I know I don't update it daily. Shut up.

November 30, 2006

Thursday night. Time for some thoughts.

There's a lot to be said for good, honest work.

At Marcy's grandfather's birthday party recently, his daughters both thanked him for the work ethic he taught them. It was a great moment. I've seen that work ethic come out in the stories he's told me about his times working in the can factory in Fairport (which was THE place to work back in the day.) You can't help but admire the guys that worked there in long, sweaty hours ... guys getting maimed in the cutting and clamping machines. Those jobs exist in other places today, many with the same risks. I've never held a high-risk factory job that helps Americans live their lives. I respect the folks that do.

The hardest constant work in any of many jobs was running the weed whacker during those two summers landscaping. It made me realize there are many muscles in your body that don't get as much action as they should.

I don't want to belittle the work I did on the redesign of the Greece Post. That was certainly the epitome of a mental and creative workout. And it was constant, for many months, 10 hours a day for five, sometimes six days a week. A week before the newspaper launched, I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. And we lived together at the time. So yes, my head was having a hard time, but I knew my head pretty well at that point. My body, during landscaping, I did not know. It surprised me every day with a new way to feel pain.

In my Baahston apartment, much of the current job hunt has taken shape. So much of what I do is directly tied to computers now, and that filters all the way down into how I have to communicate with possible future employers. You have to do it a certain way, too, or else you're not looked at. The levels of human interaction seem to be fading with the years, and this process is no different.

That's left me with some time to consider the irony of HR departments and headhunters' logical progression into fully online systems. The communication jobs out there require more and more work on the computer, which means less time spent with humans. I think the customer-service professionals, the communication professionals, and anyone else working with the public aren't being offered experience to hone their people skills. I think the market is no longer a place to learn people skills. You got 'em, or you don't.

Maybe it's not as bad as I think. There are jobs for every personality type and background. It's evident communications professionals are getting better, faster at what they do. I just wonder if one day people won't know what it was like to say something without entering a password first.

That's industry. Just like we're looking for better, cheaper, faster ways to improve the ways in which we communicate, the American Can Co. needed better, cheaper, faster ways to make a can. The American Can Co., though, has been long closed. Its remaining vestige overlooks downtown Fairport and commands a spectacular view up and down the Erie Canal. The village grew up around it, and the area itself is beautiful thanks to innovative reimaginings of its older buildings. They have been converted into clever boutiques and niche shops. People left the can co. but they're still in town (at least a lot of them are). They're retired, mostly. And from the looks of property values they're not doing too bad.

I'd like to think it was all that hard work that made them so well off. That's what will keep me going, anyway.

November 28, 2006

Joxer's famous!!!

Hiya folks -

Marcy's cat Joxer is now on Stuff on My Cat:

Visit the site here.

Here's the photo they posted. My favorite comment: FLAVOR FLAAAAAAAVVV!


November 27, 2006

Happy Holidays

Santa's cutest helper and I set up our tree to the tune of one of my favorite Christmas songs ever: Pre-bloated Elvis' Blue Christmas!
It's a great song for one reason and one reason only: the part where he expounds on the blueness of Christmas by singing, "So have a bloo, bloo BLOO bloo Christmas!"
King of what, I say?!?
Happy Holidays from the Irish Princess and me.

Big Doin's

Back from a rioutous Turkey Day in the ol' B-Town. Not Boston, but Buffalo.

Marcy and I broke the sound barrier to get there, having made the trip in just over six hours. Won't be doing THAT again.

Then again ... we ARE making a trip to Niagara on the Lake in two weeks. Hmm... best see about them thar racin' tires for the trip.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely at both the fams' places of dominion. There was this nugget o' fun on Thursday:

Wherin my dad and I put together a generator. I love this picture, though it was a bit ... drafty ... in the garage.

Then we went to Marcy's family's place, but I'll let her tell you all about it.

As for my family, they went to the Bills game and all I got was this lousy photo.

My mom, I'm told, was smooched by some dude on her way out of the game.
So if you're out there dude, gross. I mean, that was my mom.

November 24, 2006

Bigtime Sports

By Dan Lutman

Buffalo Beat:
It was a pretty good week for both of the Buffalo sports teams, but this time it was the Bills that stood out for a change.

The Buffalo Bills went down to Houston and pulled out a dramatic 24-21 victory over the Houston Texans to improve their record to 4-6. It was a record setting day for Bills receiver Lee Evans who ended the day with 11 catches for a team record 265 yards and two touchdowns. Both of Evans’ touchdowns were 83 yards from J.P. Losman in the first quarter to give the Bills an early 14-0 lead. The Texans battled back to take a 21-17 lead late in the fourth quarter until Losman hit Peerless Price with a spectacular pass and catch with nine seconds left to give the Bills the victory. The Bills return back home on Sunday to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in a must win game for the Bills if they hope to have any shot at making the playoffs.

The Sabres took two of three more games this week to improve their record to 17-3-1 on the year. Friday night they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 in a game which the Sabres never trailed. Saturday was the return of Ryan Miller after being sidelined for six games with a lower body muscle strain. The return was not a triumphant one as the Sabres dropped a game for the second time in four days, losing to the Ottawa Senators 4-1. The Sabres did still avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time all year by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. The Sabres exploded for seven second period goals, with two each coming from Paul Gaustad and Thomas Vanek, as the Sabres routed the Lightning 7-2 before a sold out crowd at HSBC Arena. It was also the first win for goalie Ryan Miller since returning from a lower body muscle strain. The Sabres conclude their three game home stand by taking on the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday and the Montreal Canadiens on Friday before heading on the road to take on the New York Rangers on Sunday.

Top Story:
It was a sad week in the sports world this past week as college football lost one of its all-time great coaches. Bo Schembechler died this past Friday at the age of 77. Schembechler was best known for coaching the University of Michigan from 1969-1989.
He’s infamous for his historic battles with coach Woody Hayes and the rival Ohio State Buckeyes. Schembechler played for Woody Hayes at Miami of Ohio and was also an assistant under Hayes at Ohio State before their storied rivalry began. Schembechler held the overall head to head record over Hayes at 5-4-1 and 11-9-1 overall against Ohio State. Schembechler won 13 Big Ten titles at the University of Michigan, had 194 career wins their as head coach, and one National Coach of the Year to his name. He ended his career, including six years coaching at Miami of Ohio with a 234-65-8 record. Schembechler also served as president of the Detroit Tigers from 1990-1992.
Anytime the University of Michigan is mentioned, the first name that comes to most people is Bo Schembechler. Schembechler will be missed by all in college football, especially those in the Michigan family, whom he has left an everlasting mark on.

Dan's Three Cents
Each week, I will throw in my three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that I haven’t discussed or significant stories outside of sports.

1. The Boston Red Sox have paid $51.1 million just to be able to talk to and negotiate with highly touted pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Matsuzaka was the MVP of the World Baseball Classic for Japan, who went on to win the tournament. That’s pretty amazing! But think of it this way, what if you had to pay an obscene amount of money each time just to be able to talk to your spouse. Wouldn’t we be more careful with what we had to say to one another? The divorce rate in this country would probably be a lot lower. The Red Sox may be on to something here.

2. O.J. Simpson has come out with a book in which he supposedly writes about how he would have killed his ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, had he done so. This truly shows that Simpson has no remorse at all, trying to make a buck over these killings. Maybe Simpson can NOT kill a few more women so he can write a couple more books.

3. The game of the week to watch will be the Notre Dame/USC game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday night at 8:00 on ABC. Last year, the Trojans pulled out a victory over Notre Dame in South Bend on a last second touchdown by Matt Leinhart. This Saturday’s game will have huge implications on the National Championship. USC should get in the title game with a win on Saturday and the following week over UCLA. Notre Dame will have an outside shot at the title game, but will at least secure a berth in a major BCS game with a win. Though I am a Notre Dame fan, I will go ahead and predict a 38-27 victory for USC.

November 20, 2006

True story.

OK everybody - let's lift some spirits.

My friend Mike, aka Garv, aka KOTB, had a less than good weekend. It ended up with him getting his ass kicked by Irish step dancers, but it wasn't all bad. He fought them Matrix-style, then his pet tiger BattleCat had to come in and I'm pretty sure he had to fight his way out through the streets of China town. That's the gist of it, I think. Oh, and they stole all his clothes and he barely escaped with his life and to get away he had to put on one of those uniforms all Luke Skywalker-rescuing-the-princess-style. I'm serious! There was a wookie and everything!

Anyway, my friend is lucky to have escaped the Irish feet of fury. He even was able to blog about the whole experience! Read the story at this link here.

Oh, and here's the photo of his daring escape.

So visit his blog and send him some well-wishes and good vibes, mmkay?

November 19, 2006

A traditional Irish dinner

Our Saturday dinner party went off great. It involved as much family as we could muster in the Baahston area, including my sis, Marcy's fam, and my good ol' Irish cooking.

To create the perfect family dinner, I've learned, consists of the following easy steps:

Sauce (I ventured to Medford to find a good place for sausage. After overcoming a language barrier, I found myself a nice blend that complemented the ground beef nicely.)

Use spices in your sauce. Which ones? I cannot tell. But once you have them guard them. The spice ninjas are always on the prowl.

Sometimes the spice ninjas will throw an eggplant at you in their escape. Then the only course of action is to murder the eggplant.

Victory! Celebrate your successful meal with your friends and family. If need be, celebrate your victory over ninjas as well.

November 17, 2006

An addendum

You may remember seeing this little guy on a previous post here.

He isn't exactly me in graphic form. See the pot on the head? The spatula?

Take a guess who that might be.

That's right: My future child. Or at least, what Marcy imagines him to be.

I think I'll name him Momo.

Games that don't matter, T.O., and a chin job


Welcome to the first installment of Bigtime Sports. Each week, Dan will cover Buffalo sports, the week's top national story, and throw in his three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that he hasn’t discussed.

The two Buffalo sports teams are on the opposite sides of the spectrum right now and seem to be poised to stay that way for a while.
The Sabres, despite just their second loss in regulation on the season, a 4-2 defeat at home to the Ottawa Senators hold the best record in the NHL at 15-2-1. They achieved this despite the absences of top goaltender Ryan Miller and key players Maxim Afinagenov, Tim Connolly, and Henrik Tallinder. The Sabres will have their chance to bounce back Friday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at home and have their chance for payback in Ottawa Saturday against the division rival Senators.
The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, sit at a dismal 3-5 and head to Houston this week to face the lowly, injury-plagued Houston Texans. They also sit at 3-5, but have played well as of late.
This game is merely a game, which may lead to a jockeying of draft position in next year’s NFL draft. The lone story for Bills fans in this one is that it will be the first time Buffalo will go up against former Bill Eric Moulds. The 11-year veteran is second in receiving for the Texans with 34 catches for 363 yards and one touchdown. That’s well below his career averages despite playing with a multitude of inept quarterbacks over his career.

The top story in sports this week is the biggest rivalry in college football. Hated rivals Ohio State and Michigan meet in each team’s season finale at “The Horshoe” on the campus of Ohio State with plenty at stake. Anyone from these two schools would say this is the biggest game of the year regardless of records and standings, but throw in a Big Ten Championship, a berth in the National Championship game, bragging rights, and the chance to knock your hated rival out of the National Championship (most likely), and you have one hell of a match.
As excited as I am to watch this game, I’ve had just about enough about hearing about it. Every sports television program and radio program you turn on is just beating this game into the ground. It makes me miss hearing about Terrell Owens, Barry Bonds, and steroids scandals.
Of course, I just wrote about it so I guess that kind of makes me a hypocrite. Oh well. I had to join in. My prediction: Ohio State over Michigan, 27-17.

1. Can we leave Bobby Knight alone, please? The world is ready to execute him like he just committed a double homicide. He tried to lift Texas Tech player Michael Prince’s chin to get him to look at him. Could he have done it a different way? Yes. But, if the player didn’t care, the school didn’t care, and his parents didn’t care, then we shouldn’t care. Let it go everyone!
2. Terrell Owens came out with a children’s book recently titled, “Little T Learns to Share”. Obviously, this must be fiction.
3. It’s good to have college basketball back. Now I can finally put the NBA on the shelf until April, just in time for the NBA Playoffs. The parity of the NCAA teams should make it an interesting year as witnessed by last year’s surprising championship by the youthful Florida Gators. My preseason prediction for this year’s Final Four: North Carolina, Wisconsin, UCLA, and Texas A&M.

We have a staff!

Today is a turning point in the evolution of the Blurb: It now has an editorial staff.

So far, that's me and contributing sports writer Dan Lutman (at right).

Dan, for those of you who don't know him, hails from the palm tree-lined streets of Buffalo, NY. We call him Bigtime because that's what former Buffalo Bills hall-of-fame quarterback Jim Kelly calls him.

This week premieres "Bigtime Sports," a blog about mostly Buffalo sports teams but with Bigtime's own twist on some of the national hot stories of the moment.

So start hootin' and hollerin'. Let the show begin!!!

November 16, 2006

World, meet Marcy

This is Marcy. Around the house we call her Marge Fartski.

Marcy's great because she smiles all the time, as illustrated in the photo above.

When she's not smiling, she makes a face like this:

And the best thing about it all is I love her.

Even when she beats me in Scrabble.

Scrabble sucks.

Let it be known that on Nov. 15, 2006 I was beaten by Marcy in Scrabble.
In my defense, if I was able to use the word I wanted to, QUAYING, that would've gotten me 108 points. Stoopid dictionary.

November 15, 2006

The New Place

A look at the living room, and a view out to the kitchen, at our place in Arrrlington.

The Return

I fell into a pop-culture delirium a few months ago.

Having work professionally as a writer for some years, I thought this blogging thing would be easy to maintain.

But the last few months sent me into a tailspin wherein I quit my job, packed up my personal belongings and drove them in a 24-foot long truck to Arlington, Mass., near Boston. So here I am.

I've since learned that landing on your feet is a process, not an event. So thanks to all of you who have stuck with me all this time. I promise the second time around this newfangled contraption will be better.

The show goes on!