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A Day of New, Weird and Unexpected Things - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
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A Day of New, Weird and Unexpected Things

My one day this week with no court- indeed, one where I postponed my one appearance on Monday of next week- wound up full of all of the above. In more-or-less reverse order of occurrence:

- The unexpected: I came across two instances of governments backing off from recent stupid ideas.  One,  I witnessed the backoff with my own eyes.

Across the state, beginning this past summer, if you drove on the 90, or any other expressways upstate, you probably saw the signs. Big blue advertisements for New York tourism, food, historic sites and such. Each set- and they grew like topsy in my travels between here, east to Rochester and west/south to Erie- began with what they called a "motherboard"-



-followed by specific ones for each of the four components. All of them pimping the state tourism website and the I♥NY app- you know, computer things you're not supposed to be accessing when you're driving.

 They put over 500 of these suckers up over the summer, and every one of them is now coming down, because the federal highway people consider them to be illegal roadside advertising. I just saw my first road gang starting the rip down around Thruway exit 47. One set still remained on my westbound drive home, but they seem doomed to the scrap heap, as well.

Oh, and of course the signs themselves were mostly manufactured in Arkansas.

Meanwhile, on arrival in Rochester, I discovered that the city's recently elected mayor has ended an evil corporate experiment to raise revenue: red light cameras.  Downstate has had them for years, but upstate cities (and only cities) were given the green light to pass laws enabling them a few years ago. Buffalo never got them, after the city was caught proposing to put them mainly at intersections near suburban borders, earning them the epithet of "honky cams." Rochester did implement them, but their experience turned out to be the opposite: "the ZIP codes that have the city's highest poverty rates, like 14605, 14609 and 14621 generated the highest numbers of red-light camera tickets."

It also didn't help that the program was one of those lovely "public-pirate private partnerships" our new Dear Leader is so fond of. The Arizona company Redflex, which has cornered the market on these red-light gestapos and which profits only from ticket revenues over a certain level, is notorious for shortening yellow light intervals to catch the unsuspecting.  In the years since they went in to city intersections, I always heeded the warning signs and never got one- and once they go dark at the end of this month, I never will.

----

-The weird: There are, of course, worse things that can happen in Rochester.

One business there, in particular, has had a bad and weird couple of weeks. My office there represents most of the major pizzeria chains in town, with the exception of one of the oldest, which I've sued in the past.  First, they lost one of their locations temporarily (as did a beloved chicken wing business which we do represent) when a fire in a Chinese restaurant in the same plaza caused smoke and water damage and loss of power to the entire strip of stores.  Not to be outdone, though, fate struck even closer to our office at the closest of this Not Our Client's locations:

Monroe County Sheriff's deputies found a man stuck in a vent early Friday morning, in what they say was an attempted break-in of a Penfield pizzeria.

Sheriff's deputies responded to Pontillo's Pizzeria at 1811 Penfield Road about 3:45 a.m., said Cpl. John Helfer of the Sheriff's Office.

"They heard some yells. The guy was stuck in a vent," Helfer said.

Penfield firefighters removed the man and took him to Strong Memorial Hospital. Richard Graham, 53, of Saratoga Street in Rochester, was treated and released, Helfer said in a news release.

"He was as far down as he could go without coming out on top of an oven." said Earl Lubanski, Penfield assistant fire chief. "The ductwork got narrower as you get down closer to the kitchen."

Graham was arraigned in Penfield Town Court on charges of third-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools. He is being held without bail in the Monroe County Jail....

Pro tip: ductwork is never as wide or as easy to escape through as it always seems to in movies.

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-That brings us to the new- to me at least.  The remainder of my workday there was mainly useless- didn't close the deal I hoped to close, didn't see the client who promised to see me- but it was okay, since this afternoon was one of our occasional Firm Outings that I, for once, got to attend.

Remember laser tag? I do, vaguely- from the 80s.  The first commercial fun places for them date to 1984, and I think the one we have in our town, near its original Wegmans, dates to around then.  I never visited that one, or their Rochester locations, before today, and it turned out to be a fair amount of fun.

Lasertron is basically Chuckie Cheese for grownups. You book your group for a morning or afternoon, and it gets you two competitive games where your workers divide up (ours were legal versus administrative four-on-four) for about half an hour at a time.  First, we did a game that is a mishmash of bumper cars, lacrosse and basketball.  Once I got the hang of the joystick and overcame the fear that the car could tip over, I did pretty well at it, and the four of us bested the back-office peeps after three rounds.

Then, foodage, which was actually pretty good compared to, say, the gas-station-quality hot dogs on offer for three times the price at the cinema one plaza over. Also, craft beer (and non-craft and non-beer).

Finally, it was into the arena for the actual shooting at each other. We donned the vests, charged the phasers, and had at it for four six-minute rounds of seeking and destroying the very people we depend on 40-odd hours a week.  Again, it took some getting the hang of the controls and the rules, but I did the Green Team just proud enough and we took home the bragging rights until we all forget what there was to brag about.

They also have video games and claw machines and tacky prizes, but we stuck to the main events and the late lunch and I was home at a decent hour.  I have nothing to do tomorrow, plans for dog park and workout Sunday, and a car inspection on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.  All signs are good- at least the ones that are still standing;)

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Comments
yesididit2 From: yesididit2 Date: December 4th, 2016 06:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
nothing like wasted taxpayer money!!!

they put in the red-light cameras in minneapolis and were forced to remove them.
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