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Showing posts from September, 2003

Hurrican Juan Inflicts Damage on Halifax

I'm always surprised how stories that happen outside the United States get glossed over by our media. Example:
Halifax sustained major damage due to Hurricane Juan. Having visited Halifax, Nova Scotia this summer, I can tell you that this isn't just some little city in rural Canada. Maybe I missed the story on the networks, but a quick look at Yahoo! supplies nothing in terms of stories on this. So if I was to be a pessimist of a sort my line of thinking would be if it doesn't affect the U.S.A. then our media doesn't give a shirt. Unless it's an earthquake.

A Quick Change of Plans

Had you told me on Friday night that in 24 hours I would be in Cleveland, hanging out with Heidi, Kevin, Beth, and people's I would have thought you daft. But of course, that's what happened.

Around 1pm on Saturday I got the "bug." It's the kind of thing where I know I can get out of the house, need to get out of the house, and just go. Anywhere. I convinced Matt that this was a good idea and while tossing around suggestions like Rochester, Cleveland, anywherebuthere, until we finally settled on Cleveland. I reserved a room online while Matt showered, I packed and showered, he packed, and we left. I was pushing for Cleveland the whole time actually since I was hoping we could see Heidi & Kevin. Knowing, of course, that they've been busy, had company, and had no idea that we had embarked on a 2 1/2 drive out their way. For the run down of the conversation between Heidi and me when we got closer to Cleveland read Heidi's post on her blog. I sho…

A True "Beverage" Connoisseur Event

I was alerted by the D&C about an almighty festival happening in Denver, CO this week. The Great American Beer Festival. Matt and I decided it sounds pretty cool and one year we may try to make it there. It's a little intimidating when you start thinking of how many styles of beer these 350 breweries will have on hand for tasting. And I admit my tolerance level would be my downfall in the quest to sample to my heart's content. It's definitely one of those times when you start drinking early, in moderation, and often.

And courtesy of Wil, a little related humour:

The leaders of the big beer companies meet for a drink. The president of Budweiser orders a Bud, the CEO of Miller gets a Miller, the head of Coors orders a Coors, and so on. Until it's Arthur Guinness's turn. He orders a soda.

"Why didn't you order a Guinness?" everyone asks.

Guinness replies, "if you guys aren't having beer, then neither will I."

Babs Hit it On the Nose (no pun intended)

Via Drudge:

The Myth of "Big Government" ...Barbra Streisand
Posted on September 25, 2003

What is "Big Government?" We've been conditioned to believe these are bad words - but when Hurricane Isabel ripped through the East Coast last week, leaving many homes and businesses significantly damaged in its wake, Bush told disaster relief workers and governors of the affected states, "If you need help, let us know." This was not Bush showing his "compassionate" side... this is what the federal government does -it helps people in need. Contrary to Republican slogans against "Big Government" or "Tax and Spend Liberals," if you look at the reality, government spending is a key part of what makes this country function and provides the services that Americans both depend on and take for granted.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency Bush extolled in the Southeast this week, is designed to help Americans in crise…

Their Money's Worth..

The taxpayers certainly got their money's worth from me yesterday. We're in the midst of wrapping up the proposed budget for next year, and that includes various messages and letters that need to go out or be announced. I clocked out at 10:40pm after finishing up a radio address and was back here bright and early at 9am to continue work on the press release. I figure I should get some comp time out of this, but with election season AKA silly season upon us, I highly doubt any time I can get off from work will matter in the end. And we won't even get into possible headaches this budget could cause me personally.

Vatican May Limit Girls' Role in Mass

I'm, what's generally termed, a "recovering catholic," so a Washington Post article about theVatican Possibly limiting Girls' Role in Mass angers me. I'm not a religious person, but I was an altar girl for five years. If this proposal goes through it's just another reason to condemn the Catholic Church for their short-sightedness. I was lucky enough to be brought up in a liberal Catholic church, so it wasn't as horrible as some churches. It still felt stifling enough for me to leave.

Silver Lining of a Different Kind

Last week, a little more than a month before my 27th birthday, I found a long, gray hair. It's right near the front and is almost visible when I have my hair parted down the middle. When I first saw it while looking in the mirror in the ladies' room at work, I thought my eyesight was deceiving me. I compared it to some strands of hair that had been highlighted back in March. The grim difference is that the silver went right to my root. I had one of the clerks from the Legislative offices take a look and she confirmed my fear. She admonished me not to pull it out, which I had no intention of doing since I rather have my hair grow in gray than lose it. The thought of coloring my hair when the wedding gets closer crossed my mind, but I rather like my natural highlights and don't want to lose that just to hide a few gray hairs. I'm sure many women have had that inward and outward groan of dismay when they realied the Gray Monster was stealthily making its home on t…

Mushy-Gushy Over Sports

I'm not a sports fan. Sure, I enjoy hockey, but by all rites I am not a sports fan. With this in mind, it was odd to find me getting a little mushy over a television tribute to the Buffalo Auditorium that Sabres Owner Tom Golisano put together and aired on Buffalo tv stations yesterday. The tribute seemed a little contrived at times with former Sabres and current Sabres trying to have some back-and-forth talk. It wasn't completely natural, but then these guys are paid the big bucks to kick arse on ice, not to showcase their skills at happy talk. And I could have done without this wave-action effect they had going on with the cameras. It wasn't a, take a shot at person talking and switch to larger shot of both guys talking, back to shot of second guy talking. It was a bob and weevil between the two speakers and an almost drunken wobble on whoever was speaking. Regardless, it was still a nice tribute.

A Personal Hell

It's all in good fun people. Just laugh, ok?

Circle I LimboGangs
Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy WindCreationists
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & SnowRepublicans
Circle IV Rolling WeightsGeorge Bush
Circle V Stuck in Mud, MangledRiver StyxNAMBLA Members
Circle VI Buried for EternityRiver PhlegyasOverzealous Religious Types, KKK
Circle VII Burning SandsDick Kimball
Circle IIX Immersed in ExcrementAnti-Semites
Circle IX Frozen in IceDesign your own hell

What's the Truth, Really?

Our office follows the statistics the state gives us on unemployment figures, but tends to take them with a grain of salt. This is especially true after our economic development office was contacted by the state and asked if we could help provide any job gains/losses figures. It turned out the state apparently doesn't really have a concise way to track those figures or they just take a guess every month. We don't know. None of this adds up to us taking much stock in figures that seem to be politically manipulated depending on how it will benefit the powers that be. For a quick look into what I'm talking about, take a look at this story in the Buffalo News on the slowing of job losses in the region. Jamestown has been flat or in the positive range for most of this year for jobs and generally well ahead of the Western New York region. Now, all of a sudden, just in time for an election in the city, we've apparently had job losses and have fallen behind Buffalo for …
You're Most Like The Season Autumn ...

You're warm, and the most approachable. You have
that gentle prescence about you. People can
relate to you, and find you easy company.
However it's likely you've been hurt in the
past and it has left you scarred so things can
become rather chilly with you at times. Being
the third Season in, you're mature, trustworthy
and loyal to your friends but prone to
depression and negative thinking.

Well done... You're the shy and sensitive season :)

?? Which Season Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla

A Stillness Before the Howl

It was unbelievably quiet as I left work today. No birds, bugs, or any other noise aside from some traffic. I suppose all the animals got the message and are holed up and just waiting for the wind and rain to arrive. The leading edges of the storm have already started to produce some sprinklesi n the area and it's cloudy. The wind hasn't picked up yet, which just adds to eerieness of it all. I'm about to head to a Labor dinner and I assume that the rain will be in full progress by the time I get out.

In good news, our friends, Chuck & Lori, "escaped" from Washington DC since our national government has shut down in advance of the storm. I'm hoping that Matt will feel up to getting drinks with them later tonight. Ahh.. friends, storms, fall weather... it's all good.

Seasoning the Melody

I heard a snippet of blues-ey jazz following the news this morning on the radio and immediately thought of sunny, warm, Autumn Saturdays when you're bustling around the house getting chores done. Then I thought of other songs and the seasonal associations I attach to them. For instance, I can't hear anything by Tom Petty without thinking of early September. And it never truly seems like Christmas time until I've listened to Enya's Sheperd Moons. Here's a quick personal list of songs/albums/artists and seasonal, or other, associations:

Crowded House - "Recurring Dream: The Best of..": March, April
Liz Phair - Whip Smart: May, first warm spring breezes wafting through dorm room
Dire Straits - "Sultans of Swing": Summertime
U2 - Joshua Tree: Late August, warm days and cool nights crusing with the windows down
Tom Petty (all but especially) - Into The Great Wide Open: early September, Fall
They Might Be Giants - "Snail Shell": Post-Lab…

Agnes v. Isabel

I'm not the only one who has wondered about whether Hurricane Isabel will be anything like Agnes. Of course, I figured out yesterday that the storms couldn't be more different path-wise. Regardless, this Buffalo News story is still good and gives some interesting accounts of the 1972 storm.

Hurricanes of Thought

I've been watching the developments of Hurricane Isabel with some interest. Mostly because some computer models show the remnants of the storm eventually passing right through the Southern Tier area between Friday and Saturday. This made me wonder if this was similar at all to what Hurricane Agnes did in 1972. Quick research shows the storms were very dissimilar. On the other hand, Drudge provides a link suggesting Isabel is more like the Hurricane of 1938. Either way, it's cause for worry. Matt's brother and family lives in Wilmington, NC while Rochester Matt has family in Amityville, NY and Providence, RI. And I won't get into the countless people I know in the Washington DC area that probably would be affected by heavy rain.

Alternatives to Kazaa

I've started researching music download programs since the RIAA has been successful in spooking me with their heavy-handed tactics toward sueing people. Since I use RealOne Player for just about everything I do audio-wise on the computer, I received one of their promotion emails for the Rhapsody program. I checked it out and if I was simply interested in listening to any artist I could imagine, this may be the service for me. It's $9.99 a month with a free two-week trial period. The service also allows you to download CD quality music for $0.79 a song.

So I started doing some math. If I downloaded about 18 songs a month (about what I can fit on a CD) and was a member for a year, each CD would cost me $24. However, if I download 72 songs (the equivalent of 4 CDs) in the free two-week trial, then it would have only cost me $14.22 per CD. But a very personalized CD. I know it's sort of scamming the system, but they still get my money either way. I guess I'm look…

"The remedy is the experience. It is a dangerous liaison."

The stress levels are ever increasing at work and at home. Budget and politics. I would say it's two different things, but when you break it down, it's mostly politics. It's ugly. This election season has great potential to be one of the ugliest ones I've seen in terms of the Legislature and how they react and handle the 2004 Budget proposal(s). I could be surprised, and that would be a nice change. In the meantime, I'm planning on dealing with it by doing something that many women turn to when the stress levels increase. I'm going shopping. More specifically, I'm going shopping with Matt to Erie, PA. I feel like a traitor since I know for a fact that retail shops are suffering in this county due to the elimination of our tax-free status on clothes and the quarter-increase in sales tax put on us by the state. However, I have my own budget to consider. And I need selection. Three things I need. New shoes, a new purse, and some work clothes. I s…

The People's Blog

The Internet Gods have smiled on me and I've been able to read Lileks for the past few weeks again. For some reason, whenever I tried to pop over to his site I would get that error code. You know the one.

Anyway, I copy for you this excerpt:

Tonight we had chicken. Free-range, antibiotic free, low-stress, non GMO-grain-fed chicken. It was horrible. It was like eating chicken-flavored Silly Putty. I blame the marinade. But of course I always do; that's my easy out. What, Iran has nukes? J'accuse le marinade! Gnat ate all her chicken, and inquired: "what's for dessert, father?"; (I love that. Sometimes she calls me "Papa,"; which makes me feel like Kindly Gepetto; when she calls me "Father"; I feel like a Victorian patriarch.)

"Kosher Ice Cream,"; I said.

"Kosha izescheme?";

"Yes."; It was left over from the quasi-kosher meal I made for Medved et al a few weeks ago. I completely forgot about dessert. Since you don&…

Hanging Up the Clothesline

I will be making my mostly annual trip to Rochester this weekend for the Clothesline Festival on Saturday. This year will be a bit different as I will be stopping first in Brockport tonight for EagleFest '03. I'm going for the music actually, and hopefully to connect with some friends. I'm hoping that since I came into work early today (by mistake) that I will be able to leave early, thus seeing part of my friend Darren's band, Veluxe, perform at the festival. Otherwise, I'll be all around this weekend I imagine. A trip to Rochester is starting to become incomplete if I don't catch a film at The Little and coffee at Java's. The only problem is that I really want to see at least four people while I'm in town (if not more). Let's see how much I can cram into one weekend!

Back To School Envy

Even though it meant homework, projects, boring classes, and anxiety, I always looked forward to going back to school after summer vacation. Sure there were the moment where I didn't want my endless days of freedom (AKA babysitting for money) to end, but for the most part I really looked forward to school. First off, it meant new clothes. In other words, it meant that maybe if I studied that fall issue of Seventeen magazine hard enough and pleaded with my mom enough, I might just get that hot look for back to school. And maybe, just maybe, people will think I'm a little bit cooler than the year before. I was, admittingly, a bit of a geek throughout school. I liked to read and I was a music nerd. I also didn't live very close to a lot of my friends, so school meant seeing everyone after a long summer. It meant jokes around the lunch table and swooning over new crushes in the hallways. It meant gossip. I still love good gossip and news. So yesterday made me feel a…

Bizarre, Tragic Happenings in Erie, PA

I first heard about this story about a pizza delivery man died after a bomb attached to him went off when Matt and I went out for drinks with our media friends. They hadn't aired the story on our local news, even though we're only 47 miles from Erie, PA. I chastised them nicely since this is a big story and Erie is kind of in our market. It's truly bizarre though. It seems to me that some third entity was involved here. I guess we'll hear more over the next couple weeks. I'll never think of Peach Street the same way. Before Thursday it was a treasure trove of big box stores like Target, Lowe's, Kohl's, Barnes & Nobles, Krispy Kremes, and the like. Today, home to unfortunate men who rob banks with bombs attached to them. I guess we all have our Nushawn's (may require registration).