Friday, September 30, 2011

Wack pack's NFL picks: week four

Week four is upon us. The leaves are falling and the Bills remain undefeated. It's becoming a horse race. All three of our degenerate gamblers are neck and neck, with only one game separating them. Let's get right to this week's predictions from our all star panel...

The Ninja

The Ninja is coming off a 2-2-1 week. This week, he likes Detroit, Buffalo, Baltimore, Minnesota, and his beloved Arizona Cardinals. The Ninja told a great story this week about his time in Arizona. He put an ad in the local paper for displaced Bills' fans when the Bills played the Cardinals out west. He told everyone to meet at a local restaurant. Much to his surprise, the place was packed with former Buffalonians. He said he felt like he was back home again. It's funny how people stay loyal to their teams, even when they move.

Last week 2-2-1
Overall record 5-4-1

Buddy "the Book" from Amherst

Buddy had a tough week. His meeting with Belichick did not produce the outcome neither one of them expected. New England pulled a "Jim Keane" and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against Buffalo. Buddy predicts a different story when we travel to the not so friendly confines of Foxboro. This week, Buddy likes Kansas City (+72.5), San Diego, Dallas (he's also on good terms with Jerry Jones), Buffalo, and Arizona. I cannot tell Buddy which teams the Ninja picks because the two are fierce rivals. Buddy considers the Ninja to be bad luck. There was brief talk this week of a bet between the two on the final standings but it didn't go anywhere.

Buddy is also predicting Bishop Timon by 13 over Springville this weekend.

Last week 1-3-1
Overall record 4-4-2

The Rooster(with help from MacGavis)...


The rooster commented on his two adversaries both taking Detroit last week. He commented that "they must not have heard of the over 40 bet against" and this week "we will see if they learned anything." While hanging out at Molly's on South Park Avenue, the rooster said he ran into two former baseball players from St. Patrick's (Bill and Ray). Bill was a very good player, but Ray's best moments came off the field. Rooster says he was kept on the team at the request of his Uncle McGiven. It was on the bench where Ray learned about the 30-30 bet from coach Gethinger. (If a team scores more than 30 points two weeks in a row, bet against them the following week. ) The Patriots were a 30-30 pick last week, which is why the Rooster cashed in on Buffalo.

New Orleans is both a 30-30 as well as an over 40 (what the Rooster calls a double whammy). The only problem is they are playing against a Jacksonville team that couldn't beat Kenmore West. Ray says it doesn't matter. Take
Jacksonville (+7.5), he says. Also, the Rooster says to go with the Chargers (his pick to win the AFC) (-7.5) over the lowly Miami Dolphins. The Giants are traveling West after a big win over Philly last week. MacGavis is predicting a letdown. He says go with the Arizona Cardinals (+3.5). While wondering what the hell a Packer is, the Rooster is taking the Packers (-13) and predicting a rout over the once mighty Denver Broncos. Finally, MacGavis thinks the Bills jaugernaut is due for a letdown. Therefore, he is calling for Ickie Woods to score twice in a Bengals (+3.5) victory over the Bills. Let's hope he's wrong.

Now for the important games. The Rooster thought Timon was playing a different Wilson team last week (as did I). He says the Wilson team they did play couldn't beat Mount Mercy and he accuses the young Comerford of scheduling nonleague games against "patsy's". I say a win is a win is a win. I do think playing against St. Joe's, Canisius, and St. Francis will be tough for our local boys, since these schools are known to buy their recruits.

In fact, the Rooster says he is willing to donate $1,000 a year to go towards football, err, "academic" scholarships at Timon. He is challenging other alumni to do the same. With 4 or 5 good players a year, the team can become a powerhouse. A great sports program is a major selling point to incoming students.

Last week: 3-2
Overall record 5-4-1


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Smooth Criminal

Curtis Johnson thought it was funny when he saw one of his friends pictured on a "Buffalo's 10 Most Wanted" poster outside an office at the Rath Building...

Johnson, 28, of Manhart Street, boasted to some women as he tore down the poster at about 10 a. m., “I know one of the guys pictured on this poster so I’m going to take it and show him so we can get a good laugh,” Deputy Gary Mosier reported.

Apparently, the Deputy did not find the poster quite as amusing. Johnson was taken into custody on a disorderly conduct charge, and a police check showed there was another warrant out for him on a domestic harassment case. When being led to his new cell, Johnson was overheard saying, "Snap! Aint that a bitch!"

Taking down wanted poster leads to arrest on warrant


International update: Bulgaria

  • Donkey enters elections in Bulgaria
Fed up with the incumbent, a political party in the Bulgarian city of Varna has succeeded in running a donkey against him. In my favorite part of the story, the incumbent has refused to share a platform with the donkey (nicknamed Marko the ass)...

Angel Dyankov, a representative of the Society for New Bulgaria party, told the country's Darik Radio: "Unlike the other mayor candidates and politicians, the Donkey has a strong character, doesn’t steal, doesn’t lie, and gets work done."

Donkey enters elections in Bulgaria


Racist ice cream

A Florida ice cream parlor had to change their mascot after people complained it resembled a Klu Klux Klan member. Now can we do something about that Burger King guy?...

The mascot of a Florida ice cream and sandwich shop has been retired after being mistaken as a KKK protester, according to the Ocala Star-Banner.

According to the report, the costume, which featured a white hood with colored sprinkles and a waffle cone pattern for the body, might have been driving customers away, the shop's owners said.

Store's Ice Cream Cone Mascot Mistaken for KKK Protester


The scapegoat

ESPN did a documentary on Steve Bartman, the Chicago Cubs' fan who interfered with a foul ball in 2003, thus preventing his team from winning game 6 of the NLCS. The Florida Marlins scored eight runs in the 8th inning after Bartman gave them new life. Security guards had to escort him out of the stadium for his own safety. The Cubs went on to lose game 7.

It didn't help Bartman that he looked like a villain with his turtleneck sweater and his walkman. The guy went to the game and became the story of the game. That Halloween, the most popular costume in Chicago was the "Steve Bartman" look.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the story is the mystique that surrounds Bartman even to this day. He won't speak to the media and has turned down hundreds of thousands of dollars in appearance fees and autographs. The guy who ended up catching the ball sold it for $100,000. Here is the hour long documentary broken down into 10 parts...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New claim in bullying case

In this interview, the parents of deceased Williamsville North student Jamie Rodemeyer say students chanted "you're better off dead!" recently at a school dance after his death. If this is true, those students chanting should be punished accordingly. Were there any adults present at the dance? Did any of them hear this?

I'm skeptical of this latest allegation. Who are these bullies the parents are referring to? Teen suicide is a very sad subject. However, this latest claim (in front of a national audience) seems a bit over the top to me. If it's true, someone should be held accountable...

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Independent Health along with the United Way of Buffalo are sponsoring a drug exchange program this Thursday at the Walden Galleria Mall at 7PM. People are encouraged to bring their prescription drugs and trade them with someone else's.

If you suffer from Depression, you might want to try something for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Got anxiety? Bring your mood altering drugs and see what it's like to have Restless Leg Syndrome. Let's face it. We're all suffering from one thing or another. Might as well share the pain.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

There hasn't been much to write about lately. I liked it better when the blog only had a few readers, as opposed to the 12 it has now. From time to time, I like to remind myself that I'm not an actual writer, just a story teller/social (sometimes anti social) commentator.

Yesterday marked the first day in two and a half years that I didn't write at least one post. It was a busy day, but strangely it wasn't because of lack of time. There wasn't anything in the news that I thought interesting. I visited a friend last night at Hospice and came home and went right to sleep. I love discussing local stories and telling a few bad jokes here and there.

It was nice to ref today for the Father Baker Youth Soccer League over at Cazenovia Park. The league has teams representing the catholic schools in South Buffalo as well as Cheektowaga, and the Southtowns. I had a good time joking around with the 5th/6th graders from Notre Dame Academy and St. Ambrose. They were all so nice and respectful and you can tell they love the game and appreciate the opportunity to compete along side their classmates. I do miss the old days when there was a private school on almost every block in South Buffalo. When I was growing up, there was St. Johns, St.Teresa's, Holy Family, St. Martin's, St. Thomas's, St. Ambrose, St. Agatha's, and Our Lady of Victory. With all the consolidation affecting the local schools, we're only left with Notre Dame, St. Ambrose, Trinity Catholic, and Our Lady of Victory. I miss the old neighborhood rivalries, but times change. Maybe some day, Western New York will rebound and the population will come back. Who knows? Until then, I look forward to going into these schools in late October as well as the public and charter schools and finding players for our winter leagues.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Wack pack's NFL picks: week three

Week three is upon us. The Bills are 2-0. Bishop Timon is 3-0. And the Ninja, Rooster, and Buddy from Amherst are in the thick of competition. I'm hearing talk of tearing down the goalposts if the Bills end their losing streak against the hated Patriots this Sunday. Look for 80,000 security guards near the sidelines should it be close during the 4th quarter. I would love to go down there and try and climb the posts for the iconic photos that would inevitably follow. However, I have to ref. Without further adieu, here are this week's picks from our panel of experts. They've all been given their medication as well as a weekend pass to Orchard Park...

The Ninja

Still celebrating last week's 3-2 record, the Ninja is looking forward to this weekend. He says my blog has lost it's edge. To which, I agree. I don't have as much time as before and can't hurry art. All I can say, is I do my best with the time I have. This week, the Ninja is going with Houston, Philly, Detroit, Green Bay, and the Miami Dolphins.

Last week 3-2-0

The Rooster (with help from MacGavis)...


The Rooster
was seen at OTB this week and noticed uncle Magiven sitting in the corner. Uncle Magiven has been known to hang out with royalty and this time was no exception. Macgiven was with "The Earl of Kelliville". I'm pretty sure Kelliville is somewhere over in Ireland.The two old masters of wagering were discussing the free halftime buffet at Griffins (Abbott Rd. and Alamo Pl.) and discussed the "over 40 bet against". (If a team scores more than 40 points in a given week, you bet against them the following week). On this info the Rooster is going against the Lions this week. He is taking the Vikings (+ 3.5 points), the Steelers (-10.5 points), and Philly over the Giants. The Rooster says this game will prove to the Blogger that Mike Vick is a great quarterback. He also says Cam Newton and Carolina (-3.5) will blow Jacksonville away in front of 7,000 faithful fans in Jacksonville. Finally, the Bills. The Bills are on a roll and Mike Cejka is predicting showers for Sunday. If Shawn Merriman can get after Brady, if the weather is bad, and Giselle's man has trouble handling slippery balls in the rain, the Rooster thinks the Pats are ripe for an upset. But Belichick will remindhis boys that the Bills should have won last year, if Leodis Mckelvin had half a brain. So against his better judgement and before the "cock crows three times"(before the 3rd week of football) the Rooster has picked the Bills (+ 9 ) three weeks in a row! The last time this happened, the he and MacGavis both weighed less than 300 pounds. That was 20 years ago.

Finally, the Rooster and MacGavis think Timon's luck will run out this week against Wilson. They are going with the Rochester school by an astonishing 13 points. Last week, I thought the Wilson team Timon was playing was the Niagara County school in Wilson, NY. I had predicted a Timon victory. Because I know nothing about the Wilson team from Rochester, I'll be steering clear of any predictions, although I hope Timon does well. I wonder if the Rooster predicted the pouring rain coming down as I write this, ten minutes before kickoff? That could affect that outcome of any game.

Last week

Buddy from Amherst

Buddy likes Miami, Detroit, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and his beloved New England Patriots. He met with his close and personal friend Bill Belichick at the airport and took him out to the Buffalo Chophouse. There, they discussed the game plan and Belichick picked Buddy's brain on a few things. Buddy asked me to convey this message to any Bills' fans out there. He wanted me to tell you not to get too excited. Remember, he "warned you" about Belichick 20 years ago when he was the Giants defensive coordinator (wide right anyone?) He says little has changed and the Pats receivers will put on a clinic this Sunday at the Ralph.

Buddy also weighed in on the Timon-Wilson game. He predicts the Tigers (led by his nephew at starting quarterback), will win by 7 points.

Last week


Thursday, September 22, 2011

High School bullying

I thought this was a good message on high school from channel 4's Melissa Holmes...

A lot of people are talking about the events that preceded the death of Williamsville North student Jamey Rodemeyer. I feel bad for his family and the whole Williamsville North community. Teen bullying, especially cyber-bullying has gotten way out of hand in this culture. Adolescence is such a tough time already. There is no need for it to be made worse. I would encourage parents and teens to speak out against this behavior and bullying in general and really monitor what their kids are posting online.

Having said that, I disagree with the popular opinion that the online posts exclusively led to Rodemeyer's death. I'm sure they didn't help, however, it appeared that he was a very troubled and confused teenager. I'm not condoning the actions of those who bullied him. Unfortunately, it seems common for high school students in this country to pick on those they perceive as weak. High School can be such a difficult time for many. We should work on changing this to make the transition from childhood to adulthood easier for all teenagers.

We also need to tell teenagers to stand up for those being bullied (as apparently many of Rodemeyer's friends did do.) This story reminded me of an old episode of Cheers from the 1980's. (Of course, everything in this world reminds me of old episodes of Cheers from the 1980's.) One of Sam's ex Red Sox teammates writes a book where he comes out of the closet. The local press publishes a picture of the two of them at the bar. The regulars fear that the bar will become a magnet for gay customers. They try to convince Sam to discourage gays for coming to the bar. It's a very funny episode about standing up for your beliefs and accepting everyone and (like everything else) it happened to be on YouTube...

Classic movie scenes: Meatballs- 1979

After a demoralizing first day at the camp Olympiad, Bill Murray inspires the kids at Camp Turner with his motivational speech...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Random thoughts from the ghetto-Volume 49

I look out my window and see the empty 40 oz beer bottles, hypodermic needles, crack pipes and abandoned shopping carts on my front lawn and begin to think. The end results have become known as my random thoughts from the ghetto...

How to win friends and influence me...

-Racism takes on a different form in the era of political correctness. When people in my neighborhood come up to me and say, "the neighborhood's really changing", what they really mean is that black people are moving in. I had one guy tell me, "there are a lot of strangers moving in around here." I really don't care what color someone is, as long as they read my blog and heed my words.

-You can always tell when someone gets a Christmas gift they're not too happy about. They open it, flash a huge, fake smile, and act overly excited. They then proceed to tell you how it is just what they needed. Sure it was.

-Arby's has a new policy of asking the customers their first name when they place their order. The next time I go there, I plan on telling them my name is Osama Rodriguez.

-One of the great sounds during Fall/Winter in Western New York are the train whistles. They are so peaceful. You're in your house and you hear the horn and the sounds of the train roaring down the tracks. You know they are moving through the wilderness right through your backyard. In an age of computers, Ipods, satellite cable, etc, this sound reminds me that not much has really changed since the 1830's.

-I look at our populated regions as minor dots that run between the forests.

-Sanford & Son was a funny show, but Redd Fox apparently wasn't much for studying his lines. Watch the show. One minute, he's talking to Lamont. The next he turns around and looks at the cue cards to see what he's supposed to say next.

-It's funny when I sub and recognize a common South Buffalo last name (or a sometimes uncommon one). I'll think of the craziest person I know from their family and ask them if they're related to the guy. They always blush and confirm my suspicions. Then, I'll proceed to tell them the craziest story I know involving their uncle, father, cousin, etc. Sometimes, the story is so crazy I'm forced to keep it to myself. There have been no shortage of characters in South Buffalo throughout the years.

-One time, a former coworker went to our boss to complain about our low rate of pay. The boss said, "I've always found that the more money you make, the more you tend to spend." Talk about a bizarre response.

Wake me up when September ends...


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NFL:The Ninja goes 3-2 in week two

The Ninja went 3-2 this week with his week 2 football picks and to hear him tell it, you'd think he went 5-0. He's referring to himself in the 3rd person as the next Pete Axthelm. He was even spotted over at Hillery Park teaching youngsters how to run a spread formation offense. 5-0 or 4-1 I can understand, but 3-2? I don't see the big deal, but the Ninja claims to have risen, and he has declared war on Buddy from Amherst, who he refers to as a "false prophet".

In other notes from week 2:

-I predicted Buffalo would win on a late 4th quarter touchdown and look what happened. Fitz is connecting with everyone. The secondary is where the team still has defects, though. Leodis McKelvin couldn't cover a Pop Warner receiver. Can we have that draft pick over? As I said, Fred Jackson and Ryan Fitzpatrick are winners and they showed it again on Sunday. At least this year, it looks like punter Brian Moorman won't be the team's MVP again.

-Michael Vick lost two fumbles and threw a bad interception in the Eagles loss to the Falcons (his old team). What puzzles me is that people still consider him to be a great quarterback. He carries the ball around like a loaf of bread. If Fitz caused three turnovers, the fans would be calling for him to be replaced.

-Oh, by the way, Marshawn Lynch had 11 yards rushing for Seattle this week against Pittsburgh. It's a good thing Jackson was his backup. I still remember laughing when Bills' coach Chan Gailey said last year that Lynch was great at catching passes out of the backfield. I know as little about football as I do about politics, but I can tell you this: Lynch couldn't catch a cold out of the backfield. No word yet on whether he has struck any pedestrians with his car in the greater Seattle area.

- After two games, Baltimore's Lee Evans has a total of two catches for 45 yards. Good thing he demanded to be traded out of Buffalo.

-Roscoe Parrish might be done for the season with an ankle injury. It's a shame because I think he would have been a great third receiver. As it stands, he's the Bills' equivalent to Tim Connoly.

-Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs have named Baby Joe Mesi's father as their starting quarterback for next week.


Self promoting mayor

According to the attached article, mayor Byron Brown has his name plastered all over the city. As I've stated many times on this blog, Brown is much more concerned with politics than he is with any kind of leadership. To the people who voted for him in the first election six years ago, you were duped. A little research would have shown you his record in the New York State Senate was very uninspiring to say the least...

Office entrances. Gateways to city facilities. The shirts of many city lifeguards. Banners near the downtown waterfront. Some crime surveillance cameras. Lobby displays that promote literacy. Even a Zamboni at a city ice rink.

"He has his name on everything except for the City Hall urinals," quipped one former city official.

The exception to these blatant acts of self promotion are departments where the city rips of it's citizens (ie. Parking Enforcement & Taxation). The mayor is careful not to have his name anywhere near these offices.

His critics drew the line this week when Brown tried to have his name put on the city's new firetrucks, an honor previously bestowed only on fallen firefighters. It makes you wonder whether this administration has any shame whatsoever. He's been in office now six years. Can anyone honestly look back and think of a time when Mayor Brown has stood out as a leader? He's one of the least dynamic people I can think of. Talk about pathetic. We're living in the 3rd poorest city in America and we're being led by a circus clown...

Building the Brown brand



Finally, online gamers actually do something useful. Scientists gave them a molecular puzzle of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus that had confused them for over a decade. It only took the nerds three weeks to figure it out. University of Washington scientists presented their puzzle to the gamers in the form of an online game called Foldit...

This is where Foldit comes in.

Developed in 2008 by the University of Washington, it is a fun-for-purpose video game in which gamers, divided into competing groups, compete to unfold chains of amino acids -- the building blocks of proteins -- using a set of online tools.

To the astonishment of the scientists, the gamers produced an accurate model of the enzyme in just three weeks.

A spokesperson for the gamers said, "Our main objective was to be considered for the Nobel Prize for Medicine. After that, we hope to move out of our parents' basement."


Monday, September 19, 2011

Classic movie scenes:I don't know

The new Buffalo schools superintendent should consider bringing in this man as an attendance officer...


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Wack pack's NFL picks: week two

Last month, the blog was read in all 50 states and 99 countries. For some reason, it's very popular in California and the Philippines (???). But, when I went looking for people to pick NFL games, I looked no further than South Buffalo, NY. I found three current residents and one who recently moved after living here for 45 years.

Buddy the Bookie from Amherst...

Famous quotes- "Get them before they get you."
"Go Bills. And take the Sabres with you."

Buddy, a former mainstay on the Art Wander show, now lives in a gated community in Amherst. (Actually, he has a three foot, broken gate in front of his house.) For tomorrow's games, he likes Houston, Kansas City, Tennessee, the Bills, and Hotlanta.

The Ninja
Famous Quote- "I have risen!"

The only thing the ninja likes more than fine food and beautiful women (in that order) is football. A former member of the Witness Protection Program, the South Buffalo legend is not only known in local gambling circles. His fame and notoriety spread as far away as Las Vegas, where he is known to more than a few unsavory characters from their Italian American community. This week, the ninja has reached into his sword to pick Oakland, Philadelphia, New England, Detroit, and Seattle. He says, if he doesn't go at least 3-2, he'll "swallow his sword". (Since I'm afraid to even know what that means, I'm hoping he goes 5-0.)

The rooster (with help from a man named MacGavis).

Famous Quote- "It's not cheating. It's improvising to win."

When he's not exposing corruption in City Hall or running benefits for people long since forgotten by others, the rooster has been known to scout football games. For this task, he employed the help of a man he called the greatest prognosticator of our generation, South Buffalo's MacGavis. The rooster said the two would be watching tomorrow's games at their respective homes, mentioning something about ankle bracelets preventing them from going to Talty's.

As for their picks, the rooster likes New Orleans (-6.5). He says MacGavis likes their takeaway abilities on defense(which he thinks they learned from the Hurricane Katrina looters). The rooster and his counterpart like the Bills (-3) over Oakland, despite the Bills perceived problems at stopping the run. Mac's favorite's of the week are the Miami Dolphins, based solely on the fact that he ate Mahi Mahi (dolphin fish) the other day. The rooster likes the Detroit Lions (his NFC championship pick (-8) over Kansas City, a team some feel might have trouble beating South Park High School. For their big underdog pick, the rooster and MacGavis are choosing San Diego over the hated New England Patriots. That pick takes a lot of guts. They don't think pretty boy Brady will make it through the game in one piece.

Finally, the rooster and his counterpart are predicting Timon's luck will run out next week when they take on the Wilson Lakemen. They are predicting Wilson by 13! I don't know about that one. I'm pretty sure Wilson is a smaller school. I have to give credit to Timon and their new coaches. They're 3-0 with two of their victories coming over Monsignor Martin opponents. I know O'Hara and St. Mary's are not Canisius or St. Joe's, but a win is a win in my book. And they've won decisively. From what I hear, the lacrosse player from Timon (not sure his name) is a very good running back.

Personally, I'm not in the same league as these four legends. However, I'm liking Buffalo today at home. I'm predicting a huge season for Fred Jackson and I like Merrimen and the new Defensive Lineman they drafted (Marcell Dareus) I also like Fitzpatrick's composure and intelligence in the pocket, which he must have learned studying at Harvard with Congressman Brian Higgins. And Jackson is very good in pass protection, in my opinion. I predict they will win by 7 points with Roland Hooks scoring a TD late in the 4th quarter.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I want my pizza

What's wrong with some people these days? Did you happen to see the video of the irate customer in Amherst who flipped out when he was told there was no more desert pizza left. The authorities are speculating he might have anger issues. I'd say if you pick up a broom and start swinging it at the 16 year olds behind the counter over a $2 slice of pizza, anger issues are a fair assumption. Give this loser some pizza...

We have some exclusive footage of an earlier incident involving this same customer...

Let them go already

Eight Amish men in the state of Kentucky were arrested after refusing to put orange safety triangles on their buggies. They were reportedly bailed out by Bill's starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (ok, that was way too easy).

Video: Some Amish men in Kentucky are refusing to pay fines for riding buggies without orange safety


Friday, September 16, 2011


Hahahahhahahaha. In 1984, sculpter Billy Lawless did a lot of work for something he must have known was going to be dismantled as soon as the authorities heard about it. Did he think a dancing neon male organ was going to go over well in conservative Buffalo?

If I remember correctly, at the time, his handlers said they were dancing peanuts. It would have been classic Buffalo had they said they were chicken wings.

"Art is anything you can get away with." futurist Marshall McLuhan (and later Andy Warhol)


Dr. Williams grades himself

Outgoing superintendent Dr. James Williams is asked to grade his performance in Buffalo by channel 2's Claudia Ewing. The only thing funnier than Williams' response is Ewing's response to it. Classic local interview...


Thursday, September 15, 2011

The chicken man grew up in my house

The Blogger lived in one house growing up in South Buffalo. In fact, the red brick house has been there for over 100 years. Recently, the paparazzi has begun gathering there at all hours, in an effort to document my humble beginnings. Until now, the only famous inhabitant was thought to be baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who lived there while he was a student at nearby South Park High School.

But that all changed the other day when my mother was outside doing some gardening. A van pulled up to look at the house. The man behind the wheel explained to her that he grew up in the house (upstairs) and wanted to see if it still looked the same as it had. He introduced himself as Don Hoffman. At first, the name didn't resonate with my mother. But then, she remembered the family lived upstairs during the early 1960's.

Hoffman, according to my mother, then made some crazy gesture with his hands and began making chicken noises. He told her she might know him better as the "chicken man" from his television commercials for Airport Plaza Jewelers. Everyone has seen the commercials: "Got gold? We'll buy it!"

The chicken man and my mother reminisced about the old times before he gave her these three rubber chickens (he told her he has distributed 20,000 of them around Western New York:


My mother was kind enough to give me one of the chickens, which will adorn my Wall of Fame, along with my "Gimmy Jimmy" Griffin T-shirt and Carl Paladino "Mad as Hell' duck whistle. Warren Spahn and the Chicken Man both growing up in the same house. Talk about a small world. Remember, "a new diamond doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg". I have to go. I think Billy Fucillo is at my front door...

I'll bet you never saw this before...

And this is how fire was invented. Check out the sparks on the catcher's facemask at 0:16...

Feeding time


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Violent culture

From the Associated Press: The next time one of your friends tells you Islam is a peaceful religion, tell them about this clip. The protesters burn the American flag on 9/11/11 in front of the US Embassy in London. This does not look like a group that wants peace anytime soon. You won't see any Western protesters burning the Quran. If you did, they would be other Americans...

Mom pockets cancer donations

"The bank became suspicious when they noticed all the ATM withdrawals were taking place near casinos"...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Heir to bin Laden must be brought to justice

Ayman al-Zawahri (Al-Jazeera / AFP)

The new leader of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahri, had this to say on the anniversary of 9/11:

"Ten years have passed since the blessed attacks on New York and Washington and Pennsylvania, that mighty event which shook and continues to shake the pillars of the global crusade," says Zawahri. He adds that "The Arab people have been freed from the chains of fear and terror, so who is the winner and who is the loser?"

Western troops need to find this man and let him know who the winner is and who the losers are. It took us a long time to find bin Laden and bring him to justice, but we did. We now know Pakistan was harboring him, and I wouldn't be surprised if this coward was somewhere in that country, also. We're talking about a mass murderer, who uses words like "blessed" and "mighty" to describe the cowardly attacks on innocent civilians. The people on those planes and in those buildings never did anything to bin Laden or this clown's people. Never once, does this man express any sorrow for their deaths, as he hides in some faraway land.

Most Americans believe in peace. When college students were out in the streets drinking and celebrating bin Laden's death, most older Americans said, "hey, we're not like other countries, where celebrating death is considered acceptable behavior. We try to be better than that." That's what separates us from other places, where adults were seen firing guns into the air and beeping their horns to celebrate the murder of 3,000 Americans. Or in Somalia, where children draged the bodies of US servicemen through the streets. What did we do after shooting bin Laden? We had a Muslim prayer said and buried him at sea, because we're not Barbarians. al-Zawahri needs to be reunited with Osama soon. He obviously has no problem attacking innocent people and would love to commit another such act again.

Osama's replacement praises 9/11 for allowing Arab Spring — RT


Mayor's name removed from firetrucks

Deputy Mayor Brown is not the first politician to put his/her name on a building, sign, community center, etc. It's been done for years by many, and I'm glad people are finally speaking out against it. Incumbents have enough advantages in our current political system. There is no reason to have their names pasted on anything. All it does is perpetuate the belief that the office is theirs for eternity.

In a typically tacky move, Mayor Casey had Brown's name put on all the new firetrucks. Thankfully, the rank and file put an end to this nonsense through a Facebook page. (Incidentally, the Mayor's puppet, Mike DeGeorge is already talking about taking this page down). If you ask me, our empty suit Deputy Mayor gets an A for politics and an F for leadership. He's terrible...


Controversial billboards

I don't know if you have seen these anti-religion billboards in Niagara Falls. If their intention was to irk religious people, they have succeeded. It seems to me that overly religious people and those opposed to religion both have an inordinate amount of anger in them.

To me, this is what makes America great. Someone can put up a controversial message without fear of being imprisoned or killed. Can you imagine putting up an anti religious message in the Muslim world? You might as well write your own death certificate. I'm not an atheist or a fan of organized religion, but this seems to be nothing more than a publicity stunt...


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Amish Rifle

This is an encore presentation from last season. I like the current Bills better than the ones who made the Super Bowl four years in a row. These guys seem like better guys, although maybe not better players. I like Fitz, though.Four TD passes yesterday...

I thought this was a funny story in today's Buffalo News regarding Ryan Fitzpatrick's beard. Some of the Bills' players are calling him the Amish rifle...

The days are numbered for the shaggy beard of Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The Bills' quarterback, who has been growing his beard all season, said he will shave it off after the season-finale against the New York Jets on Jan. 2. Fitzpatrick's beard is very full around the mouth and chin and splotchy on the sides.

Bills cornerback Drayton Florence has been calling him "the Amish Rifle." Fitzpatrick was asked Wednesday if he has been invited to take part in any Civil War reenactment festivities. (He hasn't.)

"I think there are probably plenty of people who want me to trim it or cut it up, especially of the female variety," Fitzpatrick said. "I've gotten a lot of different comments and stuff, [like] 'how does your wife deal with that?' But it's part of it. She's along for the ride."

Asked if his wife is counting the days until he shaves it off, Fitz said: "Yeah. I think so."

I like Fitzpatrick, even though his beard makes him look like one of the ZZ Top band members on crack.

He seems to have the leadership skills the Bills needed at the position. Hopefully, he'll keep churning out touchdown passes as well as butter...

Classic movie scenes:This is this

From The Deer Hunter: Robert DiNero and his hunting buddies go out on one last road trip before a few of them are sent off to Vietnam. Jon Cazale, who you might remember as Fredo Corleone from The Godfather, plays DiNero's immature, irresponsible friend, Stan. Once again, he shows up unprepared and DiNero tries to teach him a lesson. I think the acting in this movie (as well as the story itself) is what sets it apart from the garbage they put out these days. Cazale was in The Deer Hunter, The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Conversation (all nominated for Best Picture in their respective years). He died of Bone Cancer before The Deer Hunter was finished filming. He barely made it through his scenes in the movie, yet gave a typically great performance...

This Is This

The Deer Hunter


The Sound of Silence

A very powerful rendition of The Sound of Silence by Paul Simon at Ground Zero yesterday. (If the video stalls, go to the settings where it says 360p and change it to 240p. That should make it appear without interruption)...

That's a man, Baby!

Buffalo police are looking for a cross dressing bank robber this afternoon. How stupid. If he wore a mask, nobody would know his identity. With this crazy outfit, people all over the East Side will be ratting him out...
Man Dressed as a Woman Robs a Bank in Buffalo!

Buffalo Police are remaining tight lipped, but they are looking at a person of interest in the holdup...


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Amazing Spiderman tribute to the heroes of 9/11

Someone in the Youtube community put together this video regarding the Spiderman comics 9/11 tribute issue (#36). I posted this a few years back, but I thought it was worth posting again. The words and images put together by the people at Marvel Comics are extremely powerful and I encourage you to check it out. The artwork is incredible.

I never read comic books as a kid. However, it was funny reading the comments underneath this video as comic book enthusiasts passionately debate the significance of certain parts of the tribute issue. One scene in the issue shows Spiderman's three arch enemies devastated by the events of 9/11. The evil character Doom is seen crying, which apparently was shocking to some of these nerd types. In that scene, the writer says:
Even the ones we would never expect
Because even the worst of us
Are still human
And still cry for the innocent
Even the ones we call ordinary
Are made extraordinary in their courage
And their sacrifice...

And I'll tell you what. Despite 3,000 casualties, I think the hijackers failed miserably in their efforts to destroy the morale of this country. For all of it's shortcomings, I think people realized how lucky they were to live in a country where they could be free. The one image I'll always remember from that tragic day is not the planes hitting the towers, or anything else. It's the picture below, which says it all...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tales from 9/11

It's 4:30 in the morning and I'm not the least bit tired. So forgive me if the tone of my words is not too upbeat. I'm all for remembering 9/11/01. Just like the first time you read this blog or heard Joannie Loves Chachi was cancelled, we all remember exactly where we were when we heard the news of the first plane hitting the tower. The people who died on that day were very brave, especially those going back in to try and save others stuck inside the buildings.

What I'm really sick of hearing though, are these stories of near death. I'll guarantee most of them are outright lies. "My uncle was supposed to be at work at 8AM that day but he let someone in a wheelchair take his place on the subway train to work." Come on, dude. Your uncle works at night in Kansas City. Tell him to stop lying.

I know of at least one lady from South Buffalo who tells people she was supposed to be on one of the hijacked planes, but she opted for a later flight.Sure you were, honey. More people were supposed to be on those flights than supposedly attended the original Woodstock. Stop lying, woman. You weren't supposed to be on any flight and you're obviously just looking to be part of the story. If you want attention, do something more interesting than making up stories. Go rob a bank dressed as Darth Vader.

What about the guy who was supposed to be off that day, but decided to go in and catch up on some paper work? Or the person who was supposed to be on an earlier flight but cancelled and ended up sitting next to the Iron Sheik's nephew on one of the hijacked planes? The next time you hear someone tell one of these "fate" stories, please just say, "that never happened. You're a friggin' liar."

By the way, did I mention I was supposed to be on the Titanic, but instead I had to schedule an emergency appointment that day with my proctologist?


Lafayette principal takes a stand

I give the new principal at Lafayette High School credit. She made the football team forfeit their first game tonight against Fredonia because of poor grades. I'm sure many people associated with the school are upset about this, however, she's trying to set a high standard for the students. If this policy makes the students attend class, behave while there, and do their best academically, then she's doing them a great service. Maybe this will force these kids to think about why they go to school in the first place:to get an education. I hate to see a game cancelled but I have to agree with this move...

Friday, September 9, 2011

Missing signs in Clarence

It's always funny when people make a big deal about their signs being knocked over or stolen before an election. It looks like we have a sign battle going on in Clarence...

Weiss filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office, based on a resident who reported seeing individuals attempting to take pro-Weiss signs. The detective bureau investigated and interviewed witnesses but determined "we possibly did not have sufficient evidence to make an arrest," said Scott Joslyn, chief of police services.

The Sheriff's Office also shared its information with the District Attorney's Office, which determined there was not enough evidence to prosecute, Joslyn said.

And this qualifies as news? Who cares? Every year, I hear this same story. People have been making this complaint since political lawn signs became popular. If you're that worried about it, start using cameras and film the signs that are being repeatedly knocked down/stolen. Political signs are really annoying and an eyesore, if you ask me. I'd like to see every town in Erie County ban them until two weeks before an election.

Clarence board race becomes clash over campaign signs


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crybaby coach

I tell coaches in the leagues I run, if you ever pull your team off the field over a referee's call, it will be the last game you coach in any of my leagues. This should be the case with this high school football coach in Seattle, Washington. His team was losing 14-0 in the 3rd quarter when one of his players fumbled. The refs felt the other team recovered. He didn't. I suppose it was the ref's fault that his player fumbled.

Their first cop-out is always, "I'm concerned about the players' safety". Please. Did you ever notice none of these "crybaby" type coaches are ever concerned about their players' safety when their team is winning? Nothing like teaching your players the fine art of quitting.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tyro league upholds ban on girls

The coaches of the Tyro Football League voted 10-4 to uphold the rule banning girls from playing in their league. Now, the 9 year old girl's father, who has frustrated corrections guard written all over him, is speaking to discrimination lawyers.

Do I think his 9 year old girl should be able to play against 9 year old boys? Sure. I'm sure she can more than hold her own. My problem comes with the people commenting that all girls should be able to play in any boys league at any age. Maybe 300 years from now, but not in 2011.

After age 11 or 12, kids' bodies change. A 13 or 14 year old girl would get leveled by the average 13 or 14 year old boy on a football field. This isn't golf or tennis we are talking about. I like to watch girls compete in sports as much as anyone else. We have some very skilled girls on our travel soccer teams in South Buffalo. However, common sense has to come into play at some point and supersede political correctness.

Remember when they had celebrity boxing a few years back? WWE bodybuilder/wrestler Chyna fought Joey Buttafuoco, an out of shape slug known because of the Amy Fisher story. Buttafuoco threw Chyna around the ring like a rag doll. It wasn't even a contest. Chyna was a trained athlete and Buttafuoco, a fat slob. Their only difference was gender, and the physical differences that accompany it...