May 2008

And We’re Off.

Earl and I are on our way to Hillside Campgrounds for the weekend. I’m looking forward to the downtime as I have had a busy yet very enjoyable couple of days. I plan to do some blogging from camp tomorrow in between naps and meals. It should make for an interesting read.



Long Live Schultz and Dooley.

F.X. Matt Brewery

Last summer I talked about Saranac Thursday Nights. A really popular pastime here in the Mohawk Valley, it’s a Thursday night “happy hour” celebration at the local brewery. There are lots of people there, bands play on a good sized stage and all in all great setup in an adjoining parking lot to the brewery. Folks from all walks of life get together and down a few brews and have fun. In fact, I was hesitant to sign up for my summer Physics class because it conflicted with Saranac Thursday Night for a few weeks.

Last night the first Saranac Thursday kicked off the season at 4:00 p.m.

By 5:00 p.m., flames were shooting out of one of the buildings of the brewery.

At 11:00 p.m., on my way back from delivering music to the bar, I noticed that the fire continued. It was a beautifully clear night, aside from the thick smoke that hung over the City of Utica. It was declared “under control” this morning around 7:30.

Full coverage of the fire is available here.

The owners of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company have said that they’ve been around for 120 years and consider this nothing more than a “speed bump”. Saranac Thursdays will be back, possibly as early as next week.

More importantly, Schultz and Dooley will live on.


There are times when you just make the right choice based on instinct. Yesterday afternoon I contacted the Department of Transportation regarding the internship I had interviewed for. They were to have made a decision by the end of the previous week and I hadn’t heard anything. They said they wouldn’t have a decision until the end of next week. Since I had put my previous job offer with the telephone company on hold for a week, I decided that I couldn’t push them off another week. I had to make a decision.

On one hand, the telephone company position pays more. I love the people that I work with. Because of my temporary status, my hours have to be restricted a little bit which offers a very attractive schedule for the summer.

On the other hand, the internship would give me insight as to what I’m in for should I continue to pursue this career. I would learn a lot about how the DOT works and gain valuable information for my upcoming classes. However, the decision making process was frustrating me and adding credence to my perception about government agencies in general: making decisions in government is like swimming through molasses.

After pondering the issue I made a decision. I couldn’t push the telephone company off any longer.

I start at the telephone company on Monday and I couldn’t be happier.

This morning I received a call from the man that interviewed at the state.

It turns out I made the right decision.

Any Excuse.

The new cleaning crew arrived right on time this morning. After a second walk through of the house, with three members they still thought it was going to take almost the entire day to give the house a thorough cleaning. I can only do so much between classes and assorted activities. Truth be known, I guess I haven’t done that much in the way of cleaning as of late.

Since I’m not starting work until next week (I don’t know where yet) and I have no scheduled classes today, I wasn’t about to sit around and watch the cleaning crew do their thing and feel guilty in the process for not joining in, so I sold off some prized valuables to put some gas in the car and hit the road.

I’m currently sitting in the Panera in the scenic city of Canandaigua. This appears to be a brand new location. There are no crayon marks on the wall from wild children. The furniture looks new. The carpet is fresh. (I smelled it to make sure, just kidding).

The women sitting next to me are lively. I believe they are in theatre. They are talking about theatre classes and stage performances. I hear those theatre types can be lively. They’re talking about their husbands (though one hasn’t specifically mentioned the gender of her partner) and getting them to do stuff for them. The conversation hovers around performing, photography, videography and husbands. They’re both very animated. They’re getting a little feisty too. I hear those theatre types can be feisty. I find them enjoyable.

I decided to do a little exploring around Rochester on this road trip. We were just here last Saturday and here I am again. I kind of forget about Rochester as a destination of sorts. Passing through on the Thruway you can see it but you don’t feel the city at all. The Thruway sort of bypasses it. So I made the detour and drove around the apparent artsy- and gayborhoods. The parts I have seen thus far are very clean and have a ‘chic’ feel to them.

A very hot man has joined the ladies at their table. He is lively too. I’m betting a theatre type as well. He is very animated. I hear those theatre types can be animated.

Ah ha! As I continue to eavesdrop I confirm that one of the ladies is a lesbian! Should I start singing “We Are Family” or wait until the regional meeting? Her name is Eleanor.

Back to Rochester. Each of the “Thruway Corridor” cities have a distinct personality, at least as I see it. Working right to left I’ve never been a big fan of Albany. It’s functional and I suppose very governmental, but it’s always seemed like a mish-mash of cities thrown together. I guess that’s why they call it the Capital District. I’d live there if I had to (which is always a possibility given the location of Earl’s second office and the fact that I’ll most likely be working for a state agency someday), but if we had to move to the Capital District I’d be picky about where we settled down.

Utica lost whatever little personality it had years ago. I’m surprised the lights are still on.

Syracuse seems to be full of hearty stock. Since Syracuse receives the most annual snowfall of almost any city in the world I guess that makes sense. Syracuse is very proud of the Orange and it’s very apparent. The color orange is everywhere. I equate Syracuse with sports and family, probably because I’m from that area originally.

Rochester is all about the technology. The smart people live in Rochester. Driving about the streets Rochester is a pretty cool city. As I mentioned before, I’m not overly familiar with it but it seems clean and more progressive than the other cities along the corridor. I’m looking forward to bringing Earl back here for more exploration. Oddly, I’m finding exploring alone a little boring. That’s not like me.

Buffalo is very blue collar to me (and that is not a bad thing at all). It’s where the workin’ man lives. They’re proud of their sports teams as well. Buffalo Bills stuff is everywhere. Like their counterparts in Syracuse, they seem pretty hearty. I guess it’s the snow. There’s signs of progress as well. I think they’re doing their best to cope with the economy.

All in all, it’s a gorgeous day for a beautiful drive. I should probably stop chattering on the internet and get out and enjoy some sun.

Radio Remix.

A while back I mentioned that I really liked the Bimbo Jones remix of “10.000 Nights of Thunder” by Alphabeat. I see they have cut it down to a radio version and taped edited a new video to go with it.

I’ve also added a new link to The Wonky Pop Tour, which Alphabeat is a part of. I’m LOVING their music. See the new button on the right.

Clean Up.

Tomorrow the cleaning crew comes to the house for the first time. We haven’t had a housekeeper since the days of the old house back in 2003. I guess there’s four of them coming tomorrow to do the big initial cleaning. Naturally we are busy picking up the house tonight and making it less cluttered so that the cleaners don’t think we’re the slobs we are.

I was suppose to be working this week but I haven’t heard back on the job interview yet, so I’ll just have to make myself scarce tomorrow. I’m good at that.

Look Ma, No Doors.

Flickr Link.

Earl’s Jeep Wrangler has been part of the family for four years. Every year we take advantage of the nice weather and take the sides and back off and put the top down. It’s a glorious way to bask in the sunshine. Today we decided to take it a step further and take the doors off as well.

We decided to go for a ride but stay rather close to home in the process, so we opted to drive through the various gorges and through the hills nearby. There is a particular road that winds through rural farmland and open fields; a similar road exists where I used to live in the western part of the state and that road is called the “Open Meadows Road”. This is the “Cedarville-Jordanville Road” but I like to think of it as an eastern version of the Open Meadows Road. It’s a beautiful drive, especially when you’re basking in the sun, the temperatures are mild and there’s no doors on the Jeep.

From there we headed into the Ilion Gorge, one of several gorges in the area. I think our gorges are related to the Finger Lakes but the Universe just didn’t put as much water into them. The windy roads and the isolated homes dotting the gorge are nice; I have to admit I like the feeling of solitude.

After our ride we ended up at the Park-Side Drive In in St. Johnsville, one of the many villages along the historic Erie Canal. The food was your standard local restaurant fare and quite good.

It has been an absolutely gorgeous day.

The Road Trip to Rochester Thing.

I don’t know why I’ve decided to add “thing” to my blog title entries lately. I don’t even know if the trend will continue. It’s kind of like the title of episodes from “Friends”, they all started with “The One About…”

Anyway, Earl and I headed west on the New York State Thruway today and went exploring in the Rochester area. We have several friends and some family in Rochester but we didn’t see any of them. No, we went to Rochester because they have a really good cinema megaplex called “Tinseltown”. On the big screen was “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”. The Indiana Jones series is Earl’s favorite cinematic adventure, and I enjoy the movies as well, so it was an adventure to look forward to. The audience was well behaved and the movie was good. I wouldn’t say it was great, but it was good. The geek in me noted a glaring technology-related error near the beginning of the movie. E-mail me if you want the details, as I don’t want to drop any spoilers on my blog.

One of the greatest things about movie theatres these days is that they’re finally getting that attendees are REALLY fed up with the presence of cell phones in the auditoriums. The reminders to turn off your cell phones are relentless and numerous. I’d even say they’ve become obnoxious with the final reminder announcement, leaving it on the screen for nearly 90 seconds before rolling the previews. If you’re seated in the theatre and your cell phone rings now, you’re really an asshole or a dipshit. There’s no excuse.

We also made a stop at the Dinosaur BBQ near downtown Rochester. The waitress sat down in the booth with us and chatted whilst she counted the cash in her pocket. We’d never met her before but she was very nice. The honky-tonk bluesy music was good too. So was the food.

Being a civil engineering student and all, I had to drive us through all the construction projects in the Rochester area to see how they were progressing. In case you’re wondering, they’re progressing nicely. I tend to take photos of signs too:

Interstate 490

Notice Route 33 West doesn’t go anywhere according to the sign. It really goes to several places such as Chili, Batavia and Buffalo. Extra points to the first person that can tell me the proper pronunciation of “Chili”.

The Furry iPod Thing.

So last night was one of my regular DJ SuperCub nights at the solo, local gay bar. As I write that previous sentence, the use of “solo” and “gay bar” together like that brings up an interesting image in my mind, but I digress. Anyway, last night it was just a regular night at the bar; no special theme nights, no dance contests highlighting music older than the average age of the customers, no video accompaniment necessary. Since I had some Vicodin in my system, I was feeling a little loopy and looking back at the playlist, it’s a little obvious. After all, how many mixes of Donna Summer’s “Stamp Your Feet” can a DJ play in three hours? Apparently four.

You see, I’ve got this thing about taking requests. I don’t like to. I think my aversion to requests hearkens back to my radio days when young rugrats would figure out how to let their fingers do the walking and they would call and request the Beavis and Butthead duet with Cher while the song was playing on the radio, whilst doing their best to imitate said lead singers (not referring to Cher, there). I know that the DJ is there to entertain the crowd and set the tempo for a good time but speaking as a professional audiologist, you can rest assured that I’m going to play some really good music that’s going to, at the very least, give you something to tap your foot to. If I’m doing really well you can bust a move on the dance floor to your favorite track and seal the deal of not getting laid when you do it alone and your moves involve thumbs swinging in a myriad of directions with googly eyes on your face and your mouth agape.

How I love drunk lesbians.1

So last night I was in the middle of mixing excellent song A to excellent song B (which, by the way, doesn’t involve just pressing ‘PLAY’) when this rather large woman came bursting into my rather small DJ booth and immediately started yammering about a song she wanted to hear. Then she committed a mortal sin; she ignored my “one moment please” finger.

You must hold when you’re told to “please hold”. Strike One.

After I slid from the second Donna Summer mix of “Stamp Your Feet” to Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” I turned to her, herded her out of the DJ booth and back down among the commoners and said, “now what did you want to hear?”

“What are you playing? What is this song?”, she asked as if I had asked her to lick a dead minnow. I think she had just dissed LaDonna. Strike Two.

“It’s Leona Lewis’ ‘Bleeding Love'”, I replied. Sidenote: it’s a really good remix that hasn’t killed the sound of the original track while keeping it very danceable.

“You need to play Mariah Carey’s ‘Touch My Body’ right now. I want to hear it tonight and I need to leave.”

Strike Three.

Now if she had some sort of whimsy in her voice I would have considered what she was saying to me. But there wasn’t a bit of whimsy to be found. She had a demanding tone in her voice. She sounded huffy. Plus, she had dissed LaDonna. Now, let’s stop the story for a moment and consider what is happening.

1. I’m a little loopy on Vicodin. My mood is swinging from giddy to growly with a prescription assist.
2. The tempo is currently moving along around the center of a gay man’s midnight tempo. It’s not racing with said man’s heart yet (from drugs or the latest bit of hotness that he has spotted, your choice) but he’s moving quickly and starting to get sweaty.
2. My leather wrist band is on my left wrist.
3. She did not have a drink in her hand nor had I seen her anywhere near the bar the entire night.
4. She wanted to hear the song so she could leave the bar afterward.

Perhaps I’m just a cranky ol’ club DJ but part of the gig is making sure people are staying at the bar and consuming drinks. No people+no drink(*a few nights)=no gig. Asking me to go from twinky time music to bump and grind music immediately so you can leave the bar is not going to get your song played. Ever. It’s also going to deflate the tempo of the aforementioned typical gay man that is sweaty. So I responded reasonably well.

I slammed the door shut in her face.

She didn’t come back for Round 2. Instead, she sent one of her friends up. With a LIST. That’s when the door remained closed for the next hour or so.

The dance floor was populated. People at the bar were bopping their heads. The vibe of the crowd was good. As her minion banged on the door wanting access I slid from a Pussycat Dolls remix to my personal favorite track, “10.000 Nights of Thunder” by Alphabeat.

It’s good to have the power.

I am a DJ. I am not a furry iPod.

1This twitter entry from last night should give you an idea of what else was occurring in the bar.