Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New Era Caps: Something Missing

Val and I finally got to visit the New Era Cap store on Delaware Avenue in downtown Buffalo Saturday; we were impressed with the store overall, but came away disappointed.
The main reason we decided to visit was because we are both looking for University of Wisconsin hats/caps; I have a white one, and Val doesn't have any (although she has several sweatshirts and t-shirts), and we have a feeling we will get to watch them go pretty deep into the NCAA basketball tournament this year, with the Badgers currently ranked number 2.
But when we asked where the Wisconsin hats were, the person helping us said that except for local schools, they had no college hats in stock and would not be getting them until about May. If this is a case of New Era Cap not being able to acquire the licenses or permission to produce and sell these hats until May, then we fully understand. Otherwise, with the bowl season having just ended and college basketball in full swing, as well as Buffalo having hosted some of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament recently and vying to in the future, it would be amazingly short-sighted and, indeed, foolish not to stock the college hats before May.
It appears that Val and I will be going back to the Internet to make our purchases, instead of buying locally as we preferred. We only found one store with Wisconsin hats in Western New York, a Laux store that had two copies of a fitted hat that were too small for me and too large for Val.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Not On, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team, ranked number 2 in the nation, defeated the University of Iowa earlier this afternoon, 57-46, to raise its record to 20-1 overall, 6-0 in the Big Ten Conference.
As readers here know, Val and I are major Wisconsin fans (Val lived there, etc.), and I should have been reporting this to you after watching the nationally-televised game. Unfortunately, WIVB-TV, the local CBS affiliate, did not carry today's game, but instead, chose to carry paid programming, in particular, a 700 Club Telethon. That's right, a frigging 700 Club Telethon; oh, the excitement.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the 700 Club already have its own cable television station, which appears locally on Time Warner? And, as Val put it, isn't the 700 Club basically a telethon anyway? We will be sending out e-mails of annoyance; we realize it won 't change anything, but we have to say something about this.
The timing of the Wisconsin-Iowa game not being broadcast here is interesting for Val and me; while eating brunch at Solid Grounds on Elmwood Avenue today, a couple stopped as they were leaving; the man looked at me and said, "go, Badgers," because I was wearing my Wisconsin hat and Val had on her Green Bay Packers' sweatshirt. We ended up talking, and it turns out that the couple moved to Buffalo from Wisconsin last July; Reese is from Madison, and Tamara, who took a job at Buffalo State College, is from Lacrosse (I hope I got the names correct). We talked about all things Wisconsin, from the university and the Packers to Lake Michigan, cheese curds and brats.
It's a small world, after all ...

Blizzard of '77: Enough, Already

Yes, I lived through the Blizzard of '77 here in Buffalo and Erie County, and no, I am not going to read anything about the 30th anniversary of the blizzard or, if I can help it, watch or listen to any stories about it.
Why? Because there is NOTHING new or interesting to read, watch or hear about the Blizzard of '77 30 years later. Look, it snowed, the wind blew a lot, people couldn't work or go to school, and sadly, some people died. I am not impressed by anyone's stories of how they got through it at this point, and I will not recite any mundane, boring, self-important personal anecdotes about it.
Does any other town overdo things of this nature like Buffalo?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Heads Up Sleepware

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was having the trouble many bald/shaved-headed people do, that my pillow case was getting marked from too much head oil, grease or sweat, and that I would consult the experts, Mark and Jen, to see how to address this issue. Mark is also head shaven, or as Val says, sheared.
Well, I got my answer at their New Year's Day brunch; Mark sleeps with a hat on, namely a ski hat or snow hat, so I started doing so. It has taken a bit of getting used to, and is still a little weird when I first put it on as I get into bed, but it is working, and as the colder weather finally sets in, it is a nice extra way to stay warm. Of course, I have to remember to wash my hat, a black one that give me that rugged, longshoreman's look.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Add Another Job to the List

I didn't make it in to work today because of a slightly unexpected situation; when I went to get the final load of laundry from the dryer last night, I found a good part of the dropped/false ceiling in the laundry room had come down; fortunately, no major new damage occurred and most of the extra work so far has been cleanup.
Val and I had been planning some major projects on the house this spring and summer, mainly concerning the roof, walls and windows, and possibly insulation. We had a feeling that the laundry room would be added to the jobs to be done list, but we were hoping if necessary we could make it another year, and not have the ceiling meet the floor so soon.
Ah, the joys of home ownership ...

Saturday in the Park

Like any dog, our pup, Walker Evans, needs to be able to get out and sniff, explore and sometimes even run around, and he needs more room and newness than our backyard and the neighboring streets he gets walked on can provide.
We used to address this with his weekly visits to Dog Days of Buffalo on Amherst Street across from Wegmans, but since the fire that occurred there during the October storm, we have not been able to do so, although I have lengthened his walking distance.
One way I can give Walker Evans the exercise and sometimes socialization he needs is to take him to Squaw Island off Niagara Street; he loves to go several miles down the bike path along the river as well as explore the shoreline, and even romp up and down the hill when possible. With the wet weather we've recently had, I haven't been able to take him there as often as I would like, because my car doesn't need several square yards of mud in it.
But with Walker Evans acting a bit squirrelly (he would hate that description almost as much as he hates squirrels) lately, and with the cold weather hardening most of the ground, I decided that Saturday was the time to go. Val was still sleeping after working her overnight shift and we were DVRing the Wisconsin-Illinois mens basketball game (which Wisconsin won, naturally). Of course, when I checked the Weather Channel just before we left, the temperature was 19 degrees and the wind chill was 5 degrees; knowing that the wind at the lake at Squaw Island would be at least double the official 12 miles per hour report, I put long johns on under my jeans and broke out for its debut my blue and gold classic Buffalo Sabres toque, a very cool Christmas gift from Val.
Walker Evans knows that there are basically two reasons for me to take him to my car on the weekend, either to go to the veterinarian or to go to the park, Squaw Island or Delaware Park. When he sensed me turn left off Richmond Avenue onto Forest Avenue, he figured out where we were heading and stood with his paws between the seats and his head next to mine and gave me an appreciative lick to the ear.
Showing his usual excitement, Walker Evans ran to everything he could find to sniff and, um, post a response to, before heading down the bike path along the river. He slipped a few times on some ice, but was undeterred, and if I didn't decide to turn around before the wind knocked me over, I believe we would have walked to the Peace Bridge. For most of our time there, the park was almost deserted, with only three other vehicles there, including two U.S. Border Patrol vehicles near the bridge and rail line. Just before we ended our walk, Walker Evans slipped on some ice and apparently sprained his right front paw. He limped for a while Saturday, badly at times, but he is walking much better now.
As we neared my car, we finally encountered some other people and dogs. One man was walking his beagle blend, and Walker Evans met a new pup, another German shepherd blend, who was 5 1/2 months old and still at the stage where his paws are too large for the rest of his body.
On the way home, Walker Evans laid down on the seat, as Val puts it, like a drunken sailor (before anyone complains, Val's late father, Edward, was a U.S. Navy veteran and sailor), and seemed content. Except for my facial cheeks, I was rather warm and comfortable, and appreciated the workout.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

On the Electronic IR

The main reason Val and I haven't blogged too much recently and haven't been able to contribute to the fine live Buffalo Sabres' threads at Bfloblog is that our Macintosh laptop computer remains on the injured reserve list, as we await its new logic board to be installed and to be able to pick it up and bring it home.
Our tabletop Macintoshes are upstairs, so it can be a pain in the ass to interrupt what we are doing to come up here and use them. I am doing so right now because I just finished sorting, folding and putting away our two loads of laundry (Sunday is laundry day/night).
We never realized how dependent we have become on the laptop, and we hope this will be the last such minor roadblock for a while.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Happy Now?

After her weeks of complaints about the lack of snow this winter, particularly for Western New York, I hope that Jennifer is a bit more cheerful about the white stuff around town and here on the West Side of Buffalo.
But I must say that, in my own unscientific poll, it seems that the more a person wishes for snow/lots of snow, the less likely they are to be responsible for removal of such snow around their residence or business. But maybe that's just me.

I Am NOT Near F@#&*ng Retirement Age

As a music and media geek, I pay way too much attention to advertisements as well as programming, so my head snapped up as I started to recognize the music to a television commercial during "Everybody Love Raymond" Tuesday night (Val is a "Raymond" fanatic).
The song sounded very familiar until I shouted out in a Jim Mora "Playoffs?" voice, "that's the Buzzcocks," a favorite 1970s-early 1980s British pop punk band. I turned to Val and said, "that's the actual performance or recording of 'Everybody's Happy Nowadays,' for cripe's sake." If you haven't heard the Buzzcocks, for heaven's sake, start with the band's "Singles Going Steady" CD.
I wasn't familiar with the commercial and wondered if it was for Microsoft, but Val laughed as the voiceover and screen graphics noted that it was for The American Association for Retired People. She said that he saw a news article on the AARP, which was starting an advertising campaign and even sponsoring concerts, aiming them at baby boomers.
While I was a Generation Xer (if you believe this kind of crap) when Generation X came to media prominence, after "they" shifted the age parameters for the generations, I "became" a late baby boomer, and a pissed off baby boomer.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Laughter, the Best Medicine?

Shortly after the New England Patriots defeated the San Diego Chargers Sunday, 24-21, a game I gladly watched, I continued doing the laundry and then made my dinner while Val, who already ate, watched 60 Minutes.
I figured that the interview with President George Bush would lead off the broadcast, which it did, and even if I hadn't known at the start, I could have figured it out due to a few hints. Val spent the interview yelling and occasionally swearing at the television, and at one point loudly laughing.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

How Do You Spell Duh? K-E-V-I-N

Just before Val and I watched the Sabres-Maple Leafs game last Saturday, we picked up some dinner and decided to watch the Rick Jeanneret DVD; we, like many people, got one as a Christmas/holiday gift.
Well, I put the disk in the DVD player and Val started it with the remote control; there was no video, just audio, for the first goal, and then it played 12 goals like this before a light bulb went off in my head.
"Hey, hon, I think I put the wrong disc in the DVD player," I said with a cheesy smile on my face, and then sheepishly took out the CD of Jeanneret's goal calls from last year before placing the actual DVD in the player. Presto, we saw and heard the goals and interviews.
Val laughed and shook her head, fortunately too hungry not to eat some of her dinner.

Still Trying to Feel Normal

This damn cold I've been fighting will hit the two-week mark Monday night, and I am still suffering from nasal congestion and way too much nose blowing; at least my cough and chest congestion are gone.
But between the lingering cold and now my sinus headache in the back of my head, the kind I get when the air pressure changes (regardless of temperature), I am still a bit less than inspired at writing here, despite having a number of items I wanted to mention. I also owe Buffalo Pundit a couple of e-mails.
I will fire off a few missives, but I have already forgotten some of the things I was going to write about; yes, I know, I should write this stuff down from time to time especially when ill or tired.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stupid CD Commercial Alert

While watching some program before the Sabres' game Wednesday night, I saw a commercial so insulting to my intelligence and music geekdom that I had to comment here.
The ad concerned "Goin' South," a two-CD compilation of rock songs that generally fell into the southern rock/boogie, country rock and blues rock areas, with the title reference apparently meaning that these bands had something to do with the sounds or geography of the South, mainly Southeast, United States. Many bands were not surprising in their inclusion, namely Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Outlaws, Blackfoot, the Eagles and even a band I remember as fondly as the Georgia Satellites.
But I was astounded by some of the other inclusions: George Thorogood, who by the name of his accompanying band, the Delaware Destroyers, shows he is a Northeast Coast guy and plays a very loud, pedestrian "blooz" rock that never reminded me of anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line; Rick Derringer, from Ohio, who may have played with Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group but whose song here, "Rock and Roll Hootchie Coo," is not Southern Rock by any stretch of the imagination, and last but not least, Golden Earring, which hails from the down-home confines of The Hague, The Netherlands, and for the life of me I can't figure out how their best-known songs, "Radar Love" and "Twilight Zone," or any of their other songs, could fit anywhere here except that the CD producers were able to acquire the rights to use the song.
Yes, I was screaming these things at the television as the commercial was broadcast, and no, I don't feel any better about it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

How Much Is That Dio in the Elfin Boots?

I think it is he, but I have to ask you kind readers; is the person singing the somewhat heavy metal song in the Domino's Pizza television commercial our favorite height-challenged, shrieking, pompous, second-best singer Black Sabbath ever had from Central New York, Ronnie James Dio?
The singer and the band sound a bit like Blackie Lawless and WASP to me at first, but the song quickly becomes a relative Dio sound-alike, if not actually Dio himself. While an Internet search did not come up with the answer, it did show that Dio, while singing and playing bass in an earlier band, recorded a live album at Domino's in Cortland, NY.
The singing in the commercial scares me, as does my almost immediate recognition of Dio and reminder of WASP.

Put Down the Cliche and Step Back, Please

One of the lessons I was taught in journalism school and in the world of journalism/writing is to avoid repetition at all costs; not only using the same words, but the same ideas.
So, after hearing this expression used on virtually, if not actually, every single television and radio station, in all newspapers, magazines and even blogs in Buffalo/Western New York: stop using the term "fish or cut bait" in referring to the Bass Pro Shop situation and nearing-its-end 30-day deadline for the company to commit to a store in Buffalo.
Let me be succinct. IT. IS. NOT. AND. HAS. NEVER. BEEN. FUCKING. FUNNY. It is just overused, tired and insulting to the intelligence of any living being above a slime vacuole.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Still Feeling Oogy

"Oogy" is a word I picked up from Val to describe how I/you feel when you are sick, and while not yet at death's door, you are tired, blah, don't want to move or lift your head, your stomach is a bit queasy and it's not fun; in other words, my cold is still here.
I am off the DayQuil, but I am still taking NyQuil before bed; I have added throat spray and continue quaffing the ghastly concoction known as Robitussin CF. It tastes oh, so bad, but it is working oh, so good, and my chest congestion is loosening, so I am feeling a bit better.
One sign that I am still not 100 percent: Val and I went to Gramma Mora's for dinner tonight, and I was unable to finish my chicken burrito ranchero dinner with rice and beans (and sour cream). I finished the chicken burritos ranchero, but I left some of my rice and beans, an act I NEVER commit. I almost felt like apologizing.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Very Cool Band Member

I just saw a short piece during the Sugar Bowl broadcast that made me smile wide.
Jeanne Zelasko interviewed Rashad Carter, a young man from Louisiana who was a freshman and tuba player in the Notre Dame University Band. He is attending Notre Dame on an academic scholarship, and told Zelasko that his dream was always to play in the Notre Dame band.
Being a former tuba player in school (symphonic band, marching band, concert band and a little in orchestra), to hear a player so proud not only to be in band but to play tuba and to be attending a college as well regarded as Notre Dame on an academic scholarship made my night, especially following the Buffalo Sabres' loss to the Ottawa Senators.


I was planning on blogging on a bunch of things and maybe finishing some freelance stuff Monday night and Tuesday, but I got hit by some big illness situation that left me tired Monday and, to quote Val, a big pile of goo Tuesday, barely able to move off the couch except to walk and feed Walker Evans.
While I still have the cold today, I am feeling a lot better, especially energy wise, although I am a bit plugged and my coughing sounds and sometimes feels horrible. The cough came on after being absent at first, so I have switched from Day Quil to Robitussin. It is possibly the most vile tasting substance or medicine I have ever consumed, but nothing has even come close in clearing my congestion and subduing my cough as Robitussin. It has to work well, because I still shudder, yell and do my "Yuck" dance when I take a dose.

Long Distance WNY Music Search

Early this morning, a person hit our blog through the search "David Kane's Decay of Western Civilization," a GREAT 1980s Buffalo band led by keyboardist/composer David Kane, joined by drummer/percussionist Greg Gizzi, percussionist Bill Moore and saxophonist Jack Przybylski.
But the reason I am writing about this particular search is that, according to the data collected by Sitemeter.com, the search came from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. I may have to contact this person to ask how they are familiar with Decay of Western Civilization.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year

As 2007 begins, I realize that the best gift I received this Christmas/holiday season was the best one I have received each of the last 7 holidays; the way Val fits in my arms.
Happy New Year from Val, Kevin, Walker and the Hosey-Dunne Estates.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Doggy Detour

Val and I got home from Jen and Mark's brunch Monday just in time for Val to take a short nap on my lap and for us to start watching the Buffalo Sabres-New York Islanders' hockey game, which the Sabres ended up winning, 3-1.
But only about 2 minutes into the game, we got a telephone call; I asked Val if I should answer it, and we both said yes, so I did. It was Val's sister Tricia, who sounded tired or sick; she was a bit ill, but asked to talk to Val. It ends up that some variety of stomach flu had struck Tricia and her husband, Brad, although their son, Jack, seemed OK (he had been hit by a bug Christmas day).
Val and Tricia's mother, Janice Dunne, was in Albany attending the inauguration of Governor Eliot Spitzer (boy, does it feel good to write that), and Tricia and Brad were handling the feeding of Janice's dog, Mattie, while she was in Albany. Janice lives in the Eggertsville part of Amherst, and Tricia and Brad live about 1-2 miles away in another part of Amherst.
Val immediately agreed to feed Mattie dinner, so we headed over, let Mattie out, fed her, talked with her a little and returned home. We only missed about a period of the hockey game and got to to watch most of the victory, sadly followed by Val going to work.

Thanks for the Shindig

Again, Jen and Mark put on a wonderful party/gathering with their New Year's Day brunch earlier today. The food, from all kinds of quiches to all kinds of cookies and other kinds of chocolates and goodies, were wonderful, and Val and I, in thanking the hostess and host, are still wondering where Jen finds the time to do all of this cooking and preparation, and how Mark can be such a good, um, administrator.