Friday, July 31, 2009

Restfull Week? Um, No

Having been on vacation for a couple of days and returning to work Wednesday, this three-day work week was not supposed to be too tiring.
Well, I am so glad to say/write that apparently, things stepped up and really did their jobs or existences, because as of today, Friday morning, I am feeling at least as tired as I normally do for a five-day work week. And this is after going to be at an early hour for me Thursday night/Friday morning.
Things got unexpectedly busy at work (well, something that we knew was going to happen soon happened a bit sooner than anticipated), and despite what some people believe, things never really do slow down at work or in my political volunteering activities, so here's hoping for a fun weekend with Val but one that is not overly busy.
And of course, there is a show I'd like to see tonight, if I can stay awake.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Another Writing Pet Peeve

Once again, the writer and editor in me has hit the boiling point on something that more and more "writers" are doing.
Since when did it become not only acceptable, but downright popular, to believe it is good grammar and communication skills to write "I know, right," or "yeah, right?" Whether I like it or not, I can understand this as a spoken idiom or colloquialism, but as a thought out, consciously written attempt and/or form of communication? Um, no.
I have seen this all over Facebook, in blogs and other writing entries, and it absolutely makes my colon clench, because it seems and reads to me as way beyond simply laziness, mental and physical, and an absolute bastardization of the English language and intelligent communications.
So there; spleen vented, coffee coming up soon.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Futhermore ...

Did I mention how nice it was not to have to wear or use two photo identification cards and a slide-through security card to get to work for several days?

Vacation Over; Ugh

It was great while it lasted, and Val and I go to do a lot of things we couldn't have otherwise, but our vacation is over and it is time to return to work. Fun? Wow.
We were able to get away for a couple of days, visit a beach in a great park (Presque Isle Park in Erie, PA), celebrate Val's birthday together and with family, get a lot of cleaning and work around the house, catch up on some sleep and rest and mentally relax. We even ordered her new scanner for her birthday, and it was actually delivered Tuesday, but we need to finish some cleaning here (almsot done) before it is installed.
Like most people, we would love to have been able to have gotten away and out of town a bit longer, but also like most people, the costs as well as other commitments did not allow us to this year. Hopefully, we can do so next time.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Snuggie Goes All Fashionable on Us

I haven't howled with laughter at a television commercial as much as the one for the Snuggie that I watched at about 12:50 a.m. today, Tuesday.
A woman was praising the Snuggie, the blanket with sleeves, etc., that looks like a blue or red KKK robe. But she looked at the camera with concern in her eyes, wondering when they were going to make one more "fashionable" for people like her.
Next, the announcer describes the new versions of the Snuggie as they are shown on the screen; one is leopard skin patterned, white and brown, the other zebra, black and white, apparently for women. He then mentions the new one for men, in "rich camel," as a man is shown wearing one in what looks like the old dessert boot brown.
Thank you, Snuggies, for making me almost fall off the couch and waking up Val laughing.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anthony Bourdain Visits Buffalo

Buffalo musician, booster, good Democrat and so on Nelson Starr (The Tails, Eric Starr Group) has worked his butt off to make this a reality in boosting Buffalo and its cuisine, so I will let him take it away with his press release below:

"Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations Buffalo" - SCREENING PARTY - : to be held at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery this Monday, July 27 2009 at 7:30 PM ...Free and Open to the Public!!! This Monday, July 27, a long-overdue opportunity for the entire world to take a second look at Buffalo - via an appearance on the Emmy award nominated Travel Channel show, Anthony Bourdain-No Reservations - finally becomes a reality!

Buffalo, NY, July 23, 2009 - will be hosting a screening party where the Travel Channel broadcast will be aired live for the public. This event will take place on the above date at the Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, start time is 7:30. Besides screening the show at the event, the hosts will also air all the episodes of All Access Pass with Nelson Starr, including premiering Episode 4, which features Dyngus Day, the Broadway Market, and Spar's European Sausage Shop. Adventures in Buffaloland and other video content, including the initial Travel Channel submission video, will also be screened.

It's been an eventful 18 months for Nelson Starr and his cohorts at It all started with their video submission to a Travel Channel contest - that ultimately spawned Starr's initial appearance on Anthony Bourdain - No Reservations; coaxed a subsequent visit by Bourdain, filming for his show in Buffalo; and the almost inevitable creation of a new network and program to fully tap the momentum generated by Starr and crew's Travel Channel success.

By combining high production-value media with engaging content (and a good dose of sheer fun), John Paget and Nelson Starr's new network,, and it's flagship series, All Access Pass with Nelson Starr, is raising the bar on internet TV programming in WNY.

The network,, was launched in January of 2009 to rave reviews. Airing two new series, the quirky Buffalo food-tour show, All Access Pass with Nelson Starr, and Tim Tielman's Buffalo architecture primer, Adventures in Buffaloland, the gang was off to a great start.

Almost simultaneously to their network launch, Starr and Bourdain were making the rounds, filming their Buffalo segment for ...No Reservations. Now, finally set to air as the "Rustbelt" episode, the Buffalo segment of No Reservations will appear alongside stops in Baltimore and Detroit. The entire tri-city episode will be broadcast on Monday, July 27, 2009, at 10 PM on the Travel Channel.

Val and I will be there and we hope as many of you as possible can attend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vacation: Day 1

Val, Walker Evans and I are in a hotel room in Erie, PA, after spending a day of driving, shooting some photos and doing other stuff in Pennsylvania, including unsuccessfully dodging rain.
We will be going to Presque Isle State Park tomorrow, or actually, later today, as long as the weather, particularly the rain, holds off. Thursday, we ended up driving as far as Clarion, stopped for early dinner at A&W, and drove through some non-highway routes to Erie.
But now it's time to get back to a fine king-sized bed, larger than we have at home; Val and Walker Evans are already snoring.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It Must Have Read This Blog

After writing about how horrifying I find it to be out in the neighborhood when the ice cream truck that incessantly plays "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin drives by, I got a broadside Monday.
I was walking Walker Evans and had turned onto Ashland Avenue from Summer Street when we heard the dreaded sounds of this ice cream truck; it turned the corner right behind us coming from Elmwood Avenue and due to stopping a couple of times, remained there for most of the long block to Bryant Street, passing us just before the end.
Being so close, we could hear the horrid repetitious song for minutes after the truck went by us, and I think Walker will bark at me when he sees me all but taunting the truck again.

Another Happy Birthday Wish for Val

Yes, today, Wednesday, July 22, is my lovely wife Val's birthday, and I want to wish her another great birthday and am very grateful I am part of her celebrations.
Dinner and gifts of course are among the celebration events tonight, and we'll explain more about how we are marking my hon's big day soon, but to say I can't wait for my work day to end today would be a major understatement.

Things I Don't Recommend, Part One

I do not recommend that people go out in steady to heavy rain and try to collect political petition signatures.
I did so Tuesday, and the dress shirt and t-shirt I wore are still wet, my dress pants were wet (and may still be; I didn't feel like checking them) and the petitions I collected, along with the walk sheets, got rather wet despite a clipboard and plastic bag kept over them.
I know many of you were curious.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Price Rite: Setup Wrong

Well, I went back to Price Rite, the supermarket where everything is everywhere, Monday to find a couple of items we forgot when shopping at Wegmans Sunday.
I went looking for burrito/enchilada sauce and sour cream; I had a feeling that they wouldn't have sour cream, and I could not find any when looking in the dairy areas (yes, areas).
But the fun repeated itself like the last time I was there when I tried to find the burrito/enchilada sauce; there was one row with virtually nothing but Goya products, but no sauce except for one pasta sauce. I had already looked down another aisle and found nothing. I then asked a stock person where the burrito/enchilada sauce was, and was directed to a row that had a lot of pasta sauce, but again none of the sauce I needed.
I then checked a few more aisles, but the time was running out for me; one of the reasons I had stopped at Price Rite was that it is a few blocks from home on my way home from work and allegedly faster/more convenient. Instead, I had to drive several miles to Wegmans, where I easily found these two items.
I am trying not to swear, so I will skip my planned ending for now. But I am not happy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We Landed on the Moon; Get Over It

To the people who still wrongly and almost hilariously believe and/or assert that the July 20, 1969, and following moon landings did not occur: Please be careful to wrap an extra layer of tin foil around your head and watch even closer for Sasquatch.
I mean, really.

Some Final Thoughts on Walter Cronkite

Since I wrote a lot when CBS and broadcast news/journalist extraordinaire Walter Cronkite became gravely ill recently, I cannot add too much upon his unfortunate death at age 92 last week.
But I do recall the two instances that will stick out to me forever of watching, listening and trusting Cronkite. The first was the first manned landing on the moon, 40 years ago today, July 20, 1969, and the second was the Watergate scandal and hearings that led up to the resignation of former President Richard M. Nixon.
Our household always watched a lot of news on television, national and local, but while I do recall watching Chet Huntley and David Brinkley on NBC a bit and only ABC News a little, we were a CBS/Walter Cronkite household. I still get chills sometimes when I see and hear Cronkite say, "and that's the way it is ... "
Rest in peace, Walter, you served us well. As I wrote elsewhere, you are one of the reasons I and many other people can proudly say that we were and are journalists.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Even Gifts Are Not Coming to Me

Furthermore in the whine category, I have a rather important birthday coming up, and either the gift ideas are too expensive for my current financial state or I don't know how to go about finding out how much they cost or if they can be afforded.
I am usually able to come up with a bunch of gift ideas for this very special person without any work or help, but as of right now, less than a week to the birthday event, I have one idea that certainly isn't of first/lead gift ranking.

Freelance Reality

Well, well, well, the realities of being a writer, full-time professional or freelance writer, can certainly reach out and slap you in the face at times.
As of today, as far as I can tell, my last freelance venue has dried up, no new assignments have come in, the couple of assignments I finished don't appear to be planned to be published and it's a good thing I never actually figured out where any of that money would have gone.
The money is the last thing I figure out because I do have a full-time job and so on, but it was and really still is a major part of me. Among other things, tiredness and lack of inspiration have gotten the best of me and I shouldn't have let that happen, but damn, things look crappy, or at least empty, right now. My web site writing has fallen behind, too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thanks for the "Help"

I got a lovely postcard sent to me "or current resident" that vows to "END BALDNESS PERMANENTLY" on one side.
The local address is "Joseph B. Neiman M.D., F.A.A.D.," of the Neiman Center for Hair Transplantation on Youngs Road in Williamsville, with a web site and everything, apparently believing that I am suffering oh, so much mental anguish from my mainly bald head and require immediate treatment for this major medical emergency.
I have never solicited anything related to hair tramsplantation, toupees or any other hair loss remedy, and as anyone who reads this or knows me is aware, I enjoy being bald, shave what little hair on my head remains and have never been vain enough to seek such "treatment." If other people want to, fine, but please, to anyone soliciting me on this, go away.
Also, I find that my trust in such hair treatments grows to skyscraper levels when the return address is a street called "W. Airfield Drive," with a six-digit post office box, at the "D/FW Airport," obviously the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, in Texas.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ice Cream Truck from Hell

Although the Buffalo ice cream bicycle guy makes his way to our Elmwood Village neighborhood at times, our Buffalo street also gets regularly visited by two ice cream trucks during the summer.
We get to frequently see and hear the Mr. Softee truck and its ringing song, but we also get to see and hear a white, green and orange former short school bus come by, constantly playing "The Entertainer," the Scott Joplin song used basically as a theme from the movie "The Sting."
The never-ending loop of "The Entertainer," a song that got so popular and overplayed in the 1970s that it was virtually used as a courtroom defense for assaults on ice cream truck divers, has never been a favorite of mine, but this ice cream truck drives so slow while non-stop playing this song that it turns a normally quiet guy like me into one searching for a golf club to bash in the speaker and player.
I got trapped taking Walker Evans around the neighborhood yesterday; the truck first passed up on Norwood Avenue, and we came back around and still caught up to it as it stopped at Norwood and Anderson, then parked. AAARRRGGGHHH.
For some reason, the Mr. Softee song, although I have been hearing it for almost 40 years, has not annoyed me anywhere near as much as the cringe-inducing "The Entertainer."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Does Sleep = Creativity or Ideas?

I dozed off/slept a couple of times last night, including while listening to music (Gurf Morlix, Joy Division, King Crimson, Memphis 59), and I got to bed at a pretty good hour, so I feel pretty decent rest and sleep wise.
But as you can see/read, sleep and rest do not always translate into good writing ideas. I always noticed that I did my best writing (newspaper, school work and so on) under pressure, deadline being the best and most common one, so maybe I should figure this one out, because I really don't want to go back to/continue the bad sleeping habits of recent times.
Of course, like more and more people, I could probably bore myself to sleep or, on the other hand, get insomnia, trying to figure out some of these Facebook friend requests.

Monday, July 13, 2009

You Know They Need Cleaning When ...

After a few weeks of knowing that they needed it, I finally threw three of my baseball caps/hats into the laundry this week.
They are: my traditional blue/old school Buffalo Sabres' logo hat, my red hat with the older third-jersey black crossed swords from the Buffalo/goat head era, and my white University of Wisconsin hat.
It also remains interesting to at least me that one of the, if not the, best way to wash these hats is in the laundry, although I have now received several hints/recommendations that dish washers also do the trick, as well as the fact that New Era and other hat businesses sell machines/contraptions that also wash and reshape hats. It sounds like it is becoming a nice little racket.
I have to say that two of my Buffalo Sabres hats needed the most laundering. First, the aforementioned blue hat, and my off-white "new" Sabres hat that features the sword through the large "B." No, none of that slug logo for Val or me. This hat would have joined the others in the laundry, but I left it somewhere and will have to wash it soon, because the off-white fabric hides absolutely no grime at all.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Faraway Fems Fan

Checking the statistics for this blog earlier today, I stumbled across a visitor at 3:54 p.m. (our time) Saturday, July 11.
From Kosovo, Macedonia, someone reached BuffaloRoots through the search "Fems - go to a party 7" " and stayed around for a few minutes, reading that and at least one other entry. I remain curious as to who it was, because there were no real clues given through a lack of ISP address or provider.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ebony and Ivory

It seems that I got unofficially profiled or stereotyped yesterday, and it was unusual.
Walker Evans and I were proceeding down Summer Street between Norwood and Ashland avenues Thursday; as usual, Walker stopped to sniff and mark something. I looked back and saw a man coming our way on the sidewalk at a pace that I knew he would pass us soon, and he did. Walker stopped again a few yards later and the man went up on the grass to give us a wide berth.
We caught up with him at the corner of Summer and Ashland as he waited for a car to clear the corner; the man was African American, age 40-50 with long dreadlocks and blue clothing with a logo on the shirt; nothing unusual for our neighborhood and I assumed he was either going to or coming from work. I describe him for a reason in a moment.
As Walker and I came up to the corner, he looked at us, got this look of fear in hie eyes and crossed Summer Street, heading in the same direction toward Elmwood Avenue. About half a block later, he crossed back just ahead of us.
As he came up off the street, he looked at me and said, "Oh, no, no, no. I bet you don't know why I crossed the street. You look like Rush Limbaugh, no, no, no." I shook my head, laughed and said that that assessment was as far from the truth as possible (for a liberal Democrat such as myself). He again said, "Oh, no, no, no, you do look like him" and walked away.
Regardless of political affiliation, at 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, shaved head and black glasses, I still can't figure out the similarity in appearance between myself and the uninformed, pill popping right-wing nut job radio show host, except for skin color. Hmm.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Where Did That CD Come From?

While doing some cleaning around my computer during the Independence Day weekend, I came across an unopened CD package sent to me by a PR firm promoting a band for our web site.
I do not remember receiving and then misplacing/losing this package, and luckily, it came from earlier this year, but it is a bit indicative of how I have fallen behind in my writing, particularly for our web site.
I apologize to all of the bands I have been sent material to review, as well as those I have gone out to review and haven't written the concert reviews yet, as well as a couple of interviews I have delayed publishing online for other considerations which have fallen behind for different reasons. I am especially sorry to the local bands and musicians whose material has been received and enjoyed, and I hope I can get to it soon.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Sign Says "Long Haired Freaky People ..."

OK, I may not have reached hippie ranking yet, but it has been almost a week and a half since I lasted shaved my head, and it is at least annoying me.
I always shave my head at least once a week, usually twice, and sometimes three times, but I missed a day or two I planned on it last week, and then I somehow left my electric shaver at work over the Independence Day weekend, and didn't feel like doing an entire blade and shaving cream shave. This is on top of it being a rather busy week at work and elsewhere.
With political volunteer activity Monday and Tuesday after work, I did not feel like doing anything but eating late dinner and sending time with Val when I got home from everything, so tonight, after I get home from work and start dinner stuff but before Val gets home for work, I will commence shaving, and no doubt end up with a combination electric razor/blade and shaving cream shave.
No, my hair is not particularly long, not even close to needing a comb or anything, but I am simply not used to nor do I want my hair to be this long any more. Of course, there is the fact that it is no longer dark brown but, to be charitable, "sandy" and/or "heavily speckled." OK, it's noticeably graying.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Dog or Statue?

While doing the political thing in Allentown last night, I came across a lot of pets; dogs led the way, with cats second and a few birds also noted.
When going basically door-to-door, you get used to dogs barking at you; being a dog person, I handle it easily, never really getting scared and talking to the dogs until they often stop barking and even wag their tails and try to say hello.
As I approached one house last night, the dog, a white American Staffordshire terrier, was all but forced up against the window, looking to my left, his right, and barely moving. After first wondering if this was a statue or stuffed animal, I saw that the dog was breathing and made eye contact with me.
I expected his barking to commence, but after looking me up and down for a moment, he went back to his staring off to the side, and he didnt even bark when I rang the doorbell, which no one answered.
Walking away, I tried to see where the dog was looking, and finally figured it out; under a tree almost on the property line with the house next door was a black and white cat, staring directly at the dog and not moving, either. This stare down may still be going on as I write this.

Monday, July 06, 2009

A New Week

With the Independence Day weekend over and enjoyed, this week will be a very busy one at work, and who knows, it may even be interesting.
The past weekend was somewhat restful, with some projects started but of course not finished at home, Independence Day celebrated and honored as well as made more fun by our attendance at the annual picnic shindig at Marty and Susan's house. This included the largest private home fireworks display I've ever witnessed a yard or so and a treeline away; it went on for hours and featured fireworks normally seen at municipal or ballpark fireworks displays.
One thing I am really hoping for this week is to finally open and play my copy of the new Sonic Youth CD, "The Eternal." It was delivered last week, but for some reason, I haven't gotten around to listening to it yet and am really looking forward to it. I'd also like to see more Buffalo Sabres free agent signings, but no breath is being held here at the Dunne-Hosey Estates.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Nothing Like Being Pissed Off on a Holiday

Well, once again, I woke up on a day off from work and found some douchnozzle has blocked my car in the driveway. To top it off, a truck is dumping stones in the bottom of the driveway directly across from our driveway.
After my morning coffee and breakfast, I do plan to take my car in for an oil change, then stop at Wegmans and take Walker Evans to Squaw Island for a romp in the park, so something will have to happen soon. If Buffalo Parking Enforcement is closed, hello, Buffalo Police Department.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Weather Relief

I want to thank whatever natural, supernatural, spiritual force or absolute coincidence (never forget to cover bases when the weather is involved) that caused the thunder and lightning predicted last night in Buffalo and Western New York to not actually occur.
Val, Walker Evans and I slept like rocks last night, and I even started my night off by falling heavily asleep in front of the computer, listening to "Ballads" by John Coltrane. The stop Val and I made for ice cream at the Coldstone Creamery probably helped out in our slumber efforts.
I hope to catch up on sleep a bit more tomorrow (I have the day off, while Val sadly has to work), but I will be taking my car in for an oil change and see if anything else is needed.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Kevin to MSNBC: Cut the Jackson Marathon

Can someone please tell MSNBC, or the people there who made the decision to use entire episodes of The Rachel Maddow Show and Countdown with Ketih Olbermann, that they have already "reported" on the death of Michael Jackson beyond all reason or need.
I am a major fan of the above mentioned programs and others on MSNBC, but the hours of nightly coverage (I don't watch during the day) have been awful, teetering on somewhere between the absurd and a travesty, and the reporting is barely a half-step above tabloid quality.
I bet Rachel Maddow is glad she is on vacation this week (is she actually on vacation or forced/chosen to not be on for this coverage?), and I feel sorry for Allison Stewart, subbing for Maddow, for being apparently forced to do so much coverage of Jackson's death. Why Keith Olbermann is covering this story so much is beyond me, unless he was not given a choice.

Chicken Wing Intervention

My niece Colleen (Hosey) Tucker and her husband Mike are still visiting here from Arizona, and Val and I went with them and my mother, Sheila, who they stayed with most of the time, to a memorial Mass for my father, Edward, and her father/my brother, Brian, Saturday, and went out to dinner and ice cream at Friendly's.
Val and I then planned on taking Colleen and Mike around for our version of a tour of Buffalo Sunday, and we were able to visit the new downtown waterfront area by the Erie Canal remnants, the Elmwood Village, Allentown, the Richardson Towers, the Central Terminal and a few other areas. We had a great time.
But before the tour, while we were preparing to leave Sunday morning, Val noticed that Mike had posted on Facebook that he wanted to sample a local delicacy, and mentioned doing so at ... Buffalo Hot Wings. When Val read this, she told me that we had to perform a chicken wing intervention. We have four places that we will go for wings: Gabriel's Gate, Cole's, the Century Grille and La Nova; the two places closest to our house are Gabriel's Gate on Allen Street and La Nova on West Ferry Street, and since both were recent winner's in the Buffalo Spree Magazine Best of Buffalo shindig/edition, I brought that publication with us to, er, suggest them to Mike and Colleen.
Colleen was born and partly raised here in Buffalo/Western New York, so she had no problem with them, and Mike was very open to trying real chicken wings in Buffalo (no, we will not call them Buffalo wings). We went to Gabriel's Gate and had a great dinner, all of us ordering wings, and I had forgotten that this would be the first time Mike tried wings with blue cheese, because he gets them with, ugh, ranch dressing at home.
Baby steps, Mike; baby steps, and welcome to the Hosey family.