Wednesday, December 18, 2019

It's Blast-O-Matic!

My review posted on the Best Buy website about one of their fine products I recently purchased.

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Insignia 80w audio system

Features Blast-O-Matic sound [TM]

Are you annoyed your audio equipment doesn't reset itself to a high volume to disturb your neighbors?   If you set the volume to 3 or even minimum before turning off your unit Insignia's Blast-O-Matic [TM] will make sure the volume jumps to 14 when you turn it back on.

Others have complained about the blasting volume feature.  When I used the unit a few times no problem, the volume would retain its last setting.  I was disappointed I didn't have Blast-O-Matic [TM] but it finally kicked in, making sure my next door neighbor in this apartment building would jumped awake in the middle of the night.

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Duracell Quality

I've never had a problem with Duracell Batteries until the last batch I purchased. These batteries were properly stored, taken right out of the packaging. I picked them up some time ago and I don't have my receipt. Gee, for some reason I'm switching to Energizer.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Writog Guilty Of Racism And Schadenfreude!?

Below is a video I shared on Facebook that really disturbed some sensitive people:

It just so happens the two men fighting in the middle of the four lane highway are black. I would've shared the video if they were white. Just by sharing this video some inferred I was a racist who enjoys the suffering of the mentally ill.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

When I shared the video I did so without any commentary or emoticon. The page I found the video has deleted it but I remember there were no racist comments on that page. I replied on Facebook I was only sharing the video, not any racism. But it was inferred by some comments I was racist, classist, some who enjoyed the suffering of the less fortunate.

I don't have time for this ultra-liberal snowflake bullshit. It has gotten to the point that ultra-leftists are out to make everyone conform to what they decided is correct and proper. They inflate one innocent comment or action into "microaggression," which is so elastic it can fit almost any situation.

If the fighters were mentally ill doesn't change the fact what they're doing is illegal and has attracted attention. You can't stop people from making mean comments.  On one FB page someone commented that one of the men wasn't deranged, he was just baited into a fight. So would it be OK if we help the snowflakes by leaving in the sane man in the video and just obscure the other one with mental problems so that one will laugh at him?

And how do you stop this incident from being shared? Should it be omitted by a newspaper in its police blotter? Even without the video the story will spread by rumor. Let's muzzle anyone who shares this rumor with duct tape!

After Melissa Click I've had it with ultra-leftist scolds. Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld are afraid to appear at college campuses because their stand-up routines might cause a precious snowflake to melt into pseudo-righteous anger. I can't stand ultra-right-winger morons who want everyone to agree with them ("Trump is a great president, a good person!") And I can't stand ultra-left-wingers who give purpose to their empty lives by being morality baiters. Fuck both sides.

(Gee, I forgot to preface this piece with a trigger warning. Oh well.)

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Build It But Will They Come? (The Hole Story)

Sylvie Beaudreau

[Revised 5:25 PM - 10/21/19. Statements by Sylvie Beaudreau edited for clarity.]

© 2019 Luke T. Bush

PLATTSBURGH CITY, NY -- Wednesday, 10/16/19

It's not often I attend a public meeting and hear words like "tyranny" and "follow the money."

But some citizens are strongly opposed to the plans for the use of the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) grant money awarded to Plattsburgh City to bring improvements to its downtown.

Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition presented an informational meeting this Wednesday evening in the second floor Old Courthouse auditorium. This group was formed to put truth to power, saying that the city is pushing its own agenda while at key points leaving the public out of the process.

Sylvie Beaudreau, Plattsburgh State history professor and PCC member, explained that PCC is not anti-DRi: it's only against how the grant money is planned to be used, particularly with the Durkee Street parking lot.

The city is working with Prime Companies from the Albany area, she said, on a proposal to remove most of the convenient parking spots to build a building with 114 high earner apartments. This ignores the original plan to make the area more of a public space with river access and an expanded farmers market. The proposed Durkee Street project was included in a survey and it ranked towards the bottom. Some of the money will be spent on upgrading empty downtown storefronts, she added, and smaller projects like that would be better than putting a major part of the grant into a huge project.

 Kevin Farrington
The next speaker, Kevin Farrington, mentioned how some people had resigned from the parking committee looking into the creation of new parking spaces because they felt the city had made up its mind, ignoring any input from citizens and business owners. The city thinks it's above the law, he said, referring to the "current tyranny." He emphasized that the city took the original DRI framework and changed it to what it wanted. (Note: Kevin's position as city engineer was eliminated in 2017 as part of the city's budget cuts.)

Among other key points presented during the meeting it was mentioned that if the deal goes through as it now stands with Prime Companies --- for example the PILOT (Payment In Leui Of Taxes) agreement -- it will mean a raise in taxes for most residents.

A Q&A session followed the presentations. One audience member asked who was benefiting from the Prime deal, was anyone following the money?

Kevin Farrington said Mayor Colin Read sits on the Arrow Financial Corporation’s Board of Directors, the parent company of the Glens Falls National Bank, receiving millions of dollars in compensation.

After the meeting I spoke with a couple of speakers about the big hole in downtown Burlington, Vt. created for another big building project that so far hasn't materialized. I asked if that could happen with the Durkee Street parking lot project if Prime didn't follow through. Both answered in the affirmative.

And there's another question that others have asked: Who will be able to afford those high earner apartments in the proposed residential building? Like they say: Plattsburgh City ain't Burlington. Many citizens live on a beer, not wine, budget.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Irate Citizen Confronts Mayor: Not News?

© 2019 Luke T. Bush

As seen on TV but not in the newspaper.


Something's wrong when I end up getting news from Facebook, not the newspaper.

Dr. Sylvie Beaudreau is an Associate Professor, Northern American History, at Plattsburgh State University. Also she is a member of the Plattsburgh Citizens Coalition that is challenging some decisions made by city government regarding the use of DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) grant money.

On the Facebook page Save Durkee Street Parking Lot (post dated 10/3/19) she shared what she had observed earlier in the evening at the Plattsburgh City Council meeting.

One topic was a budget problem that could mean the closure of the public recreation gym at the old Air Force base property. At the end of the meeting Mayor Colin Read invited citizens to share comments by stepping up to the podium.

In her FB post Sylvie mentioned that Jeanne Clark, former owner of Zuke’s Subs, walked up and stood across from the mayor, not at the podium. As usual the meeting was video recorded and the incident can be viewed here.

After others made suggestions on how to save the base gym Jeanne challenged the mayor on what ideas they had. Why should only citizens have to come up with solutions? In a loud voice she observed: "You're the mayor... You should have a gazillion solutions on how to save the gym."

City Councilor Rachelle Armstrong told Jeanne she was out of order, that Jeanne could only address the mayor at the podium. (Cynical observation: "Damn rabble! Stay behind the barricade!")

From the podium Jeanna asked her question again. The mayor calmly replied that at the moment it was a city council driven process. So Jeanne asked: "So you don't have any solutions at this point?" The mayor calmly repeated his statement about a council driven process. That left it open to interpretation that the city didn't have squat for ideas.

I think such a confrontation is notable because it shows some citizens have anger towards the mayor, the frustration they feel with his leadership style. But the next day Press-Republican article about the meeting listed a number of comments by citizens but omitted the one by the angry citizen.

Some could argue that it wasn't newsworthy.

While watching the video I noticed a reporter from WCAX-TV from Burlington, Vt. (WPTZ-TV, once based in New York State, wasn't there. The news team probably rushed to Enosburg Falls, Vt. to cover someone's front lawn crabgrass problem.) So I checked online and found the WCAX News story that included a clip of the confrontation. At least they thought it was worth mentioning.

The purpose of a newspaper is to publish news.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Cut! That's A Wrap

Despite the rainy weather artist Brendon Palmer-Angel (left) was able to finish the Jean Arthur mural in time for the evening unveiling and ribbon cutting. The mural is 40 feet high, dominating the back wall of the old Merchants Bank seen from Protection Alley.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Mural With A Message

© 2019 Luke T. Bush


Artist Dennis Smyth of Body Art Tattoo holds the reference sketch for a new painted mural on a Durkee Street building wall. He explains the mural is being created for Stop Domestic Violence, the design a mandala that will include a hotline telephone number.

With the sunny weather Dennis thinks the mural will be completed in a couple of days.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

Am I Slipping?

© 2019 Luke T. Bush 10/5


In the Thursday, October 3 edition of the Press-Republican newspaper there was a Letter to the Editor concerning photography (see accompanying image. Click on it to enlarge.) I glanced over the letter assuming it referred to a city employee. At one time Plattsburgh City was going around taking photos of hedges intruding over public sidewalks. Using these photos the city would contact property owners to trim back their hedges.

Today someone pointed out that when they read the letter they thought it referred to me. She mentioned that I was known for taking photographs of problems in the city.

After a second read it sounds that the letter writer was referring to me. Gee, I didn't know I was the official photog in charge of documenting municipal trouble spots. It appears I've been slipping in conducting my duty.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

TRASHburgh Comix Release Party


After the success of TRASHburgh Comix #0 Matt Hall and friends are back with issue #2, giving local creators a venue for their works.  The release party at 30 City Hall Place AKA City Well offered an opportunity to meet the writers and artists.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

A Sketchy Spot

© 2019 Luke T. Bush


For too long the chasm between Koffee Kat and Heritage Printing has been dead, empty. Decades ago a fire had destroyed the building that once sat there at 100 Margaret Street.

But thanks to the efforts of Joe Ferris the vacant lot is seeing a rebirth. On Thursday evenings at 5:30 PM (weather permitting) he conducts a free al fresco figure drawing class. A hay wagon is being transformed into a performance stage which allows Joe to pose for his students. This evening only one student is in attendance but it takes time to build up a following.

Joe aims to create a nexus for local artists. He feels there's a need for artists to meet each other and share their interests. That's why the figure drawing class is free, opening it up to more people to participate. Students just have to bring along a drawing pad and pencils.

He begins his lesson by telling his student to quickly draw him posing to get the essentials of the image, not to concentrate on details at first. Even I helped when he quickly sketched me standing, waiting to take another a shot, for his student. He pointed out to her how I was leaning more on one leg than the other.

The student sat in a folding fabric camp chair, comfortable as she sketched. The setting is informal, a classroom without walls except for a towering neighboring building on each side. Sawhorses, plywood, and piles of two-by-fours evince the area is a work in progress. In one section a barbeque set up stands, waiting for the next time when Joe and his parents host another cookout with reasonable prices.

Joe poses on the stage: fists clenched in a boxing move, standing with one arm pulled back as if throwing a football, kneeling with his hands together in prayer. At one point he locks into a position for abut five minutes allowing the student to take her time to draw in the details.

Next week there will another another free drawing class. And as the word spreads, the group of like-minded creators should grow.

For more info: You can learn more about the drawing class and also the Saturday barbeque.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Got An Eye On You

Attack Of The Nanny State

Is this person a criminal? I don't think so.

© 2019 Luke T. Bush


Cigarette smoking killed my mother and two friends. I've witnessed over the years how cigarettes have addicted people to the point they can't stop even though they're killing themselves.

I'm allergic to tobacco smoke, probably caused by being exposed indoors to my mother's second hand smoke. I don't smoke.

That said I've found that the reaction to cigarette smoking recently has gone to inane lengths here in the city.

I have no problem banning cigarettes from indoor settings, especially in an apartment building where a careless tenant can cause a fire. But now Plattsburgh City is trying to ban public smoking through a local law it passed in February.


1. Definitions. The term "Public Property" means public buildings and adjacent grounds, streets, sidewalks, parks, and other publicly owned property, including vehicles owned by the City of Plattsburgh. The term "Tobacco Product" means cigarette, cigar, pipe tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, electronic nicotine delivery system (e-cigarettes, vaping, hookahs) in which tobacco or electronically delivered nicotine is the main ingredient that are intended for human consumption or use.

2. It shall be a violation for any person, including any person under the age of eighteen years, to use or possess a tobacco product or electronic nicotine delivery system (e-cigarettes, vaping, hookahs) on public property.

3. Each instance of Smoking or Tobacco Product use in violation of this Law shall constitute a separate violation. An offense may be prosecuted by the issuance of an appearance ticket under §150.20 of the Criminal Procedure Law."

I don't see the problem when someone is smoking by themselves, away from others, on a street or sidewalk or in a park. As long as someone respects the rights of non-smokers there should be no problem. We don't live under an enclosed Winooski dome with restricted air flow. There's plenty of fresh air outside.

Criminalizing all forms of tobacco will not make smokers stop. And I wonder what the police think about being directed to enforce such an asshole law.

I'm overweight. What's next. The Plattsburgh City Common Council will pass a law for every citizen to meet an arbitrary BMI (body mass index) standard? Will I be required to report to a weighing station to make sure my own body is in compliance?

Some busybodies have complained to the Common Council that the law isn't being enforced. Enforce that law and you'll see public backlash that will guarantee the mayor and certain councilors to be butted out of office.

One councilor suggested that signs should be posted around the city to remind everyone of the law. Sure, signs and fines will solve this health crisis.

Crows are coming back. Last winter they covered sidewalks and cars with their smeary feces. Concerned about public health? Do something about the crapping crows and also the defecating dogs.