Sunday, April 23, 2006

Scanner Plays Beethoven

IMPORTANT! You still have 2 days to pick out items from this list for you-know-who's special day!

I thought I was the first to think up a Fillmore-Cleveland Presidential Library for Buffalo, but someone had beaten me to the punch. Then, a couple weeks ago, I thought up another grand scheme: Oktoberfest at the Central Terminal. It would be like Buffalo's very own HofbrÀuhaus! Well wouldn't ya know. I should really stay on top of things.

B**** T***

Satellite News

Special thanks to Ward E for posting transcriptions of my favorite TV show, including this classic "term paper" from episode 510:

Rutherford B. Hayes

by Crow T. Robot

Rutherford B. Hayes was born humbly to his own son, Rutherford B. Hayes Jr, in Delaware, while it was still Ohio, sometime after the French Revolution. Rejecting a career as a professional speller, he was admitted to the bar, even though he didn't drink lustfully from it. Serving heroically in the Civil War, Hayes later admitted that it was in the army he first tasted human flesh. In 1876, Hayes beat Bill Tildon in a three-set quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows, which caused the electrical college to declare him President of the United States.

Here are some of the highlights of the Hayes administration: In 1877, reconstruction ended and Jacques Derida was appointed Secretary of Linguistics, and the period of deconstruction began, and continues to this day. Thomas Edison invented the pornograph, beginning the age of pornography. President Hayes then passed the Hayes act, started the Hayes office, won fame as an American lyric tenor, and was named archbishop of New York in 1919.

After he retired he founded the original ZZ Top with James Garfield and Chester Alan Arthur. He shocked the world with a publicity stunt, when on a bet, he made a tent out of the underwear of William Howard Taft and lived inside for a full year. In later years Hayes retired from the stage and did many memorable character parts in Hollywood. Who could forget the time he was slapped by Jacqueline Bisset in the 1971 Universal movie "Airport"?

And then, after inventing ringworm, Hayes died. His last words were, "I have only one life to live, so let me live it as a blonde."

The End

Oh, and his blood type was AB.

That show's been warping my mind since I was 10. Check out this old autobiography I wrote in grade school and you'll see the similarities.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

80 Minutes/16 April 2006

[Punch-up in Piestany]

I compiled another mp3 mix. Again, tell me what you think. All one of you. Try it; you might like it! Almost 80 minutes, and almost 80 megs.

01 Tool - Vicarious
Just leaked from the new album!!! OMGBBQ!!

02 Sufjan Stevens - God'll Ne'er Let You Down
Some B-side I found. Nice acoustic stuff.

03 Angry Samoans - My Old Man's A Fatso
For years, all I new about the Angry Samoans was that Krist Novoselic wore their shirt in a picture in Nirvana's Bleach album.

04 Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds (Death From Above 1979 mix)
From the new With Teeth remix EP. It's okay.

05 Dead Milkmen - Bitchin' Camero
So this band had this song, see. And they always did this bit to introduce the song, see? And sometimes they got tired of doing their own bits. . . .

06 Jimmy Smith - Root Down (And Get It)
This is the unedited version from the Root Down Live! rerelease. You may know the sample from the Beastie Boys song of the same name.

07 Beastie Boys - Root Down (live)
Son of a gun, there it is. This a live recording from the 1997 Tibetan Freedom Concert, with another sample in the middle that's totally awesome, whatever it is.

08 Eagles Of Death Metal - I Want You So Hard
The band name is awesome, the song title is awesome, and the new album, Death By Sexy, sounds as awesome as the name implies. You know what else is awesome? Ninjas. (I just bought the book.)

09 Plus-Tech Squeeze Box - Sneaker Song
All I know is that it's from Japan, where music is required to be especially upbeat for no particular reason.

10 Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona
Not so timely anymore, but it's still got a great beat. What do you think of when you hear Flava Flav's voice?

11 Kids In The Hall - These Are The Daves I Know
I hung out with Dave last night, and dedicate this song to him.

12 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Gold Lion (Diplo Remix)
It's not on the album, but on the first single. Whoo-hoo, WHOO-hoooooo

13 Pulsallama - Ungawa Part II
This is from a compilation called New York Noise 2: Music From The New York Underground 1977 - 1984

14 DVDA - Now You're A Man (Orgazmo soundtrack)
In honor of the most recent/amazing/timely/well-written South Park episode in history, I present an old side project from the writers. Don't ask what DVDA stands for, and especially don't look it up on the Internet.

15 The Advantage - Batman Stage 1
The Advantage plays only covers of Nintendo Entertainment System Games. I remember playing this game a lot. While it wasn't the best--the controls were really muddy--the music and graphics were top-notch.

16 Eazy E - No More Questions
I only added this because Natalie Portman parodied it on Saturday Night Live. Eazy E is like Flava Flav on Ritalin.

17 Ex-Girl - Aji Fry (Fried Horse Mackerel)
Treat the title as a warning. Japan must be a weird, weird place.

18 The Wesley Willis Fiasco - I'm Going To Kill You (live)
You know what's more awesome than ninjas? Wesley Willis with the Fiasco Band! Just when I thought I'd tired of Wesley Willis songs this track comes along! The language is horrible. Turn this UP! It rocks like a Magikist!

19 Schrock Ferguson - Crumpet
Ed just asked me to find the file of him and Phil on a radio show with Joe and me.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Local News - Bills Stadium Lease

NOTE: Yes, I sent this out. No, I do not feel like a badass for doing so.

To whom it may concern:

This may sound trite, especially since WKBW runs a TV channel first and a website second. Still, I feel compelled to complain about the quality of writing in your site's articles. After using your RSS feeds for several weeks I've noticed too many grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. For example, in one article the author refers to "Bill's owner" Ralph Wilson, who never let anyone see "the Bills books." In this case I say "anyone" because the full sentence says: "Debenedetti says Wilson came to the county for money but when he was never permitted to see the Bills books." What does that even mean? Everybody makes writing mistakes, but this is frustrating.

Other pages are just as lazily thrown together. Another article states that "Giambra says this Buffalo Creek Casino was code for a poor people's casino. He believes it will pray on people who live in this community." A few prayers could only do some good for those poor folks. You make it seem like a bad thing!

Please employ someone to proofread your work; until then I will look elsewhere for local news.

NOTE: After I sent this out, their site responded:
Your mail has been successfully sent, Thanks for your message.
They really don't care, do they?

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Museums etc.

I recently wrote an E-mail to Buffalo City Councilman Joe Golombek about the state of the H. H. Richardson Complex. You can read and respond to it yourself if you wish. . . .

Dear Mr. Golombek,

I just read with great interest your ideas for putting Fillmore-Cleveland Presidential Libraries in the H. H. Richardson Complex. As a volunteer for the Landmark Society and a recent Master's graduate in History from UB, I think it is an excellent idea. Buffalo possesses an astounding past--especially during the 19th century--that it has yet to capitalize on, and abandoned architectural feats deteriorating by the day. Others have suggested the Eckhardt Building as a possible location (and I even imagined a rebuilt Larkin Administration Building), but with $100 million earmarked for a Richardson rehabilitation the Complex seems the most practical choice.

My only concern--which presents a possible opportunity--is that the Richardson Complex is massive. In recent years I have visited several Presidential Centers and none come close to the immensity of the structure we have. Considering the rest of the building, I write you to consider another suggestion that could complement your own. With the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 fast approaching, a museum dedicated solely to that conflict (including its regional importance) would prove a first-class tourist draw. Besides being a great reason to fix the Richardson Complex, there are many reasons why a War of 1812 Museum works in Buffalo:

--Originality. To my knowledge there is no museum singularly dedicated to the War of 1812. A quick search brought up the Baltimore museum which will house the Star-Spangled Banner, but it is a relatively small, 12,000 square foot structure that focuses as much on the flag as it does the conflict. The Richardson has an excess of space both indoors and outdoors, providing a convenient place for large exhibits and research areas as well as grounds for historical artillery pieces. Cannons, naval artifacts, and even minor re-enactments could be held on the property with little problem.

--Location. Of course, the Richardson Complex is found in the "Museum District," making it a prime location for Presidential libraries and war museums. But as a city, Buffalo is a literal stone's throw from Canada, America's former adversary (though technically it was Great Britain). An all-encompassing War of 1812 Museum would attract visitors from across the border, something a Fillmore-Cleveland Center might not accomplish and what a museum in Baltimore could never do. And as a staging ground for some of the most infamous events of the War--including the burning of the entire city by Britain in 1813--our city would be remiss if it did nothing to commemorate this important part of Buffalo's past.

--Interest and resources. As previously mentioned, $100 million is set aside to fix the Richardson. I know you have also looked into other state and federal funding and probably considered the material holdings of the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society for the Presidential Libraries (the BECHS holds Fillmore's personal papers, for example). The same is also possible for a War of 1812 Museum. We could also envision input, finances and artifact support from Canada, the United Kingdom, and Native American nations that participated in the hostilities. Recent histories also highlight the role of African-Americans in the War. Not just an American institution, a War of 1812 Museum in Buffalo would be truly international and multicultural.

--Integration. A Richardson Complex with with up to three specialized libraries and museums would attract busloads of school groups. While young students may not always be interested in political pasts, my teaching experiences show they never tire of military history. Along with luring families and diverse groups of researchers, a multi-museum Richardson Complex would solidify the area's reputation as a formidable Museum District. Consider a future where tourists can visit the Albright-Knox, a newly-built Burchfield-Penney, two Historical Society sites, and three Richardson institutions all within walking distance from their (proposed) hotel room at the corner of Forest and Elmwood, paid for with a single visitors' tour package!

Even if a War of 1812 Museum never materialized in the Richardson, it could be viable somewhere else in the city (the Central Terminal, perhaps). Granted, this is only an idea from a single citizen. Nonetheless I would be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject. Please feel free to respond to this E-mail if you have the time as I would love to help with anything that comes to fruition. In any case, best of luck on your future endeavors in government; Buffalo needs all the help it can get.


Golombek responded to me with some ideas of his own. What shocked me was that he heard estimates of about A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS to bring the building back up to code. OUCH.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wal-Mart to open stores in struggling urban areas

I just happened to read these articles on the same day:

In Kentucky: Wal-Mart to open stores in struggling urban areas

In Buffalo: Urban planning takes on new heights

I think it could be a good idea. Jobs, cheap goods for the poor, and a use for urban wasteland. This is where stores like Wal-Mart should have been located in the first place. Any other opinions?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Walking Tour of Buffalo 2006: The Voyage of the "Dawn Treader"

Let No Man Scare You

Lately there has been an organized effort to memorialize Buffalo's abolition/civil rights movement. While still in the development stage, prospects look promising.

The Michigan Avenue Baptist Church

It may not look like much now, but for countless numbers of people this was the last stop on the Underground Railroad. The hiding place still exists inside (it wasn't open the day of the picture).

Reverend for over sixty years, Dr. Nash lived at this house on what is now Nash Street. It is currently being converted into a museum and park.

This building is nearby.

I'm not totally sure, but I think this old lyceum used to house the Albright Gallery in the 1800s. Either way it's a pretty cool building.

The Market Arcade entrance

The Market Arcade lobby

Walking Tour of Buffalo 2006: The Lost World

Stanislaw Lem, RIP

A Spanish-American War statue, with the Electric Building in the background

The inside of the Electric Building is closed for renovations but I snuck a pic of the lobby

The inside of the Ellicott Square building, once the largest office building in the world.

Floor detail

Door detail

Entrance detail. So many bloody details . . .

The Guaranty Building was one of the world's first skyscrapers. On this day I finally decided to go inside.

Outside, some terra cotta patterns

Inside, the cafe

Stairs. On the left are the elevator cages, which didn't come out well in the next picture

More outdoors details

County Hall security took my camera so I couldn't get any indoors pictures here. This is where the public viewed President McKinley when he died. When struck by lightning, this clock tower conducts over 1.21 jigowatts of electricity.

Walking Tour of Buffalo 2006

Leprechauns Invade Alabama

Last week I took a walking around downtown Buffalo, which I recommend everyone in Western New York should do. My first stop was the old Goldome building, now run by M&T. They have a sizeable collection of old toy banks. Who ever thought this one was amusing?

Or THIS one?

The dome, fitted with signs of the Zodiac

This is how you can tell the building is old


Don't do what I did and take pictures of the teller lines. They'll ask you to leave.

The Holy Jell-O Bowl of Antioch

Ketchup Pitchers Too

Pin All Your Romantic Hopes on Google

Lincoln Parkway in Buffalo has some fancy-pants houses. While it may not look like it, this building cost the modern equivalent of $10 million. The sun was awfully bright that day, eh?

I took a lot of these pictures so I could look up what the little details were but I haven't done it yet. I think all the stuff around the windows are made from terra cotta, and the windows themselves from a rare material known as "glass".

Buffalo has prime examples of every era of American architecture dating back to colonial days. For more information you'll just have to take a summer tour.

"Beaux-arts" design

"Birdhouse of Death" chimneys

Examples in redundancy: a tour group of tour guides, and someone taking a picture of someone taking a picture.

MEANWHILE, my Spam alter-ego "Fred Schrode" is now a member of the AARP. At 25 years of age, I must be the youngest AARP in the organization's history. The card isn't exactly legit until I pay a membership fee, but I'm still going to try it out at McDonald's and the movie theater.

Misty (floor) and Hannah (chair). In case you're wondering, Scott is cheaper than Puffs.

Tim came into town and took the family out to dinner. Here's Marg (right) and Tim (left) not knowing the best times to swallow or move their head, respectively.

Big Jer and his pythons (left); Hannah and her big mug (right)

Then I went to the arena with Joe and his uncle. Here's the newly dedicated Pat LalalalalalalaFontaine banner.

The flash/my hand's impersonation of the inside of your eyelids.

A goal in progress

A local tribe tries to end the Sabres' losing streak

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Ketchup Pitchers

Search for MP3s using Google

Oh, that silly Dave! He just can't eat his sushi with those chopsticks! That's our Dave! [laugh track]

At this point in time Joe was mad at me. But as long as there's a record deal we'll always be friends. Dave still can't use those chopsticks!

The new background to my laptop

This metallic "book" of Buffalo's history is currently on display in Capen Hall at UB. I first saw it a couple years ago at the International Airport.

One of the pages. Note the Michigan Avenue Baptist Church (left) as I'll refer to it in a later post. And on your unit test.

I just liked the lighting. I took this at about 8 in the morning on a Saturday, during Spring Break, because I somehow thought the library would be open and learned the hard way that it wasn't.

I'm part of a group of volunteers that will give tours of the Albright-Knox grounds this summer, so I took some pictures during a training walk-through. More importantly, here's a squirrel protecting his nuts from the Christ Child.

The newest outdoor installation. It's bright colors and horizontal stripes are supposed to contrast against the building and generally cheese you off.

Hoyt Lake and Delaware Park, near the Casino

The morning I took this, a shirtless jogger was running in between all of the columns singing 80s punk songs at the top of his lungs. So here's a picture of a chubby guy. He was easier to take a picture of because he didn't move.

The Rose Garden isn't much to look at during winter.

Pretty flowers.

These are caryatids; statues acting as columns. Fun fact: the portico these are on was supposed to be marble but the gallery ran out of money. Not a fun fact: I once heard a 8-minute discussion on how to pronounce and spell "caryatid".

The new, 44-year old addition, made by an architect named Bunshaft. That's a great name to say: Bunshaft. BUN-shaft. BUN-SHAFT.
"Shut yo' mouth!" "Just talkin' about Bunshaft." "We can dig it."
Can you tell I didn't get to sleep last night?