dolls bassist and Chameleon West Music main guy Robby Takac on the upcoming Music Is Art Festival (Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11), and the interview is posted to our web site, Buffaloroots.com. This will be a great weekend.

Still Recovering

Yes, it has been more than a week since the Buffalo Sabres lost Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference Finals to Carolina, 4-2, but I still haven't gotten the urge to write anything end-of-season. It doesn't appear to be an isolated situation, either.
While taking Walker Evans on his neighborhood jaunt Tuesday, we walked past a neighbor walking his dog. He and I, and Val and his girlfriend/fiancee, always discuss the Sabres when we see each other. We saw each other a couple of yards away, and we each smiled that "aw, sh*t" smile, and when we got close enough to say hello, we both noted that we still couldn't really discuss the end of the season and that things were so close to being different.
Thursday, I had basically the same thing occur with designer and DJ Mark Wisz; while I was out walking on "business," he was walking his two dogs. I wonder how long this will last and how many of us are still feeling this way?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tuesday Morning Ugh, Dog Style

My eyes are tired and half-open, my lower neck/back has a twinge and Val is also exhausted this morning, and our dog Walker is finally a bit better.
After we walked him last night, we prepared Walker's food while we got our first back yard grilling (salmon) ready. These preparations continued while and after Walker ate his dinner, and as we got ready to take things outside, we heard a crinkling/swishing kind of sound, along with his collar and tags.
I found Walker standing over a halfway or so eaten white pom-pom Val or I had gotten at one of the Buffalo Sabres' home playoff games, and I knew what was next; either a painful journey through the dog's body and rectum, or some serious puking. I got my answer a few minutes later, as Walker started gagging and proceeded to puke up a large amount of dog food first, then an even larger and more impressive pile of a small amount of dog food blended with lots of white streamers from a pom-pom. Moments later, the remnants came up, with a shoe lace mixed into them.
Like many dogs, Walker first tried to eat what he had thrown up, then he tried for most of the rest of the night to walk around, drink water, pant and lick the floor to calm his stomach down, and he seemed to do so. When Val went to bed before 11 p.m., she took him upstairs with her to continue the calming process, which seemed to help, while I made some white rice as we usually do in these situations (Walker has gastritis and we almost lost him a few years ago to bloat, so his stomach is sewn to his chest cavity lining to prevent it from flipping again).
The overnight time was quiet for a bit, but Walker became restless and barked a little, so I took him over from Val and we all slept a bit. But sometime around 3-4 a.m., I awoke to Walker standing by the window looking out very attentively; there were two police cars in the street and the officers were attending to something across the street. I don't know for certain who or what, but a few nights ago, a neighbor and I both called police after about 10 people in their late-teens/early-20s decided to hold a dance party of sorts on that lawn, blasting bad dance music from one of their cars, dancing like a bad out take from "Fame" and scurrying into the car to drive away few times.
Finally, we all got back to sleep and the alarm meanly went off as usual at 6 a.m. I have a very full day at work and nighttime work and other commitments, so I am not going to be enjoying myself for a while.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Life Returns to 'Normal'

Now that it is more than 3 days since the Buffalo Sabres lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-2, in Game 7 of the NHL Eastern Conference finals, Val and I and no doubt many Buffalonians/Western New Yorkers, as well as some out of towners, are starting to get back into our routines.
Yes, we have started to do things and talk to people we rarely did or heard from since the playoffs started, from going to restaurants that we don't leave the car engine running while we dash in for takeout orders to seeing musical acts and plays, working more on yards and planning trips (we learned the joys of bidding for hotel rooms on priceline.com).
I'll have more on the Sabres when I can actually get fully out of my hockey end-of-season funk, as well as on other items.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Game 7 Vibe

It's about 13 hours to the start of Game 7 of the Buffalo-Carolina NHL Eastern Conference Finals, and not only is my stomach already getting flippy floppy, the excitement can be felt all around. Yes, I have a Sabres Oxford shirt on for work, thank you.
Of course, I have a work commitment for part of the early evening, but I also had it last night and it ended much earlier than expected, so I am hoping it will do the same tonight and allow me to get home in time for the face off and the live thread on Bfloblog.