Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay

One of my favorite retreats in this area is the Marina/Wharf down at the waterfront. Lord knows it ain’t Chicago’s Grant Park or whatever they call that area in Baltimore, and it could be more attractive, but what the hell? Make do with what you got. I’d love a beach to be developed around there in some fashion, and I know that is possible, perhaps in Bizarro Buffalo it is getting built. But for what it is, it is quite possible to get centered, replenished and generally feel better by heading down and listening to the water hit land.

I had notions of partaking a kayak rental, but it was a little breezy and in the graceful department, I am a little lacking.

There were a few souls out there paddling amongst the motors. I chose to soak up the vibe, listen to the classics being taught a thing or two by the cover band playing at Templeton Landing and otherwise stay out of the still kind of chilly water.

Good to see some life. It struck me as I walked a couple laps of the Marina on this nice Sunday is that there are some differences or little cultures with the waterfront confines. You have your haves, the folks with the boats, your haves to damn much: the folks with the boats with the satellite dishs, the just folks who walk the marina (like me to be near the water), and the true have nots – the folks who don’t enter either the marina or the wharf but come out to enjoy being as close to the water so the dog can play too.

Nobody is having a bad day when you are by the water. It’s not exactly Haute Cuisine at the Hatch, but nobody is copping an attitude because you are at the water, baby.

There’s a lot to be said for that. Even saw the water taxi who apparently gives two hour tours if you just want to go for the ride, but the part of the Wharf to Templeton Landing might need some rethinking.

Walk about down closer to the lighthouse and you can see Lake Erie have those multicolored bordered of demarcation, lighter closer to land, darker out by the barriers.  Yeah, the recent rain has me thinking of the Zoo animals in twos, but we’ve been waiting to hit the marina. Tomorrow, I finish prepping for summer by bringing the air conditioner out of the basement. Today, I savor the good walk, down by the water….




I’m going to need somebody to explain to me what the attraction is to Seattle. Hope the music and coffee are good, because you can have this weather.

I like the rain just fine, but this is ridiculous.

I walked into Target last night and as I was checking out, a downpour started. A handful of us stood with our purchases watching it rain hard enough that umbrellas were moot points, not than anybody had one. A warm night, my tasks for the day were done, I covered my purchases and set off for my car, making sure to jump as hard as I could into the puddle just off the sidewalk to punctuate the gesture. Another woman took off with similar elan as we both laughed at the guy whining about parking by Delta Sonic.

“Dude, it’s only water, it will come right out.”

Tangled Up in Blue

So, Bob Dylan turned 70 today, I suppose that is a bit of milestone, but he has always seemed a bit of a grumpy old man to me (maybe it is because I’m on the road to that myself).

I’m not the biggest Dylan fan by any means, there is a lot that just doesn’t “do it” for me and when he isn’t interested, it is easy to dismiss a record or two, but there is always a lot to respect. Just when you thought he might have been calling it a day, along comes something to bring him back into the consciousness a bit.

And once again he was relevant. I can’t always tell what is being talked about on the recent releases, you just know it is important. He could easily be living off the royalties from the 60s records, but the tour never ends. Witness the delight in the eyes of the young guns he played with at the Grammys this past time out,

Me, I can do without “Gotta Serve somebody” but am glad we got the “Jokerman” periodically checking in. Got to respect somebody who makes music for music’s sake.

If the never ending tour passes by, I think I’d check in.

Lord knows he defines passion over precision as a vocalist.

Nurseable Grudges (Water Taxi edition)

I love the idea of the water taxi on Buffalo’s waterfront. I think going from the wharf to Dug’s Dive via the taxi is a great idea. It is reasonably priced and all that, but somebody needed to rethink the press release as the noon news quoted it as saying you can take the Water Taxi from the wharf over to Templeton Landing. That isn’t exactly a journey that is harsh on the footwear as that might be faster to walk (they are pretty close when traveling by land). (Psst, more beach type stuff would help too)

45-50 and rain can actually make 25 and snow seem okay.

As a former resident of the area now covered by the NY #26, I cannot wait for this election to be over. It is a huge amount of money being spent by three campaigns and as many political action committees and all the voters in the #26 know is that each candidate is in favor of winning and against losing. It seems like every television commercial break features ads from at least two of the three candidates. While I’m all for our leaders talking to us, none of these candidates are actually saying anything.

Remember last week when it was sunny, and just right on the temp scale? That wasn’t a dream right?

Other annoying advertising sticking in my craw at the moment include the radio spots for actor Al Pacino‘s upcoming appearance at the Seneca Casino. I’m sure he is a fascinating dude to just get talking but whoever wrote the script for the radio ad that reduced his last name to sound effect status. You hear the announcer scream “Pacino!” and I’m half tempted to duck to avoid some imaginary object richocheting off a nearby surface.


Made you blink.

Diamonds aren’t Forever

While I sit watch the Mets implode even faster than usual, life isn’t much kinder to the Astros, but at least for them, there has been a little excitement on the field, even if it wasn’t a player to provide it.

It’s usually the same keystone kop routine when a fan runs onto the field, but not this time.

Guess he got busted leaving the Stadium, guessing Major League Baseball isn’t fans of parkour.

Meanwhile back, back to your regularly scheduled prime time shenanigans

For Real

It’s been a busy week. Here’s what is mulling around in my brainpan after our first week of spring.

There are a lot of folks in a dither about the “Buffalo: For Real” slogan. I am not one of those guys. I don’t dither. We have been searching for the “big thing” forever to turn the region around and that is plenty silly, and the same goes for campaigns of any kind. Any promo campaign needs a bunch of components. This is just a step. Much like people are reluctant to scroll down a web page or click a second time, it is just a way of showing off some nice photos. It’s a slogan and the world will revolve at the same pace regardless of how many car chases make what was probably the first of many youtube videos. Remember “Talkin Proud”? Well, the milk still went on your cereal the same way then too. Perceptions and realities shift at a snail’s pace and to expect one tag line to do alter that is silly. so the complainers, whiners (and folks who have waaaaay too much time on their hands on the forums on media sites) should chill. It’s a tag line not a miracle cure.

That said, this is pretty funny.

The Sabres are raising prices and that has some of the folks still living their moms’ basements upside. It is a buck a game on average, folks, settle down. Were you going to go anyway?

I’m getting a kick out of the people and firms who represent themselves as social media consultants. Sure there are things I would like to do to my company’s web pages and other things we can add to the facebook page, but in this age, when the internet has made people even lazier,  if you are going to tell me what is wrong with my corporate facebook page perhaps, you should be looking at it. Doofus assessed my social media presence on the basis of an abandoned group and the 200 folks who are still there. Yeah, there is a consultant I’ll bring in, chucklehead.

Has there been a more poorly run matching set of campaigns than what is happening in the New York 26th election? Everybody is so poorly representing themselves and flinging mud at each other, you have no idea what anybody actually stands for. If I could enact one election law for advertising, it would be for a mandate of “what would you do?” if you got the job.

School Daze

I’ve been watching the Buffalo School District shenanigans with some interest. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but with three smart kids working their way through the system since 1994, I like to think that I’m an educated customer at the very least.

After almost 17 years as a customer you pick up on a few things, leaders who say “they are working for the children” almost never are, the great magnet schools of times of yore are a shell of their Eugene Reville led selves, “No Child Left Behind” is doing precisely that, many folks don’t understand charter schools, and in spite of that, good things continue to happen in the Buffalo schools. We tend to generalize which is bad, because the same mentality that makes gas prices go up because a speculator says so, has people afraid of some schools because of what they “heard.” I have been pleased with the bulk of our results, but we do to meetings, adminstrators know who we are, the meetings organizers know us, and slowly we are getting to slip out of the full time troublemaker role.

Pick your charter schools carefully. There are some excellent ones and some clunkers too, but there isn’t one blanket solution to a district that has a myriad of problems.

A lawsuit from a few years ago showcased what I think was a fundamental problem of the Williams years. One family sued to change the admission standards at City Honors and the district actually looked into doing that. Let’s not waste the time or resources on that and actually, encourage the kid to work a little harder and perhaps even give teachers at other schools some of the tools that City Honors has received.

I think the district got a little too in love with the favorable reviews City Honors would get from Newsweek and US News and World Report.

A boycott of the schools? I don’t think that will accomplish anything. Like anything around here, the search for a big grand gesture is silly.  It takes lots of little efforts ongoing to make progress on the whole picture. You can’t till the water is up to your chin to start taking swimming lessons.

I think the superintendent hasn’t been as forthcoming as he could have been in well, everything. The teachers union head? him neither.

Rearranging principals at failing schools was a dumb attempt on the district’s part to address a problem without really working at it.

And that is fundamentally the problem, everybody has to work on it together.

We get that, watch out.

Live from Bobo bot

Only thing more astounding than Osama Bin Laden‘s compound going undetected for so long was the scary amount of people who resented “the Celebrity Apprentice” to hear the news. Our priorities are warped when the rush is on to hear what Sarah Palin had to say on the matter. As he has been gone for more than five years, why is Donald Rumsfield worthy of camera time on this and did we really need to interrupt Vice President Cheney’s scaring of his neighbors to claim it was all them? And on top of that, why doesn’t Plankton just buy a damn crabby patty already?

It was all everybody from what I can see. Covering a horrific event like with a sportscenter mentality isn’t sitting well with me. This isn’t t-ball where everybody gets to play. Not everybody merits a microphone either.

“Asking Cheney, Rumsfeld & Rice about search for Bin Laden is like asking Pete Best how the Beatles achieved their sound.” — TV’s Frank

The President did his bit, the former president did is and that should be it. Yeah, I said it, President Bush was one of the more dignified folks during the week. Everybody likes to be in know, have the skinny, witness the “Who’s on First” routine from the White House trying to get the good word out in the first place.

Slow down, folks, let’s take our time to get it right. Correct will trump (hehe, I said trump) everytime.