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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 Xtracycle 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 Work Bicycle 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 eBay.

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.) then 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.) and saw Piehole do a very good set of modern rock and Your Mom 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 The CharmsGarageBand link 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 The Realistics.

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.


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  • Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (at The Little) - I guess you have to like golf.
  • Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself (at The Little) - Apparently a movie with a cool title that's either boring or enlightening.
  • Envy - A neighbor envies another for his successful invention to make dog poop disappear. I wonder what happens if they sprayed it on the movie itself?
  • Godsend - Some kid dies in an accident, but he earned enough points to get another life.
  • Laws of Attraction - Boring movie about a couple divorce lawyers who fall in love. Awww.
  • Mean Girls - Kinda like a kinder, more diluted version of Heathers except that nobody motors anywhere and they are so not very.

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JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting super high energy punk-rock from Boston's The Model Sons, excellent, funny metal-influenced punk rock from Serious, and The Loved Ones starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Village Rock Cafe (213 Main St., East Rochester) is an acoustic show from FMGreen starting around 10 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

Star Bar (123 Liberty Pole Way, formerly Tilt and Velocity) will be hosting some bands ... maybe. Their own website doesn't say which bands, JamBase says the excellent instrumental funk band The Filthy Funk, Freetime Magazine says Quagmire Swim Team, and they both agree that Bam Sequence will be there. None of the bands' own websites indicate they'll be at Star Bar, though. If any of the bands are there, they'll probably start around 10. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Keyboardist and singer Roz from Bullwinkles Café (622 Lake Ave.) will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 or so. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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JayceLand Pick Doug TenNapel, comic artist and animator of works such as "Earthworm Jim" will speak in Webb Auditorium at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) and screen some of his recent works today from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting a metal show with Liquid Violence, A Day Without Rain, Victim 6, and Self Made Hate starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Over at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (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, Google replied, 'Results 1 - 41 of about 66 for RodNickson OR "Rod Nickson". (0.39 seconds) Did you mean: Rednecks OR "Rod Nickson".') [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

This weekend at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) is Spring Festival 2004 featuring a carnival (of amusement park rides) and the Student Government barbeque tonight, bands Even All OutGarageBand link, Jay Henson, and Out of LineGarageBand linkIUMA link tomorrow with Guster and Matt Nathanson in concert that night, plus junk all day. [source: CAB calendar]

JayceLand Pick Today at 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 featuring artists Monica Bock, Myrel Chernick, Renee Cox, Judy Gelles, Judy Glantzman, Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe, Mary Kelly, Ellen McMahon, Gail Rebhan, Aura Rosenberg, Shelly Silver, Beth Warshofsky, Sarah Webb, and Marion Wilson. It runs through May 23. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

If you're desperate for modern rock cover songs, Better Days will be at Slammer's Bar and Grill (4650 Dewey Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

If you're desperate for modern rock and covers but are closer, tonight at Spenders (1600 Lyell Ave.) is Uncle PlumGarageBand link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Andy Schmitz (of Low Ton) and Sara Strusz (formerly of The Purrs) will be at Spy Bar and Grill (139 State St.) at 10 p.m. for an acoustic show. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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May Day

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

JayceLand Pick Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be having a fundraiser to offset the high heating costs this past winter with musicians Jeff Riales, Jed Curran, Lisa Bigwood, Brian Brown, Brian Coughlin, Rita Coulter, The Dady Brothers, and great acoustic soloist Maria Gillard along with comic Dave Schmidt all starting around 8 p.m.

This is your last chance to see A Photographer's Path 7 which closes tonight at 5 p.m. at The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery (70 Brown's Race) [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is Deke Dickerson, and excellent 1960's/rockabilly rock-and-roll band The Hirisers. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at Acme Bar & Pizza (495 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. is jazz band Cerulean City [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Fat Moe's (4419 Dewey Ave.) will be hosting modern rock and covers from Uncle PlumGarageBand link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is acoustic music from Kate Silverman with Bob Stephenson starting around 9 p.m.

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JayceLand Pick Special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen will be at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to present his famous film Jason and the Argonauts at 5 p.m. Earlier in the day at 2 p.m., they'll be showing some of his short-film works such as Mother Goose Stories, The Story of Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, and King Midas.

Performance of the final electronic music projects from the Eastman Computer Music Center will be at The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) starting around 7 p.m. [source: All-Purpose Room calendar]

Over at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) starting around 4 p.m. is Gregory Kunde Chorale for a show titled Contrasts. [source: Freetime]

Today at Ontario Beach Park (Beach Ave.) is Kite Flight 2004, "a free annual event of kite flying by both experts and amateurs" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. [source: City Hall press release]

Very good acoustic-rock/groove-rock band (albeit a bit rambling at times) Gregory Paul and the AutumdiversGarageBand link, and The Everyday VisualsGarageBand link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) at 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., comic Paula Poundstone will be performing. Be sure to find out in advance if your ticket includes a place to sit. [source: Montage calendar]

Today at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) is The Bop Shop Record Show from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. featuring tons of rare and collectible stuff related to the music industry. [source: Bop Shop calendar]

JayceLand Pick At 2 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture titled Nazi Art Looting: Tales of Discovery presented by art historian and researcher Dr. Evie Joselow. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar]

Dan Liberto (of the The Comedy Company) hosts Open Mic Comedy Night at Duels Café (17 E. Main St.) starting around 7:30 (theoretically.) [source: Duel's Café]

Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be having Aura Readings today from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. then their own breed of Poetry Nite from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

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JayceLand Pick Sound On Survival will be at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar]

Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association will be having their semi-annual meeting tonight at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) starting around 7. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association flyer]

Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dave Rivello's 12-Piece Jazz Ensemble [source: Montage e-mail]

Excellent experimental jazz band TatYana will be playing tonight at Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine (120 East Ave., formerly Aria) starting at 10. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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JayceLand Pick From 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. today is another Books Sandwiched In in the Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) Associated Press correspondent in Jerusalem, Hillary Appleman will discuss A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Hazelwood Lodge at Ellison Park (Blossom Rd. at Landing Rd.) is a metal show with SulacoIUMA link, PsyopusGarageBand link, Commit Suicide, ColossusGarageBand link, and Engineer starting around 5 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is quite good off-beat synth, guitar, and drums from We Regazzi, The Tight Phantomz, Kalpana, and Rockets and Bluelights starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

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Cinco de Mayo

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is another Big Drum: Songwriters in the Round with Cincinnati Son, Tim Clark, and Ronnie Lickers starting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Jillian's (Corner of Commercial St. and Mill St.) will be hosting Uncle PlumGarageBand link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (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. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]
 
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The Old Toad Pub is at 277 Alexander Street.



JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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