Weekly Rochester Events #277: Where the Old Toad Be
Thursday, April 29, 2004
This seemed to be a week of building things just like I thought. For a long time I had this idea which I'm sure thousands of people have done before: I hooked up a small 12-volt computer fan to a 9-volt battery and a pushbutton, and mounted it near the bottom of the kitchen trash can over a hole I made. Now whenever I put a new bag in, I push the button and the air between the bag and the can is sucked out. It's actually pretty neat to watch as long as you make the fan go in the right direction. Actually, I guess it's pretty practical to have the fan to go in the right direction ... it's pretty neat either way.
I also took a first crack at an automatic venetian blind opener (as I explained to a friend of mine, what I mean is to automatically tilt them open, not pull them all the way up.) I tried using a solenoid from a washing machine but it wouldn't pull enough weight far enough. It actually could hold it in place if coaxed but not on its own ... oh well.
I successfully finished an update to the bike cart so the axles don't bend anymore ... more steel and more welding. I also found some cool stuff on the web about it. My neighbor let me know about
which is a way to extend your bike by a couple feet to add more carrying capability. The advantage is that the weight doesn't shift so strangely as with a trailer when you ride, particularly off-road. I also found the
Bikes at WorkBicycle Trailers
page which talks about their 300 lb. capacity trailers. There's some unbelievable tales, like moving a refrigerator by bike, and that they've put three trailers together and towed 1,000 lbs. behind a bike.
As for finding things on junk week ... er ... "Spring Cleanup" week ... and showing restraint, I only made on trip out, but I picked up a bunch of stuff anyway. The best of it was an electric lawnmower someone threw out—it's an older model replaced by the
Black & Decker 19" Lawn Hog Electric Mulching Mower.
It turned out the safety switch was a bit squirrelly and needed to be fixed, and the blade was not tightened on properly. That's it ... a perfectly good electric mower that just needed a minor tune-up. Suckers.
Even worse, though, is
The Reynolds Auction Company
auction of the inventory left behind by
Sentry Color Labs Ltd.
(571 South Ave)
There was a lot of cool stuff. I probably should have bid more on the Kodak RFS 3570 film scanner (I stopped at $105) because I didn't even know if it worked at all. I ended up only spending $4 and went home with a car full of stuff. They kept throwing extra stuff into lots, so I was bidding on things like a couple drive belts and ended up getting the belts, 200 16x20 sheet protectors, and a set of highball glasses. I also got a Coleco Adam system, a typewriter (everyone needs at least one lying around) some old Apple-compatible junk including an EtherTalk-LocalTalk bridge, and a Wyse dumb terminal. The biggest collection was the Betacam system consisting of a professional orthicon-style video camera (from the 1980's, naturally ... too bad it's broken) a portable Beta VCR, a second portable Beta BCR with a tuner/timer unit, and a battery-powered Sony 9" color TV.
Plus, they threw in the collection of Beta tapes. Lots of Beta tapes. Like 140 pounds of Beta tapes ... I didn't count all of them, but I figure there's over 300. Most of them are movies taped off TV or Cinemax, 50 commercial movies, 16 tapes of home movies, a dozen or so training tapes, and a bunch of assorted others. I spent most of Tuesday either at the auction or going through the tapes. I'll have to make a list and sell most of them on
Oh ... what else. I guess the
The Spirit of Ontario
has arrived at the
Port of Rochester
(1 Beach Ave.)
I haven't been up there yet to see how big it is, but I just wanted to mention to remember to bring handkerchiefs to wave the ship off on its maiden voyage. If I learned anything from news reels, it's that you have to bring handkerchiefs. I think it's the law or something.
As for the week in review, there isn't much that's thrilling enough to talk about. I made it to as many things as I could on Saturday. I started out—bike trailer in tow—by going to
The Rochester Public Market
(280 Union St. N.)
Abundance Cooperative Market
(62 Marshall St.)
and headed home to drop off the bike trailer (which was limping badly because I ducked onto the sidewalk halfway up Railroad Street across a high driveway cutout, sending the axles akimbo.) After that I immediately headed back out to
The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association
cleanup of the
Erie Canal Trail
right around the corner, did that for an hour, then went to
On the Rocks
(1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios)
for lunch. This time I got their sirloin and brie on a baguette (whatever it was called ... The Soho, I think) which was excellent.
At night I biked out to
The All-Purpose Room
(#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.)
for the show there ... nothing to get too excited about ... well, except for
Happy Mother's Day I Can't Read
who was one guy doing low frequency, loud, clipped distortion with similarly modified vocals—I guess the best way to describe it was an emotional purge ... perhaps you just had to be there. After that I made it to
The Bug Jar
(219 Monroe Ave.)
do a very good set of modern rock and
make an absolute mess of the place with cake for this girl's birthday ... oh ... they did a great set of their chaotic rock to boot. The really cool part of the evening, though, was
who are this great high-energy classic synth-rock band ... I actually rank them somewhere high on the list of my personal favorites, somewhere up near
So I guess in the end I made it to 4 of the 13 things to do that day. Bummer.
Just so I don't leave on a down note though, let me take a moment to address all my gynophile readers (sorry androphiles ... you'll just need to extrapolate.) It's supposed to get nice out and I wanted to put in my wish/vote for the new summer fashion—at least for all the hot little 20-year-old girls. I want it to be progressive and retro. I want it to be exploitive and to prey on their media-induced insecurities. For all this, I leave you with these words in which to bask in the glow of: low-rise short-shorts.
(99 Court St.)
starting around 9:30 p.m. is
Rod Nickson Project
who Dinosaur describes as having "sick vocals" which is why I mentioned it.
(Also, I though it funny that upon searching,
'Results 1 - 41 of about 66 for RodNickson OR "Rod Nickson". (0.39 seconds) Did you mean: Rednecks OR "Rod Nickson".')
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]
Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery
(137 East Ave.)
from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the opening reception of a new exhibit titled
Maternal Metaphors: Artists/Mothers/Artwork
Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe,
It runs through May 23.
Rochester Contemporary calendar]
Tonight from 8 to 10 is an
Open-Mic Comedy Night
(389 Gregory St.)
While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff.
Daily Perks calendar]