Another cool (stylishly, meteorologically) July 4th in Western New York

Another year in Western NY, and another 4th of July has come and gone. Despite some hot weather, into the 90ºs, in the days preceding the 4th, Independence Day managed to be quite cool and sunny all day, even rather chilly that night — into the low 60ºs. We attended what’s become our usual venue for viewing fireworks, where this sloping hill overlooking some baseball diamonds…

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…spectacularly serves up this luminous sight after darkness sets in and “You’re a Grand Old Flag” commences:

IMG_8880The colorful explosions in the sky go on for a while, maybe 30mins. Here’s a 2min30sec video from the display last Friday night. We’ll have more fireworks at the end of the summer, shot over the Erie Canal, a picturesque setting if there ever was one. Perhaps I’ll cover that blast, too. So there you have it, a solid reason to stay tuned to EMP for more, er, bombast!

Riding Lock 32 on the Erie Canal

IMG_8682I had the good fortune to spend some time on the Erie Canal a few weeks back. Before then, I’d walked alongside the canal frequently, nearly every day with my old pal Macey. Over the last six years I’ve enjoyed watching the seasons change around the small stretch of canal that runs through our little village of Pittsford, watching the trail coverage thicken in the summertime with dense bushy greenery, explode with fall colors for a spectacular three-four weeks in late-September and early-October, and turn a sharp spartan grayscale for our nearly six months of winter. The autumn colors are easily the biggest attraction every year. Continue reading

Ronaldo's Knee

Miss Bumbum, Ronaldo, Manaus – Go USA!

Reading Portuguese has some advantages … and disadvantages. Some of both in finding this “news story” about how Brasil’s “Miss Bumbum” (Miss Butt or Ass, if you will. Yes, Brasil has a Miss Ass) has been stalking Cristiano Ronaldo and all the lamentations about how Portugal could go down to defeat against the USA. Turns out the story was derived from the Daily Mail, so maybe I could’ve found it in English, instead. Anyway, let’s hope the bumbum or the bum knee helps the USA win and clinch a spot in the knockout round! Continue reading

FIFA World Cup and Fortaleza

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When I was in Fortaleza the week before the games started (Fortaleza is host to a number of games, including the 0-0 Mexico vs Brazil tie), everyone was talking about the failure of authorities to get anything to done and finished. And how the money was wasted on the stadium while basic services lacked. They failed to complete any of the major projects associated with the Cup, other than the stadium itself (which is beautiful, by the way). The metro wasn’t finished. Airport expansion looks like a project that was just started (concrete pillars and rebar sticking out everywhere) when it should’ve been up and running. Continue reading

Faa…faa, faa, faa, faa, faa, FIFA!

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.55.17¡!¡!¡!¡!ATTN¡!¡!¡!¡! fans of soccer, Футбол, futebol, voetbal, football, calcio, fútbol, Fußball, fotbaloví, piłka nożna, 足球, sokker, فٹ بال, and all the rest…the grand tournament we’ve all been waiting for is finally upon us: THE 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP. The United States drew a rather tough grouping this time around: Group G, alongside Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. But it looks like they have a decent team again this year and, who knows, perhaps they’ll muster up some magic.

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 9.53.11The games start this Thursday, 12 June, when Brazil takes on Croatia (16h00 US est). The US begins their bid for the cup on Monday, 16 June  (18h00 US est) against Ghana. Continue reading