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Pool Signs for sale at Clover Pool Supply
Pool Signs for sale at Clover Pool Supply

We stopped by Clover Pool Supply to pick up some more ph to add to our street’s pool. We are the presidents this year and our duties include keeping the chemistry balanced. With all the rain the ph has been consistently low. While we were there I noticed these signs for sale. I was trying to decide which one the members would like best.

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Death Panel Country

We drove deep into “Death Panel” country this week to attend the Wyoming County Fair in Pike, New York. New York’s gun toting junior senator was there and I grabbed a photo of her giving a balloon to a little kid. She got pretty cool reception when they introduced her. We rode down with Jeff and Mary Kaye and Jeff really knows the back roads so the scenery was “I Love NY” dreamy. We made this trip last year but our timing was off. We were there at the end of the week and the animals had already gone home. We did have fresh lemonade, ride the Ferris Wheel and see a nasty tractor pull.

This year we went on Tuesday and the fairground barns were full of prize winning livestock. We wandered around for hours and looking at goats, cows, rabbits, pigs, chickens, roosters, horses and sheep. We sat in the stands and watched the judging of cows and horses. It was hard for us to tell whether they were judging the animal or the the handler but that really didn’t matter.

There were no freak shows or creepy things in formaldehyde jars but there was a midway with the usual corn dogs and fried dough fare and farm equipment on display and booths selling t-shirts, wood stoves and ATVs. And a few buildings were devoted to trade show like booths for groups like the American Legion, the Republican Party, Right To Lifers offering tiny feet lapel pins for a dollar, a church group with free literature debunking evolution and a group that wanted to bring back “God given Jewish Law” that stated that “both persons involved in a homosexual act were to be be put to death.”

I spent a few minutes watching contestants play “I Got It”. The operator had a silky smooth voice and the contestants looked like they were in a trance. I took a short movie of one game and it turned out I caught a woman throwing two balls on one turn. Watch closely on ball number three.

More photos from the Wyoming County Fair

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Summer Of Love

Showroom dummies at Lord & Taylor in Rochester, New York
Showroom dummies at Lord & Taylor in Rochester, New York

Our neighbor was saying something about late summer weather and we just had to interrupt him. Summer is not even half over yet, isn’t it? While making way for the BTS stuff Lord & Taylor had a Swim Suit Sale with up to 80% off. Peggi needed one so we drove out Eastview Mall which is conveniently located in the next county so you can save a a few cents on the sales tax. We were noticing all the hippie tainted fashions and this topless display caught my eye.

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Follow That Car

Saturn Sky on Culver Road in Rochester, New York
Saturn Sky on Culver Road in Rochester, New York

We just so happened to be following this car on a perfect summer evening when MX-80‘s song came on the radio. Or maybe it wasn’t on the radio but we were singing it.

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Mother Nature Is Boss

Ducks on pond in Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, NY
Ducks on pond in Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, NY

A local farmer was pictured on the front page of the paper this morning expressing his frustration at the amount of rain that we’ve had. He did recognize that “Mother Nature is the boss” even as he speculated that he would lose more than a $1000,000 this year.

I did a little gardening today while Peggi was cranking out a rush ad. I dug into mother nature with bare hands to separate daffodil bulbs that were growing in clusters on the hillside. I transplanted them along the ridge in the back of our house. I did the same thing last year and I was so surprised to see them come up in the Spring. You are supposed to do it when the green from this year’s plants dies. I almost waited too long. The old plants were all dried up and I only found pay-dirt about half of the time.

Mother Nature is taking a toll on the ninety year olds in our lives. Our next door neighbor had a same day procedure to remove a tumor on his bladder. We stopped over to see him when he got back. I asked if the incision was painful and he said, “There was no incision. They went right up my pencil.” I winced but Peggi delights in repeating that line. Peggi’s mom is finding it hard to swallow liquids and this week she has forgotten how to move her legs a couple of times. We plan to celebrate her 92nd birthday this weekend.

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Law Of Large Numbers

MArgaret Explosion Skyhigh playing on Bill and Geri’s patio

Margaret Explosion plays at seven tonight for the Rochester Contemporary closing party of the 6×6 Show. I put some of my Local Crime Faces (from the Crimestopper page) in there and last I checked only one of them had a red dot next to it. Just why would anyone want a crime face on their walls anyway?

We met with our financial guy yesterday and he had some new software that allowed us to put numbers for what age we would like to retire and how much we would need to live on. After a little crunching the results indicated that we would have to work a little longer that we had hoped. So we started looking looking for variables that we could fudge. The life expectancy figures show Peggi would live to 93 and I would live to 92. This sounded ridiculous. I told him I did not want to see ninety so he moved my number down. Pegii said, “Yeah, at ninety I could live like a bag lady and not even know the difference.”

Our financial guru laughed and told us about his brother’s plan. “Put on a nice suit. Go to church. Stop at the doughnut shop on the way home. Have some Irish coffee. Pull in the garage, shut the door and leave the engine running.”

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Box Of Sighs

Trout for the grill at Anne Haven's house
Trout for the grill at Anne Haven’s house

Anne Havens is one of our favorite artists. We recently helped her with a few computer issues so she invited us over for dinner last night. She said we would know which apartment was hers by just by looking and we did. Everywhere you look you are surrounded by art and most of it is Anne’s.

We sat out on their deck while Stuart cooked trout on the grill. Peggi and I marveled at his nonchalant barbecue style and we knew the trout would be done to perfection. Anne made a real Ceasar’s Salad and roasted potatoes. We listened to Ornette Coleman and Duke Ellington and had a marvelous time. Anne proposed a toast to Ornette, our cat, and we got to talk about how special he was. The Ornette synchronicity has been non-stop around here. When David Greenbergger was here he had a Wire Magazine with Ornette on the cover and this morning Marc Weinstein emailed us a link to an Ornette Coleman clip from 1974 with James Ulmer Blood on guitar.

We offered to help Anne with an audio file that she plans to put in her concrete box sculpture, “Box of Sighs” which will be featured in the upcoming Rochester Finger Lakes show. Anne’s studio mate commented on how Anne sighs while she works so Anne recorded her sighs and put them in this box. She showed the piece at Studio 354 in 2008 but she wasn’t happy with the sound quality so we rerecorded the track today in our bathroom. The sighs were barely audible behind the closed doors and were so quiet that I had to really boost the input levels. As a result we wound up with a hum on the track. We traced that to the refrigerator on the other side of the bathroom wall so we unplugged it and got a perfect track. Anne was really in the zone. We were telling her that what we needed was a “whisper room” like they have out at Sutro Sound in San Francisco and she liked the sound of that.

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Beautiful Game

Cheerleaders at Rochester Rhinos game
Cheerleaders at Rochester Rhinos game

We are already gearing up for World Cup 2010 around here so we made a point of stopping by Maureen Outlaw’s place to watch the Confederations Cup on her bad ass tv. It seemed like a miracle when the US beat the European champion, Spain. And here they were facing Brazil in the final. The US was ahead 2-0 at the half and then fell apart. They didn’t really fall apart so much as Brazil just turned on their beautiful game, scored three times and defeated the United States 3-2.

There was a two for one coupon offer in yesterday’s paper for admission to the Rochester Rhino’s game downtown. At around five o’clock the sky cleared and it looked like a perfect night for a soccer game so we bought tickets in the upper deck at the midfield line. By the time we got to the stadium it was raining and they delayed the game when lightning struck. We hung around and had 2 dollar Utica Clubs in cans. Didn’t even know that brewery was still in business. The game started about an hour late.

The Rhinos played really well, the best performance I had ever seen from them, and they tied Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew 1-1 in regulation time. Because this too was a tournament they wen to a penalty kick phase. This really cheapens the whole experience because it is such a crap shoot after such a long slog but the Rhinos won and we cheered.

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Welfare Of Humanity

Monroe County Almshouse built in 1930
Monroe County Almshouse built in 1930

Leo Dodd, past president of the Historic Brighton, bought us tickets to their group’s tour of Monroe Community Hospital in West Brighton. We had helped the group out with their website and this was a thank you. We took Peggi’s mom along. They provided a box lunch and a slide show/lecture on the many homes in the area that helped with the Underground Railroad effort in the early 1800s. And then we toured the hospital.

Originally built in 1826 as the Monroe County Almshouse, they had 75 residents and a staff of two. The beautiful new building, constructed in 1930, has 566 residents and a staff of 700! The residents used to grow their own food and provide for the upkeep of the facility. There must be other reasons for the narrowing resident-to-staff ratio but I can only guess. Thomas Boyd, Rochester’s first black architect, designed the place and it is so beautiful that critics started calling it “the million dollar poor house”.

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Free TV

Cashing in our government issued digital TV coupon at Target
Cashing in our government issued digital TV coupon at Target

One day ahead of the June 12 cutoff we cashed in our $40 government coupon on a digital converter for our Samsung TV. We don’t have cable tv and hardly watch it at all but there might be another slow speed chase someday. We let our first coupon expire so we were determined to cash this one in before the deadline. We started at Sears but they were sold out so we went next door to Target and picked up a converter for five bucks above the value of the coupon plus an amplified antenna. We should now be able to get the networks and four PBS stations in high def, 16 x 9 aspect ratio off the air for free. I don’t imagine this will last forever. I’d be happy if I could just sit down and watch The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet of Jack Benny or Huckleberry Hound but I know that won’t happen.

Did anybody see my parents in the back page of the B section this morning? My sister took out an ad with a picture of them in the back seat of a car on their wedding day 60 years ago. If you see Mary and Leo wish them a Happy Anniversary.

Ever had a pet that you cared so much for that you didn’t even want to take a vacation?. Ornette, who seemed like a kitten for twelve years, is still alive but now appears like a ghost of himself. He might weigh four or five pounds tops and does not seem too happy. He ignores squirrels and chipmunks and just sits in the sun like an old man or he hides in the bushes because he realizes his defenses are down, way down. If he looked like he was in excruciating pain we would take him out to Dr. Barry Brown for his last shot but he is not there yet. He still digs fresh catnip from our garden and I love turning him on.

We ran into Martin Edic at a “social networking event” (cocktail hour) at Label 7 in Pittsford. We were there for dinner with Peggi’s mom. I had a delicious salad with spinach, grilled onions and vinaigrette andsome spicey tortilla soup. Peggi’s mom has her lobster pjs on now and I can’t wait to get home to Ornette.

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Smells Like Money

One of the best lines in “Food Inc.” was spoken by the overweight hillbilly chicken farmer. He boasted that he owned about 300,000 chickens. The rest of the farmers featured in the documentary playing at the High Falls Film Fest deserve our sympathy as they slug it out with the monstrous agriconglomerates. Monsanto genetically altered and patented the Round-up Ready soy bean and they now own the plant. If you try to grow your own strain and your plants get cross pollinated by your neighbors’ Monsanto crop, they will see you in court.

The movie was heavy handed and preachy when it didn’t need to be. I was one of the only ones laughing as we watched an absurd parade of corn-fed chickens on assembly lines grow so fat they couldn’t take two steps without falling over and cattle up to their knees in their own shit on their way to a slaughterhouse that kills 400 cows an hour. There were flyover shots of endless corn fields that would make the earth artists envious. Corn is in everything now and they’re teaching farm raised fish to eat it for Christ’s sake. Near the end of the movie, after growing accustomed to bloated produce, hogs, chickens and cattle, we see diabetes ridden fat people that drive this market.

We rode home from the movie in Rick and Monica’s car and Rick suggested sausage shish kabobs for dinner. “A man’s gotta eat.”

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Beyond Considering

Janet Marshall kitchen
Janet Marshall kitchen

We were standing outside the fence at the Rickie Lee/Dr John show when Jan Marshall walked by with her son and his friends. She recently bought a house near the park and we walked there to see it. You can tell it is a work in progress by the sight of paint brushes in the sink. Jan and her late husband have had a string of cool houses and this song came to mind.

Considering a Move to Memphis
I’m considering a move to Memphis with my hair all aglow
When I arrive in Memphis, I’m bound to meet up with someone I might know

I’m considering, I’m considering
A move to Memphis, a move to Memphis
I’m considering, I’m considering

I’ll visit the Graceland mansion and set my face in wax
Then go back to my motel room to file my income tax
I’m considering a move to Memphis and this much I know
When I arrive in Memphis, I’ll have to spent my dough
I’ll walk down to Beale Street to watch the jug band show
I’ll shake hands with Gus Cannon, he’s someone I should know
I’ll get myself a motel room that’s not too small to see
I’ll get one with a private bath and a black and white TV
Memphis isn’t all that big, at least that’s how I found it
Why, it took only an hour and a half to walk completely around it
Memphis isn’t all that big, it isn’t all that wide
Still, it is the kind of place where a country boy can hide

I’m considering, I’m considering
A move to Memphis, a move to Memphis
I’m considering, I’m considering

I’ll find a favourite restaurant and eat there every day
And at the nearby bowling alley I’ll bowl my cares away
Some days I’ll order chicken, some days I’ll order fish
Some days I’ll have piroshki’s, that’s a Polish dish
And after bowling twenty frames, I’ll sit and have a beer
Perhaps I meet a pretty girl who is a barmaid there
I’ll get a job at a steak house, wash dishes, mob floors
Yes, I know I won’t get rich
Memphis is the kind of town that won’t feel like a trap
Besides, I kind of like the way it sits there on the map
I’m considering a move to Memphis, that’s Memphis Tennessee
It worked for Elvis Presley, why can’t it work for me?
The people in the restaurants there will all use forks and knives
They won’t take decongestions though for fear of getting hives

I’m considering, I’m considering
A move to Memphis, a move to Memphis
I’m considering, I’m considering

I’ll ask the lowly sparrow, up in his lofty perch
“Would you please direct me to the local Baptist church?”
I’ll attend the Wednesday meeting and there I’ll speak in tongues
I’ll shout and holler “praise the lord” ”till I nearly burst my lungs
Someday I’ll return to Memphis in my own private jet
I’ll remember my first visit there, that’s if I don’t forget
When I arrive in Memphis I’ll put a sign out on the door
“It’s ok to disturb me, that’s what I came here for”

I’m considering, I’m considering
A move to Memphis, a move to Memphis
I’m considering, I’m considering

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Soft In The Head

Horseshoe Dispute
Horseshoe Dispute


That’s my ringer underneath Rick’s leaner. If the leaner came after the ringer does it cancel the ringer?

Our neighbor is 92 and still driving but he is forgetting his way around the city. The other day he drove up and down Hudson Avenue looking for a place that had closed decades ago. He rang our bell this morning asking directions to Rowe Photo on Mount Hope.

I was pulling my hair out with this jquerry ThickBox script until Bill Jones troubleshot our work and found that I had to remove an @ in the thickbox.js code.

I brought up a Google map and showed our neighbor how to get to Rowe but I could see he wasn’t quite following it. He told me “he’s getting soft in the head”. I asked him what he was going out there for and he said that his camera was broken. I took a look at it and found he had locked the card so that he couldn’t write to it. I opened the photos that were already on the card including the photo he took in Rowe Photo when he bought the thing. I found one of him and his lady friend and I cloned his face onto the woman’s head. He asked if he could do that with his computer. I said “sure” but then he told me he had hired someone to help him with his pc twice at 90 bucks per visit and it still wasn’t working right. I’m quite sure the computer is fine. I told him that sounds like some easy money, easier than jquerry implementation, and I laughingly told him to call us next time.

My brother is a mason and he bids on some pretty big projects. A few weeks ago he drove to Buffalo to pick up some plans that the builder wanted to email him. He didn’t have a computer then but he does now. He had a pc years ago when his daughter was in her teens and she brought the computer to its knees with viruses. I encouraged him to buy a Mac this time and he did so we’ve been doing phone support all week. We told our neighbor to buy a Mac too but he found a cheaper pc.

I used to be much more competitive when I was younger. Sports is about all I did in my teens and the drive to be better propelled me. We have horseshoe pits in our front yard and Rick from across the street will play at the drop of a hat. I just have to go out front and clang the shoes together. Rick called the other day while we were still working. I picked up the phone and all he said was, “Clang, Clang”. Of course he beat me so we played another and he beat me again. I try my best to hit the stake but I have the hardest time keeping score. I can’t bring myself tally the points. I don’t really care who wins. I’m thinking I’ve gone soft in the head.

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Late Inning Rally

Ornette out front with his first chipmunk of the year
Ornette out front with his first chipmunk of the year

I was especially tired yesterday because we drank coffee the night before with my mom and we both wound up tossing all night. And I compounded the funk worrying about Ornette not eating. I picked up some Felovite at PetCo and gave him a squirt but he hardly ate anything else all day.

I slung his boney body over my shoulder this morning and walked slowly around the house as he purred in my ear. I set him down and went in to read the paper and couldn’t believe my eyes as he came up the sidewalk with his first chipmunk of the year. He ate a good bit of it too but I’ll spare you the documentation. Could this be a late inning rally?

We opened the street pool this morning. Took the cover off, got the pump primed, put the diving board in place, swept the deck and dumped a bunch of chemicals in the water. Consequently, we missed the annual Weiner Dog Parade. Our friends, Bob and Liz, were planning on bringing their long haired low riders down there so I hope to see photos. We got an email blast from Rocco at Small World Books about a sale, poetry reading and greens and beans this afternoon. We might stop by there. We talked about riding our bikes over to Highland Park to listen to Ricki Lee Jones and Dr. John but it looks like rain. Perfect weather for painting in the basement.

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Four Minutes To Fidget

Leo fixes our ceramic fish
Leo fixes our ceramic fish

Peggi was trying to bust the screen open in our kitchen and she knocked our ceramic fish off the widow ledge. We bought it at the Clothesline Show a long time ago and we never found a place to hang it in our new crib. Funny thing is the fish came from one of the nearby ponds that we walk and ski around. A tag on the back of it reads, “The mold for this fish was made by a Perch caught by Joe Lake in a pond of Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, NY in 1993.”

Rick Simpson suggested that we take the pieces over to our neighbor, Leo, who excels in glue applications. Leo chose a two part epoxy that looks black when it hardens. We tried holding the pieces together with nails, our hands and duct tape. We had four minutes to fidget. The seam is pretty visible but it is a whole again.

I sat down to talk to Sue Rogers at last Wednesday’s Margaret Explosion gig and I remember fidgeting with Scott Regan’s pens while we talked. Well, I found the pen in my pocket the next day. I’m bad. I will return it.

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You Are Stuck With It

Easter display in house on Culver Road in Rochester, NY
Easter display in house on Culver Road in Rochester, NY

I rode my bike past this display in the front window of a house on Culver Road and couldn’t resist stopping to take a photo. Even after reading how that guy came out of his house and shot that kid. Someone who puts Easter animals in their window probably wouldn’t tote guns would they? This display is either a week late or these people are on the Eastern Orthodox calendar like our neighbor, Helen.

Raised as a Catholic, and still mystified by that whole thing, I was never taught the significance of the bunny and chick. You can hardly even speculate anymore with Wikipedia right at your fingertips but I would have guessed that the chick has something to do with being born again. And maybe that’s why Catholics scoffed at these pagan symbols. You are born Catholic and then stuck with it. You don’t have the option of being born again. I certainly knew the bunny showed up with the an overdose of candy just after we had given up candy for Lent but this guy was suspect too. The focus, of course, was supposed to be on the most suspect of all Catholic legends, the resurrection.

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Pasta Fazool

Marc Chagall self portrait on the cover of Time in 1965
Marc Chagall self portrait on the cover of Time in 1965

Rob Storms from Sound Source called us on Saturday afternoon to invite us to Small World Books for some homemade pasta fazool. This invitation came right out of the blue and we accepted it. Small World Books is in a beautiful old building near downtown on North Street and it specializes in used, rare, and out of print books.

Rocco runs the place and he made the soup. They do most of their business online so it is no surprise we had never been there. We wandered around the building for for an hour or so and I came across this magazine from another era. There is a beautiful light filled gallery upstairs and a small performance space. We’re thinking, we’re thinking. I bought a Matisse book for five dollars and Peggi bought a Sparky doll. I might post a picture of that tomorrow.

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Tap Tap Tap

Tree foaming in the woods
Tree foaming in the woods

This probably happens every year but if you’re not in the woods when it happens – you know what they say about hearing trees fall out there. At first glance we thought it might be sap pouring out of the trees, maybe even maple syrup, but these weren’t maple trees and the foam wasn’t sticky. Our friends, Pete and Shelley, spend a good bit of March “syrupping down” so it can’t just bubble out of the trees.

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I Would Rather Be Sailing

Virtual business card for 4D Advertising
Virtual business card for 4D Advertising

I had a meeting today with a client at his office. He showed me his logo and then explained that it is not intended to be an oval. His flat panel monitor was distorting everything he looks at by a long shot, even the picture of his son that used as his wallpaper. He asked me if I could remedy the situation so there I was duking it out with his clunky Windows pc.

This afternoon my father sent me this Word doc that he had spent most of the day on. It was given to him by a pc user and he added a bunch of stuff and sent it back but the guy wasn’t able to open the file. All I had to do add the “.doc” suffix to the file name and send it back. You’d think a Windows machine would recognize a Word doc.

A friend of ours programs data bases for web sites and he laughingly told us that he just stopped previewing his sites in Explorer. He said the people who use that program are idiots and he doesn’t care about them. I was reading a bad review of Explorer 8 today and they had a link to stats that showed two thirds of all web users use IE. That’s a lot of idiots. The economy would get a real sot in the arm if all web developers could quit wasting time with IE workarounds.

I was reading about the new system for the iPhone and Touch and an app for them that will allow users to see other users on the same network and exchange virtual business and it reminded me that we haven’t done new business cards since we moved. We have been using the “we just moved” excuse for four years now. We had some business cards printed online for a client they came out great. They offer rounded corners too. So I spent some time today playing with the 4D Advertising logo. I love coming up with logos and haven’t done one in a while.

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