plane crash

a plane flying to buffalo from newark crashed into a house in clarence tonight. wow. 48 people in the plane, dead, and one person on the ground so the news says. crazy! when i was a kid and i heard planes above me i had a fear that they were crashing into the house.

sabres are raising season ticket prices again by 5%…so that’s 4 years of having tix and 4 price increases. I shouldn’t complain, it’s only a 1.50 increase per game as opposed to $3 previous years, but still…RECESSION PEOPLE! i wonder (hope) if they will reconsider the platinum level window prices next year, since they didn’t sell out the Leafs games this year. i guess even crazy leaf fans won’t pay 100 for nosebleeds. if we renew by March 20th we get a 20% discount on playoff tickets, but even reading all the details i’m confused as to if the discount applies to 08-09 playoffs, or 09-10 playoffs, or both…it’s some sort of rebate that gets applied to our account, which makes it even more confusing.

i found a download for u2’s “no line on the horizon” song, and it’s not too bad. it appears that it is not the album version though, it is a b-side on the “get on your boots” single. everyone is waiting for an album leak, it’s only 2 weeks away.

i was really bored this afternoon so i went out to the aud despite the shite weather, took like 2 pictures because it was snowing, and the longer exposures necessary made for snow streaks. plan to go tomorrow too and hopefully adr2 gets out of work early so we can take ladder.

Gunman on the 190!

so of course, the talk of the town was the gunman on the 190. i was supposed to deal roulette in the hotel, and got moved to high limit. i was never so happy to get moved to baccarat ever, cuz that meant i got to watch the standoff until the end.

here’s one with channel 4 commentary:

the whole thing started around 6pm and ended about quarter to 9. the coverage was amusing, all the speculation and stupid questions (like “what is on the truck’s hood next to the waterbottle?”), but i guess when you have 3 hours of live air time to fill you need to talk about something.

it turns out that my friend carlo happened to be on the 190 when it started, and was the 3rd car stopped by police after they had stopped the guy. he thought it must be an accident and looked over a few lanes and actually saw the guy standing there with the gun. he looked at the cop and was like “wtf aren’t you going to get me out of here?!” after about 15 minutes the cops managed to get carlo and a few other cars away. crazy.

buffalo news article:
A 66-year-old Vietnam Veteran formerly from Western New York was captured Monday evening by State Police and a Buffalo police SWAT team after a nearly three-hour standoff on the southbound Niagara Section of the Thruway in front of hundreds of spectators in Riverside.

The incident began shortly before 6 p.m., when Hernando, Fla. resident James Gilchriese and his 50-year-old girlfriend, Patricia S. Meckley of Homosassa, Fla., were spotted by passing motorists in an apparent physical domestic dispute while traveling south on the Interstate 190.

A state trooper pulled over the couple’s silver-tan pick-up truck just north of the near the Ontario Street exit.

“Upon stopping the vehicle, the trooper noticed the male subject in the vehicle brandishing a handgun,” said State Police Capt. Michael Nigrelli.

Meckley fled the truck. At that point, Gilchriese threatened suicide and put the loaded gun to his head.

The incident snarled rush-hour traffic for miles after troopers and Buffalo police shut down the Thruway from Porter Avenue to the Youngmann Expressway.

The standoff drew a mass of onlookers who lined Niagara Street and a large grassy area nearby to catch a glimpse of Gilchriese, who was dressed in shorts and a General Motors jacket, and often walked around the outside of his truck. In one hand, he talked with hostage negotiators on his cell phone while the other hand held a gun to his head.

“It was a tense stand-off many times,” Nigrelli said.

After a few hours of “up and down” negotiations, police made their move at 8:47 p.m.

According to Nigrelli: “As we were approaching darkness, we were losing the battle here because the tactical edge goes to the subject.”

SWAT members swiftly approached the pick-up truck, where Gilchriese was then sitting. A bright flash and loud bang ripped through the twilight air as police pulled Gilchriese from the vehicle and placed him on the ground. He was then taken by ambulance to Erie County Medical Center with minor injuries, authorities said.

Gilchriese will undergo a psychiatric examination at ECMC before facing criminal charges. Those charges were still being determined by State Police late Monday.

“We inconvenienced traffic on the northbound of the I-190 and the southbound of the I-190 for a few hours,” Nigrelli said. “It’s a small price to pay to save someone’s life.”


Sarah called to warn me there is a police stand off with a gunman on the 190, in case i took that way to work. i don’t, but i appreciated the warning and passed it along to my south buffalo friends. turned on the news, and it’s like something from LA or truTV’s most dangerous police videos hehehe. we don’t get crazy car chases and standoffs with armed men in buffalo. drama! the news is showing all the riverside neighborhood people hanging out watching along the highway…yeah cuz that’s safe! he’s got a gun, bullets travel far retards! the police are now ticketing and towing everyone who parked on the neighborhood roads to watch the standoff haha. i want to watch but i must leave for work…*sigh*

so i should post something.

the hotel opened thursday. er well…i think its more like the expanded gaming floor of the hotel is open, i don’t think they’re giving people rooms yet. one of the 4 new eateries is open, as well as another retail store. and the nightclub. but yeah…new gaming floor. so hideous. i am so disappointed. other people are like oh its so beautiful blahblahblah. and i realize that i have a different idea of what is beautiful than most people, but really. it’s so…not elegant and high class. it totally does not match the main gaming floor AT all. part has a mirrored ceiling which reminded me of the god awful casino that adr2 and i went into in reno the one day. the other part doesn’t have a ceiling at all, it’s just exposed ducts etc, and it looks like a warehouse. given where this section is, right above the 2 new table game pits, i don’t think it’s just “not done”…i think that’s how it’s supposed to be. then it has the awning things over the tables like the main casino, and Paris in las vegas….but they’re all decorative, and i think they’re supposed to be stylized feathers – we’re in an indian casino afterall – but to me it looks like a skeleton…like a bunch of ribs of a great big skeleton. i understand the desire to have an indian type decor, but it could have been done sooo much better. it all just looks mismatched and cheesey. the new high limit pit, my new home, is so plain, and brown, and i think awful. it’s not classy or elegant in the slightest bit. it’s WAY more functional than the old room, and much bigger so i like that, but decor-wise i don’t like it. they also added a high limit lounge with a bar and food, and it is seriously the most plain thing ever. i just expected so so much more. they’re giving employee tours of the entire complex next week but you have to come on your day off and i’m not sure i want to do that.

while on my trip to cali i began, and finished, the book City of Light which takes place in Buffalo during the PanAmerican Exposition. it’s historical fiction, integrating fictional characters with real life old Buffalo citizens, Grover Cleveland (who was mayor of Buffalo before he was president), McKinley etc…I liked it. It was a bit predictable in parts, but then at the same time something else would take you by surprise. And it really makes you proud of Buffalo. I think everyone who lives here should be forced to read it. It gives you a nice warm feeling that we really were the center of the country at the time, a booming city, with huge industry moving in, and so much hope and high expectations. But at the same time it is sort of depressing to think of what we were, and what we let ourselves become…

which leads me to the latest preservationist debate in the city. My employers purchased the HO Oats grain elevator behind HSBC arena down town, and are going to tear it down for their Buffalo Creek casino. So preservationists like my good buddies are fighting the demolition because it’s a historic building and all that. Ok guys, there are about 10 other historic grain elevators in Buffalo, just sitting there like HO Oats, collecting grafitti, what’s it going to matter if we lose this one. And there comes a point where you have to sacrifice something old to usher in a new era. These elevators, as much as I love them, are never ever going to be used again. In my opinion, the city is better off demolishing them and freeing up all this water front, and Buffalo river front space, to actually DO something with, and make Buffalo a jewel of the Great Lakes again. Years and years people keep talking about waterfront development, and nothing ever happens. So let the Seneca’s come in, demolish some old grain elevators, building their casino, and GET people and other businesses down town. It’s really time to move forward here. Somethings are worth preserving, some aren’t. You have to pick and choose your battles, and I don’t think this is a good one. Great Northern, yes, HO oats, no. We have to build and grow and MOVE ON.

ok with that little rant done…i went on to read Ayn Rand’s “Anthem” a novella she wrote before Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. It was very 1984/Harrison Bergeron like…took place in the future when everyone was made equal, and worked for the “brotherhood” except for the main character who breaks out of it and runs away into the Uncharted Forest. It was ok. Sort of a starter into Ayn Rand philosophy, and not as brutal and boring at times as Atlas Shrugged gets. Not bad. 104 pages or something, easy read.

and then i ran out of books. so i am trying to read Fellowship of the Ring. I started it about 10 years ago and got to page 22 of the prologue. I’m not doing much better now. I find it very difficult to read, it seems like the verb tense is off at times, and it’s just very hard. And I’m not stupid. It’s also boring. The review of Hobbit history and all that. And it seems to be very inconsistent, because one page says the Hobbits aren’t into their past and geneology, but then 10 pages later talk about the huge family trees with innumberable branches on them that the Hobbits make up…so which is it, they’re into geneology or they’re not?? Just hard to get interested in it and want to read more. But it was the same thing with the Hobbit and i ended up getting totally into it and really enjoying it. so we’ll see. i’m expecting santa to bring me a bunch of books if anyone like my parents got the hint that i don’t want more clothes that i’m not gonna wear, and knicknacks i have no place for etc. my amazon wish list is full of books this time around.