December 07, 2005

hulking old grain elevator vs. indian casino


The H-O Oats mill and grain elevator in Buffalo NY is going to meet the wrecking ball tomorrow morning, to make way for a casino and/or parking lot to be built by the Seneca tribe. (I had some things to say about H-O previously). This is a collision of highly contentious issues: the demolition of a huge, well-known structure that some see as an historic icon of Buffalo's past that should be preserved, where others see a crumbling eyesore that should be razed. Couple this with the controversy and historical baggage of sovereign American Indian tribes building gambling casinos on ceded lands, and you have quite an argument on your hands. They're having that debate today on Buffalo Rising (they had some of it last month too). The Buffalo News reports on this as well.

I'm with the romantic preservationists on this one. Buffalo needs to hold onto these amazing, challenging, singular structures, or else its drive to revitalize the city will end in the suffocatingly dull sameness that afflicts so many American places. That would be sad but it's also a predictable outcome I'm afraid.

Posted by Gene at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2005

this is not a cat blog

Awhile back I promised cats. Avert your eyes if you don't like cute ones.

Posted by Gene at 11:28 PM | Comments (2)

December 06, 2004



Fig 1. Raymond Becker, Marcy Brook above Marcy Dam Phelps Brook, 1960


Fig 2. Ronald Becker, Phelps Brook, 2004

Compare and contrast.

Posted by Gene at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

dog blog, circa 1959


Queenie and Terra (sp?), circa January 1959, Holland NY. Not that I'm running a dog blog here.

Posted by Gene at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 25, 2004

remembering and giving thanks

We Left Buffalo stirred a lot of memories today.

My grandpa used to work in the Worthington steel mill in Buffalo. He worked swing shift, so every day my grandma would pack his lunch in a gray metal lunchpail along with a thermos of coffee (I think), and after dinner he would head down the gravel driveway in his maroon Oldsmobile. They grew up in farm country, so dinner was the big noon meal, and lunch was usually sandwiches or leftovers in the evening. Anyway off he would go, and he would be gone until about 1 in the morning. Once he brought back a handful of tiny coils of spring steel, scraps from some lathe work, and I used them as decorative peaks for my cities of wooden blocks. Those bits of metal were the only clues I had about what he did when he was away at his job.

He used to say grace at the dinner table, offering our thanks to our heavenly father in a voice like far-off thunder. Today I'm keeping that voice close to my heart as we sit down with family for our feast of thanks-giving.

Posted by Gene at 01:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 03, 2004

ten reasons to be happy

Because I sure need 'em today.

1. Family
2. Friends
3. Health
4. Love
5. Freedom, mostly
6. Interesting work
7. Making music
8. Bill Kirchen on Friday
9. Bloggercon on Saturday
10. Anyway, the alternative sucks

Posted by Gene at 08:48 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

November 13, 2003

a post just for my mom

Bloggers everywhere have been all over this one for days, but Mom, I'm guessing it's news to you. Enjoy!

Mom Finds Out About Blog

[first spotted at Relevant History]

Posted by Gene at 11:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

a post just for my mom

Bloggers everywhere have been all over this one for days, but Mom, I'm guessing it's news to you. Enjoy!

Mom Finds Out About Blog

[first spotted at Relevant History]

Posted by Gene at 11:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 31, 2003

father and son bonding: Halo

game girl advance has a series of articles on the Major League Gaming tournament held in NYC last weekend. Since I just finished Halo last night (normal level, I know that's lame but what can I say?), it was a fun and timely read. Part 3 of the series includes this great little tidbit from the Halo tourney:

The other highlight of the team match was team Xtournament, led by player Victor and his son Victor, who was only five years old. While they declined to comment, the younger Victorís style as a Halo player was amazing. He protected himself with grenades and was wracking up plenty of double and triple kills. While Xtournament didnít advance to the finals, their novel playing style and the presence of the father-son team drew plenty of crowds and fans. Shy 5-year-old Victor meekly smiled when all the other players came to shake his hand after the matches.

Depending on your point of view, the notion of dad and 5 year old bonding over a graphic alien massacree is either good clean fun or a further sign of the impending apocalypse. Here at fredshouse, we're just a tad jealous of the talents of Victor^2.! ;-)

Posted by Gene at 04:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 09, 2003

that was not fun


Yesterday I finally went to the doc for allergy testing. It confirmed what I knew empirically, that various grasses, trees, dust mites and cats are my nemeses. I also knew I had a sensitivity to bee venoms, so I was tested for those as well. It turns out through some poorly understood mechanism, the tiny amount of venom (~1mcg) in the test sample triggered a vaso-vagal reaction, and 10 seconds later I was out cold, pulse 40, BP 60/40. This caused a bit of excitement for the clinic staff. I got shot with adrenaline and epinephrine. They did an EKG. The picture shows my IV. Although I'm apparently OK, it was a very weird scene and not at all how I planned to spend my day.

(If you are going to have a spontaneous medical meltdown, I recommend you do so at the Menlo Medical Clinic, they are really good docs & nurses over there.)

Posted by Gene at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack