Thursday, January 29, 2004

Slowly Conquering the Other 27

The red states represent where I've traveled in my lifetime.

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

30 Years of a Family Business, 10 Years of Redevelopment, and a 100-Year Old Historic Building Gone

Buffalo ABC affiliate, WKBW, has video available of last night's fire

Here's the local paper's story.

More Than 100 Battle Massive City Blaze
Post-Journal 1/29/04

Over 100 firefighters from eight departments battled a blaze that completely destroyed the El Greco furniture building on East First Street in Jamestown.

Flames raged for four hours Wednesday night while firefighters fought to maintain the stability of a crucial firewall and barrier for a dozen 129-year-old attached buildings known as the old Broadhead Mills complex.
Dozens of police officers, fire police and other support staff maintained a police barricade that closed East First, East Second and parts of East Third streets through the night. Dozens more people were evacuated from apartments and businesses along East Second Street and redirected to Jamestown High School's gymnasium.

By 10 p.m., Police Chief/Director of Public Safety William McLaughlin said decisions were being made ''minute by minute'' to coordinate firefighters in and out of the burning firewall area between the destroyed west end of the complex and the untouched buildings to the east.

''Asst. Fire Chief Lance Hedlund has had crews to the firewall and brought them back out because it became too dangerous,'' McLaughlin said. ''The most important thing at this point is supporting the fire wall. If that goes, the whole thing goes.''

McLaughlin said the city followed a coordinated plan to get personnel and equipment in place, with rotation of crews, refueling, evacuation and even snow removal as part of the operation. McLaughlin, Hedlund, county fire coordinators and other rescue crew managers set up a command post in the parking lot across the street from the fire department to maintain communications.

Hedlund gave commands to direct the firefight, while every Jamestown firefighter was called to duty and mutual aid in the form of equipment and crews came from departments in Lakewood, Celoron, Busti, Falconer, Gerry, Mayville and Fluvanna, with additional crews standing by from Kennedy, Falconer, Fredonia and Stockton. Jamestown's fire department's building was filled with trucks and personnel from all over the county.

If another ladder truck is needed, Battalion Chief Jim Winchester said, ''we'll have to go out of state (to Warren, Pa.) to get it.''

Salvation Army, American Red Cross and auxiliary volunteers set up tables filled with refreshments and plenty of hot coffee.

''We love the firefighters,'' Sandy Ahlgren of The Salvation Army said.

Elwood Ford said he was sitting in the Grog Shop with friends when they noticed five or six windows on the third floor of the Broadhead Mills Building on fire at about 6:55 p.m.

''There were a few windows broken out by the fire. Nobody called it in right away. It took about 25 minutes before anybody realized there was a fire back there,'' Ford said.

Ford said the first responders on the scene ''worked hard to get the fire out, but they needed more help.'' In addition, he said, the building did not have a sprinkler system in place.

Mayor Sam Teresi, who maintained a presence at the fire department throughout the emergency, said, ''Obviously, it's devastating - a substantial loss. What we are seeing here tonight, though, is the true meaning of community. We've had a tremendous response from firefighters. It's overwhelming to me to see this kind of mutual aid response. This is a textbook example of why we have mutual aid. My heart goes out to the building owner and the business owners and my admiration goes out to firefighters. This (fire) is going to take a couple of days of monitoring.''

By 11 p.m ., fire coordinators said crews were at the firewall to maintain its stability. One major structure - El Greco - was fully engulfed and destroyed from the fire wall west. Residents of apartments on East Second Street were still housed at the High School and the roads still blocked off to traffic.

''They (firefighters) are just deluging the fire wall with water, just dowsing it,'' McLaughlin said.

Former fire chief Charles Hajduk said coordinators were already planning the clean-up schedule in order to coordinate things like removing hoses that will be frozen to the ground by the time the fire is out.

''Right now they are rotating crews to get firefighters who have been out there for a few hours back in here for some coffee and warm up. It's cold and wet out there and these guys are tired,'' he said. ''They'll need to get other crews out there to replace them and so on. It's all a matter of protecting that fire wall. If the fire wall is breached, it's all over.''

Hajduk said people will be allowed to return to their homes at the command of Asst. Fire Chief Hedlund.

''When he feels the fire is under control and considers things like whether the utilities are on in the apartments. Everybody is going to have roily water in the morning,'' he said.

How Can We Sleep While Our Beds Are Burning?

One-quarter. 1/4. That's the portion of downtown Jamestown that burned down tonight. It seems like an exageration, but it's pretty close to the truth. On 1st Street, the El Greco baby furniture building is GONE. Just gone. It's pretty terrible. I'll update you more tomorrow when I can post some news links.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

More Precious Than a Heart of Gold...

I'm super-psyched that the song, "Kiss At The End of the Rainbow" from A Mighty Wind is up for an Oscar for best original song in a movie. This was such a great movie and I'm glad that it at least got a nomination. My mom, who hasn't seen the movie yet, thought the soundtrack was great. She's a Peter, Paul, & Mary; and Beach Boys fan, of course. Me? It's kitsch, so therefore it's cool. Also, you can't help but feel all patriotic when you hear the title track to the film. That or giggle a little.

Super, Sexy Serious!

Serious Orlando

What Orlando Bloom are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

So Should I Not Be Singing the Line "...You pass to left, then you sail to the right.."?

Good. You know your music. You should be able to
work at Championship Vinyl with Rob, Dick and

Do You Know Your Music (Sorry MTV Generation I Doubt You Can Handle This One)
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Thursday, January 22, 2004

Shaken, Not Stirred

I had a serious shaking-fist-at-the-sky moment just a little bit ago. I was reading some of the news sites I peruse throughout the day when my eye caught an article about musical group, Pink Martini. At first I thought it was a review of a new bar in Rochester, but read on to find out this group is playing with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra tomorrow night and Saturday. The review piqued my interest and then I listened to some sound clips on This is when the fist-shaking began. I almost audibly uttered, "Why? Why must I live so far away! It just sounds so cool!" Then I calmed down and decided to add Pink Martini's cd Sympathique to my wishlist as an alternative to suddenly dragging Matt to Rochester with me on Saturday to see this group. I imagine when he reads this he will be thanking me for keeping my head somewhat.

Get the Real Stuff Next Time

So I decided to try my variation on coke with lime and Tanqueray last night when Matt and I joined some friends for a drink at a local bar. The drink fell flat. It just didn't have that taste I was expecting. Of course the bar doesn't have the new diet Coke with lime, so it wasn't going to be an exact test. Guess I need to go buy some Tanqueray and the new diet Coke. I suppose the plus side was the drink performed adequately in the raising blood alcohol level department. Two drinks and I was done. Woke up this morning wishing we hadn't stayed out to 1:30am. End of story there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Tick Tock

I can't sleep.

I blame the half a bottle of diet Coke with lime while doing chores around the house and talking on the phone with a couple of people. Caffiene too late at night seems to have an ill effect on me at times. Wait. That should be a good thing. Unfortunately, tonight wasn't a night where I needed some all-night-juice. I think I'm also a little worked up over the fact that my aunt is coming for dinner and staying overnight tomorrow (today) night. I confirmed this at 9pm earlier tonight, so a quick cleaning frenzy ensued. Fortunately, the house wasn't in that bad of shape. I just needed to wash some bedding and vacuum some floors. It's all good.

Side note: I must get some Tanqueray and more diet Coke with Lime, because I have a sneaky suspicion that a mix of the two might create my new favourite beverage.

So I become a part-time employee this week. I broke out of my funk from a post or two earlier and made some much needed phone calls and visits to some of my contacts. I have my fingers crossed on one position. The salary alone was reason enough to apply. There are other interesting aspects too. We'll see how it goes. Otherwise, I will be working two and half days less a week and essentially still have the same job responsibilities. We'll see how fast that gets old. I'm truly doubting I will be able to get everything done that needs to be done. It will be interesting.

I am remarking to myself the almost sudden departure I've taken in not talking about work. I've refrained in the past, and I will continue not to speak directly to a lot of what I do and go through in the daily working world. But since what's going on now has so much impact, it's difficult not to at least mention it from time to time.

My life is rated R.
What is your life rated?

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Schmoozing Your Way Into A Job

Even though unemployment lurks eleven months down the road, I'm not particularly in the mood to put on the super-schmooze act to get myself a job. I'd say I'm borderline sabotaging a shot at one job by not writing a thank-you note to the person that interviewed me. Not that it all hinges on a note, but it's certainly an aspect of interview etiquette that I have not followed through on.

I suppose the worst crime is that I have a bountiful collection of people I can use as references, letter of recommendation writers, and general "She has excellent qualifications, you should hire her" sources. Have I thoroughly tapped that? Not even close. Part of the problem is knowing what to say to them. I'm currently faced with cold-calling one person to ask them to put a good word in for me so I can get an interview with one organization. How do you start that one off, especially if you don't call or talk to this person on a regular basis? "Hi, how are you? I need you to put a good word in for me with this job." Maybe it is that easy. Or maybe I'm just burned out enough and yearning for some downtime that I would "unwittingly" take the sort of action or inaction that would lead to a situation a part of my brain says is desirable.

I think I need a head check. Cue "Where's Your Head At?" by Basement Jaxx...

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Pictures With Words

The D&C had their staff of photographers put together their top five photographs for 2003. The cool factor is that the photographers recorded audio for the first picture, explaining how the shot came about and why they liked it.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Power Play Goal Puts Sabres Over Senators

There are some games you just WISH you could have been at. Like the best game Biron ever had a couple nights ago. And then last night's where the Sabres ended the Senators' unbeaten streak. Only because Rory scored the winning goal. Well, that's not the only reason but it was pretty damn exciting to see on the news.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Where's The Love?

Maybe it's age. Maybe it's cynacism. Whatever it is, somewhere along the way I lost my uber-sappy-gene. Maybe I just got bored with being "sappier than a freshly cut Georgia Long Pine" over everything. Being sappy, whether it's being directed at a love interest or the latest romance book/movie/idea, is truly an adolescent trait. I hear the word "sappy" and it makes me think of Kelley making me a "Boy-Lover" button to wear in 7th grade. It also reminds me of a valentine I made for a former boyfriend. It was supposed express my love and what he meant to me. Lots of lyrics to songs and snippets of poetry. It was so mushy that it could have beat school mashed potatoes in a consistency test. The whole "Georgia Long Pine" phrase comes from either Matt F. or Ryan from when I dated their friend, Ben. I think they directed that term toward him since we were pretty hopeless in our sappiness for each other. Then I got cynical. I was involved in a couple of relationships that had odd endings. Not all bad, but not wonderful. Of course, Alanis Morisette, Poe, and Liz Phair with their men-must-have-their-privates-cut-off songs fueled my mood. Poor Matt just misses out on all that Hallmark happiness. Not that he doesn't get a sappy card on major holidays from me. I just don't go to crazy, sappy lengths that I used to back in the day.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Que Es La Verdad?

My Spanish is rusty but the subject line should translate to: "What is the truth?" In Spain, this is a top question, especially as
blogs become a true news source (courtesy of Wired). I would say the same thing is happening in this country. When it comes to traditional paper/tv/radio news, are we getting the full story? Not that you can find the whole truth online, but at least it's a venue where you have a better shot at finding all angles of a story.

Ryan S for Deputy Commissioner of Tailgating!

Okay, I'm a bit slow on the up-take on this since all my sinus sickness prevented me from being able to look a computer screen head-on for almost two days. Anyway!

My buddy Shep is in the running to become the Deputy Commissioner of Tailgating. Shep is a pretty cool guy and an excellent cook. In light of this, y'all should head on over to The section you want is at the bottom of the page (toward the right). I'd appreciate it if you lent your support. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Snow Burst

The first serious bands of lake effect snow off Lake Erie for the new year closed schools in the north county and caused my boss to declare the incelment weather policy for our offices. I heard this just before I got on the expressway this morning, but trudged onward anyway. I knew the weather would get worse I got closer to work, but figured that no one else would show up since they all lived along the lake shore. I was partially right. Our main secretary caught a bus home and my boss was forced to turn around before he got far from his house due to visibility problems. Needless to say, the snow is staying north of here and the sun is attempting to shine.

One of my co-workers asked why I came in. I responded that the roads weren't too terrible yet and I surmised it was better than sitting at home and raising my chances of catching the flu from Matt. Instead, I'm nursing my ailing sinuses here at work. A classmate in my interpersonal communications class in college came in one day with a bottle of water and a bottle of honey. He was in a play that required him to yell a lot. His voice was about shot and he alternated guzzling water with pouring honey directly down his throat. Remembering this, I brought a bottle of locally-made, clover honey to work and enjoying the soothing qualities it has. I would put it in tea, but I haven't found the will to leave my desk at the moment. Instead I'm using my time to catch up on some work and read L'Affaire. I suppose it's books like this that remind me why it would be nice to visit France, but living there is totally out of the question.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

Fitzpatrick Scores First Goal of Season

I wasn't at last night's game, but I kind of got the feeling at Friday night's game that Rory just might score another goal. Well, it finally happened.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Well Ring A Ding Ding!

So I'm wishing you all a Happy New Year and stuff and wondering how the hell I'm going to cure my darn earworm of "Hey Ya!" by the Outkast when I realize that in less than eight months I'll be married. While pondering my demise as a singleton, I also realize that 2003 was not always the most damn fine year I had come across. On the otherhand, karma speaks louder than words so the rollercoaster that the year was all seems to be in balance in the end.

Things to be happy about? First and foremost, my engagement to a guy who happens to be the best match I've ever come across. The verdict is still out on whether we'll procreate, but otherwise we've found excellent ways of putting up with each other's shite so why not seal the deal?

And in no particular order, other bouts of happiness realized came in the form of my best friend's wedding, a trip to the Maritimes, Canada with my parents and grandmother, a trip to Wilmington, NC to meet Matt's brother, claiming victory once more with the re-election of Matt's boss, the Sabres playing in Rochester, the release of the fifth Harry Potter book, a trip to NYC to do wedding shopping, discovering Coldplay, seeing my cousin Bill for the first time in about 10 years and meeting his partner, Bob; my cousin, Karen's wedding; The Da Vinci Code, getting John Flansberg's autograph, the Fountains of Wayne new album, the release of Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns on DVD, a bevy of good films including Bend It Like Beckham, A Mighty Wind, Love, Actually and Pirates of The Caribbean; and many other items.

Away, Away

We're on a mini-vaca in an area where they're experiencing forest fires (thanks asshole arsonist). It's an area that makes Clift...