Saturday, May 31, 2008

Turn It Up to Eleven

Driving to the restaurant Saturday night, Val and I were flipping stations, then remembered that 105.1 The River was holding one of its more and more frequent 80s Flashback Weekends; along with Nina Blackwood's New Wave Nation, possibly the only reason to listen to The River during the weekend (or ever, for that matter).
We heard a bunch of songs on The River on the way, from good to mediocre to bad, but we fortunately turned to the station in time to hear one of those "crank the radio" songs, one that is not only great but that you don't hear often enough on the radio, "Eyes of a Stranger" by the Payolas. We even sat in the parking lot of the restaurant until the song finished.
I was fortunate to catch the Payolas and the band it turned into Rock N Hyde, live, in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and it was a great time. I caught Rock N Hyde at September's, with Walk Don't Walk opening, and it was a fantastic show one I still fondly remember.

Setting a Fine Example

As Val and I waited to be seated at the restaurant where we ate Saturday dinner, several other families and groups came in, a couple of them needlessly and loudly complaining about having to wait 5-10 minutes to be seated. Dumb and petty, but not that unusual.
After we were seated, one of the families mentioned above, a husband and wife about 45 years old, and their son, age 13-15, were seated near us. After they got their menus, Mom and Dad immediately proceeded to take out their cell phones and start texting; all this time, their son sat there, seemingly waiting to, heaven forbid, talk to his parents in real time.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Jumpers at the Century Grill May 30

If you want to enjoy a night of great early punk rock and rock and roll, and you know you do, join Val and I and lots of other smart music fans by catching the legendary Jumpers at 10 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Century Grill, 320 Pearl Street in Buffalo.
Led by singer Terry Sullivan and joined by guitarists Scott Michaels and Bob Kozak, bassist Craig Meylan and Roger Nicol on drums, the Jumpers made a major impact on Buffalo and elsewhere with sonic blasts such as "South of the City," "This Is It!" "I Wanna Know What's Going On" and "Sick Girls." With Michaels having returned to Buffalo from California, we can expect some real oomph and fun.
Admission will be $5 for the show.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Get Well, Everybody

Val and I send all of our love and best wishes to my sister-in-law, Janet Hosey, in Arizona, wife of my late brother, Brian, as she recovers from several medical maladies. If anyone can get better and recover fast, it's Janet.
We also send our best wishes and thanks to her children as they help her recover; Kimberly, Colleen and Daniel, and we also hope that Kim gets back to writing her fantastic blog, Arizonawriter.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You Found Us How?

Everyone with a blog and/or web site notices that people can reach you by some unusual searches, but earlier today, someone got to this blog through the search "prego cries during anal."
Um, I actually can explain most of this. My good friend and around-the-corner neighbor who uses the pen name Prego writes, or wrote , the blog Rust Belt Ramblings, which I have mentioned here before, and I have described myself as anal. But geez, folks, that was a strange search by which to reach us.

Who? Try Again, People

As most homeowners know and experience, especially when you live in an allegedly trendy neighborhood with strong house values such as ours in the Elmwood Village on the West Side of Buffalo, you receive lots of letters and door hangers from Realtors and real estate people trying to buy and sell your home.
Some look worse the harder they try. We received a multicolor letter with art work from Sam Gurney, president of Gurney, Becker and Bourne, explaining that they wanted to be our Realtor if we wanted to sell our house.
But the letter is addressed to "Valerie & Kevin J. Dunne,"and hard as it is to pass on such obvious competence, research and quality work, Val and I do not plan to ever sell this house.

You Can't Talk in Your Sleep ...

"...If you can't sleep" is a lyric from a great Go-Gos' song from its classic "Beauty and the Beat" CD, and it applied to early this morning.
While he is mostly brave and protective, Walker Evans, our German shepherd, Rottweiler and Labrador blend, is scared of thunder and lightning, so at 2 a.m., when the few thunderbolts we had hit, he was rather barky and jittery, so Val and I had to bring him up into our bed to calm him down so all of us could get some sleep.
It took a while to calm Walker down, and his wheezing and agitated state meant that I am exhausted and a little slow so far today; word from Val is that Walker and I snored together at one point.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Business Venture Slowed?

My newest update on the Bryant Street Cake Company may or not be an update at all; last week, when I walked Walker Evans and I by the prospective business on Bryant Street between Elmwood Avenue and Ashland Avenue, I saw a "For Lease" sign in one of the windows.
Today, as Walker Evans and I walked by again, there were two "For Lease" signs in the windows, and no one inside the business for the last month or so. Indeed, it looked like most of the items that had previously been in the store, as well as many of the tools and equipment, were gone.

Getting the Kinks Out of the Parade

I had a great conversation with two World War II veterans during the Kenmore Memorial Day Parade about topics such as the weather, politics, food, appreciation of veterans and how none of them resembled their old photos before they went overseas, particularly their hair. As I thanked them, for their service, they smiled and said thanks but that they were only doing their jobs; that is one of the many reasons they deserve thanks, for their simple, graceful attitudes.
At the end of our conversation, the start of the parade approached, with a Kenmore Police Department car flashing its lights and loudly sounding its siren. As I moved out of the way of the spectators, the Kenmore West High School Marching Band came next, and started to play, of all songs, the Kinks' "You Really Got Me."
My high school marching band, the Lancaster High School Marching Redskins (yes, I'm still damn proud) played "The Theme from Shaft," and I thought we were cool.

Restaurant Replacement

On my way to the Memorial Day Parade in Kenmore (ah, politics) today, as I drove down Elmwood Avenue in the village I checked to see what was happening at the old Apple Dumpling Restaurant; it has been closed since our friend, owner and cook Sharon Modica died last year.
Yes, something did happen; there is a new restaurant open at the same Elmwood Avenue location, one called the Cozy Nook Restaurant. If /when I hear more about it, I will let you know.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Justin Townes Earle to Headline Three-Band Show at Mohawk Place Saturday, May 24

A real good show with some familiar names is heading to Buffalo this weekend, as Justin Townes Earle headlines a show at Mohawk Place, 47 East Mohawk Street in Buffalo, starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 24.

While Earle may be known at first to people because of his famous father, Steve Earle, and another relative, Stacey Earle, this is no case of just handing things to a famous-named person, if the sounds of his debut Bloodshot Records’ CD, “The Good Life,” are any indication. The music sounds more like Hank Williams than Steve Earle; indeed, the music is more reminiscent of Hank Williams III at times than grandpa, but there are touches and tastes of rock, New Orleans and other styles, and according to information from Bloodshot Records, Justin’s influences include the Replacements, Jimmy Reed, Kurt Cobain, Ray Charles and the Pogues, reflecting some of his pasts musical efforts.

On “The Good Life,” several good songs all but jump out at you, including the almost perfect honky tonker “The Good Life,” on which Earle claims that his life will be better now that he is single, especially since he seems to have more money to spend on himself, but you can tell they won’t be such good times. There is some great steel guitar and fiddle on the song. “Hard Living,” which is what his lover seems to make him go through to be with her, is a fast, shuffling country/folk song, while another standout, “Lone Pine Hill,” is the sad, acoustic country story of a Confederate soldier realizing that the South is losing or has lost the Civil War and no longer knowing what he fought for. “Who Am I to Say” is basically Earle’s voice, acoustic guitar and a bit other spare accompaniment as he sings about knowing that his woman has been cheating on him while he was gone, but he comes to realize that he is no one to judge her on this or on her boozing and drug abuse. She still has feelings for him, which seem to worry him, because they may be igniting latent feelings he still has for her.

A recent story on Earle on NPR can be, or at least should be, found here, and yes, Justin Townes Earle was named after the late, great Texas singer and songwriter Townes Van Zandt, a hero of Steve Earle; Justin has played in his fathers’ band.

Admission to the Justin Townes Earle show is $10, and opening the show will be Louisiana Purchase and Joey V and the Thunder Bros. Mohawk Place can be contacted at 855-3931.

Back to Basketball

With the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs finals between Pittsbrgh and Detroit still days away from starting, I filled this week's sports void, much to Val's disinterest, to the NBA Playoffs.
The Los Angeles Lakers were impressive in some ways last night, rallying after being down to the San Antonio Spurs 65-45 in the third quarter to win, 89-85. The Lakers have been my second or third-favorite team for years, behind the New York Knick and the Buffalo Braves when they existed, so you can see my pain and now middling joy.
But I still enjoy NCAA Division I basketball a whole lot more and I look forward to the Penguins-Red Wings' series starting soon.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Come Ooooooooooooooooooooooon

Why yes, I'm listening to X-Ray Spex scream and bang out "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!" right now, dancing in my chair so hard I almost fell out of it. Why do you ask?

I'm a Loser, Baby, But Please Keep Reading

Geez, I feel like a dummy; the Wayne "The Train" Hancock private concert series show at the Sportsmen's Tavern on Grant Street in Buffalo was Monday, May 19. The show was sold out, as an e-mail from the ever-helpful Ken Bisinger told me, but I forgot to post that or to get off my ass and go to the show until about 2 minutes ago.
Yes, work has been busy, and I have had a bit of an issue with motivation recently, as many of you readers know, which is affecting my freelance and other writing, so maybe, finally, this dumb move/lack of move on my part will be the kick I need to get going and write more.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Will the Leaves Change Colors Soon?

It is beginning to look a lot like autumn around Buffalo/Western New York, with the temperatures ridiculously and unseasonably cold and the sun making very few recent appearances.
This used to be the best season for taking Walker Evans on his walks or to the Lasalle Park dog park and Squaw Island, but particularly at the two parks on the water, things are downright chilly for man and beast.
It's almost as if I and others want to mow their lawns so we can sit on the warm engines while the mowers are running; yes, a lovely site to picture. At least the temperatures are more fitting for the upcoming NHL Stanley Cup finals between Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Last Stand for New World Record

Sadly, one of the best record/CD/music stores I have had the chance to patronize over the years, New World Record, will close its doors at the end of business Sunday, May 18. Govindan, Elizabeth and the entire staff have put up the good fight for years (starting with my shopping at the location on Evans Street at the Amherst/Williamsville border more than 20 years ago).
Val and I will definitely stop in at New World Record's location at Delaware and Hertel sometime this weekend, and we urge you to do the same thing to take advantage of some great offers and to say hello and thank Govindan Kartha and the other staff for their hard work and dedication.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Yeah, THAT Will Increase NHL Viewership

Dear NHL honchos who determine playoff game scheduling,
Sorry, you slappy asses, but afternoon games like these rip apart the schedules of those regular viewers who realize that weekend nights are the best time for games. Remember this little kind of successful sports program in the country to the north you might have heard of, Hockey Night in Canada?
Yeah, I can set the DVR and catch the games later, but I have to all but insulate myself from the media, especially sports media, until then, because, surprisingly, people have things to do during weekend days, you freaking douche bags.
Sincerely and pissed off,
Kevin J. Hosey, a 35-40-year NHL fan and viewer

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A House Divided, Hockey Wise

While I have been and will continue to root for the Pittsburgh Penguins to sweep the Philadelphia Flyers and knock them, and former Sabre Daniel Briere, out of the NHL playoffs, Val took the bitter medicine and has been rooting for the Flyers, mainly due to Briere and Martin Biron playing for Philadelphia.
For some reason, I have been the wonderful husband, supporter and friend of Val during all this and have not gloated once over the Penguins' 3 games to 0 lead going into tonight's contest, and will try to remain this good. But inside? Oh, yeah.

Mark Freeland Tribute, Part Deux

The second half of the birthday celebration and tribute for the late musician and artist Mark Freeland will be held from 5-9 p.m. tonight, Thursday, May 15, at Gallery 164, 164 Allen Street, Buffalo.
Music will be provided by David Kane, drink sales will benefit Lindsay Freeland's fight with cancer, and Marty McGee will be filming/videotaping people telling their stories about Mark. The last part ought to be interesting.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Treat for a Good Cause

With the weather getting better this is perfect timing: A fund raising treat event for Rivendell Recreation Center in South Wales, the horse stables where Val and others take their therapeutic horse riding lessons, will be held from 6-10 p.m. tonight at the Cold Stone Creamery, 4110 Maple Road near Sweet Home Middle School in Amherst.
Cold Stone Creamery will donate a percentage of their sales in ice cream and other lovely frozen treats tonight. If you have ever been to Cold Stone, you know just how good and diet-dangerous it is; if you haven't, what better time to treat yourself than tonight, and to help out Rivendell, the horses and the volunteers? You bet Val and I will be there.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Movie Night at the Dunne-Hosey Estates

Last week, Val took over the Netflix account she got as a gift for her mother last year due to lack of use. We easily came up with a list of movies we wanted to see.
Tonight, we watched our first movie from this list, "No Country for Old Men." Holy crap, what a great and intense movie. Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin were fantastic in their roles, the plot and screen play were excellent and the Coen Brothers' direction was worthy of their Academy Award.
Since the next movie DVD Netflix sends us is the next available one on our list, I'll let you know what's up next as soon as I know.

Kevin 1, Lawn 0

It is a great feeling to have finally gotten the first lawnmowing of the season done, even with a complication or two.
After taking Walker Evans on his walk, I went out to mow, and neighbor Lynn O'Meara beat me to the punch, already mowing her lawn with an electric mower. I became envious of that as our mower, despite a fresh tank of gas, repeated fuel feeding and chain pulling, did not start. Even when it sounded like it was really trying, the engine would not turn over, making me wonder about the spark plug. After going in the house for a few moments, coming back, removing and replacing the spark plug cap, the engine finally started.
As anyone who has let their lawn go too long before mowing knows, the grass can become rather thick, so thick in my case that I had to go over a lot of the lawn twice, and I stalled the mower a few times. But it was worth it, as the lawn look incredibly better.
I didn't finish a moment too soon; during my errands that included buying gasoline yesterday, I bought a new tank of propane for our grill; while I was mowing, grillmaster Val got the grill started and cooked us up some salmon steaks, to go with some coconut ginger rice. Yum.
And yes, Walker Evans can pee and poo in much more comfort and ease now.

Gentlemen (and Ladies), Start Your Engines

Today is the day, folks; I bought some gasoline on my way home from work yesterday (as well as bought propane for cooking out and some other errands), so I will finally get to mow the former lawn that has virtually become a meadow today.
It doesn't make me feel better when I see other lawns in the same bad shape, and I feel worse having let it get so long when I see Walker Evans getting perturbed when he has a tough time lifting his leg above the grass to pee, or when he has to assume the position to poo.
I wonder if there will be any interesting findings in the grass when I mow it tonight?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Oh, Come On, iTunes

While listening to iTunes about five minutes ago, the song playing was "If I Should Fall from Grace with God" by the Pogues. As usual, the accompanying information displayed included where the song came from, album/CD titles and other music influenced by and/or similar to the song playing.
When listing the album/CD the above Pogues song comes from, iTunes displayed "Rum, S****y and the Lash," instead of the actual title, "Rum, Sodomy and the Lash." I suppose that some children use iTunes, but does every reference of the word "sodomy" have to be considered obscene or improper?
Oh, and at the moment, "Don't Believe the Hype" by Public Enemy is playing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Door Hanger Irritant, Part Two

Dear Mr., Mrs. or Ms. National Fuel door-to-door meter reader,
I see you missed Thursday's message, because when I came home Friday, there was another door hanger at our house stating that you had been here to read the meter, that we were not home and now asking us to read the meter and call it in to you. Thanks for your repeated, unsuccessful efforts to reach us, ignoring once again the fact that we work during the day.
It is always rewarding to see the hard-earned money we pay to you be peed down the toilet as you time and time again try to read the meter during the work day; nothing better than getting no service for virtually usury natural gas rates.
a less than amused Kevin J. Hosey

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Door Hanger Irritant, Non-Political Variety

Dear Mr., Mrs. or Ms. National Fuel door-to-door meter reader,
I appreciate your attempts to come to our house to read the meter to more accurately assess our (exorbitant) home fuel/heating bill; really, I do. It isn't like I am encouraging you to leave me those blue-and-white door hangers stating you stopped by and missed me.
But, every time you have come to our house to read our natural gas meter in the last 5, 6, 7, even 8 years, you have done so during the work day, basically 8 a.m-5 p.m. In case no one told you, MOST FREAKING PEOPLE WORK AT THIS TIME. Remember, it is 2008 and all, and unless people are staying home to work out of it or are raising children, they are at their jobs.
Yes, I can read the meter myself and call National Fuel with the results, and indeed, have done so for these same 5, 6, 7, even 8 years. Would it kill you to change some shifts and not waste your time and mine to be able to read the meter?
Kevin J. Hosey

I Am the Law ... Well, the Nice Kind

When an attorney enters your office unexpected/unannounced, with coat slung over shoulder, and places his briefcase down in the chair by your desk, one often stops in his or her tracks.
Fortunately, it was Buffalo Pundit who dropped by my office yesterday, between court cases, to say hello and and join me in some snarky conversation concerning politics, blogging and the media.
And thanks to Judge Dredd and Anthrax for the post title inspiration.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Bfloblog Is Back in Town

Yes, the world is now safe for smart, humorous, snarky and devoted sports commentary again, especially on the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, now that Kevin P. has returned to blogging at Bfloblog after an absence that in a sense wasn't too long but seemed too long to us readers and occasional contributors.
In fact, yesterday's post on sports writing (involving Kevin P.'s favorite TBN writer) is an excellent one and already generating commentary, so check him out again or, if you are new, for the first time.

Monday, May 05, 2008

He's Back ... And Still Working

Our neighbor, friend and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame musician Jim Whitford returned Sunday from his second recent European jaunt with the excellent Canadian band Loomer, playing steel guitar with the group.
Whitford, who played with Loomer in England last time, returned from playing a bunch of gigs, mainly in the Netherlands, with the band made up of several former members of the late, great Saddletramps, who Whitford's band, the Pine Dogs, played several shows with for years.
So, what did Whitford do when he came home? As of this afternoon, he was back to jogging and patching cement on his front door steps, all the while trying to kick jet and travel lag.

Bad Lawn Sandwich

With the weather going from fine to f@#*ed up recently, as well as Val and I being busy and me forgetting to get gas for our lawnmower, you could say that the grass on our lawn is starting to look a wee bit overgrown, particularly on the side and back lawn.
While our green growth is substantial, our neighbor on the left as you look from the street, Lynn O'Meara, mowed their lawn Sunday, while her husband, musician Jim Whitford, was out of town (more on that in a minute), and our new owner/neighbor on the other side, who is renovating and apparently moving into the house, mowed his lawn either late Friday or early Saturday before it rained.
So, you could say that our lawn has fashioned itself into a lawn sandwich, with our lawn's fillings hanging over the roll provided by each of our neighbor's lawns. Thanks a lot, friends.

Didn't Make It Through Overtime

I watched as much of the Dallas Stars' 3-2 quadruple-overtime win over the San Jose Sharks to win that NHL Stanley Cup playoff series, 4 game to 2, last night/this morning, but I gave up and went to bed after the second overtime, with today being a work day. If it had been the Sabres playing, I would probably have tried to go the whole way.
Dallas' win means that two of the four teems I was rooting for in the previous round won, with the Pittsburgh Penguins advancing after knocking off the New York Rangers. No, I do not hold the "no-goal" scored by Brett Hull when the Stars beat the Sabres in the Stanley Cup Finals several years ago against them; even if Hull's goal had not been allowed, the game would still have been tied in overtime and Dallas would still have been ahead, 3 games to 2, at that point, and if Buffalo had won that game, the series would have headed back to Dallas.
And no, as you can tell, I'm not really overly interested in former Sabres winning the Stanley Cup, except for the classy Stu Barnes. The overrated (in my book) Brian Campbell and Mike Grier? Big deal.

Friday, May 02, 2008

When the Rain Comes ...

... There is a very good chance it will come during thunderstorms this weekend, which are possible Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, according to the National Weather Service.
Yep, nothing like rain and thunderstorms for the weekend when the temperature is finally getting back into a nice range from the crappy weather we had earlier this week. And as much as I understand and agree with it, I may smack the first person who says, "well, that's Buffalo," to me.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Electro-Respect Tribute to Mark Freeland

"Electro-Respect," a tribute to the late, great musician and artist Mark Freeland, will be held tonight, Thursday, May 1, at Nietzsche's, the College Street Gallery, and Gallery 224, all within a block of each other on Allen Street in Buffalo.
May 1 is Freeland's birthday, and the bands and musicians performing at Nietzsche's starting at 8 p.m. include The Fems, David Kane, Lonesome Roads, Handsome Jack, Mike Wagner, The Found, Peanut Brittle Satellite, Cowboys of Scotland and Ed Koban. Admission here will be $5.
There will also be an accompanying art and photo show of works of Mark at the College Street Art Gallery and Gallery 224 starting at 6 p.m. My lovely wife and occasional blog contributor, Val Dunne, will have some of her photography of Freeland on display.