You found me (not that I've been hiding) and, yes, I realize this page was built in Blogger, but I'm really not using it as a blog. Occasionally, I'll post a note in the space below, but not too often.

However, I do blog regularly and invite you to check it out. If you're looking for me, I'm probably logged in to Facebook right now. I also tweet a lot.

Twitter is where I make most of my noise...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

pigskin and heartbreak

I'm a football nut. And like many football nuts, I've grown to be a fantasy football junkie. It's a wonderful diversion - part competition, part entertainment. A game, rooted in reality. It's a great way to make the actual games even more interesting. I frequently find that there's a game on that features two teams that I don't have a particular interest in, but having my starting running back in the game suddenly makes the game considerably more enjoyable. Fantasy football is one of life's little pleasures.

Until late December, when it becomes hell. Inevitably, you find yourself cheering for a player while hoping his team loses. You need his performance for your fantasy team to win, but you need his team to lose to help your own favorite team get into the playoffs. You start thinking of bizarre scenarios that somehow have everything play out in your favor... it maddening.

Right now, my fantasy team is playing for the league championship... but I need two of my players to lose today (which it's starting to look like they will) in order for my favorite real-world team to stay alive in the playoff hunt. Of course, I still need those players to put up some numbers, or my hope of winning the fantasy game will be dashed.

It's an emotional roller coaster. Torn between two loves. A sick addiction to the thrill, and the disappointment.

In the end, my Steamrollers may not end up being the PFA champs; my Bills may be sitting at home in January, but by August, I'll be hungry for the punishment all over again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

11 things you should never touch

Established long ago, but worth documenting...there are 11 things you should never touch, under penalty of severe asskicking:

  • another man's food,
  • his hat,
  • his kids,
  • his woman,
  • his lawn,
  • his TV remote,
  • his tools,
  • his car,
  • his dog,
  • his genitals
  • and his beer

a look back home

So, last weekend, Alison & I made our second trip back to the 716 since moving south last year. Visiting is such a pain in the ass. We spent the whole time rushing around from place to place, and still didn't get to see everyone. I think our best bet is to get the rest of them to leave town too.

It's funny, because when we left, the plan was to get away for a few years, and hopefully when things got better back home, we could go back. Now, I'm not so sure there's any chance of the situation ever improving there.

After taking a step back and looking at Buffalo from the outside, it's clear now how bad things are there. Driving around, everything looked so run down and miserable. I had never really noticed that until spending a year in a city that's actually vibrant. People often ask me how I could stand the Buffalo winters for so long, but honestly, sometimes I think the snow is all the city has going in it's favor. The economy is in the toilet, and looks like it'll get far worse before it gets any better.

Erie County is going to raise the sales tax to an oppressive 9.25%, and New York is getting ready to raise the minimum wage. Toss in the already high cost of utilities and property taxes, and it sounds like a perfect blueprint for a competitive business environment and a recipe for a booming economy, right? What a joke.

Of course, the biggest problem is that whenever something gets proposed, it ends up getting shot down because it's not the single solution to all the area's problems. After years of planning, there's still no bridge, no new office tower, the Aud sits empty, the waterfront remains underdeveloped and the zoo serves as a museum of what zoos were like back in the 1920s. Yet, people continue to wait around for the magic bullet, while in the meantime, businesses and residents leave town, draining the tax base.

It's all ridiculous. Try everything, build on what works and learn from what doesn't.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


... or so it seems. I walked outside tonight and into the arctic blast.

Ok, it wasn't that bad, maybe 30. Back home, you don't even bother putting on pants unless it's below 19. But, this was the first cold day here since last winter, and it was that dry cold that sucks the moisture out of your face. I hate that. At least have the decency to snow, dammit.

I ate lunch outside the other day... in December. Without a jacket.
The South is good.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Succumbing to the blog... stay tuned for details

Sure, I'll give it a shot. Why not?

It's not like I'm ever going to get around to writing that book, anyway. You can only jot down so many ideas - only to misplace or delete the list- before you forget what it was you wanted to say to begin with.

Maybe if I toss it up in pieces, someday it'll be something complete.

Scratch that. Comprehensive, perhaps... but never complete.

The day I run out of things to say, you can wrap a box around me.

Hops & Hickory