Friday, November 30, 2007

Where to eat in Buffalo

Part of moving to a new city is being a cheerleader for it. After five years, the shine of Buffalo is wearing off. I don't think this a Buffalo thing. It's easy to get homesick and miss things about other places you've lived.

And yet, this is my home now, so one way to bring back the shine is to focus on what we like. So here, in no particular order, are the places we love to eat in Buffalo.

Given the chance, and unlimited funds, we'd eat there every week. The specials menu is truly astonishingly good. We went last week, and it was great. I had the Duck Salad and a piece of Bass that was incredible. It was covered in capers, which I didn't think i liked, but tried. Truly awesome. Rhona had an eggplant salad and the Jambalaya Pasta. If you go, get the fruit cup for dessert.

India Gate:
They don't have a website, but they have a Buffet every Wednesday. The buffet offers a great variety of veggie and meat dishes, all at a relatively low level of heat. to get hotter food, order from the kitchen. Go there with 4 or more people, order a dish each, and create your own buffet. Start off by ordering the Indian tea (it takes a few minutes), then sample some Indian beer. The rice pudding is an excellent ending.

We all shed a little tear when Kuni's on Elmwood closed it's doors. that was the location of our first date in Buffalo, and one of the finest Sushi restaurants I've ever eaten at. Then, Kuni's To go opened across the road from our house, and things got great. I personally love the Sashimi platter. I do however miss the Hot, Hot, hot Salad, but you can't have it all.

Pappa Jakes:
This one is for Rhona, however I will tell you that the meatloaf sandwich is worth the price of admission. They claim to have the best french fries in Buffalo, along with a nice assortment of beers on tap.

Saigon Cafe:
Another Elmwood strip restaurant, and another gem. The Tom Yum soup is excellent, as is the entire menu. Our friend Michael T calls is his favorite place in Buffalo. it's great for takeout, and eat in. I make a fairly mean coconut milk based curry at home, but I'll agree they do some things that are nice.

Falafel Bar:
This is our go-to take out place when we need something to eat for dinner. It's located in a tiny little place that has some serious history. the wraps are huge and really quite filling. The rice pudding is wonderful and served hot. Rhona likes the Lentil Soup. If you can't find something on this menu you'll like, you're just not trying.

So there you go. Those are the places we like to eat. There are others, but these are the ones that came easily. We don't get out as often as we'd like, but we did go to Hutch's last week. And we'll likely hit India gate soon. I drool every time I walk past Kuni's.

And notice. Not a single place was about Chicken Wings.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

If you like it, mixx it

From today on, if you like something you read here, feel free to mixx it. Mixx is a cool new social bookmarking site. We'll see how it goes.

(p.s. don't mixx this post)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Children with low self-esteem want more consumer goods

Materialism in children appears to be linked to self-esteem, with their desire for consumer goods mounting as their self-esteem declines, says a U.S. study.

We talk a lot about Autumn and materialism, and getting a bunch of stuff at birthday's and Christmas for her. We thought about making "No made in China" rules, or no plastic rules, but worried about imposing a belief system on people who are just trying to be nice. That said, I would like to think of a way to help curb her away from being ultra-materialistic. To me, it's okay to want something, it's just not okay to live your life defined by having it, or not having it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

This is so clever

It's called Dear Rockers. And if you've ever stolen (or borrowed) music, it's your chance to give back.

Are you taking my picture?

Are you taking my picture?, originally uploaded by MRHames.

As you can guess, mom took this.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Evolution is slow

I read once that we're evolving out of our little toes. We no longer need them for balance, or for gripping a tree branch.

I tell you this because I think I broke the little piggy that goes to the market. AKA, the little toe.

I cracked it on the table yesterday at lunch. It hurt like crazy, but I thought it was just a simple crack of the toe. We stub our toes all the time. What's the big whoop? Then, later whilst cleaning the kitchen, I took a stutter step and came down hard on the foot that had the dodgy digit.

And holy did I cry like this:

At my yelp, Rhona came running. I would like to say that i am a tough guy. But that friggin hurt. I iced it, and now I'm limping like a gimp.

It only hurts when I walk.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Turkey Hangover

(photos below)

Ask Autumn what a sheep says, and she'll belt out: BAAAA! Then a big smile. Ask her what a Turkey says, and she'll look blankly at you.

That's kind of good, seeing as how we cooked a 22 pounder yesterday.

Yes, Thanksgiving was on Thursday. But the Canadians in our family had to come from, well, Canada, and American Thanksgiving is just a Thursday with Football in Canada. Thus, we eat bird on Saturday.

It worked out to 2 pounds of Turkey per person. On the surface, one would think that's a bit much. To me though, the whole idea of Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers. Turkey soup. Turkey sandwiches. Turkey anything, really. So last night, with some wine and beer in me, I vacuum sealed up a bunch of Turkey for later. Sometime in January, I'll pull out a piece of turkey, and boom. Leftover heaven.

But enough of that, here are some Autumn shots.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Radio, as defined by Autumn

When Autumn learns certain words, Radio, Telephone, TV, her definition of these words will be entirely different from the way we think of these words.

Take Radio. Currently, Autumn can listen to the radio on a radio (yes, they exist), but more and more we can 'listen' to the radio online via podcasting. At home, we listen to This American Life, RadioLab, Car Talk, and The Curling Show all online. (You really will like all of these. No matter who you are.)

Now. how far away are we from a radio that can connect to the internet and pick up podcasts of your favorite shows? The technology exists. And since it does, I think we're in a golden age of radio. Where, instead of tuning into news-like shows that seem repetitive, you can pick other shows you like and listen to them when you want.

The next revolution is the elimination of the hour show. With the exception of The Curling Show, above, the shows we listen to are Made for Radio. They are hour shows and have acts to keep the shows moving through the hour. Not so with the curling show. It can be 10 minutes, or 20. It's dependent on the content, not a radio schedule. And soon, shows like This American Life might realize there's more of a market for snippet podcasts and create shows that work like that.

Just think: in your car, you hit wireless hotspots all the time. Why not have a wireless radio? Or whatever it is that Autumn calls it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

This calls for a joke

You've seen the ad that goes: apply directly to the forehead. Right?

Some enterprising ad guy (and it would have to be a guy) could have some fun with this:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Autumn was on

On Saturday, the fam high-tailed it to Brampton for the Santa Claus parade. I personally think it's too early to start thinking about Christmas, or the holidays, but whatever. Mid November it is.

We bundled the peanut up and took her out. Being a little child, she loves car and trucks with lots of lights. The parade delivered.

Then we we got back, Autumn delivered. She danced around aunt Tracey's house. She learned to cheers people, walking up to everyone there and clinking her little play teacup to their drink. She laughed. Hugged and smiled her way through the crowd and the night.

She was a perfect little baby. So much so, that I can't wait for another time to unveil her on a room full of people.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


She's a tiny baby. Her mom and I aren't exactly what you would call tall. So it's to be expected. Here is the first of many shots that will depict her peanut-ness.

bring on the rain

Eyes on the top of here and the tips of her toes. Take a closer look. And yes, it's raining today in the Buff.

Day and nights

This morning, Autumn just kinda sat in her crib in the morning and chatted away happily. She doesn't speak real words, but I get the sense that in her head, she's saying stuff. Blah, blah, blah, she went on.

Sometimes, we'll just sit there and listen. Other times, like this morning, we'll stop doing stuff just to listen.

Of course, there's a point in the morning where talking to yourself gets old, and that's when she cries, but it's not a meltdown cry. It's a signal to us to spring her from her crib and start the morning. As soon as got near her door, she stopped chattering. I opened the door, and she had a big smile on her face.

Since that truly was a great moment, i wanted to list the 5 cool moments of this week, in no order.

1. We went swimming at the gym at lunch yesterday. the gym is 5 minutes from work, so i took an early lunch and went. She loved it. The smiles went on for miles.

2. Eating. This is a touch and go situation. She eats pasta, and yogurt. But on Monday night, i got her to eat a feat by applauding every time she ate. And the smile on her face? Priceless.

3. Tickling her feet. There's nothing better than a baby's laugh. Especially if it can turn into a full-blown giggle-fest. She loves to have her feet tickled. She actually hates socks.

4. Any bath time. Bath time is where is your belly button time. Any bath time is fun time.

5. What does a sheep say. On Halloween, we dressed her up as a cow. And even though she knows what a cow says, she never did a moo. But a sheep? She really gets into the sheep thing. She throws her heart and soul in the the BAA! It's awesome.

She's awesome.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Practice your vocabulary, feed the world

Seriously. Each time you get a word right, you feed someone a grain of rice. not a bad diversion.

Torturous logic

Been away for a few days curling. Didn't even check e-mail. I just saw this from ALAN DERSHOWITZ, who writes in the Wall Street Journal an article called "Democrats and Waterboarding" with a subhead: The party will lose the presidential race if it defines itself as soft on terror.

Right off the bat, something interesting. Since we know that Democrats are the party on record against waterboarding, that means that being 'soft on terror' appears to mean not torturing.

Also, in Dershowitz's world, Republicans appear to be okay with torture, specifically waterboarding. Now, that might seem like a logical fallacy for me to make that leap. Just because he says that being against torture means being soft on terror, and we all know that Republicans aren't soft on terror, so they must be for torture.

But then, in the article, he makes two incredible statements:

Copied verbatim:
"Although I am personally opposed to the use of torture, I have no doubt that any president--indeed any leader of a democratic nation--would in fact authorize some forms of torture against a captured terrorist if he believed that this was the only way of securing information necessary to prevent an imminent mass casualty attack. The only dispute is whether he would do so openly with accountability or secretly with deniability. The former seems more consistent with democratic theory, the latter with typical political hypocrisy."
Emphasis mine. So, he's advocating that Democrats should be for something that he's personally against. Perhaps it's this bizarre position that gets him tied up in rhetorical knots because the very next paragraph in the piece goes like this:
"There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives."
To recap his argument: I, Alan Dershowitz am advocating that Democrats follow the policy of the Nazi government which proved that torture (which I am against) works.

The shorter version: "Hey Democrats, why are you against something that was good enough for Hitler?"

Holy crap, that's gotta be the weirdest argument in the history of arguments.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Buffalo V Ottawa

Tomorrow, I’m on my way to Ottawa to go curling, and I’m going to wear my Sabres sweater.

I don’t care that Ottawa is off to the best start ever and the Sabres aren't.

See, it’s cyclical.

Two years ago, they’re awesome, we beat ‘em.

Last year, we’re awesome, they beat us.

See? We have them right where we want them.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

War in Iran countdown

If there's a war with Iran, France is in!

"[President Nicolas Sarkozy] received a standing ovation during the first address by a French president to both houses in more than a decade."

Freedom Fries are off the menu. Congress is back to serving French Fries and wars in the middle east.

Funny, but because I'm weird

"But it's thought that since the MRSA strain is in pigs in Canada, it is likely in pigs in the United States also, because there's international movement of pigs from Canada to the United States." (emphasis mine)

This is from an article in Salon that basically suggests that the strain of Staph (MRSA) that is going around right now (it's in Autumn's day care) might be a result of the antibiotics that are fed to the pigs we eat. I know, that's a heady subject. One that people with little kids should seriously consider. But come on, 'there's international movement of pigs from Canada to the US'. That's just a funny sentence.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Pot/Kettle black

Dana Perino is the White House Press Secretary. She speaks for the president:

Q: Is it ever reasonable to restrict constitutional freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism?

MS. PERINO: In our opinion, no.

Look: it's possible that the things the Bush Administration are doing to chip away at American's freedoms are in fact going to protect us. Perhaps the ability to listen to our calls, hold us indefinitely without charge, rifle through our e-mails will ensure the safety of all of us.

But to suggest so boldly that these things fit the Constitution? Either Ms. Perino hasn't been paying attention, or she really does think what her boss is doing is constitutional. Take a look:

First Amendment
: In September, a federal judge ruled that the FBI’s use of secret “national security letters” to obtain citizens’ personal data from private companies for counterterrorism investigations “violate[d] the First Amendment and constitutional provisions on the separation of powers.”

First Amendment, Fourth Amendment: In Aug. 2006, a federal district court in Detroit ruled that the Bush administration's NSA warrantless wiretapping program was unconstitutional, violating the “separation of powers doctrine, the Administrative Procedures Act, the First and Fourth amendments to the United States Constitution, the FISA and Title III.”

Article I: Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in June, then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales attempted to justify the administration’s detainee policy by claiming, “There is no express grant of habeas in the Constitution.” (Article I, Section 9, Clause 2 of the Constitution reads: “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”)

Article II: In June, House investigators revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney had exempted his office from an executive order order designed to safeguard classified national security information by claiming that he was not an “entity within the executive branch.”

having fun

having fun, originally uploaded by MRHames.

This is my desktop image.

Monday, November 05, 2007

check this out

"The cost of the average used car in Europe is now cheaper than the cost of gasoline to drive it for a year– talk about razor and blades businesses."
Interesting perspective on oil. How is gas so cheap when oil is almost $100 per barrel?

Fall back

We set the clocks back yesterday, but as we feared, Autumn didn't get the memo. Her 'afternoon' nap came at 11:00AM. She fell sound asleep on the way home from the grocery store.

And even though we tried to keep her entertained and awake, bedtime came at 7:00PM, and we were pushing it. Fact is, autumn can't tell time. Her body though, can. She's accustomed to certain moments in the day. Nap time. Bath time. Bed time. We're pretty good about making them at the same time, so when this whole arbitrary clock thing happens, she didn't get the memo.

Meaning, this morning, she was up at 5:00AM. Do you think that telling her that it isn't 6:00AM works? Nope.

We'll have a few more days of this. But man, did you ever think the clock going back would have this much meaning?

Friday, November 02, 2007

You. Can't. Be. Serious.

Zogby Poll: 52% Support U.S. Military Strike Against Iran.

That's 52% of likely American voters favor starting another war against another country that didn't invade or attack the US. Holy smokes. Look around people, according to Zogby, more than one out of every two people you see wants to start another war.

More Hockey, less heroes

A writer's strike looms. If they go on strike today, and that seems likely, it means no Daily Show next week. It means, depending on how long the strike goes for, a looming freeze in the Heroes season.

But thankfully, the Sabres write their own scripts every night.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween, a scary night

We dressed up Autumn in her cow costume. We went for a walk to meg's and the jody's. Since Autumn wasn't going to eat any of the chocolates, we focussed on showing her off. In order to keep her happy, I carried a stash of little pretzels, which she decided were the greatest things ever.

Back home, she sat on the front porch with mom and I and handed out chocolates to the hundreds of kids that come by. I don't mind giving out chocolate bars to people who aren't dressed up. We live in the 'rich' section of town.. so it's sort of expected. I think overall, Autumn enjoysed it. She watched the kids come to the door, smiled, looked cute, and then tried to run away.

She never once told us what a cow says. But oh well.

Later though, she had a bad night. Up a lot, she had a hard time getting to sleep. I think she'll most likely sleep a lot today. And then perhaps tonight, she'll sleep well again.

Still, we're through Halloween. Bring on Thanksgiving.

(Sorry it's sideways, blogger is being grumpy)