Posted in Animals, Buffalo, NY, Current events

Ice Road Trucker


So, I got a new gig. It’s a great job surrounded with folks who are concerned with doing great work. This was one of my goals, to be in a good spot. So, it is a really good place to ply my trade. The uniqueness behind it is the location, roughly 45 minutes from my apartment. That’s a pretty normal number, but I think we are a little spoiled with proximity in this area.

I had a similar route time north in my last position, but this is a better. It does take a little getting used to as roughly half of the jaunt is on a highway, the second half is up and down via country roads & valleys that wind up and down through some impressive hills at some high rates of speed and varying weather conditions.

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My first day on the job, it started to snow while I was moving up and down through the mountains and learning the nature of the roads. The downward descent reminded me about the old Elmer Fudd cartoons where Elmer’s car threatens to pass him in adverse conditions. I made it to the office on time after making the ups and downs of the six valleys you pass through. The snow I mentioned turned into the lake effect variety and a vendor appeared at our office to note that the road I took into work was closed.

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“Oh, really?” How am I going to get home I wondered? To google I went, and found an alternative route to get back to Buffalo. It was another jaunt through unfamiliar roads, that wove their way north to Attica, and eventually up to a road that takes one straight to Buffalo. I navigated through the side road through gradually heavier snow, following the lights and ruts in the snow of a car that had the decency to be taking the same route, north and to the west. I found the street that one can basically take into the city, but that was right at the moment was when you were driving straight into the blowing lake effect snow storm.

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I took the same route the next night home only to be greeted by blizzard and white conditions that made me consider my mortality. Made it home safely after about 90 minutes of white knuckle, borderline translucent driving, having navigated myself home and completing an intense upper arm workout at the same time. I took my alternative route during a storm last week and found myself behind tandem snow plows. That’s pretty sweet until the plows turn around you are left to keep going as if they were saying “We got you this far, now finish it, Stupid.”

The same thing happened coming home on 20A where a salt truck decided he was slowing us down. I didn’t mind, it was okay.  I like to think they were confident that we have this, but it was more likely that both were of the “Let’s get rid of these goofs” variety.

I drove the reverse in the next morning and was impressed at the view and some of the inclines that I didn’t manage to wind into a ditch, gulley, set of a horror movie, etc, thinking I’m pretty good behind the wheel. In the intervening weeks, one has to watch about getting too cocky, finding a happy speed, programming what trucks you want or don’t want to get behind. But it’s pretty. An former coworker apologized about the drive. We’re spoiled in Western New York by the twenty minute rule. Many in other cities routinely invest an hour or more getting to work. We got it easy, ignore the 20 minutes and behold what you might see in 35-40. I work in “Northern Exposure” but the route to and fro has some impressive sights

The work is great, but the commute view has me thinking go pro video would be something to see

Posted in Animals, Buffalo, NY

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.

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Baby Gorilla venturing out on her own.

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

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Blue Poison Dart frogs

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

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Kitty’s Back……in ocelot form

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The macaw was giving a lengthy address.

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This guy was not

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Yeah, I was away from my desk for a bit

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Posted in Animals, Buffalo, NY, Nature

Leaf Crunchin’


Sometimes you just got to play, disconnect and wander. Some of the most I’ve had lately was an awesome stroll through a largely unspoiled park nestled in the midst of Cheekatowaga.

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Fun day in air that could definitely be described as fresh. Cold and rain was threatened but I couldn’t have cared less. There was a lot to see and listen to and my traveling partner and I took our own sweet time. It was pretty jarring to see the occasional goof with headphones on who was there for the sake of leaving as soon as possible.

I mean, got to enjoy the leaf crunch or the sound your shoe makes when yhe mud relents and lets you take it back.

Ready to go again.

Posted in Animals, Buffalo, NY, Commentary, Current events

Springing forward…


The switch to daylight savings time won’t make me grumpy on Monday. Monday usually takes care of that all on its own. I figure I can show “the man” who’s boss by being pretty lazy Sunday morning anyway. My good friend Pete Herr has an interesting take on how the inevitable monday morning blues caused by the time shift here.

My office lately has been making the news lately for a real good way.

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I’m not going to lie, it’s been a little dizzying at times, but kind of fun too. This might be the best picture I’ll ever take of one of my animal colleagues. Nosey lil mug, but we all looked good on tv that day.

On other fronts,  tired of the “Sequestor” the Fiscal Cliff, and the many sequels and also so tired of folks blaming one side or another. They are all at fault. This ain’t no way to run things. Whenever stuff happens, I think there ought to be a press blackout, a denial of soapbox until all the players actually sit down and do their jobs. Then, and only then,  they can have a photo op. So, no, don’t come at me with “it’s the President’s fault.” That’s childish and ill-informed considering that Representative Oompah Loompah and Senator Droopy Dog has just as much skin in the game. Please note the bipartisan ridicule.

The harlem shake looks vaguely like a seizure.

Posted in Animals, Buffalo, NY

And now, some shameless semi-self promotion

Cold Winter's Night

Head to downtown Buffalo for Polar Bites, the annual fundraiser for the Buffalo Zoo. The event will take place Thursday, February 16th from 6 to 9 p.m., upstairs at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center on Franklin St. The event showcases some of the area’s top restaurants, wineries and breweries while helping out the Zoo.

Among the area vendors lending a hand to help out the Zoo are Bravo Cucina Italiana, Long Trail Brewing, Pizza Plant, Lebro’s, Johnson Estate Winery, Global Group and Rich Products Catering. These vendors will be competing for awards including best beer, best entree, best booth decor, best of show and rookie of the year. The event also features silent and basket auctions.

Tickets for Polar Bites are $35 in advance and $45 at the door; this is a 21-and-over event. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.buffalozoo.org.

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