Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Furnace Ignition Still Delayed

Despite overnights like last night, where Val and I huddled under the blankets quite snuggly, we are not turning on our furnace yet, and refuse to do so until at least sometime in October.
With my birthday about a week and a half away, we use that as a sign of being the absolute earliest that we will turn our furnace on, and abjectly refuse to do so any time in September. It may officially be fall, but September says summer or way too early to turn on the heat to us. The later sunrise (it's 7:02 a.m. and the sun is barely making a dent in things) and earlier sunset don't help much here, either.
How long do you fine readers wait before turning on your furnace?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Debate Undebatable Success

The presidential candidates' debate hosted by WNYMedia upstairs at Coles Thursday was a great success, with more than 100 people joining in at candidate bingo and some alleged unoffcial drinking games.
There were some Republican/John McCain fans among the more populous Democratic/Barack Obama supporters, and both sides certainly made themselves heard. Thanks are sent to to Marc Odien, Alan Bedenko and Chris Smith, and Val and I are looking forward to the vice presidential candidates' debate Thursday, October 2, at a site to be determined.

A Little Walking Music

Val and I finally got back home after a very busy and productive Saturday between 9-9:30 p.m., and took Walker Evans on his second/evening walk.
While we often enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood and Elmwood Avenue, we we able to listen to something a bit more special and at least as fun as usual, the B-52's onstage from the not-so-far-away Albright-Knox Art Gallery, where the band was playing its set for the Rockin' at the Knox fundraiser.
We caught a bunch of songs during our 30-minute walk (noticing that the sound worked better on the streets perpendicular to Elmwood Avenue than those crossing it), and we stopped at Norwood and Lexington to listen to "Private Idaho," Val's favorite B-52's song. We knew we had too much to do to make it to the show, but we have each enjoyed the B-52's live in the past (myself twice, at the State University at Buffalo and at Darien Lake).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Conflicts

Val often says that we either have nothing or too much on our schedule, and tonight is one of those nights where too many things we want to do are happening.
Val and I will be attending the WNYMedia.net presidential debate party at 7:30 p.m. tonight upstairs at Cole's, 1104 Elmwood Avenue between Forest and Bird in Buffalo (I lived next door to it many years ago), the first of such shindigs we will be attending,
Unfortunately, singer/songwriter Dar Williams will be performing tonight at Babeville, the former Church at Delaware and West Tupper in Buffalo. Indeed, we were offered a free pair of tickets, but are unable to attend this no-doubt excellent show.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Everybody Talking About Soda Pop

While I am a major cola and root beer fan, I now have a new favorite pop, er, soda pop, with a local connection.
With Wegmans being good enough to place it on sale, I recently tried Johnnie Ryan Cherry Soda, made in Niagara Falls, NY, and man, is it good. Val wasn't too thrilled with their cream soda (she is more of a Virgil's and/or Jones cream soda fan), but I really am enjoying Johnnie Ryan Cherry Soda. Sadly, I am actually trying too hard to not drink a bottle one night to save it to the next, instead of just stopping and enjoying the cherry soda.
Johnnie Ryan Soda can be contacted at their web site here, and you can read this Bufalo Rising story on the company here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Great Gurf Morlix Show

It should be no surprise to anyone familiar with his music and live performances that Americana singer, songwriter and guitarist Gurf Morlix delivered an excellent show at the Sportsmen's Tavern Tuesday night.
I will have lots more about that to discuss here later today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Poco Residency at the Sportsmen's Tavern

The longtime favorite country rock/California folk rock band Poco, a classic to many for several decades, will perform three shows as part of the private concert series from Wednesday through Friday, September 23-25, at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo.
Led by original member and singer, singwriter and guitarist Rusty Young since 1968, Poco came about from the end of the Buffalo Springfield and formerly contained founders Richie Furray and Jim Messina. Among their most popular songs are "Crazy Love," "Rose of Cimarron," "Good Feelin' to Know" and "Heart of the Night."
Tickets for the private concert series shows, which start at 8 p.m., are $50 by contacting the club at 874-7734, and the Thursday. September 25, show is already sold out. People can also stop at the club to buy tickets, which will be needed for admission.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A Mileage Milestone Reacher

As of Friday, September 19, 2008, my car, a maroon 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, reached the 70,000-mile mark. Owner/driver are doing fine and look forward to several more years of motoring.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gurf Morlix to Play at Sportsmens Sept. 23

Austin singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Gurf Morlix, a former Western New Yorker and member of the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, will perform a solo show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 23, at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo.
Morlix is an very highly regarded guitarist, songwriter, producer and arranger, having played and collaborated with Lucinda Williams during her best years and recordings, and his most recent CD is "Diamonds to Dust" on Blue Corn Music. He has also worked with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Mary Gauthier and Jim Whitford.
"Diamonds to Dust" reached number 2 on the Americana Radio Chart Top 40, and he rerecorded an almost-all-instrumental version of it, "Birth to Boneyard," which we are very lucky to have and sounds really cool. The leadoff song, "Killing Time in Texas," is classic Morlix, a dry, scary song of death, fear, escape and hope, and is a song he has played in several Buffalo shows, most recently headlining the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts 2008, which I reviewed here. Morlix's other CDs, all worth acquiring, are "Cut 'n Shoot," "Fishin' in the Muddy" and "Toad of Titicaca."
Tickets are an absolutely ridiculously low $10 for Gurf's show, and because Morlix's previous show at the Sportsmen's sold out, you should visit or call the club at 874-7734 or contact club booker and music impresario Ken Biringer at at kbiringer@roadrunner.com.

Friday, September 19, 2008


For some reason, the previous post, which was posted at 6:58 a.m. Friday, September 19, indicates that it was posted at the same time Thursday, September 18. Don't worry, it's a fresh, brand-spanking new post, readers, as is this one.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Here Comes the Weekend

While there can't be much of anyone not wanting a chance to rest and recreate, it seems like people are actually looking forward to this weekend without just wanting to hide under the covers.
There seems to be a lot to do the next few days, and when you mix it with the Buffalo sports activities planned (Sabres start preseason skates at the HSBC and the Bills host Oakland Sunday), it seems that the cooler weather coming may be the only real warning of what lays ahead.
OK, I'll try to stay away from the weather and related references now.

Great Job, Nature

I am watching an excellent sunrise this morning, with black, gray, several shades of blue, peach, orange and yellow parts of the sky doing their best to make this wake-up time a little more bearable than usual.
Thanks to nature, God, Yahweh, Shivah, or whatever supreme being or power or powers you and/or I believe in for the fine show this morning.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where Are My Blankets?

How many of you, like me (Val is still asleep) had a very difficult time pushing off the blankets and getting out of bed this morning? Even the bird migration outside didn't help.
With the cooler weather and darkness that greets us more each morning, this is a ritual that will last for 6 months or so. Just something to warm and cheer up the moring, folks.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Everybody's Heard About the Birds

It happens frequently around Buffalo's West Side and North Buffalo, but the last few days have been even louder than normal. That being the movement of thousands of crows and black birds, here in the Elmwood Village and near the Buffalo Zoo and the Delaware District.
The last few days have been really loud and interesting and seem to start somewhere after 6 a.m. I am a 6 a.m. riser and am in the shower, and of course unable to see a watch or clock, when the caw fest starts.
Today's event lasted until about 6:55 a.m., with around 6:30-6:45 p.m. the loudest period. It seems that the biggest concern around here, as I have previously mentioned, is where this flock of birds craps, with no one wanting to have to clean off their car or make sure its paint finish, or lawn, garden, etc., are damaged.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Music Is Art a Success Again

Despite the rain, the Music Is Art 2008 Festival was another success and a great day of music, art, food, entertainment and more. While kept down a bit by the weather, attendance was still pretty good, especially during the first half, and hundreds of people stuck around to the end.
Val and I will have a more in-depth review and photos at our BuffaloRoots web site in a couple of days.

Excellent Mark Freeland Exhibit

Val and I were able to attend the opening of the Mark Freeland art exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Collectors' Gallery Friday, and it was a great show.
The exhibit was curated by Robby Takac, with help from Mark's girlfriend/partner Carla Levorchick, and had a certain energy and upbeat nature, partly due to Freeland's frequent sense of humor and use of color. People were crammed in the Collectors' Gallery the entire night.
We bumped into and talked with Takac as we were entering the exhibit, and he was very excited and thankful for the chance to curate the exhibit, and marvelled at how much art Freeland created, particularly in the last couple of years before he died, and of its high quality.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Come See Us at Music Is Art

Don't let a chance of rain keep you from coming to a great event today, Saturday, September 13, and head on down to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery for the Music Is Art 2008 Festival from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
As is listed at the festival web site as well as in our story and photo piece on our web site, BuffaloRoots, there will be musicians, artists, dancers, DJs, food, a kids' tent and more than I can remember in this up-too-early-for-a-Saturday mode.
Val will have some of her art on display and for sale, with some smaller, very reasonably priced pieces included, and she will be at the second table of the first tent on one of the two artists' rows just off of the road behind the Albright-Knox, which is where the event will be occurring.
Hey, we're giving up the Wisconsin-Fresno State football game to be at the festival, so take some time and say hello at this wonderful free event.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Mark Freeland Art Reception

A reception for a show of the art of the late Mark Freeland, curated by Robby Takac, will be held from 5:30 -7 p.m. Friday, September 12, at the Collectors' Gallery at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1285 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo.
This is perfect timing for the look at the art of the late musician, painter and art spark, with the Music Is Art 2008 Festival, which Freeland played at in the past, being held from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, September 13.

Looking Back at 9/11

Work was pretty busy yesterday, but while I didn't write about it, the events of the 9/11 attacks/tragedy will always stay with me.
I was in the newsroom at work, and while we usually had the radio on a news station, the television wasn't right in our immediate area and the radios were either not on or on different stations when one of our editors, Sean P. O'Neill, came in and said that a plane had just hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. We either turned on the radios or rushed to the television, and joined the world in watching the horrors unveil themselves.
I knew that a few friends from college worked at or near the World Trade Center towers, but heard nothing about them that day, so I was cautiously hopeful. Sadly, that next morning, I got a call from Stu Herlan, a Buffalo State College friend, saying that Stephen Hoffman, a friend, colleague on the United Students Government, opponent on the intramural sports fields and floors and incredible person, who worked at Kantor-Fitzgerald, was missing and presumed dead. Things were a blur for the rest of the day and Stephen was, indeed, one of the victims.
There is little, if anything, I can say that is new on the World Trade Center attacks, and nothing I can say that will make things better for the victims or their families, so I say little about 9/11 and hope it nevers happens again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Luckily, No Injuries or Damage

As Val drove home with Walker Evans from his day care day at Puppy Playpen, her car was shot by a paint ball at the corner of Richmond and Anderson at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Despite the loud bang and many cars coming each way, as well as a scared driver and passenger, Val drove the car home without further incident, and she and Walker Evans are OK. Also, the orange paint easily washed off the rear passenger door and no dent has been found.
Buffalo police were called and quickly responded, but no suspects were found and who knows what else can be done. At least Val and Walker Evans are fine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Keeping Moving

I am tired but mostly happy now that yesterday's Primary Day results have rolled in, but I am most happy in that I will not be eating any pizza, wings or other junk food for a while, or at least in smaller quantities and not almost as exclusively as yesterday.
Otherwise, with Music Is Art 2008 coming up and work remaining busy, the consistency there is kind of gratifying.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Primary Day - Go Vote

Today, Tuesday, September 9, is Primary Day for many of us Democrats and for many Republicans and Independence Party members, so despite the rainy weather and dreariness of the day so far, I urge all of you who have primaries and are eligible to vote in them do so and to help make democracy work.


Robby Takac Music Is Art 2008 Interview

An interview I conducted and wrote with/on Goo Goo Dolls bassist/singer Robby Takac on the Music Is Art 2008 Festival, and his curating a show of the art by the late Mark Freeland, both at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with accompanying photos by Val, are posted at Buffaloroots.com.

Monday, September 08, 2008

(Fire)Fox on the Run

Thanks to some concerns with Firefox, which turned out to be something dunderheaded I did and haven't exactly figured out what yet, I wasn't able to post yesterday or early today.
But as you can see, I am back and ready to post inanities that you are welcome to regularly ignore, or, if for some reason your interest is piqued, comment on here.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Conversation Stopper

Sometimes, a simple sentence can put an end to a complicated conversation verging on an argument.
Saturday night, Val and I were trying to figure out where to go for dinner as well as if we were going to go back to an artists' opening reception at the Buffalo Arts Studio. We were leaving the studio after picking up some things for Val for next week's Music Is Art 2008, at which she is showing her work.
"I'm sorry hon, I smell horse on me," Val said.
Seeing she was serious, conversation over.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Let the Debates Begin

Now that the Democratic and Republican National Conventions are over, the campaigns look forward to, along with the regular stops, speeches and advertisements, debates between the presidential and vice presidential candidates.
Things will be interesting and noteworty between Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain, but it is certainly a bit out of the ordinary when people are saying that Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Senator Joseph Biden has to be careful in his debates with GOP Vice Presidential candidate governor Sarah Palin, so he doesn't appear too mean or too intelligent as he apparently prepares to tear her limb from unqualified, uninformed limb, metaphorically speaking or writing.
Sorry, governor, no animals you can shoot while airborne here.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Turn On the Lights, Summer's Almost Over

Despite the nice and warm weather we're having, the signs that summer is leaving and fall is preparing to take over are arriving, and not just seeing students going back to school.
It started getting noticeably darker when I woke up in the morning (6 a.m.) a few weeks ago, and it went from "Hmm, do I really need the light on while I shower?" to "Do I need the light on while I towel off?" to "Damn, I need the light on until I leave/where's Walker Evnas so I don't step on him first?"
Whether the calendar states it or not, the days are shorter and, fun of fun, we can soon expect to hear our funraces turing on for the season.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What's It Like Outside, Ollie? IT'S HOT.

OK, I know we should be happy for the return of 80-degree-plus days this week, and indeed, I am happy to see the warmer weather again, but where did this hot/humid night come from, and when is it leaving?
When the temperature is 74 degrees at 11 p.m. and the humidity is a couple of percentage points lower, it's hot, sticky, and not in the hubba-hubba way, just the my-darn-t-shirt-is-sticking-to-my-back while I sit here typing hot.

Secretary of State Hosey?

Hey, I live about a mile from the U.S.-Canada border and have a myriad of Canadian relatives; does that make me a foreign relations expert and qualified for higher office?

Face Drawn, Eyes Tired

I'm feeling a little tired this morning, and I know that I have to get to bed a bit earlier. Despite Val strongly encouraging me to do so, I still stay up too late most nights.
But one thing that I haven't done to stay up too late is watch too much of the train wreck that is the Republican National Convention. Even my sense of humor and of the absurd can't/won't take for more than 10-15 minutes of it a day.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Elmwood Avenue Fest, Gurf Morlix Review

A review written by me and photos by Val on the first day of the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, headlined by Gurf Morlix, have been posted at our web site, BuffaloRoots.com.
We will have more updates/additions to the web site in the very near future, so stay tuned.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Good Labor Day

Val and I had a very nice Labor Day today; we did a ton of cleaning around the house, took Walker Evans to the Lasalle Park dog park again, did lots of computer stuff and just got back from going to Anderson's on Delaware Avenue for dinner and ice cream.
Labor Day is a day that means a lot to me; my grandfather, the late William Hosey, was a union member for about 45-50 years, working at what became Niagara Frontier Transit before it became the NFTA, among other places. He retired as a longtime union steward, and he and my grandmother/his wife, Ina, used to tell us about the sitdown and rooftop strikes he and his coworkers underwent to gain their now taken for granted rights. When Grandpa Hosey died, the only special request he had was that he receive a union honor guard/burial detail. When we called his union to ask for this, they were overjoyed at the opportunity and six members showed up to do the honors, and we had a wonderful time talking to them at the post-funeral brunch, where they expressed their gratitude to the old guard for doing what they did to gain them their rights.
Also, labor wise, Ina Hosey worked as a foreman at the Curtiss-Wright aircraft factory, making P-40 Warhawk fighter planes, during World War II, and my other grandpa, James Connelly, a Royal Navy veteran of World War I, was a coal miner for years.
UPDATE: As my sister Heather points out in the comments, our maternal grandmother, Hilda Connelly, as well as kept a home and raised our mother, Sheila (as a widow when Grandpa Connelly died in 1949), cleaned houses for several families on Delaware Avenue when it was still Mansion Row, and other places. This included the Klopps family, which were married into the Knox family, among others, and we ended up getting lots of blankets, towels, china, etc., when the family moved from its mansion here.