Weekly Rochester Events #468 Starting Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

No Satisfaction Guarantee When You Do It Yourself
by Jason Olshefsky at 3:12 pm (add a comment)

Last weekend I had taken out our 1992 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon to run some errands and to shake it down in preparation for driving to Pennsylvania in the coming weekend. I had noticed a problem with the oil pressure gauge: it would read normal pressure (20 psi at idle up to 45 psi or so when revved) but then would flutter occasionally, reading a much higher pressure (30 psi to maximum at over 60 psi). I was worried it was the oil pump but ruled it out for two reasons: if it were the pump, it would likely show low pressure and never high pressure, and the gauge was changing faster than it would be possible to do so (10 psi changes in a fraction of a second whereas a 10 psi change would ordinarily take a half-second or more).

I finally got out and checked under the hood. I figured the wire on the oil pressure sending unit was loose or broken — and when the engine vibrated, it would get loose and give those erroneous readings. Well I found the unit and went to wiggle the wire when it popped off in my hand. I figured it was some other sensor (like a block-temperature sensor perhaps) that just press-fit on. But when I cranked over the car, oil spurted out and the gauge read maximum. Indeed it was the oil pressure sensor, and it had been hanging on by a thread of rust.

I was very fortunate that it didn't break on the road because it would have dumped all the oil in a matter of minutes and I'd have to have it towed.

Unfortunately, that's not what happened.

Since it was back in the driveway I decided to just buy the replacement part and install it myself. Perusing the Internet offered little help, other than that the sending unit for this particular model required a gigantic deep-well 1-3/16" socket. I didn't have a socket big enough so I decided to go ahead and buy a new sending unit. I went to an auto parts store and they had a replacement unit on hand, but it took a 1-1/16" socket instead, and they didn't have one deep enough in-stock. They did have a 1-3/16" socket but I thought that maybe the replacement was the same size as the existing one even though they looked a little different in construction.

I hunted all around, stopping at 3 other auto parts stores. I finally found a socket that was deep enough at Sears so I bought that and headed back home. Naturally the original sending unit was 1-3/16" so I ran back out to the first store and bought their socket. Now I'm $50 into this project.

I got back home and tried to get to the sending unit from the hood-side, but there was just no way. I resigned myself to getting the jacks out and going in from the bottom. This was comparatively easy and I was done in 15 minutes. The car fired up with no oil leak and the pressure gauge read something close to normal.  It did spook me on the trip, though, because it didn't seem to change — I was worried the replacement unit didn't have the right wiring and was falsely reading 40 psi. It started to work better as we continued so I think it's working okay.

So I think I would have been better off having it dump its oil in the middle of the road. I'd have had it towed, sat in some shop for an hour, and they would have replaced the sending unit — probably all at a cost of $200. The advantage would have been that I would have not had to fight last-minute holiday shoppers plugging up the roads and not spent 6 hours and not had my fingers freeze off in the cold.

I guess you win some and you lose some.

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Friday, December 21st, 2007

ClearWire Sucks Dot Com
by Jason Olshefsky at 1:00 pm (1 comment)

I got an ad in the mail for a thing called ClearWire which promises wireless Internet access "anywhere" at speeds of cable modem or DSL. It looked rather promising but I was suspicious — what's the underlying technology, for instance? And will it be cheaper and/or better than what I have now?

So I did what I always do: I type in the name of the company and "sucks" into Google. The first thing to come up is ClearWire Sucks Dot Com. It puts forth a compelling case that while ClearWire may be fine for commonplace uses, the draconian policies for termination are worse than most cell phone carriers. Overall I was completely unimpressed for it seems the company hinges on secret additional charges (i.e. rental fees for equipment) to push the price beyond "competitive" and it has a standard 2-year contract with an early termination fee: including if ClearWire decides to terminate your account without cause.

I'm not particularly impressed with the terms for Internet services these days, but it's worth it for me to quietly maintain my connection and keep my options open. I'm also unimpressed with cellular telephone service — in quality, cost, and customer service — so the last thing I want is to associate with a company that brings more of the same.

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

The Quandary of Doing What's Right
by Jason Olshefsky at 3:17 pm (1 comment)

So recently I was involved in a discussion that didn't turn out to everyone's satisfaction. The scenario is this:

I was at a social engagement where everyone knew one another fairly well; in a small-group discussion when one of the participants — let's say Jack — started describing a bigoted encounter he had with someone he associated with as part of his job. Just as he was about to quote the third-party, someone walked into earshot — let's say Jill — who's a member of the group who was targeted (and also the only person around who's a member of that particular group). So Jack stopped and said, "I'll tell you in a minute," and everyone got quiet. I insisted that he continue and invited Jill to the conversation to hear — after all, this is a quote of an encounter, and not representative of his personal belief.

So we all talked for a few minutes. Naturally Jill was shocked but apparently not upset at what Jack had to say. Things went okay and the topic changed and the group broke up a bit. Jack asked that I never put him in that situation again. I apologize but add that he shouldn't bring up such things in my presence because I would probably react the same way.

The universal response has been that I was wrong. I should have let sleeping dogs lie, let the conversation go fallow because Jill probably didn't notice, and everyone would have been much more comfortable.

Now I don't think my solution was ideal, but I think it was better than nothing. First of all, the argument that Jill didn't hear anything is specious — for if it was indeed true, then Jack should have continued without pause, and clearly even Jack felt that Jill could hear him. Second, I don't believe discomfort is as bad as it's cracked up to be — for is it better to maintain comfort or point out something unethical? "Well," you argue, "Jack wasn't really being unethical, right?" At that moment, probably not, but I think that overall his behavior wasn't purely right. Here's what I think the chronology was in this case:

  1. He had an associate who surprised him by saying something bigoted.
  2. He disagreed with the sentiment but probably said nothing of it to avoid a conflict at the time.
  3. I assume his association with this other person changed — perhaps he never needed to deal with them again, and perhaps he just avoids associating with them. But what he didn't do was to directly address the issue — for instance to say that he was disappointed that such ignorance persists in this day and age.
  4. When relaying the story, he was not proud of his actions — and he did not want to reveal that he didn't defend the group to which Jill is associated.

Let me put it another way, this time with a hypothetical encounter. Two guys are talking. One is Jewish and the other is not. The one who's not reveals that he works with a guy who's anti-Semitic.

DAVE: "Don told me this off-color joke about Jews at work today." (unspoken: "it's okay to say this because it wasn't me".)
JOE: "So what did you do?" (unspoken: "such jokes reinforce that being Jewish is inferior in arbitrary ways and I think you agree that this is not true".)
DAVE: "Well he's my boss so I couldn't do anything." (unspoken: "I didn't want to make him angry because I might lose my job — or worse. You know how those people are".)
JOE: "What a prick." (unspoken: "I would have hoped that you are a good enough friend to help me even if doing so is not to your immediate advantage. I feel disappointment because I now respect you less than I assumed I could".)

On the surface, Dave and Joe seem more comfortable than if they dug deeper — for there is tremendous discomfort that runs very deep. But is that really healthy? Doesn't it serve to reinforce bigotry? If Joe confronted Dave, I think Dave would react defensively — that he would be more upset about being called out for his lack-of-action than with the original situation.

So then you ask, "what am I supposed to do about them? I'm not a bigot and I don't support them. Isn't that enough?" Let me just put it this way: are you confident and proud of your actions? And I don't mean as a form of denial: can you really defend your beliefs, thoughts, and actions in a rational and sound way?

The reason why I live by this code is that it helps me get to sleep at night. For as much distress I cause in people, I need to come to the conclusion that I did the most right thing I could at the time — to be confident and proud of my actions.

I'm not thrilled about making Jack uncomfortable. I don't know if it changed anything for the better, if it made Jill upset, or if it disrupted Jack and Jill's relationship. But I think that what I did do was force Jack to reconcile his actions — for if he was proud and confident of his behavior, he'd have no problem facing Jill. (So I guess I have an ulterior goal to coerce other people to be the best they can be.)

The catch is that I don't know if I read the situation correctly. If, in fact, things happened like I thought they did, then I'm proud and confident of my reaction. When I look at my own life experience and situations in the past like these, I think my assessment was correct, though.

Now if only I could forgive myself for things I couldn't have known …

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This afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a performance by AfriKuumba Dance and Drum. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is Kwanzaa Family Day including staged readings of Manly Virtue by akwaaba — The Heritage Associates. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Today at 6 p.m. at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is a Re-Gifting Party with The Rochester Movie Makers Club. "You bring a gift you get that you don't want (ideally still wrapped) along with $10.00. Your gift goes in Santa's bag with all the other gifts. We have a random drawing of everyone who brought a gift. You can then exchange gifts with anyone else who participates!" [source: Rochester Film Lab Yahoo! Group]

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is Mike KwongMySpace link. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing a double-feature of The Producers and Where's Poppa? starting early at 7 p.m. The first is about a couple guys trying to make money by producing a flop musical that ends up being wildly successful. The Eastman House calendar describes the second, "in a movie with a true commitment to tasteless humor, George Segal plays a lawyer whose domineering mother (a hilariously senile Ruth Gordon) has all but ruined his life." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

Today at 1:15 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is another Upstairs/Downstairs Tour for members of Eastman House. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Bodhi's Cafe & LoungeMySpace link (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) will be hosting really talented guitarist and singer Kinloch Nelson starting around 7 p.m. [source: Bodhi's Cafe MySpace page]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) is No starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Kimo and Kaiulani will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Solidly good singer Kalu JamesMySpace link and friends will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing a double-feature of Alfred Hitchcock classics, Rear Window and North by Northwest starting early at 7 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Country Party House (321 E. Linden Ave., East Rochester) is a Three Dogs Comedy Show featuring Tiny Glover, Matt RohrMySpace link, and Steve Natarelli. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is Chet Catallo and the Cats starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

The Dub Land UndergroundMySpace link (315 Alexander St., formerly Whiskey) will be hosting Mike Fyler and The Macro MeltdownMySpace link, and The Goods starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight probably starting around 7 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the Subversive Komedy Fest. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick This evening at 4 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is a book discussion of Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker. [source: Baobab website]

JayceLand Pick Today and tomorrow from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Holiday Memories at Historic High Falls including a laser-and-fireworks show every half-hour from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge). [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting fun ska from Mrs. Skannotto and more starting around 6 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

Over at The Harro East Theatre and Ballroom (155 North Chestnut St.) starting around 7:30 p.m. is The Campbell Brothers. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [all ages]

The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) will be hosting Made By Hand starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is Forty LashesGarageBand linkMySpace link, The Kitchen SinksMySpace link, and good high-energy punk-rock/ska from The GrievantsMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing a double-feature of Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice starting early at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at 2 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Herb SmithMySpace link. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

JayceLand Pick Very good metal from SulacoMySpace link, a great attention-deficit rock/funk/jazz blend from GaylordMySpace link, and fun, harsh bar-rock band Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Betty's Sing-a-Long is regularly scheduled at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10 but since September, 2007 people have reported they were closed.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing a double-feature of A Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine starting at 2 p.m. and again tomorrow night at 7 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

MicahMySpace link will be at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) starting around 6 p.m. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting Otto Hauser, Ben McConnell, and Jim Colby starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is very good power rock from Seven Head DivisionMySpace link, and PegacideMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

New Year's Eve
Kwanza Ends

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be hosting a New Year's Eve Laff Riot Double Feature of Hellzapoppin' and It's in the Bag starting early at 7 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Although it's the last Monday of the month, there's no event in The Emerging Filmmakers Series tonight. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at The Dub Land UndergroundMySpace link (315 Alexander St., formerly Whiskey) is Jae MoodMySpace link, and The Fran Dukes Band starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

JayceLand Pick Tonight starting at 10 p.m. is the Countdown to 2008 show at The Rochester Riverside Convention Center (123 E. Main St.) [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is a special New Year's Eve show by Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link starting at 7:30 p.m. and again at 10:30 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Fly the flag today.New Year's Day

JayceLand Pick This evening at 7 p.m. at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is an art exhibit titled Cuddling Cultures & Colors featuring the works of A Saba Djamila. [source: Baobab website]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting good, gimmicky heavy metal from BlüdwülfMySpace link, Hellkontrol, good hard rock from J. G. BlizaroMySpace link, No Fucker, and semi-melodic fast-paced noise band Pengo starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing O sangue (The Blood) starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman House calendar says, "when their father disappears and a sinister uncle takes control of their lives, two young men look to a young teacher for love and solace." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is wild power-rock from Handsome JackGarageBand linkMySpace link, Johnny NobodyGarageBand linkMySpace link, and Oak, Ash, and ThornMySpace link (, formerly American Buffalo) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Every Wednesday starting at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Ride for bicyclists. [source: RocBike website]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including 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. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, December 27, 2007 (Thu, Dec 27, 2007, 12/27/2007, or 12/27/07) Friday, December 28, 2007 (Fri, Dec 28, 2007, 12/28/2007, or 12/28/07) Saturday, December 29, 2007 (Sat, Dec 29, 2007, 12/29/2007, or 12/29/07) Sunday, December 30, 2007 (Sun, Dec 30, 2007, 12/30/2007, or 12/30/07) Monday, December 31, 2007 (Mon, Dec 31, 2007, 12/31/2007, or 12/31/07) Tuesday, January 1, 2008 (Tue, Jan 1, 2008, 1/1/2008, or 1/1/08) and Wednesday, January 2, 2008 (Wed, Jan 2, 2008, 1/2/2008, or 1/2/08).

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

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

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

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

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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