Sunday, May 31, 2009

Against Our Will

Hard as we tried to refrain, at 4:38 p.m. today, Sunday, May 31, the heat was turned back on at the Dunne-Hosey Estates, and the furnace immediately turned on.
This hurts not only our spirit, as for cripe's sake summer is just around the corner, but also will hurt our wallets, as we had no plans to use the furnace or any other appliance for heat in the near future. Cooking? Well, yeah, some oven use, but also some outdoor cooking and propane use.
Please tell me these aren't harbringers for what summer will hold for us.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nauseated at the Supermarket

While I was shopping for some late dinner stuff at Wegmans yesterday, I heard Nouvelle Vague's awful, pseudo island-like version of Modern English's "I'll Melt With You."
As if the Modern English 1980s hit isn't overplayed enough, a crapola cover was almost enough to get me to drop my items for purchase and leave; almost.

Used to Love Thunder

Val and I used to love listening to the thunder and rain at night; that was until Walker Evans moved in with her here.
She discovered that he may not have been kept inside the two years or so he had been alive before he came here (before Val and I stated dating). Besides not being house trained at that point, Walker was scared of the television, telephone and petrified of thunder and lightning. He runs around barking, panting, drooling and growling at them, often working himself into a frenzy even after they have stopped.
So, while Val and I used to enjoy listening to the rain and thunder during storms, we now dread the onset of thunder and lightning.
Late yesterday and last night, there was some thunder with the rain, and yes, Walker did go into his protect-my-humans-from-the-thunder mode, and although he did delay eating his dinner until he calmed down, he did eventually get back to normal as the thunder stopped before bedtime.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Did I Know That Word in Grade 7?

My sister and her husband, Heather and Mike Keenan, are very proud of their two children, Kristina and Tom. Kristina just found another way to make me shake my head in appreciation.
Val, my mother Sheila and I went to their house in Walworth (Wayne County) Sunday to celebrate Kristina's confirmation. Simply put, Kristina is a great student, especially in math and English, and she more than holds her own playing the oboe, singing in chorus and playing sports.
Several of us were talking about how she was doing at school (Heather works at the school) and how school is in general when the women present starting talking about how it is to be in school at that age (grade 7) and how some girls try to act much older than they are.
After several terms were thrown around on how to refer to these kinds of girls by the adult women in the conversation, Kristina shrugged her shoulders and said, "I just call them annoying narcissists."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

No Hockey Tears

Neither Val nor I are exactly crying over the Pittsbirgh Penguins sweeping the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL playoffs to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals after last night's 4-1 Penguins win.
For good reason or bad, we have disliked the Hurricanes with a passion since they knocked the Buffalo Sabres out in seven games on their way to winning a Stanley Cup a few yers ago. Yeah, remember when the Sabres made it to the playoffs?

A Cooling Down Period

It was noticeably cooler here in Buffalo yesterday, from a bit at the start of the day to much more apparently so by the time I got home from work, walked Walker Evans in a light rain and then cooked out with Val.
In a sense, we expected it to rain and be cooler, because we planned to cook out for dinner last night; fortunately, the light rain stopped and the cool weather and wind still weren't enough to drive us indoors. We enjoyed some chicken sausage from Lorigo's The Meating Place on Grant Street, which made the effort that much more worthwhile.
But back to indoor dinner cooking tonight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who Else Needs Some Hockey?

Somehow, we made it. Yes, us NHL fans made it through a day of no playoff action on Memorial Day and will fortunately be able to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins try to sweep the Carolina Hurricanes at 7:30 tonight, Tuesday.
And even better, it appears that finally we will have the chance to watch the game on CBC, because viewers will have a choice of seeing the game on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC or on Versus. TSN does not have the contractual rights to tonight's game, so you can choose to miss the high quality advertisements and commentators on Versus; oh, the sacrifice.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day: Please Remember Them

Val and I join millions of Americans in remembering and honoring the veterans who have served this country and particularly those who died in serving the USA on this Memorial Day.
I just returned from the Ken-Ton Memorial Day Parade, which, as usual, featured a very large and appreciative crowd and lots of veterans as well as other units participating.
The real somber moment for me was when the Korean War Veterans of America unit marched by; Val's father, Edward Patrick Dunne US Navy, and my father, Edward William Hosey US Army, are both Korean War veterans and left us too soon. I wish I could see them there and I wish they could have met and talked about things before going to better places.

Lost Another Good Person

While celebrating my niece Kristina's first confirmation at my sister Heather and family's house in Walworth yesterday, I learned of some very bad news.
Heather warned me and then showed me a newspaper article reading that Kathleen Perry, a Lancaster High School graduate, music teacher and very talented viola player and musician in general, had died.
Kathy was about Heather's age and several years behind me, but I had met her a few times when my parents were Lancaster High School Band Booster co-presidents and later heard her performing on record/CD and in person with David Kane's Them Jazzbeards. As well as being a great musician, she was always very nice, intelligent and personable. Some people may also know her from her brother, Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry, another fantastic musician who has played with Gamalon and Fitzhugh and the Fanatics (and as a sideman with Ani DFranco and Electroman), among others. I was fortunate to perform in the LHS Marching Band and, for a short time, Orchestra with Geoff.
We send out of condolences and best wishes to the family of Kathleen Perry, another good person who left us too soon.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nice Hockey Music

During one of the first breaks in Thursday's 7-4 win by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL playoffs, I received a pleasant musical jolt.
Most NHL (and NBA) arenas play loud music from the moment the whistle blows to stop play until the puck is dropped or the ball inbounded, and Pittsburgh is no different. But, at this particular stop, I heard familiar guitar chords ground out and the band kicking in to the original recording of Iggy and the Stooges "Search and Destroy," a great freaking song.
Frankly, since Iggy/James Osterberg is from Detroit, I would have expected to hear this song during the Red Wings' playoff campaign, as well as more of their music. I mean,who wouldn't be inspired to hear just about anything from The Stooges, Funhouse or Raw Power, the band's first three albums, come blasting out of some arena's speakers?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ah Hah!

Something has now come to me; that was one heck of a comeback the Orlando Magic staged against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs last night.
Despite the Cavaliers leading at the half, 63-48, and LeBron James scoring 49 points, the Magic rallied and won, 107-106, even with Cleveland getting the final shots. This will be a very entertaining series.

This is Your Brain on No Coffee

Since my intended topic this morning was the Chicago Black Hawks-Detroit Red Wings NHL Playoff series, and since the next game is NOT tonight as I originally believed, I now officially have no topic to write about this morning.
I had one or two things I did not get to yesterday that I was going to address this morning, but yes, due to getting to bed later than I should have (I did nap on the couch, but that apparently isn't as effective), I am now a bit tired, groggy and lacking inspriation (yes, I know some of you would point out that lacking inspiration has not stopped me from wrting in the past).
Actually, lacking inspriation for this morning's posting has become my topic; thank you, thank you very much.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And in Tuesday's Mailbag ...

It seems that Florida, or companies there, enjoy sending me some curious mail, all unsolicited.
I have received, in the classic brown paper wrappers, catalogs for publications offering nude and sexually explicit material, as well as a host of sexual toys and aids, from Florida over the years at this address and at a previous apartment.
Yesterday, when I got home, there was a full-color, 30-page, 8 1/2-by-11-inch catalog from Sky King Fireworks, offering, you guessed it, page after page of fireworks. It is amazing what is offered and for what prices, and of course, to suit every need, there are packages at certain levels of prices, amount of fireworks, duration and, shall we say, explosive potency, for sale.
I have never purchased or even looked at fireworks by mail or online; I believe the last time I bought any kind of fireworks would have been about 35 years ago, and those were firecrackers and sparklers. Yay, sparklers; now THERE is an exciting type of fireworks.
Just in case you're wondering, according to the cover, Sky King Fireworks is conducting a "buy one, get one free" sale of its entire inventory. Act now.

That's Better

As of yesterday afternoon, the weather took turns to much more spring like in temperature and sunshine.
While I know that the weather can turn colder, cloudier and wetter than normal and preferred this season, the recent several days of cold weather were not appreciated here at all, and hopefully are gone for a while.
Now, all I have to do is find time to mow the lawn, which is turning into a min-Pampas again, to Walker Evans' chagrin.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Continuing Cold: Stop, Please

Yeah, there's nothing better than waking up May 19 and, on my morning trundle to the shower, the furnace starts up and goes on way too much.
Sadly, I think I have figured out part of the reason why it has been so cold these past few days; when the natural gas bill came in last week, I was happy to see a relatively low charge when I opened the National Fuel envelope and, my mistake, I said so out loud.
Here's hoping that I won't have to break out my scraper when I go to my car this morning, and I apologize for taunting winter, spring and the cold.

Mind Playing Tricks, er, Trivia on Me

When I looked at the page describing my blog's status, name and usage, I noticed that coming into today, I have written 1,066 posts for this fine blog.
Being the history geek that I am, the first thing that came to mind was that the Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066. In fact, there was a question on Jeopardy! last night concerning the Battle of Hastings.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Another Fine Neighborhood Car

As Val and I drove down Norwood Avenue between Bryant and Summer streets a few days ago, Val suddenly said, "Wow, hon, look at that car." Being a good driver, my eyes were on the road, and I missed it.
I caught up with it Sunday; Walker Evans and I were strolling down Norwood Avenue during his Sunday walk when, on that same block, I saw a gorgeous 1960s dark charcoal grey/matted black Ford Thunderbird parked in a driveway. The enormous fins and "Lucky" in chrome writing on the back left fin were among the standout features.
Due probably to the size of the fins and the fact that the car was in lower part of the driveway, even Walker Evans seemed to stop and admire the Thunderbird. I didn't get a chance to research it to see exactly what year the car was, but it couldn't have been newer than a mid-1960s vehicle.

Michael Oliver: Great Show, Review to Come

Saturday's performance by Michael Oliver and the Sacred Band at the Tralf Music Hall was an excellent show, and Val will soon have a good group of photos poste online and I will have a review written with some of her photos on I will let you know as soon as those are posted.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Michael Oliver to Play at the Tralf May 16

Michael Oliver, formerly of Go, Dog! Go, will perform with the Sacred Band Saturday, May 16, at The Tralf Music Hall on Main Street in downtown Buffalo. The doors will open at 7 p.m., and A Potter's Field will open the show at about 8 p.m.
Oliver, who will be previewing songs from his upcoming "Yin and Yanxiety" CD as well as playing some older songs, will be joined by a formidable band: Jim Whitford on guitar and vocals, Michael Patrick Swain on bass and vocals, Erin O'Brien on percussion and vocals, Paul Zablotski on keyboards and Rob Lynch on drums.
There is a rumor that some special guests main join Michael and the band, and you are advised to get your tickets in advance before they are gone. More on this later.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Lawn Cycle Continues

I looked out the kitchen window Wednesday morning and noticed that the grass, which I mowed last Friday, already looked pretty high and ragged.
Today, Thursday, when I looked out the kitchen window, the lawn looked overgrown and in dire need of mowing. While I usually mow the lawn once a week during the spring, summer and maybe early fall, usually I can stretch things out a bit during the real hot season and sometimes at the start of mowing time. Apparently not this year.
Oh, and no progress in the investigation into the moving garbage tote and backyard dog chain.

Behind the Door ... Aarrgghh

Yep, there is little better than waiting for the elevator to take you to your office, as happened on my way in yesterday, and when you step in and as the door closes behind you, you catch the pungent odor of too strong, stale cologne, despite no one else being on the elevator.
Fortunately, it wasn't Old Spice, but I can't remember the last time I was so happy to get to work in the morning. Except for emergency stairs, there is only elevator access to the fourth floor at work, an old courtroom turned into legislative chambers and offices.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's a Mystery

As usual, when I came home from work last night, I took Walker Evans on his walk and then fed him before starting dinner preparations.
When Val got home, she decided to take Walker in the backyard to brush him while I did more for dinner. I noticed that she and Walker were still standing near the back door after a few minutes and went to check.
She noted that the wheeled blue garbage tote was in the middle of the backyard, and not next to the back door against the railing, and that Walker's leash, which is normally screwed into the ground, was out of the ground and neatly rolled up by the back steps.
I went to investigate, being rather curious and a bit flummoxed, but found nothing else out of place, missing or damaged. We were told by someone across the street that one of our neighbors had been in our backyard during the day; we trust both of our neighbors 100 percent, so there was no real worry there, and I saw a pile of backyard stones in one of the backyards and a trail of matted grass from the gate to one of our neighbors' yards.
So, we're not really worried, especially with Walker Evans home guarding the house, but we are very curious and hope to find out more about this soon. We'll let you know if any Easter Island stone formations are found.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still Enjoying Hockey

Even with the Buffalo Sabres not in the NHL playoffs, it has been a lot of fun watching the National Hockey League post-season action, with last night a perfect example.
The Washington Capitals forced a Game 7 in their playoff series with the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5-4 overtime win, while the Chicago Blackhawks knocked off the Vancouver Canucks, 7-5, to win their series, 4 games to 2.
Of course, Chicago is the Dunne-Hosey Estates' favorite, with Val being born and initially bred in Chicago, and Pat Kane from Buffalo leading the team, including scoring a hat trick last night.

More Annoying Word Usage

This one has been brewing with dislike inside me for awhile: Why does anyone over age 18 use the word "holla" or the phrase "holla back" to describe contacting another person? Can you possibly sound more stupid?
Yeah, yeah, yeah; I've heard the word and phrase used in music and other media references, but like the use of most youth idioms, you don't look cooler or younger if you use this/them, you look dumber, older and cloying. Everyone knows you're trying to be more urban than you really are, especially if you are a white person who grew up in or are now living in affluence.
This message was brought to you by the Kevin Is Grumpy Over Dumb Language Usage and Ridiculously Stupid Caucasians Society.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Partial Weekend Success

I had planned to get a lot done this past weekend, and even took Friday off for various reasons, but it's obvious that not enough was accomplished.
Between wanting to get the first mowing of the meadow, er, lawn done, and Val having an IV MS treatment, I did not go in to work Friday. After knocking about a pound of dry grass off the mower (having forgotten to clean it off at the end of last year), as well as cleaning off the spark plug and connection, I finally got the mower started and a bit more than an hour later, I was finished.
I then got ready to meet Val for lunch and the IV treatment, but I got to the lunch spot and did not see her, and went to the other spot I thought I might have sleepily agreed to that morning; she was not there, either. So I missed lunch and Val and caught up with her later.
Indeed, at the first spot, the Washington Street Market (on Ellicott Street, for some reason), I tried to use the parking meters, but the first one wasn't working when I tried to use change and a credit card, so I went to a second machine. I realized that the note saying $2 for 10 hours wasn't a suggestion, it was mandatory to spend that, and had to use my card again (surprisingly, I didn't have $2 in change with me). Whose brilliant idea is it to have these machines programmed to only take $2? Does everybody park for 10 hours along here?
Now it's Monday, and I have too many things on my to-do list still, with two Mother's Day dinners/visits not allowing me to get much else done.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Grrrrr, or Brrrrr?

Can someone please give me a good reason not to be pissed off that not only did the temperature not get above 47 degrees today, but the National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory for Buffalo, Erie County and most of Western New York for tonight.
It is May 10 today, isn't it?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Bit More Sleep, With Help

I am feeling a little more rested than I have from earlier this week, due to getting a bit more sleep last night, both on the couch and in bed a little earlier than past nights.
Having a commitment in Hamburg earlier last night, I did not get home until after 8 p.m. and I forgot to set the DVR before I left for it, so I got to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins-Washington Capitals NHL playoff game from about 7 minutes into the second period to the end on DVR. Pittsburgh won in overtime, 3-2, and I watched most of the game, between periods of sleep; indeed, the first part of the game I DVRed started to replay after I fell asleep during overtime, but I did catch the end of the game in the next portion I DVRed.
I then went to part two of my late sports watching session and turned to the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets NBA playoff game, which I watch live from the second quarter to the end; the Lakers won, 111-98, with Kobe Bryant scoring 40 points.
Of course, instead of going directly to bed (I had even changed into my pyjamas during halftime of the basketball game), I checked e-mail and Facebook and then finally went to bed.
While still a little tired, the dreary, gray looking day that Val already criticized here at the Dunne-Hosey Estates will pass.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

It's Amazing What a Fake Holiday Will Do

My drive home down South Elmwood and Elmwood Avenues yesterday was busier and slower than normal, and I think I know why.
I noticed that vehicle and pedestrian traffic was much heavier than normal on Elmwood, especially in the Allen Street and North Street areas, as I drove home at about 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Of course, it then hit me: the day was May 5, and the Cozumel restaurant was in that bloc, so it was time for bars, restaurants, etc., to call on that fake holiday which next to none of them understand, Cinco de Mayo, to help them sell more alcohol and fake Tex-Mex food.
On top of this, Monday and today, Wednesday, May 4 and 6, I will have attended and be attending Cinco de Mayo events, where such authentic food will be served. Ole.

Ah, Gershwin

I have been enjoying some George Gershwin music lately, particularly "Rhapsody in Blue" and "An American in Paris," and I am seeking some advice.
I am taking recommendations anyone may have on standout recordings of these two pieces, as well as Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess." I have received several recommendations on my Facebook page, but please, if you have any recordings you think deserve mention, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Sleep Progress: Not Much

I am not doing as good as I want on the increased sleep front; while I get a good amount of sleep on the weekend, my stubbornness/pig headedness is winning during the week.
Last night, I stayed up to watch the Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in NHL playoff action, 4-2, on DVR, and that ended at a reasonable time, about 11:20-11:30 p.m. So, of course, after feeding Walker Evans at 11:45 p.m., instead of going to check e-mail and going to bed early, I found the Los Angeles Lakers-Houston Rockets NBA playoff game, and watched Houston beat LA, 100-92.
THEN, I went upstairs and in a slightly dazed mood, decided to check e-mail before going to bed, finally getting there at about 2:30 a.m. So, including the dozing during the basketball game (and maybe hockey game), I got barely enough sleep and not as much as I was hoping to get.
I know I'll watch the Chicago-Vancouver NHL playoff game tonight, but no NBA this time (I hope).

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sunday Cleaning: Anybody Not Do It?

Val and I joined no doubt most of Buffalo and Western New York Sunday in doing some outdoor yard cleaning, even though we didn't have the time to do as much as we wanted or was needed.
Val raked and I picked up the front yard; five bags of leaves and other yard debris were cleaned up, but we were amused by what else was there. Not only did we find two beer bottles in the front bushes and flowers, we found a dark rubber (I think) bicycle seat, the entire thing in rather good condition, two plastic bags containing, you guessed it, dog poo, as well as other, fortunately empty bags.
Due to a rather busy weekend and grocery shopping, taking Walker Evans to the Lasalle Park dog park, laundry and the like, I wasn't able to mow the lawn yet, and it now resembles a meadow.

Ray Dusza, RIP

I was saddened to learn of the death of former Erie County Legislator Raymond K. Dusza yesterday, having known him both as a journalist covering him and as an employee.
Regardless of his political affiliation or beliefs, Ray was an amazingly kind, gentle hearted man unless his beliefs were offended and people were taken advantge of and being treated bad. A proud fighter for the underdog, Ray was always pleased when people acknowledged his hard work on the item pricing law when and after it was approved.
Known as Mr. Cheektowaga, he was also a proud U.S. Army veteran and paratrooper, and Ray also always treated those people who worked for him with kindness and respect, and thanked us for doing things for him, even when we considered it part of our jobs.
You will be missed, Ray.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Glad We Were on the Sidewalk

Yep, there's no more secure, warm feeling I could have while walking Walker Evans yesterday than to see a woman age 30-40 driving a minivan down Norwood Avenue with a large piece of pizza in her hand, several bites gone and the woman looking down at the pizza while chewing hard. Um, remember the road, slappy?
At least a block later brought a smile to my face: the sight of a teal Plymouth Fury III, possibly/probably 1966, in great condition parked on one side of the street. What a great looking car and what memories it brings back to me.

Fun Friday

Val and I will be busy tonight, starting with the new (monthly) arts' show exhibit at the College Street Art Gallery, 244 Allen Street near College Street in Buffalo. Val will have several photos in this show.
We will then go a door or two down to ElectroRespect 2, the recurring/hopefully annual tribute concert/event for Mark Freeland, at Nietzsche's, 248 Allen Street. Among the many musicians performing songs from and honoring the late Freeland and his music and art will be David Kane, Cowboys of Scotland, Ed Kobain, Michael Wagner, Anal Peanut Pudding Satellite, Emile Latimer, Maria Sebastian and Kent Weber