Dear Boss, (book 3)


While I wait for Amazon to deliver me the one treat I’m allowing myself this tough year (“The Ties that Bind”), I was happily greeted with the news that the celebratory tour is coming my way toward the end of February, the 25th to be exact.

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Thank you for that.

The original release of the River and that tour fully brought me into the fold. I was 16 at the time and my musical notions were maturing somewhat. It’s a great record and I loved the whole thing, without the aid of the internet, newsgroups, trolls bitching about band players, leaked videos or anything. You got an E Street show over double vinyl.

I actually still have the recording I made when 97 Rock in Buffalo played the whole thing over the air, only to get myself to National Record Mart to pick up the copy that I would tape, eventually wear out, tape again as best buds would do (my buddy had a boom box but no turntable).

When the original Buffalo date was announced, you and the gang were set to play the old Buffalo Aud. My pal and I sorted what monies we had. Between the two of us, we had the princely sum of $24.50. That was enough to cover the cost of two tickets in the building. We’d figure out how to get there later (I had it bad). Inconveniently, on the day and time the tickets were going on sale, our history teacher scheduled a test.  He was sympathetic to our plight, but not so much that he rescheduled. My mom came to our rescue and took our modest fortune and cued up for two Bruce tickets while we were being good students.  Two front row lower bowl seats….yep, coolest mom ever.

We got that needed ride to my first arena sized E Street Experience and it was one of “those” shows, one of those forever burnt in your memory without the aid of youtube, you are in the moment without overpriced concessions, every detail bullying its way into your cerebral cortex shows.

35 years later and I can still picture the house lights on, the sax solo to “Jungleland” making my sternum hum and you on top of Danny’s organ set up punching the sky. The cadillac walk in “Cadillac Ranch” was fresh and new and “Out in the Street” was definitely the place to be.

So, it’s definitely worthy of some celebrating to be sure. Ironic that that set and tour announcements come 35 years to the day of the big occasion. That really isn’t much of a true milestone, but I’ll take what I can get. I’m looking forward to the original album songs, the outtakes, whatever the hell else you feel might fit. I am a little confused about the naysayers. Since the announcement of the shows, people have whined about the tour name (?), the dates all being put on sale at the same time, it’s a short run, people will show up when the time comes. I’ll drink the kool-aid again and enjoy the show. In the meantime, the blue rays will tide me over.

It all comes around when I can use the boost to be sure. You’ve had that unintended timing all along.

Looking forward to taking another ride.

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Wanderin’


I think we can venture out once more without the snow brushes in close reach. Without having to brace oneself over the throwback winter, it is easy to for a walk outside.You can again pay too much for a hot dog without climbing over snow piles.

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The Ice Boom is gone and so is the ice.image

imagewhich means the Hatch might be ready for business (okay, it’s open, but parts of the New York State Thruway were rebuilt in less time.

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I have never been a fan of the Transformers but this condo tower in the picture above looks like it is where they should park.

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The final image is my vantage point for two meetings I had late last week. Better than any conference room, and no air conditioner needed. I definitely had the better for both meetings.

Who’s up for ice cream

Snow Blind


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This is getting on my nerves.

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I think anybody who takes to social media of any kind next winter to lament that they didn’t see any storm, where’s my snow or anything or why wasn’t my kids school closed needs to be thrown screaming from a helicopter…into a snowbank

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This thought occurred to me as I drove behind another car on one of our busier roadways around here. Unlike much of the area, bare pavement made up the bulk of the driving and apparently that jamoke decided that high speed and wind was how he was going to clean off his car. It’s a pretty deplorable practice, especially when it means your car is on the receiving end of a steady stream of snowballs.

Somewhere in the middle of El Nino, Western New York lost a bit of its snow mojo. I noticed that since we’ve gotten those two light winters, we’ve been getting our butts kicked. And to top it off, who stole our midwinter thaw. There used to be, usually around january or so, some kind of breather, temps would get up, we would get sunlight you could feel. It gave you a second wind to get to spring. My car has been a stud, but you can hear the ache of operating in such constant cold. I used to grouse about paying for a garage space, but that is fee I’m happy to pony up, helps the car last longer and reduces my carpal tunnel odds from not having to clean off the car for the fun drive to work.

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This just flat out sucks. Instead, no breather, in fact, it’s gotten a little tougher with International Falls-style wind chill that makes you not care a whit if it is Celsius or Fahrenheit, a minus anything pretty much is flat out cold. I mean, it’s great, we don’t mudslides, or much in terms of other earthbound traumas, so I guess this is Mother Nature‘s Way of keeping us honest. I’m not so sure I like it. I mean, we are at the point where the sunshine has been random, infrequent and meaningless. The color of the sky, snow and the street have all been cut from the same grey portion of the pantone chart. To add insult to frozen injury, the storms have frequently been coming at rush hour, which then needs to be called something else. It shouldn’t be so noteworthy from my 20 minute commute to actually take 20 minutes. That shouldn’t come as a pleasant surprise.

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2014 in review


Guess I best step it up

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

As the Puck Turns


Got to catch up as linked in now reminds me how long it’s been since I have had something to say.

While working the past two nights at the downtown professional hockey palace, I’ve been enjoying the people watching and how it’s different depending on opponent. One of the common threads is that everybody, and I mean everybody, when they come to the end of the tunnel before ascending the steps to their seats, stops and poses before continuing to their chair. I had to laugh a little at the notion that given everybody has cell phone, people still look for another “Where’s Waldo” style peering at the stands hoping to see the person they are seeking. Nobody calls.

But that was nothing compared to the hullabaloo of the final Friday in February, as sharp eyed fans watching warm-up didn’t see the captain or the goalie (who was the face of the franchise) appear on the ice. And this is before the shenanigans that led to former star turned beloved execl eaving. I didn’t hear anything, and a few folks (and me) checked our twitter feeds to see what the skinny truly was. All became known as the team began to blow up, by trading the two guys most folks hated to see go.

While I was pondering the previously unheard of notion of too much hockey in a week, the hometown team was in the midst of turning into a soap opera. The idea that the principals involved in that won’t let anybody know what the scoop was is a little frustrating if you are a ticket holder or somebody who might say come play hockey here.

Folks hopefully might still do that.

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Watching Sunday night’s Grammy awards semi-seriously (okay, not seriously at all), I was taken a little for a bit of nostalgia (after seeing Ringo and Paul on stage after all the CBS hype and them only getting the one song) for of all things, the record store experience.  This started  earlier in the week when I ordered my copy of the new Springsteen record via Amazon so I could get the dvd that came with the cd, which was also accompanied by an instant download of the cd you were ordering in addition to the actual cd.

Got all that. Good. Just struck me how different it was scraping together the $2.99 plus tax for my copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town, purchased with the help of my older sister who drove and the double stamp books I had filled to ease the purchase at Record Theater. I know it’s still here, but it’s not the same experience. The mall record shops had those jamokes behind the counter who thought they were cool because they worked in a record store in the mall, nevermind that they were minimum wage workers too. But let’s face it, stocking Clapton LPs does beat refilling the pop tart display at the grocery store, but I digress.

It’s great to get the music and take it with you wherever you go, after you remember to back it up and so and find the right format for playing it in once you own it, but the old school pursuit is gone. That finding the “precious” at a reasonable rate is gone, replaced by hearing a new release on Spotify. That too is okay, might actually be easier to find songs that you might have overlooked on an LP.

But…I reacquired a turntable not too long ago. I used to think I didn’t have enough of an audiophile ear to hear the difference in some of the formats outs there. From the low rent mp3s to Flacs to other “lossless” formats, the subtle things weren’t registering. I think that is the nature of some recordings, but some records where some care went into them, you do see (or hear) I should say, what the analog audio guys are talking about. No format is perfect. Lord know I purchased some titles in most of them, save eight tracks.

As I approach AARP availability in a few weeks, (shaddup) you notice the folks you instantly know, probably ought to be hanging up their rock and roll shoes, but it is a good thing to see them in there still swinging….showing the kids how it is done.

I was sorting through some acquisitions of all formats to see if the collection could use a little weeding (it could), and while I don’t miss the orange crates full of music as those things were heavy, the hunt was pretty awesome.

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Holiday Road


“ATTENTION JERKS: IT IS NOT CHRISTMAS YET. THIS IS THANKSGIVING SEASON, AND THANKSGIVING IS THE BEST, SO KNOCK OFF THE CHRISTMAS STUFF.”  — As seen on Twitter this morning. I heartily approve.

A bunch of years ago, as a young p.r./marketing huckster, I was involved in the promotion of a great book called “The Trouble with Christmas.” The author thoughtfully and respectfully pointed out some issues with the holiday and how and why he came to the point of not being a celebrant. I’m not quite of that ilk as I celebrate that day, but he had very valid point.

While it can be great, there are some pitfalls. For me, the way Christmas decor starts to snake on to the shelves prior to Halloween to this morning’s “Share and Repost” of making sure you say Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, since the latter was politicially correct. It’s not, it’s been around for generations too. Nobody is assaulting the holiday. Aside from my own nurseable grudges against the tone of most “Share and Repost” things on Facebook, stuff like that imagines controversy where there really isn’t one.

I confessed a little dismay that some stores are opening at whatever o’clock on Thanksgiving Day and was told well, “people will buy.” I guess, I’m of a mind that people can and will buy when things are open, that nobody demanded more time, more excess, to the point where Thanksgiving gets reduced to a carboload for Christmas shopping that could wait until….the next morning.

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We are in such an unnecessary hurry and there is no reason for it. Stop and smell the mashed potatoes as you get a second helping. I know I will. All that pushing of the envelope I think helps foster depression as well. I used to fight a sense of have I done enough for my kids, only to realize what a stupid question that was to be torturing myself with.  So, for a few days, it’s all good. I can bypass people acting a certain way for a month, treating their fellow man the way they should the other 11 months, but is midnight on October 31st the time to crank out the carols 24/7 like two radio stations are doing, and to only play a handful of 1000s of Christmas tunes.

It can be a fun time of the year in DECEMBER, but the sprint to get there is a dizzying one.

I know some fool in pursuit of the flat screen he HAD to have will trip in a Black Friday crowd to GET that TV and will wind up part of the flooring for his troubles. Psst, the deals on those are better in January, closer to the big professional football contest.

It’s a nice season in DECEMBER, but the head start has some flaws.

Short Pier


Work still continues on Broadrick Park, but one of the cooler places to walk reopened with the Bird Island Pier being fully accessible once more. You can tell where the work was taking place and what is…well…timeless.

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A good stroll. At times you could almoat slip into the water in a dreamlike state. Others, you see the rat roused by the construction.  Despite that, it is a worthy wander.