Sunday, September 30, 2007

New Super Power

Commit seppuku with a Frisbee

On Tuesdays I have to work, then drive to a class, then drive back to work, and then drive over an hour to another class. It's an eighteen hour day that requires a trunkload of bags, several changes of clothes, and a Wednesday set aside solely for sleeping (that is, right after work in the morning). I'm not allowed breaks either, so I have to eat quickly in the car. Last Tuesday, while I scarfed Wendy's fries as is my wont, I began choking. Choking is bad enough but choking while driving is frightening. After several seconds I luckily cleared my throat, though I didn't know how. Suddenly I began sneezing uncontrollably. And hard. The sneezing forced me to convulse and that doesn't help my driving abilities, either.

I couldn't stop--sneezing or traveling down Interstate 90--and I didn't know what to do. Grabbing a napkin I plugged one nostril and then blew as hard as I could. Then the unspeakable happened.

Ladies and gentlemen, A FRENCH FRY CAME OUT MY NOSE. Not in pieces, the whole thing. An inch-and-a-half long, rectangular potato. Somehow, that french fry went down my throat, then up my throat, all the way to my brain, poking my sinuses, and out my nasal cavity.

Covered in goo! I didn't take a picture.

Instead, here's how to put batteries in your mouth.

Next week's experiment: hot dogs. Can I do it?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Buffalo Sabres vs. Columbus Blue Jackets fight, 9/21/07

This crappy video is the most popular thing I've ever done on the Internet. Since posting it two days ago, 3000 people have watched it on YouTube. In comparison, this blog gets about twenty hits a day. The site I created in '97-'98 has less than 4000 hits, and it's been up for ten years.

Speaking of YouTube, here's David Sedaris on Letterman, found via Fark. He's coming to Buffalo again, and though I dished out $35 to see him last time he's just as funny if you borrow his books on CD from the library for free. (Check out his impersonation of Ella Fitzgerald on Me Talk Pretty One Day. It's dead on.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Fifty artists are displaying exhibits at twelve art venues throughout Buffalo, so last weekend I decided to check a few out. Most are free or cheap, so check 'em out. At the Babeville Hallwalls (sounds odd, I know) I took these pictures:

Afterwards, I popped into the Big Orbit Gallery but their exhibits were under construction. No one seemed to care that I was tiptoeing over them while painting and drilling, but I got out of there quickly. Outside I found this coincidence:

And then this. Who knows what this is about.

Really, who knows what this is about?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Photog at the Gates of Downtown

Below is a video I took at the Sabres' preseason game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. One thing you'll notice is the lack of a scoreboard, which will be replaced by some fancy new digital screens in the near future. Bringing a camera was a great idea, otherwise we couldn't have watched this fight over and over:

Some of us also packed into Thursday at the Square to see the Dropkick Murphys for the last show of the season. Normally I refuse to have people pose for pictures, hoping to catch them in their natural habitat. Keeping Andrea, Brad, Carissa, Dave, and Ed (A, B, C, D, E!) in frame was especially difficult. This was try #3:

So when new acquaintance Andrea suggested coercing people to stay in predetermined positions, I gave in. Here's to you, folks:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

H H Richardson Complex

Last weekend I took part in a tour around the grounds of the H H Richardson Complex, also known as the abandoned Psych Center. When it was in operation, the entire thing was 2/3 of a mile long. It's too dangerous to go inside (or so they told us) but the outside is impressive enough.

Stately Wayne Manor

The Masons date back to the Flood . . . because they caused it?

Meanwhile, in the Penguin's lair . . .

The structure is so long it needed vehicle access tunnels going underneath it.

So the building was abandoned, the water stayed on, the pipes froze and burst and water damage tore the building apart from the inside. This is the main entrance for those so inclined.

There is $76 million set aside to fix the structure . . . so they built this fence. Woo hoo!

Behind the Richardson building are several more abandoned buildings. This place is HUGE.

The very edge of the building. One wing was for men, the other for women. The farther from the center, the crazier the patient. The idea was that you'd be closer to the pastoral tranquility of fields and gardens. As you were "cured," you'd work your way to the center of the building and walk out the front door. And with that knowledge, I'll leave you at the extreme end of the looney bin. Until the next post, toodles!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wingdings '07

Some of us gang members checked out the Buffalo Chicken Wing Festival. The event was such a success that they ran out of wings after only the first day. If you go next year and you see a wing place from LA selling "Habanero" and "el Diablo" flavors, stay away! They're trying to kill you.

You never who you'll bump into downtown. Look who it was right in front of us in line! It's the greatest Special Teams player of all time, who just got his name on the wall in Ralph Wilson Stadium this afternoon: Steve Tasker! I love that guy.


The awards ceremony. I also took some video footage of the Buffet Bowl championship, where a 100 pound woman nicknamed "Black Widow" ate about eight pounds of food, but I'll save its poor quality for a later post.

MC 2Many Wings warms up the crowd

Jazz Hands

Exotic flavors

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Blogging About Buffalo

1. You have to give it to JP Losman: he's a man of action. He started Buffalo Lives to get some basic cleanup done around the city and today, twenty busloads of people showed up to help. When my bus got to our work location this morning, JP was already there unloading a truckload of peat moss by himself. For an event kickoff, everything was well-organized: free transportation, bottled water, shirts, work gloves, garbage bags, rakes, then pizza and a live band.

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This is good news on progress, especially since Buffalo was just declared the second-poorest city in the nation. During my first summer here I've personally talked to dozens of folks who are realistic about the city's problems but proactively work to solve them. Today's volunteers were more than friendly, and we met several thankful families who wondered why armies of cleaning crews were invading the streets. One family moved here last week from Burma, proving that yes, there are worse places you can live.

Just think: each of these people filled at least one bag of trash.

2. New World Record is moving from Elmwood and Cleveland to Hertel and Delaware. While they're emphasizing Hertel's economic growth and the extra 500 square feet of space, it remains that less people are buying music and the store needs lower rent to survive. I like the place where it is, sure, but it's only to buy show tickets or browse. I last bought a record there about two years ago. (Charging $18.98 for a Hives album won't earn you any new friends either.) Unlike the whiners posting comments to this article, I can walk the extra distance to their new location without much of a problem. That doesn't mean I'll want to, however.

You can get more, better music online, for free, and before stores do. Here's Tick Tick Boom, the new single from the next Hives album, and it's sublime.

Here's the Foo Fighters doing a dead-on cover of the Arcade Fire's Keep The Car Running live on the BBC. You won't find this in stores.

Finally, here's a recently uncovered 1973 recording of Too Many Cooks (Spoil The Soup) by none other than Mick Jagger and John Lennon, brought to my attention by the blog I Am Fuel, You Are Friends (who also links to a new song by Bruce Springsteen). Free, free, free.