Friday, March 30, 2007

Bill Kirchen Show Is Sold Out

The second in the series of private party shows at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Amherst Street in Buffalo, featuring guitarist/singer Bill Kirchen Sunday, May 13 (Mother's Day), is sold out, according to Ken Biringer, the Sportsmen's publicity person and all-around good guy.
Kirchen is best know as the guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer for Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, including writing and singing the band's classic "Hot Rod Lincoln." He is touring on his current CD, "Hammer of the Hony Tonk Gods."
I will get more informtion from Ken on other shows in this series and publish it here as soon as I get it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Smallest Job Around the House ...

... begins with a single step, usually, like last night, in the directoin of Home Depot. Val and I picked up a 25-pound bag of grass seed for some replanting and patching for the front, back and side yards, and don't expect this to be the last bag we buy.
This is on top of the major home repair work coming up we are hosting a slate of contractors and so on for at our house. Indeed, one will be here at 7 p.m. tonight, Wednesday, forcing us to DVR the Sabres-Devils game and making us miss the live thread at Bfloblog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

And Furthermore ...

I am also sick and tired of hearing about the overstated Buffalo Sabres medallions crisis, situation or whatever garbage this non-event is being called.
It is silly to watch, listen to or read broadcast and other news media treating this "shortage" of medallions as if it is a real news story or conspiracy of some kind. Too many media outlets, in their rush to catch up on their Sabres coverage and to look like their are the hockey team's top boosters, take any ancillary story and blow it out of proportion.
Certainly, the media outlets can cover these situations any way they like, but audience members should realize how badly they are being patronized.

Another Blast from the Past

I was in no mood to listen to the news, talk radio or even regular music radio in the car today, and with a few errands to run before I got home, I searched the cassettes in my car (1999 Chevrolet Cavaliers do not usually have CD players).
I decided on a cassette I haven't listened to in a bit, "Manifesto" by Roxy Music. Released in 1979 (yes, 28 years ago), I fell in love with this album as soon as I heard it, and the music has aged well. A seamless recording where songs often flow into each other, if you haven't heard "Manifesto," it is available for a relatively mid-range price.

Why Do We Care?

So, former Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee said some negative, insulting things about the City of Buffalo and Western New York, its nightlife and women. Can someone tell me why I should care?
No one who has paid any attention to McGahee's parental dealings and production, previous activities or statements of just about any kind should be surprised or particularly interested that the overrated, underachieving running back didn't fit in here.
But why did so many media outlets, from broadcast and print to blogs, commit so much time to this "story," an interview he did in Baltimore, and why, oh why, did several television and radio stations put this in their news section and reporting, and not in sports? It became a virtual session of self-flagellation in some cases.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Feeling Much Better

Yes, kind readers, I have apparently finally gotten rid of the flu bug and other illnesses/ailments that knocked me off my butt for almost a week.
I returned to work Thursday and my appetite, strength and equilibrium all seem back to normal. The muscle I pulled in my ribcage is about 95 percent healed, so I just have to be a little careful there.
On the other hand, Val and I are still sick about the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team's early exit from the NCAA Tournament.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Welcome Words from the West

I was pleasantly surprised by the supporting comments I received on this piece I wrote about my late brother Brian Hosey at the start of March.
But yesterday, I received another comment that has woken me up and made me realize one reason why this and so many other blogs exist. My niece, Kim Hosey, daughter of Brian, sent a long message from Mesa, Arizona. Without going into depth yet (I need a lot more time to give Kim a worthy response), she has and continues to go through some of the same unresolved feelings and situations I do over my brother and her father's life and death. Also, Kim is a professional writer/journalist.
This could be the start of a very emotional and helpful correspondence.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Getting Well, But Too Slow

While I'm feeling better than a few days ago, I have still not returned to work and am feeling blah and somewhat crappy.
No, I haven't thrown up in a few days, but too many of the other symptoms are either sticking around or have returned; I am getting the chills way too often and way too intensely still, and where is the food I am energetically eliminating coming from? Val had to cuddle against me and apply direct body heat to get me to stop shaking a few nights ago when I came to bed, after I had trouble carrying a less-than-half-full glass of water from the living room to the kitchen.
Anyone who thinks being out of work sick for any amount of time is fun and cool and playing-hooky neat is simply wrong. Sleep isn't coming in normal stretches, food doesn't taste as good as normal when you can find something you can actually stomach and huddling under a blanket shivering during the frigging daytime sucks.

Another Nail Through My Heart

I hope there is nothing wrong with me borrowing a lyric from a late 1970s song by one of my all-time favorite bands, Squeeze, to discuss another annoying use of a punk/new wave classic band and song.
While watching the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Sunday (don't anyone DARE ask me about Wisconsin losing), a Cadillac commercial came on with the song "Start!" by the Jam, a song from the band's great 1980 "Sound Affects" album. Some readers may remember "Start!" as the mod/punk song that begins with an apparent borrowing of the bass introduction of the Beatles' "Taxman."
I suppose I should no longer be surprised with car commercials using favorite songs of mine this way; Val pointed out that many artistic directors and commercial makers are now about my (starting to feel advanced) age.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Our Sympathies to the Pritchards

Val and I offer our deepest sympathies to Kevin Pritchard of Bfloblog and his entire family on the death of their father, husband and friend, Frank Pritchard. Val and I lost our fathers in the last few years and know the pain and loss that is involved, and we simply offer any strength or support we can.


Sorry I haven't posted in several days, but I have been rather sick. I barely made it home Thursday with stomach flu-like symptoms (both ends, not at the same time), and while convulsing at the toilet and other activities, I pulled a muscle or tendons, ligaments or whatever, in my lower right rib cage. I felt like absolute crapola for days.
Indeed, today, Sunday, I ate and kept down my first solid food since Thursday, and even did the grocery shopping, just making it home conscious. I encountered one of my best friends, Tony Christiano (Hertel Hardware co-owner), and his son, Owen, at Wegmans. I havent' seen Tony in months, and the first thing he said to me was "are you sick, Kevin?" After a few minutes of catching up (Tony's wife Tracey gave birth to their second son, Leo, on Tuesday), he shook his head and said, "Kevin, you've lost weight, you're pale, weak and sick. GO HOME." I finished the shopping and went home.
One of the unforseen problems is that our dog, Walker Evans, is very unhappy with me, because he hasn't had a walk since Wednesday; I am hoping to be up to it tomorrow, but we'll see. His annoyed glances are making me guilty.
One of the nice surprises has been that milkshakes were virtual lifesavers; aside from ginger ale and water, the first thing I consumed that I kept down (some toast and jelly made a lovely reappearance) was a McDonald's chocolate shake Val got for me. It tasted and felt like heaven, took away some serious hunger and kept me going. I had to settle for a Burger King milkshake today; when I stopped at McDonald's on Elmwood Avenue after Wegmans, they said they were out of all shakes and ice cream. Apparently, the Shamrock Shakes took their toll.
At the moment, with a cold now piling on top of everything else, the pain I feel every time I cough, stand, laugh, kneel, sit, bend, pick up or put down something, may be the worst remaining issue.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Am I a (Momentary) Sports Jinx?

In the last few weeks, the two sports teams I (actually we, as in Val and I) am a fan of and am following in this blog, the Buffalo Sabres and the University of Wisconsin men's basketball team, have gone into slides of sorts following long stretches of strong play.
In fact, the Sabres were the top team in the NHL for a while and, despite losing four of their last five games, remain in the lead in their conference, while Wisconsin was ranked number one in the nation for a short while and is currently ranked number 7 after losing the Big Ten Conference championship game to Ohio State Sunday.
It's hard not to occasionally write about my two favorite teams, and of course nothing I write about them affects their play, but I am starting to wonder if I'm not helping things.

How to Make an Annoying Song Worse

I caught a television commercial earlier tonight for SUVs made by GMC; the normally crappy type of advertisement was made worse by the music, a cover of Modern English's "I'll Melt with You" by a female singer who sang in a virtual jazz, scat and wistful acoustic manner with treacly, pseudo folk music backing her.
While "I'll Melt with You" is considered an early New Wave classic that crossed over into major pop success, the song has always been a signpost to me of when New Wave turned into pappy, senseless music better for nostalgia for too many of the people who lived through the era and an inaccurate portrayal of what music was to those who were too young to remember or experience it.
On top of that, it just isn't that good or interesting a song, and back in late 1983/early 1984, I reviewed Modern English when the band played a show in a bar, restaurant and club in Depew, of all places. The band was unenergetic, mushy, uninspiring and the songs from the new album it was touring to support were pale versions of their earlier work.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A Dear Friend Letter from Mitt Romney

I received a mass mailing letter at home from Republican Massachusetts Governor and presidential nominee candidate Mitt Romney Friday that started like this:

"Dear Friend,
One of the things I admired most about Ronald Reagan was his unfailing optimism, which served to unite this country even during difficult times. He came into the White House during an enormously challenging time and his bold conservative leadership strengthened our military, grew our economy, and made the American Dream possible for anyone willing to work for it."

Sorry, Mitt, but I think you mean Reagan's unfailing senility leading to Alzheimer's disease or at least withering stupidity, which split this country in ways that still exist. The time he came into office was more of a challenge than his miniscule intellect and talents could handle and the rest of the comments are unmitigated crap.
But let me let Romney continue. Two paragraphs later, he writes:

"But first, I want to reach out to you. As an active member of the Republican Party, I know you care deeply about the future of our country and our conservative ideals."

Um, Mitt? I am not only a registered Democrat, I am from the left/liberal wing of the Democritc Party, and I am a Democratic committee member on the West Side of Buffalo, where my wife Val, also a Democratic committee member, and I live. Our ideals oppose much of your repugnant philosophy, which I often don't see as truly conservative. I may disagree with true conservatives on a good number of points, but they strike me as being more sincere and less wavering or vile as yours do.
This letter goes on for four pages and, of course, asks me for a financial contribution. Well, my contributions, physical, mental or financial, will be going to the candidate of my choice, who I will assist defeat your party's choice and stand against your "ideals."
I was there as an active member of Students for Mondale/Ferraro, and I will be there now working with hopefully a better and stronger ticket to win in November 2008.

A Change Is Gonna Come at Buffalo Rising

I received this e-mail from former Buffalo Rising editor Charlie Quill late Friday morning:

"Charlie Quill"

09 Mar 2007, 11:33:21 AM

Last email you'll ever get from me... this email address.

As some of you may know, I am no longer with Buffalo Rising. I can be reached at or .


Charlie Quill

[+] click:
[+] visit:
[+] call: 716.563.5132

26 Mississippi Street
Fourth Floor
Buffalo, New York 14203

Buffalo Rising: Local matters.
a publication of Hyperlocal Media, LLC

I did not know of the change until I read this e-mail and I have no idea of the why or how, or even of the exact when and who, but this seems unfortunate. I worked with Charlie during my journalism career and have been a fan of his work in various print and Internet outlets. Quill is also well-known as an excellent guitarist for the Steam Donkeys and formerly with Dry Bones.
I will send along more information if/when I receive it.

Big Sports Weekend, Hopefully Good

This has been a big, if not always good, weekend for sports in the Hosey-Dunne Estates, with the Buffalo Sabres losing three games in a row but the Wisconsin Badgers having won two games and playing rival Ohio State for the Big Ten Championship in about 40 minutes today.
Appropriately enough, Val and I ate breakfast at Bagel Jay's on Delaware Avenue today; besides liking the food a lot, Val worked for Bagel Brothers on Elmwood Avenue when Jay and, well, his brother, operated that business. Jay saw my hat and asked us if we were fans of Wisconsin and when the game started today. I said yes and explained Val's Wisconsin connections: She lived there a bit, her mother Janice is from Manitowoc and graduated from Wisconsin in Madison and Val's grandmother, the late Gertrude Wagener, worked at the library at Wisconsin for years and lived two blocks from Camp Randall Field on Monroe Street, and was a football season ticket holder.
We had a very nice conversation on the University of Wisconsin (his daughter is a senior there), the sports teams and the likelihood of Wisconsin beating Ohio State and doing good in the NCAA Tournament.
I believe that this was a good omen for today, so from both of us, Go Badgers.

Found It, Mostly

The notebook containing notes for several CD reviews and other material for our web site, Buffaloroots, that I couldn't find a few days ago was happily found by Val in our bedroom yesterday, so I have some new CD reviews to come soon, as well as three which should be posted and up for your perusal by tonight.
I also realize that the notes for another CD review that are missing were taken down on a separate piece of paper from another notebook, so I would be able to keep it separate from the other notes and easily find it. Uh, yeah.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"The Winner" - Anything But

I watched an episode and about a half of "The Winner" Sunday, the Fox program allegedly based on a man growing up/living in Buffalo starring Rob Corddry, and it is absolutely awful.
While the show is supposed to be in Buffalo, and many have made a big point of this (as if someone saying the show is based in Buffalo should get Buffalonians excited and makes the program better), except for one or two lame O.J. Simpson "jokes" and one or two background shots with none of the cast in it, it could be in any city or town anywhere.
But this on its own does not make "The Winner" a loser of a program, nor does the annoying laugh track. The story and writing are as bad as a national television program can be; unfunny, cliched, ridiculous and about as far from reality as possible. For the most part, people do not talk or act this way, and on the whole, the show is a real waste of Corddry's talent, best seen on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
The only part of the show with any redeeming value, mainly in the first show, was at times the relationship between Corddry's Glen Abbott and Josh Miller, played by Keir Gilchrist. Both see themselves as outsiders and sometimes losers, and when the writers didn't go for cheap, overdone jokes and use sex jokes in totally unappealing ways, the two began to establish a genuine rapport.
But this is definitely not anywhere near enough to bring me back to watch "The Winner" again. And for information sake, Val strongly disagrees with my opinions on "The Winner."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Where Is My Miner's Helmet?

I have been frantically searching our house, particularly the area around my computer upstairs, for a notebook I have misplaced that contains notes for several reviews I need to write for our web site, BuffaloRoots.
Of course, the area around my computer may be the most congested and messy area in the house, certainly the worst of those areas with frequent use. I used the notebook recently for some other web site reviews, so I know it's here, but until I find it, I might as well be working in a coal mine. Hey, what a great idea for a song ...

Turning Garbage Into Gold

Val and I joined about 80-100 other rabid Buffalo Sabres' fans at the Lindy Ruff Fine Party at Casa Di Pizza Monday night. With Ruff's $10,000 fine by the National Hockey League for his response to the cheap head hit on Sabres' forward/co-captain Chris Drury by Ottawa Senator Chris Neil paid by the team, donations at the event went to the Food Bank of Western New York.
There were people there of all ages and backgrounds, with the common denominator the amazing amount of Buffalo Sabres clothing, hats and coats worn by attendees, including Val and I. People were in great moods and talking with other Sabres fans they had just met, while the Rick Jeanneret DVD played on a television. People munched on pizza, chicken wings, pasta and rolls.
It may have been frigid outside, but things were nice, warm and friendly inside.

Remember When It Was New Wave?

Did anyone reading this think that in 2007, they would see and hear a commercial with animated Chips Ahoy! cookies driving in a car while singing a Human League song, "Don't You Want Me, Baby?"
We caught this one on several shows this weekend, as well as "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" Monday night.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Dinner in the Suburbs

Val and I ate dinner at Friendly's in Cheektowaga Saturday; we saw a commercial for Friendly's Thursday night, and we started talking about eating there many years ago. We both noted how good their sundaes were and that we hadn't had ice cream in months, so we decided that Saturday would be the day.
The food was pretty good (I had a Southwestern Chicken Supermelt sandwich, Val a Fishamajig), particularly for a chain restaurant, and the sundaes were excellent. I had a Mocha Mud Crunch, a name I thought sounded like what it would eventually make me do.
But the highlight of the meal was the family who sat at the table next to us. The eight people were made up of two couples age 35-45, a couple probably in their 70s or 80s who appeared to be the parents of members of each or both younger couple, and two girls, one about age 15, the other age 10-12.
Most of their discussion was pretty normal; the Sabres came up at times, but their main topic was a student musical performance at Kleinhans Music Hall earlier that day that it seems the girls performed in. The younger girl talked about many of the performers, including "I thought the best chorus was the one with the dark people," to which her mother responded by explaining that the chorus was singing "Southern songs." A moment later, the girl remarked, "I like the fancy restaurant we ate at that had the silverware and glasses of water on the table."
The mother also spoke in hushed tones about how she drove on Allen Street and then onto Elmwood Avenue. Somehow, Val and I kept our composure and didn't laugh.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Brian Hosey

My big brother, Brian William Hosey, was born February 28, 1958, in Sisters Hospital in Buffalo. He was my big brother in all ways, in age, height (6-foot-6 to my 6-foot-3) and, in ways I didn't always pick up on right away, looking after my welfare and strength.
Brian died July 30, 1995, and will forever be frozen in time and in my eye and heart as my older brother, father, husband, teacher and coach. He was married to Janet (Rumsey) and they had three kids: Kimberly, Colleen and Daniel. Brian taught elementary and early middle school and was just about to start his first year as a principal when he died.
My affinity for sports (a hard working but not particularly talented athlete, my first job out of college was as a sports writer) came mainly from Brian, from competing against him in everything, particularly basketball (he had a sweet jump shot and played tough defense, but he couldn't jump a lick), and when he and his family packed up and moved to Apache Junction, Arizona, in the early 1980s, he got very involved in school and municipal youth athletics, ending up coaching the freshman and junior varsity girls basketball teams as well as coaching baseball, softball and basketball in recreation sports.
His competitive spirit (he was a major Boston Bruins and Oakland Raiders fan, but we did share a strong devotion to the Buffalo Braves) extended to brotherhood; he would mercilessly beat me up physically, on the field or court, and verbally, until I learned to defend myself. The two ways in which he conceded that I was somewhat grown up and able to fend for myself were when I was able to make my father laugh more than Brian (and making Ed laugh was a labor as a child) and when I pinned my brother wrestling; admittedly, I did have bigger shoulders and legs than Brian.
When Brian died in Apache Junction of an aortic aneurysm (he had suffered a stroke about a year before that and hid it from us, not sending us his recent photograph which showed the telltale signs of stroke), I was unable to go to Arizona for the funeral, because my grandfather William Hosey was still alive and living here; my parents, Edward and Sheila, were able to go to the services there, while we held a memorial service here. I admit that I still have unresolved feelings, at least partly never feeling I was able to say goodbye to the brother who I shared a bedroom with for 16-17 years and who I greatly enjoyed talking with over the telephone on birthdays, holidays and major family events.
I can also attest to the fact that parents should never have to bury their children; Ed and Sheila were never the same after Brian's death. It was the first time I saw my father cry, and the only other time I saw him cry was when his father died a couple of years later. I suppose the fact that my father died of a massive coronary in April 2004, a day after he suffered a stroke but seemed to be doing good under the circumstances, and again without me being able to say goodbye, increased and mixed up the unresolved feelings I had, and I also saw my mother go through more pain, confusion and loneliness than she deserves.
I have always responded strong to death and not only held up and functioned well myself, but I have been able to help relatives and friends in their times of need. While I have been commended and thanked for it, I am not sure if it is because I can help other people or because I somehow go on automatic pilot and compartmentalize those feelings.
I hadn't expected to write all of this; I really have never written about my brother's death in detail, not having the proper outlet before. But Val's strength, encouragement and experience with going through some of these same things has helped open the gates. The fact that my mother and I attended a memorial Mass for my brother at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Depew Saturday, our home parish, also helped.
Some day, I hope to visit Apache Junction, particularly the new baseball, basketball and other sports and recreation park that was named for my brother and where his ashes were spread, and maybe I'll get to meet one of the Brian Hosey Youth Award/Scholarship winners and let them know a little bit about the man the award is named after, my big brother, Brian.