Wednesday, August 27, 2014

PR Headline: Posthole Wit


Puns?  OK.  Puns in a headline?  Usually OK.  But not when it foists real bad taste upon the general public.

A reader passed along this image to me from the front page of the Press-Republican (Your Hometown Newspaper), a photo that appeared on Friday, 8/22/14.  He disapproved of its headline.

If you're unfamiliar with the term "Going Postal," it means lashing out in a violent rage.  It's usually associated with a place of employment.

The term came about after the US Post Office experienced incidents of workplace violence in various locations across the country starting in 1983.  USPS employees flipped out, going on killing sprees resulting in the wounding and death of coworkers, police officers, and members of the public at large.

One of the most horrific incidents occurred in 1986 at a post office in Edmond, Oklahoma.  The shooter killed 14 fellow employees before committing suicide by shooting himself in the head.  The image below is a memorial that stands outside that post office.

Do I engage in bad taste puns?  Sometimes but in private with close friends.  If I was an editor the "Going Postal" headline wouldn't get past my desk.  Especially with my hometown newspaper.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Daz Bird Is The Word

The word is cuckoo – but in a good way.

Performing with Adrian Aardvark.  ROTA Gallery, 39 Bridge Street, Plattsburgh City, NY.  Friday evening, 8/15/14.

Jumbled Layout

Press Republican: Sunday, August 17, 2014 - Page C8

And the answer for 124 across is...?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

30 City: Music And Movies

Scene from the animated short "WIND." 

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Monday  8/18/14

Eric Ayotte tours with an acoustic guitar and a notebook computer.  The guitar, of course, is for his musical performances.  And the computer?  To share a compilation of DIY/low budget movie shorts that prove much less is more.

Location: 30 City Hall Place, a retail spot that has been renovated into a visitors and art-performance center.  Event format: live music by local musician/songwriter Justin Passino (AKA For The Kid In The Back); followed by Eric, sometimes accompanied by his songstress friend Charlie, performing his own original works; and then the movie shorts shown via a digital projector on a large screen for easy viewing.  A full program for the evening just for a contribute-what-you-can donation in the large glass goblet on the front table.

For The Kid In The Back

Eric oversees the Gadabout Traveling Film Festival.  According to its site,, he is now touring over 70 cities for the two months before returning to Europe for another tour there.

He explained he initiated the project back in 2002 with a DIY punk band ethic, focusing on short films driven by creativity, not a need for money.  Each year he views and curates a number of independently-made shorts, creating a "new batch" to take on the road.

The 12th Annual compilation is entitled "Speechless."  While each film does have an audio track there is no dialogue, a limitation that spurs more originality.  

And the shorts were indeed offbeat.  I haven't been so entertained since viewing the classic "Bambi Meets Godzilla" decades ago.

In the animated "WIND" by Robert Loebe people have to think more horizontally than vertically while dealing with a relentless ferocious gale.  Another work, "Luminaris" by Juan Pablo Zaramella, uses a light bulb motif to comment on conformity and freethought.

Eric invites DIY filmmakers to participate in his Instant Gratification Movie Challenge, more info at .  Your work might up in the next Gadabout Film Fest.

[L to R] Eric Ayotte and Charlie.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Evening Bagpipers

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

This summer you knew it was a Monday evening when the sounds of bagpipes and drums were heard throughout downtown.  Practice time for the Police Pipes & Drums of Plattsburgh.

According to Howard H. Carron, Business Manager for PPDP, the "Police" in its name came about because some members in the original band were law enforcement officers.  PPDP performs at special events, memorials, and parades.  It will be marching during the Battle of Plattsburgh in September.

The group practices in the basement of Trinity Church before it continues al fresco near City Hall.  Passersby stop and enjoy the music: young, old, in-between.

PPDP provides free piping and drumming lessons every Monday at 6:30 PM at Trinity Church.  More info: .

Digital tuning.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Just A Few Windmills

(C) 2014 Luke T. Bush

The next time you're driving through the Ellenburg-Chateaugay area keep a sharp eye out for windmills.  There's a few of them generating electrical power in that neck of the woods.  You might just notice one.  (The towers aren't that tall.)

On its website Noble Environmental Power ( describes itself as "a leading wind energy company with a 726-megawatt generation portfolio comprised of 484 GE 1.5 wind turbines" in New York State and Texas.

Here are the totals found on the Noble site for the number of wind turbines spinning in each local windpark (North Country New York):

Altona:  65

Chateaugay: 71

Clinton: 67

Ellenburg: 54

Like I said, just a few.  Don't blink or you'll miss them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Collapse And Evacuation

Daytime view: collapsed section.

 PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY - Sat. 8/11/14  10 PM

An employee at Chefy's Bar and Grill described it like a bomb going off.

It was bricks, not a bomb, that made the violent noise.  Before 10 PM part of the exterior wall on the south side of the building that houses Chefy's gave way.  The section that collapsed - located around the third floor area - left debris on the roof on the rear wing of the Trinity Church rectory.

Everyone was evacuated from the building including tenants living in apartments on the second and third floors.  Some tenants not present during the collapse rushed to the building located at 124-126 Margaret Street to see what happened.  They had to wait before they were allowed to enter to retrieve some personal belongings and pets.

A spotlight from a fire truck was used to check the ruined wall to see if the problem was in check.  The damage seemed to be confined mostly to the exterior of the building.

Just after the collapse.

Closed early.

Pet relocation.

*  *  *

Mon.  8/12/14

Mid-afternoon.  The building remains closed as contractors examine the situation and decide how to fix the problem.  The Trinity Church rector's office still had debris sitting on its roof.  According to someone at the church one window to the office was broken from the falling bricks.

Rectory rooftop rubble.

Considering options.