Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hi, I'm Strange. How Strange are You?

Darn! I was hoping I'd score more than just "borderline strange."

You Are 52% Strange!

Based on your score, it seems you do have a healthy dose of strangeness. You aren't THAT far out, but you are somewhat bizarre. Congratulations on being different and having some quirks. It makes you an interesting person!

How Strange Are You?
Quizzes for MySpace

Monday, July 30, 2007

80s(Girl) Weekend

We sure had fun this weekend, kids. R was in Ithaca for an alumni board meeting so Mr. Zippychik and I drove down on Saturday afternoon to pick her up for a fun filled weekend in the 'Cuse. Early Saturday evening we had sandwiches and beer at the Blue Tusk then headed over to Alliance Bank Stadium to see the Syracuse Chiefs defeat the Buffalo Bisons. R had been shouting about seeing a Chiefs game ever since we met online over 2 years ago. After that it was back to Casa Zipster for Appletinis mixed and served by Mr. Z.

Sunday we hung out and lingered over our morning coffees. Later on we had lunch at the legendary Dinosaur BBQ. R and Mr. Zippy ordered ribs, while I had a pulled pork and portobello mushroom sandwich. Yum. Then it was over to Cafe Biscotti in Little Italy for some gelatto. It seemed all too soon it was time to take R back to Ithaca for her upcoming week of networking power meetings.

Anyway, I had to rest up a bit before the weekend was over, because today I started my new job as a computer consultant for Syracuse University's Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (try saying that three times fast!)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Little Summer Fun

I'm only reporting the results of the quiz -- and I didn't cheat.

You Are A Strawberry Ice Cream Girl

Sweet. Romanic. Genuine.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blotto in Cortland

Blotto Jamming in the Marketplace Mall Parking Lot.

Not everyone can say they saw Blotto perform in a parking lot in Cortland, NY -- but I can! You might think, is that a good thing? Well, yes it was! Blotto appeared on July 20, 2007 as part of the city of Cortland's summer concert series "New Wave Night" held in the parking lot of the Marketplace Mall. The weather was a bit chilly for a mid-summer evening, but fortunately the rain had stopped. It was an all ages audience; many families with young children were in attendance. I believe that most of the crowd, (if you could call it "a crowd") were friends and family of the band members. Kah of Radio Hidebound came up from DC for the weekend; he noted wryly that the toddlers running about took a bit of the edge off of the event.

The Flashcubes

The evening's entertainment opened with the Cortland-based Hurtin' Units, a high-energy quartet with hard-driving guitars and percussion. Up next was one of the Syracuse's biggest 80's bands, the Flashcubes. Front men Arty Lenin and Gary Frenay were in top form. Kah compared them to RadioHidebound favorites, the Spongetones.

Blotto took the stage a bit past eight. I've always been impressed with the way the band blends their off-beat humor with impressive musicianship, but I was really surprised with how much fun they were live. We got a two-fer here, a rock concert AND stand-up comedy. My husband heard "Goodbye Mr. Bond" for the first time and was absolutely blown away. Kah posted his review and play of the show along on RadioHidebound.

It was a bit disappointing that both Hurtin' Units and the Flashcubes drew more people than Blotto. We saw several folks tend to drift away once the band had begun to perform. Kah speculated that they just "didn't get Blotto." He also said that he felt a bit bad for the band, but I really felt sorry for those folks who left.
Zippychik & Kah Enjoy the Show

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Shakespeare in the Park

While most people were watching the Live Earth concerts on their big screen televisions or their computers last night, my husband and I spent the evening outdoors attending Olney Theatre Center's National Players production of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," held in the beautiful sylvan setting of Long Branch Park on the shore of Onondaga Lake.

While I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan, seeing "The Tempest" in a casual outdoor setting with a first-rate, high energy cast, brought the play alive for me. At some points in the production cast members raced off the stage and onto the grassy hill where the audience sat in their lawn chairs.

Several hundred people attended including many young people perhaps getting their first exposure to The Bard. I'm hoping that the experience was as positive for them as mine was. We had such a great time we're thinking of attending a production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" in Thornden Park, near the Syracuse University campus, in August.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Way to Go Gabriella!

My niece, Gabriella who just turned nine years old came for a visit on the Fourth of July. Her long brown hair usually reaches halfway down her back so I was pretty surprised to see that she had it cut just above her shoulders. She looked very cute, and I had assumed she cut it for her upcoming trip to Disney World. My sister, however, told me that Gabriella donated her beautiful hair to Locks of Love.

I'm so proud of Gabriella for being so kind and unselfish. I hope that she has a wonderful time at Disney World, but then Gabriella has a way of making magic wherever she goes.

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's Gonna Be Awfully Quiet 'Round These Parts...

Don't be surprised if your favorite internet radio station isn't broadcasting tomorrow, and that's just a sneak preview of how quiet the internet might sound in a few weeks if the RIAA gets their way. Read more about it here:

Want more information? Click the image below:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Sure You're Busy...

But hopefully you've still got time to help save the world!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Radio Hidebound Makes the iTunes Listing!

Kudos to kah at Radio hidebound as they hit "The Big Time" with a listing on the iTunes directory. Ironically RadioHidebound is listed just above "that other 80s alternative internet radio station." What makes Hidebound so great is kah's extensive library over 10.000 songs and more added almost weekly. Here's a sample of what's played recently:

n.a. Peter Murphy - Kiss Myself ~requested~ Unshattered


n.a. Flash and the Pan - Man In The Middle Flash Hits


n.a. Split Enz - Parrot Fashion Love Dizrythmia


n.a. T-Bone Burnett - Fatally Beautiful Twenty Twenty: The Essential T Bone Burnett


n.a. Ben Folds - Uncle Walter Ben Folds Five


So you see Hidebound plays alternative music but it's not limited to just the 80s. There's music from the 70's, 90s and early 2000. They also feature recent releases by artists who made it big in the 80s like the Finn Brothers and Morrissey. Did I mention the searchable database from which you can place requests? Or the forum where witty folks like 80sGirl, Deathlok, Mark C. , and Mike in Arlington among others post regularly., look it up in your iTunes Library and give them a listen today!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who'd a Thunk It?

If you follow major league baseball at all, it's probably dawned on you that THE NEW YORK YANKEES STINK. If it hadn't occurred to you yet -- here's proof. As of May 30, 2007, (remember this date for posterity) the perennial cellar dwelling Syracuse Chiefs possess a better record than the Yankees!

A big shout out to former Syracuse Chief, Carlos Delgado of the New York Mets who's broken out of his batting slump and how! He had two homers last night versus the San Francisco Giants and four home runs in the past week. Let's go Mets!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Wright Stuff

Last weekend my husband and I headed to Oak Park, IL to attend the annual Wright Plus housewalk, held by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. My husband purchased tickets for the event last winter when he learned that the Heurtley House would on the tour. The house recently underwent a highly publicized restoration. This was one of the rare opporuntities for the public to see the house's interiors. Not all the homes featured on the housewalk were designed by Wright; there were a few houses in the Queen Anne Style which was the most popular style for residential architecture at the turn of the last century. There were also examples Prarie houses designed by other architects like E. E. Roberts and William G Barfield.

Frank Lloyd Wright's Heurtley House, the "star" of the 2007 Wright Plus housewalk.

To prove that we are real "archtitecture geeks" Friday evening we attended a lecture given by preservation expert Vincent Michael on preserving Prairie architecture. The talk was followed by a reception at a privately owned home designed by one of Wright's comtemporaries, George Washington Maher. Earlier in the day we visited Mahar's masterpiece, the Farson House, also known as Pleasant Home and were given a tour by Laura Thompson, the house foundation's executive director. She was extremely friendly and shared with us much useful information about the house. If you visit the Chicago area, I would highly recommend a visit to Pleasant Home.

In case you're thinking that this trip was all "work and no play" we found, or rather Bill found a neighborhood wine bar, The Oak Park Abbey. We were treated to wonderful wines and micro brews along with warm and attentive service from Ellen and Stephanie. For breakfast the morning of the housewalk, we stopped at Great Harvest Bread Company for a slab o' triple berry bread and my first hot steamy cup of Peet's coffee. Yum! R was right -- that coffee rocks!

Lastly a few more photos:

Here I am standing in front of a Wright-designed light fixture in Unity Temple.

This is Wright's Gale House. It wasn't part of Wright Plus, but it is my favorite Wright Prarie House.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Back, I Think

I have been a bad blogger. Deathlok was recently fretting about not being able to keep up with his readers comments to his blog. I can't even find time to even post to mine. Then I really got depressed hearing that Ronald Reagan was able to keep a daily journal while serving as President. Well, I guess afterall he did have someone to do his laundry for him.

Here's the condensed version of what I've been up to for the past month:

I got an "A" on my Personal Information Privacy course. I still need to decide what to register for next fall.

Bill and I just got back from visiting Chicago (details & photos to follow, I promise!).

Got tons more responsiblity at work as the programmers are starting to flee like rats off a sinking ship.

Saw the Mayor of Syracuse at a function our cultural group co-sponsored. I didn't get to talk to him, but Bill did.

Didn't have anytime to go to the movies but we finally saw "Little Miss Sunshine" from Netflix.

And no, I still haven't been to a SkyChiefs game yet this season, but how about those Mets?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

All is Right in the (Baseball) World

Vooty, my Yankee Voodoo Doll says he'd like to take credit for the Yankee's misfortunes, but he's just been hanging around in B's study collecting dust.

I know it's only May and the Yanks have a way of digging themselves out of big holes (this one's shaping up to be a freaking canyon). I'll enjoy the ride for now. Go Bosox!

And did I mention that the Mets are tied for first place in NL East? Well the Mets are tied for first place in NL East. So there I mentioned it.

Wow, they're playing some great stuff on Radio Hidebound right now:

Motels - "Art Fails"
OMD - "Statues"

Check it out, if you haven't already.
School's Out!

Like the old Alice Cooper song goes, "School's Out for Summer, school's out forever." Well not forever, I have one more class to take in the fall. I am hoping to post more this summer, but it's shaking out to be pretty busy. I hope to see more of R, if her job prospects in Ithaca pan out. (We had a wonderful time with her last weekend, even if the weather was gray and damp). Looking forward to seeing K here in July for a Blotto Reunion. Hubby and I will be on our way to Chicago in 11 days. We're going out for the annual Wright Walk. Photos will be forthcoming.

The weather here is getting nice. Things are finally turning green in my garden so I plan an afternoon of weeding and cleaning up.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nutrisystem Rant Part II

They're at it again. This time Nutrisystem is targetting their tasteful advertising campaign at the guys. The current ad features former sports stars who for whatever reason let their finely tuned athletic bods go to seed (in most cases). The ad features former NFL coach, Don Shula, Dan Marino and former MLB player, John Kruk, shown here his mullet-wearing days. I know Kruk's usually a cut-up, so I'm going to assume what he says in the ad is a joke. He tells how much weight he's lost on Nutrisystem then says, "My wife says I'm not as disgusting as I used to be." Not AS disgusting???!!!! If it's not a joke, maybe Kruk needs to consider losing 100 more ugly pounds --his wife!

ABOVE: John Kruk in his "prime" with Philadelphia.
At RIGHT: "Disgusting" Kruk prior to Nutrisystems.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

VCU Rocks!

If life were like the movies the men's basketball team from Virginia Commonwealth University would be headed to the NCAA Basketball Tournament's Sweet Sixteen. Unfortunately, as we know too well, life is rarely like the movies. I do want to take this opportunity to praise VCU for their incredible performance last night against the Pittsburgh Panthers (as a Syracuse fan they're the team I love to hate). VCU advanced to play Pitt by beating the perennial power house, Duke. Yesterday's game was something else.

I caught the last minutes of the first half that CBS broadcast while other games were in halftime. Taking one look, I could see that VCU was clearly doomed already struggling against the much larger Panthers. During the Vanderbilt/Washington State overtime, I noticed the score on the Pitt game at the top of the screen: their 19 point lead had been cut to 10 points with slightly over 5 minutes to play -- a virtual eternity in "basketball time."

I stopped watching the broadcast game and tunred my attention to the numbers on the score board as Pitt's lead continued to melt like the ice in my driveway on a sunny day. VCU tied it up, coming back from a 19 point deficit to force the game into overtime. I'm very sorry that VCU couldn't hold on to defeat the Panthers, but it was an exciting "never say die" moment I'll remember from this year's tournee. Congrats to Eric Maynor, Jesse Pellot-Rosa, Michael Anderson and B.A. Walker (shown in photo) and the entire VCU team and staff for proving that size doesn't always matters unless you're referring to the size of your determination.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

They're at it Again!


"On March 2, 2007, The CRB approved royalty rates that will bury any small webcaster, and create a heavy burden even for big broadcasters like Yahoo, AOL Music and Pandora. How high will these rates be? Around 100% of a small webcasters revenue, give or take a few points, in most cases. What?! That's impossible to pay! Yep, it sure is..

How did this happen? The RIAA told the CRB thats what they wanted, and the CRB just gave it to them.

Your're probably thinking, hey that's awful, but who are the the RIAA and CRB?
RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) is a lobbying group formed by the five largest record labels. They are embedded in Washington D.C. They make sure laws are written to keep them rich, no matter what. They made headlines a few years ago opening lawsuits against elderly people, single mothers and children for trading music online, even though some of them didn't even have computers. Check out the
latest RIAA headlines.

The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) is part of the US Copyright Office. The Board is charged with determining the royalty rates that would be determined by a willing buyer and a willing seller in a marketplace transaction. They decided to jack the rates beyond a broadcasters means despite decades of royalty rates being 1 - 2% of broadcaster revenue.
Raise your right hand if you want to take away consumer choice, hurt working artists, damage small record labels and put small webcasters out of business. "

So won't you please help me along with my fellow avid listners of net radio keep these independent voices alive? I've met some great friends through internet radio chat rooms and forums. Net radio provides much needed competition to pathetic local broadcasting provided by companies like ClearChannels and to satellite radio (for those of us who can't afford it).

Please visit and contact your Congressional representative as soon as possible. We can't let the RIAA and CRB continue to keep bullying independent artists, record companies and webcasters around.

Also check out the new logo I designed for my favorite net radio site:

Sunday, March 11, 2007

So Wrong, So Very Wrong

While I've got my rant hat on I just wanted to draw your attention to the cover of this week's Vanity Fair. I saw it while in the check out line at the supermarket yesterday. It's wrong on so many levels, I'm not sure where to start. But I'll start with my biggest bug-a-boo, James Gandalfini! My girlfriends and I want to know who decided this guy is a stud muffin. No, George Clooney is a stud muffin. Jude Law is a stud muffin. Clive Owen is a stud muffin. James Gandalfini is NOT a stud muffin!!!! I've got uncles who are more attractive than his guy. Second why a naked blonde woman (who should be signing herself up for Nutrisystem) perched on his lap? This has anything to do with anything except boosting Vanity Fair's sales. I mean who's going to buy a magazine with James Gandalfini's ugly mug on the cover, unless you put a naked woman on the cover with him. Besides, who cares The Sopranos has "jumped the shark" anyway.

This makes me mad!!!!

There's a Nutrisystem commericial getting a lot of air right now that really honks me off. It features several "Desperate Housewife" wannabees. The first woman says, "My husband says I look sexy." Oh, yeah? And I wonder if she can tell him the same thing. Besides if your husband really loves you he tells you you look "sexy" even if you look like a Winnebago. Then the next one says, " I haven't had a body this smoking hot since I was in college." So, I have the same body as I had in college. Yes, of course I was 25 pounds overweight in college, too.

What's really disturbing about these ads is the "Before" photos don't look like the usual sideshow fat ladies. They actually don't even look very overweight; these "before" ladies just don't look as if they'd be showing up on a Hollywood soundstage. Cara, shown here in the web site ad is a good example. I'm sure that there are plenty of guys who'd not only find the buxom version of Cara sexy, but in fact prefer her over the nutrisystemized Cara.
I understand Nutrisystems' marketing model here. They way their system is set up, the average person on the program could only hope to lose about 10 to 20 pounds. So starting out with a client who is obviously obese is not going to show dramatic 'smokin' hot bod' results. What I just don't understand why someone would be driven to pay big bucks to have someone else tell them how to starve themself. It seems it's not a weight problem these women have, as much as it is a self-esteem issue.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Snow Storm!

This was the view this morning from my office in the State Tower Building. (Yes, I actually did make it into work.) The low building off the right is the Erie Canal Museum. That highway running through the background is Interstate 81.

I'd write more, but I'm still defrosting.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I'm Done!

I finally finished my paper for my Information Privacy Class. It's entitled "Comparison of Personal Information Privacy Issues from a Regulatory Perspectivein the 19th Century and Today." I kid you not. I just spent a weekend of my life and two perfectly good evenings on this. Tell me again why I wanted to go to graduate school.

It just started snowing. We're supposed to get a over foot tonight. I'll be bringing my camera to work tomorrow. That is if I can get out of the house tomorrow. Check CNN's iReport. I'm going to upload my pics.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hey, I Finally Found My Wool Socks!

AND NO, WE DID NOT GET 7 FEET OF SNOW! For all of you who have been watching the CNN reports -- the 7 feet of snow fell in Oswego, NY, NOT SYRACUSE! We did, however, get about 6 inches of snow yesterday and probably a total of 10 inches since the start of the week (on top of the 6 inches that was already on the ground-- you do the math.). It's February; that's what happens. Today it's been sunny all day, probably the most continuous sun we've seen since the beginning of the year. It's just that it's been colder than all get out.

That's why I was so juiced to finally find the wool socks I'd been searching for since the cold spell started. It was really key to find them hiding all the way in the back of the drawer where I keep my thermal undershirts, especially since I had to take the bus to work yesterday because our street didn't get plowed out. I had to run for the bus, which, of course, was much better than waiting in the subzero temperature for the next one, even if I was wearing my Lands End boots and wool socks!

I've also had night classes at the University in this horrible weather, and my husband's been calling me his "tough nut." Well this week this tough nut cracked; rather than walk the four blocks from the lot I had a permit for, I chose to pay to park in the hotel garage one block away. I had anticipated it would snow while I was in class. Brushing snow off one's vehicle after trudging four block in the windy freezing cold sucks big time.

I meant to go out to take a photo of the snow outside my house to post here, but it was too cold to go out. Is it April, yet?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm Out of My Head

OK, I know that I've been having trouble keeping up with this blog, and my class starts in two days, so guess what I've done. I started another blog! Yes, this one will be in tandem with my friend, C who I think will be using the screen name, kleo. Of course, this depends on whether she answers my invite to co-author the blog. We want to use our new blog to post our raves and rants on different wines we've tasted. Usually we just e-mail this back and forth but finally decided we should begin sharing our experiences with our friends. The blog is called "Wine Trailer Trash" after the Finger Lakes' Wine Trails in our area. (I know R remembers those well.)

Zippin' Along isn't dead. I still plan to post to this blog, but I'm thinking more along the lines of quality over quantity. I'm sure there will be topics that I'll want to write about that will be more appropriately posted here than in Wine Trailer Trash. Whatever 2007 brings it's going to be an interesting year.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Message Lady

"Thank you for calling. If you know your party's extension you call enter it now or stay on the line for more options."

I've just become the voice of my company's automated answering service, in addition to wearing about seventy other hats. Hey, it's a living. If you're interested in hearing the voice of zippychik you can call 315-479-0330. Just do me a favor and don't leave any obscene messages, puleeze.