Friday, February 24, 2006

MOVING

Hey guys, I'm leaving the Blogger universe for the more customizable pastures of Wordpress.

All the same content and (hopefully) more stuff will be located at http://errantremark.wordpress.com

Thanks, and please keep reading.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

PSA #1

Just a note inspired by the weekend:

Don't be a corporate whore: Don't do coke.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

And the cock crowed, "Good Morning!"

I'm sure I'm way behind the times on this but:








There are better ways to fix an aging city than giving it some Viagra.
Throw some water on that thing, WNYCP, or think of your grandmother in the shower or something. Anything to get your mind, body and logo under control.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cream of Wheat

My buddy Chris and I went to the Seneca Niagara Casino the other day, not to gamble (though we did) but to check out the new hotel that opened about a month ago.

I'm not really a casino guy, but having been to all the Niagara Falls casinos on either side of the border, I like the Seneca one the best - it's open, airy and big. It also doesn't try to be too gaudy/Vegas-y - it's modern and cool. Outside of that, I fucking hate all casinos. I'm conflicted I know.

The real reason we went to the casino was because Chris told me that the lights on the new Seneca Niagara hotel - at about 30 floors, it's one of the biggest buildings in the area, if not the biggest - can be seen from the dorms at UB. So we went to the 7th floor of Spalding Quad and, lo and behold, you could see the rainbow behemoth. That's almost 20 miles away on a cloudy WNY night, so this thing is bright.

Naturally we had to go see it, and in person, the building itself is interesting, rising like a monolith out of the ruins of Niagara Falls, USA, but the light-up gimmick is a let-down, for several reasons:
  1. That thing is bright. I can't imagine living in NF anywhere near that thing, or at least with in 10 miles, due south. It has to be overbearing. It's so bright, it completely illuminates the old Nabisco grain elevators about a mile away like the sun reflects off the moon.
  2. There is nothing around the casino. Nothing - Across is a Holiday Inn Select, there's the airplane museum, but that's about it. They renovated this walkway across from the casino to look kind of retro/quaint, but seriously, when you leave the casino (and why would you, really), there is nothing to spend your winnings on, or drown your sorrows in. It's depressing.
  3. The lights on the hotel are, well, underwhelming. I've read that their supposed to represent the falls, but it looks more like a logo for gay-pride famers. I mean, it really looks like a big ear of corn or wheat or something, only technicolor:

Add to that where the lights aren't smooth, the way a good LCD screen should be, but choppy, and it's just an underwhelming exterior.

I really hope that if/when they build the downtown Buffalo casino that it's better planned, because if it's an eyesore, there's nothing any American can do about it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Love and Hatemail

Sorry for being M.I.A. for the past few...forever. I promise, I'm gonna be more regular than Metamucil from now on.

Anyway, I had a new column in The Spectrum the other day. I'm kinda proud of it because I think it was a good step to being an independent centrist. Have a look and let me know if I went too right.

I already got one letter: the most fantastic hatemail in the world.

Here it is, in all it's glory:
You, sir, are an idiot. Calling Senator McCain a punk is an insult to both the punk community and our government. The punk community is based on marxist/anarchistic theory. Our government(ie. McCain & co.) has spent billions of dollars to demonize and suppress those ideals. Saying that a member of one community belongs to the other shows that you do not understand the history of either. McCain is nothing but another fat corprate whore and your celebration of his work as a senator is an indication of your stupidity. I would recommend that you quit your position as managing editor and spend your time reading more about the people and the politics of which you write.
The first amendment should not apply in your case. Your moronic column should be illegal. You are what is wrong with our media and government. You are an idiot in a high place who would rather talk out of his anus than sit and think before he speaks. If you do not wish to resign your post than I would recommend writting about something simple, like sports, or a self-help column rather than someting as complicated and intricate as politics. Read a history book and stop watching CNN. Thank you for your time.
-Mr. [redacted]

It goes without saying that I am officially validated. I'm only a documentary, radio show or talk show from stealing market shares from Moore and O'Reilly.

My favorite part of the letter is that this guy is most definitely punk, someone who would probably die to protect the first amendment, yet he threatens to revoke my rights. Do as I say, not as I do, eh?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Buy low, sell high

Buffalo (and WNY in general) is going to bounce back in spite of itself.

No matter what idiot is put in office, as long as they don't pull another Giambra, the city and region are going to come back.

It's the economy, stupid.

And don't be fooled- Buffalo's economy is in shambles, but so is everyone else's. One common thread among nearly all my graduated friends was that they were moving to New York, moving to Florida, goin' to California. Well, for a kid just out of college with little experience, few connections and even less money, those places aren't all their cracked up to be.

People who grew up in places like Brooklyn, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., can no longer afford to live in their native towns, so how could a snot-nosed kid from upstate, with no existing big-city connections make it?

I don't mean to be pessimistic; many will make it, some will succeed wildly beyond their wildest dreams. For the average-to-above-average however, it will take a Herculean effort to establish any reasonable savings and money to build a family in these overheated real estate markets.

With rents surpassing $1200 for a one-bedroom place an hour outside of New York, not including utilities, furniture, food (damn expensive in the big city), and transportation (MTA, car, whatever), there can be no reasonable expectation for anyone to ever come out ahead for themselves, let alone a family.

In the city of Buffalo you could buy a 3-4 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house for under $50,000. Take a mortgage and that's under $800 a month. Tack on utilities, you barely crack $1000. And remember, that's for at least 4 bedrooms.

Of course it's in Buffalo, well away from all the opportunity that is in big-time cities like New York, but here's the thing: no new company of any substantial size is starting up in New York, least of all hiring new people. They can't afford to pay their own workers in those hotbeds (unless they have those pork-barrel deals in the Washington district). The mad-dash of companies out of these areas might not have quite heated up yet, but you'll see - cities like Buffalo will soon be the new India or China for service jobs, light manufacturing and high technology businesses.

These high-risk companies can't afford to risk paying their workers CoLA wages beyond six figures to start.

Sure, taxes in New York are high, but a business could make a killing when your young workers can raise a family comfortably starting at $40,000, even less for your singles who have no kids to themselves.

Granted, everyone's looking for the sweeter deal, but in the current economic environment, who can really afford to pay for ridiculous insurance rates - for everything from health, auto, hurricane, earthquake, flood, to Armageddon - that is required in other cities that Buffalo, in it's boring, Great Lakes induced shelter, is almost completely ignorant to. Sure, car insurance is always steep, but when the worst weather disaster you get is a periodic blizzard that has killed maybe 5 people in the past 10 years (compared to how many in hurricanes this past year), where are you going to pay more in the long-term?

That doesn't even account for the other advantages of the area, but we'll save that for another post.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tedy Bruschi for American of the century

http://wgr550.com/ondemand.php

Click on Tedy Bruschi's Best Moments on Sunday Night

Has to be the funniest thing ever broadcast on WGR550, Buffalo's best talk radio.

"Tedy Bruschi is probably the best person I have ever seen in uniform."

"The fans chanting he is a golden god, a little bit awkward, but still..."

"Some kind of mythical creature, he is half man, half god, half possible Centaur, but I'm not sure, but either way, I wish he was my dad..."

"Bruschi is amazing, his communication skills...He can speak 38 different languages, he told him that one in Arabic..."

"And now I'm being told, Bruschi has won the lottery, right? Yes he's hit all six numbers in the New England lottery and he's donating it all to everyone in the stadium..."