Friday, February 27, 2009

February 28

In about one hour, it will be February 28; Val and I will say happy birthday to our neighbor/great friend, Jim Whitford, probably at Alexandra Manias (Alex Lynne) and Richard Arnold's wedding later Saturday.
And February 28 is my late brother Brian's birthday; he would have been 51 tomorrow, if he hadn't died way too early at age 37 in 1995, I still miss him badly, and always think of my mother, Sheila, and late father, Edward, and how his death affected them. It was the first time I ever saw my dad cry, the second and only other time being when his father, my grandfather, William Hosey, died in 1998. There are fewer expressions more true than parents should never have to bury their children.
I also think of my sister-in-law, Janet, my nieces, Kim and Colleen, and my nephew, Dan, for the loving, caring, bad taste in music, politics and sports teams (yeah, we disagreed on lots) husband and father they lost way too soon. Brian's community also lost a teacher, principal, coach, recreation director and friend in the prime of his contributions.
But tomorrow won't be sorrowful, because I will, as always, remember the great times Brian and I had together by ourselves and with the rest of our family and friends, and because I will be surrounded by my amazing, loving wife Val and lots of great friends celebrating the fantastic wedding of Alex and Richard and marking Jim's birthday.
One door closes and another one opens.

Another Tough Sabres Loss

While playing better than a couple of nights ago, the Buffalo Sabres still lost a tough game they should have won, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in a shootout Thursday, 2-1.
Goalie Patrick Lalime played very strong in the nets, but the Sabres offense has to generate more than one goal if the team wants to make it to the NHL playoffs this season.

Candy Conundrum

Sometimes, the fun and joy out of eating a simple piece of candy can be ovewhelmed by rudeness, self-absorption and greed.
During last Sunday's weekly grocery shopping trip to Wegmans, I stopped in the bulk food section to pick up my weekly supply of Tootsie Pops. I get 10, broken down into orange, grape and cherry; one in a while, I will toss in some raspberry.
A woman about age 40-50 was at the Tootsie Roll bin, digging in and around and putting some to the side that she didn't want; she asked a nearby Wegmans associate if they had any more cherry Tootsie Pops in the back, and was told no, not until more came in Monday. The woman expressed some disgust and walked away to the weighing area.
Yes, you guessed it, she had exhausted the store's supply of cherry Tootsie Pops, which was not surprising when I saw how many cherry Tootsie Pops, and no other flavor, she had in her bag. She actually complained out loud to herself as she weighed them that the store should have known better and had more on hand.
I only wanted three or four cherry Tootsie Pops, and I substituted some others to get my usual 10. I can't imagine getting more than a pound of just cherry Tootsie Pops and no other kind, digging to the bottom of the almost-full bin, asking a Wegmans worker to check in back for more and then bitch about the store running out of them.
I almost hope to see this rude candy douchebag at Wegmans this weekend.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And the Beat Goes On

Between the writing of my post on (mainly Facebook) list requests I have received and why I have not written one yet yesterday and today's writing, I received three more list requests, two for albums and one or books.
Maybe, possibly, I'll think about it and who knows?

Interesting Canine Choice

It appears that progress is being made in one of the most controversial decisions of the Obama Administration; First Lady Michelle Obama appears to have come out in support of a Portuguese water dog as the family dog for the White House.
Not only are these hard working, curly-haired dogs a good choice in the eyes of dog fans like Val and I, Walker Evans Dunne-Hosey, our German shepherd/Rottweiler blend, has a Portuguese water dog as a play friend at the Puppy Play Pen in downtown Buffalo, where he goes weekly for dog day care. Word has it that they are rambunctious, occasionally mischievous and frisky playmates (Walker Evans and the Portuguese water dog, that is).
For more information, people can check out the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America web site or the American Kennel Club web site.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, Mother Nature

The pink, orange and purple sunrise that just showed itself and still remains a bit as of this writing this morning was simply wonderful. It was the first thing Val mentioned to me after waking up, and I was already amazed by it.

No-List Zone, At Least For Now

Like many of you, by now I have received more requests, many via Facebook, to submit my list of the top 10, 15, 20 or 25 things about me people should know, most influential bands, albums and/or concerts, important people and things people don't know about me, than I can remember.
As of yet, I have read every list sent to me but I have not responded to any of them by submitting a list of my own. I have my reasons, and believe it or not, I do not think it is because I am a disagreeable or annoying cuss. I don't think that, at least.
The first major reason I don't respond are that, simply, I have compiled many music lists in my more than 25 years of music writing (almost 25 professionally) and am really not that big on music lists any more. Also, the 25 things about me and related items are basically the things that I regularly blog about and have already written about and will continue to write about here.
I also fear, as friend Sheryl Bower had pointed out elsewhere, that I am not certain many, if any, people will be interested in or read my list. The old low self-esteem thing that too many Buffalonians/Western New Yorkers have may be raising its ugly head.
I do, of course, reserve the right to change my mind and write up a list or lists at any time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Ordered the Clumsy Oaf?

Val's body decided that 5-6 colds so far this winter aren't enough, and a seventh cold showed up unexpected this weekend; she's getting around, but tired and not feeling too good.
She still taught a digital photography class and took another class at the Buffalo Arts Studio Saturday, and by the time she got home, she was tired, feeling crappy and not in the mood to go to dinner, so we decided to order out from Casa di Pizza, since they make turkey subs that Val really likes. I ordered my favorite, a chicken and pepperoni calzone (they are large, real good, very affordable and yeah, I know, pepperoni has red meat in it).
Walker had one of his usual barking jags when the food arrived, and I forgot to clean off the living room coffee table before I got the plates and water, so the table was pretty crowded when we started to eat.
Val could not find a space for one half of her sub while she tried to eat the other, so I put my food down and took the half-sub from her, determined to find a spot. At that point, I hit the table and my food package, and the sauce container in my calzone slid out of the carton, fell to the table, catapulted end-over-end before hitting my leg, foot and the rug on the floor.
So, I had sauce on my white, black and red Sabres shirt arm, neck, chest and stomach; my jeans had an almost foot-long, deep red sauce stain, and a decent pool of sauce had collected on my off-white heavy work socks and on my slippers. Fortunately, the sauce had depleted itself by then, and the empty container lay on the rug with just a little bit on the rug, which was easily cleaned.
Val put the Buffalo Sabres' game on DVR pause, and I cleaned up as much as I could and needed to to be able to move and eat my dinner. We watched the game and caught up on DVR, then between periods, I went upstairs, took off all of the sauce-stained clothes, and did a separate load of laundry.
Somehow, all of the sauce came out of the clothes except for some faint stains on the white part of my Sabres shirt; with the slippers being some kind of leather, I didn't launder them and don't know yet if they are salvageable.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mohawks? Really?

Being a major college basketbal fan (despite the Wisconsin Badgers falling to 17-10 yesterday), I have noticed a trend that I am not totally getting: more and more players, at least in NCAA Division I, are sporting Mohawk haircuts.
At least one annoucner on ESPN noticed this and, like me, had no explanation. It's not like English punk rock fans have invaded NCAA basketball rosters and no chants of "Oi oi oi" have been recently heard at games.
Quite frankly, they mostly look hideous, and this comes from a guy who shaves his head; they are barely more than a half-inch to maybe one inch long, and many of the guys wearing them don't exactly shave the rest of their heads very often, giving it a scraggy, needing-maintenance look.
If anyone knows why this trend has taken root, please let me know.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oil of Dog Online

I forgot to write about this when I found it a few months ago, but those of us who fondly remember Gary Storm's "Oil of Dog" program on WBFO-FM and WUWU-FM in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as those who may have heard of it but missed out on it, can catch up with some great memories and reading at the Oil of Dog web site, constructed by Gary Storm himself.
Storm and his program were everything great radio should have been and were/was; fantastic music from almost every genre, an encyclopedic knowledge of music and other ephemera by Storm, a sense of humor, irreverence, occasional haughtiness, naughtiness and arrogance, a memorable theme song ("I Hate You" by Kim Fowley) and a real connection with the listener. No doubt Storm and "Oil of Dog" are one reason I became such a night person and someone who needs 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and can function well with a lot less.
There is a ton of material and some great photographs posted on this site, so you can set a good amount of time apart and read a lot or just browse, but this is a great site.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pen and Paper, Dumbass

I had a bunch of topics I wanted to post about, but except for one that needs a bit more time than I have this morning, I have totally blanked on the 3-4 items I badly wanted to write about today.
I guess I have to admit memory defeat and start writing down these ideas as my brain cells find other, more interesting things to dote on these days.

Here's a Finger in Your Eye

There are few better ways to start a workday morning than to plant a full finger covered with soap into your eye while showering, as I did today.
I was scrubbing my face and just about to rinse when the finger came up and from the right and plowed into the bottom and center of my right eye, and despite immediately sticking my face into the shower, the stinging and puffiness started right away.
By the time I was done and looked into the mirror, while the puffiness was down, thanks to the red/worse than bloodshot appearance, I looked like I had taken a punch in the eye from Rob Ray, but the blurriness is all but gone and the pain is bearable.
Yeah, yeah yeah; to quote Warren Zevon, poor, poor pitiful me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In the Flesh

During my daily activities and duties yesterday, I ran into Becky Harbison, the fine proprietor/writer of Clarence Grad 72 ,while she was performing her job.
It was very nice to see Becky in person, and it reminded me that I run into very few bloggers during my normal day. Alan Bedenko, our Buffalo Pundit, who stops into say hello at my office on occasion between court cases, is the person I see closest to regularly, but most others I see and chat with online. I suppose you could count the members of the news media who blog, but that wouldn't be too many.
Anyone have better or more frequent contact with the blogosphere in person?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nobody Told Me There'd Be No Brown

I have been searching for a new brown tie recently; the ones I had either wore out, were snagged or got some kind of stain that won't wash out; so far, no success.
I have several olive/khaki-based ties, so I really need brown, either a solid (low priority) or a brown, mainly chocolate brown, based tied. My hopes are to have it blended with white, yellow, gold, olive/khaki, green or even orange.
Unfortunately, I found found no such tie to my liking, and barely anything even that I dislike in these colors, but for some reason, I have found tons and tons of brown and blue ties. Excuse me? Since when did brown and blue go together, especially this frequently? And does anyone else like me in fact, believe that these two colors look pretty ugly together?
I even checked the Jerry Garcia line of ties that are carried at Macy's, which we have bought several of for my brother-in-law, Brad Dossinger (a major Dead fan); I like these ties, but there was no brown to be found. Any hints would be appreciated.
Strange days indeed.

Closer and Closer

Scientifically, it has been happening for almost two months, but in the last week or so, I have really noticed that the days are growing longer.
It first became observable when Val and I realized that she was getting home from work with a sliver of sunlight still shining, and now, it is even greater. I have also noticed for the last week or so that the winter-orange sunrise has been more and more apparent by about 6:30 a.m., and by 6:45 a.m. today, there was enough light in the media room to actually tell what the color of the clothing I put out last night was without turning on a light.
Yes, the morning posts of this blog, especially on work days, are written by the light of the computer monitor only; no need to enrich National Grid any more than is necessary.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Outage Timing

Having a day off meant that I was going to get to several posts I have wanted to write for the last week or so; problems with our Vonage router knocked us offline here at the Dunne-Hosey Estates for much of the day.
Now that we're back to normal function wise, I have forgotten some of those posts (must remember to write things down more often), and no doubt I will remember them when I don't have the time to post.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Scary Fatal Plane Crash

It is still a bit numbing to think that the reality of a fatal airplane crash, with (too) many victims, has come to us right in Western New York with last light's airliner crash in Clarence, with all 48 people on board the airplane and one on the ground already reported dead.
I was glued to WGRZ-TV's live coverage of the fatal plane crash for hours, saddened by how there had not been such a large death toll to a plane crash in Western New York before. I also empathized with the residents living in the flight path of a runway, having grown up living in a runway path of the Greater Buffalo Niagara International Airport in the Depew part of Cheektowaga and my mother Sheila still living there. It brought back some memories I'll get to later.
Val and I send out our prayers, thoughts and good wishes to all of the vicitms, their families, friends, our friends living in Clarence and everyone involved in this tragedy.

Going to See the Sabres

Val and I are very excited that we are going to Buffalo Sabres-San Jose Sharks hockey game at the HSBC Arena tonight, our second game-in-attendance of the season.
We are extremely thankful to Sir Kevin of Pritchard for allowing us the use of the castle's season tickets for tonight's game, and if you listen for sarcastic remarks about the Sharks, and the Sabres when deserved, you may be hearing my nasally voice. I have no doubt you will hear Val's normal shouting, screaming, clapping and stomping.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Winter Didn't Go Anywhere

Buffalo/Western New York residents should know that winter never leaves in February, even after several days of 50-degree-plus weather and a few more of 40-degree high temperatures like we just had.
Overnight, the temperature dropped from about 50 degrees at 11 p.m. to the current 32-degree reading, according to the National Weather Service, and the snow and howling winds (from the west at 32 miles per hour, gusting to 39 miles per hour) are back and being annoying. Val noted that the bed was moving during the wind gusts over night, while I slept through them.
People should, as usual, break out their gloves, hats, hoods, heavier winter clothes, scarves and sweaters; I will be wearing my amazingly warm lined navy blue dress pants from Land's End along with my usual dress shirt and tie today.
As usual, some media upped the original 3-5-inch snowfall prediction for today by the NWS, now lowered to 2-4 niches, up to 4-7 inches, and are predicting 2-4 inches for tonight, unlike the 1-3 inches predicted by the NWS. I know who I trust.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Buffalo Represented at Dog Show

Buffalo and WesternNew York were represented well at the Westminster Kennel Club annual dog show these last dew days.
Leopold, a very handsome brindle-and-white Great Dane, owned by Tom Riley of Buffalo (thanks to Tim Moran for first pointing that out), won the best in breed award/designation, and Costello, an Alaskan Malamute owned by Sandra D'Andrea of Lockport, won best in breed as well.
Even though neither dog won best in show or best in group, they were excellent dogs and no one should feel bad over not gaining these titles, considering that Stump, a 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel, was named best in show.
Stump was a major crowd favorite and absolutely deserved to win, and Walker Evans, our 10-year-old blend, was thrilled and felt the designation was earned by Stump.

Gibson Brothers at Sportsmen's Tavern

If you want to hear some great bluegrass and Americana music tonight, the Gibson Brothers are playing at 8 p.m. as part of the Private Concert Series at the Sportsmen's Tavern, 326 Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo.
Tickets ae $15 (a REAL good price), and need to be bought in advance. People can visit the Sportsmen's Tavern or call 874-7734 for more information.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Intelligent Presidential News Conference?

Yes, President Barack Obama was informative, contemplative and, damn it all, intelligent and not afraid to answer questions during last night's presidential press conference, his first as president. What a freaking refreshing change.

Love Those Dogs

The timing was all but perfect (the Buffalo Sabres don't play again until Wednesday), and Val and I took in part one last night and will be tuned in to part two tonight. I'm talking about the 2009 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which we watched for two hours on CNBC last night and will watch again for two hours tonight on the same network.
We have never hidden the fact that we are dog fans and maybe fanatics (Val even started a page for Walker Evans Dunne-Hosey on Dogbook, the canine version of Facebook), and every year, we watch Westminster, as well as a few other major dog shows. Personally, I enjoy the working dogs and the hounds the best, although the Great Danes are also impressive.
Of course, Walker Evans both watches the dog show and huffs at it in exasperation, because he is against the glorification of purebred dogs while blends like himself are ignored. He does give two paws-up for the dog food maker Pedigree and its advertisements featuring purebreds and blends, as well as shelter dogs, and its efforts to save them.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Weather Changes (Almost) Everything

There is no question that you can palpably see, hear and feel the change in people in Buffalo and Western New York after the ridiculous streak of bone-crushing cold temperatures and heavier/deeper than normal snow fall that hit us for so long, virtually all of January, have final given way to some very nice temperatures.
Even normal average temperatures (high of about 30 degrees) would be lovely for us at this stage, but the highs in the 40s and 30s we've had, as well as the upcoming 50 degrees in a few days, have been incredible. People are friendlier and not living with what I would call weather dread, and being outside isn't considered one of Hercules' tasks.
It is also interesting to see the snow piles at either side of our driveway having melted to below 6 feet tall, and in another couple of days should be below 5 feet. Yes, there was a lot of ice chopping and some snow shoveling this weekend, but more of our yard and driveway have been opened up and things are a bit safer.
Yes, I am expecting Mother Nature to kick us in the ass again, but for now, things are kind of nice.

Friday, February 06, 2009

From the Forehead to the Back Skull

As if the cut and bruise on my forehead Sunday wasn't enough, I had some, er, difficulty with head and face shaving Thursday night.
With Val coming home a bit later than normal because of her weekly physical therapy, I figured that from about 5:20-6:30 p.m. would be a good time to shave my head and face before making dinner. I go over everything with my Remington electric razor first, then apply Edge and shave my head with a razor, a Gillette Mach 3 Turbo.
The electric portion of the shaving went fine, and I was on the absolute last stroke of my razor shaving when I felt a nasty, scratchy gouge being dug in my head by the razor, which was only on its second use for this group of blades. I immediately blotted the area on the back left of the top and side of my head with toilet paper.
Of course, since this threw me behind schedule, I heard the car horn as Val had just gotten home, so I grabbed my coat and ran out the door, toilet paper sticking to the cut on my head. It didn't look too good and I needed to blot away blood for several minutes, but the cut did stop bleeding and lightly scabbed, so there was no real pain after a while.
Since I wear a black ski hat to bed because of the oil coming from my head due to no hair being there, I have a cover for my cut and no blood got on the bed sheets, and indeed, this morning's shower went off without a hitch or much pain.
But yeah, it is just a gorgeous looking head cut for now.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I Think My Brain and Lungs Have Frozen

The predictions for the overnight temperature in Buffalo were in the single digits; pretty cold weather, but sadly too typical of Buffalo/Western New York during the winter.
When I woke up at 6 a.m. and noticed that things felt colder than normal in the house, I checked the current readings; according to the the National Weather Service, the temperature was -6 degrees. Yes, MINUS six degrees, and that was the temperature; the wind chill factor was in the -20s, with a wind chill advisory issued by the NWS.
I'm sorry, but -6 is supposed to be a number you dealt with in math or science class, not an actual temperature reading. Yes, we've been as low as -6 degees before, and even lower, but still, I am not happy; ergo, I must bitch about the weather. At least the snow seems to have laid off of Buffalo for today.
And talk about timing; I got an IM from Tony Christiano early Wednesday night; he was in an airport in Toronto waiting for his flight to ... Rome. I am so freaking happy for him.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Not Just Another Pretty Face

As if anyone I know needs to be told this, but I have never accomplished anything based on my good looks. I'm not repulsive, but Brad Pitt does not lay awake at night wondering if I will steal any movie roles from him.
But I don't need the kind of "help" I got Sunday. While doing laundry before the Super Bowl, I bent down in the laundry room to take some clothing out of the laundry bin. I was too close to the dryer and banged my forehead against the corner of it; while the corners have some rounded plastic on them, they are not exactly padded, and I noticed a small cut and some swelling when I checked the mirror.
Later, the cut remained, the swelling had increased a bit and the discoloration started. While I didn't end up with a shiner or anything that bad, the bump, cut and bruising made my already beauty challenged self a bit more, um lived-in looking.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Too Busy Monday

I had plans to write, update this blog, do some Facebook stuff and get some other things done before watching last night's Buffalo Sabres' hockey game, but between work, getting home to walk Walker Evans and going to Kathy Callan's goodbye party from her great work as the executive director of the Erie County Democratic Committee, nothing got done.
In fact, there were more than 150 e-mail messages alone awaiting me this morning, and I have a whole lot of topics to write about and Facebook updating to do, and I will probabaly have to shovel frozen/iced over snow from the bottom of my driveway when I get home tonight. I thought I'd have to shovel yesterday, but a truck was parked a house down from us that prevented the snow plows from getting in and doing their job.
Sadly, the Sabres lost to Anaheim, 3-2, playing good at times, not good at others and finally looking a bit tired at the end of their road trip. And any time someone else wants to hold a goodbye party/shindig at Chef's, please do so.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning ...

Two words describe my early morning, folks, two words: Double stream.
I sure as hell hope that it's a guy thing and the cleanup, etc., has put me behind this morning already on this very busy day (which will finally end sometime tonight in the 7:30-8 p.m. area).