Monday, March 31, 2008

Time, Spending and Wasting

I took a day off of work Monday, because Val and I had some things we had to do and to recover somewhat from working at TriMania Saturday (from about 11:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.-1:30 a.m.).
Part of the time I should have been resting/sleeping at night I spent up watching television (mainly sports) and reading some Internet stuff (blogs, web sites, etc.), but I have caught up a bit on the rest situation. Of course, I should have done more writing (Val has also noted that), and I am fighting some bad recent habits so I can do more writing here, on our web site and my freelance career.
Along with writing goes reading, and I did a good amount of that this weekend, through books, newspapers, magazines and online, which brings me to a situation that has kept me thinking. Val had a monthly meeting Monday for a state grant she and several other artists received; she was gone for about 5 hours, in which I fed the dog, gave him his evening healthy treat, made dinner and so on.
But I spent most of my time reading several web sites, including historical and news sites, as well as a few blogs, having fallen behind on a bunch of things from being busy this weekend. When Val got home, I mentioned that I had done this and kind of apologized for "wasting my time."
I soon starting thinking that I had apologized for reading, for trying to learn some things and to enrich myself. I have NEVER apologized before for reading, and certainly Val did not ask or want me to apologize for reading, so I have to hope that I am not getting to and will never get to the point of thinking that reading is a waste of time. Cripe, I was a newspaper journalist for more than 18 years; what was I thinking?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sports Suckage

This weekend has been a major disappointment here at the Dunne-Hosey Estates, as we await the start of the Buffalo Sabres-Boston Bruins hockey game.
First, the Sabres lost to Montreal in a shoot out, 4-3, Friday, after the Sabres had a 3-1 third-period lead. Then, after advancing to the Sweet Sixteen, Wisconsin was knocked out of the NCAA men's basketball tournament by upstart Davidson, 73-56, a game Val and I watched with horror on DVR after the Sabres' game.
I know that the Sabres beat Ottawa in overtime Thursday, 4-3, but I don't think I can count that as a weekend game. Let's hope Buffalo does better in its Sunday game, the last home game of the regular season (and season overall if they don't miraculously make it to the playoffs), than they did against Montreal.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sabres: Not Dead Yet

The Buffalo Sabres remain alive, barely, in the NHL playoff hunt after beating the Ottawa Senators in a shootout last night, 4-3; hopefully, this win was the start of a good sports weekend.
Not only do the Sabres return home to play the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 p.m. tonight and then host the Boston Bruins at 6 pm. Sunday, Buffalo's last regular-season home game, but maybe more importantly, the Wisconsin Badgers being their NCAA Men's Tournament Sweet 16 basketball action against Davidson tonight, with Val and I very hopeful and ready to root on Wisconsin (I had to) to what could be an excellent season.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Sports Blackout Addendum

Just to update anyone interested in my continued Internet sports blackout at work, Erie County, apparently due to the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: I now can no longer access the Buffalo News sports section or Bfloblog.
And to Jaquandor and other readers who may have thought I was complaining and/or trying to find a way to get around this: I was posting the information to let people know that us government workers, at least at Erie County, are blocked from sports sites during March Madness, and I don't believe we should be spending the time online during work for this anyway. As I said, as long as I work on the taxpayers' dime, I don't feel I should be wasting that time on Internet sports.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sabres in Heap of Playoff Trouble

The Buffalo Sabres' 6-3 loss to Ottawa last night, after the Sabres played a good game from the start through part of the third period and held a 3-1 lead, may have been the final nail in the coffin of their NHL playoff hopes this season.
The eventually ugly loss, while still leaving the Sabres eligible in the playoff hunt, will probably be a crushing blow to fans' hopes and no doubt to the players, who have no one to blame but themselves for the defeat. Buffalo's loss was accompanied by most of the teams either just in front of them or just behind them for the final playoff slots winning Tuesday.
But, of course, as long as the Sabres are still in the playoff hunt, Val and I will watch and root for them.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lunch As It Should Be

I take my lunch to work 5 days a week most of the time, and 4 days once in a great while, usually making the array of cold sandwiches from tuna and peanut butter and jelly to deli chicken or pork roast, both with swiss cheese.
But Val's mother, Janie, made ham for dinner Easter Sunday and made enough to give Val and I and her sister, Tricia, and her husband, Brad, enough to take home. Getting a wee bit tired of my normal lunches, I made a sandwich of pieces/slices of the ham, swiss cheese and Miracle Whip on a soft roll, and heated it for 45 seconds Monday.
Good Lord, that was the best freaking ham and cheese sandwich I have ever eaten; fortunately, I realized that eating the ham sooner than later would keep the freshness and moistness quotients high, and I should have realized how much better fresh baked ham is than deli ham. And this is from someone who used to dislike ham.
OK, enough blathering, back to our appointed snarkiness.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Catching Up: WBNY Show Playlist

Yes, this is five months late, but, as promised, here is my playlist from my 2-hour air shift Sunday night in late October 2007 at WBNY 91.3 FM, the radio station at Buffalo State College during the combination Alumni Weekend and the 25th anniversary celebration.
6 p.m. - Rodney Crowell - Say You Love Me; Blue Rodeo, This Road; Beausoleil, Zydeco Gris-Gris; Richard Thompson, Dad' s Gonna Kill Me; The Jam, Standards; Roxy Music, Same Old Scene; Rockpile, Pet You and Hold You; Mark Freeland, Girl Power; Nullstadt, Jimmy; Davy and the Crocketts, Stage Zero; The Nerves, When You Find Out; The Plimsouls, Oldest Story in the World; Peter Case, Ain't Gonna Worry No More; Southern Culture on the Skids, 8-Piece Box.
7 p.m. - Lucinda Williams, Pineola; Mamou, Opelousas Sostan; girlpope, Bad Habits; Michael Oliver, Little Miss Oblivious; Roger Bryan, Lighthouse; Warren Zevon, The Overdraft; MC5, Shakin' Street; Los Lobos, Done Gone Blue; Jim Whitford, Crash All Night; Pine Dogs, Been on a Twister; The Enemies, Disconnected; Linda MacRae, This Winding Road; Julie Miller, All My Tears; Carolyn Mark, Happy 2 B Flying Away.
As always, I had a lot of fun and I will be participating in this year's Alumni Weekend as well, and who knows, maybe you'll hear me on WBNY sooner.

Friday, March 21, 2008

No Sports for You

Working for Erie County (one of its governmental entities), I can attest to you readers that the NCAA Men's Basketball Tourament will not be distracting my work.
Fort at least the second year in a row, Erie County is blocking sports on its Internet connection. I knew that this would be happpening, and frankly, I don't have time to watch games or play the brackets or anything like that at work, and I also know that it is simply wrong to do so on the taxpayer's dime.
But I figured I would check yesterday to see how far it went. I checked these sites, and all of them were blocked: CNN/,,, and even the BBC online sports site. The Buffalo News sports section could be accessed, but that was all I could find.


I just watched a television commercial that may be a sign of the Apocalypse, or at least one of the seven seals.
It started as your ordinary, annoying NutraSystem commercial with former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino, who was shortly joined by ... Larry the Cable Guy. LARRY THE FREAKING CABLE GUY! The one-minute commercial ended up seeming like 5 minutes, and LTCG sounding as unfunny and mind-numbing as usual.
I must have been a bad boy.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Even the Geese are Not Happy

Waking up at 6 a.m. today, I noticed the sound of many geese honking as they flew over and around our West Side house.
The geese sounded none too happy, and it is probably for the same reason I am a bit unhappy while looking at the date: Once again, it is spring only by calendar reference here in Buffalo and Western New York. The high temperature for the next several days is not expected to get out of the 30s, with lows in the 20s and one day predicted at 18 degrees.
This may be one of the reasons so many of us, geese included, are so annoyed, and some even depressed, by the end of winter; after three-plus months of cold, snow, ice and sleet, we've had enough, and while winter never seems to get to Buffalo and Western New York late (we have all heard ad nauseum about how winter doesn't "officially" get here until December 21, while we see snow pile up and temperatures drop), it does seem to leave here late.
And as much as I like boots, I'd like to wear some actual shoes to work soon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Yes, the Sabres Need to Win Again

Indeed, tonight's game between the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m. at the HSBC Arena is another of what are basically all must-win games if the Sabres wish to make it into the NHL playoffs.
It becomes that much more necessary a win because of the victories last night by the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can join Val and me at Bfloblog for the Sabres' live thread.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Now THIS Is a Rock and Roll Show

If good, sleazy, screaming rock and roll is your idea of a good night, then Mohawk Place, 47 East Mohawk Street in Buffalo, has a mother of a night coming up June 4.
That evening, the triple bill will be headlined by Mudhoney; yes, that Mudhoney, one of the progenitors of grunge rock. Also on the bill will be garage punk classics The Cynics as well as Buffalo's sleaziest garage rockers (with a touch of rockabilly and punk), The Irving Klaws.
If this isn't enough, leading up to this show will be the return of the freaking masters of garage rock, rock and roll and party music from New York City, The Fleshtones, at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 10, with Handsome Jack and the Thermidors opening. Also, the Meatmen will tear apart the Mohawk May 9, and in a calmer but no doubt damn good show, the American Music Club will perform Wednesday, April 16, with Tracy Morrow and the Magi Chippie opening.

TV Time with the "Good" Pastor

I am in the middle of flipping through television stations with the remote contol, and when I hit Channel 23 on Time Warner Cable, I realized I was at TCT, better known by some (at least me) around the Dunne-Hosey Estates as Hyper Christian Central TV.
Who happens to be preaching at the moment, but in the last two minutes hasn't invoked any of his sick, vile, hatred-laced vitriol that he mistakes for religion and faith, but Minister and/or Pastor John Hagee.
People actually admire and listen to this guy?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wisconsin Men's Basketball Screwed Again?

My answer, slightly biased to some because of my fandom, is yes, after the Badgers received the number-3 seed in the Midwest bracket of the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Wisconsin is ranked higher than Georgetown, which received the number-2 seed in the Midwest, has a better record (29-4 to 27-5) and won both the Big Ten Conference regular-season and tournament championships, while the Hoyas won the Big East Conference regular-season championship but were knocked out of the tournament by Pitt.
One CBS Sports commentator (I forgot to catch his name) said after the East bracket seeds were announced that it was apparent that the NCAA committee had taken the conference tournament results into account; my ass they did. When they showed the Badgers gathered as their seeding was announced, you could tell that they were less than thrilled with the number-3 seed.
Among those who agree with me on Wisconsin is CNN/ college basketball writer Luke Winn, whose comments on the NCAA tournament choices can be found here, among other places (go down to number 5 for the Wisconsin reference).
I will no doubt have more to write on this later on, but I am pretty pissed off at this stage.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Patricia Weber Memorial Service

A memorial gathering for Patricia Weber, mother of local musician and friend Kent Weber, as well as Keith, Kim and the late Kevin (Lynda), grandchildren and a great-grandchild, will be held from noon-1 p.m. today, Saturday, March 15, at the Lombardo Funeral Home (City Chapel), 102 Linwood Avenue at Summer Street on the West Side, and funeral services will immediately follow.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Not Freaking Funny

When I got home from work Tuesday, I figured I would take Walker Evans on his walk, blog a little and make my dinner; Val had a doctor's appointment and a Buffalo Arts Studio board of directors meeting, so it was "make your own/buy your own" dinner night.
Those plans were changed when I parked and was filled with the joy of the ages when I saw that the snow plow had been by AGAIN, even though the plows had done a rather good job of getting to the road surface on our part of Norwood Avenue Monday. So, after Walker Evans and I got back, it was another session of shoveling large chunks of snow and ice; already being in the shoveling mode and having a little bit of time, I also shoveled some snow and ice from my two neighbors to the right.
I doubt it will be very much, but my heart isn't exactly warmed by the large flakes of snow I see falling outside right now as dawn tries to break.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sore; No More

It seems like the biggest topic of discussion with people I spoke with at Wegmans and elsewhere Sunday was not the actual 20 inches of so of snowfall in the last 36 hours, but the soreness we all felt from shoveling and/or plowing the snow and pushing cars out of snow.
But while many of us were finally able to move without too much pain by Monday, I was among the lucky people who live on the side of the street in Buffalo (and elsewhere) where the alternate parking meant that the plows could clean our street and fill our driveways.
So yes, I came home to some serious boulders and a good amount of chunky snow at the bottom of the driveway, but actually a bit less than I expected. Still, I am rather sore this morning, not just in my arms, legs, thighs and back, but in my butt cheeks. I know, thanks for that image.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend of Panels

No, I did not attend a conference last weekend; when I wasn't clearing our sidewalk and driveway of snow or digging and/or pushing cars of out snow, I spent lots of time Saturday and Sunday sorting out my comic book collections.
My comic books are a serious split between independent/alternative and big label comics, and the indie comics I enjoyed the most include Love and Rockets, Neat Stuff, Yummy Fur and several other Fantagraphics and Drawn & Quarterly publications. I was on the DC Comics side of the DC/Marvel question, and my favorites there include Sandman, John Constantine Hellblazer, Watchmen and probably my all-time favorite DC Comics title, V for Vendetta (a much better comic than movie).
There are lots more, and my weekend of sorting and cataloging did not complete my project, and of course, there were interruptions shaking my head in surprise over seeing so many issues of Omaha the Cat Dancer and the various Batman and Justice League titles.
Yes, I have some serious geek in me.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Message from Paul Painkiller

It appears that Paul Painkiller, the singer and lead, um character of the Painkillers, Buffalo's most underrated and underappreciated punk band, joins some other people in being less than excited about this year's presidential candidates. He sent this e-mail out Saturday night, unedited:

DON'T BELIEVE THE OTHERS' HYPE, BELIEVE THAT NOBODY CAN GET IT DONE!!! so please vote NOBODY for president, because NOBODY really care about you!!!
This is an e-mail from the friends of NOBODY, and has been approved by NOBODY!!!
If you and your friend's don't vote for NOBODY, then it's not NOBODY'S FAULT!!!!

It may not be 100 percent original, but you know where Paul stands.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Another Lost Musician

I received word a day or two ago that Mark Cy, best know for his band, One Hundred Percent, playing at places such as The Continental, had died.
While I did not know Mark too well, I knew him to be very passionate and concerned about his music. When I reviewed one of his band's recordings, I was critical on some matters and he was just as strong and critical in One Hundred Percent's defense, something I always respect in a musician.
One Hundred Percent still has a web site here.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Shovel off to Buffalo

We entered this winter with two snow shovels, both having seen better days; as of tonight, we have one snow shovel remaining.
I was using the red metal shovel because the snow and ice had mixed in oh, such a lovely way today, and was heavy, wet snow in certain ways. But just a few shovels into the fun, after I got home and took Walker Evans around the neighborhood, the shovel broke in the middle, leaving me with a green plastic shovel.
It was hoped that the two shovels together would get us through this winter, but the metal shovel was the better of the two, because the plastic one already has some crack issues and the shovel portion prefers to skim over snow than dig into or under it, too often requiring me to go over parts of the driveway and sidewalk two or three times and still not get it all. The plastic shovel is good for light, fluffy snow up to about three or four inches, and doesn't skim over that, but medium or heavy snow presents problems.
With the television stations I've seen so far predicting a virtual "Apocalypse Now" snowy weekend, I will have to go to Home Depot or True Value Hardware very soon to get a new shovel. Oh, joy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pat Weber RIP

We lost one of the better and nicer people around when Pat Weber, mother of bassist and good friend Kent Weber, died last week.
Pat always had time to say hello and ask how you were when she saw you out anywhere, and she was known and respected by many not only for her warmth and friendliness, but for her unending support for Kent. You could encounter Pat at many of Kent's shows, including at The Continental and The Cabaret; indeed, one night Pat and Val's mother, Janice Dunne, spent a fun evening chatting (and rumor has it imbibing) at a show Kent was playing and Val was photographing at The Continental.
Kent lovingly cared for his mother for several years following her stroke, and Val and I join so many others in sending our heartfelt condolences to Kent and the Weber family, knowing that Pat will still be there at all of his shows. Kent has had a hard year, having suffered the deaths of his best friend and longtime musical collaborator, Mark Freeland, and now his mother Pat.

Monday, March 03, 2008

In the Neighborhood ...

Whether it's taking Walker Evans for his daily stroll or Val and I going to a friend's house or on an errand to Elmwood Avenue or elsewhere, you'll always find something to smile at or shake your head over walking in our Elmwood Village neighborhood.
Today, it was Walker Evans and I enjoying ourselves on our walk (Val is having some MS concerns); first, as we came to Norwood and Lexington, a man around age 50-55 went 1-for-3 driving his black SUV at the intersection. At least he stopped; he turned left onto Norwood Avenue without using a turning signal or hand sign, and as he made the turn, he tossed half a lit cigarette out the window.
The next block, at the corner of Norwood and Highland, featured a part funny, part almost sad sight. A "Season's Greetings" sign remains in the front-door window of a house more than two months past due. Santa Claus' coat and hat are now basically dark pink, the lettering is getting light and the white snow background is now a lovely shade of gray.
Walker Evans noticed none of these things; with so many other dogs out, he was having a great time meeting, greeting and sniffing the other canines.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

More Fine Writing by Kim

I recently posted an entry about my late brother, Brian, who would have celebrated his 50th birthday February 28. There are some issues about losing my big brother at age 37 that I am still working out, and writing about it helps, as I did at length last year.
Well, my niece and Brian's oldest daughter, Kim Hosey, also wrote an entry on her dad's 50th birthday at her blog, Arizona Writer, and it is an absolutely wonderful piece with photos. I highly advise you fine readers to check it out.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

More Republican Mail Fun

It seems as if the Republican National Committee is determined to keep me supplied with blog material.
In today's mail, I received another GOP fund-raising missive, this time from Treasurer Tim Morgan, in which he asks the musical question, "Have you given up?" He also wonders why I haven't renewed my donation efforts and blames the usual suspects for scaring Republicans, from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to "the Left with their agenda of high taxes, big government and weakened national security."
I have to laugh, knowing that just a little bit of the National Republican Committee's efforts and funds are being wasted on me.