Usherman


Usherin…got my chips cashed in…

There are some places at certain times where you can get an interesting insight into the human condition, where you can study without being studied. Patrolling the aisles at the local professional lacrosse game the other night was one of those times. I’m a sports fan, but this one doesn’t do it for me. So, I guess that makes me a more attentive usher since the game isn’t distracting me (yeah, we’ll go with that for now.).

Look up in the aisle, it’s Usherman…able to leap tall drink spills in a single bound.

I knew this most recent game was going to be interesting to watch unfold. A promotion had autographed lacrosse balls for sale to raise monies for a worthy cause. A family appeared in my section where the grandfather produced the autographed ball and gave it to his granddaughter, a little moppet of maybe four years old. She accepted the ball and considered it for a moment, duly looked at the signature as her grandfather pointed out, thought for a moment and prompted tossed the ball down to the section beneath ours. This usher? I thought that was funny.

There was the t-shirt gun. I’m convinced it’s the hunt that gets folks going, not the actual trophy. This was confirmed to me as the Bandits‘ mascot brandished a t shirt gun that had some wallop, and turned a few folks near me into searching for “the precious.”

A recent balloon drop had me shaking my head as folks in the upper levels were jumping in the first row of the upper level to catch a balloon that had a coupon inside. Again, the prize was for something not so rare. It’s the hunt that is the thing. But I can’t walk in that first row without getting the proverbial willies.

So, I have to ask, the chance at a not rare souvenir something to take a foolish chance over? I think not, but people forget themselves, and that they are not alone, or at home, or the manners their parents carefully taught them.

It’s priorities, man. I remember a few years ago, my dad and I were heading to see some minor league baseball and there was a giveway that night, I believe a stadium replica in some fashion. One of those little desktop size statues that was produced with the same level of care and detail that the average 4 year old puts into their playdough houses. But again it was the hunt. Folks lined up around the block as there to be one admissions gate where the freebie was going to be distributed. This line snaked by plenty of other ways into the stadium. Dad and I looked at each then sought higher council, as seats, beer and grilled meat in tubular form was decidely more important.

So, yeah, I don’t get too jazzed with the fast food company blimp flies over ahead and drops coupons, because that isn’t worth putting the effort to, well, stand up for, let alone post up to keep somebody else from getting one.

But if that suits ya, have at it, as at least the cost of the seat didn’t rise with ya.

Well, this time

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Cleveland Rocks


Yep, Ian Hunter was correct. Even though the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame only rarely does their inducing in Cleveland, the museum is great fun.

image

You can take photos but some are kind of challenging. Witness the display case enveloping Mr. Garcia’s guitar below.

image

But there are indeed friends around every corner.

image

This guitar was one of Muddy Waters’

image

I’m pretty knowledgeable about my music history in general terms, but never saw Elvis play a doublenecked guitar.

image

But even here, Bill Graham is watching.

image

And there are more folks waiting on you.

image

(as the flood of pictures on my FB feed will attest)

image

image

image

Time it right, however and the sun does shine over the wall.

image

Thanks for having us, Pete

image

Yeah, I’ll be back. Perhaps the Hall should have their party there once in awhile.

Office work


Video shoots can be pretty exciting if you’ve never been a part of one. But if you have, they can be a little routine. A productive day to be sure, but the process can leave one with a little time on your hands, so I milked my camera battery on some of my photogenic colleagues.

image

Baby Gorilla venturing out on her own.

image

The polar bear cubs, only folks to appreciate a 15 degree day in late March

image

Blue Poison Dart frogs

image

Does your office have a beaded lizard? I think not.

image

Kitty’s Back……in ocelot form

image

The macaw was giving a lengthy address.

image

This guy was not

image

image

image

Yeah, I was away from my desk for a bit

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Big Orange


You don’t often get a chance to be a part of a spectacle, in a good way. When my moonlighting gig at the local arena listed the NCAA’s regional, I knew I kind of wanted to see some of it. I’ve long thought its good for your soul to lose yourself in something bigger than you and this seemed like one of those times. I’m not the biggest basketball fan. The pro game doesn’t do much for me. Just as I was starting to appreciate it, the Buffalo Braves were taken from me. 4 years at St. Bonaventure in the early 80s got you used to hearing how good Syracuse was and the games were more something to organize your saturday evening beverage consumption around. In a way, it was perfect training for a Mets fan.

But working the event is something, even if it was relegated to WTBS.
image

It’s kind of a big deal. I couldn’t fit all the media outlet trucks in the photo, but they were in such number, they enveloped the First Niagara Center.

image

image

Below is one of the invites for tourney fans to have a cold drink, which you couldn’t do inside at the game. Given that it took so long to get the two games in, that was a good thing. But no points for guessing what the first thing I did once I got dismissed.

image

The back of our downtown sports palace is a little warehouse like, depending on the event. With the basketball circus in town, backstage turned into a maze of makeshift draped corridors to accommodate the television networks, the schools, and other dignitaries, both real and imagined.

image

The souvenir offerings were a little lacking. There wasn’t much to commemorate the Buffalo locale or the schools involved. In a sense I understand that. Most of the stuff was promoting the final four, but in my guise as usherman, a few folks, mostly SU peeps, were looking for ways to part with their monies.

image

image

I took this one as it was the first view I had of the actual thing, never been involved with a TV show at the level before, and first time I’d ever been to a basketball game of any significance.

image

The tourney organizers brought Sabre covers for the scoreboard, guess they heard.

image

That’s the Orange pep band. Their polo shirts had a big blue stripe across them. From my vantage point, it initially looked like they were paying homage to Charlie Brown.

image

And this was where I was paid to watch basketball.

image

Got the basketball jones…..

Truth be told, with all the brackets getting busted on Thursday, I think that is why this one got played at night, and while I don’t watch much basketball, the Syracuse Dayton game wasn’t very good. The Uconn Villanova game was a little more entertaining, but I didn’t give it its due, because after standing in the same general turf for seven hours, they needed to be playing dodgeball to hold my interest.

But still, Buffalo doesn’t get many opportunities to play on this scale, so it was cool to play a part in it this one time.

The Wearing of the Green


As a lifelong irishman, I should be offended, but this is pretty funny.

But before you raise a pint, okay another…

But there is some good songs out there for the actual celtic folk. This is my personal favorite.

I laughed a little to myself that my culture can get reduced to green bagels and to me picking them up, which in the department of counting your blessings means that I got first pick. See, silver linings everywhere.

In the company of a dear friend and actual guinness, (No green beer, got to draw the line somewhere), I rang in the weekend with some genuine celtic tunage that DIDN’T involve anything from U2.

Slainte

Enhanced by Zemanta

As the Puck Turns


Got to catch up as linked in now reminds me how long it’s been since I have had something to say.

While working the past two nights at the downtown professional hockey palace, I’ve been enjoying the people watching and how it’s different depending on opponent. One of the common threads is that everybody, and I mean everybody, when they come to the end of the tunnel before ascending the steps to their seats, stops and poses before continuing to their chair. I had to laugh a little at the notion that given everybody has cell phone, people still look for another “Where’s Waldo” style peering at the stands hoping to see the person they are seeking. Nobody calls.

But that was nothing compared to the hullabaloo of the final Friday in February, as sharp eyed fans watching warm-up didn’t see the captain or the goalie (who was the face of the franchise) appear on the ice. And this is before the shenanigans that led to former star turned beloved execl eaving. I didn’t hear anything, and a few folks (and me) checked our twitter feeds to see what the skinny truly was. All became known as the team began to blow up, by trading the two guys most folks hated to see go.

While I was pondering the previously unheard of notion of too much hockey in a week, the hometown team was in the midst of turning into a soap opera. The idea that the principals involved in that won’t let anybody know what the scoop was is a little frustrating if you are a ticket holder or somebody who might say come play hockey here.

Folks hopefully might still do that.