Monday, August 27, 2012


This evening Joan and I attended the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse’s current production of the smash 60’s musical Cabaret. This two-and-a-half hour production by John Kander (music), Fred Ebb (lyrics), and Joe Masteroff (book) is based on a play by John Van Druten (“I Am a Camera”) and a novel by Christopher Isherwood (“Goodbye to Berlin”), and is semi-autobiographical in its relationship to Isherwood’s time in Berlin during the 1930’s.

The characters are set in a certain period and place in history, the rise of the Third Reich under Adolf Hitler. Making use of the whole stage with its various vertical levels along with projections of archival film helped to place you in the time period.

The performances of Josh Walden, as the creepy emcee, of Paige Faure, as the leggy club headliner Sally Bowes, and of Mick Bleyer, as the the naive writer Clifford Bradshaw, are riveting. And Fraulein Schneider (Sandra Karas), the rooming house owner and Herr Schultz (Joel Briel), a Jewish tenant and fruit store owner, were superb.
Paige Faure (Sally Bowles) with dancers from the Kit Kat Klub

While not your grandmother's musical theater, this solid musical property will have its effect on you.

After sitting through this MGR presentation one can understand why it was a Tony Award-winning musical (1966) and why it won an Academy Award winner for Liza Minnelli (1972).

Other shows of this season:
Kiss Me Kate
9 to 5
My Fair Lady
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week Thirty-Five - 17 to Go

Bennett is not Alex Cross. But the Bennett franchise is entertaining. As all Patterson co-authoring this work can be read in a day. Some readers may be disappointed at the end.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cayuga College Trail

Mallards in Second Pond
This afternoon ventured off to the Cayuga College Trail. The lily pond has been refilled but there was meager activity around it except for three bees landing on the lily pads.

In the red bench area of the first pond there was a family of four, dad, mom, and two boys, watching a deer that was in the woods.

There was dragonfly activity around the perimeter of the first pond.
Widow Skimmer Dragonfly
Eastern Pondhawks

As I approached the second pond I noted two turkey vultures soaring in the thermals. Then to my surprise I spied a Great Blue Heron across the pond up in a tree.

Believe this may be Horatio who has flown over from Hoopes Park. Due to the heat Horatiio was aerating himself while on his perch.
Got to love bird that pose for you and do not fly away.

Before leaving looked into the third pond there I flushed a Green Heron. On the way back to the car, saw two chickadees and two Mourning Doves. A walk around the Cayuga College rarely disappoints.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Urger Visits Seneca Falls NY

The tugboat Urger near the Statue of Liberty in New York City

As part of the New York State Canal Corporation's annual educational outreach tour, Urger — the tugboat — spent four days docked in the Seneca Falls Canal Harbor.

After spending the first 20 years of its existence carting fishermen around Lake Michigan, the Urger — originally dubbed the Henry J. Dornbos — traveled to New York to serve as a maintenance tugboat until 1986.

Following four years of retirement, the Urger sailed into a new profession by serving as a museum to teach children of all ages about New York's historical canal systems.
"The Urger is an enduring symbol of the rich history of the Erie Canal and our greatest ambassador for promoting tourism along this vibrant, scenic waterway," Howard P. Milstein, chairman of the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, said. "We are proud to share this iconic vessel and her compelling history with visitors and residents in the Finger Lakes region, and we encourage anyone who can to come aboard for a tour."

Today, Wednesday August 22nd, Joan and I went to visit the Urger. Our main goal was to visit with Heather's life-long friend Capt. Wendy Marble. Wendy and Heather took summer jobs as deckhands working for Mid-Lakes Navigation. Both went on to obtain captain licenses with Wendy making it a career.

Wendy and her crew, Deckhand Gary Nelmes, Deckhand Michael, and Engineer Rick Marcellus gave us the royal tour.
Urger Wheelhouse

At the conclusion of our visit Wendy mentioned that several members of Clan Cameron had been on board earlier in the day.
Wendy & Joan

Saturday, August 18, 2012

John Cameron Remembers

Sandra Schulberg, who restored her father's film into the documentary "Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today [The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration]," sits with World War II veterans Christopher Spagnola, center, and John Cameron, both of Auburn, at the Auburn Public Theater before the documentary is shown.

Veteran John Cameron of Auburn joined others in the Auburn Public Theater to watch the restored documentary.

"I knew some about it — what they showed us, but not too much," Cameron said. "I often wondered why we didn't hear more about it."

Cameron said he served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II.

Week Thirty-Four - 18 to Go

Burke seems to be writing with a sense of finality as both he and Dave Robicheaux age. This may render an elegiac melancholy between Burke and his readers’ relationship.

Week Thirty-Three - 19 to Go

A typical Roger the Chapman mystery. Sedley as always provides an entertaining read with a satisfactory conclusion.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Elizabeth Visits Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Today Emily and Michael took Elizabeth for her first visit to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Joan, Heather and I tagged along.

We were impressed by the cleanliness and well organized trails thorough the zoo grounds. The convenience of strategically placed restrooms also got an A+ plus from us. Being summertime the zoo was filled with camp groups of children as well as family visitors but the walkways and exhibits never seem overcrowded.

Some of the birds and mammals we saw on our zoo journey:
Laughing Kookaburra
African Pied Crow
Humboldt Penguins
Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
Asian Elephant
Mali & Chuck
Spectacled Bear
aka Dewey
Elizabeth & Heather viewing Dewey
Navajo/Jacob Sheep
Joan & Michael
Asian Elephant
Caspian Tern
Himalayan Monal

After our visit Emily provided an assortment of sandwiches from Dorian's for lunch.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Dukes of September Rhythm Review 2012

The Dukes of September Rhythm Review 2012:
Donald Fagan, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs
Arrived at Constellation Brands - Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC) located on the campus of Finger Lakes Community College, in Canandaigua, NY to find a somewhat empty parking lot. On the concourse early arrivals were taking advantage of the summer concert venue by purchasing food (Dinosaur barbeque to gelato) and drink (wine and beer) from various vendors. Joan and I found our seating and settled in.

The three hit-making artists, Donald Fagen (Steely Dan), Michael McDonald (The Doobie Brothers) and Boz Scaggs, appeared right on time and began with an assortment of their signature mix of blue-eyed soul, rock, jazz and R&B which included ‘Reelin’ in the Years,’ ‘Takin’ It to the Streets’, and "Lido Shuffle'.
The Dukes were accompanied a stellar band: Jon Herington (guitar); Freddie Washington (bass); Shannon Forest (drums); Michael Leonhart, Walt Weiskopf and Jay Collins (horns); Jim Beard (organ); plus background singers Carolyn Leonhart and Catherine Russell.

The audience (if there were patrons under 40 - Joan and I did not see them) seemed to enjoy the idea of hearing an old tune that they could remember when. Carolyn Leonhart covered Gladys Knight and the Pips’ “Heard It Through the Grapevine.”  Catherine Russell took the lead on Erma Franklin's "Piece of My Heart".  Boz Scaggs delivered a triumvirate: Muddy Waters' "The Same Thing," Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO," and Buck Owens’ “Love’s Gonna Live Here.” Boz dug into his catalog to bring forth this nugget "Miss Sun".

Michael McDonald, for his part, picked up an accordion and gave Chuck Berry’s "You Never Can Tell" a Cajun twirl and then put some real soul into his lead vocal on Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' "If You Don't Know Me By Now" as well as a great cover of Arthur Conley's "Sweet Soul Music".
The band members also put out the staple tracks like McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin’,” Scaggs’ “Lowdown” and Steely Dan’s “Peg.” These songs haven't lost their appeal even after you've heard them a million times before. For my money this was a superb musical event.
The headliners and their supporting cast were musicians of the first order. Plus they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

The concert followed by the sandwiches at Eddie O'Brien's put a nightcap on Founders Day.

Footnote: Live Concert videos were recorded by at The Dukes of September's performance at CMAC in Canandaigua, NY on Saturday, August 11th, 2012.

Bella Rose Bed & Breakfast

After a pleasant cruise along Rt. 5 & 20, Joan and I pulled into the parking lot of the Bella Rose B&B. Ringing the front door bell we were greeted by the B&B keepers, Chris Miller and Renee Scorsone.
Once settled in, we took advantage of the front porch. Main Street Canandaigua was busy. It kept us entertained.
After a brief rest we had the other half of our Wegmans Assorted at the bistro table on the side porch.
Headed out for the Dukes of September concert arriving to a somewhat empty parking lot. We found our seating and settled in for what would prove to be a superb musical event. The headliners and their supporting cast were musicians of the first order. Plus they seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Exiting the parking lot was a work of patience. But once back on Rt. 5 & 20, it was an quick drive to Eddie O'Brien's where were had a great waitress and splendid sandwiches - Joan had Chicken Parm and I had a Caesar wrap.
Sleeping was no problem. The bed was just right and thanks to having lived at 63 formerly 77 I was used to street traffic.

Before breakfast I took a walk around downtown Canandaigua:

St John's Episcopal Church
The Last Pay Phone
Working on Sunday
Eddie O'Brien's in the daylight

At breakfast we were joined by two other couples, Toni and Michael from Upstate NY and Chris and Heather, he was from Toronto and she lives in Illinois (their marriage was conceived on eHarmony).

Renee & Chris both brought us coffee and juice. Renee then served a Sensational Scone with blueberry jam. A fruit compote consisting of blueberries, white grapes and locally grown plums was served next. The main course was a Chili-Egg Puff ramekin with slices of chicken-feta sausage and new potatoes. Coffee was continually poured. The table conversation was lite with Chris and Heather expressing interest in purchasing property in New York State.

After repacking the car and saying goodbye to Chris and giving Renee a hug left the driveway and headed home on Route 5 & 20.

2012 Founders Day

Pomeroy Anvil Monument

Since its inception in 2009, the annual downtown Auburn celebration known as Founders Day has been a well attended event. Not wanting to miss out went downtown in the mid-morning hours.

First, photographed the newly installed Pomeroy Anvil Trail monument. Theodore Pomeroy served as Auburn's mayor in the 19th century.

Then made my way east on Genesee Street to catch some tunes from the Infrared Radiation Orchestra.
Members of the Auburn Doubledays were signing autographs in front of M&T Bank.
City streets were full of candy-colored classic and custom cars.
The judges' choices in the Founders Day car show classic division was Jim Hutchinson's 1957 Chevrolet.
One heavy Chevy owner had this display of license plates.
Making my way home noticed a group of bikers forming a queue in the OTB parking lot.
Joan and I had half of a Wegmans Assorted for our lunch and then headed out on our road trip.