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Showing posts from September, 2002
Perfect Autumn Day

There are a few days in my memory that I can pick out as being just perfect. Yesterday was one of those days. It was perfect in a "My Bird Performs" by XTC kind of way. Matt and I had traveled to Rochester to celebrate my mom's birthday this weekend. Yesterday we slept in a little bit, got up and had blueberry pancakes made by my dad. I don't usually order pancakes at restaurants, or even make them myself, since no one seems to be able to make them like my dad.

After my parents left for church, Matt and I washed up and lounged around a little bit. My parents returned. We had lunch (liverwurst, another thing I usually only eat at my parent's house) and then wandered outside to chat with the neighbors. My dad just started a darkroom class at the Community Darkroom. He had taken it about 20 years ago, but was rusty on the latest developments (ha ha) in developing pictures. Part of his homework for his class was to take some black and whit…
Time For A Change

I was tried of the old block-style template I had, so I'm trying out this. I think it has a more clean look to it. Any comments?
To Understand a 28% Tax Increase...

Our County Executive announced his budget on Wednesday night that included a 28% tax increase. Before you jump to conclusions, you must understand several things.

A. State Mandated Medicaid is up $7.4 million dollars for 2003
B. the contribution to the NYS Retirement System is increasing $1.6 million
C. There is a $1.2 million increase for Community College Chargebacks
D. Non-Executive Elected Official's budgets have increased $1.4 million

My boss has cut his budget $7.2 million. That still leaves us about $12 million in the hole. The public seems to get it. It's Medicaid (and a wavering national economy and aftermath of 9/11). There's no whining here. Just plain facts, people. Speaking of...

How They Lie

One of Pataki's folk thought he'd try to sneak one by us. Robert Hinckley, a deputy state health commissioner said new legislation in January added $40 million to counties' costs, less than 1 percent of their increased…
"Everyone should love each other. It's fucking bullshit if they don't."
- Josh Lidsky Sept. 13, 1979 - Sept. 16, 2002

Josh loosened his ties to this physical world last week. He was an amazing guy I knew from WBNY. If I didn't know that already, it would have been very apparent from the memorial ceremony this past Saturday. If you're not a fan of organized religions, I'll tell you try Unitarian Universalism. At least Josh was sent off with a dignified ceremony. Plenty of memories and good thoughts. He will be missed, but I now think he had to leave, despite our best intentions to keep him here as long as possible. I think we all knew he would leave us and that he knew completely what he was doing.
No.. I don't know what I want to do. Someone suggested recently that I create a type of ezine where I have people from all over the world (or this country at least) write reviews or little stories about where they live/hang out/eat/etc. This person suggested it could be very addictive. I told him in a roundabout way he obviously doesn't read my blog and that's why I have it. To make people addicted? No, to share various views from all over the world (and a lot of my own of course). I am clueless to what I actually want to do to earn a living "when I grow up."

In Your Pajamas

I spent my Sunday in my pajamas. That's not to say I didn't do anything. In fact, it was a very good day. I woke up just after 10 AM, toddled downstairs and read the newspaper. Matt then went out and got some Tim Horton's coffee/bagels/doughnuts for us to munch on. Somewhere in there I checked my email and then went back downstairs because it was almost noon. And noon on Sundays means Trading Spaces! You can guess where I was parked for the next three hours.

After being a couch potato, I found some Lifetime movie to watch and proceeded to start doing some laundry during the commercials. The movie ended and I did some dishes with Matt finishing them off. I straightened the house, talked to a friend on the phone, ate leftover pizza, and watched some more tv. Sometime during this, the dryer (the "new" one) decided not to work. We're not sure what's up with it, but it won't go on. Perturbed but not willing to accept failure, I h…
Colder Than A Meat Locker

I'm freezing right now. Our office has two temperature settings: hot and cold. A former co-worker who was fairly reserved surprised us once by proclaiming, "Hang some meat!" as he sat down in his seat. My fingers are almost stiff and my feet are definitely suffering. Woe is me.

Spider Outside

I watched a spider dance around the side of the building while listening to the noon news. The wind had picked up and it appeared that the spider was trying to get its footing. It eventually was able to scramble back up to a web in the corner. I don't know if that web belonged to that particular spider, but it was somewhat mesmerizing to watch this spider contend with nature.
Gut of Steel

Matt and I got some artery clogging garbage plates from Nick Tahoe's on Saturday night after the Sarah Slean/Doves concert. Niether of us finished, so we packed up the leftovers and brought them home. I didn't honestly think Matt would eat leftover Nick's, but last night (over 4 days later), he heated up the remnants of the garbage plates in a wok and chowed down. I have to admire his bravery although he was reaching for the tums this morning.
I Hear Wedding Bells!

I must send out a big congratulations to my friends, Heidi and Kevin, on their recent engagement (and wedding that will happen in less than a month). *sings* Heidi's getting married... she's gonna have a party.. they're gonna have babies. Just kidding on the last part! And I'm lucky enough to get to be part of the second, more official wedding ceremony in July. Hooray!
Journalist Who Lie

Thank god for Meg. She made me smile today with her post on journalists who smuggle weapons onto planes and then write about how lax security is at the airports. Journalists do stupid things occassionally and then revel in the fact that they either got away with it or were caught. I know all about this. I took great pride, and gained acceptance in the newsroom, when I was escorted off the premises of a hospital for interviewing an employee without permission. Nevermind the fact that before I visited this health establishment I had called the hospital repeatedly, trying to reach someone there to give an interview or give permission for me to be there. Some quick background info: the hospital was trying to ban a hotdog stand vendor from selling on the sidewalk next to the hospital, claiming the smoke from his stand was creating a health hazard. The city said "no dice" and let the guy keep his stand there. A year later, the hospital opened up their own…

A carful of teenage girls caught me singing along with "Peter Pumpkinhead" by XTC last night. I got mostly just a smile from the one girl. I tried to ignore them, but couldn't help smiling myself. I think the turned up volume made them notice my car next to theirs at the stop light. "Peter Pumpkinhead told the truth!"

Must Have Been That Combination of Chocolate and Beer

Phew! Did I have a bizarre string of dreams last night. I believe it started with me being in Buffalo by the waterfront (Lake Erie). It was night time, but I was going to surf with one of my friends (Shep). This is kind of funny since I don't surf and Lake Erie really isn't the kind of body of water you surf on anyway. I decided the waves were too small or something and wandered over to this group of people that were jamming on some musical instruments. I picked up this sawed off cello (sawed off at the top end of the neck) and started doing this slap thing with the bow against the strings. It was really cool sounding and the people I was jamming with thought so too. We took a break and I walked away, talking with Shep. He said the group, The Fleetwoods, wanted me to come jam with them at some club down the road. I kind of nodded and said that would be cool. Shep then got excited and mentioned that it was better t…
Chanteuse Extraordinaire

Matt and I saw Sarah Slean, The Doves, Danny Michel, and My Morning Jacket at The Water Street Music Hall on Saturday night. What an amazing concert! Sarah is just incredible. She really exuberated raw power and emotion during her performance. It felt good to see that kind of talent in person. The Doves were pretty cool too, but I had a hard time hearing the vocals. Whoever set up their sound didn't do their voices justice. There was a pretty cool light show and video backdrop during their performance. For a pre-concert interview with The Doves, click here.
Possible Terrorists in Lackawanna

I woke up Saturday morning at my parent's house in Rochester, shuffled downstairs, and was met by my dad saying, "Hey, Lackawanna made the news!" The news of suspected terrorists being arrested in Lackawanna surprised us since this is the city my dad grew up in and the place where my grandmother still lives. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the Yemeni population in Buffalo live in that city (according to the Democrat & Chronicle). While I don't believe all Yemenis are terrorists (same goes for any ethnic group), I wonder if the high concentration of Yemenis and proximity to the Canadian border made for the almost-perfect spot for those Yemeni-Americans arrested to seem unobtrusive. Think about it: if you were a terrorist and wanted to go unnoticed, wouldn't the best thing to do is blend in with your surroundings by being around people like you? If the six men arrested lived smack dab in the middle of white-bread America,…
We're In the Laundry Business

Matt's brother came over last night and helped set up our electrical line for the dryer. We now have a washer and dryer that work. Matt celebrated the moment by washing and drying several loads of dirty laundry. No more laundromats!

Pizza Party at Work

One of our secretaries won a pizza party from a local radio station that she entered back in March. Since the party was for up to 20 people, she invited the Law and Legislative Offices department to join us at noon today. I'm pretty psyched about it because I just ran out of "lunch makings" at home and I was getting a little tired of yogurt or cottage cheese for lunch. It's the little things that count sometimes. Plus, it's something to look forward to today. No one is really around in the office and I'm itching to get on the road as early as possible.

Off to do Advance Work for Spitzer

Lucky me gets to leave the office and go help with advance work for State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's visit(s) to the county. This is pretty cool since I've never met him, but have heard nice things about him. Things have been quiet around the office from my standpoint. My boss is going nuts with budget items, but that area doesn't concern me, so I kind of noodle around looking for things to do. I'm currently trying to figure out different things with my computer that in the end will make my life easier. Ha!

Traveling Again

Matt and I are going back to Rochester this weekend for the Clothesline festival. I mentioned this before but the weekend might have a nice twist to it. It turns out that Sarah Slean is also in town and I've always wanted to see her. If the show doesn't sell out, it would make for a very cool Saturday night. Plus, one of my friends who just moved to DC is in town and will be at that concert. Bon…
A Year Later

I've attended two memorial ceremonies today for the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Originally, I wasn't going to attend the one in Jamestown, but as I got ready this morning I realized I would regret it if I didn't go. I'm glad I did. It was a beautiful ceremony and it was nice to see some people I know there. The noon ceremony here in Mayville was shorter, but just as heart-felt. Last night I got to thinking about what we were all doing a year ago here in the offices. One thing that struck me was how we were glued to the television. I remember sitting down with my lunch of yogurt, fruit, and water. I knew I had to eat even though I didn't feel like it. It just didn't seem right to take in some nourishment, especially in front of a television spewing out so much tragedy. I've become a little interested of that snapshot in everyone's lives. The moment when they first hear the news. What were you doing when you found out? How …
A Lesson in New Buildings

I've been waiting the day they tear down my old elementary school and build a new version of it just down the hill from where it currently exists. The Democrat & Chronicle has a story today that says the District has to send that item to a referendum just in case the residents in the district aren't too thrilled with the idea of the school district spending even more money in an already very costly building project session. Blame New York State for that one. It may seem the easy thing to do, but really.. NYS screwed over several school districts across the state. They offered up this great building project incentive, offering up to 95% (I believe) reimbursed aid for districts wishing to engage in building construction. Schools across the state took the incentive and ran with it, even if they didn't need new buildings. Then the state reneged. Surprised? I'm not. The end result: districts had to raise taxes after promising this would…
Another Dark, Dusty Basement

Matt hooked up our washing machine on Saturday, so I ventured into our scary basement to help clean. Our basement isn't necessarily cluttered with stuff the way my parent's is/was (depending on your definition of cluttered). It's really dusty and full of cobwebs. I mean, really full of cobwebs. I went through with an old broom and just collected gobs and gobs of the stringy stuff. Ew. The floors are a mess as well since the concrete, or whatever stone it is, seems to be flaking away. I did wash two windows so that light could get in better and I also cleaned the sink in the bathroom. If the toilet worked, we'd have another bathroom in the house. Just perfect for those boozy parties where you don't want people tramping upstairs to puke. Of course, we never have those kinds of parties and most of our friends stop drinking long before they reach the puke stage. It would be nice if it worked. Oh, and if you're wondering why t…
City Now On-line

Rochester's self-proclaimed alternative newsweekly City is now available on-line. I browsed through it a bit to see how many articles they provided on-line. I particularly liked the fact that they include cover stories for the past couple months. Anyway, I believe Shep had mentioned something on his blog awhile ago that it would be nice if City was online
Is This America?

Thanks to Wil for this heads-up.

Overview of Changes to Legal Rights
By The Associated Press

September 5, 2002, 11:44 AM EDT

Some of the fundamental changes to Americans' legal rights by the Bush administration and the USA Patriot Act following the terror attacks:

* FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION: Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity to assist terror investigation.

* FREEDOM OF INFORMATION: Government has closed once-public immigration hearings, has secretly detained hundreds of people without charges, and has encouraged bureaucrats to resist public records requests.

* FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Government may prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone that the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.

* RIGHT TO LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Government may monitor federal prison jailhouse conversations between attorneys and clients, and deny lawyers to Americans accused…
Big Brother Is Watching Us

I knew there was a reason why I didn't like George W. Bush. Tom Paine gave me a much greater reason to not only dislike Dubya, but possibly fear his administration and what it's doing to this country. Go read it here.
A Girl's First Vibrator?

I'm admittingly a Harry Potter fan. My interest waned a bit since it's been so long since book 4 came out and we're all still waiting for book 5. Naturally, I had to laugh when I saw a link for the Nimbus 2000 on-line and then read the comments. I always knew our society was all about sex.
Quick Vacation Synopsis

I finally have a moment to breathe to get this down. Vacation was nice other than wishing it was longer. If you have the opportunity to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding, do it. It's hysterical. I saw it with Matt on Tuesday since it finally came to the Jamestown area. My trip to Skaneateles with my mom went well. We mostly window shopped there and had some pretty amazing ice cream. The trip to the Outlets in Waterloo (just off the New York State Thruway) was more successful. I bought a lot of nice work clothes for very nice prices. All items were under $20. That trend continued the next day when I got some preliminary Christmas shopping done and found more clothes for great prices. I spent more on the new Martha Grimes mystery than I did on a single piece of clothing! Oh happy day *smiles*

I did get to see a few friends, have few drinks of the alcoholic and caffiene-laden variety, hear some jazz music, and generally laugh a lot. The garage sale went…
Like, Finally Or Something

The Associated Press has put out a news article on Linguists Defending Teen's Use of "like". I never, like, realized the linguist complexities of that word. I mean, like, it totally goes against my ninth grade English teacher, like, said all the time. "It either is or isn't.. how can something be 'like something'?" Something like that.

Guilty Pleasure Comes to Buffalo

I may have missed this in the Buffalo News, but apparently MTV is filming the next "guilty pleasure" series at SUNY-UB. I first heard about it via my former neighbor, Janine, who is a freshman at UB. Her roommate had been asked if she was going to rush since the camera crews thought she would be a good person to film. That must mean she has a nice rack in addition to the fact that she already has blonde hair. I have friends who were addicted to that Sorority real life series this summer. This can't be good. Anyway, I have no doubt that Tom Calderone had a hand in getting this next installment filmed in Buffalo. It would be too much of a coincidence otherwise.
It's Over Already??

That vacation seriously needed to go for another four days (which would have brought me up to the weekend). I'm back now and have lots to tell since I didn't have time to blog last week (aside from Monday). Unfortunately, I have to go back to this thing called work. I ran into my supervisor at the Labor Day Festival and she said last week was "wild" and that they all missed me. It's nice to be needed *grins* More to follow.. maybe on my lunch..