I'm spending part of Thanksgiving day delivering meals in the Town of Tonawanda to the aged, needy, and some who are not physically able to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. My role is no big deal, I just show up at St. Andrews (Sheridan Drive) gym on Thursday morning, load up, and take a couple of hours, at most, to deliver. But I do want to take a few paragraphs to give thanks and salute the people who are doing the real work to make Thanksgiving day better for others, and have taught me some things along the way.
The first is Dan Wiles, the former Director of the Town of Tonawanda Youth Parks and Recreation, and now the head of Ken-Ton Meals On Wheels. Dan is not just a community leader by title, but very simply is the type of person we should aspire to be like. The formal Thanksgiving dinner in the gym and meal delivery I'm helping out was started 30 years ago as a Tonawanda Eagle Scout project, and was then adopted by the Sertoma Club. Four years ago Sertoma disbanded, but asked Dan if he would take over the dinner. He agreed, and the last three years Dan has had Kiwanis, Lions, and Zonta clubs sponsor the effort through funding and manpower. Dan also gets different people to donate three dozen turkeys and forty to fifty pies each year, for the huge meal in the gym for the needy, and deliveries for those who can't leave the house.
Last year, after I explained that I've been wanting to donate some private holiday time away from my radio work, which is kind of tough to do since we work with so many charitable organizations over the year, Dan recruited me. 2012 was my first year delivering, and with the help of my nephew Noah, we had a great time putting smiles on faces on Thanksgiving Day. This year, I wanted to do a little more. So when Dan said they were running a little low on dessert pies (they need about 50), my wife Linda and I decided to make up the difference.
Now, you just don't walk into Tops, buy 20 pies, and clear the shelves leaving other shoppers without...you wanna give them a little heads up. So I called the other special person I want to give thanks for, Kathleen Graim, Community and Communications Specialist for Tops Friendly Markets. In asking her how to go about placing such a big order, can I pay w/ credit card, etc, she said very simply..."This is a great thing you guys are doing...this one is on Tops. If you wanna make a donation to your favorite charity with the money you would have spent, please do so, but we have this covered."
I know Kathleen very well. She was not just doing this to get free publicity for her supermarket. She isn't aware I'm posting this blog. But as I said about Dan, Kathleen is someone who we also should aspire to be like. A leader not only in her business duties, but her in her devotion to community, and the people she touches.
Working in the media, it's not a normal life. It's easy to get cynical, jaded, accustomed to perks most will never enjoy, always being on the lookout for the next trend, being the center of attention, while forgetting about, for lack of a better term, what life is really about. Even though many media personalities won't admit it, they know those words are true. Just spending a few hours doing something for someone on a holiday, that isn't required by your job, or boss, is invigorating and energizing. Grounding.
So I give thanks for Dan Wiles of the Town Of Tonawanda, and Kathleen Graim of Tops Friendly Markets, for helping 300 + people have a Thanksgiving this year, and letting me have the tiniest of roles in the process. And there are probably so many more stories of their generosity than just the one I have highlighted.
And before I go to Tops at Delaware and Sheridan to load up on Apple, Cherry, and Lemon Meringue pies, I ask you to pay their work forward.
Who needs help around your neighborhood? Can you help out on something like this where you live...or maybe start your own? It doesn't have to be for a holiday...maybe just on some summer Saturday. Start asking around, and you'll be surprised what you find out. And someday, someone in need will be thanking you for helping...
Emily Urbik, wife of Bills lineman Kraig, is having Turkey Day at her house, and she'll have some massive bodies to feed, with lots of other Bills invited! But like you, she's got her Thanksgiving game plan, and with some help from the other Bills wives, sounds like their house is the place to be! She also lets us in on what its like to build a house while living in another city, and how the wives would definitely be in favor of having their husbands play for Bon Jovi! An awesome listen!
Photo by Marcus Quigmire from Florida, USA via Wikimedia Commons
Check out this list of Thanksgiving Must-Haves from FoxNews.com. All-Clad Poultry Lifters, and an $18 potato masher? Okay, maybe these aren't actual must haves, but it'd be cool to have them in your Turkey Dinner arsenal!
Ryan Miller woke up early, after five hours of sleep and a plane ride back from last night's game in Philadelphia to give us the heads up on this years Catwalk For Charity, December 15th at the Town Ballroom. Get tix at http://thesteadfastfoundation.com/
The Goo Goo Dolls will be hitting a ton of holiday parades and specials. For the parades Robby should make'em wear West Seneca East marching band uni's! From the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade to the Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony, you'll see the Goo Goo Dolls on your TV a lot this holiday season!
November 28th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade 9am
December 11th the Hollywood Christmas Parade on the Hallmark Channel
Peter King is not just one of the best NFL writers going, he's one of the best writers in the world, period. He could tackle any subject, as he did in the middle of last week's Sports Illustrated Monday Morning Quarterback column. He recently lost his long time companion, Bailey. I'm only going to give you the opening and closing paragraphs below. If you'd like to read the entire piece, and I'm sure you will, click here, and scroll half way down. But grab a tissue first. And give your pet a big hug when you can!
On Friday morning, my wife Ann and I woke up in our Manhattan apartment. I put my feet on the floor and looked around. No Bailey. We’d put our 14-year-old golden retriever to sleep the day before. I started to do the math …I don’t have a dog. I’ve woken up every day for the last 23 years owning a dog. Until today.
And I had to catch myself before I broke apart again. You wouldn’t have wanted to see me Wednesday, the day we knew it was coming, or Thursday, the day it happened. I was not a pretty sight. Our second golden retriever (Woody, our first, died in January 2002, when Bailey was 2) was euthanized at 9:14 a.m. Thursday. So many thoughts...
In her final days, Bailey had been given some steroid pills to treat a bad limp. She had arthritis, and we had to lift her to stand, and she couldn’t put much weight on her right foreleg. So we’d take her out for her regular trip to the sidewalk four times a day, and by Wednesday, it was unbearable to watch her struggle to make it outside. First thing Thursday morning, when I approached her to tell her it was time to go outside, she wagged her tail so hard it hit the wooden floor like it was a drum. This dog was still into life. But the limp … just too painful to watch. We went to the vet a couple hours later. I had to carry her more than half of the three-and-a-half-block walk. We told the vet, Keith Manning, about her trouble, and he was nice and avoided our beseeching looks about the next treatment, and said her longstanding bulging disk was pushing on her spine and preventing her leg from working and, well, there wasn’t much he could do, and …
“Give us five minutes,’’ I asked him. He left the room, and Ann and I said our goodbyes.
Ann gave Bailey her last milk bone. “Good girl!’’ she said one last time, through her tears.
Then Dr. Manning came in, with his assistant, and we lifted Bailey up on the table. Ann and I held Bailey as Dr. Manning shaved her left forepaw. He took the long silver needle with the red poison, found the vein and pushed it in.
I whispered into Bailey’s ear: “Go play with Woody.”
Kaela Carpenter, wife of Bills kicker Dan joined is this morning on The Better Half Of The Bills. Kickers and quarterbacks seem to be the most traveled players in the league, and Dan and Kaela are no exception. She tells incredible stories of moving from a tiny farm village in Montana to Miami (the first place where she actually had to buy meat), and spending 5 years there, only to have Dan get cut just days before they had their first baby! And they get a call to come to Buffalo (which she LOVES) when someone pulls a groin. Now THAT is life in the NFL…and a great segment with Kaela!
Click the link to play the hilarious Rob Ford Soundboard! We do want to warn you these are actual audio quotes from the Toronto mayer who is not exactly politically correct, and does use some swear words and some creative descriptive terms. And we thought all Canadians were nice and never ever did those things!
SNL first time host, Lady Gaga, shows she can play almost any role and get applause! Gaga's "Do What U Want" was sooo 70s, channeling the look and sound of Donna Summer or Vikki Sue Robinson. Her second performance of "Gypsy" seemed to us like an ode to Elton John's "Love Lies Bleeding" that could have fit perfectly on Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album. As always each Gaga performance was larger than life in production and story.
And the skit where Gaga plays her 70-year old self without the fame was reminiscent of a skit on the Cher show with Cher, Elton John and Bette Midler...remember this flash from the past?!
If you are even thinking about going...DO IT! I didn't truly know what to expect last night. I knew the War Horse story, and how it was a bit like Lion King on stage as far as it's Handspring puppets. And even halfway through I wasn't totally sure it was my cup of tea, and I wasn't alone, many at intermission weren't totally sure of it. But at the end, the standing ovation (deserved) showed that War Horse is grade "A". I gave the first act a B+, and the second an A+, while the couple that went with us felt the exact opposite. Quick thoughts on War Horse:
You forget that the horses are only Handspring Puppets about 40 seconds into the production. Pretty amazing. You develop a bond with these horses as you have with your pets at home. So much of a bond that you will find yourself weeping at times for what these horses went through during WW1, and you'll not be able to wait to get home and hug your dog or cat.
If you saw the movie, or read the book, a lot is condensed, or else the 2 1/2 hour show would have been 3 1/2 hours.
The war effects at times were a little simplistic, almost comical, at others, fabulous. Because so much of the show relies on production values, and sort of forgetting that the horses are operated by a team of three humans, I think this is one show where it may be better to sit a little further from the stage, to "suspend your belief" and make it a little more wide screen...a little more full scale rather than being on top of it.
The entire production is a nice history lesson on WW1, which is much less understood than WW2. Though War Horse has many powerful moments, I think it's just fine for kids 11 and up.
As Shea's President Tony Conti put it in the War Horse Playbill welcome, "War Horse reminds us of the ways in which animals remain with us through many stages of our lives, giving much and asking for little."
This incredibly cute baby is Maecen, the newest member of the Jackson family! Danielle Jackson, wife of everyone’s favorite Bill, Fred, told some amazing stories about the injuries Fred has gone through and how they've been able to take time to appreciate a career that was never expected. You might even get some ideas on what to do at your next family reunion from the Jackson family fun Olympics they have every summer!
Smithsonian magazine (which always has the RLITM Seal Of Approval) has a fabulous feature on 101 Objects That Made America. It covers everything from Neil Armstrong's astronaut suit to Lewis & Clark's compass. From the Barbie doll to Levi's jeans. It's an incredible read and a great glimpse at our history! If there's a very American item you think they missed, let us know in the comments below!
The following deals are for vets and active military personnel .. subject to change without notice .. at participating restaurants .. while supplies last .. check individual Websites for more details
Champs Restaurants ... FREE burger and fries on Monday
Carrabbas ... free appetizer
Longhorn Steakhouse .. free appetizer
Applebee’s ... FREE Signature Entrée on Veteran’s Day. Dine in from limited menu only. Beverages and gratuity not included.
Bob Evans Restaurant ... Free All You Can Eat Hotcakes on 11/11. Bring valid military ID or wear your uniform.
Boston Market ... free whole chicken with the purchase of a family meal on 11/11 .. show your military ID.
California Pizza Kitchen ... get a free pizza from their menu. Dine in only. Come in uniform or bring proof of service. At participating restaurants.
Chili’s ... FREE entrée from a special menu found at chilis.com. Dine in only. Beverages and gratuity not included. Show proof of military service
Denny’s ... FREE All-You-Can-Eat pancakes from 6 am to 2 pm. Bring valid military ID to a participating location.
Golden Corral ... from 4 pm – 9 pm, service members can enjoy a free dinner buffet and beverage. No ID is required. Dine in only.
Hooters... free meal up to $10.99 with any drink purchase. Show a military ID or proof of service at any participating Hooters location
Krispy Kreme ... present your military ID or wear your uniform on Veteran’s Day and get a free doughnut and small coffee. No purchase or coupon necessary. Limit one per person per visit. Valid in-store only – not at drive through. List of participating stores at KrispyKreme.com.
Little Caesars Pizza ... free order of Crazy Bread for US Veterans on 11/11. Must present military ID. Valid at participating locations
Olive Garden ... get a free meal from their special menu. Family dining with them also get 10% off their meal. Dine in only. Proof of military service required.
Outback Steakhouse ... military who have ID will get a free Bloomin Onion and beverage on 11/11. See outback.com for more information.
Red Robin ... FREE Red's Tavern Double Burger. Provide your military I.D., proof of service, or wear your uniform at participating Red Robin restaurants. Dine in only.
Texas Roadhouse ... free lunch for active, former or retired military on 11/11 from 11 am – 2 pm from the list of available entrees. Show proof of military service. Dine in only.
TGI Fridays ... free lunch for Veterans and Military personnel at participating locations. Call ahead to verify your store is participating. Proof of service is required.
Tijuana Flats ... free entree on 11/11 with proof of service
Great Clips ... free haircuts to all Military on Nov. 11th.
Sports Clips: Free haircuts to the Military and former military on Nov. 11th. Not all stores are participating so be sure to call ahead
Starbucks ... Active Duty, Veterans & Spouses can enjoy a free tall brewed coffee on November 11.
25-year-old Rob Bliss recently teamed up with Dégagé Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan to give homeless United States Army veteran Jim Wolf a makeover. Pretty amazing! Hopefully this will inspire us all to help a veteran next monday!
Entertainer of the Year WINNER: George Strait
Male Vocalist of the Year WINNER: Blake Shelton
Female Vocalist of the Year WINNER: Miranda Lambert
Vocal Duo of the Year WINNER: Florida Georgia Line
Big & Rich
Love and Theft
The Civil Wars
New Artist of the Year WINNER: Kacey Musgraves
Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Group of the Year WINNER: Little Big Town
Eli Young Band
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Musical Event of the Year WINNER: Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Florida Georgia Line feat. Nelly, “Cruise”
Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies, “Boys ‘Round Here”
Kelly Clarkson feat. Vince Gill, “Don’t Rush”
Jason Aldean feat. Luke Bryan and Eric Church, “The Only Way I Know”
Album of the Year WINNER: Blake Shelton, Based on a True Story
Carrie Underwood, Blown Away
Taylor Swift, Red
Kacey Musgraves, Same Trailer, Different Park
Little Big Town, Tornado
Single of the Year WINNER: Florida Georgia Line, “Cruise”
Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
Song of the Year WINNER: Lee Brice, “I Drive Your Truck”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Kacey Musgraves, “Merry Go ‘Round”
Little Big Town, “Pontoon”
Darius Rucker, “Wagon Wheel”
Music Video of the Year WINNER: Tim McGraw feat. Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, “Highway Don’t Care”
Carrie Underwood, “Blown Away”
Blake Shelton feat. Pistol Annies, “Boys ‘Round Here”
Lady Antebellum, “Downtown”
Miranda Lambert, “Mama’s Broken Heart”
Little Big Town, “Tornado”
Musician of the Year WINNER: Mac McAnally (Guitar)
Brent Mason (Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Sam Bush (Mandolin)
"The 47th Annual CMA Awards" . . . 8:00 to 11:00 P.M. on ABC. Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood are your hosts. The performers include Taylor Swift, Alison Krauss with Vince Gill, Hunter Hayes with Jason Mraz, Zac Brown Band with Dave Grohl, and George Strait with Alan Jackson in a tribute to the late George Jones.
Rob predicts, without even watching, that Brad Paisley will wear a big white hat, Carrie Underwood will look hot and leggy, and they'll both make jokes about each other, and Taylor Swift! If Swifty wins something, she will look like she's never won anything before ever ever ever! Somewhere along the line, Blake Shelton will have his bromance with Adam Levine referred to. Check out the CMT website for the full list of nominees!
5 years later, all the hard work of the families of those who lost loved ones in the crash of Colgan/Continental Flight 3407 has made a huge impact in the training of pilots to deal with icing/stall situations like the one that caused the crash in Clarence Center.
It was a top story on NBC News last night, and the Buffalo families who never gave up were strongly cited as being the impetus for the change...
If anybody was tailor made to play in Buffalo it’s Megan and Doug Legursky! She loves our tailgating, the massive RV lot, and what the Bills vibe is all about! And that’s saying a lot, considering they have been on Super Bowl teams in Pittsburgh. And with the Bills in Pittsburgh this weekend, it was a very timely chat! BTW, don’t miss what it’s like to hang with Garth Brooks in his trophy room, and hold his Grammy’s!
In case you missed this weekend's SNL, the highlights were Kerry Washington absolutely killing it in every character she played...she made even lame writing seem really funny...and SNL's video parody of "What Does the Fox Say?" Even if you've never heard of the fox song, you will love this!!
What could make your holiday better than a tree made out of food and musical chairs to see where your guests sit for Christmas dinner?! Check out Buzzfeed's 11 Ways To Make The Holidays Epic to jump start your holiday fun!!Our favorite is adding vodka to everything. How did that not get included?!
OK, we know this is nothing more than a way for this sad clown to get gigs through PuddlesPityParty.com. Good luck to him! It is pretty funny, though I thought the clown could have been a little bit sadder! Man, this really looks like a skit SNL would do!