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November 2013 @Woopop Twitter Archive



Boston for a Recital, Halloween, and 3 Concerts in 2 nights (what?)

It’s been a while since I could… write out my posts straight. (Ok, I’ll quit now.) A lot has happened since the last time I’ve actually written something not a CD or concert review! Last weekend saw us taking Friday off to head to Boston to see Rebecca and Joel, and more specifically, watch Rebecca’s final recital for her Early Music Master’s voice studies at the Longy School of Music. We arrived Friday afternoon, checked into our hotel (which was literally within walking distance of their apartment), and headed to said apartment, where we promptly ran out with Becca to do some errands, and I made my maiden voyage into a Whole Foods. It’s like Wegmans, but all organic and natural foods (i.e. not really my kinda store). Anyway, we got back to their apartment, and about the same time, Joel rolled in with his parents from the airport. We had a blast with the Leistikow family, heading out to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Paparazzi’s, which is a smaller-numbered chain, but feels like a one-off. Our food and drink were excellent, as was the company! Joel’s parents are a riot to hang out with. After coming back from dinner, we had a game-night of sorts (yeah, we brought the games!) before turning in to bed. The next morning we were up and at ’em, and went out to breakfast at a place called “The Restaurant” in Woburn. It was cafeteria style, with the guys cooking your breakfast yelling at you, asking what you want. The portions were huge, the price was reasonable, and the food was great. I wish we had something like this in Rochester! From there, we hit up the Burlington Mall, which was right next to the hotel and the apartments, just to walk around and kill some time, before splitting off. The girls went to get Becca’s hair done, and us guys got the food for the recital reception. We came back, got changed, and it was off to Longy. While Rebecca was warming up and preparing to sing, the rest of us set up an adjacent room for a reception following the performance. We then settled in for an exceptional recital by Rebecca and her accompanists. The recital was well-attended, and the reception was a success, with plenty of food and drink for all. After we overstayed the closing of the school by a half-hour (the guard was in there eating and drinking too, so we were OK by him), we came back to the apartment, and after a bit of relaxation, hit the hay back at the hotel. Sunday morning saw breakfast at Panera, and we said our goodbyes and set sail for Rochester. We got home at a reasonable time, and started the work week.

Monday was uneventful, and then Tuesday saw Jerry and I hit up the Three Days Grace / Breaking Benjamin / Seether show at the Hamburg Fairgrounds (read the review below). Wednesday brought Halloween, and all 15 kids that came to the door while Tiff played volleyball. I really thought there’d be more kids in our neighborhood. More candy for us! Thursday had me moonlighting at Batavia to cover a day shift, and after pillaging the Batavia FYE of their used CD’s, came home and watched the Sabres lose.

Friday was two concerts in one night! I had planned the Hip show well in advance, and when I saw Sevendust was coming, I jumped on that ticket as well, not bothering to check what day the show was. As luck would have it, it was the same night. My only hope was that since the Sevendust show had four bands playing, and the doors were at 7:30, it’d go long, and Sevendust wouldn’t start until 11pm, leaving me time to see the Hip (which ended at 11) and then book over to Water Street. My plan actually came through for once, and worked like clockwork. I busted out of the Aud Theater, didn’t encounter any resistance in the parking lot, and the biggest miracle of them all, actually found a parking spot on Andrews. I ran down Water Street to the club, and only missed two songs of Sevendust’s set.

Saturday brought some clothes shopping, then dinner at Olive Garden with Matt, Lisa, Carlo and Alyssa, before coming back to our place for game night. The Swasta clan were up today, as Ozzie is shacking up with us for a week and a half while they go on vacation. We caught breakfast at Mykonos Cafe (we really gotta go to that place more!), hit Target, the Mall, and then home, where we had a fajita feast for an early dinner, while watching the Bills win. Tiff’s parents left, and then I did too, as I met Matt, Adam and Carlo at Tully’s to watch the Pats-Colts “Super Bowl 41 1/2” game. Much to the billing, the game was close right until the end. Much revelry was had, and now I’m home keeping the cat company in the basement (gotta keep Wizard and Ozzie segregated… Cats and Dogs, living together, MASS HYSTERIA!)

And now you’re all caught up. Congrats for reading this far. More boring crap next week!

Netgear:Routers :: Outback Waiter:Good Service

For doing nothing, I sure have been busy…

Tiff took off for Raleigh on Thursday from work, so I was left to my own devices. Which meant doing stuff around the house, a little bit more on the deck, busting out the extension ladder to spray the ever-loving hell out of the wasps nests that had been built under one of the eaves, some touch up trim painting, etc.

Friday night was more entertaining, I met Karen and Jeremy for dinner at the Outback, where we had quite possibly the oddest waiter I’ve ever had at a restaurant. This dude’s name was also Jeremy, and was quite interested in one of us three, as he attempted to eavesdrop on our conversation for a couple seconds before approaching the table… EACH TIME HE CAME OVER. Dude, we’re not your friend, butt out. Then, as I mention that I hadn’t really looked at the menu, and I’d probably just get the same thing I always do, the Alice Springs Chicken, he proceeds to tell me that I should order something “more manly” and that “9 out of 10 people that order that are chicks”. Huh? Obviously, I’m not manly enough for him. (Oh damn.) He was attempting to be humorous, and made a half-hearted apology, when I looked at him and cracked back, “Well, sounds like the tip is going down already!” However, he was undeterred, as he then starts bantering with Jeremy over how much pink is in the center of a “medium” cooked steak. I wasn’t aware there was that much leeway. Medium rare is red, medium is pink, and medium well is just pink going to grey. How hard is it? But no, Mr. Waiter felt the need to go into grave detail. Dude, leave the table and put our order in. Please. At least the food was good. Alas, his tip wasn’t. (No, we didn’t stiff him, but I’ve tipped higher!) So after eating and bumming around the mall, this past weekend’s sign that the apocalypse is upon us? I went to the movies. For the first time in ages, I saw a movie at the theater on opening night… The Simpsons Movie… which was quite funny, I must say. As only an occasional watcher of the show, I didn’t feel like I missed anything (either that, or the inside references were so subtle that I missed them completely!).

Now during all this, Tiff should have been flying home from Raleigh. But nooooooooooooooooo, storms all along the east coast conspired to delay and delay and delay her and her co-workers flight. So much so, that they said “hell with it”, and DROVE home. 8pm to 7am. Good on them! It all looked pretty familiar to Tiff, because once past I-64, it was the same route we took to and from Virginia Beach. Needless to say, Tiff was pretty wiped when she got home Saturday morning. We made a Target run, then pretty much bummed around all day until I departed for the Sevendust show in the evening, which you read about below.

[Geek Tangent]
Part of the reason for the Target run was to pick up a new router for the home network. I haven’t had great luck with routers since we’ve moved to the house, but then again, I’ve been cheap about it. The Microsoft wireless router I had picked up on clearance at Target awhile ago worked okay for awhile, but then started dropping the WAN connection. So I found a Netgear (wired) at a garage sale, and relegated the Microsoft one to just being a wireless access point. The Netgear worked for awhile, and then recently it also started dropping the WAN connection (and yes, I ruled out the cable modem, as I could plug directly into the modem and it’d be fine). So since wireless routers are cheaper than their wired counterparts these days, I figured I’d get away with a new router for $40. Target was out of stock last week, so I went to CompUSA and picked up a Netgear wireless router for exactly $40. I should have known better right off the top, because the web-based configuration was for some reason slightly limited from what I could do with the wired one I was replacing (half the DHCP addresses available, for one). So I get it configured, and it proceeds to conk out at least twice a day. Not just the wireless, not even the WAN side. The whole thing would just stop responding, and I’d have to power cycle it. After a week of this (hey, I’m lazy, and kept thinking that maybe it was a one or two time thing… NOT), I got fed up, and bought the D-Link (WBR-1310) from Target that I originally wanted (also for $40), and took the Netgear back for a refund (the Netgear was a WGR614, if you’re curious). After getting the D-Link set up, I haven’t had to touch it. So far so good.
[/Geek Tangent]

Sunday brought more deck work, as we applied the deck cleaner to all of the railings again. Woohoo. It actually does look better, so this week we’ll be tackling the deck itself. We then commenced our favorite activity, shopping. Covered the mall, Lowe’s, Wegmans, and a haircut! Then it was roller hockey time, and even though we lost (again), we played rather well. Next week is the “seeding” round for playoffs, so maybe we’ll get to play someone more at our lower level!

Work was work this morning, and after some lawn-mowing tonight, it sounds like at least Carlo and I will be hitting up a Red Wings game tomorrow after work. Going to a ballgame and shooting the breeze has proven to be a lot of fun!

Oh Boy, Not Another Hat Post

Another stupid topic that occured to me while chillin’ (literally!) in the basement watching Center Ice and knocking back some Yuenglings…

I have fallen in love with Twins Enterprise‘s “The Franchise” caps. Quite simply, they are the most comfortable hats I think I’ve ever worn, and since they’re psuedo-fitted (Small, Medium, Large, etc.), I can still be ignorant to my hat size. Plus they look really cool also, with a large, raised, embroidered logo. I’ve paid through the nose for a couple of them at Lids, but got a couple of the adjustable back ones at Target on clearance for $4 each, which I’m certainly not going to turn down! The inspiration for this is that I just bought two more this week, which brings my total to… way too many. Okay, nine.

This one started it all. Tiff was complaining that I didn’t have any blue hats, and *she* wanted me to wear something color co-ordinated, and it had to be blue, apparently. I’ve always loved the Brewers ball-in-glove logo, so I swallowed my pride (and the price tag) and picked this up at Lids. Still wear it in the summer, despite the fact that the Brew crew isn’t that good. Hell, the team is named for beer, so it can’t be all bad! Has 1989 on the back, as it’s part of the “Cooperstown Collection”, designating the year the team wore that style.

Totally jumped on the Astros bandwagon when they won that 18-inning marathon against the Braves, and then won the NLCS two years ago. This was one of those $4 Target clearance deals, plus Tiff was now on my case about a red hat.

Speaking of bandwagons, can’t not get the other World Series finalist (and eventual champion!) for $4 at Target either. I always wanted to be like Dr. Dre. anyway. 🙂

Another Target clearance hat. Didn’t have a green hat. *Shrug* Not really an A’s fan, but whatever.

On clearance at TJ Maxx, and I actually watched a bunch of Mets games last season, all the way from the beginning of the season (so actually not a bandwagon jumper on this one!) Besides, if I’m going to root for a New York team, it sure as hell isn’t going to be the Yankees.

Scooped this one up at Lids in August, the first day they were out. I didn’t know they were coming out, I wandered into the store, saw it, and grabbed it. They were gone a week later all over the place, and are still not the easiest to find. Since this is a “Vintage” series hat, it has the date of the team’s inception on the back, except they got it wrong. My hat has 1971 on the back, the team started play in 1970. They’ve actually made corrected hats that say 1970.

This one was hard as hell to find for awhile. Lids never had them, even on the website. Then one day Dick’s got a ton of them in, and I immediately got one. I was hot for this hat, and it was well worth it. Has the sworded B on the back. They’re all over now, but I was happy as hell when I got mine.

It’s taken me until this week to get a Lightning Franchise hat, but the wait is finally over. It’s actually the first new Lightning hat I’ve purchased in probably 10 years or so. I’ve been rocking the same Starter flexfit hats since middle school. They still fit, but damn, they’re a little dirty (and I’ve washed them a couple times!). Finally something new, clean, and better looking!

The final piece of the puzzle for now. Since my winter jacket is green, you know who was complaining that I didn’t have a green hat that matched. (Yeah, the A’s. I know. But it’s the winter! Can’t wear baseball hats in the winter!) So since it was buy 1, get 1 half off on the Lids website, and I wanted a companion for my ’91 North Stars road jersey, this was the obvious choice. They’re arguably my favorite defunct NHL team, so it’s all good.

Wow. That certainly was pointless, now wasn’t it? Don’t matter, I had fun writing all this, and now you can all have fun picking on me about it. Ain’t much going on now that hockey’s over for the night. 🙂

Weekends, and Happy Birthday to Us (And The House!)

So I posted the concert review, but not about the rest of the weekend! I headed out to Buffalo on Friday night after work, and got to Adam’s place around 9. After getting the nickel tour of his half-house/apartment (very nice, BTW!), I got the nickel tour of the nickel city’s Elmwood strip. All within walking distance, which is both cool and dangerous! We started out at Mr. Goodbar, where we met a couple of Adam’s friends, and then hopped next door to Cole’s, which was absolutely packed, but fun! Met more people, then we hoofed it two blocks down to McGarrett’s, and listened to some jam band. Then back to Cole’s, then Goodbar, and finally back to Adam’s place. Got up, went back to Cole’s for lunch (Artvoice called their burger the best in Buffalo, and while a good burger, I don’t know about best), and then began our Saturday travels. A quick shot to Target for earplugs, then off to the Buffalo Auto Show! Got our fill of the new cars, debating and critiquing all the while. After we’d seen enough vehicles, we wandered to the Friday’s on Main Street, and killed two hours at the bar, talking with people who were pre-gaming for the Sabres game also going on that night. About 7 we headed to the concert, and as you see, we had a fantastic time. But after the show, we roll back to Adam’s place, where I get to meet his new lady friend Beth. After exchanging some pleasantries, we walk over to Cole’s to meet some of Adam’s friends and some of Beth’s. Beth’s were two Sabres fans who had just gotten back from the game, and as such we got along famously. Needless to say, a couple of us ended up closing down the bar at 4am. Can’t say I’ve been out that late in quite awhile! Woke up waaaay too early, said adios to Adam, and made my way back to Rochester. Had a great time, but I don’t think I could make that a weekly occurance without a bit more practice!

This week so far has been rather uneventful, save for snow. We got quite a bit (7-10″) Tuesday night / Wednesday morning, so work was slllllloooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww Wednesday. So was the traffic. Tiff and I had a nice Valentine’s dinner at home, and watched the snow fly. 🙂

Tomorrow is Friday! Last day of work for the week, and then a big weekend coming up for us. Visitors Saturday night, and then the family contingent on Sunday. Our birthdays are coming up, plus today marks the 1 year anniversary of us closing on our house! Yay for us!!

The Mad Hatter

Random musings while watching a full slate of Sabres and Lightning-less hockey…

It’s not that odd that there’s a lot of former NHL’ers that do color commentary, but there’s a disparate amount of goaltenders! Just off the top of my head, John Davidson, John Garrett, Chico Resch, Brian Hayward, Kelly Hrudey, Darren Pang, and those are just the ones I can think of right now. The goalies may be crazy, but they get to see a lot more of the game.

I’m sure I’ve said this a couple times, but I love listening to the announcers for the other teams, and they different styles. Having said that, nobody beats RJ and Lorentz on the Sabres telecasts.

Canadian beer commercials are just as stupid and idiotic as American ones. For that matter, most of their commercials are just as stupid as ours too.

The NFL playoff games yesterday were fun to watch, but I can’t say they were the most thrilling games I’ve ever watched. I still say that distinction goes to the last couple minutes of the Colts-Steelers game last week. Crazy. Looking forward to the Super Bowl though, I’m thinking it may actually be an equally contested game.

I’ve recently developed a hat fetish, especially “The Franchise” collection by Twins Enterprises. The hats are comfortable, and it helps that Target had a bunch of them go on super clearance for less than $4 apiece, even though the majority of them are baseball hats.

The anticipation of getting the house is killing me, if only because with each passing day, the apartment feels more and more smaller. More Room Needed!!

Ringing In

It’s been another eternity since a real update, and this time there’s actually a lot that’s been going on. Since New Years, Tiff and I have been rather busy, most of all with the ongoing pursuit of our first house! There will be no real unveiling or advertising until we actually have it, as I’m not counting any chickens before they hatch, but suffice to say we have an offer accepted for a place we fell in love with, and we’re hoping our closing is still on target for the middle of February.

While that’s been consuming most of our time, we’ve also managed to catch a Sabres/Lightning game in Buffalo last week, an RIT hockey game, and work some racquetball in. Work’s been work, and we’re still watching tons of hockey and football on the tube too.

So the new year has been quite good to us so far, and we’re hoping that the trend continues!

On People, Posers, and Mallcore

Other people are fascinating. As we were walking around the New York State Fair on Thursday, it occured to me that people watching really is one of my favorite pastimes. And there’s really no better place to do that then at large public gatherings of people, of which fairs would be a fine example. The cross-section of the population, and more specifically their habits, just astound me. And while everyone makes snap judgements, you see various families, or groups of people, and you wonder what their home life is like, what their house looks like, etc. What possesses someone to walk out of the house looking the way they do, wearing what they’re wearing? Why the hell do you act like an imbecile in public? For once, I don’t have any concrete examples from the fair, but rather an overarching, cynical, completely baseless continuing belief that John Q. Public is still an idiot.

I’m actually very thankful that Tiffany loves to comment on the people and surroundings as much as I do, because what fun would it be to see these things and not have anyone to bounce them off of? Every time I hear Carlo speak about his psych minor, or Sara about her psych major, I wonder if I should have gone into that, because I’m just fascinated about why people do what they do, and why they act the way they act.

Along these lines, I feel like now more than ever before I’m actually paying attention to trends, especially with the glut of back to school ads on TV and in the stores. While I realize that everything is something to be marketed, and every age group is a target market, I’m just a little surprised at how subtlety has gone out the window in regards to marketing. The ad execs will latch onto anything that seems hot and exploit it for all its worth, and then some. I think the reason I’m noticing it a lot more these days is because of the rise and continuation of the “rock star”, or “vintage” fashion trend that’s currently popular. Mallcore, if you will. I’m not even talking about places like Hot Topic, although they’re part of it. I mean walking into the department stores and seeing them sell clothes with concert/band/backstage icons or slogans. Now this is probably the music snob in me coming out, but half these kids wouldn’t know a rock concert if it hit them in the face, and the other half that actually go to shows just stand there, just so they can tell their friends that they were there and had a “killer time”. You are not rock fans, you don’t rock, you’re not “with the band” as your shirt proclaims. You only know two songs (singles?) from the band whose shirt you just bought at Hot Topic (and that band probably sucks anyway. See My Chemical Romance for a wonderful example). Case in point, the two kids that were in front of us at the 3DD/Staind show. Mom and Dad brought them (which is admirable, rock on Mom and Dad!), and they were each decked out in their brand new $50 Staind hoodies, yet during Staind’s entire set, sat, SAT in their seats, and never once looked to be into the show, singing along, headbanging, nodding, dancing, ANYTHING. Nothing like paying almost $40 per ticket to keep the seat warm. Yet, they’ll go to school this week raving about how awesome the show was, and how they’re Staind’s biggest fans to their friends, who are wearing their crisp new Fall Out Boy t-shirts and gushing about how cute the lead singer is.

I know I’ve made this argument before, but it used to be a much smaller subset of kids that tried to get in on it. Mallcore has become a much bigger epidemic in the last year or so, and from my observation, this back to school fashion season is the peak of it. Makes me want to puke.

If nothing else, remember two things:
1. Nothing is any good if other people like it. And if a lot of other people like it, then it REALLY sucks. (This goes for me too, I know, I know.)

2. (and this also goes for me) “I didn’t sell out, son. I bought in. Keep that in mind.” Words to live by.

What A Tool

We’re trying for more than one entry per week here. We just might make it.

I put my mp3 receiver into the new car last night. What should have taken 20 minutes took about an hour and a half (counting intermission). Here’s some highlights.

The trim piece surrounding the climate controls and the radio pulls right off of the dashboard (this is even easier than the 2001 was, no screws this time!), disconnect the wiring harnesses, and then its 4 screws to take the radio out. Easy as pie, right? I got three out… and the 4th one just did not want to go anywhere. After nearly destroying any and every phillips head screwdriver I had, and cursing a blue streak (or four or five), I called time-out and went shopping with Tiff.

Time out? Shopping? What the…? You WUSS! GET BACK IN THERE!

She had to pick some stuff up at Target, so I accompanied her, and then went to the only place that could help me, Chase Pitkin. One right angle screwdriver later…

This thing saved the day (and the neighbors ears).

…we were back, and by the glow of only the dome light, I took out the screw securing the bracket to the radio, and got the radio out. I then proceeded to wrench on the bracket until I got it free from the remaining screw (yay for slots!), and finally got the screw out.

Since the wiring harness didn’t change from 01 to 05, all my existing work was able to be used again. I didn’t even need the mounting kit from the old car either. The brackets screwed right to the radio, and in it went. Popped the trim piece back on, and we in bidness!