October 2006

Sites of the City: Genesee Street.

Today at lunch time I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went for a 50 minute walk. I soaked in the sun, felt the warm breeze and let the moment lift my mood. Plus, I remembered to bring the camera along and took a few moments to snap a few photos and appreciate all our little city has to offer. There are times when I think Utica has seen it’s last days, but today I looked for the positive and found it. I’m putting together the photos from the walk and will be posting them shortly.

Here is a shot looking south up the main street of the city, Genesee Street. I’m standing in the middle of the ambitiously named “Busy Corner”. All that’s missing is a bunch of people and a hat to toss in the air.



Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Since all the really chic parties were this past weekend, I didn’t get to show off my costume except for this well timed photo shoot. I considered going to supper in this outfit but then realized that except for the spandex, I was naked.

Perhaps it would have been an interesting evening after all.

No trick or treaters were to be found on our doorstep this year. Of course, the porch light was off, the garage lights were off and the blinds were drawn as we sat silently in the living room. Nah, I’m just kidding. We live about a half of a mile from a housing development and when we drove by I noticed a ton of cars with trick or treaters spilling out everywhere. The little beggers. Apparently the little ghouls and goblins prefer the close proximity of the stepford houses over our house with the long driveway. You’d think our address was 1313 Mockingbird Lane or something.

I made the comment today at work that I didn’t think kids did the whole trick or treat thing like they used to, what with the hysteria of candy from strangers and the paranoia of today’s generation of parents. Back in my day we marched up and down both sides of the street, usually in the snow, and engaged in once a year conversation with some of our neighbors, even the weird ones that had a horse living in a second story bedroom. Then we’d pile into my aunt’s Datsun and make the rounds to the great aunts and grandparents before eating ourselves into a diabetic coma and then threatening to blow up our stomachs by eating Pop Rocks with a Coca-Cola chaser.

Ah, the good ol’ days.

To properly celebrate Halloween this year, Earl and I watched the third season Halloween episode of “Bewitched”. The year was 1966 and Endora decides to have her annual party at Darrin and Samantha’s house. The guests include Boris and his girlfriend, a cat named Ava, baseball legend Willie Mays and the always campy Paul Lynde as Uncle Arthur.

Now Endora knew how to properly have a Halloween party: with champagne and caviar.



Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

It’s Halloween. There’s a magic floating in the air. Kids are anxiously awaiting the end of the school day so that they can hit the streets tonight dressed as another, ready for some treats from the neighbors.

Earl and I have had one trick-or-treater come to our door in the ten years that we’ve been together. One. And he was shipped in from another town by one of Earl’s co-workers.

Perhaps we’re too spooky for words. Happy Halloween!


I’m not one to awake to the sound of a screeching alarm clock. I prefer to use the more humane sounds of a radio to knock me out of my slumber and for the past couple of years, since getting out of the Top 40 radio “biz”, my clock radio has been set to the local NPR station.

This morning I awoke to a news story about the city of New York’s efforts to reduce trans-fats in restaurants. While noble in it’s intent, I’m not in favor of this ban.

First of all, I don’t believe that it’s anyone’s business but my own as to what I do to my body, and that includes what I eat. If I want to go to the local Burger Bomb and down a heaping plate of innocent potatoes that were fried up in an artificial goo, well, that’s my business. I don’t need some do-gooder wagging their skinny finger in my face for eating something that I knew wasn’t good for me. Unlike these wretched smokers, I’m not inflicting these trans-fats on anyone but myself, save for some poorly timed farts. And if I didn’t know that this concoction wasn’t good for me and I ended up dying because of it, well, I chalk that up to natural selection.

Look it, we’ve all been taught what we’re suppose to eat and what’s not good for us. If a french fry can live under a car floor mat and still resemble it’s original intent ten to twelve weeks later, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that there’s something unnatural going on there. If it can live in your Chevy through two seasons, imagine what it can do to your insides.

Now I’m not saying that restaurants should be loading up their food with all this unnatural, artificial crap and be playing sweet and innocent. I’m not saying that at all. Like all products available at your local market, consumers have a right to know what’s in a dish and other assorted vital statistics. The majority of it is available at all the fast food chains and on the internet. It’s up to the customer to decide if they want to eat the chicken nuggets that have been fried in plentofentonoilyoila. “You feel up to the task? Eat hearty!” Just be smart about it.

If the do-gooders are going to ban anything in food it should be that hellish substance called “Olestra”. To this day I can’t drive down the Thruway through Albany without pointing out to Earl the tree I used as a rest room after eating my first snack pack of Pringles made with Olean (the cute name for Olestra) back in 1994. “Why didn’t you wait until the service area?” “And risk permanent damage to the car?” Explosive bowels indeed.

Did I sue Pringles? Did I threaten the convenience store? Of course not. The label was clearly marked “fat free living with Olean” or something like that and I made the conscious decision to eat the chips. It was a learning experience and it made me stronger and a tree along the Thruway taller.

So no, I don’t believe there should be a ban on trans-fats. Educate yourself and just don’t eat the stuff. Consumers should take responsibilities for themselves. Our freedom is being eroded away on a daily basis.

For the love of Ronald McDonalds, let us enjoy the french fries if we want to.



Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Earl is off testing his skill at poker tonight. Rick and Helen are safely back at home outside of Philadelphia. The wind is blowing and anything that was on our deck is now smashed and lying in the back lawn. The facial hair configuration has been finalized (Jimbo got it right, by the way). The dishwasher has been emptied, the laundry is ready to be folded. On-call is coming to an end in 10 hours and 41 minutes as of this exact moment that I’m typing, but who’s counting?

So what does one do after working hours and hours of overtime and watching lots of back-to-back episodes of “Bewitched” this evening?

Sing karaoke of course!

In this photo I am singing “Afternoon Delight” and trying not to sound like Will Farrell.

The Great Beard Debate.

Earl revealed to me this weekend that he doesn’t like my face as much without my beard. I have to admit that I’m a little taken aback by this because he usually doesn’t comment on this sort of thing. I’ve been bearded for the majority of the past couple of years and I went with this clean shaven look for the past week for something different.

Come to find out, he doesn’t like it. Apparently he likes the “big mustache” look I was sporting over the last half of the summer the best, with the beard coming in second.

I’m glad that he took the time to tell me this and have promptly begun growing my beard back. After all, I can’t get to the big mustache without having a beard first. I shaved my head again too, since neither of us was enjoying the gray showing up. Who put that there anyway?

I’m just happy he was honest with me.

Back In Sync.

Daylight saving time has finally come to an end and once again my body is in sync with what ordinary human’s deem the proper time. I hate Daylight Saving Time. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. I think this whole concept a flinging hours and minutes about in an effort to “enjoy more sunlight” is stupid.

Here’s the concept of time and how it’s suppose to work. 12 noon is suppose to be when the sun is at it’s highest point in the sky. Due to the restraints of our society and the need for relatively synchronized time, this makes the original concept of “noon” nearly impossible because everyone’s noon would be at a different time.

Many tout the benefits of energy conservation from daylight saving time. Since there’s more daylight when most of us are awake, we’re not using electric lights to see what’s going on. I guess we’re suppose to ignore the fact that in the summer we are using more energy to power air conditioners because we’re up and about when it’s hotter.

One thing that makes me crazy is when someone says “it makes the day longer.” No it doesn’t. The day still has 24 hours in it and the sun is going to be in the sky just as long regardless of the fact of whether we’re in daylight saving time or not. It might be perceived as longer in the narrow view of the declarer’s world, but for those that strive to see the big picture and think outside of the box, it’s a nuisance.

Just think, starting next year Daylight Saving time starts on the SECOND Sunday in March and ends on the FIRST Sunday in November.

I’ll have a whole extra month to be cranky!

Lazy Days and Saturdays.

It is raining like crazy. The wind is hitting gusts of 50 MPH, with higher gusts predicted for later this afternoon. Luckily, the telephone network is holding together at the moment and on-call is keeping itself under control this weekend.

Rick and Helen (Earl’s stepbrother and girlfriend) are up for a visit today and tomorrow. They must think this place is hell on earth because the weather is always like this, if it isn’t snowing, when they visit. Right now we’re all just chilling out in the living room, complete with Tom parallel parked on the arm chair next to me.

I just got done speaking with my sister in Moscow. I like to check in with her from time to time when she’s traveling abroad. She and her boyfriend are expected back for a little while next week. We look forward to getting together with them. She told me about their furnished apartment and how it is decorated in orange suede and gold, with a chandelier hanging in every room. Sounds pretty.

The only other excitement that has occurred today is a visit from the cable guy because our internet connection has been all screwed up again this week. He replaced a connector and told me that the new cable company is upgrading all the equipment and it’s going to be like this through January.

As a geek, this is not lovely. But I guess I’ll just have to deal with it.

“How To Steal An Election”.

Electronic voting in it’s current form is a very, very bad thing for this thing we call democracy. While the author of this article tries to explain how to steal an election in simple terms, some might find this reading to be long winded and boring due to the technical detail.

I ask that you take the time and read it, just to learn about how untrustworthy electronic voting is.

Again, here’s a link to the article, “How To Steal An Election”.

Just Like Kindergarten.

Just Like Kindergarten.

Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

I believe our southern neighbors have it right. I think the workday should be split up by a siesta. Everyone, working or not, deserves a nap in the midst of their workday so they stay on their game and are in tip top shape when they need to be. I’m all for supper late at night too, but that would make me fat.

Since I have class tonight, I’ve swapped work shifts with a co-worker (thank goodness it was a co-worker instead of a gardener or something), leaving me with the early shift. My on-call duties called in the middle of the night last night, so I don’t have a lot of sleep under my belt today. Normally that’d make me cranky, but I decided to circumvent the cloudy, cranky feeling that was moving in by put my head down on the kitchen table for a few moments.

Since Earl was at work, I grabbed the closest bear I could find: a stuffed animal from one of our many roadtrips. Perhaps that was a little silly, but the few moments of closing my eyes did wonders for my deteriorating mood. I feel like I can get through the afternoon now.

I remember taking naps back when I was in kindergarten and getting yelled at by Mrs. Mosher (“No child is really any different from any other child”) because I kept sneaking a leg or foot onto another boy’s rug when he was trying to sleep. Oops! I guess I was frisky in a kindergarten sort of way back then.

Maybe we’d live in a better place if people took naps AND got frisky during their lunch hour. I know it’d make me smile through my afternoon.