Happy New Year




Always been as much of an early adopter as my bankroll and credit lines would allow, but age is catching up there with me as number one son now regularly cleans my clock at Madden and NHL on the Xbox, and apparently I slow him down on Halo missions. That said, a friend’s facebook posting about a $100 Plasma tv set had me thinking.

Anyway, it happens, I think I’m losing a step. I was watching a discussion about Nooks versus Kindles via twitter the other day with a little bit of interest. I’ve always been a pretty avid reader, but I’m loyal to the printed page and that will remain, but….

My final christmas gift arrived yesterday. My son’s lovely mom imparted a Kindle on to me. It’s a straight forward reader, which is good as I don’t need another data port at this rate, but as somebody who rarely needed the directions for gizmos, I found I was looking for some directions (a first). With a little futzing and learning where the buttons are, I had two books that I was curious about, but not enough to buy loaded up at nice discount prices. I immediately remembered a former boss’s words of doom about the end of the printed book as we know it, ignored them and kept working the due diligence between Amazon.com and my new toy

So, it’s a noble experiment, figured out how to work it all in the privacy of my living room, reducing the silliness of figuring it out in front of, well, my tech savvy kids.

So far? Kinda cool. Don’t think it will get in the way of any real book store purchases, but might digitally get my arse to the library a little more.

Hoop Daydream

This was my perch for the Sabres-Capitals Boxing Day game. As you can see, things were still getting ready for the masses to come streaming in. This is just below the press box and since it was the back side of the building I had a few minutes before I really had to do much. When the new owner took over, a different vibe did fill the place. Now, while I was never a big NBA fan, and have to no taste for its current incarnation, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t positive public relations to be gained from honoring the Buffalo Braves in some fashion. While they became the Clippers in 1978, they did have some significant seasons in the mid seventies, with some memorable playoff appearances. I remember seeing a few games in person and catching more on TV. Buffalo probably would have lost its franchise later given the huge rise in finances in pro basketball, but the Braves were taken unfairly. Ownership abandoned the city for a questionable move to San Diego. Like anything, when it was successful, the team had a good following filling the Aud.

It just made me wonder that since the new ownership family was embracing the whole of the Sabres history, the p.r. professional in me wondered if they wouldn’t garner even more good will with some sort of banner to celebrate the Braves and Bob MacAdoo, Ernie D, and Randy Smith (my personal favorite).

Make it happen, T-Pegs

Black out Black Eyes

Buffalo Rising tweeted about there not being enough outrage over tv blackouts in taxpayer subsidized stadiums. There is a valid point there, but I think we’ve all been beaten into submission. While watching my own employer treated like the stinky dinner guest during a Legislative tomfoolery a few weeks ago, I can only imagine the battle royal waiting for when the Buffalo Bills look to various governments for the latest modernizations for the stadium that has inspired no development in its 30 years of existence. The Bills Chief Executive duly noted that the Bills could buy the remaining tickets to end a blackout, but never have and aren’t about to start because “they don’t want to devalue season tickets.”


Since he apparently thinks we’re idiots, let me retort. The lousy product devalues season tickets. An extended losing streak and most of them blowouts tends to temper enthusiasm, slow merchandise, extinguish interest and breed apathy. You put a decent, competitive product forth and everything gets better: players want to play here, attendence (As even the Rob Johnson era Bills demonstrated) goes up, viewership on tv goes up which triggers more ad revenue, and hell, you even sell more merchandise.

But, when the team has been as 1971-era depressing as it has been of late, there should be a little more forward thinking. I mean every Erie County resident already has a little financial skin in the game. If the Bills swooped in at 12:59 on Thursday, I bet nobody going to the Stadium would feel devalued. The team could get a public relations coup with a Christmas ticket giveaway to fans who can’t swing the ticket fee. Channel 4 gets a Tebow game and ad revenues for the team, CBS locally and nationally go up and if they win, some Bills merch might get peddled on all those Boxing week trips to the mall next week.

If you televise it, they will still come.

Lucic’s fault

Things aren’t quite right.

Ever since Milan Lucic barreled into the Sabres’ Ryan Miller in early November, things have been a little askew.

The Sabres have been an uneven mess ever since. They have been a collection of players occasionally a team, after starting the season so well. Definitely Lucic’s fault.

Our former outworldly goalie has had trouble finding his game after coming back from the injury inflicted by the collision. Again,  Lucic’s fault.

A record amount of Sabres have gone on the injury list since. Probably Lucic’s fault.

Sabres-Senators games used to have that fine scent of rivalry, now, because of all the rookies are just another game. I think we connect the dots

Perhaps, thinking about his home team, Fred Jackson tried to do too much and suffered a season ending injury which derailed a promising Bills season and paved the way for the Patriots to take control of the AFC East, a coincidence you say? Well, Lucic plays up the road from, yeah, the Patriots.

Seems to me that after the holidays, the Sabres’ brass should lift the Lucic curse by doing something radical, like trading for him.

Long-Dark Tea Time

Let’s see what is annoying me today:

The Speaker of the House won’t let the soon to expire tax cut on payrolls get extended because the “American people are sick of it.” Well, I have my doubts as to how many “people” he spoke to, but as somebody who puts every bleeding cent back into the economy, quit making this tougher, honestly. I’ve seen so many able to confuse petulance with leadership. Taking your ball and going home is not making things better. Instead, taxes will go up on the folks who can least afford it, unemployment insurance stops, medicare gets tougher…jerks.

The Sabres are driving me nutty. I’m remembering October as the good ole’ days. Lots of folks are calling for Lindy Ruff. Me? I’m just calling a moratorium on interviews with any Sabre who spews such bromides as “We got outworked,” “We have to get our feet moving” or “Back to basics.” They haven’t been very good at hockey lately. While I’m all for being prudent, some sign that it bothers somebody would be good. Everybody is all eager to pick on Ryan Fitzpatrick for playing poorly since his new contract, but I’m pretty sure Drew Stafford merits a space on that park bench as well.

In 2000, the Bills were respectable, the Sabres were coming off a trip to the finals and even the Mets were prospering. For this sports fan, these were the good old days. I think I’ll be come a Tiger Cat fan as a favor to the Argos.

The presence of, or lack of snow has had no discernible effect on my holiday mood.

That has been more of the sounds I heard as I wandered through Target on Saturday. It’s strange as you could just here some of this while buying necessities: “This is the wrong god-damn size” “We don’t need a Wll” “An awful color, I can just hear him bitchin’ now”

Tidings of comfort, joy and proximate parking spaces, I guess.

At the rate the Bills are getting blown out lately, I don’t suppose the old little league mercy rule could kick in.

Writers have been picking on the atmosphere at the First Niagara Center of late, saying it’s a little dead (or like a Leaf home game or something), but I don’t think that is fair. The game presentation has been kind of lame, but the product on the ice has been so wanting.  The recent Sabres Leafs game got the joint rocking by being a good hockey game. Create those on a regular basis and good things happen. Marked up beers and overpriced t-shirts will sell and we’ll be closer to Hockey Heaven as opposed to the current Hockey Purgatory.

Kim Jong is dead, wonder how Kourtney and Kandy are faring. Maybe as a friend of mine mused, maybe we can get that episode of “No Reservations” that we’ve been waiting for, or better, maybe the real Top Gear (the British one) can have a race the length of the Koreas (admit it, that would be kind of cool).

Let me leave the last words on this rambling post to my good pal George Clooney

Yeah, the Descendents was that good.