Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lightning is Struck: Thoughts from the Game

I usually don't make a habit of doing commentary on the Sabres because I think there are others that do it so much better than I do, but today I will make an exception.



THE BUFFALO SABRES ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS!!!

Headline of the night, bar none. With a stellar effort from Patrick Lalime, Derek Roy and Tyler "maybe we should just draft players named Tyler from now on" Ennis. It was never close, Gaustad scored 2:24 into the game and Roy and Hecht capitalized on a 5-minute power play and game misconduct courtesy of Vincent Lecavalier to make it 3-0 early in the first. From then on it was a romp and the fans let everyone on the ice know it.



HSBC IS ROCKIN AGAIN!

It was a little dead to begin the game, but once the Sabres grabbed the lead, it was on. From fake Let's Go Lightning chants to the wave that produced a constant stream of noise throughout most of the third period to the raucous celebrations and honking all the way out of Buffalo. The team is back in the playoffs, the fans have something to cheer about once more, and in two weeks...the world begins again.



ON LECAVALIER:

In his post-game interview, Lecavalier went though his line of thought in spearing Tim Kennedy, the penalty that got him tossed. He said he thought Kennedy threw on elbow (not likely since Lecavalier is 6-inches taller), and maintained he should have taken a "justified" two minute minor and rather than the game misconduct.

I disagree, and here's why. If you accidentally get your stick into a guy's face, that's one thing. If you're deliberately taking shots at one of the less padded sections of a player's body in an attempt to injure, that's completely different. No one will miss you Lecavalier.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bondage and BDSM: A Primer

So, as many of you are already aware, I have a very healthy interest in Bondage and BDSM. Some of you are into it, some of you are not, and some don't even want to know anything about it. This is a means of enlightening you folks, and inviting any comments or questions you might have. There are some common, and very large misconceptions about what actually encompasses bondage, so hopefully this will be able to set a few people straight.

First of all, the terminology:

Bondage typically refers to some means of restraint, whether it be tangible, such as rope of cuffs, or an implied mental control, one party being submissive to another.

BDSM stands for Bondage, Domination, Sadism and Masochism. It encompasses all aspects of the bondage fetish including restraint, domination/submission and pain.

Typically, one party will be Dominant and in control (Dom, Domme, Master, Mistress, etc.), and another will be submissive and controlled (sub, slave, bitch, pet, etc.) The level of control is entirely dependent on the comfort level of both parties. There is a third designation, a switch, someone who is comfortable assuming either role.

Here is where the most common misconception lies. Many people are immediately put off by the term "Bondage," envisioning heavy whipping, chains, leather suits and so on. Bondage can extend from a use of handcuffs or blindfolds one evening in the bedroom, or role-playing, to a Lifestyle BDSM relationship.

What is a lifestyle BDSM relationship, you ask? It is a relationship between consenting partners in which the dominance of one part and submission of the other is inherent at all times. Lifestyle pairs do not confine such things for the bedroom. Now that doesn't necessarily mean one part is bound at all times, or they are completely subservient. Like any healthy relationship a BDSM-Lifestyle relationship is one of shared respect between Dominant and submissive.

Now that we've outlined the definitions and some of the extremes in BDSM, let's delve into specifics. I personally consider myself to be a switch, probably about 70-30 in favor of dominance. I am not a lifestyle player by any means, but I do have a healthy interest. My favorite aspect is probably the power exchange, and in that, using rope as a tool of restraint. I'm also a big fan of bondage furniture, and customized equipment.

So thus concludes the lecture portion of our topic. I'd be very interested in any questions anyone might have so don't be too shy to comment or IM me :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Buffalo Community: Pissed off and Tech Savvy

If you haven't seen it already, I would direct you towards this article before reading further:

http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2010/03/19/five-things-know-about-buffalo/

It was posted by Columbia Missourian beat reporter Alex Ruppenthal who is basically an 18 year old intern. Within hours, the article had made its way to the Sabres and Bills message boards, WGR550, The Buffalo News, and several prominent Buffalo Bloggers, amongst them The Goose's Roost, Willful Caboose, and Top Shelf Cookies.

Several people rose to the occasion and inundated the Missourian's website with comments and their editors with e-mails. Within a day, the Executive Editor issued an apology for the article and states that an inquiry into whether the author plagiarized wikipedia. (He did).

The moral of the story is that pissing off an entire region with tired comments and worn out cliches that aren't even yours is not the best way to start off a career in journalism. Buffalo has long been called the worlds largest small town, and it's residents performed admirably in this instance.

In a day and age when the economy is sagging and people are leaving in droves, it is obvious the Buffalo community is as strong and supportive as ever. Well done comrades, well done.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Home is Where the Heart Is

I think one of the most heartening things that I’ve heard in the past couple of months came in January from my Grandma Mach. I’d called her for her birthday, and as the conversation turned to life updates, she said, “so, I hear you want to move back home.”

Yes…
Yes!
Home.
Home.

I want to move back home. Someone gets it, someone understands. There is actually one person in this world that comprehends my desire to move back to Buffalo. Well, okay, that wouldn’t be fair to the dozens of natives and current residents I know.

But you should see the responses I get, the stupid looks and questioning vacant stares that people give me when I tell them that I want to move back to Buffalo. I don’t like being taken for an idiot; no one does, especially in regards to something that is so normal. Doesn’t everyone have that place where they feel they belong? Haven’t you gone anywhere or lived anywhere and just thought, ‘yeah, this fits. This is where I should be.’?

And so I come back to my Grandma, who said it as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Like, ‘move back to Buffalo, why wouldn’t you, why haven’t you yet?’

Exactly Grandma, Exactly.

Monday, March 8, 2010

You can’t Spell “Sucks” without the “S” and the “U”

I catch a lot of flak, a good percentage of it deserved from my friends that happen to be Syracuse Orange fans. (Your mascot is a fucking fruit. Like you.) The big issue stems from the constant assertion put forth by myself that Syracuse is a second rate city for sports, that the Orange are overrated, and that their fans suck. Hmm, I wonder why they don’t like me.

Now we can go back and forth about this until the cows come home. They can point to the Orange’s perennial top 2 attendance ratings for college basketball. I can point to the fact that Postdam gets a higher percentage of people to go to Clarkson hockey games (handily) than Syracuse does for Orange games. They can point to the Lacrosse and the Crunch and how the city is a hotbed for other sports. I can counter with the fact that the only thing hot about the Crunch is the jailbait ice girls, and that to get real lacrosse you need to head 140 miles west down I-90. Luckily for me, WSKO decided to just end the argument once and for all.

WSKO, for those of you that don’t know, was the affiliate for ESPN radio for the central New York area. Key word, "was." For reasons unbeknownst to me, WSKO decided to dump ESPN Radio and pick up THe Score, dumping Mike and Mike in the Morning, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary, The Colin Cowherd Show, National Broadcaster of the year 2005, and whoever is subbing in for Scott Van Pelt for such gems as The Don Imus Show, Tim Brando (who?) and local mook Brent Axe whose on-air presence is so bad he doesn't know enough to not pause in the middle of a topic, to take a call about a completely different topic. Yes, you read that right, Syracuse gave ESPN the big middle finger. Unbelievable.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Engineering

Ah engineering, how sweet are thee. "Problem solving," it's on my resume, it's probably on yours. Companies and corporations will say they value it in its employees. From the mundane blue collar jobs to the upper crust of academia.

In engineering, it would seem paramount. Problem solving, that's what we do, right? Wrong! Okay, mostly wrong. Very rarely do you approach a given problem, and solve it. There is little brainstorming, little critical thinking. You cannot often ask yourself, 'how do I go about solving this?' No, more likely you're asking the following questions in no particular order:
• What previous work can I copy?
• What forms do I need to fill out?
• Who needs to review this?
• What is the process we take again for completing a project?

Problem solving, and critical thinking are largely myths in the engineering world. Plagiarism is a skill, a refined art form. For you see, it has all been done before. Your project, unique? Hah! Ninety percent will be copying the work from this old project. Don't think, just put yourself on auto-pilot. Unless of course there's some minute difference, aha! Problem solving. Oh wait, I need spec 02232 not 02224. Hmm. And I forgot the DOH form and I need to do an FNOI, or does the SWPPP come first? Well shit, I didn't even do a SEQR EAF yet. Wait is it the long or the short? Can I start drawing this now? Oh, we're going five feet off the right-of-way the entire stretch. That was easy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quantum of Boring...er...Solace

My sister and I go to Movie Gallery every Friday, and pick out anywhere from 1-3 movies for the following week. When we arrive, there are two movies we pick on mercilessly, one is “The Tracey Fragments,” which is awful for an entirely different story, and the other is “Quantum of Boring…er…Solace.”

This got me thinking about Casino Royale. Neither Bond movie, I thought was particularly interesting in any way or carried any redeeming qualities whatsoever. It’s hard to tell if Craig makes a good Bond because they haven’t given him anything to do. The two movies can be summed up in the following sentence. ‘They took everything that made Bond movies fun (the technology, the cars, the women), and replaced it with Daniel Craig running from people and fire and stuff.’

Seriously, the dude runs more than John Daly after the drinks cart. This was one franchise where the now Hollywood-infamous “gritty reboot” was wholly unnecessary. You can pop in any old Bond movie and be instantly entertained by the corny jokes and the terribly unrealistic, but cool nonetheless technological gadgets.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Questionable Content

As many of you well know, I have recently become enamored with the WebComic “Quesionable Content” by Jeph Jacques. The world Jacques has created is truly a nerd’s paradise with attractive indie women and anthropomorphized computers. There are elements of virtually every geeky subculture from gaming to programming to music to fantasy and beyond, creating a world in which almost everyone (since we all have an inner nerd) can relate.

Even more impressive is Jacques’ successful blending of storyline and humor. As I raced through old editions of the webcomic, I found myself both laughing out loud more than I can ever remember, and frantically clicking “next” to see where a given story arc would lead. There is a humanity in all of the characters, and a familiarity as well. Certainly we can all think of a “Marten” in our lives, that geeky guy relegated to a dead end job where a mix of shyness and genuine compassion, an unwillingness to ruffle any feathers, often manifests as a lack of confidence and results in things not going his way. Or a “Faye,” the bosomy tart tongued companion who sews her jabs and insults with love…or so we think.

It’s the kind of art that’s far too good for conventional publications, and at times, far too vulgar. Calvin and Hobbes was never this funny, Brenda Starr or Rex Morgan, M.D. never had this level of storyline, and 9 Chickweed Lane is kept sufficiently “safe for work.” In this way, the modern era of internet publications is perfect for Jacques and his style. Were Jacques to be relegated to more “normal” publications, he would no doubt suffer under the disgraces of censorship and keeping things in tune with “family values.” One has to wonder, in previous years, how many talented people never reached their potential or a certain level of exposure because their dirty mind was all too prevalent. As I recently read on a plaque in hallmark this past weekend, “A creative mind is rarely kept tidy.”

If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to check it out at http://questionablecontent.net/. Start at the beginning so you can watch the storyline grow and the art progress. I take special delight in watching the physical appearance change ever so slightly across a comic’s run, and Jacques has, and no doubt still continues to refine his work. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best pieces of art and literature I’ve ever encountered, on par with anything Watterson and Schultz had to offer.