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Weekly Rochester Events #301: The Limit of Inventors' Lives as John Approaches Béchamel Sauce

Thursday, October 14, 2004

I have mostly kicked the habit of talking about cool possessions and stuff, but I have some Amazon gift certificates that have been piling up, and I have my eye on something cool. It's Digital Dream's James Bond Stealth Camera. I've been looking for an inexpensive digital camera that I can carry in my pocket — something strong and small, like a Zippo lighter case. Well, that's exactly what they've done. It can only take 640 by 480 pixel pictures, but it holds 150 of them, includes a voice recorder, 30-second time-lapse "surveillance" mode, and can take up to 30 seconds of video with sound. I just want to wait to see if it goes on the Friday sale this week ...

Tangentially related is my new tall bike — in that it's a cool possession, and I think some guy got a picture of me on it with a cell phone camera. I'm pretty sure it was last year's ARTWalk Alive event that I saw some guy with a tall bike: he made it himself, and it seemed pretty difficult to control and rickety. All the zany contraptions at The Burning Man Project (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV) inspired me to make my own, so I cut apart two bike frames and welded one on top of the other. There's two front forks: one on top and one on the bottom that are welded together so I can steer. I guess in bicyclist parlance it's a "festival bike" because you can just lean on a pole and see over everyone else. Owing partly to its current twisted photo-negative tiger-stripe paint job (i.e. green strips on white reverses to purple stripes on black as opposed to black on orange) I've been calling it a "giraffe bike," but I'll usually refer to it as "the tall bike."

My version is pretty stable. To get on it, it's a lot like getting on a small horse (well, assuming the horse has only two legs and falls over when it's not moving. There are other differences too, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the student.) You put your left foot on the left pedal at its lowest point, roll the bike forward like a scooter then step up (which tends to lean the bike left, so turn left a little to keep balance) swing your right leg over the seat onto the other pedal and sit on the seat (which tends to lean the bike right a little, so turn a little right) then pedal a bit to keep balance and you're all set. Removal is the reverse of installation.

Riding it is just like a regular bike, except you're really high up. Of course, since it's kind of a pain to de-bike and en-bike, I usually will either time my arrival at intersections so I don't have to stop, or I'll reach up and hold onto the bottom bracket of the "Don't Walk" sign, mostly because I think it's pretty funny to do that. Oh, and your feet are actually higher than most guard rails which can be pretty scary when riding over 490. At night. After a few drinks (see disclaimer later.)

two bike frames welded together, one on top of another, to make a tall bike
I'm like fucking ten feet tall on this thing.
So anyhow, I got to ride around a lot this week, and I mostly use the tall bike. I went to the hip-hop show at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) last Thursday which was pretty cool. Black customers outnumbered white customers by about 5-to-1, and in that venue, it really hit me just how racially divided my life is: I ordinarily see around one black person a week at the Bug Jar. I was pretty far out of my element (and felt pretty much like an idiot out of water) but I stuck around to see the show. I guess DJ's EPIC and Alexis Nicole Carter did most of the turntable work which seemed to me to be pretty well done — I just wasn't particularly inspired by it ... well, except for a couple really tight beat-matches, and a couple well-handled, dramatic tempo transitions. This guy COLUMBO did what I thought was rap (i.e. rhythmic, rhyming spoken word over hip-hop music) but I guess that, in itself, is hip-hop ... maybe I'm missing some things.

Did I mention that I was way out of my element?

Saturday morning I got a late start but decided to ride the bike anyway (the regular bike because I was using the bike trailer) to The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) ... so what if I were a few minutes late to Sticky Lips Pit BBQ (625 Culver Rd.) later on? Along the way I found another junked bike and I decided to tie it on my bike trailer. The "funny" thing was that one of the axles on the trailer fell apart — I lost a nut, and the axle spun out. The baby stroller wheels I had on there were dragging badly, and I made a couple attempts to fix it.

Not as late as I thought I'd be, I got in to Sticky Lips Pit BBQ (625 Culver Rd.) and joined my friends. Now, that is a good barbecue joint. Everything was very tasty, and all their sauces are bold and direct. It's kind-of oddly located, but it's really just a half-mile or so away from Park Ave. or ARTWalk, and a quarter mile from Eastman House ... if you could cross the train yard.

Back to the bike stories, though: I tried fixing the axle with an assortment of things, but eventually got it pulled out and reversed so the end with no nut was on the inside, and I used the bungee cords to hold the junk bike to also hold in the axle bolt. I did my regular shopping at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) then struggled my way back home. I was riding against the friction of the axle plus the 30-mile-an-hour headwind. When I got home I noted that the wheel was warm on that side, and I figured I was losing something on the order of a hundred watts in friction alone — ordinarily enough to propel me around 10 miles an hour. Anyway, I went (by car) to Harbor Freight (1040 East Ridge Rd., in Georgetown Plaza) — which is more of a candyland than Radio Shack for do-it-yourself-type-pepople — and got better wheels for the trailer and put them in over the weekend. Much better ... I also increased the load rating of the trailer to around 300 pounds or so.

Ok, so anyway, that night I went out to the opening of Andy Gilmore's work at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) His stuff is quite good ... depicting some of the traditional Halloween concepts — like crows and demons — in detailed pen-and-ink drawings. From there I went to Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine (120 East Ave., formerly Aria) and saw TatYana perform again. They're really a spectacular band ... very improvisational music with strong jazz and groove-rock elements combined with some experimental overtones.

While I was there I saw some money lying on the floor. I asked our group if anybody lost money, and when nobody claimed it, I brought it to the bartender — $85 in all — and said that if nobody claimed it I'd split it with him. It turns out one of the other servers had lost it (and $20 more I didn't even see.) He offered to buy me a drink but I turned it down — in part because I don't really care since a clear conscience is valuable to me, but also because I happen to have a 12-year Macallan Scotch in front of me at the time and that would be just greedy. He brought me a refill anyway when I was done.

Oh, and I learned an important lesson that night: you can't ride the tall bike if you drink two shots of Macallan. I guess the whole balancing thing requires quick reactions, so on my first attempt getting on the bike, I fell right off. To add insult to injury (figuratively) the chain slipped off and bound, which took ten minutes to fix.

On Tuesday I saw a cool show at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) The first band up was Boxcar Satan who did awesome and unique rockabilly/heavy metal with punk and blues influences. Next was Singapore Sling who are a really good Icelandic medium-tempo rock band ... three guitars makes for a good wall of sound. The Town Bikes did this very odd burlesque show — for instance, their first set included a remixed cover of "Beat It" sung by some guy with a Japanese accent. And finally, Bob Log III finished off the night with his high-tempo bluesy-rock one-man-band with a funny stage presence ... all sung through a telephone receiver in a motorcycle helmet.


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Columbus Day

The The Bertrand Russell Society will again be at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) professor Willie Osterman will be in the Curtis Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to explain Ansel Adams' Zone System tonight at 6:30 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Tales from the Gimli Hospital starting at 8 p.m. Imitating styles at the end of the silent film era, this film follows the tales of a couple people in a Manitoba, Canada hospital. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is complex, slow-tempo instrumental rock from The Six Parts Seven, melancholic, dark, and somehow light nearly ambient music from The Race, and The Mathematicians. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Ossia New Music will be performing at 8 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) They will be performing Edgard Varèse's Octandre, the U.S. Premiere of Beat Furrer's Ensemble, and Olivier Messiaen's Visions de l'amen. [source: Ossia New Music calendar]

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

Find the Propaganda Box at The Liberty Pole (Liberty Pole Wy.) today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. playing independently produced videos giving an alternative view of political events than the mainstream media. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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Tonight at 10:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:30 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy Improv. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Valley of Tears starting at 8 p.m. Socioeconomic differences divide a Texas town in the years between a 1979 onion-picker strike and a 1990 school board election. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is awesome heavy metal from Dixie Witch, The Amplified Heat, and Baba Yaga starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Heavy Kevvy's Punk Rock Shoot Your Mouth Off Palace]

Find the Propaganda Box at The Liberty Pole (Liberty Pole Wy.) again today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. playing independently produced videos giving an alternative view of political events than the mainstream media. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing A mi madre le gustan las mujeres (My Mother Likes Women) starting early at 7 p.m. Three sisters try to break up the relationship between their mother and her lover. Later, at 9:30 p.m., they'll be showing Proteus where a couple prisoners in a penal colony start a romantic relationship. [source: Eastman House calendar]

This afternoon from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. is a Used Cookbook Sale at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) ... proceeds go to a computer system to print recipes. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar]

Starting at 6 p.m. tonight at Hot Shots (1046B University Ave.) is a Boarding for Breast Cancer Fundraiser sponsored by The Lounge (Pittsford Plaza, formerly Shifty's Snowboard Shop) which will feature snowboarding videos, a silent auction, and music by Lobby Bar and The Isotopes (around 10:30 p.m.) [source: band e-mail]

Instrumental surf-rock from The Mofos, and blues-influenced, complex 1960's-style rock-and-roll from The Ferndocks will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Rockabilly from Krypton 88 will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]


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Today at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is another Community Garage Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you're interested in getting a booth, call 428-6907 for more information. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick Over at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 3 p.m. is Payton MacDonald's Super Marimba. [source: artsound website]

The Upstate Invitational art exhibit featuring artists Matthew Friday, Matthew Gehring, Myra Greene, and Richard Harrington at Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) closes tonight. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

This evening from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. is a Drag Race at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) along the Quarter Mile — from The Infinity Circle to The Sundail ... naturally, the gist is to dress in clothing of the gender that is not your own ... [source: RIT Events Calendar site]


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JayceLand Pick This evening at The Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), The Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players will be performing their interpretive music and stage show surrounding slides found at garage sales and thrift stores. The show starts at 7 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar]

This evening at 7 p.m. in Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is The Just Poets Reading and Open Mike. Apparently they're trying to be even more open to new people than other groups ... [source: Writers and Books calendar]


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Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is very good punk/punk-rock from The Bamboo Kids, classic punk from The Teenage Junkies, and very good punk-rock from The EmersonsGarageBand link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick oVo, and (or with, considering oVo's theme) semi-melodic fast-paced noise Pengo will be at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 9 p.m. [source: artsound website]

JayceLand Pick Updated: The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing the short documentary Soldiers Pay starting at 7 p.m. and again at 10 p.m. It's a documentary made by director David O. Russell as a supplement to the DVD release of his political comedy Three Kings from 1999 which will be shown at the regular time of 8 p.m., between the two showings of the documentary. [source: Eastman House 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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Dub Is A WeaponGarageBand link will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 8 p.m.

JayceLand Pick Over at Spot Coffee (200 East Ave.) starting around 8 p.m. is what seems to be a fascinating show with Break of RealityGarageBand link who are apparently a cello-and-drums rock band. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Banshun (Late Spring) starting at 8 p.m. Set in postwar Japan, an aging man tries to push his daughter to start a family of her own. [source: Eastman House 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]

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]

Find the Propaganda Box on Monroe Ave. at Sumner Pk. today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. playing independently produced videos giving an alternative view of political events than the mainstream media. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

 
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... Both John Wallis and Louis de Béchamel died 301 years ago in 1703. Wallis devised the concept of the arithmetic limit and Béchamel invented béchamel sauce.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, October 14, 2004 thru Wednesday, October 20, 2004. It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.


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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