Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Our theme song:

In a town this size, there's no place to hide
Everywhere you go, you meet someone you know...
In a smokey bar, in the backseat of your car
In your own little house, someone's sure to find you out
What you do and what you think
What you eat and what you drink...

(Kieran Kane)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow Blower Deals


Snow Blowers In Stock at Amazon!  With 16 inches already on the ground, no Finger Lakes resident should be without one that actually works.

Great deals, free shipping, delivered right to your driveway.  By ordering through the above link, you'll help support this blog at no extra cost to you.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Little Martha

Leo Kottke performs the only song written solely by Duane Allman, February 2012.


The former Empire State's Schumer, Gillibrand

One Piece At A Time:
Our morally and intellectually superior two-headed monster, Chuck and Kirsten, should have known that voting on Marxist ideological grounds for bills that you haven't actually read has consequences.
Idiots, indeed.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Every Young Man's Dream

h/t JEG

Top Holiday Deals

"It's from South of 5 and 20"

Save up to 75% on all your gift shopping - click here for Amazon's Top Holiday Deals Event.  You'll save big bucks while supporting South of 5 and 20, at no added cost to you! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The French Girl

Three silver rings
On slim hands waving
Flash bright in candle light
Till Sunday's early morn
Wow.  By Ian Tyson, released by Ian and Sylvia in 1966 on their Vanguard album Play One More.

Record Fiend
provides a good overview of the classic album, and where the influential Canadian duo's musical karma was at the time.

Released in 1966, Play One More marks a transitional stage of the pair's career in between their earlier, more straightforward folk albums and the baroque folk rock/country efforts that came afterward. Even though some tracks feature the all-acoustic instrumentation that typified the sound of previous Vanguard releases, others are conspicuous by their inclusion of organ or orchestral arrangements.
None other than Bob Dylan recorded, but never released The French Girl, twice - first at Big Pink with the Hawks (soon to be known as The Band), and later with the Grateful Dead:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ovide & Bettie Lamontagne:
The spirit of Thanksgiving was captured in our history by President George Washington when in 1789, he issued the first Presidential Thanksgiving Day Proclamation following the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

President Washington recommended to the people "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness."

Bettie and I are extremely grateful to live in New Hampshire and to have had the opportunity to raise our family in the Granite State. We give thanks, not just for the blessings we have received, but for the endless opportunities before us to enjoy the "safety and happiness" protected by the Constitution for ourselves and for the next generations.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Pay up, suckers

Memo to NYS bloggers: remember to bring this up in 2016: 
Convenience store operators are not happy with plans for new black and white drivers' licenses in New York State.

State leaders said they will be secure and provide good value. However, store owners said they present a challenge in checking ages and identities.

"Having a color picture and a color print especially the red under 21 is important for us," said Jay Schhreiber of Nathaniel Square Corner. "We sell a lot of alcohol and have been very diligent to make sure everyone has been approved properly."

The state made a deal with a Canadian company to produce the licenses. The $88 million dollar contract is a 40% increase from the cost of the previous contract.
And: the new driver license contract was awarded to the high bidder

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cuomo looks to 2016: Thruway toll hike postponed

When we were really the Empire State:  Thruway opening ceremony, 1955

New York's unemployment rate is 9%, Staten Island residents are entering their third week without food, water or heat - time for Andy Cuomo to run for President!
It’s only days after the presidential election, but the buzz is already under way about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s potential run for president in 2016.
Time magazine put him on its short list, calling him the “rough-hewn son of a Democratic icon.”
Coincidentally, our "rough-hewn" multimillionaire second generation governor seems to be backing off from his economy-hammering, rural highway death rate-increasing 45% Thruway toll hike.
The state Thruway Authority again postponed a meeting to consider a major toll increase on trucks on the 570-mile thoroughfare.
The Authority's website said the meeting scheduled for today at 11:30 a.m. in Albany has been postponed. No new date was announced, and no explanation was given for the delay.
It's the second time in a week that a vote on a potential toll increase has been postponed. The authority was originally scheduled to meet Friday in Rockland County, but canceled just hours before the meeting.
Rest assured New York bloggers will be working overtime when Cuomo the Younger, architect of the nation's financial crisis, throws his hat into the ring.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

George McGovern making final landing

George McGovern (rear, second from left) and crew with Dakota Queen

Former Senator and 1972 Democrat presidential candidate George McGovern, 90, is reported to be under hospice care and not responsive, according to family members.

McGovern, one of the most liberal presidential candidates in US history, was also a patriot and hero of WWII.  As an Army Air Force pilot, he flew 35 combat missions over Europe in B24 Liberator bombers, always named the "Dakota Queen."  Most Americans today cannot imagine the danger the bomber crews faced.

McGovern, 1972's anti-war candidate, had no qualms about taking on evil when it presented itself.

Update 10/21/12: George McGovern, RIP

Eleanor McGovern pins pilot wings on her husband, 1944

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Glenn Beck visits Finger Lakes

Talk radio superstar Glenn Beck was in the Finger Lakes this past weekend for his daughter's wedding.  After the happy event, Glenn and family returned to their rented cottage on one of our lakes.  As has happened to so many of us, the Beck family's unoccupied rental vehicle got away from its parking space, rolled over the cliff, and wound up on the beach.  There were no injuries.

Does anyone know where this took place?

Update:  Per FingerLakes1, the wedding was held at Suzanne in Lodi.

Photos: Glenn Beck

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why did Cuomo delay fracking decision again?

What's that look about?

Why has Andy Cuomo suddenly decided to delay hydrofracking for another twenty-eleven years?  Today, Assembly candidate Bill Nojay theorized why Cuomo the Younger would write off the Southern Tier's 20 percent unemployed workers, and we think Bill has hit the nail on the head.

Bill blames Cuomo's decision to study the "health effects" of hydrofracking on the Lybian terrorists who raped, murdered, and mutilated our ambassador.  According to Nojay, the breaking story that our diplomats in Benghazi had requested increased security before the embassy was attacked, but were denied by Hillary Clinton's State Department, will mean the end of our former junior senator's political career.  And no mo' Hillary means Andy has an open shot the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.   So, Nojay hypothesizes,  our most recent Governor Cuomo needs to keep the Democrats' environmental wacko majority on his side.

We think Mr. Nojay is on to something. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bat McGrath in Naples

Former Naples resident Bat McGrath returned to his old stomping ground, performing before an overflow crowd at the Naples Grape Festival on Saturday afternoon.  The seasoned crowd, many of whom may not have been strangers to the 1970s Alexander Street scene themselves, overflowed the large tent and spilled out onto the lawn behind the old Naples Town Hall.


Bat and his long time guitarist Ethan Porter shared the stage with a strategically placed tent pole.

Across the street, Republican Rep. Richard Hanna buttonholed a future voter.

Bat performed at the grand reopening of the Blue Eagle Tavern on Italy Hill on June 30th.  We don't know if Eddie Shank was able to attend.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Are your friends talking about gas prices?

Since the media is ignoring Obama's energy crisis, it's up to you to start the conversation.

Imagine life without a farm bill

The Washington Post, of all sources, questions the urgency behind Congress's 10 trillion dollar farm bill.   
Why farmers, alone among all businessmen, should be entitled to a nearly guaranteed income is especially inexplicable when total U.S. farm equity is projected to $2.3 trillion this year, up $500 billion since 2008, according to the Agriculture Department.
Here at South of 5 and 20 Industries, LLC, we support a guaranteed annual income for bloggers, and will endorse and support any politician who makes that vital cause a national priority.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rose of Cimarron

From The Outlaw Trail concert, HDNet, 2008.   We recommend you order the complete 2-hour concert on DVD and CD using the convenient box appearing  on the right side of this page.

Lady Writer

Just the way that her hair fell down around her face... Dire Straits.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shinagawa supports Obamacare tax increases

Voters in the Southern Tier's 29th Congressional District will soon choose between incumbent Republican Tom Reed and SEIU-endorsed former Cornell University student/current Tompkins County Legislator Nathan Shinagawa.  Reed is opposed to Obamacare, and particularly the federal takeover of healthcare's massive tax increases.  Shinagawa, on the other hand, wants more of the same.
As representatives headed back to Washington, D.C. this week, U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said for the sake of small businesses, the need for overall repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains.
On the other hand, Nate Shinagawa of Ithaca, his Democratic opponent in the Congressional race said the act will help small businesses. The tax credit small businesses in New York state get under the act will increase in 2014, he said...
Shinagawa noted the Affordable Care Act doesn’t require small businesses with under 50 employees to get health insurance for their employees. He said he would like more businesses provide healthcare insurance to their employees.
Tom Reed grew up in Corning and is a graduate of Horseheads Central School.  Nathan Shinagwa, son of a tenured professor, touted his urban Los Angeles upbringing when he last ran for office in leftist-dominated Tompkins County.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Democrat apparently not struggling to pay her bills

In addition to owning a secret vacation home in New Hampshire, we've learned that Florida congresswoman and DNC honcho Debbie Wassserman Schultz drives a gas guzzling Corvette (seen here parked next to her hubby's gas guzzling luxury SUV).

Lashing out

I’ve no doubt that if Seattle or Boston or Manhattan goes up in a bright white flash there will be those who blame it all on Bush. We squandered the world’s good will. We threw away the opportunity to atone, and lashed out. Really? You want to see lashing out? Imagine Kabul and Mecca and Baghdad and Tehran on 9/14 crowned with mushroom clouds: that’s lashing out. Imagine the President in the National Cathedral castigating Islam instead of sitting next to an Imam who's giving a homily. Mosques burned, oil fields occupied, smart bombs slamming into Syrian palaces. We could have gone full Roman on anyone we wanted, but we didn’t. And we won’t.

Which is why this war will be long.
 James Lileks, 9/11/03.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Buerkle on Welch Allyn layoffs: Obamacare medical tax hurts

Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle has issued the following statement today in response to news reports about impending job cuts from  Skaneateles-based company Welch Allyn. The company announced that they would be entering a restructuring period that would lead to job losses in the range of 10% of the company’s work force. Welch Allyn employs 2,750 associates. Welch Allyns was badly damaged by the new tax increases contained in the Affordable Care Act, specifically the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices contained within the Affordable Care Act.

“Welch Allyn is an excellent employer and a vital asset to our community. Today’s announcement is a devastating blow to our economy in Upstate New York,”
said Buerkle. “Washington should be creating a reasonable business environment so that employers can operate and do business here without going overseas. Dan Maffei’s vote to raise taxes on Welch Allyn and other local employers is nothing short of irresponsible.”

Friday, September 7, 2012

Protesters pressure administration on gas prices

Protester in "New York" t-shirt with effigy of politician - Andy Cuomo?

While Andy Cuomo was at the DNC in Florida, fighting to secure his opportunity to run against President Romney in 2016 by calling for higher taxes,  Finger Lakes gasoline prices crossed the four dollar/gallon threshold.  

Not allowing the administration to ignore the economy-crushing energy costs, student protestors took to the streets.
Student and youth groups affiliated to various political parties continued their protest against the recent price hike in petroleum products on Thursday by enforcing one-hour long chakka jam (road blockade) in front of different colleges and academic institutions across the country.
Fortunately for New York's second generation Democrat governor, the chakka jam was held in Nepal, not Watkins Glen.  It appears Upstate New Yorkers, blinded by Andy's media induced celebrity, would rather not talk about record high fuel prices under Cuomo II, not to mention ever-increasing taxes and years of 8 percent unemployment.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Trumansburg's Barangus closes

Joan Baez at Barangus, 2009

Barangus, the Trumansburg landmark known for its black bull on the roof, has closed after 50 years.  

We hear that many T-burg locals are concerned by a recent rash of business closings.  We are also told that many of those same folks proudly display "Obama 2012" bumper stickers.  Coincidence?

Canandaigua taxpayers give superintendent $150K to go away

Former Canandaigua Academy

As Finger Lakes students return to school this week, the Daily Messenger uncovers details of  the surprise departure of Canandaigua school superintendent Don Raw.  The $190,000/year administrator announced his retirement as of September 1st.  Unlike many of his fellow Upstate retirees, however, Raw will not have to face his golden years in poverty. 
While Raw’s contract was originally through 2015, he will receive a payment upon his exit. According to the memorandum of agreement between Raw and the school district, Raw will be paid $130,000 “in return for (his) retirement.” A payment of $100,000 was to be made Sept. 1, and the additional $30,000 is scheduled to be paid Jan. 1.
In addition to the $130K payout, Raw will also abscond with another $31,450 in area residents' hard-earned cash.
In exchange for not participating in the health insurance coverage, the district agreed to provide a buyout of the coverage for a lump sum payment of $9,600.
In addition to the $130,000 payout, Raw, who was paid $190,000 a year, will also be paid for 28.3 days of accrued and unused vacation leave, and 145.67 days of unused sick leave. The sick days will be paid at a rate of $150 day, according to the agreement.
In May, the Messenger took an in-depth look at local superintendent compensation.  One often overlooked factor that facilitates outrageous superintendent  compensation is that our local school boards have the ability to fund themselves by collecting taxes at gunpoint.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Organic fad meets reality

White House organic garden

Organic foods: trendy, politically correct, more expensive, and no nutritional advantage.
Yet "there isn't much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you're an adult and making a decision based solely on your health," said Dena Bravata, senior author of the paper and a physician at Stanford's Center for Health Policy.
The data don't fit well with consumers' stated motivations for buying organic foods. A 2010 Nielsen study found that 76% bought them believing they are healthier, 53% because they allowed them to avoid pesticides and other toxins, 51% because they are more nutritious and 49% because organic farming is better for the environment.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Our film is out of date

Sippican Cottage:
I have almost no pictures of my work from back then. I tell my children that you used to have to buy a reel of plastic film covered with metallic goo and keep it hermetically sealed in an expensive camera, and when you were done with 24 pictures or so, you'd take them out and drive to a store and leave them with a clerk and then go back a week later after they were done drizzling them with strange chemicals and printing them on shiny pieces of paper. They were all completely white or completely black, generally, when you finally got a look at them.

I tell them, but they figure I'm pulling their leg.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Long slams Gillibrand over ethanol support

NY Senate candidate Wendy Long understands that Kirsten Gillibrand is working to keep fuel prices high and giant ethanol producers  rich:
“The worst drought in over 50 years is striking the heartland of the country resulting in astronomically high corn prices, increasing the cost of feed for dairy farmers, and driving up costs for yogurt and other producers.  Unfortunately, Senator Gillibrand is more interested in protecting her friends in big ethanol than she is in protecting our dairy farms,” said U.S. Senate candidate Wendy Long.
This is not the first time that Gillibrand has sided with big ethanol.  Last June she voted to strike down a measure to roll back $6 billion in federal ethanol subsidies.  The measure, S.1057, was dubbed the “Ethanol Subsidy and Tariff Repeal Act.”  
Would that more Upstaters joined Long in understanding the connection between subprime mortgage profiteer Gillibrand and the high energy prices that are crippling our economy.