Me, Ms. Moore And Syracuse

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Over the last few days, I have received a few emails about renewing this blog. I also had a friend I have known for years ask if I still write often. The answer to both was sadly no. Today however I made a new friend and it reminded me why I love this blog and why I love life even when I am feeling depressed.

You see, once a year where I work we do an All Staff Day. The day is to encourage team building and discuss issues pertaining to the company. This year, we were broken up into groups and for 2 hours, each group participated in some form of a community service. My group was selected to work at a senior assisted facility in Mooresville, NC.

While there, I was wandering around trying to find my place. I volunteered to assist with a couple tasks but was still finding my way. Then I heard one of my co-workers talking with a resident and they mentioned a keyword that caught my attention: Syracuse. Now I tend to be a bit on the shy side if I am not comfortable with people but when I hear Syracuse, you now have my attention. Fortunately for me, this led to me meeting an awesome woman named Ms. Moore.

Ms. Moore told me that she lived in Syracuse on the hill and worked for 12 years cleaning buildings on the campus before becoming a CNA at a local hospital. She also had two nephews who graduated from the university and at least one went into teaching and is in Virginia now. YOU NOW HAVE ALL MY ATTENTION, MA’AM!

Now, I do not have any pictures of us and I won’t release her full name because I didn’t get her permission and that isn’t what this is about. In fact, I didn’t intend to write about it until I was driving home thinking about how great the experience was and to share it as a reminder of how small this world is. This is also to share how sometimes you can find something or someone truly special even when you least expect it.

Ms. Moore and I didn’t break down the state of the economy or discuss politics. We didn’t discuss religion or celebrities. We simply talked about her family and her experiences in Syracuse. I don’t care if she was left wing or right wing or whether she believes in a God, I simply loved hearing someone who enjoyed talking about something we have in common and her life. Hopefully I left her feeling even half as good as she made me and some of my co-workers feel interacting with her.

She suffered a stroke that left her with paralysis of her left side and thus is the reason she is in this facility along with others with physical or mental disabilities (by the way, thank you to those who choose to volunteer or work with these people because they need more caring people like you). At times, I had difficulty understanding her but when I did, everything was worth it. Granted, I was not the one she referred to as her boyfriend because I lack hair and my friend/co-worker Steven was more appealing but I have to tell you, my life is better because I met Ms. Moore. I don’t know if I saw her again if she would remember me but I know I will never forget her.

I learned a few things today I was not expectation and I am glad I did. Next time you pass that lady who is working to clean the floors of some place you love, remember that they likely have a family they are supporting and are not beneath anyway. I learned that two people from different backgrounds and different eras can still bond over one small subject and enjoy each others company. I suddenly wanted to meet her daughter and sons and nephews who attended Syracuse University and learn more. I wanted to load her up with Syracuse stuff thinking it could make her smile like she did a few times as we talked.

I am not the most outgoing person unless I have been drinking or I feel very comfortable around someone but today I am grateful I heard that word and got to know her. I hope maybe someday I will see her again and maybe we can talk more about life…and probably Syracuse too. I hope that before my life is over, I have more chances like today so that when I walk through the gates of Heaven and face God, I can tell him that I am sorry for my mistakes and my sins but I can also share with him my stories about people like Ms. Moore and how much I appreciate this chance to have people like her touch my life.

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”
Dalai Lama

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14 Unique Syracuse Orange Valentines Gift Ideas

So not long ago I did a post about 14 fun Syracuse based ideas to help if you were looking for some fun ideas. Well what about the Syracuse fan who maybe doesn’t live in the area anymore or most of those ideas didn’t appeal to him? With only a few days left before the 14th, I figured I would find 14 more unique gifts just in case that person has all the t-shirts and tickets they need. I am by no means endorsing any items or stores but these are just found items I have seen or found searching the interwebs.

14) Syracuse Pocket Watch: Seeing this is what sparked the idea in my head so I wanted to start with it. I had a pocket watch once and loved it but sadly I am rough on things I use daily. However, if you think this would be a fun idea or maybe they want to be the Syracuse Orange version of Sheldon, I have two links for you. Here is a silver one for $42.50 and here is the gold one for $49.95.

13) A Syracuse Fedora: From my Twitter friends at HonourSyracuse, I bring to you the Syracuse Fedora. Now they have a few selections but this one was my favourite.

Syracuse Fedora

The cost is 29.99 and heck yes, I would definitely rock one of these on game days. Here is the link to purchase this and many other awesome Syracuse items.

12) Orange Mesh Dog Jersey: Do they like to dress up their pet and you want to see that pet at least in Orange? Check out this from fun jersey at Manny’s. Priced at 24.98, this could be a fun item if you want to show you care about their pet and it comes in various sizes.

11) Syracuse Orangemen Poncho: Yes, I did not write that incorrectly, it is an old school poncho that says Syracuse Orangemen on it and was before Otto. I found it on Ebay and it comes only in large (and noted as used as well) but this is definitely a unique item. I do not see a “Buy Now” tab so you will have to bid for it but here is the link if you’re interested.

10) Syracuse Orange Cooling Towel: Remember watching that Syracuse-Duke game and you were sweating it out? Check out this item on the Fanatic’s website and you can truly feel more like you’re a part of the team (or bring out your inner Cam Newton) with this beauty.

9) Game day Bib Overalls: If you follow NunesMagician on Twitter, you’ve probably seen this already and must know I had to include it. If not, why in the heck are you not following the top Syracuse Orange blog in the world? FOR SHAME! You can purchase this attention getting item on the ACC Team Fan Shop here.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here they are for your viewing:
Syracuse overalls

8) Carrier Dome Wood Replica: If you’re worried they will eventually tear down the Dome for a new arena, here is a great keepsake you can have around to show future generations what the best darn sports arena truly was. I found it at the Syracuse Bookstore website and the description is vague but this item is only 19.99 so I am not sure how it truly is. I think this would be a fun addition to any Syracuse “Man-cave”. Here is the link in case I peaked your interest: Interest peaked!

7) Syracuse Otto Foamhead: Some people like me tend to enjoy maybe occasionally going over the top with our love for all things Syracuse and for that person in your life who does, I present this “hat”. This item is reportedly only $10 and if they have a few buddies they tailgate with that have similar tastes, you can order a case for only $40.

6) Syracuse Basketball Court Rug: For the low, low price of $109, you can purchase this area rug. According to the description, this rug is 3’10” x 5’4″ but just think, you can have a mini-court on your floor (or hanging from your wall if you choose).

5) Syracuse Orange Bow Pigtail Holder: Does someone in your life have long hair and hate wearing hats? This is a fun way for them to fit in without messing up their hair and keep it tight. You can get two for $8.36 but as of this post, there are only 7 remaining so if you like this, you may want to grab it up before the other 10 people who visit this blog beat you to it. :)

4) Orange Papasan Chair: Now this one is not a SU item but it is Orange and for sale via Craiglist in Syracuse and I liked it so this chair made the chair list…plus it’s only $10!!!! The lister only says they are in Syracuse and I doubt they will ship it so you better be either in the area or willing to drive for it.

Orange Chair

Please keep in mind that this is an item on Craigslist so proceed with caution if you are interested. I have done several transactions using this site and with the only issue being emails wanting me to practically give the stuff away but always plan carefully if meeting someone.

3) Syracuse University Peel & Stick Giant Wall Decals: Want a wall decal but not wanting to pay the expensive prices some will charge you? Check out these 18×40 wall decals of the block “S” and the fuzzy version of Otto. I have never ordered anything from Allposters.com & there are only 2 comments but both are favorable so they should be decent additions to any wall whether in your dorm, your child’s room or your game room.

2) Absolut Mandrin: Okay so this also is not a Syracuse item but it does contain Orange of sorts…and many of our Syracuse fans enjoy a good drink. Thank you to my Twitter friend Marta for the idea.

If they do like drinking but prefer craft beers with a Syracuse connection, I also recommend following another Twitter friend Tori who works for Bell’s Brewery which was just named a top 5 brewery by RateBeer.com and has some fun recommendations for that special Syracuse occasion (trust me, she knows her craft) or Tim Butler who works for Empire Brewing, which is a place I always enjoy visiting when I am home and he also is a part of the weekly K-Rock Beer Friday segments.

1) Syracuse Vs. Duke Panoramic Photo: Looking for a fun way to remember that scene of 35,466 fans packed into the Carrier Dome to witness that historic game? Manny’s has this panoramic photo for sale for only $29.98. It does not ship until 2/12 but this is definitely a great memory sake for the Syracuse fan in your life. Need a reminder of why? Check out this behind the scenes look at that date in Syracuse basketball history:

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What I Love About Syracuse: A Profile Of The People And Why They Love It

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Today I had an idea and I am hoping this will be a fun one. I think it would be fun to occasionally do a profile on people who live in the Syracuse/CNY area (or who grew up there/visit often) and find out why they enjoy their time there. We watch the news and we know the horrible stuff that happens and honestly, it happens everywhere but this is about shining a light on the positives.

So this hopefully become a series that explores what we love about the area and sometimes maybe even why. So maybe in depth conversations and some may simply just get to the point but I think it’s important to show the positives that surround the community. I will start off by using myself as the guinea pig but hopefully others will volunteer. If you or someone you know would like to participate, the rules are simple: have a picture of you enjoying something in Syracuse and answer the following questions. Feel free to contact me on Twitter (@OrangeChuck) or email me at orangechucke @ aol.com and yes, I still have an AOL account but I swear I do not use dial-up anymore.

1) Tell Us About Yourself:

I am 41 and living in Bridgeport, NY until I was 15. I still have family in the area so I visit as often as possible. I am divorced with a daughter and granddaughter. I love Syracuse the community and the University (studies and sports). Don’t get me wrong, I know some great people and places here in the Charlotte, NC area and I love my job and family here but to me, Syracuse will always be home (nothing gets me more excited than seeing the Carrier Dome from I-81 North other than actually seeing my family and friends because it means I am home).

2) What are some of your favorite place in Syracuse/Central NY?

Most people who know me will tell you that I do love my time at Tully’s as pictured above. It’s a group picture from one of my favorite trips to Syracuse. We had a Tully’s Tweetup with several of us who had never met in person and enjoyed a meal in my comfort place…Tully’s!

In reality, there are several places I enjoy visiting when I am back in the area. Besides time with family and friends, I love a relaxing massage at Armory Massage. I love to stop in at Nice N Easy for some breakfast pizza/sandwiches and some pastry. I like checking out what new SU stuff they have at Manny’s and Herb Phillipson’s. If it is nice and school is in session, I love visiting the SU campus and sitting outside Varsity (as long as the street preacher is elsewhere as well). I love listening to K-Rock and TK-99 (although I do that now when I can since I have the apps as well). I love the beer selection at Empire Brewery and the warm bread from Columbus Bakery. And these are just a few of my favorite things I love to visit.

3)If you were given one million dollars to do as you wish but it had to be spent in the area, what would you do with the money?

Growing up in Bridgeport, the first thing I would do is look into a grocery store option as well as something to keep the youth occupied. It’s a shame that with the housing developments, elderly housing and others that people have to either grocery shop at gas stations, pharmacies or Dollar General unless they have a vehicle to get out of town. And I know that at times there seems like nothing for young people to do so maybe a YMCA or youth organization/fun park would help keep some out of trouble and occupied. Then whatever is left would go into season tickets to as many local events as I could support (starting with SU football of course).

4) What changes do you think would help make Syracuse a better place to live?

I am not sure I would change anything except try emphasizing the positives and do my best to help balance the negatives. I have even wondered how fun it would be to start a radio or TV station simply devoted to positive encouragement. I think one of the biggest hurdles in the area is the mentality and attitudes that emphasize the negatives. You have that anywhere honestly but it does seem prevalent at times in the area but I think it can be changed.

5) Why do you love the area so much?

I guess I am biased because I lived there as a kid and have some great memories and I love to visit certain things as often as possible. The biggest reason though is that I believe there are some great, hardworking people who want to make a difference and I like supporting them. I want to see the community grow and I want my family and friends to be happy and healthy.

I love to wear my orange often and I say with pride where I came from. I can probably tell you all the car dealers and morning shows in the area if I was asked. I spend time on Twitter talking with people from the area and read syracuse.com often to stay up to date on the events and news in the area. I genuinely love and care about the area and the people who live and work there. I love supporting the small businesses and watching them grow into cornerstones of the Syracuse community. I do this blog as my way to help emphasize just how awesome the area, people and businesses are and because I do love it hoping to spark conversation about it.

So what about Syracuse or Central New York makes you…happy? :)

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We Can Make A Difference In Syracuse And In The World

What do leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama all have in common? They showed that change is possible through peaceful and positive solutions. They saw the problems that surrounded them and they did not resort to violence. They instead chose to lead movements to help influence change and led others who assisted them in their efforts. There are many people in CNY doing great work on a smaller scale but making big differences in the lives of those around them and their communities and I think they deserve the credit.

A recent campaign by the good folks over at syracuse.com has decided to shine a lot on people who are trying to do just that in the community. They want to spotlight those people out there who are not just sitting back and complaining about the wrong in the community but choosing to work to make it better by their own actions.

When I started this blog, my intentions were simply. My previous blog was about sports but at times, I noticed other stories capturing my attention. I read all the crime riddled headlines and the series of articles about malls and projects that caused bitterness in the community. What I also knew was within that same community were people with positive attitudes and doing good work to help make a difference. For every person who loves honking their car horn at your excessively or rude person who pumps you and doesn’t care were people holding doors and smiling at you. There were people battling illnesses with such positive love in their heart and some still helping lift the heart of others. I battle depression on a daily basis and within that community were people who showed me what love and positive energy can do when you choose to believe your attitude can make the difference (especially my family and people like Tracy, Kim, Mike, Jeff and Melissa). If you see someone down, show them a smile and that can make a difference.

So I am writing this to say thank you to the editorial staff at syracuse.com for doing this. I think we need more stories like this. Yes, the job of the media is to inform us and sometimes that news is not news we want to hear. However I think we also need that balance to counter act this doom and gloom mentality to show that for everything wrong in the world, there is also right. For every young person who sadly was raised to think knocking out others is a game, there are others like this girl doing things right but not getting nearly the recognition those misguided youths get:

If you think the education system is failing our children, who do you think is doing the right things to help? Tell them! If you know someone in your community working with the youth to show them the right way to live and keep them from joining gangs or committing crimes; tell them! Know a local business that is helping the community or doing things the right way? Give them some attention! Heck, if you know someone who carries a smile everyday and leads by a positive example every day (and I know many in the community that help keep my spirits lifted on a daily basis); let them know!

If you wish to volunteer some person or organization, here are the ways to contact them as stated in their recent article:

Tell us through user comments. (Find us at http://www.syracuse.com/what-works.) Tell us by email (whatworks@syracuse.com). Tell us through Twitter (@syracusedotcom) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/syracusecom). Tell us by mail (What Works, Syracuse Media Group, 220 S. Warren St., Syracuse, NY 13202). Tell us by phone (315-470-2265).

Growing up, my great-grandmother always loved the cartoon How The Grinch Stole Christmas and I always loved the ending. It shows that despite adversity, we can band together and not allow ourselves to be overtaken by the negativity and selfishness of others. We can make a difference if we stand up and say that we will not succumb to greed and take advantage of others but show love in our hearts and smiles on our faces. So I will leave you with the image that has stuck with me for years but only recently truly spoke out to me and, along with the love and support of some great family and friends, proved that the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that extra effort deep inside of you.

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12 Observations I Took From My Recent Trip To Syracuse

Welcome To Syracuse Sign

As many of you know, when I return from my trips to Syracuse, I love to put together posts talking about some of my experiences. This time, instead of posting individual items, I put together a list of 12 things I took notice of while visiting (44 would be too long of a post and 12 is two more than 10).

Some of these were new experiences and some were just reminders. The list is in no particular order but #1 is probably my favorite.

If you’d like, feel free to add observation you have found that you like about the area. Next trip, my intention is to only visit new places I have never experienced before so maybe your input can help factor into that (and hopefully the weather is nicer to help facilitate that).

12: Sitting Down With The Post Standard Is Relaxing
Post Standard

When I visit, I love to just take some time and sit down quietly and read the paper. I visit syracuse.com often but when I read the paper, it feels more relaxing and I can do the puzzles. As I have aged, I am actually getting worse because I do not do the puzzles as often so it is fun to attempt them and this time I completed the crossword and Sudoku puzzles for the first time in a long time (which is a nice feeling of accomplishment).

11: Taking Pictures Of Cutouts May Appear Creepy
Traci DiMarco Cutout

I have seen the Traci DiMarco Summit Car Auto ads online and on TV when I visit and hear them often when I play my TK99 or KRock apps and enjoy them. So this trip, on a spur of the moment deal while out doing other things, I drove to their lot and took my picture with her famous cutout posted at the locations. What I did not take into account is how creepy you feel walking around doing it.

Now, admittedly when I am in Armory Square, I tend to walk past the Galaxy Communications and syracuse.com offices to see who is in there and maybe say hey (which also seems somewhat creepy I noticed this trip) but walking into a car dealership to take your own picture with cardboard when finished seems like one of those scenes you see in a movie about the early start of serial killers.

10: Syracuse Breakfast Is Yummy
Breakfast Nice N Easy 2

Whether it is breakfast pizza or frittatas, I love the breakfast options in Central New York. There are also Halfmoons, Headlights, Taillights,and other pastries (and if you don’t like chain places, CNY offers many great local bakeries with tasty fresh treats). I also got to explore some other breakfast and food options from Nice N Easy Convenience Stores and enjoyed them all (especially the Italian Sausage Breakfast Wrap).

9: I Don’t Miss Clearing Snow But…
Winter Driveway

8: I Do Miss Dressing Warm In Cold Weather
Me Winter Orange

When I tell people that I live in NY, often times I find that people mistake my moving south as a response to the weather (I moved for more job opportunities when I got out of the Army in 1996). The truth is that though I do not miss shoveling and clearing ice but I love colder weather more than warm. I feel comfortable throwing on long sleeve shirts and hoodies and I enjoy cuddling up and/or sleeping sometimes with a small chill in the air. I hate that feeling when it is so warm that you sweat walking to the car or feel like wearing a tank top just because you are so warm.

7: Delmonico’s Steakhouse Is Not Cheap But The Coach Boeheim Show Was Fun

I did not get a picture from the event as the one I took came out blurry but that is okay because it game me a chance to play this clip. I went spur of the moment when Matt Park tweeted that the show was starting in an hour. What I found was that not only was it cool to sit near Matt and Coach Boeheim but that even though the food was expensive, it was delicious and the staff was very friendly (although I could hear the show better from the restroom than I could at my table). I got the cheapest meal which was the chicken riggies and enjoyed them until I found a spicy part (I can’t handle spicy food) and a couple beers and my meal was about $23.

6: Coach Shafer Must Shop At Herb Philipsons And I Plan To Return Soon:
Hard Nosed Tee

I love Manny’s as they have some very cool and often unique items for Syracuse fans but if you want some fun clothing options at an affordable price (or some fun outdoor wear), I highly recommend Herb Philipsons. I saw the outfit pictured above and realized that this had to be where Coach Shafer shopped when he needs a new visor…and yes, I did buy the shirt but did not have enough for the visor and the SU “snuggie” style item I bought for my grandmother as well as a gift card for my uncles who have given me so much in the past.

5: Taking Pictures Of A TV Can Either Be Bad Or Interesting:
Sun Auto Ad

Only in Syracuse will I watch paid auto advertising as I am a fan of Traci DiMarco (as noted above) but I am also a huge Kaylea Nixon fan from her days on Bridge Street. She is not only beautiful but has a very friendly and positive personality. So when they have the Sun Auto commercials, I always like to watch and look at it as supporting her work. I wanted to take a picture and show her I was supporting her show but what I found was sometimes you can time a picture just right and make yourself laugh.

4: Avatar On A 3D TV Is Really Awesome:

Those uncles I mentioned above had some of us over for a dinner and a movie at their house. They had a brand new 3D television that I was in awe of (I still have a 20 inch Sanyo tube style television). After dinner, they played Avatar on DVD, which I had never seen before, and I have to say that with the glasses, the experience was phenomenal. I started to wonder how much fun that would make watching sporting events but not sure I want to see a fast ball or a Terrel Hunt pass coming at me like that ( I am 41, out of shape and with slow reflexes…I could get hurt you know).

3: 2003 Was So Awesome And This Car Is A Great Reminder
2003 Orange Car

I found this at Nice N Easy on my first day in town and I freaking loved it so much that I had to buy it. For my NASCAR friends, this is not stealing from Dale Earnhardt but simply a reminder of when SU won the championship in 2003. I really do need to have more will power when it comes to buying Syracuse stuff…or even orange items but honestly, that car is…

2: Syracuse Women’s Magazine Is Free And Awesome
Syracuse Woman Magazine

The last few times I have been home, the cover of Syracuse Women’s Magazine has had someone I knew via Twitter and highly respected on the cover. This time around was no exception as noted above when they selected Missy Shafer, Coach Shafer’s wife and the First Lady Of Syracuse Football. I got it for the cover but what I found inside was not only a great story on the positive side that I love in the Shafer Family but also some very cool stories about others in the community doing positive things and women making a difference. If you live in Syracuse, check out the free magazine section at your local Wegmans (and probably other stores) and pick up a copy.

1. Time With Family And Friends Make Life More Enjoyable
Damon Family

I love when I visit Syracuse. I can check out new places, revisit some favorite spots and drive around to relive childhood memories. However the best part of my trip is my time I spend with family and friends who I do not see as often as I wish I could. I have been blessed that though at times we may not always see things through the same eyes, at the end of the day, we love and care about each other and time with them can’t be replaced. I have learned to appreciate those who bring love and happiness into my life and in turn, hope that I can bring a fraction of that to theirs. I did not get to see everyone I wished to see but enjoyed the time with those I did and hopefully the next trip I will catch up with those I missed.

I admit that I am not perfect and I truly wish to spend time with all of those who I enjoy being in my life and feed off each other’s happiness. Happiness is a form of love and we all should be happier in life and share more love, especially now as our society seems to becoming more polarized due to political and religious beliefs. Sometimes we need to put that aside to remember that we are all deserving of love and respect and spending time with those family and friends can be a great reminder of the power love can have.


“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
Lao Tzu

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#12DaysOfSyracuseChristmas

12 Days Of Syracuse Christmas
By Orange Chuck

On the first day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the second day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Two snow blowers from North Syracuse Lawn and Snow Inc.
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the third day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Three Hinerwadel’s salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the fourth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Four Syracuse Crunch hockey tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the fifth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the sixth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the seventh day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Seven Syracuse football wins (counting the bowl game of course)
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the eighth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eight K-Rock Show Girls dancing
Seven Syracuse football wins
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the ninth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Nine Nice N Easy bacon breakfast pizzas
Eight K-Rock ShowGirls dancing
Seven Syracuse football wins
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the tenth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Ten Lights On The Lake passes
Nine Nice N Easy bacon breakfast pizzas
Eight K-Rock ShowGirls dancing
Seven Syracuse football wins
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the eleventh day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Eleven Orange Hoodies (probably purchased on sale at Herb Phillipsons)
Ten Lights On The Lake passes
Nine Nice N Easy bacon breakfast pizzas
Eight K-Rock ShowGirls dancing
Seven Syracuse football wins
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

On the twelfth day of a Syracuse Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Twelve halfmoon cookies
Eleven Orange hoodies
Ten Lights On The Lake passes
Nine Nice N Easy bacon breakfast pizzas
Eight K-Rock ShowGirls dancing
Seven Syracuse football wins
Six sleds for sledding
Five Deep Purples from Empire Brewing
Four Crunch tickets
Three salt potatoes
Two snow blowers
And a gift card for tenders at Tully’s

What would you put on your list? Tweet me at @OrangeChuck with the hashtag #12DaysOfSyracuseChristmas and let me know. Maybe we can have some fun with it and share fun ideas for the holidays.

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I Went To A Syracuse Football Game And All I Got Was Great Memories

Me and Otto 2

Recently I was in Syracuse visiting family which is no shock since I try to do it as often as I can. Thanks to a great friend (and other awesome offers), I was able to go to a Syracuse football game for the first time in about two decades (not counting last years spring game since that is a practice game). I have tried to make it back in the past but something always happened and finances are not all that great.

Now normally we drive back on Saturday due to the length of the drive and wanting to rest/do laundry before work on Monday. But I was determined to make it this time and with the awesome support of my family (and the ticket already worked out), we stuck around for the game. As you can see above, I felt that going to this game meant showing some team spirit (courtesy of Wegmans, Party City, and Manny’s).

Tailgate 2

So I met Michael and his family and we headed out a couple hours early so we could walk around and enjoy the sites. They were awesome hosts as they were more than open to wander anywhere to check out as much as we could, even if we did more walking up and down hill than an old man telling his story about how he got to school in the old days. We saw some familiar faces, I had Otto painted on top of my already painted face, we won some cool Dunkin Donuts stuff and Syracuse sunglasses, and got to check out all the fun tailgating that took place.

We also got to watch the marching band playing in the quad which I found very cool myself. And just before we went into the Dome, we got to enjoy the view of the awesome Ernie Davis statue!

Tailgate 1

Then we went inside for the game where we loaded up on Dome Dogs…okay I may have had a few or 4…before we sat down to enjoy the game. We did run into a few friends along the way and after sitting down and I would like to apologize to those who found me unsociable but I tried to do my best to balance it. To many, Syracuse basketball is the pinnacle of sports but to me, I was raised more on the football and watching a game in person was my chance to relive an awesome experience too many years in the making that last took place when I was in middle school.

Tailgate 3

Let me go on the record and say this, I don’t care if they play Wagner, Clemson or the NFC Pro Bowl selections, I go in with the same attitude to enjoy the experience and root for the Orange! I got lucky in that this game, Syracuse discovered Hunt is an exciting player and the new starting quarterback. I respect Allen but watching Hunt navigate that field (and Jerome Smith looked great as well), I was boasting with pride as were many around me. And you can point to the 54-0 score and say this was not a fair game to assess but how many BCS teams lose or barely pull out close games against teams like this (and how often have past SU teams done the same)? I loved being there and it made me more excited for the rest of the season though slightly depressed knowing it is the only game this season I will attend but I am overwhelming grateful for the experience!

I could sit here and lecture about why I wish more Syracuse fans would attend games. I would rant about how many left early while I sat there until the last play before going down to Varsity to celebrate the win (and yes, we followed the band down hill). I could also take the other side and point out all the other events that countered it and how expensive it can be for some to attend as everyone is not as lucky as I was to have great family and friends (though I did spend more on a pair of SU orange socks and dome dogs than a smart person would). But as you can see, I chose to simply say that I had a great time and hope that others can find the same enjoyment in their life and hopefully at a Syracuse game.

I loved walking around to see the sights on campus and in the Dome and I will never forget it. I ran into some great Twitter friends and new people who seemed to appreciate my wardrobe choice (the orange mustache from Wegmans was easily the best $3 I ever spent and people particularly seemed to love it). I loved seeing the Syracuse students and alumni getting into the spirit even more than I ever possibly could and sharing it with their family and friends. I want to say thank you to Michael, his family and everyone who made this experience such an awesome one and proving why I have such Orange spirit. It is not just the many years I watched the games over the years but the great people who surround this program and have always showed me a lot of love. I sit here humbled and thankful for the great experience and who make my life better.

Go Orange!

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Why I Like My Radio And TV Local!

Most people who know me well know that I love Syracuse media whether it is the Post Standard, radio stations or TV stations. I do have local preferences here in Charlotte, NC as well but part of my routine when I am back in Syracuse that I love is sitting down with the paper and watching shows like Bridge Street or Summit Car ads (yes I am #dotcomming) or Sun Auto Warehouse infomercials!

People think I am crazy when they find out I stream KRock instead of local radio (I even upped my data package to ensure I had enough to stream it) but I like the station and the personalities on it…which is exactly why I love local radio and TV! Look, I am not knocking Brian Williams, who I do like as well, or Pandora Radio but to me, I like the enhanced experience of personality along with my product. I followed #TheShow to KRock and found awesome personalities that I did a post on previously.

I get it! The news and major events are important and some people want to hear just music but I also like to see what is going on locally and enjoy some personal flair added to it! Also now with social media and even texting, you can interact with the hosts and shows to become a part of it…or at least feel like you have a connection/relationship with the people. Many shows are using comments from social media to engage the viewer or doing other things to add the personal appeal that I personally enjoy.

Here in Charlotte, I have watched certain channels because of connections to Syracuse or even once started watching a morning show because the traffic lady had an awesome personality that I loved interacting with and discussing #StressFree ways to enjoy life.

I am a creature of comfort! I like good music and being informed of what is going on around me but I also like supporting good people! I like supporting people who genuinely seem to want to interact and keep people informed as well as entertained! So every morning I wake up to the same local channel (some nights I even leave it on that channel for when I wake up since I sleep with the TV on). And when I am in Syracuse, I want to kick back with some breakfast pizza, halfmoons or a donut, watching Bridge Street with Summit commercials and reading the Post Standard to remind myself that I am home. I like local TV…I like local radio…I like finding that comfort zone when the rest of the world looks dark and I will continue to support them so long as I can keep enjoying people like Dianne, Ira, Brittany, Carsen, Rainzilla, The Show (Joe Nasty, Josh and Hunter), Traci, Kaylea, Axeman and Katrina!

Breakfast Nice N Easy

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Help @alzcny And @TullysGoodTimes Help People Like My Mother

Tullys Alzheimers

On August 13th, The Kirkpatrick Day Program team is working with Tully’s Good Times to raise money for the Day Program’s Walk To End Alzheimer’s team. All you need to do is print off a copy of the coupon just like the one above and take it to the Liverpool Tully’s (located at 7th North Street right off the 81 exit) and 10% of your bill will go towards their great cause.I mean come on, you get an affordable, filling meal and the tastiest tenders from both sides of the Mississippi all while helping a great cause.

As some of you may know or can tell by the title, the battle against Alzheimer’s Disease is personal! A couple years ago, my mother was diagnosed with the disease and I have seen first hand how horrible it is. I currently live with my parents so I have noticed the change in my mother over time. She still knows who I am and she knows who my daughter and granddaughter are but they are other things like having the same conversation 5 minutes later or general confusion over basic things that is a part of her life now.

You know that saying, “I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy”? Well, witnessing this disease I can now attest that whomever created this saying must have lived with someone with this disease. The worst part is, there is no cure! She takes medication but she will never get better though the pills slow down the progression and I can still, for now at least, do things with my mother before she forgets my name. I am proud to admit that as much as I love my father (and I wholeheartedly do), I was and am a mamma’s boy so it does at times hurt to see it but she is my mother so I will do what I can to help out and maybe by doing this I can help someone else.

Perm Pic

Look, I know Tully’s does these great events often and it was a reason I proudly supported them (other than the great tenders, the awesome turtle and the Syracuse memorabilia) but when I see that the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York is hosting event, it becomes personal. My mom may not be able to be cured but if I can help them raise funds, some other mamma’s boy or daddy’s girl may get more time with their parent if we can one day find a cure. I don’t pretend to know the answers but I know that together we can raise awareness and money to help and one way is to simply enjoy a meal at a local Tully’s.

For more information, please click the following links below and just know that making a difference starts with us. Thank you for your time and if you can help, please do!

Press Release
Alzheimer’s Association of CNY website
Kirkpatrick Day Program Donation Website
Tully’s Good Times Twitter
Alzheimer’s Association of CNY Twitter
Alzheimer’s Association of CNY Facebook Page

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Why I Rock Out With My @KROCKCNY App Out!

KRock Image
Photo courtesy of KRock!

“The radio craze … will soon fade.”
Thomas Edison, 1922

Throughout the years, many inventions have revolutionized the way we get our entertainment and news. I remember as a kid, cable was rare and if you like music, MTV played a lot of videos but the radio was your best bet. Heck, you could make mixtapes on your cassette from taking songs off the radio if you timed it right. I am a television addict but I love and respect radio because often times you find that mix of personality and music. This may explain why, even though I live in North Carolina, my radio addiction is KRock in Syracuse, NY.

Now I have to confess that growing up, they was always one station that to me identified with my memories of Syracuse but times have changed. I also have to admit that my music tastes change periodically but I do love the adrenaline rush I get when I hear some good hard rock music. And after finding #TheShow shortly before they left their previous employer, I found a new source for my fix and it is clear that KRock not only plays great music but has awesome personalities to support it.

I followed the guys behind the show (Josh, Joe Nasty and Hunter) over and what I found was a station that I enjoyed. Listening to #TheShow is now part of my morning drive/routine, though I do have to turn it off at work sometimes due to the content. The guys are great and they make me laugh. They also love to interact via text and Twitter with the Show Bros and Show Girls. They are that morning show that has you repeating certain phrases all day to your friends or using fun hastags during conversation. Occasionally throw in the ladies magnet that is Paulie and you have a recipe for fun for the un-politically correct (especially when discussing Josh’s day drinking/eating dollar store meat, Joe being in the element and Hunter’s tweets to Jesus). So if you know what #nutrub, #sendnudes and #dotcomming means, have gone to the studio and talked to Cardboard Traci and start tweets with “I wish I”, you may be a show addict!

The recent afternoon addition is a woman with great taste in music who is not just beautiful but is that rock girl you always dreamed about as a young boy who wanted his girl to enjoy great music just as you did and that awesomeness is named Carsen. Carsen can hang with the boys and give it just as good and maintains a very down to Earth personality that makes you enjoy her show (be advised, if you mock Def Leppard or Rush, she will hurt your feelings though). Don’t let her past job in country music fool you, Carsen knows her rock and rock history and if you dismiss her as just some hot chick trying to hang with the boys, I assure you that you are sadly mistaken. She is the lady you are proud to hang out with and take home to your mother (but not your father because he will probably be hitting on her and that can get awkward). Although as a guy grew up loving Lita Ford, maybe I am biased because I love the idea of a lady not afraid to rock out with her…well socks out?

Now when it comes to my ride home from work, I rely on one guy to help me out. They call him the microphone thrilla but he goes by the name Rainzilla! The takes request for the Drive At Five and does so commercial free. I may be a bit partial as well since we share a common hair style (none) but I love that feeling when my drive home is so pumping that I want to break out my drum set or shout the songs not caring who is nearby or watching. He adds in some great personality and funny song satires that will have you loving your ride as well. Just as Sharknado rules the TV airwaves, the phenomenon known as Rainzilla is tearing through the airwaves like an unstoppable storm of awesomeness.

I would like to commend President and CEO Ed Levine for not only building a great lineup but bringing a local feel to radio for those of us who love supporting local businesses and Galaxy Communications (who owns KRock, TK99 and others) is locally owned and operated. They not only run great stations but are doing a lot out in the community such as this past weekend’s KRockAThon 18 and the upcoming event #FreeForAll with Drowning Pool (a personal favorite), Boy Hit Car, Candlelight Red, Brand New Machine and Caustic Method which is free to the public August 4th in Armory Square. They have also done a lot with Taste Of Syracuse, First Night, Lights On The Lake and their Utica station is the new home for the new AHL hockey team the Utica Comets.

You don’t live near Utica or Syracuse or do not have access to a radio? No problem! You can download their free app in both the Google Play Store as well as the App Store or you can stream online (I use the app and I love it). The app not only allows free streaming but also podcast, show information, an events calendar, information and a chance to check out their Twitter feed. If you prefer Facebook over Twitter, you can check out their page here.

When Brent Axe left radio, I thought that I would never find anything on Syracuse radio to replace the passion I had for his show but what I found was a station lineup that I love and support. I play the app whenever I can and love how the station not only plays music I like but has staff who love to interact with the listeners as much as they do and sometimes make them a part of the show. So if you need that adrenaline rush mixed with a little fun, check out KRock and you can thank me later.

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