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Two court hearings this morning. Three blocks apart. Now (9:15), and noon. I brought some work for in between, but these days, times like this are my only times to catch up here.

Eleanor’s still coming along nicely, but the boredom is beginning to settle in. Our Big Adventure, when I got out out of work early late last week, was going back to her doctor (to pick up her handicap permit paperwork), and to a pet store for fish supplies. We do walk on the wild side, don’t we?

Before that, though, I had a long day out of town- for court, a client appointment, and to get my car back from Emily.

First was Niagara Falls.

I had one hearing there at 9 and one at 10. The earlier one was for a guy who hired me to do an emergency filing in August and never got back once after that about finishing the job. His case was on for (and eventually got) dismissal, but I’d told him to be there and I needed to be sure he wasn’t.

This is a remote location of Bankruptcy Court where they routinely print notices directing clients to the wrong floor of the building. I get to the correct place on the second floor and no client. So I take the elevator to the wrong floor, get off, still no client but I hear a court deputy directing other people down that hall. “No, officer,” I helpfully tell her, “they misprinted the notice. Hearings are on the SECOND FLOOR.”

“This IS the second floor.”


Dumbass never pushed the button to the third floor, and just sat there in a stationary elevator for 10 seconds

Hopefully there are medications for this as I get older.

But the day was not over. After I made the switch of cars with the kid, I knew I wouldn’t be home by dinner time. I went to get gas first, and I saw a Wendy’s across the street. I tried to pull in- but it’s closed for renovations.

I don’t know where many of these joints are around town anymore, but I remembered that there were a few of them around Emily’s old apartment on Lyell Avenue. And it’s right off 490. So I headed over there, and there’s a Mickey D’s- closed for renovations.

Now I’m mad, and will pretty much take the first thing I see. That turned out to be a BK, which amazingly is not closed for renovations. I slogged down a Whopper Junior, but that thing had a freaking salad bar piled on top of it- the tomato slice was thicker than the bun - and I dropped an onion slice somewhere on the floor, which by the next morning had stunk up the entire car

Moral: when life gives you a hint, take it.


Friday was a day to sleep in (all the way to 8:30), but Saturday, again, involved an alarm for the third week out of four. This time, it was to head right back to Rochester to participate in their Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the second in three weekends that Emily was helping to organize and run.

Unlike the Canandaigua one which got rained on, we had perfect weather for this one. It began and ended at Frontier Field, done for this baseball season but with the field still intact:


I saw little of the kid, who was going nuts at the registration tables, so I headed into the sea of purple t-shirts. Every mascot in the county was there-



-and even a Disney princess or two worked the crowd.

Then we were off. The route followed a symbol of 50s highway Brutalism known as the Inner Loop, which circles downtown like a moat, ruined neighborhoods when built and is now being ripped out and replaced by grade-level boulevards one section at a time. We walked the still-expressy segment from State to East Main, but across the lanes you could see how the first of the ripped out sections has already gone back to nature-


We also got to take pictures from the shoulder where pedestrians usually dare not pass-


That was about a mile and a half; for the return, we looped onto the eastbound lanes and walked back west to the ballpark to make it a full 5K. Nobody was quite sure where to go at the end, but eventually we were pointed into the bowels of the bullpens- places I’d never seen, much less walked through, in my 20-plus years going to games in this place-

In time, I met up with Em again to exchange a few more Things Left In Cars- and that’s when I offered a ride to these two, punched out and done for the day-


They declined; she still had her Uber pumpkin on call.

I pigged out in our favorite Rochester record shop- still going strong because they sell more than just records



-took the kid to lunch, and headed home. There, I finally saw something with the day’s date on it, and remembered it was my late sister’s 50th wedding anniversary. That was also a beautiful late October Saturday, and I can’t add much more to my words about it from five years ago except to be sure that Sandy would’ve been proud of me for devoting the day to a charity event, just as her daughter did on the anniversary of her passing five years before.


That gets us caught up, and me halfway between those court appearances. (My opponent never showed for the early one:P) Back to work, hopefully without uncooperative elevators or onions.
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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 08:26pm on 17/10/2017
Oddly, our most annoying companion- Michelle the evil cat- has given us the least to write about over the past few days. Here's the rest of the menagerie news.

I awoke Sunday morning to a Facebook feed full of bad news from near and far. One friend, in Philadelphia, was awakened overnight by gunshots outside, and she soon learned that they had hit a man two doors down from her. (He later died of his wounds.) Another, closer to here in a suburb on the other side of Buffalo, was also awakened overnight- by a drunk driver, who sped down her quiet side street, hit a parked car, came to a brief rest in her front garden and finally gave one more push to crash into her front porch. (He ran away and was caught three doors down; everybody inside the house was fine, but if the parked car and garden hadn't slowed down the idiot, my friend's son on the other side of the porch wall might not have lived.)

So it seemed hardly in that league of news to realize that Zoey, our youngest kitty and perhaps our sweetest-ever furry friend, had gotten out during the night. No sign of her when the bowls went down, but moments later there was mewing at the back door. It hadn't been raining and was stupidly warm that night, so there's no way to tell if she got out on the dog run at 9, midnight or 4, but there she was....

and, after we got back from Eleanor's checkup on Monday afternoon, there the fleas were. It's amazing how quickly she can pick them up out there. We then attempted to hold her down long enough to medicate her for it- and off she went, flying into an unknown corner but not before getting a good bite in on Mommy in the process. She finally turned up under the guest futon, was toweled into submission, and was back to purring a few hours later. (In front of a heat register, which by then was putting heat out instead of the air conditioning of a day earlier. Welcome to Buffalo in October.)


Yesterday, the kitty news was from afar: Cameron was at a lumberyard, and a nearly newborn kitten came across his path. Here's how Eleanor reported the conversations about it with Emily:

Clearly abandoned. No one else doing anything about it. He brought her home, where they already have two cats, all their lease will allow them. They called all the local SPCAs, which were closed. Somehow they got in touch with a local rescue person, who promised to pick the little one up [the next] morning, and during the night (the rescue woman works nights) texted Emily with tips on how to care for such a little baby (they think she just opened her eyes shortly before she was found).

Emily kept saying last night and this morning, that she felt sad that she wasn’t “able to do something substantial for her”. I said no, she DID do something substantial for her! If Cam hadn’t picked her up, and the two of them hadn’t done everything they did, she probably would have died without her momma! She stands a better chance of living because of Em and Cam! I sent Em this:

🏆Best Human Beings of the Day Award!

Once I saw her picture, I was sure they were done for, and they (or we) would wind up with her-

-but they made the handoff just fine today, and kitty stands a much better chance of finding a good forever home because of them.


That leaves our dear old dog, and I do mean old; she'll be 15 in a couple of months.  I'd been putting off Ebony's annual vet visit to the limit just because of how much it stresses her out, but we were out of meds after today and that's when I was able to make the appointment for.  As she's done the past several times, she showed her initial displeasure by taking a dump in the waiting room- then panting and pacing the whole time we waited in between the tech and the vet coming in.  But when they're actually working with her (and plying her with treats), she's fine- and other than being down a couple of pounds, her vitals were all good and her chronic symptoms- some eye glaze and some puffiness in the hind legs- don't seem to be any worse or causing her any problems.  They took her back for her heartworm test draw and a mani-pedi- which reminded me to do the same for Zoey when I got home.  Everybody's now home, fed and free of stress and distress.

Even Michelle, who will likely shit in my shoe just because I said nice things about her:P

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...I’ve gotten a little behind on my work. (Some say he made a spectacle of himself. Hiyooo!). I finally have the moment to write, since I’m close to home, sentient, and away from all distractions except this phone. I’m with Eleanor at her first post-op checkup, a week after the surgery.

We think it’s gone well. She hasn’t needed the wheelchair even once, and the Lortabs have stayed in their re-marked bottle-

-so the pain has been manageable. The, um, camping setup has also gotten little use. Her biggest problems have been boredom from being home all day- this is our first trip out all week- and some fatigue after doing too much at times to alleviate the boredom. I’m trying to think of things we can do this week to get her out and about a bit, in the chair if needed. This is a relatively quiet work week for me.

Last week, following the procedure, not so much.

— —

I’d kept Tuesday free, just going in for a few hours to catch things up, but the next three went fast and furious. Wednesday, I had court in three places in two cities- Rochester and Niagara Falls- between 9 and 2. All went okay- the middle one was by phone- but the back road to the Falls took way longer than expected, thanks to a badly advertised truck claiming to be the Expedite Delivery Service, and I wound up way late but nobody cared. Thursday, I got out of Buffalo court at the last minute but still had to be up and ready just in case. Friday 9 a.m. then was back in the same place for the same thing with the same trustee as Wednesday 9 a.m. Client and I both wound up a few minutes late, but again nobody cared. I ended the day resolving a major issue for a client which has been hanging over him since April. (He also paid, which is key with a bunch of big bills coming due through today. I have about 20 bucks to my name until some more payments come in, but we’re all good:)

That client also kept me in town until late afternoon with no fixed appointments, so it came as a nice surprise when my NPR buddy Scott, who saw me post from the area, invited me over to Rochester Public Radio Central for my first-ever tour of the facilities. We began during one of their pledge drives, with Scott (R) pitching while On Air Scott (L, behind the monitor) kept the tunes coming.

I've been a fan of this show for years and got to meet him and lots of the other on-air people I've been listening to on this and other stations for even longer.


Then Saturday, usually a rest day, became my first Platelet Day. It takes about 3 hours from check-in to snackin', but the time went quickly- a friend signed up with me and we caught up on things the whole time- and with no more owies than regular donation. They get a #10 envelope sized bag out of the deal, but there are billions of life-saving cells in there, so it’s worth the wait.

The next wait to donate is two weeks- since they take so little, you can do it more often- so I’ll be back there with my platelet buddy on the 28th. I'll also be up early the Saturday in between;  that's  the morning of the Alzheimer’s Walk that Emily's helping to organize in Rochester- you could see its Frontier Field starting point from the windows of the WXXI studios- and I'll be participating to support the cause.

Later Saturday and even into yesterday, I was groggier than usual, despite doing only my usual Sunday morning rituals of dog park and workout. Maybe the blood drain took more than I thought it would, or maybe it was just getting up and out ass-early four of the previous six mornings plus that one. But today I rose at the usual time without alarm and without any ill effects, and now we're here....

and she's done.  Everything's progressing nicely, the dressings are off, she can shower again (she's even more thrilled about this than I am;), and we don't go back for another two weeks.
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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 09:02pm on 09/10/2017
(Warning: lots of TMI in here.)

That's not the original quote, and today wasn't even our Thanksgiving. But we're thankful all the same.

It began plenty early- not much sleep for Eleanor, and more of it but plenty of animal and weird-dream interruptions for me- and we hit the road in the dark and rain for the appointed 6 a.m. arrival for surgery check-in. Everything went smoothly, and as I repaired to the waiting room, the surgeon repaired the spurs on top of both of  Eleanor's feet.  Although we had the rent-a-chair in the trunk of Emily's car, when I came round to collect her, the nurse was escorting her out on her own two feet. There she's remained, certainly with pain from the incisions, but not to a point where she can't walk using the boots provided.  Ice packs are an on-and-off proposition, and elevating them on pillows (or if necessary on the dog) is really the only other constant maintenance to be done.

The animals did more than a little acting out. Right before we left,Michelle the evil cat decided to pee all over the kitchen table- and we came home to find the kitchen wastebasket and Eleanor's purse-ish take-to-work bag had been both raided, their contents all over the kitchen floor.  They seem to have settled down some since then- Zoey doing her part to provide the soft fluff surfaces even if not in the right place-

I'd been nervous about whether I'd be able to care well enough for her if things were on the worst-case end of incapacity.  Instead, it's been more keeping up with her and doing as much of the Things as I can. Typical was this exchange early in starting to make dinner tonight:

Her: Can you broil those red peppers so they'll be ready when I cook the fish?

Me: You keep using that word, "I." I do not think it means what you think it means.

So yeah, I cooked it. Not without help, and I'm not sure how many steps I actually saved her, but it's a start.  We ate it watching a hilarious BBC Christmas special that Em tipped us off to- spoofing Peter Pan in the UK pantomime tradition (Oh no they didn't! Oh yes they did!), and if the day ended with one last bit of good news, it's that David Suchet was nowhere near the surgery place. His car would surely have been in the way of her getting out.


Right. The rest of the TMI.

We have also been blessed by Eleanor having no need for, um, alternative arrangements for using the loo. That's a good thing, since the camping-toiletish setup we ordered last week, guaranteed to arrive in time last night, never did.  First time Amazon has ever let us down, and it resulted in a late-night chat exchange with them (after having to google exactly HOW to "contact Amazon about a problem"- there's no link for it attached to the order). My new pal Janine was very nice about it but said, basically, shit happens.  In this case, the pre-op shit was the Post Office inexplicably diverting the package at 4-something Sunday morning from the correct station (ours) to an incorrect one one town over.  We got an account credit for the inconvenience, and unless things get bad after the local wears completely off, we can probably just cancel the order.

Sorry, Cousin Eddie.

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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 05:59pm on 08/10/2017

The Bills were in the House of Pain today- Cincinnati, not Orchard Park. Hopefully, O.P. won't be too painful a place for us tomorrow. The check-in for the surgery at the outpatient place there got moved up until 6 tomorrow morning, so we'll be out of here ass-crack early. Most of the preparations have been made: rugs moved out to make the wheelchair easier to get around on, I have my old car with the bigger trunk space back in a trade with Emily, and we've gotten multiple offers of use of a walker- one of them from around the corner- so if we need that, it'll be here. We also finally did the "Basic Three" documents I do all the time for clients for both of us- wills, powers of attorney, and health care proxies- because the practice asked her to bring the latter with her tomorrow.

Then it's just wait and see- how long it'll be painful, and how long after that before Eleanor will be able to get back to All The Things.


After my usual first waking Sunday hour with Ebony at the dog park, I did a workout with one of my favorite trainers- my first with her in months. She'd had an unscheduled surgery this spring after a retina detached and she had to spend days completely immobile before they could operate, and weeks afterward with almost as little movement. It was supposed to be a three-month layoff, but that just about doubled before she finally made it back this morning. I borrowed this sign from the merch table and posted it, and she's gotten all kinds of love for making it back-

(the glasses are temporary, as is the ban on her demonstrating burpees). It was a fitting transition to precede the one we're about to begin.


Then there are the ones you never quite get over.

Yesterday marks 29 years since our oldest sister's too-soon passing. I have almost always observed it On The Day with a post about her, but with the preparations for tomorrow and life in general being a little overwhelming, it got by me until I saw some words about it from my nieces this morning.

She has been especially in our thoughts of late, as we looked back at 30 years since our wedding. Sandy (and her whole family) became a big part of that day for us; this photo, taken by an RIT student who contacted us about doing a shoot for a class project only days before, is one of the most treasured memories we will ever have of that day, or of that remarkable woman-

She and Eleanor had only met a handful of times before that day, but the bond of love between them leaps right from those pixels, and will always be in all of our hearts.

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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 08:41pm on 05/10/2017
(Or, obscure refererences for 800, Alex;))

First half of the title is a bit of a stretch. Maybe I can make it out to be about buildings I'm usually not in- like malls. I pulled a twofer at one of our area's rapidly decaying temples of  retail, and got out without spending a nickel. Not that there are many places left to spend anything. Macy's (nee Hengerers/Sibleys/Kaufmann's) is now an antique emporium; most of the clothing stores of the 80s are now salons and cell phone hawkers.  (There's still a Spencer Gifts, though; I don't think even nuclear war will kill THAT.)

Stop One was LensCrafters. I'd stupidly stepped on the older pair of glasses which I reverted to after stepping on a more recent pair more irreparably, but this pair needed just a quick adjustment and I was good to go. And so I went to a storefront I remember originally being a video arcade in the 80s, which the current tenant, the UNYTS blood drive walk-in center, has retained the tacky walls from-

That's a file photo of the Auntie Ann's pretzel mascot- yeah, the mall can't kill THEM off, either- but I was there to see if I needed to be prescreened for my first-ever platelet donation at the end of next week.  A friend does it often, and was looking for a donation buddy for the process-  it's no more painful, needle-wise, but it just takes longer.  I had some issues with regular donation (it was through a rejection there that I found out I was hypertensive several years ago and I am now medicated for it), but apparently I'll be fine for it as long as I don't take aspirin, visit England, or get a tat between now and then.

Then, last night and this morning brought another, weird, building story.

Last weekend, the Rochester daily paper (or what little is left of it) published a story about a house on the market in our old neighborhood there.  Making it unusual is that it was the scene of a grisly (and still unsolved) ax murder over 35 years ago.  The reporter quoted one realtor, unaffiliated with the selling family but who had shown the house to a potential buyer not knowing its history. (New York requires disclosure of dozens of things concerning homes' structure, repair histories and some neighborhood aspects, but not whether somebody died in the house unless a buyer asks about it point-blank. Yes, I said that.)

The reporter did not interview the owners, or the realtor who had the listing- and one of the sellers was none too pleased about it. (The "Karen" she refers to in her public Facebook post about it is the paper's editor):

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. As the owner of the "Murder House" as your staff writer calls it, I cannot possibly fathom what the newsworthiness was of the article you published this past Saturday. The content (except for the fact that the home is now for sale) was all regurgitated from articles that had been published in the past, at times when the news story was, in fact, newsworthy. So what possible reason could there have been behind the decision to publish the article other than to sensationalize a 35 year old crime and devalue a family home?

She's got a point, to a point- I think it likely, for one thing, that some genius editor decided that it was a nice Halloweeny spooky story to go with for the first weekend of October.  But boo on them for not at least trying to get a quote from the owner or their agent. At the same time, it seems clear the owner didn't want this fact disclosed- and to paraphrase her,  just because you don't have to, doesn't mean you shouldn't.

The home looks beautiful in its online presentation, was priced way below market for that neighborhood even before the story broke, and is as likely to attract a curious buyer who doesn't care about the history (or maybe like it as a conversation piece) as it will repel others.


Now that I've got the ax murder out of the way, some words about food as promised:

The restaurant from last weekend did get back to me after I private-messaged the owner- they were partly conciliatory, partly appreciative that we didn't go all Yelp Smash on them, but were not entirely apologetic.  They said they "do consider the Kitchen Counter (what we considered "the bar," because it was) reservable seating," and that they would try to find a way to make that clearer when you're booking through Open Table.  They also offered a gift certificate that would basically cover one entree and a starter.  That seems fair, although with Eleanor not likely to be able to sit at a real table anytime after Sunday, we'll have to keep that one in abeyance.  Wherever "A Beyance" is on a map, anyway.

Yes, all systems are go for the surgery Monday morning. We wrangled the wheelchair into the back of Eleanor's car yesterday, and she ordered a camping toilet tonight.  (Would you like me to go back to writing about ax murders?)  I also took a crack at making part of tonight's meal without much intervention from the foodie; she only stopped me from screwing up a measure of a "cup" that meant liquid ounces after every previous ingredient had been fractions of dry-measure "cups."  This would be so much easier if we'd gone metric instead of insisting on measuring shit based on the size of medieval English kings' penises and such.  It ultimately turned out okay, so I'm optimistic that we won't starve while she's on the couch.
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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 08:24pm on 03/10/2017

Much of yesterday was focused on DEATH. When the first thing you see at dawncrack is a Facebook notification of a Vegas friend checking himself in "safe," you know it's been a bad night. Then the pundits all came out from under their rocks and made it worse. "Thoughts and prayers" are all many will offer to remedy over 40 years of deregulation and affirmative expansion of the scope (heh) of a one-sentence amendment to our Constitution. This 2014 piece marks the turning point when the NRA truly became the Nuts Running America we now know them as:

Cut to 1977. Gun-group veterans still call the NRA’s annual meeting that year the “Revolt at Cincinnati.” After the organization’s leadership had decided to move its headquarters to Colorado, signaling a retreat from politics, more than a thousand angry rebels showed up at the annual convention. By four in the morning, the dissenters had voted out the organization’s leadership. Activists from the Second Amendment Foundation and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms pushed their way into power.

"Cincinnati" and "1977" were always a hated combination for Mets fans, but this thinly veiled form of Red-baiting of a different kind led directly to the decades of slaughter we've just become numb to. Only a brief respite at the worst end came when Congress finally passed an assault weapons ban in 1994 after numerous killing sprees- but the ammosexuals forced their minions to agree to a 10-year sunset on the bill, and no serious effort to renew it has ever come up in the 13 years since, more than half of them with Democrats controlling the votes of two if not all three of the voices on that choice. No, instead we are looking down the barrel of a bill this very week that would lift an even older ban on silencers- shamelessly referred to as the "Hearing Protection Act."

Maybe if we renamed the assault ban as the "Bullet Wound Protection Act," we'd have a better chance of coming to our collective senses.


Yesterday also brought word of the untimely death of Tom Petty. It proved to be REALLY untimely word when it came out that he wasn't quite dead yet. (He is now. We think.) I don't think I ever saw him perform, and the only album I ever owned was TP and the HB's You're Gonna Get It, not among his best, which I won from a college radio station in maybe 1979. But I always respected his writing and musicianship- especially enjoying his turns as a Traveling Wilbury, now down another. Bob Dylan, another of that group I've never seen, will be playing here next month, and it's tempting to add that to the bucket list before the next Wilbury kicks it.


Today dawned better- no bad news on any of those fronts, and a nice drive to a remote court appearance south of Rochester before heading up that way.

These are part of a wind farm on US20A on the road from East Aurora to Warsaw. I've only been down that road once I can remember- taking Emily to a folk concert at Geneseo when she was maybe six- and these were not part of the landscape back then. I find them comforting in their own way, and certainly prettier than the fracking fields many in that county would likely prefer.

I still need to connect with the kid to switch cars before Eleanor's surgery next week, but we will pick up the wheelchair tomorrow morning and I think we can get it and a driver into one of the Smart cars. Friday, likely, is when I will now do the car handoff so two people and one chair can drive to and from the surgery place on Monday. The other surgery I'm awaiting is on this computer; two years of accumulated overuse and cat hair have killed off about a quarter of the alphabet, so this entry has been brought to you courtesy of the letters E, X, T, E, R, N, A & L;)-

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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 08:02pm on 01/10/2017
Tuesday was our 30th anniversary. We celebrated that night at home, and quietly, since we'd both had early starts to the workday.  We watched a film we've known and loved for many years, and have always had the soundtrack from, but which I finally tracked down on DVD the week before-

Wednesday brought the end of an unusual late-season warm spell- Buffalo hitting 90F for the first time all year- and the cooler weather also brought out the cute kitty's nesting instincts. First, she decided to have eggs-


and then figured she'd move over to the salad bar-

(Yes, she's still got her Mets tag, the little glutton for punishment. They mercifully ended their season today with an 11-0 drubbing by an even worse team, their longtime manager kicked upstairs in the organization as assistant to Mr. Peter Principle, and a Cheeto-worthy boatload of press leaks needing to be plugged.  On the other hand, the Bills just won their second straight game over a heavily-favoured opponent, this one on the road, and they lead their division at the quarter pole with a full game lead over the New England Cheatriots.)
By week's end, with more long days for both of us, the time came to pick a place for the actual observance of Number 30. I'd heard good things about This Little Pig- a trendy new place in a nearby strip mall, but one run by a couple with longtime downtown restaurant roots.  Friends had been there, the reviews were all good, and when I googled the place to get the phone number to try to reserve, it offered the chance to do it online through Open Table. We'd have to go a little early, but we were confirmed for a table for two at 5:45 last night.
Until we weren't.   Here's the message I sent them this afternoon:
The "traditional place in the village" was a Main Street mainstay, always busy despite having about five legal parking spaces in its lot and a rambleshack architecture, but it works.  We lucked out when we called right after leaving the first place's (ample) car park; maybe it was because we were going in the waning hours of Yom Kippur when peeps don't eat just yet, but we got right in and had a lovely meal and a lovely time.  We continued our longish anniversary tradition of being very generous to the server who made it special for us (as we would have at the first place if we'd been given a table to leave a tip on).
I sent that message a little before 2; they close after Sunday brunch, so I'm going to give them tomorrow before I Yelp Out on them.
That got us to October, and another anniversary for me. I began my law career in Rochester 33 years ago today. There will be no meals to remember it, but I'm pleased at the things that have both changed and remained the same in all that time. This week gets us close to another transition- by midweek, I will have switched with Emily to reclaim my former larger car, and we will then pick out the wheelchair Eleanor will be using after her foot surgery, which is a week from tomorrow. And then some healing and some relief will be the things we will be looking forward to, rather than back at.

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posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 01:49pm on 24/09/2017

For the Bangles, Sunday was their Fun Day. Their I don't have to run day.  Not mine. Sunday is my Park Day, my listen to the bark day, the find the poopy mark day:

(That's not a breakfast sammich in my right hand:P)

Instead, Saturday is the one day usually without an alarm or an agenda. Except yesterday. The longtime companion of a recent coworker had died, and yesterday morning was that set for his funeral at a small but beautiful Catholic church on Buffalo's west side.

I maybe met Randy once, and didn't work with Jan all that long either, but she's the kind of person you have to come out in support of.  I found the neighborhood- now more Muslim than Catholic- and a parking space on an adjacent street.  Two sights caught me before even setting eyes on the church itself: a cat crossing the street who was more the size of a puma; and a little girl from the neighborhood, dodging oncoming mourners while heading down the sidewalk on a pogo stick.  It's been years since I'd seen one of those in play, and it added a needed touch of levity to what would surely be a sad event.

Randy had overcome more than his share of sadness in life. His parents both died when he was still a teenager. After joining the Navy soon after high school, his first job took him to Rochester, and an almost 30-year career with the Big Yellow Box. Jan had been his high school sweetheart, but they each married and went their own ways.  In time, both of their spouses predeceased them, and Randy was also faced with the premature death of one of his own two sons and with having to care for the younger mentally challenged son, as well. Jan was immense help to him and his son. I chanced to meet him just past the pogo stick- he seemed sad, but supported by a lot of extended family.

The service itself was brief but beautiful. An old-school Catholic parish in a barely Catholic neighborhood presents challenges- often responded to by the Diocese shutting the doors- but this one seemed determined to do God's work for whoever is in need. The priest was African, the pianist/soloist Korean, the altar boys probably Filipino- and the signups in the back weren't for chicken barbecues or pro-life rallies but for helping the immigrants of the community.  Randy's brothers spoke briefly near the end of the memorial, and then the naval honor guard came forward.  There was no casket present, so the sailors unfurled the flag fully before re-folding it and handing it to Jan and to Randy's surviving son.  THAT's the kind of display of a flag that nobody can take issue with.

Randy donated his body to UB's anatomical study program, and in time he will be interred in Rochester's Riverside Cemetery to join his wife and son. My father-in-law also rests there. 


I came home to the sounds and fury of a deranged leader who had decided, the night before, to make an incredibly big deal out of the almost-forgotten protests taking place during the playing of the National Anthem at NFL games.  The Cheeto has since doubled and even tripled down on his vitriol, cursing those who protest and demanding their sacking (and not the kind by defensive ends).

You keep using those words, "Respect for the flag." I do not think they mean what you think they mean.  To me, they mean the freedom to express dissent, as long as it is peaceful.  I'm more than halfway through the first week of the Ken Burns Vietnam series, and also just finished a piece about Cheeto's fellow despot-in-crime, North Korea's Kim Jong Un.  Both of those presented tales of citizens, both North and South,  being forced to support the aims and symbols of their repressive governments, being threatened with arrest or worse if they didn't comply.  We are better than that.  Our flag flies for even those who don't completely agree with everything it has ever stood for.  And to ostracize and name-call those who exercise that right? Not right.

The owners of the Bills made this statement in response to the oppobrium from Alabama:   

Several of us met tonight -- players, coaches, staff, and ownership. Our goal was to provide open dialogue and communication. We listened to one another. We believe it's the best way to work through any issue we are facing -- on and off the field.

President Trump’s remarks were divisive and disrespectful to the entire NFL community, but we tried to use them as an opportunity to further unify our team and our organization.

Our players have the freedom to express themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner and we all agreed that our sole message is to provide and to promote an environment that is focused on love and equality.

The comments in response to that are running about 90 percent "love it or leave it," but those are not indicative of the world at large. Or of the team- which locked arms for today's anthem, some kneeling, some not. Saying, "we disagree on some things, but we are together where it matters."  I will not say a word about how that will translate to the game's outcome until it's over, but for now it's a very good sign- and I think even Randy would have been proud of them.

captainsblog: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] captainsblog at 03:36pm on 21/09/2017
More or less chronological from the past day:

Our longtime neighbor's house is finally up for sale. The sign went up late yesterday, and a listing showed up this morning.  By this afternoon, the listing realtor's site for it had been taken down. Did it sell that fast, or is something else going on?  This third-party site still has the info and some photos of in and out:

Yup, it's the answer to life, the universe and everything!

All traces of Betty's gardens are gone.

A retro-fan friend of mine picked right up on the built-in radio, likely of the same vintage as the '57 Buick of a built-in oven we still have in our kitchen next door.

Anyway, all this can be yours (including the curtains). Unless it can't because it sold in under a day- which does happen around here these days.


Also last night, before I saw any of those pictures, I saw this one:

A friend and fellow aminal lover posted this tale from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter:


Lilly is a 12-18 month old chocolate lab mix who came to the shelter when her owners moved out of their house and left her behind. A concerned neighbor brought her to our care.

REALLY?!? Who does that? She looked well cared for, and the rest of the listing said she was doing well meeting people and other dogs.  I knew the time was all wrong- with Eleanor's three month layup, she's going to have enough trouble letting one dog out the back door during the day- but cmon. That FACCCCCE.  So I detoured after court this morning and checked. Sadly (or happily, really), Lilly already got adopted out. There were plenty of other choices, most of them pitties, but no. This would have been for Tasha- our first doggie rescue, a Chocolate lab mix who we gave the best 12 years of her 13 years of life through a few years ago. I'll continue to say no, but I'll never say never.


In other transitions, a longtime friend lost her longtime cat companion the other day. But not many Rainbow Bridge residents have a whole series of mystery novels starring them for us to remember them by:

Closer to home, the longtime companion of a former coworker passed away this week after a very long series of end days. His funeral is Saturday morning, and I think I need to go to that.


I think I also need to go out of town tomorrow for my only trip this week.  Nothing about THAT ever changes.


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