Thursday, November 30, 2006

Good Bye, Home of the Hits

Word has just come in that one of the best independent record/music stores Buffalo has ever supported, Home of the Hits, 1105 Elmwood Avenue, will sadly close its doors for good by the end of December.
While we know that brick-and-mortar music stores, particularly independent ones, have been hit hard by mammoths such as Wal-Mart and Target and their sometimes ridiculously low prices, as well as the increasing popularity of digital music and downloads through outlets such as iTunes, good independent music stores such as Home of the Hits and New World Record, also on Elmwood Avenue, added the knowledge, fun, sense of community and occasional snarkiness (see "High Fidelity") that make music more than just listening, but a shared, vital experience. As a former employee of Cavages, I know how much better this certain audience was served by stores such as Home of the Hits.
Sadly, due to financial considerations, my music purchases have been rather limited these last few years, which reduced my recent visits to Home of the Hits to zero, but there was no single store or musical experience, with the exception of my time DJing at WBNY 91.3 FM, that helped me enjoy, appreciate and learn about music more. I first visited and bought music at Home of the Hits, an album no doubt, about 25 years ago, and I honestly cannot remember if it was Home of the Hits or Play It Again Sam. I cannot remember every clerk, associate, manager or whoever worked here over the years, but those who stand out in my mind include Marty Boratin, Jim Krawczyk, Phil Maltby, Rich Wall, Eric Van Rysdam (EVR), Chris Celeste and its owner for all of these years, Jennifer Preston.
While some might wrongly say that she was just a business owner, I thank Jennifer for keeping Home of the Hits open as a must-visit store for local music fans and visiting musicians and others interested in good music, independent and major label. Having lived across the street at 1094 Elmwood Avenue, as well as on nearby Potomac Avenue and Baynes Street, I spent what some would consider an excessive amount of time at the store. On Saturdays, laundry days, I would spend hours there, talking to the staff, other shoppers, friends and whoever on all aspects of music and life, and I would hate leaving without buying at least one recording or t-shirt. I got the best and largest part of my old punk/new wave button collection at Home of the Hits, as well as some great 45s.
I have no idea what the plans are for the building and property, owned by Jennifer, nor do I know about the future of the staff. I do know how much the store, its staff, owner, patrons and supporters meant to me and to Val, who also spent hours, days and weeks of her life at Home of the Hits. I do know it will always take up a large part of my formative years and memory.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another Tearjerker

To continue a recent thread, while I listened to a CD from our wedding party marked "Slow," for relatively slower, softer songs than the others Val recorded, yesterday, I heard another song that sometimes makes me cry, but in a good way, "Lost Together" by Blue Rodeo, from the CD of the same name.
For those of you unfortunately not too familiar with Blue Rodeo's work (Val and I are just a wee bit; we've each caught Blue Rodeo live 10-15 times, including at the Stardust Picnic in Toronto, and have basically all but one or two of their CDs), the song is about two people who are a bit aimless and not sure what they have to live for who find these things in each other.
Again, your suggestions for songs that produce tears are welcome.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

First Holiday Shopping Venture

Following a 9 a.m. work commitment, since I was out in Tonawanda, I went to the Boulevard Mall for some early holiday shopping this morning. I was using this session mainly as a reconnaissance, because Val and I concentrate our shopping in two places: the Elmwood Avenue area and the Internet.
This first shopping effort was being used for one main reason, to find out if, where and for how much stores in the mall had Buffalo Sabres hats, clothing, holiday ornaments and other merchandise. The second, ancillary mission, was to check on jeans prices for Val and I, and my main purchase was a pair of black denim jeans for myself, along with a couple pairs of heavy winter socks.
I discovered this: Laux Sporting Goods not only had a good amount of Buffalo Sabres' merchandise, it was overwhelmingly the new colors (which we like) and slug logo (which we still can't stand). The best discovery I made was that Laux had two hats Val and I have been looking for, the new colors with the Sabre going through the "B" with "Buffalo Sabres" underneath. It wasn't the "B," Sabre, words and stars hat you see on the players, but very close, apparently missing only the stars. The hat came in both dark blue and off white/cream, and cost $18.99.
Otherwise, it was interesting to observe that almost no Sabres' merchandise is available in the major department stores there, or no doubt elsewhere, including those stores which have carried Sabres' merchandise in the past.
Val and I wanted to check out the Sabres Store at HSBC and possibly the New Era Hat Company store in downtown Buffalo today after she woke up, but neither are open Saturdays, something that both surprises and disappoints me.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks for Family, Friends

Like most of us, Val and I were fortunate enough to spend Thanksgiving in a relatively quiet manner, with our family. Val and I picked my mother Sheila up and went to Val's sister Tricia's house, where she, her husband Brad and their son, Jack, almost 2, entertained us along with Val and Tricia's mother, Janice; the meal and company were wonderful.
My Thanksgiving started a bit earlier than expected with a nice surprise. Walker Evans, who is feeling much better, thank you, started barking around 9 a.m., which woke us up. I was wondering why he was barking more than he would if a dog or person walked by the house when Val said, "I think I heard the doorbell, hon." I hadn't heard the doorbell, but it made sense, so I headed downstairs to check and, if nothing/no one was there, to start the dog's food.
I looked out the front door as I got down the stairs; I saw nothing at first, then a bald head I immediately recognized. I went to the door and greeted Prego and Prego Pup from Rust Belt Ramblings. Apparently, Mrs. Prego was getting rather, er, intense about the Thanksgiving preparations (roast duck at their house), so Prego figured a little bit of air and company of a dog were good things. We ended up talking about a half hour in much warmer and sunnier than expected weather.
Today, Friday, while I was taking Walker Evans on his walk, the driver of a car driving past us on Bryant Street toward Richmond Avenue honked his horn; I turned to look and saw a friend of mine from college, Kurt Hartman, who pulled over and got out of his car to talk. I haven't had the chance to talk to Kurt in years (we knew each other mainly from Student Union Board at Buffalo State College, where he was a big wig and I was a volunteer concert security person and USG Senator/wanker), so we caught up on a lot of things.
It seems like the smaller, unspectacular events around Thanksgiving are the best, like the three above.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

It's a Dog's, Dog's World, Even When Sick

Walker Evans Dunne Hosey, the canine resident of the Dunne-Hosey Estates, has a bit of a checkered past. He was a rescue dog, or a pup of the streets if you will, weighing 35 pounds full frame when he was found in the LaSalle Bus Station parking lot and 40 pounds when Val brought him home; he is now a healthy 76 pounds. But thanks in part to his bad eating habits while homeless, he developed bloat and almost died; his stomach is sewn to his chest cavity/rib cage wall, and he also has gastritis.
So, this means that every so often, but fortunately not very often in the last year or two, Walker gets this penchant to lick everything and eat grass, which is followed by throwing up his dinner and other stomach contents, then bringing up white foam for a bit before things slow down and eventually get back to as close to normal as he comes. Most often, this includes a visit to the veterinarian, Brighton-Eggert Animal Clinic, for us.
Well, as you may have guessed, it struck again last night/this morning. I actually got to bed at 1 a.m. (while Val was a work), and at 1:50 a.m., I was woken by lots of licking and gagging. By 2 a.m., there was a large, steaming pile of dog puke at the foot of the bed, which meant I had to go downstairs, get a plastic bag, paper towels and some Resolve rug cleaner (we have two kinds: the foaming spray and the two-into-one heavy duty stream, which kind of sounds like me after a pot of coffee). After the cleanup was done, I finally got back to sleep after calming down Walker as well; at 4:19 a.m., he was gagging and brought up some white foam, which took a while to clean up (hard to get it to stay on a paper towel). At 4:44 a.m., there was more gagging, but only a silver dollar size section of foam. Between the cleanup and my wake up at 6 a.m., I slept about 30 minutes total and pet and calmed down Walker again.
With Val due to get home from work at about 6:45 a.m., I switched my morning routine, difficult for someone as anal as me, and ate breakfast first, so Walker would not be left alone to puke, lick or whatever. So Val got home, I got into the shower and went to work while Val and Walker slept.
I left work a bit early (using some hours I had) to run a few errands, and when I got home, I was told that he was doing a lot of licking, although, fortunately, he had not thrown up the white rice I had cooked and fed him. This is the food our vets have told us to feed him when he gets this way. So, off we went to Brighton-Eggert. Fortunately, following a full exam, x-rays and so on, Walker is now much more calm and feeling better, and we are increasing the frequency he takes his metoclopramide to once a meal over once a day for preventative reasons. The veterinarian also said we could give Walker Pepsid, up to 20 milligrams at a time, if he needed it.
There is nothing we wouldn't do for Walker, but I am hoping to get a wee bit more sleep tonight.

Welcome, Young Man

While late, Val and I would like to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Geek of BuffaloGeek upon the birth of their son, Cole, last week. It appears that Tracy Diina, who Val used to hang around with in CYO, is next to add to the population of the Buffalo Blogosphere.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Dear Friend Says Goodbye to a Dear Pet

Val and I send our dearest, deepest sympathies to our good friend, singer/songwriter Alex Lynne (Manias), who lost her dear, close friend, confidante and pet, her cat Daisy, over the weekend.
Daisy spent her 19 years with Alex, and Alex was always proud of her and trading stories with Val and I about our pets and how they shared our lives. There is no way you can overestimate the closeness between Alex and Daisy, and Val and I empathize with Alex, being so close to our pup, Walker Evans.
As well as being a good friend, Alex was one of two people, along with Toby Sachsenmaier, who convinced Val and I to go beyond friends and start a romantic relationship.
Strength and love, Alex, and enjoy your new journey, Daisy.

Crying, Over a Song

Thank you, Roy Orbison, for the lead-in paraphrase (I was damn lucky to catch him in concert at Kleinhans Music Hall in the late 1980s, with the JackLords opening) for this sensitive post.
We all have them, many of us won't admit to them, but there are songs that make us cry every time we hear them. I was listening to a CD today when it happened: Richard Thompson's tale of love, death and robbery, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning," from his underrated "Rumor and Sigh" CD, always gets me weepy. Another song that gets me crying is "Thousands Are Sailing," on the Pogues' "If I Should Fall from Grace with God" CD; the story of immigration, including the journey itself, and the contributions of people of Irish descent on America, reminds me of my grandparents, particularly my late grandfather William Hosey, who came to America from the town of Stradbally in County Laois, Ireland.
I am interested in hearing what songs make you cry and, if you care to explain, the reasons why.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Television Promotional Annoyance

I realize that the title could include hundreds of current items, but the one that stands out in my mind is the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" drive, slogan and commercials on NBC to promote its "Heroes" program.
I'll be short: I don't give a flying f@#* about the cheerleader, world as NBC sees it in this instance or the piece of crap program, and even more, I hate it when a network tries to pretend and/or get people to believe that an expression like this just happened to become popular or tripping off the tongues of people in a populist, groundswell movement instead of being a cloying, calculating promotional move with no real popular, of-the-people support. I know, this is what promotional campaigns can be, but I don't have to like them.

I'm an Ineffectual Pseudointellectual

Some of you may agree with that thought, but I'm actually referring to a lyric by one of my favorite Buffalo bands and I believe one of the best Buffalo bands from the 1980s-early 1990s, the Moment. I found a tape of theirs (later period) and was cranking it in my car the last few days, with the above lyric included.
The band was made up of Jim Redden on guitar and vocals, Jimmer Phillips on bass and vocals and Jimy Chambers on drums and vocals. While all went on to other bands of some success and renown (most notably Chambers as drummer, percussionist and other contributions to Mercury Rev), the Moment was an amazing blend of Mod, psychedelic, pop, rock and even shades of progressive rock at times. The band performed a wonderful reunion show 2-3 years ago at Mohawk Place, and I'd love to hear another some day.
Cry away ...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 to Play at Mohawk Place Monday, November 17

Yes, that's right, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 will perform Monday, November 17, at Mohawk Place, 47 East Mohawk Street, Buffalo, with Mark Norris and the Backpeddlers and Matt Smith opening
I am not sure if I can make it to the show (which would suck), because I have greatly enjoyed all three acts in one way or another; I caught a previous show of Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 at Mohawk Place, and it was frigging phenomenal. Wynn, the former guitarist and vocalist with the Dream Syndicate before starting a more than 15-year solo career (and in Gutterball), still blazes on guitar and continues to release excellent CDs. Mark Norris is known best for his former band girlpope, and Matt Smith is best known for some of his previous bands, including his long term with Scott Carpenter and the Real McCoys, as well as Terry and the Headhunters.
The following interview was conducted before Wynn's last show in Buffalo earlier this year, but due to work and health situations, we never got to post it to our Buffaloroots web site.
So, enjoy the interview and maybe I'll see you at the show.

Almost 10 questions with Steve Wynn
By Kevin J. Hosey

Guitarist, singer and songwriter Steve Wynn has continued his post-Dream Syndicate/Gutterball music career with some fine solo music and has now recorded his third CD with the Miracle 3 (Jason Victor, guitar and vocals; Dave DeCastro, bass; Linda Pitmon, drums), “tick…tick…tick…” on Down There Records.

The new CD kicks like a horse, mule, soccer player or whatever saying/cliché you’d like to mention, and shows that the years have treated Wynn well; indeed, he seems to have more energy than any previous part of his career.

Before a late March 2006 show at Mohawk Place in Buffalo, Wynn took to his computer and answered some questions for us.

KJHosey: How do you feel about the recording/the results of
"tick...tick...tick?"

Steve Wynn: Thrilled. My main goal was to translate our live show to CD and that's usually the hardest thing to do, surprisingly. I think we got it.

KJH: Some reports refer to "tick...tick...tick" as the third in a trilogy
or "Tucson Trilogy" of recordings with "Here Come the Miracles" and
"Static Transmission." Is this accurate, and are you pleased with your
last three recordings?

SW: The records most certainly belong together and are a trilogy. The studio, the band, the engineer, the vibe, the sound-it all holds together. And these are my three favorite records that I've done. It was so much fun and so easy, unbelievably easy.

KJH: You have worked with the Miracle 3 for several years; is this the
same lineup, and what have you enjoyed and gotten out of working with
these particular musicians?

SW: There is a certain kind of connection and rapport and transcendence you can get from people that you've spent so much time around. Not just on stage but also in the van or in hotel rooms or backstage. All of our camaraderie and friendship comes out in our music.

KJH: While you have had a long solo career and attracted media attention, it appears that the positive critical reviews and coverage you have received from your last three recordings has been the most since your time with the Dream Syndicate. Does it feel any different this time around and is it surprising to be in this position again about 20 years later?

SW: It's really gratifying to have people paying so much attention to these records. I am more proud of them than anything I've done before and I’m glad people are paying attention. And it's easier to enjoy it more now that I’m older and have some kind of perspective.

KJH: Has moving to New York City changed your sound or approach to
recording these last few years?

SW: Absolutely. There is no shortage of ideas or inspiration or snippets of conversation or excitement. It's around you all the time. I've always said that the reason I prefer New York to LA comes down to "Walking Not Driving."

KJH: Life away from music has a way of sticking its ugly head into things; you recently lost friend and Gutterball band mate Bryan Harvey when he and his family were murdered in their home. How did that hit you?

SW: As badly as you would think. Words can't express the way I feel. I've tried to find the right words and they keep coming up short. Incomprehensible and horrible. I miss him.

KJH: How do you feel with people still enjoying and requesting Dream
Syndicate music?

SW: It means a lot to me. Look, I'm really proud of that record and am happy that so many other people love it as well. But it makes all of the nostalgia a little easier when so many people have been discovering my last few albums. You never want to be strictly a museum piece but I think there's a good balance these days

KJH: I know you've been asked before, but is there any word on the
possible reissuing of "Medicine Show?"

SW: It's the only one I can't keep in print. It's hard when you're dealing with a monolithic corporation like A&M or Interscope (who owns the company, I think). But I think it will get reissued at some point.

KJH: People have repeatedly written that rock and roll is dead; is it?

SW: It's got more lives than a cat. Or Rocky Balboa. Every time you think that it's breathed its last, somebody comes along and reminds you of why the whole thing mattered so much in the first place.

For more information, people can go to http://stevewynn.net.

Supermarket Music Update

I had to stop at Latina's Market on Elmwood Avenue on the way home from work tonight; a nondescript song was ending, and was followed by two pleasant surprises: "Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better" by the Byrds.
After my last post on this topic, I got an e-mail from Outlyers' keyboardist/vocalist, former Jazzabel and former roommate Cathy Carfagna, telling me that Budwey's on Kenmore Avenue near Englewood Avenue plays some pretty good music, so I will have to check out that supermarket.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

To Sleep, Perchance to Snore

Readers here know that Val is currently working an overnight shift at her technical place of employment (8 p.m.-6:30 a.m. four days a week) for the first time in 10-15 years, and it has thrown her sleeping schedule off, among other things.
One thing that her new schedule has unexpectedly thrown off is my sleeping schedule. I need 4-5 hours of sleep a night and I can sleep just about anywhere at any time, and if my sleep is interrupted into two different sections, it doesn't bother me (this surprises and annoys people). But I have been both unable to fall asleep for hours while in bed without Val and the sleep I do get is nowhere as deep or restful. Even having Walker Evans balled against my legs at the end of the bed or even in the middle of the bed have helped little.
Let's face it: I miss Val sleeping next to me and feel a world better when she is there. I have told her how cute she looks when she is asleep, but I didn't know how much worse it would be without her four nights a week. Call me a baby or whatever; I know what I like.
Of course, I'm still good at falling asleep on the couch watching Monday Night Football alone or Antiques Roadshow with Val.

Once an Editor, Always an Editor

After spending more than 18 years as an editor and reporter and more than 20 years as a writer, I will never stop being irked by easy, simple, ridiculous spelling mistakes.
Three really stand out and, because some people don't care if they misspell a few words and others don't have or don't use Spell Check, are way too prevalent. First, the word is spelled definite and definitely, NOT "definate" and "definately." Second, the word is spelled independent, NOT "independant." And third, an old classic: the word is spelled cemetery, NOT "cemetary."
It may not seem to be too important an issue to some people, but besides my past as a writer, reporter and editor, we live in a time where some people stupidly and wrongly think that English should be legally adopted as the official language of this country, state, etc. If it wasn't such an important and embarrassing situation, I would laugh while pointing out how many of these supporters of English as the official language can't spell, conjugate or figure out simple grammar.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bottle Rockets Review

My review of last week's Bottle Rockets show at the Sportsmen's Tavern and photos by Val have been posted online at Buffaloroots, our web site, so please check it out when you have a moment for some good rock and roll.

Veterans Day in Our Family

Val and I join millions of people in honoring American veterans past, present and future today, Veterans Day, and thank them for their service to this country.
Two veterans stand out to us today; first, U.S. Army PFC Edward William Hosey, a Korean War veteran who served in the Army Security Agency as a cryptographer. Also, Edward Patrick Dunne, U.S. Navy, who served on submarines and submarine tenders during the Korean War.
Val and I share a real pride for our late fathers' accomplishments and modesty over their military service, and miss them badly. Val lost her father about four years ago, and my father died two and a half years ago, so the pain is fresh, but our love and pride is stronger.
Forever thanks and love, Ed and Ed.

Back in Blog

Yep, it's been a few days of political work and recovery, as well as writing for our web site, but we're back and blogging.
Val and I did our political volunteer work (for those who don't know, we're Democratic committee people in Buffalo), and we were fortunate that most of the candidates we voted for and worked for were successful, although, as usual, not every candidate succeeded. Personally, I did door-to-door canvassing, literature drops, telephone calls and other activities. It is time consuming and sometimes tiring, but when you do it for candidates you believe in, it is immensely satisfying when they win, and of course painful and disappointing when they lose.
But let's get back to music, media, personal details you may not care about, snarkiness and hopefully occasional enlightenment and/or entertainment.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Night Follies

Let's see; I forgot to defrost the chicken and took it from the freezer to the refrigerator, leaving me an 11-pound brick du pollo to hack part of my dinner out of; I dozed off while cooking the chicken and boiling water, leaving my chicken a bit, um, crispy and the water half empty to make pasta with; the Knicks looked crappy losing to San Antonio; Val's work shift changed from 8 p.m.-6:30 a.m. to 12-8:30 p.m. this week, screwing up our schedule again; Val's period got here a day early, right in the middle of her steaming some cauliflower; I went to help Val bring her plate through, and Walker Evans helped himself to the rest of my dinner, and the Seattle-Oakland Monday Night Football game is excruciatingly boring.
So, how is your Monday?

Political Nastiness, Micro Level

As I stepped onto the porch on my way to work this morning, I noticed that two of our political signs, one each for Hillary Clinton for U.S. Senate and Eliot Spitzer for Governor and David Paterson for Lieutenant Governor, had been knocked or yanked down (Val and I are Democratic committee people).
The two signs had actually been pulled out of the soil in our garden and thrown back in the garden bed; one had its plastic sign portion pulled right off the metal legs, while the other had its plastic sign part partly pulled off. I heard Walker Evans barking at around 2 a.m., but I didn't feel like checking it after he stopped barking.
While I was able to put both signs back together and reinsert them into the soil, I am pissed, not just because signs of our chosen candidates were vandalized, but because this is an attack on personal, if not constitutional, rights of expression and political assembly (I realize that this was very doubtfully government intervention). Two years ago, a couple down the block had their Bush 2004 and Nancy Naples for Congress signs vandalized; it irked me to the point that I apologized to them for the acts of whoever damaged their signs.
Well, by the end of tomorrow, we can say goodbye to political signs, campaigning, and much more importantly, political advertising such as the endless Tom Reynolds/Jack Davis Congressional commercials.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Bottle Rockets Rock


The entry title may see trite, but the facts behind it aren't; after watching the broadcast of the Sabres losing to the Maple Leafs, 4-1, last night, Val and I went to the Sportsmen's Tavern to catch Bloodshot Records' Bottle Rockets show.
My gosh, the Bottle Rockets were frigging great; the band rocked like roots rock/country rock mothers, featuring songs from its new "Zoysia" CD, and played 20 songs in its regular set as well as four songs during its encore. The packed house went pretty much nuts the entire show.
We will have my review and Val's photos of the Bottle Rockets' show up at our Buffaloroots web site very soon, but not until at least after tonight's Sabres-Rangers game.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

BMID (Big Man in Deli)

On my way home from political activities today, I stopped at Guercio's on Grant Street for a few things (to be detailed below). From the start, it seemed like something out of the ordinary was occurring.
As I went to open the door, a man about my age with his parents came out.
"Did you see him? Did you see him, Dad?"
"Yes, we saw him by the deli."
"That was Joe Mesi, wasn't it?"
"Yes, that was Baby Joe Mesi."
The entire store was alight with talk about Mesi, particularly the four women working in the deli. One woman laughed that she was waiting on somebody when Mesi came to the deli counter, and that she left her customer to wait on him "without even thinking." "Yes, we know," two of her friends responded. Mesi was still in the store and stood behind me in the checkout line until two more workers asked him to pose in a photo with them; throughout all this, Mesi was very gracious and friendly.
So, what did I get? A bag each of black pepper pasta noodles and basil pasta noodles, a pound of rigatoni, some bananas and 1 pound, three ounces of wonderful Gondola brand cheese-filled shells with mint. Val and I tried the ravioli version of this at a potluck dinner at the Buffalo Arts Studio last week, and they were delicious. All this came to just over $12.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Enough Already

Whether Senator John Kerry was joking/referring to President George H. W. Bush in his remarks concerning serving in Iraq and college education or level of intelligence or not, for cripe's sake, this is about as unnewsworthy as possible.
Gee, let me see: Kerry said something criticizing Bush and/or the war in Iraq, and he badly screwed up a joke and in some people's minds, insulted some servicepeople. Bush responded by criticizing Kerry and twisted his words to try to make himself look good.
This is newsworthy? Same old, same old, to me.

Sex, Bongs and Shuffle Ball Change?

While driving home from my hair cut/head shearing late this afternoon, I took Elmwood Avenue from Hertel Avenue to home in the Elmwood Village.
Located on that route, on the river side of Elmwood Avenue between Hertel Avenue and Great Arrow Drive, is one of those large adult stores that sells adult DVDs it advertises with lengths of 6, 12 and 18 hours (18 hours? Aren't your hands raw by then?) and has several "Adult DVDs" signs out front, as the building is a bit off the road. When I drove by today, I saw, surrounded by the "Adult DVDs" signs, one of those sign boards with black letters that lay on ridged shelves. The sign read: "All New Smoking Accessories and Dance Shoes."
I guess I'm not up on my current sexually explicit media and materials, so I'm asking those who are, is this a common blend? Mark and Kevin from Bfloblog, I'm looking for some help and wisdom.

A Friend in the News

Hey ! Jim Whitford, just off his gig accepting the Hall of Fame accolades, is the target in The Gusto- the weekly entertainment section of The Buffalo News. I know he's a pretty humble guy, but, whatever he says, he does deserve all of this attention. He is extremely good at what he does. Of all of his talents, my favorite is the guitar playing, singer-songwriter Jim, who will be playing with The Possums at happy hour (6-10) at Nietzsche's, 241 Allen Street. I, of course, won't be there, due to the aforementioned night shift. But I am lucky- living next door, I get to hear him rehearsing for tonight's gig. I love living in this city.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Turn Out the Lights, Halloween Is Over

Well, another year, another several hundreds of kids in all shapes, sizes, manners of costume and dress as well as attitude and age, came to the Hosey-Dunne Estates for Halloween.
The question several people have had of Val and I was, did we give out all of our candy, 309.5 ounces or 19 pounds, 5.5 ounces. The answer, surprisingly, is no; we ended up handing out 252 ounces, or 15 pounds, 12 ounces, but we have 57.5 ounces left over. This is the smallest amount of candy we have handed out on Halloween since I moved here in 2001, and since Val bought the house two years earlier.
We handed out mostly pretty good stuff, Milky Ways, Butterfingers (lots), Tootsie Rolls, Reese's Reverse Cups (peanut butter on the outside chocolate on the inside), Milk Duds, Baby Ruths, others I can't remember and, for the kids who either were not in costume, borderline too old, rude or just annoyed us, Skittles and Starburst. Our leftovers include part of a bag of Tootsie Rolls and unopened bags of Kitt Katts, Three Muskateers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers. Did we save some of the best stuff for last in case we had leftovers? I would like to exercise my Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination here.
Surprisingly, we had several kids request the Starburst and Skittles, most impressively a girl of 10-11 who, after we gave her some Butterfingers, pointed out that her brother with her was allergic to peanuts and related ingredients and asked that we gave him some Skittles and/or Starburst. The little boy smiled and shook his head "yes," so everyone was happy. On the other hand, one "boy" who looked a bit old and whose voice was deeper than mine complained as he walked down the stairs that we were the third house to give him Skittles. If he had said anything on the porch, I would have directed him to the complaint department barking a few feet behind us.
Another non-costumed lad complained that I gave him only one package of Skittles. I told him that we had to have enough candy to give to all the trick-or-treaters; when he asked again for more, I told him he was getting one and asked if he had any other questions. He groused and moped away, and made jokes about the political signs on our lawn as he left.
But for the most part, the kids and their costumes were very cute and amusing, and it is great to watch Val interact with the kids and their parents. Halloween is probably Val's favorite holiday, and every year we sit outside on our porch the entire time to watch the kids go door-to-door and to talk/interact with our neighbors.
Among the remaining memorable trick-or-treaters were the girl about age 12-13 in a pope's costume, including some impressive headgear, who looked a bit sinister and had white makeup on her face and some blood on her costume. She said she was the Zombie Pope, and after we joked a moment, she said she had to get going to eat more bishops. We also had a female of about age 15 with a 1- or 2-year-old girl who we hoped was her sister, but by the way she cared for, carried and talked to her, we believe it was a mother-and-daughter team. And there was the girl about age 13-15, dressed all in white with makeup and a mask, with clothing so tight and low-cut it was barely there and, to Val and my head-shaking surprise, thin white pants with nothing on underneath.
I noticed on other blogs that certain costumes, owner-made and store-bought, were being noted; the most common store-bought costume we saw was Spiderman, followed by Superman, Power Rangers and NASCAR drivers, with only one appearance by Batman. We got a bunch of homemade vampires, ghouls, football players and one combination vampire/Buffalo Sabres hockey player in the black and red jersey. Oh, and the tradition of people bringing their kids in minivans, trucks, station wagons and other vehicles from the Lower West Side, East Side and North Buffalo continued.
Neither Val nor I wear watches, so we were estimating the time, and the first time I got to check a clock was about 7:50 p.m. In about a minute from then, our street was virtually deserted, and if we didn't still have enough tree and lawn debris around, I would have expected tumbleweeds to blow by us.
Among the other places online you'll find fun Halloween stories are Rust Belt Ramblings, Bfloblog and BuffaloPundit.

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam ...

Our associated web site, Buffaloroots.com, is getting hit with spam in the same way too many other blogs and web sites get hit. While three of our addresses there get either very little or no spam, one account had been getting 20-50 spam messages a day.
That is, until Tuesday, when we got 260 spam messages. But not to be outdone, when I checked that address late Wednesday, we had 1,426 unread messages; since we do get some business and personal e-mail at that address, I checked the first 50 messages, which were all spam, and deleted them.
We never had this bad a problem before in the almost 5 years we have had the web site, and I am in no mood to have this spam problem continue.