Friday, October 30, 2009

Sick Dog Time

I've been trying to improve my blog post quality, or at least improve in getting to the point of them, lately, but things will have to wait a day or so.
Walker Evans has been sick since yesterday; his gastritis (he also survived bloat several years ago) is flaring up and he has puked up the regular food and rice we have prepared for him since about 5:30-6 p.m yesterday.
He seems to be sleeping a bit better and quietly with Val right now, but we will have to see, and I have cleaned up enough dog stomach innards in the last 12 hours to last a while.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Still Dark, No Fun

I have no actual scientific measurements to back it up, but I seem to be disliking the dark extending its grip on mornings in Buffalo and Western New York more than usual.
While having to be coherent and achieve things before the sun rises is almost never a fun concept, my body and mind do not seem to be adjusting to this change as well as in the past. I never really disliked it much before, and I had more an ambivalent response.
But now, I seem to be less and less happy to be this active in the dark; I am not depressed and am not stopping working or doing things or getting behind or dashing back and hiding under the blankets (what a concept, though), but simply not enjoying it so much.
And only a few more months to go.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stimulus Funds, Plumbing Style

Yes, Val and I are doing our part to keep the economy going by spending some stimulus funding with Tony and the fine people at Hertel Hardware today.
Of course, we're hoping that we're not going to be doing too much stimulating of the economy, but there is some work that needs to be done, as well as, like most people, a bunch of projects, some plumbing but not just that kind of work, that we'd like to get done but have delayed for the moment.
Anyway, let's hope that the downstairs half-bathroom is in better condition by tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Minor Annoyance, I Hope

It's certainly nothing to cry about, but it is a little bit annoying that my sight has one of those small pains in the ass/iris occurring.
I woke up and, even after showering, I have that slight white/light gray filmy or fuzzy thing going on in my right eye, especially to the right and above. It is kind of like a fingerprint smudge on one's glasses, but I checked and there is no smudge on my glass lens. Of course, instead of trying to ignore it, I keep intentionally looking through it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Weekend Diet Going to My Waist

After weeks, if not months, of too much takeout and fried food (especially me), Val and I enjoyed ourselves a bit more indulgently this weekend.
Friday, after seeing Brendan Bannon's great photo exhibit at Studio Hart on Allen Street, we at first had no idea where to go for dinner, then Val suggested Fat Bob's Smokehouse. Yeah, maybe it's a bit bad for the body to some people, but we needed and enjoyed a real good meal and dessert there. Oh, and enough leftovers for Sunday.
Saturday, Val and I drove down to Ellicottville for some fall foilage and photography, and then went to Earl's Diner in nearby Chaffee for another great, filling meal, and, of course, some delicious pie.
When we drove home, we tuned into 97 Rock, WGR-FM, and enjoyed listening to Anita West, who was playing requests for one-hit wonders, and played the full, more than 18-minute version of Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." Wow, what a fun song, and we made it from Chaffee to East Aurora during the song.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Aaagghh, I Did It Again

Here's a perfect example of how I frustrate myself blogging.
I had a pretty good ideas for a blog entry I was going to write this morning, went over it in my head while I was watching something on television last night (either Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the Rachel Maddow Show, a small part of the North Carolina-Florida State football game or part of the Yankees-Angels baseball game) and was ready to write a decent but not overly long piece this morning.
Do you think I can remember the topic of that piece at all, much less what I was going to write about it, this morning? Of course not; I don't even have a clue. My backup idea, which really just came to me, needs at least a bit more thought and refinement, so it's forgetful whining you'll get this morning.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Autumn Leaves ...

Val and I had been trying to find time to watch some of the colorful leaf scenery events the last few weeks, but the leaves, apparently partly due to a shorter-than-normal summer, have taken their time going from green to yellow, gold, orange and red.
But we finally found a bit of time last Saturday, so Val, Walker Evans and I drove out to Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park; it was a smart decision. The leaves were turning color very well, much more advanced than the small amount of change in our Elmwood Village neighborhood. Val took lots of photos, including some of Walker Evans and I for our Christmas card.
One of our highlights was finding a small, secluded but open area, which we soon found out was surrounding a very cool creek. Val took some great photos there, particularly of Walker, who was fascinated first with the running water (as he has become in other parks), then with single leaves, which he would chase, pick up from the creek and chew just once before putting them back into the creek.
We hadn't been to Chestnut Ridge Park in years, and that was when I portrayed Santa Claus in a charity holiday event, and we recommend visiting the park for some great fall foliage.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writers' Block Or Worse?

The last few days have been difficult for me in coming up with blog entry ideas, and I'm not sure if it is just another case of writer's block and being too busy.
With work being in one of its busiest seasons, along with political campaign volunteer work (media and otherwise), I do have a bit more on my plate than normal, but I have been perusing more blogs than normal to see how the writers are handling topics as well as if they are running into the same issues I have.
Of course, every writer, blog, newspaper, magazine, journal, book or otherwise, runs into idea problems from time to time, but I also got the feeling when I read some of these blogs that they were working on more interesting topics and ideas than I have been, which both encourages me to seek better ideas but also makes me possibly a bit shy to write on certain things I would otherwise have done.
I may also have to change my writing schedule and not just try to blog in the morning, especially when it can mean I am hurrying myself, consciously or otherwise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Musical Purchase of the Week

I know I will get in trouble from some people for this, but I just made an incredibly inexpensive musical purchase.
Thanks to a tip from members of an e-mail list I am a member of, The Fluff List (a bunch of music fans, musicians, writers and our ilk), I was able to buy the MP3 version of Lyle Lovett's new CD, Natural Forces, for $3.99 on Amazon. It was said to be a special price until midnight, and I got the message at about 11:55 p.m., so I had to hurry, but I was in luck and able to make the purchase. You may want to check to see if the special price is still in effect.
I am more than aware that certain people and readers will be unhappy with my making a musical purchase from a giant such as Amazon, but it was hard to avoid such a low price on a release of which the CD is not yet available.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Damn Busy Weekend

Wow, we hardly saw our couch at times this past weekend at the Dunne-Hosey Estates.
I had a political lit drop Saturday morning (and actually got blisters on my feet), Val, Walker Evans and I went to Chestnut Ridge Park for some fall nature fun, photography and a possible Christmas card shot, and Val and I went to see Johnny Dowd and Michele Weber at a house concert put on by Marty and Susan (last one of the season), and this was all Saturday.
We also did the usual breakfast, but changed our routine and finally ate at Sophia's (Military Road between Kenmore and Hinman in North Buffalo) Sunday, which was great in the choice and quality of food, as well as atmostphere and price. We then did our grocery shopping, took Walker to the Lasalle Park dog park, I did laundry and watched the Bills actually defeat the New York Jets, and added some other political and work stuff in there.
My feet are still healing as we start this new week, but I have to digress slightly and ask: Is it me, or is "J...E...T...S. Jets, Jets, Jets," one of the all-time dumbest sports cheers?

Friday, October 16, 2009

And People Thought I Had a Clown Car

As I pulled in to the Fernbacher Parking (pay) Ramp adjacent to the Family Court building recently, I was early enough to have my choice of spots on the Third Level, and watched other cars park after me.
Three parking spots down, with no vehicles between us, was eventually taken by a very shiny, red/maroon, apparently brand-new two-seat sports car, a Mercedes-Benz or BMW, as far as I could tell. As I admired the car, the driver got out; the man wore an almost impeccably tailored grey suit, and stood about 6-foot-6 to 6-foot-8.
I stand 6-foot-3, and I know that this man was at least 3 inches taller than me and absolutely towered over the car. I marveled at how tall a person could have gotten into and driven this car, because there did not appear to be even an extra inch of space for the glove compartment. I have not seen them in the ramp again.
I have experience with driving small cars that may or may not fit tall people; my previous car to my current vehicle, a 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, was a 1994 Chevrolet Geo Metro, bought new. I tried out the regular version, and could not sit anywhere near comfortably and drive the car or even safely operate the pedals. I ended up buying the hatchback, because the extra 3 inches or so of length/space allowed me to drive that car without being bent over like a folding box.
And Val, who I was good friends with at that time, and her sister Tricia remember me driving that car and thinking it looked like a clown car when I got out of it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Did It Again; NHL to Blame?

I dozed off a couple of times last night/this morning and didn't get to bed officially until about 2:05 a.m., but at least I have a new reason to partly blame.
Since the National Hockey League is offering its NHL Center Ice cable telelvision practice with a free beginning couple of weeks or so, I have been staying up way too often way too late watching West Coast games and one or two replays. This is on top of a week or so of rather late Major League Baseball playoff games.
Yes, we have a new HD television in the bedroom, which would be much smarter and more convenient than using the couch and TV downstairs, but if I get behind in a game, or have DVRed some of it, I need to use the television downstairs. Yes, I almost always catch up, but by then, I have gotten too comfortable or don't want to miss any of the game by going upstairs. The timing was perfect Monday, when I missed only about a minute of the Phoenix-San Jose game, so that night worked fine.
I will keep trying, and Val will certainly keep reminding me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Johnny Dowd, Michel Weber House Concert

Marty Boratin and Susan Tanner will host their last house concert of this season when Johnny Dowd performs,with Michel Weber opening, at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 17, at the Boratin/Tanner residence at 7341 Nelson Road in Hamburg (technically Eden).
Admision will be $10 for this great show, featuring Ithaca's gothic American folk country rock storyteller Johnny Dowd, who has played some great shows in Buffalo in the past, including Marty and Susan's wedding reception. Dowd may be best known for his debut album, "Wrong Side of Memphis," and released a new CD, "A Drunkard's Masterpiece," in 2008 on Bongo Beat Records.
Michel Weber has picked up her guitar and is singing and writing songs again; Val and I caught her with Vic Lazar at the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts this summer, and she sounded great.
The event is BYOB, and "well-behaved kids and dogs are welcome. Well-behaved adults, too." Some food will be provided and a potluck dinner will be hosted at about 5 p.m.
For directions or more information, contact Marty at or at his cell at 812-4671.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bottle Rockets at the Sportsmen Tonight

The Bottle Rockets will bring their hard rocking Americana music to the Sportsmen's Tavern for a Private Concert Series show at 7:30 p.m. tonight, Tuesday, October 13, at the club, 326 Amherst Street near Grant Street in Buffalo.
Val and I will not be able to make the show this year, but made it to the last one about three years ago, and if this concert is anywhere near the same, you will really enjoy it and shake a thing or two. Tickets appear to still remain, even though Ken Biringer, booker for the club, repeatedly has advised people to buy them ahead of time, and you can call 874-7734 to check. If there are any left, they will cost $25.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Weather Programming

Driving home from work today, I turned on the radio after a cassette tape by The Moment finished.
I started to channel surf, and the first song I came to, on 92.9 FM (WBNY 91.3 FM was still not strong in the Allentown area) was Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." Because it was raining at the time, I mentally noted "overplayed and inappropriate" and kept surfing.
At WGR-FM 97 Rock, I encountered "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35" by Bob Dylan. My mind thought "appropriate, not overplayed and great," and I stopped to listen to it and soon was home.

Unsteady Day

Today will be interesting, with my stomach feeling queasy since I woke up and, even after some Pepto-Bismol, still not feeling quite steady or back to normal yet.
It seems that the already large presence of chicken wings and pizza in my recent diet has started to have its effects, and yesterdays' consumption of them (only things served where I was) may have put me over the brink.
We'll see, but I'm a bit nervous.

Just Wait For It

Congratulations (like mine are awaited with baited breath) to President Barack Obama for winning the 2009 Noble Peace Prize.
But now, we get to wait for the right wing nut jobs and others to start their criticism of Obama and the Nobel Prizes, because they will wrongly claim, among other things, that Obama toured Europe and the world apologizing for the USA (never happened), and of course, the awards are tainted because people like former President James Carter and former Vice President Al Gore have won the award (which makes it more prestigious, in my opinion).
Now, this award should be considered a start, and reducing and eventually ending the U.S. military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan should be the next major international relations steps, but it certainly helps to be getting along diplomatically (and in other ways) with much of the world.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dear Lord, My Eyes Still Burn

There are prices to pay when you fall asleep watching something on television, as I did last night/early this morning.
I was watching the Los Angeles Dodgers-St. Louis Cardinals late playoff game (yes, I actually watch baseball games when they are playoff games) on TBS, and dozed off in the 6th or 7th inning. The Dodgers eventually won the game, the first of that playoff series, 5-3.
When I woke up, there was a movie on, and in my initial grogginess I did not know if it was as stupid as it sounded or I was fighting to make sense of it. As soon as I was actually awake and able to make "sense" out of it, I discovered that my horror was completely earned; the film was "Son in Law," starring Paul Shore. Pauly freaking Shore.
I sometimes forget how bad some movies are, regardless their era, and "Son in Law' is one of the real bad ones. Pauly freaking Shore.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Idiots on Parade

Val and I would just love to thank the douchenozzles who decided that this morning, among the real strong winds and lake effect rain, was a great time to do repair or construction work early in the morning.
Yes, we were awoken at about 5 a.m. by hammering and other carpentry/home repair sounds at 5 a.m. or so, and then, after we got back to sleep, were woken up by a pair of jackasses at about 5:30 a.m., who decided that it would be a smart decision to stand in front of our house and shout above the wind to communicate with each other.
Being we were woken from sound sleeps and it was way too early, we weren't able to get up to figure out what was happening, but it may have been battening down the hatches across the street at an addition project. Still, the shouting in front of our house even got Walker Evans up and almost barking.
Let's see how the rest of the day and the strange weather goes.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Thus Quote My Stomach: "Never More"

I always appreciate it when people are nice to us at work or elsewhere and buy us lunch, etc., and never fail to take those people up on their offers. But sometimes, my stomach wishes that I would say no.
Yesterday, lunch was bought for us for a meeting, so we had sheet pizza and chicken wings from a West Side/Elmwood Avenue restaurant; they were pretty good and I was pretty hungry, so I ate my share but stopped before bursting. Then, for dinner and political volunteering, someone bought us dinner, which for me was a chicken parmesan sub sandwich, from the same place. It was tasty, but a bit dry and way too chewy.
So, by the time I got home, despite eating only half of the sub, I was feeling way too full and then my stomach started feeling a bit upset and oogy. So, as anyone who has been through this before would do, I followed it with a shot of Pepto-Bismol chaser; eventually, I had three shots before going to bed and finally making my stomach feel better, although even now, it is a bit uncertain.
Man, I am looking forward to toast and jelly with coffee and juice for breakfast and a simple tuna sandwich for lunch.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lovely Monday Morning

It's cold and rainy outside, my throat is starting to feel dry and a bit uncomfortable, the Bills and the Sabres lost this weekend and work beckons. It must be a fall Monday in Buffalo/Western New York.
While we're heading for the 50s for a high temperature today, the Sabres lost to Montreal in overtime, 2-1, and the Bills lost 38-10 to Miami in Florida in a game that wasn't even as close as the score indicates, at least Val and I have one things to be happy about. The University of Wisconsin Badgers defeated Minnesota, 31-28, in NCAA Division I football to keep Paul Bunyan's Axe and to move to 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Big Ten Conference.
At least my birthday is approaching, and I hope that if this is a cold coming on, that it runs its course in time for me to enjoy my day.

Friday, October 02, 2009

No Choice: Furnace Is On

At 6:55 p.m. Thursday, October 1, 2009, the furnace is turned on at the Hosey-Dunne Estates on Buffalo's West Side.
This followed too many 55-56-degree verifiable temperature readings in our house, despite increasing our cooking and oven usage, and heaven knows how cold things got during the overnights when the outside temperature got down to at least 41 degrees, and maybe colder. Even Walker Evans laying and sleeping next to us more often, for him to use our body heat and for us to use his body heat, was no match for the ridiculous, increasingly cold weather here, nor were the space heater, blankets and comforters we used.
I did get the chance to change the filter in the furnace in the basement right after I got home from work and walked Walker. There was a thick layer of fur on the filter, combined with dust, dirt and who knows what else, and I think I need to keep better track of changing the air filter and actually do so this winter.
Yeah, I wrote that horrible six-letter word; it is definitely not here yet, but we all know that it is on its way.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

No, Not Yet

As of 7:05 a.m. Thursday, October 1, we have not turned on the furnace in the Dunne-Hosey Estates.
Yes, it is pretty cold to wake up to, and yes, it is finally October, but we figure we can make it with a warm morning shower and then, when needed, use the space heater in the living room at night. We are trying to make it to my birthday before we start using the furnace, a scary 10 days away.

Rhino Records: Neither Gone Nor Forgotten

It appears that Rhino Records, the classic mail order/Internet music store and company as well as music label, has gone through some tough times and had to let go of some workers.
While this is a sad sign for the music industry and community, when these moves occurred, it appears that bloggers and concerned music fans started expressing their concerns and a few wondered if Rhino was closing. Some actually spread this rumor.
Well, according to Rhino Records, this is an exaggeration, as this post explains.
I am one of those music lovers who has purchased music from Rhino over the years, has received some promotional material from them at various publications I wrote for, and have suggested and received gifts from people who I suggested do so from Rhino. I am sad at the layoffs, concerned for Rhino's future but glad to hear that the label/company is still alive.