Blogs > Life, I wrote.

Life Editor Ivan Lajara talks about living in the Hudson Valley, language, the Web, cats and even politics. But he shouldn't.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

At least I've got some company

If you thought my takedown of the state legislature was too harsh, I've got some links for you:

* New York Post: "Fighting the good fight";
* New York Daily News "Dave comes up big: Paterson shows real leadership in the battle of the budget";
* New York Times "What Is Albany Doing?";
* Albany Times Union: "Here a tax, there a tax."

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Darth Vader reacts to U.S. loss vs. Ghana in World Cup

I couldn't have said it better myself.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

This week in blogs

A horrible misconstruction of blogs featured at the Daily Freeman:

* City of Kingston Alderman Bill Reynolds goes gangsta with a post about bullets and 420.

* The Frankenstein people at the Ulster County Development Corp. want you to know that the county is ALIVE!

* KingstonCitizens wants you to know there's stuff happening — in Detroit.

* The folks of At The Farmers' Market have found a way to do things with dead fish other than wrapping them in newspapers. Who knew?

* Over at Hudson Valley Good Stuff, rain at a Renegades game is not good stuff.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Earth's got moves you've never seen


The U.S. Geological Survey agency has been compiling responses to the 1:41 p.m., 5.0 Richter-scale quake in some country to the north. It occurred 12 miles beneath the Earth's surface and lasted about 30 seconds, the USGS said.

Here are the responses, broken into towns, intensity, number of responses and distance from the episode, in kilometers, because you should've learned the metric system in the 1970s like Jimmy Carter wanted.

In Kingston, it felt like a 2, from 25 responses. In Catskill and Ellenville, the report says it felt like a 3. In my desk, it felt like a zero because I'm originally from Peru and anything below 6 there causes less panic than rain.

Also from the USGS, a winning lead sentence: "There's a 100 percent chance of an earthquake today."

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Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams slow-jam the news again

Saugerties High School grad Jimmy Fallon and NBC Nighly News anchor Brian Williams are at it again.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Return your blue balls

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blogs and animals

* Ulster County Comptroller Elliott Auerbach talks about the "BUG PURPLE campaign," as highlighted by this bad Photoshop job.



* At The Farmer's Market gives you a recipe for delicious dead shrimp.

* These animals don't want you to smoke. I'm not criticizing the merits or faults of the new $1.60 tax on (cigarette) butts, but the inability of state lawmakers (also known as "butts") to pass a budget in time.

* In a post about food, new Freeman featured blogger Lagusta Yearwood reveals that Tasmanian devils do run in circles.

Well, that's all folks.

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How not to tweet

I once tweeted (sorry New York Times) five simple rules about "why nobody follows you" on Twitter. It bears repeating, in light of this:



That crazy bloodied nose guy not looking at the road while he's driving with a manic laugh is none other than U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado, breaking rule No. 5.

Thankfully, Hudson Valley politicians who tweet behave much better. Sometimes.

Oh, yeah, the rules. Here they are:

1 Why nobody follows you: You post irrelevant info. Also, I like cheese.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®



2 Why nobody follows you: You insult your followers, you stupid person!less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®



3 Why nobody follows you: Your post is a reply that makes no sense. why did you do that, @leeroyjenkins?less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®



4 Why nobody follows you: You post four or more tweets in a row.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®



5 Why nobody follows you: TMI! http://twitpic.com/1slffaless than a minute ago via Twitpic

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Can unmoderated comments work?

Let's find out. The blog is open for any comments, without registration or moderation. You can post whatever you want.

Be nice.

And if this works - it doesn't everywhere - I'll keep the settings.

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hair poll closed

I had created the poll thinking that there was going to be no way donating the hair to a good cause would lose. Now I have to keep looking like a hobo. Thanks.


Signs of the times

As I was driving out of work Thursday night, the new CVS pharmacy sign on Washington Ave. in Kingston made me stop my car.



The sign was "fixed" the following day...



But to the left of that sign, there was this ...


I'm not the only one who's noticed, either.

And I'm also told it's a classic album by Sebadoh.

I guess it could be worse.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Pulse of the Hudson Valley, politics edition

* Chainsaw leg-cutting, gun-loving U.S. Rep. Macho Mo' likes strawberries.

I'm looking forward to marching in the Owego Strawberry Festival parade tomorrow!less than a minute ago via web



* Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay doesn't like the sound of bagpipes in the morning.

Morning meeting of Celtic Connections at the Broadway Lights Diner, little early for bagpipes....less than a minute ago via web



* Also, hairless person Hoffay wants a piece of my scalp (a reference to my decision to crowdsource the fate of my hair to you). Voting ends today.

Where's Lajara? I want to witness the haircut.....it's tough to lose an election by one vote.less than a minute ago via web



* Ulster County Legislator Michael Madsen discovers Kingston can be seen on Google Maps' StreetView (don't tell him about Saugerties or New Paltz or Woodstock or Rosendale or Rhinebeck or Red Hook or the entire Hudson Valley).

Thanx Mark, this is great! @ingwaem Hey so it looks like Google has finally added street view for #Kingston: http://bit.ly/c0dVpUless than a minute ago via web




* State Assemblyman Marc Molinaro is working hard on the budget - which was due April 1. Legislature FAIL!

Today, we are expected to consider several components of a budget proposal. Without any comprehensive budget plan,... http://fb.me/AxwSRow8less than a minute ago via Facebook

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

@&*#$%@ tweets!

I was informed by a friend of mine that my tweets are incomprehensible because of all the "RT"s, "@"s and "#"s that I put in my #@#@ing tweets - and because I don't make any sense anyway.

Upon reading an incomprehensible tweet about this, Crazy Person Derek DeFilippo, who is not crazy, suggested I use this:



That's just crazy - like avoiding the conjugation of "tweet," as the New York Times has debated recently:

“Tweet” may be acceptable occasionally for special effect. But let’s look for deft, English alternatives: use Twitter, post to or on Twitter, write on Twitter, a Twitter message, a Twitter update. Or, once you’ve established that Twitter is the medium, simply use “say” or “write.”


Sure, gray lady. Tweet this.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

One lucky band gets it

Freeman intern and local scene music guru Ethan Barnett is going to feature a young local band on July 4.

Here's the catch. You're going to vote on the band that he will cover. Barnett has compiled a list of up-and-coming groups, featuring indie music, hip-hop, punk, rock and hard rock.

Voting ends June 26. Make your vote count.





If you are unfamiliar with them, check out their MySpace profiles, listen to their music - and vote.

* Battle Ave. Tea Club


* Set Sail


* Nightmares For A Week


* Dusk


* Problems


* Through The Facade


* Our Only Reason


* The Paper Planets


* Above & Beyond Music


* Taxi To Alaska

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"Psycho" turns 50, you psycho!

You might have noticed that the second creepy Kingston video, below, has the Bernard Herrmann score from "Psycho." The Alfred Hitchcock classic had its New York premiere 50 years ago, which means that you're getting very old.





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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Creepy Kingston, daytime

The Pulse of the Valley

* The Bardavon Opera House rubs it in.

getting ready for Jeff Beck on Thursday at UPAC!less than a minute ago via web



* Months late on the state budget, the Senate picks up important issues.

More details on Senate's 1st in the nation free mobile app for #iPhone and #Android: http://bit.ly/bTtq0M #gov20 #OpenGovless than a minute ago via TweetDeck



* Alderman Tom Hoffay is very specific when he talks about a letter to the editor.

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The creepiest place in Kingston

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pulse of the Valley

* John-Antony Bruno, CEO of the Ulster County chapter of the American Red Cross, reveals that he was a Freeman carrier.

Stopped by the @DailyFreeman today and was pleased to see the Paper Carrier of the Year plaque with my name on it (1993) was still up.less than a minute ago via HootSuite



* Craig Shelley, Scout Executive and CEO of the Jersey Shore Council of the Boy Scouts of America, thinks that revealing that you were a Freeman carrier is not so cool:

Dork RT: @jabruno101 Stopped by the @DailyFreeman today to see the Paper Carrier of the Year plaque with my name on it (1993) was still upless than a minute ago via OpenBeak




* Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay hates repetition. Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay hates repetition. Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay hates repetition. Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay hates repetition. Kingston Alderman Tom Hoffay hates repetition.

Wondering why I keep getting tweeted the same news stories over & over each morning?less than a minute ago via web



Freeman publisher Ira Fusfeld does not care for vuvuzelas.

Here's the thing: Were it not for the constant buzzing of horns in the background, the #WorldCup telecasts would be putting me to sleep.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck



* Photographer Jen Kiaba begins an innovative "expe ..."

Hey, new blog post! So the brilliant Crissy from the Indie Biz Chicks had an inspiring idea: to do a blogging expe... http://bit.ly/cOZ0qOless than a minute ago via twitterfeed



* Area techie and jazz singer Nancy Tierney is not having lunch with the famous CEO of Black Entertainment Television Bob Johnson.

Having lunch with the famous Bob Johnson. http://tweetphoto.com/27254052less than a minute ago via TweetDeck



* The Freeman needs your help with its version of parent company Journal Register Company's Ben Franklin Project.

We want your help with our stories for our very special July 4 edition! Let's do it! http://bit.ly/FreemanBFPbudget #JRC #JRCBenFranklinless than a minute ago via TweetDeck




Part of that project, by the way, involves highlighting your tweets. Do you have or know of one? Send them! Post them at http://bit.ly/HVtweets or send me a tweet using #HVTweet.

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World Cup, Lego edition

If you are one of those gringos who looks puzzled at other people's excitement about the World Cup, let me introduce you to a way of enjoying the games without having to watch them.

It involves short attention spans and Legos.

The dudes at LegoFussball.eu are recreating the matches.

Here's the opening game between South Africa vs. Mexico.



And The Guardian has the now legendary (in the U.K.) and soon-to-be-forgotten (in the U.S.) tie between the U.S. and England.



That video catches the following event, minus OMG Cat:

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

BP spills coffee and other catastrophes

BP Spills Coffee


BP kills Mario



BP on Twitter

If we can't sell these free $25 dollar "bpcares" t-shirts we are throwing them in the ocean. www.streetgiant.bigcartel.com.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck



I know you've found some. What are your favorites?

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hair update

As explained last week, I'm leaving the fate of my hair up to you. And, just so you know, it's growing. Voting ends June 18. Right now it is tied between "cut it" and "look like a hobo." Your call.


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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pulse of the Valley - YOUR EDITION

Attention Tweetards, I mean, Tweeter people whom I like very much:

You might have noticed that I periodically highlight Twitter updates from around the Hudson Valley. But you might have also noticed that I maybe haven't highlighted a particular Tweet that you might have liked.

Well, here's a crazy idea.: Do you know or have a Tweet you like to highlight from around the area? Let me know.

Let's get the pulse of the Hudson Valley Twitterverse together.

We're printing this, by the way, with your sexy Avatars, so be nice.

Or not. Your call.

Let's do this!

If you're on Twitter, use #HVtweet.

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Men's Health is NOT a myth

Because it is, indeed, a magazine, I'm told by almost-offended editor of Men's Health, Peter Moore, who was wondering, without bias, in all caps, "WHY NO FURTHER MENTION OF THIS GREAT MAGAZINE?"

But why would I write about Men's Health in a column that has "Men's Health" in the headline?

The magazine, by the way, is responsible for gems like "9 Deodorizers to Eliminate Your Worst Smells," and "7 Reasons to End a Friendship."

Reason No. 8? You caught your friend reading Men's Health's "9 Deodorizers to Eliminate Your Worst Smells."

Anyway, since men are dying younger than women, here's Men Health's "11 Ways to Live Longer."

I sense that the magazine needs more lists.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Twitter war!

It all started with an exciting tweet by city of Kingston Alderman Bill Reynolds about a new development by the city's department of public works ...

DPW will redeploy construction personnel for yard waste pick up!less than a minute ago via HTC Peep



Yay! The excitement was then passed along by Ulster County Legislator Michael Madsen ...

@Ward7Kingston: DPW will redeploy construction personnel for yard waste pick up // So the special Caucus w/Mike yeilded smthg positive?less than a minute ago via Echofon



Garbled English and something positive out of the council? YES! Unless, of course, NO!

#Kingston Mayor James Sottile says DPW will not significantly curb operations to pick up yard waste for two weeks. Lawmakers are miffed.less than a minute ago via TweetDeck



'Miffed,' apparently, was too soft of a word.

'Miffed' is more like 'fed up.'less than a minute ago via mobile web



And then, the kicker ...

Mayor stopped Schupp from speeding up yard waste pickup. People are gonna start throwing this stuff on city hall's front lawn!less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android


This direct quote bears repeating: "People are gonna start throwing this stuff on city hall's front lawn!"

@Ward7Kingston...wow...strong stuffless than a minute ago via web



Indeed, Alderman Tom Hoffay - master of understatements:

Beautiful day to start the week, Caucus tonight should be interesting..less than a minute ago via web


Unfortunately, none of this important Twitter stuff was in the agenda.

But the Freeman was at the council meeting and will have a report with, I'm told, news.

In the meantime, this:



UPDATE: Reynolds coins a word.

Failure to pick up yard waste is plainly RIDONKULOUS.less than a minute ago via Twitter for Android

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Cute cats explain BP oil spill

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Monday, June 7, 2010

The Twitteratti are at it again

A random sample of recent tweets with a certain mid-Hudson Valley flavor (that flavor would be PCBs from the Hudson River):

* Vassar College makes no sense:

Vassar history professor Maria Höhn receives the DAAD/GSA Prize for the best article in GSR. http://goo.gl/fb/4V0Etless than a minute ago via Google



* Quick! End Dutchess Tourism tweet! Here's mine: "Culinary grads do battle to ... determine who will teach Dutchess Tourism how to spell "tomorrow."



Tomoorw is the second night of the Iron Grad
Cooking Competition at the Rhinecliff. Culinary grads do battle to... http://fb.me/AwWu6b9Dless than a minute ago via Facebook



* Freeman reporter Paul Kirby reminds you that some strangely looking people are going to be looking at your strangely looking porch.

Building inspectors return to heart of Kingston - http://shar.es/mwQbBless than a minute ago via ShareThis.com



* Justin from WDST-FM survived the Attack of the Hippies (in 3-D!).

Good afternoon - Justin back in the Air Studio after surviving another Mt Jam weekend. Thanks to everyone who... http://bit.ly/aqFoaFless than a minute ago via Facebook



* Notable Rhinebeck person and New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly re-tweets a notable person's tweet about a notable person.

RT @AnnCurry: Helen Thomas: "I deeply regret my comments.. last week regarding the Israelis and the Palestinians."less than a minute ago via UberTwitter

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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pump up the Jam


If you are one of the unlucky people who didn't get to go to WDST-FM's Mountain Jam, because you make as much money as a journalist or something, fear not. You can still enjoy the experience in a virtual way.

You can follow what everyone is saying about it - live on Twitter and you can watch the live webcast - or you can ignore the whole thing because you don't like hippies.

Better yet, if $146 is too much for you, try Keegan Ales' $1.46 Valley Jam. The Kingston brewery is offering (I'm not making this up), "VIP streetside parking, VIP access to Keegan Ales Beer Garden, VIP INDOOR Bathrooms, Access to Stage Viewing Area, Free individually packaged roasted Legumes, Free directions to our VIP commisary, VIP access to our Keegan Ales Gift Shoppe and Art Gallery, Climate Controlled-Earth Friendly Indoor environment."



The money raised will go to the Queens Galley soup kitchen in Kingston. Land and Sea and The Amendment will perform. Those who don't purchase tickets will have access to the same things, but will be stared at with disdain. Or not.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Simone Felice recovering

From Simon Felice's website:

Thank you all for your kind words & prayers.
Simone’s surgery was a success and he is now in recovery.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

The hair is up for grabs

As part of the Daily Freeman's Ben Franklin Project, I'm leaving the fate of my hair up to you. Voting ends June 18.


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Check out our new video page!

Grab the videos and spread them around! Visit http://www.dailyfreeman.com/video/news/









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Simone Felice rushed to hospital


Simone Felice - front man of The Duke & The King and once the charismatic drummer for the The Felice Brothers - was rushed to Albany Medical Center late Tuesday for open-heart surgery, his site announced Wednesday afternoon.

The Palenville native was scheduled to play Mountain Jam in Hunter on Saturday and was about to embark in an Australian tour. All dates for June and July have been canceled, the site announced.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Introducing the Daily Freeman's Ben Franklin Project


Wait. What?

What is the Ben Franklin Project, you say, before noticing that you're speaking to yourself and are freaking out all the people around you?

It’s an opportunity for the Daily Freeman to rethink the entire process of putting out our daily online and print editions.

No, really. We're actually doing this. And we are opening our doors. Virtually, of course, so stay away from my cubicle.*

We are going to use free, open-source tools and social media - like the Twitters or whatever it's called - to empower, involve and engage you more than ever before.

Do you have a story idea? Tell us about it. Do you think the Life Editor needs a haircut? Go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

The goal of the Ben Franklin Project is to enable readers to participate in how our print and online editions come together. So starting now, we want you to let us know how to better serve you, with great ideas like, "Don't let the Life Editor announce the Ben Franklin Project!"

Here are but some of the ideas we're working on:

* We are going to publish a calendar of events using only your Facebook invitations. So "Like" the Daily Freeman and Preview (and me!) and invite us!

* We are going to find out the best camping spots in the mid-Hudson Valley. How? You're going to tell us. And once we have enough candidates, you'll vote on your favorites. I will then send our reporters with a broken flashlight, wearing high heels and wrapped with meat - at midnight - to check out the sites (we're still working on the reporting details, so that might change).

* We also want you to share with us your camping pictures via Flickr. And you'll get to vote on them.

* I'm personally compiling your craziest camping stories for an upcoming - and extra -column to be published on July 4, the day we're declaring our independence from the old newsroom models of thinking and publishing (I'm told there's another independence something that day, but who knows?).

* We're going to do some live chats with our featured bloggers, and want you to be part of it by bringing your questions and comments, live.

* And yes, why not? I might even cut my hair. I'll put it up for vote. And you'll decide. I then I'll blame a hanging chad or something.

What else? You tell me.

And what about the News and Sports departments? Just tell them!

Because those people don't listen to me.


* Actually, our doors are open. So you can actually pay me a visit.

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