Lovely Lettuce and the Motor Crash

September 12, 2008

Yesterday (Thursday, Sept. 11) whilst I was counting auto parts at the NAPA store on Military Rd. in Niagara Falls, I got a call from the Lovely Lettuce.

“Hi, dear,” said she, “Don’t panic, I’m ok but I was just rear-ended by some <expletive-deleted> old man.”

It seems that this old man was in  a hurry to get somewhere and tried to pass her on a gravel shoulder while she was the third car stopped waiting for the first car ahead of her to turn left into a driveway.   It ended up being a 4 car chain reaction. She’s ok physically but a bit bruised from the seat belt.   Emotionally, she is still angry.

The police officer who handled the accident told her that the 79-year-old man who ran into her was at fault. One would think that on a clear and sunny morning, he would be able to go around (however illegally) a group of stopped cars without hitting any of them. And one, in hindsight, would be wrong.

Lettuce’s 1997 Saturn SL2 was her first car. She had to buy a car so she could get to her job at the Western New York Developmental Disability Service Office in West Seneca. The place is nowhere near a bus line. And now, her car is not drivable because, in addition to the more or less superficial but expensive to fix damage to both the front and rear bumper, the drivers seat was damaged in the impact and will not stay in an upright enough position for driving. Based upon the age fo the car, I reckon that the old man’s insurance company will total it instead of trying to fix it.

Despite its quirks and problems, Lettuce was quite fond of her “blue bitch.” The car was her “blue baby” until the transmission fluid started leaking. Ironically enough, on Wednesday, she finally got her transmission leak fixed. A nice mechanic at a Valvoline oil change place figured out that her “slip on” transmission filter had some pinholes in it (probably from gravel or stones on the road) and the fluid was leaking out of them while the car was running. A new filter was installed and no more leak. I knew she had a compression leak because the transmission didn’t really leak when the car was not running. But I didn’t even know that it had a transmission filter. I’m older and wiser now.

Clergy say onto Hoyt and Kavanaugh – Stop Being Nasty.

September 8, 2008

Apparently, I’m not the only one bothered by the nasty campaign in the 144th Assembly District According to the Buffalo News, local religious leaders are asking both Sam Hoyt and Barbra Kavanaugh to stop the negative campaigning.

“We’ve become increasingly distressed at the personal tone of the campaigns,” said Rabbi Drorah Setel of Temple Beth El in Niagara Falls.

She was joined by three other religious leaders at Niagara Square who called for a more civil debate that focuses on the issues.

“We are appealing to the heart and conscience of the city to denounce this distasteful and destructive use of personal struggles for political office. It takes a community to draw the line and, as religious leaders, we’re representing the conscience of the community,” said the Rev. Tom Yorty, senior pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Lobsters Gorilla

September 7, 2008

Everything Sound Better Faster e.p./Lobsters Gorilla

Once upon a time in another century, I was a in a band called Lobsters Gorilla. We formed at the University of Detroit. The other original members and I all lived at the end of a corridor at the Holden Hall?? dorm. Bobby Lent, guitar and vocals was from the Bronx. John Sase, a talented multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter from Detroit, played drums. I sang, wrote most of the songs, and played bass. In his other bands, John usually played bass.

In the short period that we existed (1978 – 1981) we had a few line up changes but the core was always Bobby, John and me. I never really wanted to be the singer. I wanted to write the songs and have someone else sing them. At one point, Dangerous Diane Spodarek of Dangerous Diane and Detroit Artists Monthly fame was the singer. Kevin Zielinski, the brother of one of my classmates, was our “boy singer” for a while. At another point, we had another drummer (Jimmy??) whose name escapes me with John playing bass and me playing assistant guitar.

We played a lot at the Freezer Theatre in the Cass Corridor. For some reason, the folks at Plum Street Music have two Lobsters Gorilla songs available for download: Blue Light and Rich Suburban Girl.

The Plum Street Music website features the music of many Detroit artists including John Sase..

Sam Hoyt won’t get my vote

September 7, 2008

Here in Buffalo’s 144th Assembly District, Sam Hoyt is running against Brabra Kavanaugh in a bitterly fought primary battle. Neither side seems to mind campaign material by third parties full of innuendo and half-truths directed against the other. But, oh, when it is directed against them, it is another matter entirely.

In the last two days, I’ve gotten 3 mailings from “Citizens for Sam Hoyt.” Here are the first two:

Sam Hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

Sam Hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

sam hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

Sam Hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

As I told the nice campaign worker who came to my house last month, I’ve voted for Hoyt before and I was probably going to vote for him again. In general terms, I like his position on most issues. And I saw llittle in Kavanaugh that would make me want to vote for her instead of him.

I was even going to vote for him despite the relevation that he had a extra-marital affair with an intern. I think that cheating on a spouse is wrong (unless, of course, said spouse gives a priori consent – i.e., an open marriage). Ultimately, it is a matter for the people involved. If Hoyt’s wife didn’t hold it against him, why should I? And, I told myself, at least she wasn’t his intern and she was over 21. Even more amazingly, it wasn’t even illegal at the time. I felt a wee bit dirty but I was going to vote him anyway. I tend to think that politicians tend to be sleazy under the best of circumstances. And, anyway, to paraphrase Randy Newman, he may be sleazy politician but at least he is our sleazy politician.

I was going to vote for Sam Hoyt. I got the first 2 mailings on the same day. I was not impressed. I don’t want to hear how the other guy sucks. I want to hear how great my guy is. Negative campaigning is a real turnoff for me. I told myself I was still going to vote for Hoyt unless I got another nasty negative campaign mailing supporting Hoyt before the primary.

Snakes Alive!!! What did I find in mailbox the very next day? Yes, you guessed it. Another missive from Citizens for Sam Hoyt:

hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

Sam Hoyt campaign mailing Sept 2008

Congralutions, Citzens for Sam Hoyt, your campaign literature has convinced me not to vote for him. Now, I have a problem. I don’t think I want to vote for Kavanaugh instead. She, too, is the beneficiary of a third party negative campaign by “Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers” Citizens for Sam Hoyt claims that Tom Golisano, the owner of the Buffalo Sabres, is behind the negative campaign against Hoyt. Update 09/08/08: Apparently the Golisano political action committee is Responsible New York It seems that Hoyt has more than one enemy.

I can’t show any campaign mailings from Mothers and Fathers Demanding Answers or Responsible New York since I didn’t get any. I’m told that they are just as nasty the ones against Sam Hoyt in their own way.

I just don’t know what to do on Tuesday. Maybe, I’ll just stay home. I really wish we could vote for “None of the Above.”