Surprise

November 7, 2015

HI folks. Been a while. Just seeing if this still works.and where it goes. Let me know if you see anything!

Time For A Little Reckoning

January 10, 2011

Folks, a congresswoman got shot in the head the other day, and some more people DIED including a federal judge and a 9 year old girl whose entire life was bookended by tragedy. Why? Because some unbalanced fucknut took a gun and did the unthinkable. Except that it is thinkable, it is possible, it is something that happens more often that we all ever know, because most of the time the victims are anonymous or unimportant to the public at large.  Even more, this sort of tragedy will probably continue to happen for as long as us humans are still running the show on this here planet.  I don’t know exactly what all the blaming is going to accomplish other than ramping up the hate some more.  Not that it matters all that much; I am pretty sure that even if Barack Obama and Sarah Palin had a joyful hug in front fo the White House at noon on Easter Sunday in front of a joint session of Congress and then everyone went out for drinks and swore forever more to say only kind words about each other, some people out there are going to do heinous and unthinkable things. 

Does this mean that I absolve the Right of all blame?  Well, I don’t think the Right is totally to blame, but you gotta be careful what you wish for, and understand that bullseyes (and they WERE bullseyes, don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining, Sarah Palin) can be interpreted different ways by a lot of different (and not so stable) people.  And you on the Left, I’d maybe just sit down and stop being so indignant; Sarah Palin did NOT pull the trigger, and no lawyer can spin it so that it’s her fault, and trying to blame this solely on someone’s politics is probably pushing it.

Maybe later, after I’ve totally thought all this through, I’ll feel a little differently.  However, right now I see this for what I think it really is – some unbalanced person with a past history of threats and (possibly) mental problems that should probably have been addressed long ago, who took a gun and killed a bunch of people and ultimately failing to kill the one person he was really after.  To say that this is indicative of anything more than a crazy person would be a bit disingenous, to say the least.

Another First

October 8, 2010

Happy First Birthday to my little boy, Brendan.  He’s a happy kid, and he makes me very happy, too! 

Small Town

August 31, 2010

My daughter, Erin, is playing soccer this year in an instructional league.  She’s having fun, and expending some of that boundless energy of youth.  What I like about this league is that it’s been around for many years; in fact, I played soccer in this league twenty eight or so years ago.  That seems like a long time, but it’s something that gives me a little sense of place and history as a person.  This is where I grew up and learned and now I am passing some of that to the next generation.

Another thing that it brings up is the comfort level I have with things that are familiar, and the familiarity I enjoy with so many of the things around me.  I live in the same town I grew up in.  My kids will go to the same middle and high schools that I attended.  I never think of my house as particularly old, but it was built in 1954, the same time and in much the same design as the house my parents have owned for forty years.  I used to hang out in the same bar in which my parents met as twenty-somethings.  The beach, the playgrounds, the town hall, the stores, all part of my past and my future as well.

This is not to say that I haven’t explored the area a little.  I’ve been in the city more in the last two years than I probably was from 1990 until 2008.  My friends are a little more spread out, and I don’t get lost anywhere north of Blasdell. I never moved away, I never moved back, I don’t have the frame of reference that some people have who have lived in a huge city or a hundred miles from nowhere.  Some people would say that my lack of experience with other areas, other paces and styles of life, is why I love Western New York so much.  Somehow, I don’t think so.  I like seasons, lakes, twenty minutes to everywhere, and running into someone I know all the time.  Maybe I’m missing out on somewhere else, but I don’t think so.  Right here seems just fine with me.  Sure there’s parts that I don’t like: politics, taxes, sparse job market.  But I think I’d rather take my chances with that, than start fresh somewhere else.  That’s my opinion, and that’s all it is…

Hot Air

August 11, 2010

It looks like I made the paper again; this time, in an article about electric costs and air conditioning.  It’s been interesting to look at my usage this summer, especially once I saw that my bill went up something like 59% from July to August.  Also interesting, and something I plan to take more advantage of, is that the utility companies have a lot of information on your usage that you can actually download into a spreadsheet and analyze at your convenience.  I plan to do this more, especially with the electric and natural gas bills.

If anyone has any suggestions on how to go about this, or if there’s any software out there to help track this stuff, let me know.  hopefully some analysis and conservation will save me some cash for more fun things…like mortgage payments!

So

Question For My Mechanic Friends

June 6, 2010

I’ve got a little problem. You all know that 1989 Festiva I’ve got, right? Well, the front brakes are getting sort of bad, and I’ve got to change the pads and probably rotors. I took the first step the other day; more accurately, I attempted to take the first step, which is to find out how bad the problem is. I jacked up the car, and removed the lug bolts from the left side front tire. Unfortunately, the wheel didn’t pop right off the hub. In fact, I couldn’t get the damned wheel off at all. I beat the rim from the inside with a 3 lb. hammer, and it didn’t budge.

My question is, what the hell do I do next? I’ve got a few ideas. First, up the ante. Get a full size sledgehammer and hit the rim from the inside again. This used to work for me when I worked at Dunn Tire. The problem is that I don’t have a hydraulic car lift, and I hesitate to beat on such a light car while it’s sitting up on a little tiny jack.

I also thought of just taking the car over to a local place like Dunn Tire or Big D, and having them rotate the tires, and let them figure it out.  I just worry that they’ll refuse to move the tires in the first place, since the rear ones aren’t exactly going to pass the next inspection.  They’re a little worn.  OK, a lot worn.

I am stuck.  Like the wheel.  So what should I try next?

Down A Quarter

May 22, 2010

Today was the final weigh-in of my family’s Biggest Loser contest, and the results are in. On January 2nd, I weighed 292.8 pounds. Today, I weigh 267.4 pounds. I have lost 25.4 pounds this year. Not exactly a fiery pace, but I’ll take it. 

The trick, as always, is to continue the things that got me down 25 pounds.  I’ve been pretty good at not eating late at night, and I’ve pretty much cut out pop except for once a week or so.  The hardest thing for me to do is exercise.  I haven’t been able to commit to a regular routine.  If I want to get further, I’ll have to get something figured out so that I can get some regular exercise.

For now, I am glad of the 25 pounds gone, and am looking forward to losing a bit more.  Right after this weekend.

Baseball or NASCAR

May 19, 2010

We’ve reached the end of the line for hockey this year, at least for me.  Though I will thoroughly enjoy the remainder of the NHL playoffs even though the Buffalo Sabres are no longer involved, that will soon end.  Come June, the summer drought of my sports interests will leave me begging for some competitive sport or activity to follow.  Not that my days won’t be full, but the evenings are sometimes longer in the summer and beg for something…

So what’s it going to be – NASCAR or baseball?  I wish someone out there could give me a solid reason to get into one or the other.  I like both, but I feel like I should really get into one of them, to be able to converse intelligently about it. 

Of course, I could pick something else completely…like playing my guitar, or writing a book, or eating to coma-like status. Any ideas?

Achy Breaky Parts

March 22, 2010

This past weekend I managed to do some pretty good damage to myself, while proving that I am still willing to make a complete jackass out of myself for fun.  Saturday morning I met my parents out at Kohl’s with my three daughters to do some sneaker shopping.  This went surprisingly well, and the three girls got the exact same sneakers – Skechers Twinkle Toes.   Anyways, as we left to go to IHOP for brunch, my foot slipped off the edge of the curb of one the islands in the parking lot, and down I went.  I rolled my ankle really badly; so badly, in fact, that this is what the thing looked like the next day –

Yeah.

So what would be the reasonable thing to do…ice, rest, elevation?  Hell no.  Saturday night I went out to see a local band, Wide Right, and stood on that ankle for a few hours.  The band, by the way, was pretty damned good.  Then on Sunday, I figured I’d really take care of myself, so I took the family roller skating!  Putting on my rollerblades was a little painful since there was still quite a bit of swelling in the ankle, but once I tightened the laces up it felt better.

Normally I just skate around with the kids and have fun with them.  This time, my wife was there, and my parents were watching the baby so we could all skate around.  I did a nice lap holding hands with my wife, and then she stood at the end boards while I wound up some speed.  As I came around after a couple laps I tried to stop near her against the boards.  Since I am more used to ice skates than rollerblades, I screwed up the stop and fell in spectacular fashion.  My knee twisted a couple ways it’s not supposed to, and my face had a rather painful collision with my wife’s leg and the boards.  My 9 year old immediately proclaimed to the nearby crowd that she did not know me.  My wife was laughing, my mom asked if I was OK, and I think my Dad was just slowly shaking his head at the scene.  I got up, assured the concerned folks that I was just fine, and skated off in great pain.  Not content to go out with a whimper, I kept going for a while, until the kids were ready to go.  As I turned to go over to where I left my shoes, I fell once again, flat on my ass.  I called it a day right there, took my blades off, and limped over to my shoes.

So now my right ankle is swollen and terribly bruised, my left knee is sore and stiff, my ribs and shoulders are sore from the Lord knows what, and my body generally feels pretty beat up.  But I spent some fun time with the kids, and it was all worth it.

On Getting Older, Not Old

March 8, 2010

I’ve often considered what it means to get older.  This means something different to me than getting old.  I think getting old is going to suck, because I generally equate “getting old” with negative things – insurmountable physical and mental deficiencies, resentment of change, an inability or unwillingness to understand or adapt to changing societal norms and technology.  To me old is not a particular age, but rather a state of being that I will avoid, with any luck, until the very end.

What I mean by getting older is something a little different.  When I was young and stupid and doing quite a few things that weren’t exactly in my own best interests I was was often told that as I got older, these things wouldn’t be fun or satisfying or important.  I smoked, drank, drove like an idiot at times, ate really unhealthy food, all kinds of things.  Somewhere in the back of my mind I suppose I expected that there would be a specific point in time where I would decide that I was “older”; that at a certain age or life event I would suddenly know that it was time to settle down.  Of course, a rather significant event did occur – I won’t get into specifics – and I decided it might be good to quit drinking, and if I was going to do that I might as well try quitting smoking as well.  However, most of the things that have changed in my life have been the result of gradual, incremental changes that have often gone unnoticed in the general clutter and hustle of living life.

Every once in a great while I’ll sit and think about the changes I’ve gone through, and wonder if it’s just because I’ve gotten “older”.  Recently, during these moments of thought, it occurred to me that getting older is not a terrible thing, nor does it always mean that you’ve changed in some intrinsic way.  I haven’t “sold out”.  I haven’t conformed, or whatever you want to call it. I’ve come to the realization that getting older is simply refining who you are, growing, learning, and becoming the person you really are.  For some, it’s shedding the brash bullshit facade of youth.  For others, it’s an epiphany and a sea change in their life.  There are those for whom it’s simply withdrawing further into the lies and deceits to the point of no return.    Getting older is permanent.  Getting older is not getting old.  Getting older is a good thing once you can learn to accept it for what it is.

Erin Is 4, And I Am Old

March 5, 2010

Happy birthday to my youngest daughter, Erin, who is 4!  I love you!

Sabres v. Carolina 2.11.2010

February 11, 2010

Tonight the Buffalo Sabres take on a newly resurgent Carolina Hurricanes team that has turned things around a little in the last week; wins over the Sabres, Islanders, and Panthers have them unbeaten in their last three.  Buffalo is reeling, with 5 straight losses.  As a Sabres fan, I think tonight would be a really good night to turn things around.

The big question is “what is wrong with the Sabres?”  I hope it’s a slump;  But the more I see of this team, the more they appear to need just a little more offensive firepower than they have right now.  It wouldn’t hurt to also give a couple guys a press box seat for a game just to shock them out of their complacency.

I think there’s a real need to add a little to this team, but I am not confident that Darcy Regier’s going to make the move.  Katebits and the guys from The Goose’s Roost scared the hell out of me with the following thoughts on Twitter the other day:

  • Darcy will claim that getting Kaleta back from injury will be better than any trade.

 

  • Darcy will claim that the two week Olympic break will be better than any trade.

That sounds  exactly like Darcy.  It also sounds exactly like a recipe for an early exit from the playoffs.