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The Port City.

So today during my day off I decided to go up to the old stomping grounds of my hometown. I put a solar lamp on my father’s grave site because I thought he would enjoy the simplicity of not having a lit up stone, but just something tastefully simple nearby. I think it looks good. I didn’t take a photo.

After that I headed to the “Port City”, or the City of Oswego, which is on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Downtown Oswego straddles the Oswego River. Unlike many cities, Oswego’s numbered streets don’t meet each other. For example, West First Street does not become East First Street. West First Street is on the west side of the river and East First Street is on the east side of the river. The numbered street increment in the appropriate direction away from the river. Some find this confusing. I find it delightful.

The downtown area of Oswego has seen its hard times, like many cities in the neck of the woods, but it still has quite a few homegrown shops to keep it interesting. After parking the Jeep I decided to walk around and explore a little bit. My first stop was a place called Oswego Bagelry and Sandwich Shop, which looked like it was a hole in the wall but the staff was super friendly and the homemade sandwich was wicked good. Plus, I got a whole pile of pickles!

After I had my fill of lunch, I spotted a barbershop called “Downtown Barber and Shave Company”. Since I hadn’t shaved in a couple of days and because I’m starting to become a barbershop shave aficionado again (after years of having a beard), I decided to give them a try. I waited an hour and enjoyed some of the liveliest conversation I’ve heard in a barbershop in a while (and I think I was the oldest one in the place) but it was well worth it and I came out smooth faced (except for the complimented mustache) and unscathed. Appropriately aged customers are offered an adult beverage from the fridge. All walks of life were in the place and it was the way a barbershop should be. It’s a shame that it’s 75 miles from the house.

I have always preferred Oswego over nearby Fulton (though they are somewhat close to being the same sized cities). After I was cleaned up and I realized it was getting a little later in the afternoon, I hit Route 481 and headed down towards Syracuse so I could make my way home. I took an obligatory powerlines photo of these two circuits that make their way across the county because I found the “bentwood” cross arms to be interesting.

Before making the journey home I realized that I needed to stop at Best Buy to pick up a few things for the home office. And next to Best Buy was …

Luckily Earl had left me a short “honey-do” shopping list before heading to Buffalo this morning, so I went into Wegmans and picked up some needed staples for the house. Even though this particular store was one of the smaller ones in the area, shopping was still a delight because of the selection, the layout of the store and the general vibe of the place.

All in all it was a good day. I feel very relaxed and I’m ready to tackle what remains of the work week. After all, tomorrow is Wednesday and it’s my Wednesday too.

It’s good to be back in sync.



Today is my Sunday. Tomorrow I’m back on schedule with work. It’s all good.

To celebrate my day off, I am getting some errands done and doing some exploring in the Jeep. And this is where it occurs to me that technology is awesome.

For example, I just took this photo of some parking skillz in Downtown Utica. I took the photo using my iPhone.

To get the photo from my iPhone to my iPad, I didn’t wait for Apple’s iCloud service to sync it up, I simply used an app called “Bump”. I banged my iPhone and my iPad together and the photo was instantly transferred over to my iPad, ready for inclusion in the blog entry.

After admiring the parking skills of the Utica natives, I stopped at Bagg’s Square Café Express where I picked up a Venti Iced Green Tea and paid for it with my face using the Square app (I talked about this last week).

I am now picking up a solar light at the Lowe’s that I know has them in stock because it was indicated in the affirmative online. From here I will stop at the gas station along my intended route where I know the price is the lowest (courtesy of Gas Buddy) and then I will select my lunch stop based on recommendations from Yelp!

I love being a geek.

Stars On!

I didn’t know this megamix existed until a few hours ago. I’ve never heard of “Girls Aloud” but I really like this medley they released back in 2009. The clap track goes through the entire megamix! Awesome!


So today is Monday and the energy level on the street indicates this fact. I must seem hyper around others because today is my Friday, so I’m all happy and I have a smile on my face and I’m thinking about my plans for tomorrow, even though it’s an abbreviated ‘weekend’ for me.

Sitting in this shopping center parking lot during my lunch hour on a somewhat daily basis gives me the opportunity to make some observations:

1. Most people eat at the Chinese buffet on Thursdays.
2. Not very many people eat at the Italian restaurant on Mondays.
3. A lot of people eat Italian on Fridays.
4. Dunkin’ Donuts is almost always empty when I go in on Tuesday.
5. The food delivery trucks almost always arrive during lunch hour (which must piss off their customers).
6. The bank is never busy.

These are random things I notice and I can’t really tell you why I notice these things, I just do.

I hope everyone is enjoy their Monday as much as I’m enjoying mine. I’m going to sip some iced tea now. It was prepared and waiting for me when I entered the Dunkin’ Donuts a little while ago. They just magically pulled it out from behind the cookie case when I walked in. Mary told me she was expecting me.


So I have been craving chocolate milk lately. I don’t know why I have been having this craving because it’s been a long time since I have craved chocolate milk. It’s just something that I’ve been wanting to have and this need is without explanation. I’m pretty sure I’m not pregnant, so that can’t be it. Besides, if I was pregnant, I’d probably do the chop-suey-in-the-purse thing. And I don’t even carry a purse.

I’m digressing.

We have some Nestlé Quik in the house. Actually, I think it’s called Nesquik these days. Back in my day we called it Tang. Maybe we didn’t. I tried the Nesquik and it did nothing for me. It tasted a little too syrupy and didn’t satisfy my craving. I think I might have licked the ceiling a few times after drinking it, though, because it seemed really sweet. No, I had to have chocolate milk from the Byrne Dairy, a dairy corporation native to Central New York. I grew up on milk from the Byrne Dairy at school (our milk at home first came from a milkman, then it came from pails from the farm down the street, then it came from wherever Mom stopped that night for groceries, but usually the Byrne Dairy and it was in a glass bottle.) I was always given the extra 8¢ on a daily basis so I could by an extra chocolate milk. Sometimes I bought one chocolate and one white. Each was a half pint and Mrs. Spath always charged me extra for the cheaper of the two. She was nice like that.

Since I dropped a few hints on Facebook I thought that there might be some chocolate milk at home when I arrived from work, but alas, Earl is not feeling well today and as I did my employment duties Jamie made sure that he was okay (he is). Chocolate milk was not high on the priority list. I hid my slight disappointment.

Jamie ran out to pick up supper and on his way home, low and behold he stopped at the really expensive Fastrac and picked up a half gallon of chocolate milk. I just had some after noticing that it wasn’t from the Byrne Dairy but rather from Upstate Farms. I have been told via Facebook that Upstate Farms is a Western New York based dairy corporation. Their chocolate milk is quite tasty and much closer to what I expected versus the Nesquik stuff I had. My craving has been met for the time being, but I think the two glass bottles pictured above will be replaced by two new bottles on Tuesday: a half gallon of skim milk (for cereal!) and and half gallon of chocolate milk (because it tastes so good!)

In the meantime I thank Jamie for his efforts on my behalf and I will enjoy this real chocolate milk import from Buffalo.



I had written a reminder to myself almost a year ago. I thought it would be a great Father’s Day present. The plan was simple: the new plane would be ready for passengers. I’d get up at the crack of dawn and drive the hour to get to the airport, which is really just a mowed, grassy-strip flanked by trees and a gravel bed and marked with “16” and “34” laid in the ground in cinder blocks. We’d push the plane out of it’s hanger. He would make a thorough inspection to make sure everything was perfectly ready for the flight and then we’d take-off. Hopefully we’d take off towards the north so we wouldn’t have to take off over the power lines at the south end of the runway. We’d head to a fly-in breakfast for Father’s Day, just like we had done so many times in the 1940 Piper J5-A back when I was teenager. The destination would be at Weedsport, Canastota, Marcellus or maybe even Penn Yan. We’d land and put the plane in just the right spot. He would order eggs because pancakes scared him to death (due to his allergy to buckwheat); I’d eat the pancakes because I don’t eat eggs. We’d both eat bacon or sausage. After breakfast we’d chat with the other pilots that had made the journey. I’m sure many would have looked over the new Wittman Tailwind.

Much has changed in a year. I miss you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. Thinking of you today has generated a couple of tears but many, many smiles.



Visitors to the actual site of the blog will note that I have changed the visual theme of the site again and I think I have found a theme that I am pleased with. This theme is called iTheme2 and I think it looks good and represents my Mac tendencies very well.

I have also added a couple of widgets to the side (even if I’m a little late on my Happy Pride Month! widget this year). Feel free to browse around.



The first time I pumped gas at a self-serve station was at the Hess on the corner of Henry Clay Blvd. and Buckley Rd. in the town of Salina, outside of Syracuse. This station sits in a more industrial part of town. I was riding with Grandma City in the Ford Granada she had just purchased. It was a used car from Canada. She advised me that she was only doing 60% of what the speedometer said because the gauges were in metric. 60% of very slow is still very slow. Grandma City had a tendency to drive slow. We were going to a warehouse sale at Fays Drugs on Henry Clay Blvd. There must have been a discount on African Violets or something.

I have probably pumped gas a couple of thousand times since that first time at the Hess station on Henry Clay Blvd. We have a Hess station relatively close by, but there’s a Fastrac station about a mile from the house so we go there. I just filled up the Jeep in preparation for my commute to work in the morning. I don’t like starting out the day with the need of gas. I like to be prepared.

The gas at all of the local stations is 10 to 15 cents higher per gallon than it is in nearby Syracuse or Albany. I once asked a very important person at Fastrac why this was the case and they told me it was because our area doesn’t have any terminals near by and therefore the gas has to be brought in by truck. I thought all gas was brought in by truck. I didn’t mention the fact that River Road, the same road that the Fastrac is on, is lined with huge gas tanks that are marked with signs that indicate it’s a terminal. Today I paid $3.589 a gallon, which is marked down from $3.659 because I have a gimmick card from Fastrac. I’m not a big fan of the gimmick card, but every few cents per gallon helps the budget. When you commute as much as I do, you watch your fuel budget and hope that heaven doesn’t require you to be completely green. My carbon footprint should be getting smaller soon.

I think gas might have been $1.099 that first time I pumped it myself on Henry Clay Blvd. Far from the $0.299 that Goober pumped in Mayberry but even farther from the $3.589 price tag I pumped today. When I was graduating from high school there was some quick reduction of gas prices for a little while during some sort of event in the Middle East. I once paid $0.799 a gallon to fill my 1976 Pontiac Astre. People called it “the Disastre” because it was a Vega in a fancy suit. It got me from point A to point B so I didn’t care so much. It was a really weird green color. When I wore my red snowsuit while driving it I looked like an olive with me in the starring role as the pimento.