Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Empty Suit

The guy running against our current County Executive has been described by several people I know as "an empty suit." I'm always willing to listen to other candidate's ideas and plans, but Greg Edwards proved he's an idiot this week. I apologize for the harshness of that statement, but when he began railing against Mark Thomas' efforts in regards to Medicaid reform, he showed that not only doesn't he pay attention to current events, he has no clue what's been happening in county government. See the September 27th entry on this page for his "Medicaid Reform" statement.

Fortunately, Mr. Thomas fired back on his blog regarding this issue.

I'll add that at a "meet the candidates" event, Edwards was asked what he would do to make sure what happened in Erie County didn't happen here in Chautauqua County. I'm told by people at that event that the color drained from Edwards' face and he stumbled through a response. They said it was very apparent that he hadn't anticipated a question like that. I think that's very telling in itself. Hopefully the rest of the voters in this county see it too.

I officially endorse Democrat Mark Thomas for Chautauqua County Executive in this November's elections.

As if there was any doubt that I would.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Arrrghh.. Matey!

Ahoy! Tis Talk Like a Pirate Day!



My pirate name is:


Dirty Jenny Cash



You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. You're musical, and you've got a certain style if not flair. You'll do just fine. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from fidius.org.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pure Nerd
82 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 26% Dork
For The Record:



A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.



You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.



The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally
smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up
all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer.
Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more
so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be
replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST



My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 91% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 57% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 36% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pressing Matters of National Security

Thanks to Wonkette and Reuters, we have a more clear idea of what was on President Bush's mind at the Security Council meeting at the 2005 World Summit and 60th General Assembly of the United Nations. I am sympathetic since having the "urge" come on in a meeting you can't leave always sucks.




Credit: Reuters

Addendum: Apparently the note was photoshopped, but not the message part.

Passing Time

An idea from Meg.

Twenty years ago this month, in 1985, I began third grade at our middle/elementary school. This is the first time students can buy their lunch.

Fifteen years ago this month, in 1990, I began 8th grade. For the first time in my life, I "knew what I wanted to be when I grew up": a music teacher.

Ten years ago this month, in 1995, I started college at Baldwin-Wallace as a Music Education major.

Five years ago this month, in 2000, I was a radio news reporter/anchor for a local radio station. My future-husband announced he was leaving his news reporter job and taking a job in government.

Today, I'm doing public relations for a not-for-profit and some radio bits.

I still think of August and September as the beginning of a new year more so than January 1st. There's still enough that's happened in my life to reflect this line of thought.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Orangeville

Matt and I spent a lovely weekend in Orangeville, Ontario visiting our friends, Christa & Stewart. Since Kodak has done some fancy upgrading of EasyShare, I was able to easily upload all our pictures from the trip. No captions yet, but still worth looking at the fantastic scenery and downtown areas. The picture to the left was taken from the top of Mono Cliffs. We had hiked several kilometers before reaching the pond below, and then we hiked up to the outlook where this picture was taken.

Photo Album Here.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Impeachment Would Be A Good Start

I'm absolutely furious with the current administration. It was obvious from the get-go that the response to Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath was severely lacking. You may disagree, but here is a timeline of events that shows the incompetance of this president and his administration. Immediate dismissal of staff, such as Condoleeza Rice, Michael Brown, and Mike Chertoff; with the commencement of impeachment proceedings would seem pretty rational right now. Of course, this is just another piece of evidence of why Bush should be impeached, not the sole reason.

Friday, September 02, 2005

"One of the best concerts I've ever been to" - Matt

Until we go to the U2 concert in December, Matt has proclaimed last night's Coldplay concert the best concert he's ever seen. I've had the privilege to enjoy some fantastic performances by musical acts in my lifetime including Soul Coughing, Rusted Root, Tori Amos, and Def Leppard. This will rank near the very top in terms of quality of musicianship, stage show, and general good vibe at the concert. I got a little emotional when "Politik" came on since that was the song that sealed the deal for me when I saw it performed at the Grammy's back in 2003. When you live in Western New York, you can never be sure that you'll get to see your favorite bands perform live, and when you do get the chance it can be magical.

Here's the review in today's Buffalo News:

Coldplay is hot
Band brings passion to show that possesses feel of arena rock


By JEFF MIERS
News Pop Music Critic
9/2/2005

Based solely on its recorded output, Coldplay should be at once praised for bringing sensitive guy rock and an impeccable sense of melody back to the mainstream, and cursed for it.

There is the tendency for cookie-cutter bands to ride the wake of successful artists, and with Coldplay's success, that has meant a whole lot of overly earnest rock music that takes itself far more seriously than it should.

Coldplay's recent release, "X&Y," fits that mold, even though it would be ridiculous to accuse the quartet of copying itself. It has seemed imperative for something dark, edgy and ugly to break through the veneer of politeness that coats the band's records, as great as they are, harmonically and melodically. Remember, this is why punk rock showed up in the first place; things were getting much too safe, much too clean and neat.

Happily, on Thursday evening, before what sure looked like a sold-out Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Coldplay kicked whatever preconceptions might exist firmly and squarely in the buttocks, and proceeded to put on a highly impassioned, incredibly tight arena-rock show, with only a few missteps.

Most of these had to do with pacing. On occasion, tunes with similar tempos and all but dynamic blueprints butted up against each other, and that reduced the impact of both of them. But largely, Coldplay satisfied on the very level that the band is hoping to reach - the arena of large-scale, populist, mainstream rock music.

Opening with what can only be described as an incredibly powerful right-hand cut to the cranium, the band gave us the lead-off track from "X&Y," "Square One," and then proceeded directly into the rallying call that is "Politik," the tune that was more than likely the port-of-entry for at least half of Thursday's crowd.

Combined with what was surely one of the most exciting light shows this side of Pink Floyd, this opening was simply astounding.

It didn't let up from there, as "Yellow," the band's first hit, from its major-label debut, "Parachutes," was given an added kick singer/pianist Chris Martin's strapping on of a Vox Teardrop electric, and fat yellow balloons were blown into the crowd from the rear of the amphitheater.

Guitarist John Buckland is the guy providing the majority of the harmonic information, and he should be praised.He also sang harmony, as did uber-tight and incredibly driving bassist Guy Berryman and drummer Will Champion, who relentlessly drove this band throughout the show.

There were the requisite ballads, of course, at which Coldplay excels. There is always the presence of U2 hanging over this band, which is a bit unfair for a group touring behind its third record. But Coldplay welcomes this sort of comparison, and the band's desire to wear its heart on its sleeve, to create populist art that can somehow touch people deeply, and encourage sing-alongs that aren't completely mindless and cheesy is to be commended.

"Speed of Sound" was killer, and "Everything's Not Lost" and "Swallowed In the Sea" truly impressed, as Martin, at the piano, led the group through elegant chord changes that screamed of empathy and pathos. If we didn't know what for, we still felt it.

And that's the case with Coldplay now. The band is no longer a hipster Brit-pop act. It has gone mainstream, and has made every attempt to take its integrity along with it for the ride. In this, the band is succeeding on the same level as its biggest heroes, U2. Its music comes to life, and it touches the life of the listener.


And from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle:

September 2, 2005
Coldplay proves it deserves its fame
Jeff Spevak
Staff music critic

Oasis, Blur, Radiohead: Let's put 'em all on an island with some rusty pitchforks and have us a Battle of the Brit-Pop Burnouts.

But not Coldplay.

These guys are as real as U2.

Some 16,000 came out Thursday night at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center to see the much-hyped melodic-rock wunderkinds. Surely no one walked away without wondering how Coldplay could have gotten so good, so fast.

Like U2's recent tours, Coldplay's stage set was all business. The guitars, keyboards and drum kit sat on a stark stage, like a tray full of surgical instruments, backed by an array of penetrating lights and a huge video screen, projecting images often every bit as obtuse as Coldplay's lyrics.

Taking the stage in front of this huge screen, Coldplay looked like shadow puppets moving jerkily before a huge digital-clock countdown.

The video screen also engaged in a bit of mass-crowd prompting, urging people to get out their cameras and, at a countdown, snap a photo of the band.

The venue twinkled with tiny blue-white flashes.

Like U2's Bono, Coldplay's Chris Martin is a mesmerizing front man, although the guy he's really the most like is the Tragically Hip's Gordon Downie.

Martin's favorite move is a one-footed bounce, but he also skips lightly about, drops to his knees, gestures toward the sky, windmills like a little kid, plays acoustic guitar for "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face," and rocks furiously on the piano stool for Coldplay's grand "Politik" and "Clocks."

Grand. Like U2, that's the word for Coldplay's songs. Vast soundscapes accompanied by Martin's onstage dramatics and soaring vocals. The dynamics ebb and flow within each song, a crash and then a whisper. For "Yellow," huge yellow balloons drifted down from the pavilion rafters onto the crowd, which batted them about until they discovered that popping the things released a shower of confetti.

Like U2, Coldplay's four members — Martin plus guitarist Jon Buckland, drummer Will Champion and bassist Guy Berryman — have distinct personalities of their own. Despite the fact that they were each wearing all-black outfits.

It's all happening fast for Coldplay. The band's 2002 album, A Rush of Blood to the Head, seemed a tough masterpiece to follow, but the new X&Y does the trick.

Fast, but unlike U2's Bono, Martin hasn't had a meeting yet with the pope. He is, however, married to Gwyneth Paltrow, which must be something of a religious experience.

An acoustic set included a tribute to Johnny Cash and his "Ring of Fire."

Martin's gymnastics also included climbing one of the tall support posts in the middle of the pavilion and engaging the crowd in a call-and-response sing-along during "In My Place."

Martin's self-effacing humor also included a comment that Coldplay was voted "Ugliest rock band" by the British public. "We're not the Backstreet Boys," Martin said.

Rilo Kiley was yet more evidence as to why you should never miss an opening band that you've never heard of.

A six-piece trip-pop with a trumpeter and female lead singer in calf-high white socks, Rilo Kiley's ragtime groove was curious and exotic, like a wedding band at Roger Vadim's wedding. While few of us have entry into the world of French film producers, I'd pay money to see this outfit play in a club.

Across the board, Thursday was perhaps the finest hour or three of rock this summer.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Songs I Actually Liked

I graduated from high school in 1995. I'm doubtful that my class will have any kind of 10-year reunion at this point. Part me is a little sad, while the other part says, "Thank god! Now I don't have to worry it." In the meme-scheme of things, here is the top 100 songs of 1995. I've bolded the songs I actually like:

1. Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio
2. Waterfalls, TLC
3. Creep, TLC
4. Kiss From A Rose, Seal
5. On Bended Knee, Boyz II Men
6. Another Night, Real McCoy
7. Fantasy, Mariah Carey
8. Take A Bow, Madonna
9. Don't Take It Personal (Just One Of Dem Days), Monica
10. This Is How We Do It, Montell Jordan
11. I Know, Dionne Farris
12. Water Runs Dry, Boyz II Men
13. Freak Like Me, Adina Howard
14. Run-Around, Blues Traveler
15. I Can Love You Like That, All-4-One
16. Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?, Bryan Adams
17. Always, Bon Jovi
18. Boombastic / In The Summertime, Shaggy
19. Total Eclipse Of The Heart, Nicki French
20. You Gotta Be, Des'ree
21. You Are Not Alone, Michael Jackson
22. Hold My Hand, Hootie and The Blowfish
23. One More Chance-Stay With Me, Notorious B.I.G.
24. Here Comes The Hotstepper, Ini Kamoze
25. Candy Rain, Soul For Real
26. Let Her, w Hootie and The Blowfish
27. I Believe, Blessid Union Of Souls
28. Red Light Special, TLC
29. Runaway, Janet Jackson
30. Strong Enough, Sheryl Crow
31. Colors Of The Wind, Vanessa Williams
32. Someone To Love, Jon B.
33. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and The Blowfish
34. If You Love Me, Brownstone
35. In The House Of Stone And Light, Martin Page
36. I Got 5 On It, Luniz
37. Baby, Brandy
38. Run Away, Real McCoy
39. As I Lay Me Down, Sophie B. Hawkins
40. He's Mine, Mokenstef
41. December, Collective Soul
42. I'll Be There For You-You're All I Need To Get By, Method Man-Mary J. Blige
43. Shy Guy, Diana King
44. I'm The Only One, Melissa Etheridge
45. Every Little Thing I Do, Soul For Real
46. Before I Let You Go, BLACKstreet
47. Big Poppa / Warning, Notorious B.I.G.
48. Sukiyaki, 4 P.M.
49. I Wanna Be Down, Brandy
50. I'll Make Love To You, Boyz II Men
51. Dear Mama / Old School, 2Pac
52. Hold On, Jamie Walters
53. Keep Their Heads Ringin', Dr. Dre
54. The Rhythm Of The Night, Corona
55. Roll To Me, Del Amitri
56. Scream / Childhood, Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
57. Freek'n You, Jodeci
58. I Wish, Skee-lo
59. Believe, Elton John
60. Carnival, Natalie Merchant
61. You Don't Know How It Feels, Tom Petty
62. Back For Good, Take That
63. Tootsee Roll, 69 Boyz
64. You Want This-70's Love Groove, Janet Jackson
65. Tell Me, Groove Theory
66. Can't You See, Total
67. All I Wanna Do, Sheryl Crow
68. This Lil' Game We Play, Subway
69. Come And Get Your Love, Real McCoy
70. This Ain't A Love Song, Bon Jovi
71. Secret, Madonna
72. Player's Anthem, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
73. Feel Me Flow, Naughty By Nature
74. Every Day Of The Week, Jade
75. The Sweetest Days, Vanessa Williams
76. Short Dick Man, 20 Fingers Featuring Gillette
77. Brokenhearted, Brandy
78. No More "I Love You's", Annie Lennox
79. You Used To Love Me, Faith Evans
80. Constantly, Immature
81. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, U2
82. 100% Pure Love, Crystal Waters
83. Ask Of You, Raphael Saadiq
84. Sugar Hill, Az
85. Good, Better Than Ezra
86. Brown Sugar, D'angelo
87. Turn The Beat Around, Gloria Estefan
88. 'Til You Do Me Right, After 7
89. 1st Of Tha Month, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
90. Like The Way I Do If I Wanted To, Melissa Etheridge
91. I Live My Life For You, Firehouse
92. Dream About You-Funky Melody, Stevie B
93. Cotton Eye Joe, Rednex
94. Thank You, Boyz II Men
95. I'll Stand By You, Pretenders
96. I Miss You, N II U
97. Give It 2 You, Da Brat
98. Best Friend, Brandy
99. Misery, Soul Asylum
100. Can't Stop Lovin' You, Van Halen

Politics Going to the Blogs

The County Executive's office is up for election this year, and current Executive Mark Thomas has re-launched his campaign website. And showing he's a forward thinker, or latching onto one of Howard Dean's better ideas, he has started a campaign blog. The blog is mostly just political articles about what Thomas is up to. I'm hoping he'll consider using it as op-ed space where posts are written in the first person. I've noticed that Thomas has a way of speaking in laymen terms when giving news interviews, which is helpfu. This is especially true when you start getting into topics like PILOTS, Medicaid, and various governmental finance stuff.

On a separate note, if Thomas wins the election, he'll be one of the first (if not the first) County Executives to win a third term. His current challenger is a lawyer named Greg Edwards. Edwards doesn't have a blog, yet. His site does have the usual info and political press releases.

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...