The world gets a little more tangible with handlebars in place of a steering wheel. I’m a casual rider (jeans allowed as those tight lycra outfits ain’t for this guy)

Go ride, you might see something


Delta, Epsilon, Gamma

Don’t call it a comeback when we knew it was going to happen. We started on the right path with the covid battle but we never finished. The CDC is recommending masks for everybody indoors once more. I have been believing that people will settle for Facebook status updates and scuttlebutt ahead of actual sciences and I wish I was wrong about that. But here we are. I was sitting outside watching the world go by and a couple passed debating the subject of vaccines. He was complaining that he didn’t know enough data or what was in the vaccine, while finishing a hot dog. Relish that irony.if you will. Nobody asked for the ingredients on their flu shots, they got em. It has never been a question about your “free-dums,” it’s about the science of not dying. Science doesn’t bullshit, it’s one of those things that is or isn’t. How numb do you have to be to shrug off something that killed over 600, 000 people. Wash your hands, you filthy animals. Wearing a mask wasn’t that hard and spare me the I can’t breathe under this thing whining. You can, you just don’t want to. Neither do the folks hooking up your ventilator, but they do, without the petty childish complaints. Neither Dave Grohl or Bruce Springsteen was discriminating by having their audiences vaccinated, there Ricky Schroder. They took stands for the safety of the folks attending. Wanna go, get a shot. No shoes, no shirt, no shot, no service. Seems simple enough. Given the severity of both the ignorance that is still out there and the still evolving Delta variant, I will stay home a bit longer.

That’s a policy Rand Paul should look into as he looks like a buffoon arguing with Dr. Fauci on this. It’s theater but really stupid theater and Paul is not serving his constituents (not that he ever has) with his grandiose bemoaning. He is a gossipmonger of a Senator and his people deserve better but considering they keep electing him, maybe not so much. Among the others who (and there are many) can’t explain while they continue to hold office is Kevin McCarthy, who couldn’t be more transparent in his Trump Neophyteness if he tried. From not wanting the house committee to be easily found for ties to the former president. His statement that the speaker’s direction on the make up of the January 6th investigative committee. was a abuse of power so lame it might need its own walking stick.

That committee’s first day got off to a good start, “trump sent us.” Indeed.

I’m waiting for the democrats in Congress to realize that that bulk of the republicans are interested in power only so the Dems (including Joe Manchin) to quit perserving pointless trophies like the filibuster and get things done. They say a stateman is a politican who has been dead for twenty years. It would actually be great if they strived for statesmenhood now. But it seems like a good time for a little review for the Republikkklans out there.

It’s beyond infuriating to see comments from Metric System Bill O’Reilly Piers Morgan or yard sale Rush Limbaugh Tucker Carlson and other easily triggered dainty white guys regarding the mental health of Simone Biles. Without a shred of doubt if she said she broke her arm or had pneumonia no one would hesitate. The toughest thing either of those two fatheads have ever done was tie a bow tie (which is hard to do). Mental health is physical health. I still aspired to both. Once more for those in back. MENTAL HEALTH IS PHYSICAL HEALTH.

You couldn’t listen to the testimony of the capital police officers about what they experienced on January 6th and not be at least moved. To know Carlson saw fit to mock these guys for their experience is stomach turning and makes you wish that somebody would tear him down and put up a human being. The schmuck ridiculed US personnel for donning masks in the Phillipines, where they are required to do.

I don’t being informed is helping my depression. All the “Infectious Disease” experts on Facebook are both lamenting the freedom losses of having to wear a mask, like that is such a punishment or obstruction. I’m pretty sure that my son and I got our picture taken at a show for wearing masks. Whatever floats your boat. A mask in a crowd seems worth it to protect my son, my daughters, my granddaughters, my significant other (who holds a PhD in infectious disease study, so I got some science, along with a wonderful s.o.) and all those i care about in that tent.

That same foolish resentment wisdom wants to blame the trouble in Afghanistan at the plate of President Biden. Even he said that is fair since he is the President. It is also President Trump’s fault, President Obama’s fault and, most especially, President Bush’s fault. There. Blame has been assigned. Feel better?

I didn’t think so.

Fractious Times, Volume 2

I feel your pain, big boy. It’s hard thing to fathom. Maybe it is the lack of national direction, but when I read of the latest person to say “Got to open it up” and get “scared workers” back into the office. I don’t know why that is a point. My job works the same where I am. In my home office, I control everything and 1800 other people from 1800 other environs aren’t there and I’m getting just as much done. While President Trump and Mitch McConnell strive to do as little as humanly possible, we all need to stay on point. The pandemic isolated my mom from the rest of my family and the token visits were just taken away as a staffer tested positive.

People talk of the second wave. We didn’t really do much for the sake of the first one. I don’t think we are done yet and some stickers on the floor of office campuses don’t solve anything. We are an remarkably selfish and stupid people. President Trump blames Joe Biden for failing the virus, conveniently forgetting that the former Vice President isn’t charge of anything…yet.

Speaking of which, I’m tired of all those saying to others “If you can do this (grocery shopping, protesting, etc…whatever), you can show up and vote in person,” like there is something superior to that. It’s a pandemic that deserved a little more respect. How about no matter how you do it, vote, unless of course you think your guy will lose and talking down on social media will change that. Like many faux arguments that are soaking in their false equivalencies, just vote. Eyes on your own paper, now, but just vote.

Court packing, the expanding of the Supreme Court edition? Yep, only Congress can do that. A president can propose court expansion, but Congress has to do the act. Court packing, the stuffing of seats with yes persons, the current president is doing that right now. His current nominee, I believe, is only being pushed so quickly by the majority in the likelihood the election winds up there.

“Anyone out there who can tell me what our end game is with the covid 19? What is the magic formula that is going to allow us to sound the all clear? Is it zero cases? The only way that will happen is if we just stop testing and stop reporting.Is it a vaccine?It took 25 years for a chicken pox vaccine to be developed. The smallpox inoculation was discovered in 1796 the last known natural case was in 1977 .We have a flu vaccine that is only 40 to 60% effective and less than half of the US population choose to get one, and roughly 20,000 Americans will die of the flu or flu complications. Oh, you’ll mandate it, like other vaccines are mandated in order to attend school, travel to some foreign countries, etc.”

This was from an essay making the round and the whole thing had some interesting points. I didn’t check the math, but it did spur more questions as the current administration just doesn’t want to deal beyond forcing a vaccine prior to the election to ensure reelection. This stuff does take time. The logistic issue along is impressive. 300 million needles, 300 million containers, transport, adminstration, will insurance cover costs? There is a lot to unpack while we try to decide what “wave” we are in, when basically nothing has changed or been resolved in the 8 months various portions of the U.S. has been dealing with the virus.

It stinks that concern over the virus seems to breed recklessness from this current White House and people and processes are shamed for finding alternatives to voting. You’ve seen them. “If you can do (Fill in the blank), you can show up to vote in person.” Shut the hell up and vote, anybody who has tweeted, texted, any along those lines. The total tonnage of what we don’t know about Covid is outweighed by our covid boredom and carelessness. You crawled through a snowstorm across broken glass, uphill, with your shoes untied and mismatched socks to vote. Well, congratufuckulations! What works for you is great, but it is the way for you. I’m doing me, as they say, and going my way and voting my way for the health of me.

It’s the height of arrogance/self-righteousness/fear your guy is in trouble to preach to others (especially on social media channels) about how to vote based on how you did it. The only thing that matters is that you do.

Dementia Blues

Multi-infarct dementia – A term that will never ever leave my functioning cerebral cortex. It took residence there for good on my birthday last year when it officially took up residence in my mom, inflicting a soul crushing, dignity beating afflication on my mom from which she is never going to recover. I didn’t know about ischemia related concerns and TIA related episodes or even the concept of ministrokes. All of which are now permanently fixed in my lexicon.

There are regular episodes where something temporarily goes cataclysmically wrong, and then, most comes back. What gets lost in the translation is never immediately obvious. It’s a harsh reminder of the vicious cruelty of the disease as for my birthday this year, mom experienced another episode that temporarily stole her ability to do any body control.

I mean, I’m grateful to the gods that my dad is still around and healthy, largely and that I’m into my mid 50s, so I’ve had my mom there a lot longer than many folks I care about so I’m not getting cheated, but the way she is getting taken is flat out cruel. For somebody who never put herself first, that is just a horrible abomination.

I believe I’ve heard her laugh 3 times in the past 18 months. The disease is cruel that way taking dynamic souls rendering them into near mannequinness. Thorough the experience of the past 18 months, I was able to keep a cool head when it became obvious that she didn’t have the ability to participate at all in getting bundled up in coat and scarf to return across the street to her long term care facility where thankfully the right nurse was working.

It’s a far cry from days of yore. My parents sold their house after 51 years at the start of this odyssey. A year or two prior, I remember going out to visit and my mom and I were having coffee. The night before they had journeyed to a party for the Flow Cyctrometry lab at Roswell Park and she was telling me a little bit about the experience.

“Michael, one by one, these little nerds kept coming up to me and telling me that your father is a “fucking genius.” Hearing her f-bomb made us both laugh a little. It’s not really news to hear that my dad was the smartest kid in class, but I hope my mom wasn’t and isn’t selling herself short.

As an exercise, character building or not, she dispatched me to sell some raffle tickets for the Clarence, New York Democratic Party. The very likelihood that the area Democratic population was the contents of our house was a secondary concern. My best Friend’s dad bought a punch with the proviso that his name did NOT go on the tickets. My little brother never knew how close he came in his first 50/50.

In the MC Esher building block that was the family house. My room was on the upper level of the second floor and my mom’s sewing machine and desk area was in the adjoining room. The reason this matters was I discovered my music about the time the red and blue Beatles greatest hits records came out and dutifully got copies. A few years later, two more collections came out, Love Songs and Rock and Roll music. I dutifully wanted a copy of Rock and Roll Music. As girls were just starting to be a concern that I was just starting to do badly with, I was more concerned at the time with Rock and Roll. When Christmas rolled around, a copy of Love Songs was waiting. Mom was counter programming me. I learned to love em, even the mushy numbers,

That, there is a flipping genius.

A disease that attacks in such a way doesn’t play. Mom managed the family she was born into, built a home for the one she married into, and spent her life keep us all safe. Health care Karma doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter the thousands of nights she kept us all safe, the wrongs she tried to right, the world she dared to be better. She’s getting punished. I’m not exactly sure for what. When the ministrokes come, they subside, but you can’t help but wonder what won’t come back, as if to say, just in case the trauma wasn’t enough, here’s something you can’t do anymore, or a phrase that won’t come easy.

That’s what is unfair. I don’t know if the instrument exists that can accurately measure my levels of emotional exhaustion and depression, but those things take a back seat, when you are literally holding your parent up. When the nights they’ve protected you are in the thousands, you keep fighting


I have this crazy notion.

Bear with me, it Is a little odd. But here goes,

Let people do what they can do very well without feeling compelled to take potshots, especially when you don’t stand a chance of being able to do nothing even remotely close.

I didn’t see this year’s Super Bowl halftime show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira until the following morning and, you know what, it was fine.


There were hits, there were medleys, there were a host of musical influences stemming from South Florida and beyond, costumes in the tradition of the ladies’ ancestries and a spectacle for that grand spectacle that is the biggest football game on the calendar.

I saw this morning some sharp eyed fool with too much time on his hands (as it is only insecure men who hid in the anonymity of the internet) busting Shakira for lip synching. “You don’t say, Sparky?!?” It’s a tv show, one that has to get put together very quickly. Everybody has a prerecorded soundtrack in case. It’s not a concert, and I can’t blame folks for not leaving things to chance. It’s one of the few things the NFL was smart about as you don’t want to be the guy who can’t figure out why the one mic isn’t working with that many eyes upon you.

A lot of the social media “outrage” had people ticked that the ladies were flashing skin but forgot all about Adam Levine doing the same last year. They were at least akin to the costuming of their heritages, Levine was just mostly naked.rs_1024x759-190203173728-1024-Adam-Levine-Super-Bowl-LT-020319-GettyImages-1127208787

But when you think about it, when the intellectual climate has issues over differentiations of vanilla, it was a positive thing for strong women who aren’t teenagers but in better shape than many to rule the stage on one of the biggest dates on the cultural calendar. I hope they inspired others to aspire to the same.

Another wag pointed out that Shakira hasn’t had a hit in a long time. That seemed nitpicky because good music is timeless and in the sea of classic rock bands to play the halftime show in the past dozen years or so, having anything on the radio didn’t seem to be a prerequisite. The best halftime performer in my addled little brain was Prince, whose shining moment came when the skies opened during a majestic version of an over twenty year old (at the time) “Purple Rain.”

Folks got to realize that just because you are predisposed to the old guitar bands (as I admittedly am), it isn’t running the musical show these days. There is lots of other things happening musically to the point where rock is taking a back seat. It’s not dead, it just needs to make some room. Just because it isn’t an old white dude with a guitar doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. Ours is supposedly big tent. If the halftime isn’t doing it for you, use that time wisely like, go refill the chips and guac and relax, it’s a game.

Pitchers and Catchers report soon….In the meantime, settle down, they could bring back up with people and I don’t think anybody wants that.







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.


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.


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.


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.




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.




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


This is getting on my nerves.


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


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.


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.


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.