Hero of War

July 11, 2009

One of the advantages of living in Buffalo is that we are in sthe reception area for Toronto’s 102.1 radio station. It is/was the Lovely Lettuce’s favie station. And I think it is pretty good in an psuedo-alternative sort of way.
Any old way, I digress. A few days ago, I heard a song by Rise Against that I loved. Although to be accurate, I loved the song before I knew it was Rise Against.

Embedding is disabled for this video so you will have to go to youtube to watch it.

I think it is a great anti-war song that shows compassion and understanding for the soldiers fighting in the name of our flag. It doesn’t accuse or judge.

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could.”

Just carry this gun.
You’ll even get paid.”
I said
“That sounds pretty good.

Black leather boots
Spit shined so bright
They cut off my hair
But it looks alright
We marched and we sang
We all became friends
As we learned how to fight

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

I kicked in the door
I yelled my commands
The children they cried
But I got my man
We took him away
A bag over his face
From his family and his friends

They tookoff his clothes
They pissed in his hands
I told them to stop
But then I joined in
We beat him with guns
And batons not just once
But again and again

A hero of war
Yeah that’s what I’ll be
And when I come home
They’ll be damn proud of me

I’ll carry this flag
To the grave if I must
Because it’s a flag that I love
And a flag that I trust

She walked
Through bullets and haze
I asked her to stop
I begged her to stay
But she pressed on
So i lifted my gun
And i fired away

And the shells jumped
Through the smoke
And into the sand
That the blood now had soaked
She collapsed
With a flag in her hand
A flag white as snow

A hero of war
Is that what they see
Just medals and scars
So damn proud of me

And I brought home that flag
Now it gathers dust
But it’s a flag that I love
It’s the only flag I trust

He said
“Son…Have you seen the world?
Well, what would you say
If I said that you could


Motor City Withdrawal

May 23, 2009

Well, we got back to Buffalo Tuesday night. The Lovely Lettuce and I really enjoyed our 6 day ‘oliday in the Motor City. Although, if one wants to be technical, our ‘oliday was Southfield, MI since that is where we slept. Perhaps our ‘oliday will inspire me to post about something other than the joys of working for RGIS. Just for the record, I must tell you that I resisted the urge to drive to the RGIS World Headquarters and fart in their general direction.

We loved the Henry Ford (Museum and Greenfield Village), the Detroit Insitute of Arts and Detroit and Toledo Zoos. We visited lots of neighborhoods from my past and found that some of them were for all practical purposes gone.

Dining in the Motor City and Environs was a culinary adventure. The Lovely Lettuce had what she called the “best veggie burger I ever had” at a restaurant called Sweet Loriannes. We both loved the veggie meatloaf there as well. We found out that beets and feta cheese are a tasty combination at a restaurant in Greektown called the Golden Fleece.

There was a lot of stuff to blog about. Hopefully, I’ll get around to it.


Tomatoes From the Garden

December 9, 2008

I am amazed that we still have a few tomatoes from our garden in our kitchen.. I picked several pounds of unripe tomatoes before the first deep frost in mid-November and over 80% actually ripened to an edible state.

2008 was a great year for tomato growing in the garden.


Nam-myoho-renge-kyo

November 20, 2008

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure to run a small inventory at the local Nichiren Buddhist Community Center bookstore in Buffalo. It was the most pleasant inventory I’ve ever experienced. The co-managers and others assisting with the inventory were perhaps the most well-adjusted (dare I say happy??) people I’ve ever met.
The store itself was very well organised. And the place was clean.

Friendly helpful people to work with. Stock well-organised. And clean working conditions. I couldn’t ask for anything more in an inventory.

Just for the record, in case anyone was wondering, Nam-myoho-renge-kyo is the Nichiren Buddhist chant for individual happiness and world peace.


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.


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.”


Cameras and Increased Patrols

August 21, 2008

Oh, Lordy, it seems that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Rep. Brian Higgins don’t want visitors to the Buffalo waterfront to be victims of smash and grab crimes. From the Buffalo News:

“We are aware that several cars have been broken into in the area as well as at Erie Basin Marina,” said Mayor Byron W. Brown, announcing plans to install the cameras.

“We will not tolerate this type of quality-of-life crime, which ruins the experience of the Buffalo waterfront,” he said. “We are installing these cameras to ensure the safety of the visitors to the waterfront.”

“With the newly opened Greenbelt pathway and the Outer Harbor Parkway currently under construction, we are going to see an increased number of visitors along this stretch,” said Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo. “This camera provides added protection for residents looking to take in a safe and enjoyable waterfront experience.”

In addition to the cameras, the Buffalo Police Department has increased patrols in the area.

Perhaps I’m full of myself but I would like to think that I helped in some small way to bring this problem to the attention of the media and the City of Buffalo.


Buffalo Waterfront Crime Update

August 20, 2008

I decided to contact the Buffalo News about the Buffalo Waterfront Crime Wave. Even if they did nothing, I would feel better that I tried to do something to make my fellow Buffaloians aware of the risk of leaving valuables visable at the new greenway trail.

Yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to see an article in the Buffalo News about the break-ins. Of course, it could be co-incidence that a Buffalo News reporter decided that these crimes were worth writing about.

Even more surprising was yet another article in today’s (Wednesday) Buffalo News about another “smash and grab” on Fuhrmann.

I’m not sure what cops could do other than stationing cops in each parking lot and increasing patrols along Fuhrmann to stop this from happening.

I think that signs advising greenway users not to leave valuables in sight would be a good idea.


Welcome to the Buffalo Waterfront

August 16, 2008

The City of Buffalo opened a new greenway on the waterfront just below Downtown on Thursday. By this morning, the criminals have already found it to be a great place to do crimes.

This morning the lovely Lettuce and I decided to go for a walk on Buffalo’s newest trail. As I was pulling into the newly-created Bell Slip parking lot, a Canadian car with bikes on a rack couldn’t decide where to park. To avoid fuss and a possible accident, I parked in a spot closest to the road.

As we were walking towards the trail, we noticed some broken auto glass in an empty parking space. Both Lettuce and I didn’t pay it much mind figuring that the break-in happened overnight. We certainly didn’t even consider the possibility that a car could be broken into during the daylight hours next to a well-traveled road.

We walked on the trail for about 45 minutes. As we were almost back to the parking lot, we noticed that a couple with a toddler in a stroller was standing next to their yellow SUV and the woman was obviously upset and yelling. Lettuce first thought that the couple were having a fight. Then we both thought that perhaps something happened to the toddler. It wasn’t until we heard the phrase “credit cards” and saw broken auto glass next to their vehicle that we realized what happened.

Apparently the thieves took the woman’s diaper bag that, unfortunately, contained her wallet with credit cards but, fortunately, no cash. The man asked me if I had a cell phone that he could to call the police. Of course, I gave it to him. The woman was still very upset and Lettuce gave her a hug and tried to comfort her.

The man ended up calling 911. At first, there was some confusion as to the exact jurisdiction the parking lot was in. Unfortunately, the parking lot was still within the city limits of Buffalo and the man found out that it would be at least 45 minutes before a police officer would arrive. The City of Buffalo Police Department has a reputation, deserved or not, that they do respond to property crimes promptly.

We waited with the couple for about 30 minutes and the police still hadn’t come. In the for what it is worth department, Police HQ was about a 5 minute drive from the parking lot.

I asked if they wanted to use my phone to call anyone else before we left. As fate would have it, the woman’s parents were on a trip out of town so they didn’t really have anyone that they could call.

We wished them luck and left. I hope that everything is ok with them.

Lettuce also blogged about this incident