27 January 2008

Gloomy Sunday

We're having what us former New Yorkers call a "Rochester Day" - gray skies and rain. The forecast is for up to 1 inch of rain, which means our law enforcement people will be applying the "stupid motorist's law", enacted to punish those motorists who think they can drive through flooded washes, but get washed downstream.

Because of the topography of the area, with mountains ringing the valley, rain water flows down to the Salt River through gullies, called washes. At times, the water flows at 20, 30 or ever 40 miles per hour. Over time, some of these gullies have been paved as roads to new developments crossed them. During the storms, some roads have been partially washed away; in others, the water may reach as high as 3 or 4 feet deep. But these stupid drivers "know" that their vehicle, whether SUV, pick-up truck or BMW, can get through, so on they go. Unfortunately, they wind up as a feature on the evening news when the emergency squad has to rescue them from the raging waters. So the legislators decided that enough money was being spent for the rescues that the rest of us shouldn't have to pay the bill, and enacted the law. Now the motorists pay the cost of their rescue. Does it stop them? Stay tuned to the local news tonight. (Answer: no.)

16 January 2008

Norm, the Barber

We used to go to Frank's Barber Shop on Clinton Avenue just around the corner from Bly Street for our haircuts. Our Mother would give us the money for the haircut ( I think it cost 75 cents) plus 25 cents for the tip. Then Frank, who was near or at retirement age, started to have coughing spells and his hands would shake enough that he would pull hair. So we started going down Clinton Avenue near Caroline Street to Norm's shop. Usually we went on Saturday which was a treat because Norm, being Italian, had the radio tuned to the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. And, being Italian, Norm knew every aria by heart, so he would break out in song whenever the mood struck him, which was about every aria. Not bad - a haircut and entertainment all for one small price.
I stayed with Norm all through high school and college, but then moved away. I understand his son now runs the shop, but I don't know about the singing. Does the Metropolitan Opera still broadcast on Saturdays?

11 January 2008


There have been a bunch of emails flying around the Internet that contain misleading information. You've probably received one or more. They start out by stating that the information is true because the originator has checked it out on Snopes.com. One recent one attributed a lengthy article to General Hawley, when it was written by someone else. Another listed several claims about the background of Barak Obama, which were false. The implication is that the recipients should believe the message. Well, it turns out that some of these "truthful" messages are absolutely false. When I find that, I reply to the person who sent it to me plus everyone copied on their email, stating that the information has been disclaimed

I've tried to get into the habit of checking such messages out on Snopes myself, and I urge you all to do the same.