Tuesday, April 5, 2016

File under Nostalgia - The Tower of Power

Many years ago, I worked at the Electric Tower in downtown Buffalo.



One of the most amazing things I have ever experience was watching thunderstorms race in off the lake from the 11th floor. The nickname for the building is "The Power Tower", but the second you get up high enough to get a sense of how big a thunderstorm is, the name pales. On many occasions, I have seen lightning at extremely close range from that vantage point. It is mind-blowing to be in an edifice that is engineered to take direct hits from lightning yet know even the lightning is tiny compared to the storm outside.

Awe-Invoking doesn't cover it.

Monday, March 28, 2016

File under Funny - Kitty's Whim and Horses

It started when Kitty wanted to ride horses. So one cold winter day, we were off to ride horses on a whim. Her horse was named Star and mine was called Chico. I can managed to mount a horse and saunter around, but I am far from experienced.
Chico was a majestic, deep brown horse, standing about 16 hands. I got on him like a champ. And I sat there for about 5 minutes smiling and admiring him as he admired me.
Well, no. He was sizing me up.
First, he twitched head to hoof. Then he spun, followed by a serious attempt to throw me. Since I was still attached, he took off like bolt of lightning racing over mud and snow, on the trail and then between trees. His final trick to get me off was to crash to a stop in a shallow pond and roll.
I managed to keep my seat through all of it, including in the part where he rolled over me in 18 inches of water, mud and ice. I somehow fell backwards against Chico's rump instead of being smashed forwards onto the pommel. Then we trotted back to the barn where the rest of the group was waiting.
I was terrified. So terrified, that the grin I had on mounting him was locked on my face. I couldn't speak because I had the wind knocked out of me. The people who were expecting a complaint or possibly a lawsuit were left the impression that I was completely unfazed by the horseplay. And off we went on the rest of the ride. Me, sopping wet, bruised and bloodied; others, happy, dry, and content.
After that, I was in with her.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

File under Funny - College Job

In the early 1990's, I had a "job" watching the computer rooms at my school. I didn't take much effort, either it was nailed down or too old to be of use to the average student. I wasn't required to know anything about computers. Which was good, because I didn't. 

One day, a guy who had interviewed for the very job I currently held came in the room. He knew a lot about computers and for whatever reason wasn't given the job. I think he had a relative at the school and it was a political thing. Anyone but him as show of "fairness". 

His sudden appearance set off alarm bells. He was acting oddly, fidgeting with stuff and moving from work station to work station. Since the room was fairly full, it was a distraction. If someone got up, he plopped himself in to the empty chair and fidgeted before moving on. Final, I asked him what he was doing. 

He muttered something and turned bright red. It was clear he was both angry and embarrassed. I asked him to repeat himself and he shouted "I'm cleaning mouse balls!" 

I nearly died.



Tuesday, March 15, 2016

File under funny - Between the Sheets

When the children were old enough, I decided they could earn an allowance by doing chores. My daughter immediately claimed making the bed was a chore. I decided to run with that one and handed out fresh bedding to all of the children. They were to strip the bedding, toss it down the laundry chute and make their beds.

My daughter finished in record time. My boys on the other hand had some trouble. I found them sitting on the top bunk scratching their heads over the sheets.

Thoughtful head-scratching.
I explained the fitted sheet went on the bottom, the top sheet of course went on the top. They didn't look too impressed with my explanation, but climbed off the top bunk and went back to work.

I checked back a little while later and found two happy boys, sitting on freshly made beds. Ah... if only everything was so simple.

At bedtime, I noticed two sheets neatly folded on the desk. The boys were already falling asleep so I did a cursory check. Yes, both boys had fresh bedding that matched what I gave them. Perhaps we had 3 sets of the same sheets. Stranger things happen around here.

The next morning, my wife watched as the boys made their beds and discovered the extra sheets.

She called me in and asked, "What did you do?"

Flummoxed, I shrugged.

She explained to the boys: "That's ok, but when you make a bed, you put two sheets on each bed."

The boys protested. "Dad told us to put the top sheet on top and the fitted sheet on the bottom. So we did."

My wife replied "Yes..." and cracked up. They put the top sheet on the top bunk and the fitted sheet on the bottom bunk.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cold but...

Another cold but beautiful evening at Buffalo State College.


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Topophilia... Sounds strange, feels about right.

I'm hitting the books this weekend, so no documents or sketches tonight. Only a qoute from a book:

"Tuan coined the term topophilia, which is the love of the land and the title of one of geography’s best-selling books." Urban Geography, Kaplan, p. 12

All oif my little doodles and plans shows that I have "topophilia". It's interesting to learn new terms and words for things you have already experienced but didn't have a name for. Cool.