Riding out the Storm


It’s a little weird to open up Facebook or Twitter feeds and see Western New Yorkers complaining about the hurricane equivalent of a snow day in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. This region has proved its weather machismo many times over, so I, for one, am happy to be a little overprepared. It’s better than under.

(Photo courtesy my sister’s Facebook feed)

I remember all too well of the thanksgiving week storm that had my kids, their lovely mother and myself amazingly finding parking spaces to abandon our cars on Virginia Street to go it out at the nearby Fire Department and walk home four hours later, or the tree that fell down during the October storm of 2006 that from the next yard blocking exits. So, if the most taxing thing about this week is who to watch to see about Manhattan, I’m cool with it.

It is much more preferable to check in via Facebook with number 2 daughter in White Plains, and my sister in Manhattan than hear things like a phone call we got back in 2000 from a friend checking to see what building he needed to walk to find his kids. So, we in WNY don’t have to do much today (by in large) and I’m fine with that.

Think I’ll call number one son and challenge him to some xbox-ing

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Ranting


George Carlin used to do a bit called the complaint department. It popped into my mind as I went into battle against the software I use to construct an enewsletter for my office.

I could almost hear Brother George say “and here’s another group of people who should be smacked up with a bag of hammers.” In this case, it could apply to the software geniuses who put this albatross of a site together. But I’ll win when we resume the battle. I always do.

But as long as we are tossing the deserving kicking and screaming from helicopters…

Campaign ad designers and the folks approving their work. If Congress doesn’t act soon, milk prices will double and our payroll taxes are going up and that’s the stuff I’m can name most immediately. I don’t give a crap about how many gyms one guy has, or what can’t be reversed at a given company. Talk about what you are going to do, I get that you don’t like the person you are running against.

The NHL, players & owners and the commish. You all knew your agreement was coming to a close and waited until the 11th hour to do something about it. It’s hard to feel sympathy for an argument over how to split millions while the event staff, from concession folks to game staff to ushers like myself lose out on the nice supplemental income that made us take SECOND jobs first place. Go into a board room and don’t come out till you have it fixed and don’t spray paint anything patronizing like “Thank You Fans” on the ice when the games resume. It’s insulting. How about “We’re Sorry, Fans, We screwed up.”

Anybody who covers any of the above until the situation is fixed…

Anybody concerned with what Donald Trump and his millions aren’t buying in the presidental race.

The guy who thought disbanding FEMA was a good campaign talking point. We have to let Big Bird drown now too? Go find a real talking point. It astounds me that there are potential voters that this resonates with, that these folks were fine the meaningless color coded nonsense waste of time pantone charts for the considerable more expensive homeland security (a department which didn’t exist 15 years ago). I mean, isn’t this the kind of thing where government can help instead of sweating about who’s zoomin who.

oh, yeah, almost forgot, Shut Up, Ann

Singin’ in the rain


As I write this, out my window, it’s dreary, wet, cloudy, basically, Monday in late fall in Western New York Somewhere in my internet travels, somebody mentioned something about the perfect Spotify playlist for watching storm reports of Sandy’s advance .  And sorry, Bruce Springsteen’s “Sandy” doesn’t make the cut for me. I know, you’re shocked, at least if you know me at all. So as a service to you the Mike’s Pub reader (all three of you) , here’s a little better musical meterology, keeping me occupied while I don’t think about how close family members are to where it’s really going to be serious.

 

Mock the Vote


“They say statesmen are politicians who’ve been dead for 20 years. I’d like it if we try to be statesmen right now” – President Jed Bartlett.

Actually Aaron Sorkin wrote it, but it sounded cooler when Martin Sheen‘s voice brought it to life. The quote occured to me during the Presidential wrestlemania, er, second debate. It was riveting tv to be sure, but it was lousy politics and worse discussion. The repeated grousing about time was unbecoming both gentlemen. If you look to that for substance or to make your mind up, it wasn’t to be had.

They obviously aren’t fond of one another. I wasn’t crazy about the Governor interrupting the President or scolding.

It’s a crappy example to set, but so is the foolishness over making hay about the “Binders” comment. Nothing furthers the discussion. Much as been made about the Benghazi discussion where the Governor was factchecked live and proven incorrect. While I admire the President’s buck stops here speech that followed, folks are still getting hung up on things that don’t matter. None of the recent nitpicking on when and what to label it matters and nobody should be making their minds up out of the generalities that made up the bulk of the theater of the absurd.

If you have your guy now, that’s cool. I just wish the candidates would realize that and tell us specifics.  Don’t let media manufactured dreck rule the day.

Talk to us like adults, maybe, we’ll even act the part.

For a moment

La French Connexion


It’s easy to be a little mad with current hockey at the moment. The shenanigans that have delayed the season while millionaires fight over how to split up more millions doesn’t really call for any sympathy. Without the season, the gesture of unveiling a statue of a bygone era seemed a little hollow. Then you stopped at remembered the era. The Sabres sold out for the entirety of the 1970s and Gilbert Perreault, Richard Martin, and Rene Robert can take a large part of the credit for that. I’m old enough to remember the first time the Sabres ever made the playoffs, with Robert scoring the winning goal in overtime to beat the Canadiens for the first ever win. If you are any kind of Buffalo hockey fan, I don’t need to tell you the significance of that.

My grandmother on my mom’s side was visiting then. She lived in football crazy Akron, Ohio. They televised high school football and she looked on the television and saw that we were all watching “ice hockey.” At the time, Dave Dryden was the Sabres’ number two netminder behind Roger Crozier. Mr Dryden worked with a number of community groups including the developmentally disabled kids at the College Learning Lab at Buff State. This group included my older brother as the kids learned the fun of floor hockey. This made Mr. Dryden alright with Grandma, despite the fact that the Canadiens employed Dave’s younger brother, Ken. The Canadiens also had brothers Frank and Peter Mahovolich on their roster. The Canadiens eventually won the series, but Grandma returned to Ohio thinking if you were Dryden, you were alright, but if you were Mahovolich, you were a bad man. In the midst of all this was just how much fun it was to watch the French Connection play.

It’s not every hockey line that changes the nature of street hockey games. I mean who didn’t want to be able to move like Perreault, shoot like Martin, playmake like Robert. Just the fact that the Aud seemed to buzz or hum a bit when they took the ice made you pay a little more attention.

Perreault was my favorite, but it was fun to seem them play.

Can almost hear Ted Darling, Pat Hannigan and Rick Azar bringing you the call…..

“Because, Bite Me, That’s Why.”


I wish our Presidential candidates would just stop, stop what you’re doing. I’ve trying to reconcile the whole Big Bird nonsense in light of all the bonkers coverage.

It was questionable for Governor Romney to cite that as a wasteful program. As such a small fragment of the federal budget, deleting PBS funding is like thing throwing one brick in the grand canyon. It was even dumber for the President’s folks to take the bait, run with ads that have apparently ticked off Sesame Street’s producers.

It’s bad enough that the Vice President and Paul Ryan are messing with Thursday night tv in the battle of platitudes, but it all brings me back to does anything really matter at this point.

If you are voting for Romney, that’s fine. I respect that. If you’re for the President, that’s fine. If you are undecided, I mean, what the hell? Can canned platitudes, abbreviated stump speeches, camera tested ties, bloviating pundits, polls with plus or minus margins for error greater than my checkbook really sway you?

What’s not to know? The President isn’t exactly an unknown commodity at this point. The Governor has been running for President for at least 4 years.

Much like the conventions, the debates don’t reveal much. Neither guy actually said much last week (despite Rommey’s “vigor” or the President’s um, nacrolepsy?) and I do wonder how much the moderator paid for his ticket as he got a really good seat. We’ll get “perspective” from paid opinion people after the Vice Presidential debate and that spin won’t be troubled by facts, much like last week.

The musical buddha of my rapidly dwindling youth, Mr. Springsteen, asked concert goers the following question in 2004: “It’s October 11th, what the hell are you waiting for?”

Please don’t say a good debate performance, because that really matters not.

Can we just go vote now?

No, we “Chan’t”


I had to look it up. October 10, 1971 was the exact day. My dad took me to my first Bills game. I have a few vague recollections of that day. I think we had decent seats, could see everything real good, and the Bills were systematically demolished by the Baltimore Colts and there was a regular series of Bills being helped off the field. We went with neighbors and my mom’s biggest concern was that they might misplace 7 year old me. Turns out the neighbor misplaced his 18 year old son. All were safe and sound as none of us were on the field that day. I had a brief moment of deja vu to that game watching this year’s model getting undressed by the San Francisco 49ers.

(from the Buffalo News)

Now, your team is your team and all. But you’d like some glimmer of fun. In the Bills’ three losses this year, they’ve been blown out, kicked around the playground, had their pants pulled down and laughed at and that is no fun. I’m not sure I can say what the duke boys are thinking, but the supposed new and improved defense can’t seem to stop, well, much of anything. So, something is broken there, among other places. Training camp had that sense of antipation, but the three losses were against real teams. I didn’t think they were Super Bowl bound this year, but it would be nice to rise off the mat a bit, have a little fun. The last hint of respectability was over a decade ago and the last real glory days were 88-93, 94. Been awhile/

You’d like the stories about new stadiums, leases, etc to be drowned out for a week or two by a big win instead of the current trend.

This should be fun, right?