Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yard Sale July 30-31

Yes, the Dunne-Hosey Estates will be holding a yard sale Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31, at our compound at 168 Norwood Avenue in Buffalo.
Indeed, our yard sale will be held to coincide with the annual Buffalo Garden Walk, which runs all around and through our neighborhood, including on our street; several houses on Norwood Avenue will be officially part of the Garden Walk.
Among the items for sale will be glassware, table settings, books, CDs, vinyl records, some furniture, toys and electronics, and we will have more details for you posted here and on Facebook soon. Val will also be holding a sale of framed artwork, her photographs, inside our house for those interested. Additionally, the vinyl will be kept inside and will be shown to serious customers.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dinner and...?

Friday, July 22, was my loving wife Val's birthday, and the financial difficulties we are experiencing almost prevented me from taking her out to dinner. Fortunately, the day before, a freelance check arrived and I could at least afford to take Val somewhere.
We decided to go to Dug's Dive, a waterfront spot Val enjoys the food and scenery at, but when we got there, using Val's car, we were told that we had a choice of at least a half-hour wait for indoor seating, or we could immediately sit out in the sun. With the temperature still about 90 degrees and Val's MS causing further hardship in extreme heat and humidity, we decided to go elsewhere.
Our next try was Old Man River's on River Road in Tonawanda, and things went much better there. The crowd was not too bad, we were able to order right away and Val really enjoyed her order of steamed clams. My food was pretty good as well, and the scenery, breeze and cover from the sun made for a fine eating/lounging environment.
We eventually headed for home, at about 7:15-7:30 p.m., and that is where the real, um, fun, began. We drove south on Route 190 for a bit, and we were between the Scajaquada Expressway interchange and the Peace Bridge exit (our exit) when our car started to feel weird, and then would not accelerate, despite my depressing the accelerator repeatedly, both firmly and pumping it. The car did not lose power, but was obviously losing speed, and I pulled over in the area that used to be the old toll area, a little more than a mile before the Peace Bridge exit. The car's battery was working, and we were able to use the warning lights, but the car would make little more than a "whirring" sound when I tried to start it, after turning off the engine after we got off the 190.
As if this wasn't bad enough, we forgot to bring our cell phone with us and I hadn't renewed our AAA membership when it recently expired, because it was too expensive. We had recently changed auto insurance companies, and while I had planned to add the 24-hour roadside assistance plan (very affordable), I hadn't done that yet. So, with Val reasonably safe in the car off the road, I set off walking down the 190 to the Peace Bridge exit, and possibly a nearby friends' house.
After briskly walking the more-than mile to the exit, I then walked the quarter-mile or more to where it hit Porter Avenue, and went left toward where Porter bends and heads toward Symphony Circle and Richmond Avenue. At this point, I realized that I had not brought my house key or car key off my key chain with me, and hoped I could somehow climb in the house. Of course, no one was home at our friends' house on Porter, so I kept going, turned left at Jersey, which ran on a diagonal to Richmond Avenue and cut out some time and distance, and eventually walked the rest of the way home.
This estimated 3.25-3.5-mile walk took about an hour, maybe less (no watch, either), and when I got home, I checked to see if our neighbors were home; sadly, they weren't, so I checked our windows, found one I could get through if I could find a ladder to reach it, and went into the garage. I found a painting ladder and moved way too much crap off it so I could carry it around and try to get in the window I could access. I had no idea of this would work.
As I came around the corner of the house, I saw my neighbor, Jim Whitford, carrying his standup bass up his stairs; he had just gotten home with his wife, Lynn O'Meara, from playing a gig. Thankfully, he had a key to our house, and let me inside; I immediately grabbed Val's key chain, which has her house key, but none for my car. Whitford offered to drive me back if needed.
I next needed to call for a tow truck and then get back to Val; I called our auto insurance agent and added the 24-hour roadside service to our plan; sadly, it would not start, by company rules, until the next day. It was about 8:45 p.m. at this stage. I told the person at our insurance company this, and she said she could contact a tower and put me in touch and arrange for it at our expense; as she was doing so, she realized that the 190 is a restricted state thoroughfare, and that I would have to talk to the New York State Police. She connected me to the State Police, who took down the information and said they would dispatch a truck, at our expense, to get Val's car off the 190.
I headed out the door and approached another moment of truth; I hadn't had to start up my car with the new keys I got made during the winter, and hoped that they would work so that I would not have to bother Jim. Lo and behold, the first key I tried worked on the first try, and I was off, with a water bottle, to get Val. She was rather happy to see me, both for security sake and because she was figuring out how she would be able to, um, relieve her bladder if I was gone much longer.
The tow truck pulled up a minute after I got there, and in a matter of a moments Val's truck was on its bed and the driver followed me to our house, where the car is right now. It will be towed to the place we plan to get the repair work done tomorrow morning, and we hope and plead that it will not cost too much money, since we are at the end of our financial margin.
A final note to this problem/comedy of errors: My passenger-side front door will not open all of the way, so Val is really enjoying having to climb over my gear shifter and other parts of the interior to her seat while she has to ride in my car.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Can Hardly Wait to See His Commercials

Over the years, one of the top searches for people reaching this blog is Sean Kipp, the uncomfortable looking and acting star of television commercials for a former car dealer, currently working for a Southtowns car dealership. Yes, even uncomfortable for a used car salesman. Years ago, I mocked his commercials and demeanor several times.
Kipp has been nominated by the Erie County Republican Committee to be its candidate for the 144th State Assembly District seat, vacated when former Assemblyman Sam Hoyt was appointed to a senior position with the Empire State Development Corporation.
Sean Ryan, my former boss as the chief of staff of the Erie County Legislature Democratic Majority Office, was earlier named to be Sam's replacement and will run in the September special election.
Besides Kipp generating my amusement as to what his commercials will look like, gee, what a coincidence, the GOP nominating someone named Sean to run against someone named Sean in a special election.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's Your Order, Please?

It seems that Walker Evans and I were being taunted during our recent neighborhood walk.
Less than a block after we started, a La Nova delivery person parked on Bryant Street and delivered the order to a customer in the apartment building we were passing. A few blocks later, another La Nova delivery person dropped off an order on Norwood Avenue, less than a block from home.
For obvious financial reasons, we haven't ordered takeout/delivery food in a long time and won't be any time soon.

Friday, July 15, 2011

And Act Like An...

We are quite happy to have encountered/received a serious bump in visitors to this blog in recent weeks, and this week has been quite busy. I often check the origin of visitors, from where the visitor comes from to what search he or she used to find
As the accompanying artwork may hint at, this blog got a visitor from Mexico City, Mexico, Thursday, July 14, through the search "The Fems go to a party 45." Welcome, new reader, and by the way, nice taste in Buffalo bands/music. Feel free to come back often and say hello, especially if you are a Buffalo/Western New York expatriate.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Diagnosis: Terminal. Treatment: Love

With Walker Evans' cancer spreading from his left eye to the rest of his body, there is little we can do for our almost 13-year-old dog and companion but give him love, something Val and I are doing.
As well as mixing in canned food with his normal dry food (more as well as richer), Walker is getting more treats, we have placed a fan on the floor near where he often lays and I am spending more time with him in the backyard (on top of his walks).
Normally, whether at meal time or otherwise, Walker was/is an efficient dog when it comes to pooing and peeing. But as of late, he is taking much more time in the backyard, apparently just to sniff flowers, leaves and his own offerings, and to simply commune with nature.
I am the person still awake to give Walker his last meal of the day, so I have been going outside with him for the last backyard visit of the night, to get some air, to think about way too many stressful matters, to make sure Walker doesn't get tangled around our wild raspberry bush and to provide Walker with some company and talk with him.
This will continue as long as we have this time together.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

See How We Are, Walker Evans Edition

As many of you readers know, our beloved dog, Walker Evans Dunne Hosey, has been going through some health problems recently; as he nears age 13, this probably should not be too surprising.
Sadly, after several visits to the veterinarian, including a veterinary opthamologist, and some blood work, it has been determined that Walker's left eye problem is glaucoma and a tumor to the eye, and that the cancer has spread elsewhere in his body.
Val and I are devastated, and realize that the health problems Walker has had recently that have been worsening were signs and symptoms of his cancer, and we are determining the next steps to take. We don't want to worsen Walker's pain and suffering; he has had increased trouble walking (his walks are a bit shorter and much slower) and climbing/descending stairs, his balance is worse and his appetite has been greatly reduced. He has lost 14 pounds since January, and his appetite only returns when we feed him canned food or mix some canned food in with his dry food.
All three of us warmly appreciate all of the signs and expressions of love and concern that so many of you kind friends and readers have made and no doubt will continue to make, and we plan on making Walker's time as comfortable, fun and loving as possible.
And boy, could this household use some good news.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Comeback for Creem Magazine?

According to this story, Creem Magazine, a legendary snarky, obnoxious, irreverent, ass kicking and high charged music magazine focusing on rock, hard rock, heavy metal, punk and similar styles, originating from Detroit, is planning to resume publication in September.
The home for writers such as Lester Bangs, Joel Fernbacher, Richard Riegel, Billy Altman, Dave DiMartino, J. Kordosh, Robert A. Hull, Toby Goldstein, Penny Valentine, Mitchell Cohen, Rick Johnson and great comic reviews from Mad Peck Studios, Creem Magazine was able to both take music seriously and take the stuffing out of music, music criticism and musicians. Very few magazines and writers could make you care so much, laugh so hard and swear so loudly as Creem and its staff and contributors.
As a longtime subscriber who still has several issues (from 1979-1981, I believe) as reading material in our bathroom, I fear that without these great writers and in an atmosphere and music community where such attack journalism and criticism, blended with humor, sarcasm and bitterness, seem to have lost favor, that this may not be a successful or long-term return. Of course, with the success of The Onion, maybe it is time.
And yes, that is me you see here with one of my better-conditioned older copies of Creem from my collection, from February 1981.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thank You Ever So Much

Val and I would like to thank from the bottom of our hearts the occupant or occupants of a car who apparently decided to go on a weekend neighborhood beautification effort.
When we came home from the annual Meat Day ("Carne Diem"), as always wonderfully hosted by David Staba and Josselyn Borowiec in Darien, we found out that the parking spot immediately in front of our house, directly adjacent to our driveway, where we had been parked before we left, had been at least temporarily occupied by someone without a hoarding disorder.
The spot was filled with the remains and wrappers from a Dunkin Donuts breakfast, including coffee cup and sandwich holder, as well as several napkins, tissues, other refuse and paper and a larger-than-grocery-store plastic bag containing more of the same.
I will always remain annoyed, and worse, over the disrespect and laziness of some douche nozzles.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Box of Music, Memories

I haven't had the chance to recently write about my late father Edward's record collection, which I continue to sort, but a box I found this week will start me back on track.
This box, which was one of the last of his collection I brought here from my mother Sheila's house before we sold it in June, was put in the laundry room until I was able to get to it, but I haven't had much time. I knew there were several old record albums in it plus some other stuff, which turns out to be some of my childhood and adolescent trophies, ribbons and so on from sports and other activities.
The albums, with all of the records in fantastic shape and most of the albums and their artwork still in rather good shape, are an interesting group. Of the eight albums, four actually have all of their records inside; three have one missing/switched, and one has contents completely different from its cover.
Of course, the album I would most want to listen to is one that is incomplete, "Artie Shaw Plays Cole Porter" by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, Musicraft S2. Three of the four records inside are from this album: "Night and Day," b/w "Get Out of Town;" "Begin the Beguine," b/w "You Do Something to Me;" "I've Got You Under My Skin," b/w "My Heart Belongs to Daddy." "In the Still of the Night," b/w "What Is This Thing Called Love," is missing and in its place, the album contains "Sugar," b/w "Sensation Rag," by Yank Lawson and His Orchestra, Signature 15004.
Another interesting feature of this version of "Artie Shaw Plays Cole Porter" is that the album cover, seen above, is different from the two I have found posted on the Internet.
The other albums in this box are: Bing Crosby, "Going My Way," Decca Records A-405 (complete); Stan Kenton (surprisingly missing a record, since this is one of Dad's favorites), "Artistry in Rhythm," Capitol BD39; Al Jolson,"Songs He Made Famous," Decca Records 469, missing one out of four records altogether; Freddie Slack and His Orchestra, "Boogie Woogie," Capitol BD 12; Earle Spencer and His Orchestra, "Progressions in Boogie," Black and White 62; Bob Hope, "I Never Left Home" (a greatest hits of sorts of his World War II routines and tributes to the individual armed forces), Capitol CD 26.
While the last album cover indicates that it is Ethel Waters, "Cabin in the Sky," Liberty Music, the records inside are all Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra Columbia Masterworks recordings.
I have checked a few values so far, and nothing more than $25 for any of these has been found.