Vuvuzela Blues


I’ve been paying casual attention to the World Cup and a couple things struck me.

The English soccer team is, as somebody already pointed out, like what Notre Dame is to college football, not nearly as good as advertised but they are there largely due to their own implied right to be there.

It’s not the horns that bother me, it’s the crappy officiating and blatant overacting. Some of the attempts at drawing penalties have been such blatantly bad theater you’d think Leonard Pimpf Garnell was doing play by play. Incredibly, the refs fall for it. I saw a guy get nudged in the chest and he covered his “eyes” in pained hysterics. Get up, jerk.

Not a fan, more of an appreciater, I wish there was a little ambiance for the English major leagues. I remember watching broadcasts on Channel 17 on Sunday mornings that inevitably my Dad and I would mock. If Arsenal got up too much, their fans would start serenading the opposition. Nobody says “You ugly!” like a chemically serene football fan.

It’s nice to see Papa Jakes and Cafe Aroma coming to life as different breeds of sports bars.

The US is out, but they gave it a good run, going deeper than ever before. Since they lost, there have been calls for the head coach, how he should be replaced, yada, yada, yada.

It’s a game, everybody should take a deep breath. It’s okay. The whole idea is to do your best. Isn’t that what we want to teach kids coming up. Shouldn’t we be happy that we made progress and our guys were among the best in the world? That’s a pretty good day’s work in my book. No shame in Ghana snagging one from us on the pitch as next time we see em on the ice, they are so our bitch.

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“A Major Award”


Buffalo Spree had their “Best of Buffalo” fundraiser last night in Shea’s Buffalo and a low operator like myself scored a ticket as my employer received the “Best Place for Kids” award. Please note that we don’t want to keep them. I didn’t know many folks, at least not initially, but it was a good time instantly. I wasn’t five feet in the door before a spumante cocktail (better than it sounds) was in my hands. That alone is proof of good omens. Here’s the view from the folks who were offering up crabcake sliders. Typically, if I am at event like this. I’m working it.

We liked them thrice, as well as the Torches ode to all things grilled. Great to finally meet some of the fine Buffalo Blogger crowd in person. It’s funny to know folks without knowing, if that makes sense. In essence, I got to meet a few old friends for the first time (not to mention have drinks brought for me). How great is that?

Thanks, Spree for a nice happy hour.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll…


If Buffalo is going to have earthquakes, does that mean Tsunami warnings in Lake Ontario?

Aside from wise guys like myself posting Carole King videos on Facebook, and the guys at Block Club Online creating the only worthwhile video of the event

I thought it was a good excuse for some Joe Turner

Considering where in Canada the actual thing landed, we must have gotten a “vein” of the big fun through the area. Some of my office mates felt it, some not. Guess that is what you get when you work near the Elephants

Cops is filmed on location


Well, just how you want to start a Monday…

I knew something was off, as I woke this morning feeling pretty good. Pulled out of the driveway with the car filled with a really nice version of “Bartender” by Dave Matthews coming from the cd player. Nice vibe for the short drive into my office.

The local gendarme has taken to parking a car at the exit of Delaware Park for some official reason, I think, mostly to garner some extra change.

I follow rules of the road and pull up at Amherst and Colvin and out of my side mirror see a police car jockeying for position, but it was unclear as to what he was doing. I turn into the park on Colvin and he fires up the lights, looking for me.

“Excellent!”

The kind officer wanted to know if I knew why I was stopped and I honestly couldn’t tell him. Apparently, back at Nottingham and the Park’s exit, it looked to him like I was on my phone talking.

My phone was resting my pocket, where it wasn’t used since Sunday afternoon. After he discovered that, he asked me about hands free devices, told him I don’t use any as I don’t take calls while I drive.

With that I was free to go, without a ticket. I guess the lack of a ticket was his apology for wasting both of our time, embarrassing me (as my boss drove by during my bust) and of course, being wrong.

Heck of a way to start the day.

Hot in the City


I have never been mistaken for being athletically gifted. Playing kickball in grade school, my best position was play-by-play. I get by, but I did strike out once playing softball, and who does that?

One spot where us arm-chair quarterbacks, and others, can get some health quickly is a Bikram Yoga studio. After a mostly annoying illness two years ago, I was looking to get a little more serious about my health as I descend into my still good looking middle 40s. I caught an article about Bikram Yoga. What interested me is that it wasn’t led by some headphone wearing gestapo telling us “We needed to push harder” for reasons passing understanding. It was all about helping yourself for the sake of helping yourself. Fitness for the sake of fitness, not for keeping up with the yahoo on the next treadmill.

For the unitiated, Bikram is the “Hot Yoga,” 26 different exercises done in a room heated to 105 degree on average. That, right there, is what freaks people out. The first time I went in, I did gasp a little, but much like the cold swimming pool, you do get used to it.

You don’t have to be perfect, best effort is all you need to see rewards. Over the course of six months or so, I could feel differences in my abilities, tiny ephiphanies that I was getting better. Sometimes the 90 minutes seems like 900, but it is hard to deny the benefits.

I had to stop for reasons largely financial and just resumed over Memorial Day weekend. I had been looking for cheap avenues from the JCC, to the fitness 19 folk, but I caught a special to head back to the newly renamed EvolationYoga on Elmwood Ave. My inner editor wants to tell them they are spelling Evolution wrong.

Four classes into my second stint, I am still figuratively crawling out of class, but I can also notice changes right away. I am still a largely graceless bull in a tiny china shop as far as skills go, but the complete body threatening, er, workout has immediate results. And nobody is judging so skill level doesn’t matter. It’s one of the few things where you get credit by showing up.

It’s not the humidity, it is the heat. Took a class Saturday and thought it was raining in there, turns out it was just me.

Not a good Buffalonian


I was lacking in my civic pride.

Despite the Allentown Art Festival being just four blocks to the south, I put forth almost no effort to partake. It’s not because of any particular anything, there was just nothing compelling to make it worthwhile to go. I’ve seen decades of shepard’s crooks make the trek back up Delaware to ad hoc parking lots. I last made a serious voyage when Music is Art was next door on Franklin and gave the whole proceedings a little more soul. Neither was interfering with the other, they fed off each other resulting in a nice neighborhood party. This apparently offended the Allentown Association who wants to keep the art as vanilla and soulless as is possible. So, to be that big of a crowd who are there mostly because of a seasonal sense of obligation, I sat it out.

I also begged off the Race for the Cure as it raced past my door. In tribute, I raced to the coffee maker.

When the traffic cleared, I made it to Bikram Yoga class. It was only my third class this go round and I’m still finding my way and learning how to breath. Psychologically, the heat index is a thing, but the moment you go in, and it’s hot, you either don’t care or heat causes you to stop thinking about it. I’m not very graceful at it, but the results are good. Nice to accomplish stuff without some psycho with a headset barking at me to pedal faster. You only compete against yourself and looking at me I like my chances. That session seemed extra brutal as it was 105 in the room and a very long day at the office left me a little wrecked when I woke up on Saturday morning.

We had our creative black tie fundraiser and I played bartender to the stars.

“Stay thirsty, my friends”

Pop Tarts and Ovaltine


It’s the end of the week and this is what I have lingering in my mental pockets:

Refusing help with the BP spill? Sounds odd, but check this out

http://tinyurl.com/24d5gcg

If somebody has an idea, it seems like help would be a good thing as the folks at BP are looking like Oil Executives in headlights. The never-ending news cycle has folded into name calling between Brits and some Americans and that seems silly. If the Belgians have an idea, bring it on.

C’mon Aaron Schoebel. I respect wanting to be close to the family. If you still want to play, but closer to home, say so. If you don’t want to be a linebacker here, say so. The mealy mouthed “It’s in the Bills’ hands” rings a little empty, like somebody is watching over a bonus payment.

Pulling into work this morning, I got to see first hand the after effects of the Corporate Challenge, you know that race celebrated with lots of beer and bratworst? Given the high population of Sea Gulls scaling the mound of trash bags on either side of the ring road, it looked like the Challenge was sponsored by Alfred Hitchcock.

That amount of birds does make you think twice about where you park your car.

My employer is holding a creative black tie dinner tonight and in my email I got an inquiry from a business associate wanting to know how to dress.

Found tickets for Paul McCartney in Toronto. Seems like a good show to break in my Beatles appreciating son into, I mean, who’s first rock concert is a Beatle? Hard act to follow.

Remember how the new Peace Bridge was supposed to be done around now? The legal funds of the few blocking the needs of the many.

Good for the Blackhawks and their Stanley Cup win. I didn’t have a side in that series, but as hockey playoffs go, that was a great series and all praises to Pat Kane. He’s adjusted to life in the spotlight pretty well recently and looking for family and remembering where he came from were great notes to end an exciting game.

Allentown Art Festival starts tomorrow and I can’t help but wonder when the art gets in. All the soul is in Allentown west area where some great music and actual craft takes place. Don’t need to stand shoulder to shoulder up Delaware for the sake of looking at largely generic sofa sized offerings.

Think Pete Carroll timed things just right?

Partook of some LaNova pizza for the first time in ages last night and circumstances lead to pizza induced bliss. My stomach was in its happy place for the rest of the night.

Where is the Save the Gulf telethon? The ineptness of BP’s response has wrecked the area for untold years even if all the oil magically disappeared as you read this?

Got to get to the store (hence, the title)