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November 2006 Archives

November 1, 2006

Random Observations

So I was walking home tonight, and I saw a guy in an SUV driving with his beagle in his lap, but the beagle was wrapped behind the seatbelt with its owner. And rather than thinking, "aw, cute," or "the guy doesn't want his dog to fly into the windshield if there should be an accident," all I could really think about was how the force of a crash would crush that poor dog between the strap of the seatbelt and the ribcage of the driver... that the seatbelt would probably hurt the dog more than if he was hanging out on the floor of the car, or something. Anyway, he drove off before I could have an in depth discussion with him about his practices.

Somebody was talking about hair, and how it sprouts in all kinds of utterly useless places as a man ages. Well I've got a bone to pick on this issue, because even as I grow more hair on my body, I'm losing it on my head. It's like my head is a jug full of hair juice, but there's a leak. So the top of my head gets less and less of the hair juice, which ends up trickling down the back of my neck and shoulders and back. WTF? That's seriously lame. I'd really like to know where I can lodge a complaint regarding this issue.

Dear Sir or Madam or Asexual Entity,

I am shocked, appalled, and dismayed by the rapid and unnecessary growth of hair in parts of the body that do not require it, certainly not in the thickness and length present in this case. Having been a long-time customer, I would appreciate a swift resolution to the matter. If this is not possible, I would at least like backed-up assurances that such a mistake will not recur.

Cousin It

I bet I won't even get an answer. Bastards.

On the bright side, I think I can rock the bald look. I won't shave my whole head, though. Billy Connolly calls that the comb over of the new millennium. Most people can't rock it and look much worse when trying to fool people into thinking that they're badasses or something. A select few, however, look rather handsome with a shaved head. I guess the trick is to be cognizant of which impression you truly make.

I heard about a guy who had shaved his head for years because he thought it looked cool, and when he stopped he noticed that his wasn't growing back in the way it used to anymore. He'd started going bald, but never noticed because he was always shaving. That's gotta suck to get hit with that all at once. It's been very gradual in my case, so I'm at peace with it. At some point I'll have to start wearing hats or sunscreen.

procrastination station

politicians are idiots. we have a bunch of those career politician types over here in western new york, looking to keep the status quo (ie. their paychecks coming... along with any campaign contributions directly into their accounts). case in point, the 190 tolls which have been subsidizing downstate, specifically transportation for nyc for decades have been repeatedly lobbied to end by citizens. for decades politicians here have said it was impossible. i like this article poking fun of dale volker & co. for never even trying to take the tolls down (we are the only "upstate" city with tolls within the city). the toll collection recently ended... yay! here's a blurb.

You cannot embarrass people who have no shame.

The truth of the saying was obvious on a sunny Monday morning. A pack of state lawmakers showed up at the Breckenridge tollbooths to announce the end of the odious Breckenridge and Ogden tolls. For years, these collection booths on Buffalo's perimeter pickpocketed commuters of tens of millions of dollars.

By rights, the lot of them should have been hiding under their desks. But shame has no toehold in the political world. TV news cameras draw politicians like a cake draws flies. Instead of making themselves invisible, they fell over each other claiming credit for something they had precious little to do with.

Dale Volker, our state senator, nearly damaged himself climbing aboard a ceremonial "No Toll" truck as TV cameras rolled. This is the same Volker who argued months ago that the tolls could not come down because of "bonding obligations."

"I thought he was going to break his neck, he was so desperate to get in the truck," said businessman Carl Paladino.

We still would be plunking 75 cents a pop into the hands of tollkeepers had not Paladino - disgusted by last year's hike from 50 cents - sued the Thruway Authority last February. Attorney Mike Powers of Phillips Lytle argued that by previous agreement, the tolls - basically, an $11 million annual commuter tax - should have ended a decade ago.

there's an odd todd halloween thingermajig. there are actually 2, but i like this one better... because it mentions necco wafers. remember those? why do people buy that stuff? i always hated when i was going over my candy take on halloween. i mean seriously... i think the only thing keeping the necco company alive are those stupid necco wafer sales from halloween. i wonder what happens to the extra necco wafers that people don't get rid of? do they eat it themselves? perhaps... the necco company is actually dead... and the necco wafers people give out each year are ones they got when they were kids... so it's just candy recycling from 1950 or whenever necco was still making the wafers. i once had an in depth conversation about necco wafers with my friend aaron... i don't remember exactly what was said... but i know it was funny and we both hated necco wafers a lot. hmmm... i also don't like mounds and almond joy, and anything licorice flavored. did you ever get pennies? that was stupid too. gee... thanks for the penny... you cheap bastard. it'd be better if you just didn't give out anything. i guess the penny has been replaced by the nickel nowadays. however... this isn't keeping up with inflation! when i was really young, i remember being able to get gumballs from gumball machines for a penny. gumballs now are at minimum $0.25 i think... a nickel isn't gonna do squat for me. stupid frickin nickels.

stupid frickin necco wafers.


November 4, 2006

november 7th

the all important election day where the dems have a real possibility of taking back control over the house and senate.

a canvasser stopped by today with materials supporting davis and the rest of the dem ticket. i've thought about this race a lot more over the last couple of weeks. i do have issues with the davis campaign, his views on certain issues, but the canvasser mentioned that davis was willing to pull back from the iraq war... however davis has stated he does not think all troops should be pulled out, and no timetable should be setup. here's an article about the differences between davis and his incumbent opponent reynolds. as you can see, there's not much difference. i would definitely feel guilty going for reynolds, because there are some issues that i feel really strong about that reynolds does not support, namely abortions and same-sex rights/marriage. while these issues affect some people... the big issue that affects everyone no matter if they are gay, straight, pregnant or not is the economy, and i don't support davis' plans to put up trade barriers and tariffs. it will not only raise prices of goods that we buy, but perpetuate an inefficient, bloated sector in the US known as manufacturing. why shouldn't we off-shore jobs that require little to no skill to do if they can be done for cheaper? these jobs help developing countries build up their own industries, and down the line increase demand for trade for other goods. instead of sustaining these low skilled jobs, government should provide funds to educate and train these americans in other sectors. putting up barriers also may harbor more ill will internationally on the political side... but also we will pass up opportunities to capitalize in other markets and lose out against other countries. if we will not support free trade, another country will, and will definitely pick up the slack. another point of view is to look at the issue through technology. technology is an increasing part of people's lives. driving new technology adoption comes from a decrease in the price of whatever it is we are looking to use. one of the ways to control price is have a competitively manufactured product. if the product is priced prohibitively high, why would you adopt it? if technology serves as a competitive business advantage, a company will adopt it no matter what. however, if the product costs more to purchase in the US because of tariffs, versus a company based in germany, canada, uk, etc... the advantage goes to a company based elsewhere. so if you are a small/mid-size company, how do you compete in a global market? you need to find ways to cut your costs elsewhere, or increase your revenues and profits to offset those costs just to remain at a comparable level with your foreign competitors. in the end putting up these barriers would hurt consumers, businesses, and probably cause some developing economies who are dependent on exporting out goods to the US some financial and maybe political turmoil.

ok... even if the economy is a minus, balances out the plusses (same-sex issues, abortion) in the davis campaign... back to the canvasser... she definitely did come out and say that with a davis win, the dems have an even better chance of taking over the house. while that is true... i am not so sure how the democratic philosophy would be furthered with davis in house considering davis' point of view, and the fact that he doesn't see eye to eye with most of the local officials within the democratic party. what it boils down to now for me, is... which candidate would be better for buffalo and the wny region. reynolds is a high ranking representative in the house, it has been shown he can work effectively across party lines and people who he doesn't agree with to get things down when needed... and so he can funnel more money to us. davis... he's a political novice who does not have the warmest of relationships with either the dems in his locale or republicans. how is he going to either funnel money or projects to the area? how is he going to promote change for this area? is he going to do it by re-establishing the manufacturing industry here in buffalo? we seriously have to let that go... we have to promote other industries... for pete's sake we have a bunch of area colleges in the area. we have to keep our college grads in the area instead of having them move away (we have 5 suny colleges/university within an hour drive, among the other suny community colleges and private colleges). so what... we're gonna have our kids go through higher education to work on an assembly line? good thinking there.

these are just some things i've been thinking about recently... and why as much as i hate to say it... i will be casting my ballot reynolds.

November 9, 2006

busy with things

so... the dems won control of both the house and the senate, as well as a bunch of governorships in various states.

it's been a bit hectic this week. my grandmother's been in a coma in the trauma icu for the last couple of days. lots of phone calls to the house, lots of things to think about. i think the family is doing ok right now. my grandmother's 94 years old... and well... i think if she's going to go, we'd rather see her go like this instead of getting something worse later on. however... we'll see how she does... if she comes out of this coma first.

still have deadlines... papers... exams... things... always with the things.

November 11, 2006


so... what my dad has been telling me... once my aunt arrives from taiwan, the most likely next step is to start funeral arrangements for my grandmother... as the prognosis going forward doesn't look too good for coming out of the coma. there's a little sadness, but there's also some relief. she will have a chance to go without it being painful, and having experienced a full and very long life. she will also have gone before any real serious health problems would have affected her, after all... she was out walking on her own power prior to this happening. she was even talking about planning another trip to china soon. anyways... we'll see how this progresses.

i'm also kind of interested... in that i hope this will allow a lot of the stories from previous generations of my family come out. apparently my family history in china is pretty much a soap opera... and there are a lot of unanswered questions i have which were never talked about because my grandmother did not want to talk about it.

so... turning from the sad news... to the good news.

the sabres won again tonight. not only that... but they won against philly... a team which i, and all sabres fans loathe. you know i was thinking... part of the fun of sports is having something to hate, and a great thing about hockey is that you get to play multiple games each season against these teams... so a good rivalry develops... unlike football where rivalries usually develop over years since you really only play 2 games vs. division teams during the regular season... then maybe you meet again in the playoffs. in the nhl, you play teams multiple times during the regular season... then you play them a couple more times if you meet in the playoffs in a row... so you get a real good grudge match going. the sabres are playing carolina on monday... who would've thought i would've hated carolina so much? i mean... obviously i disliked them originally because there was a frickin hockey team in north carolina, but it was sort of a "whatever" type of dislike. however now... after 7 games during last year in the conference finals, and them getting the cup... i really really dislike carolina. i think it's actually kind of interesting too how the players also develop the same feelings as the fans of their respective cities. i know stu barnes said initially he had trouble in dallas when he got traded after our cup loss to the stars. it just goes to show how the environment you're in has a great deal of an effect on each person. you start to connect, grow roots, and adopt as well as adapt to where you are. you take on the characteristics of your community, and the more similar you are... to your city's people... the more the community reaches out to you.

November 13, 2006

A Buffalonian in Hell

A Buffalonian friend passed this on to me...

A guy from Buffalo dies and is sent to Hell. He had been a wicked, horrible man his entire life. The devil puts him to work breaking up rocks with a sledgehammer. To make it worse, he cranks up the temperature and the humidity.

After a couple of days, the devil checks in on his victim to see if he is suffering adequately. The devil is aghast to see that the Buffalonian is happily swinging his hammer and whistling a happy tune. The devil walks up to him and says, "I don't understand this. I've turned the heat way up, it's humid, you're crushing rocks... why are you so happy?"

The Buffalonian looks at the devil with a big smile and replies, "This is great! It reminds me of August in Buffalo. Hot, humid... a good place to work. It reminds me of home. This is fantastic!"

The devil, extremely perplexed, walks away to ponder the Buffalonian's remarks. Then he decides to drop the temperature, send down a driving rain and torrential wind. Soon, Hell is a wet, muddy
mess. Walking in mud up to his knees with rain blowing into his eyes, the Buffalonian is happily slogging through the mud pushing a wheelbarrow full of crushed rocks. Again, the devil asks how he can be happy in such conditions.

The Buffalonian replies, "This is great! Just like April in Buffalo. It reminds me of working out in the yard with Spring planting!"

The devil is now completely baffled but more determined to make the Buffalonian suffer. He makes the temperature plummet. Suddenly Hell is blanketed in snow and ice. Confident that this will surely make the Buffalonian unhappy, the devil checks in on him. He is again aghast at what he sees. The Buffalonian is dancing, singing, and twirling his sledgehammer as he cavorts in glee.

"How can you be so happy? Don't you know it's 40 below zero?!" screams the devil.

Jumping up and down, the Buffalonian throws a snowball at the devil and yells--

"Hell's frozen over! This means the Bills won the Super Bowl!"

November 15, 2006

the bad news...

my grandmother passed away on monday, a couple hours after my aunt who flew in from taiwan went to see her. even though she was in a coma and on a vent helping her breathe, i have a feeling she was holding out for her daughter to see her. i was actually thinking over the weekend how hard it would be to draw the line on when to "pull the plug" so to say. the doctors said that being in a coma after the first 72 hours, it would have been unlikely that she ever would have awoken again... so in a sense, it was nice... or perhaps i should say that she let us know that it she was ready to go by going.

what's kind of sad for me is that she's really the only relative outside of my brother and parents who i've actually gotten a chance to know. since my parents packed up and moved to the US, the only one who's pretty much always been in the states is my grandmother. i don't really know my mom's side of the family at all, as i've only been to taiwan a couple times, and for the most part none of them have come here to visit. my grandmother loved to take walks. when i was little pre-kindergarten, i would go and take walks with her, on the trails around the lake/pond in the neighborhood. since my first language was actually chinese, i would stop and talk to the neighbors in chinese, not even knowing that there was a possibility that some people might not know chinese. i guess my grandmother would chat with the neighbors in whatever limited english she knew, and my neighbors would respond to my chinese with a couple nods of the head and some smiles. it's kind of fitting in a sense, that the last thing that she did on earth was doing something she loved... taking a stroll.

November 17, 2006

how do you celebrate life? you need to laugh... or smile... or do both.

so i was poking around youtube last night, instead of doing any school related work... and found these 2 videos. they're great, and make me laugh.

this kid is just cute. gotta love babies, they have no attention span and things they find funny don't get less funny.

i also found an older geico commercial which aired in the spring during our sabres playoff run. it features the sabres' mascot sabretooth... and a costumed gecko.

November 22, 2006

thank you all

hey everyone. thanks for your thoughts, prayers, concern, good vibes. my family and i all appreciate it. the funeral went well, i think we had around 150 seats set-up and the placed looked to be packed. it was comforting that so many people showed up whom my grandmother had connected with in her life. it was truly a celebration of her life in the US since she moved here 20 years ago.

so i realized... that planning a funeral is kinda like planning a wedding... but you only have around a week to do it instead of months. boy it's been busy, and i'm so glad that i'm on thanksgiving break now. i can take a little time to rest up. i'm lucky in that sense, as the grad school sched follows normal schedules... unlike by brother. he got in saturday morning, and left a couple hours later after the memorial service the same day to get back to nyc. he had just finished his internal medicine rotation, and needed to do some studying for exams before his next rotation. he's also going to be in the hospital through thanksgiving starting his next rotation. i'm just glad i'm not in med school.

so, i guess i'm back to finding random stories etc on "the internets". one of my fav christmas movies of all time is "a christmas story" with ralphie. one of my fav scenes is when randy has on his layers and he can't move his arms. there's also the one where he falls down and can't get up. the trip to see santa claus and the elves telling him he'll shoot his eyes out is classic, as well as randy totally freaking out when he sees santa. anyways... here's a random story about how the house used in the movie has been restored and opened for visitors. it's in cleveland, which is only a couple hours from buffalo. i feel a road trip may be in store.

there's so much information out there now that the sequencing of genes has been completed for humans... the trick is to make use of that info as there's still so much we don't understand. you can see how the publicly available genebank has grown. if you know a specific dna sequence you can use blast to search for that sequence across different species of organisms. so here's an interesting story on how researchers are moving from single nucleotide polymorphisms (snp) to looking at larger chunks of variations to see how they affect our health.

here's a good article about the inflated egos that pastor's of megachurches are suceptible to. while i do prefer a non-denominational style of worship, where these rules that have been built up over many years aren't the focus... i do see the point of concern that is brought up in that non-denominational churches do not answer to a higher group, and if they don't have a strong church board then problems can occur. it's unfortunate that so many in the really "religious" conservative right are just making up for their own faults by finding scapegoats. i've said it again and again... but people are not perfect... and when talking about people, christians are part of that group. it really annoys me when these so called church leaders have this holier than thou attitude and make statements which contradict what the Bible and Jesus actually teach... or even what they "teach" themselves. one of the main teachings in christianity is that we should not judge others... mainly because we don't have the authority to do so... but we should leave that up to God. however, that happens regularly coming from sources like jerry falwell, and pat robertson. it's just so hypocritical, and when things like this happen... it really causes me pain to say that i am a christian... because that's not what i want to be associated with. God has given all of us free will, and it is not mine or anyone else's right to impose their personal will or judgements on anyone else. instead of tearing people or groups of people down... we should be helping them, and giving support. i really like this op-ed piece, as it summarizes exactly how i feel. the author brings up a good point in that the church has changed its stance on certain issues as science has evolved... and well the church may need to again in the future.

mba's are the biggest cheaters... i could've told you that =]. whenever money is factored in... bad things happen. it's quite pitiful how many corporate scandals have happened over the last 6 years from the dot-com implosion, and how many billions of dollars have been wiped out by bankruptcies. think of how many people had these companies stocks in their retirement portfolio. most of these people aren't your ceo, cfo types... but just normal working people. it's sad how just a few bad people can have such a large effect on a big population.

here's a cute pic.

here's a recent russell peters special called outsourced if you have an hour to kill.

i hope my US readers have great thanksgivings!

November 23, 2006

financial windfall...

so i know some people, especially season ticket holders in buffalo who wait around the arena and sell their sabres-leafs tix to leafs fans from toronto before a toronto-buffalo game. why do they do this? well... the reason is that they can make a killing off leafs fans who can't otherwise have a chance to get tix into the ACC. now most people would be hesitant to promote filling our own hsbc arena with our hated rivals fans... but i think most sabres fans know that when the leafs come into town... they will most likely lose (toronto's only won 5 of the last 24 in buffalo)... so why not recoup some money from the season tix, or mini packs, or just make some money. i think there's an intensity to buffalo-toronto games, but there isn't a real nastiness to them... which i think is a cool thing since we're so close to each other, but can still enjoy a competitive yet friendly game with our guests. this is in contrast to the buffalo-philly games... which there is definitely a nastiness to them (which i think is also great, cause i frickin hate philly).

here's a blurb from today's news.

Leafs fans were back sharing command of the arena, taking of advantage of ticket scalpers and season-ticket holders who sold their ducats. The dueling chants of "Go, Leafs, Go" and "Let's Go Buffalo" started about six minutes before the opening faceoff.

Leafs coach Paul Maurice, in his first year with Toronto, has already taken a shine to the atmosphere when the teams meet here.

"Everybody in the building is excited," he said. "Is it fair to say it's like a college football game sometimes, where you've got half the stadium cheering for one and half for the other?"

Maurice compared the rivalry favorably to the one the Leafs have with Montreal, two longtime rivals who have some respect for each other. He said it's nothing like the bitter Toronto-Ottawa series.

"Ottawa is just different," Maurice said. "Everybody is just unhappy in that game. . . . But here, I don't know if festive is the right word, but it was like Montreal and Toronto to me."

oh yeah... and the sabres won last night 7-4 =].

eat lots of turkey!

November 25, 2006

because you need...

to laugh

About November 2006

This page contains all entries posted to .:Gotta Drop a Blog in The Corner:. in November 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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