Tonawanda News


February 4, 2014

DUVALL: A gentle 'push' the world awaits you

Tonawanda News — It’s the staccato zap every one of the 50 million Americans who have bought an iPhone knows all too well. A short zzz-zzz vibration, double eighth notes if my music theory teacher is reading, letting you know something or someone somewhere in the world is seeking your attention.

I had the idea a while back to track all my cellphone notifications — the news headlines, social media alerts, emails, text messages — and morph them into some sort of column. A few hours into the experiment I knew it was a fool’s errand. There’s just too much stuff to collate, curate and compile into any kind of coherent form.

But the past few days I’ve had stronger than usual reactions to several of what Apple has dubbed “push notifications” — as in they get pushed to the top of your home screen and thus to the top of your mind.

A snapshot of a few hours over the course of a few days, the mundane, the inspirational, the odd, the tragic, all delivered with the same toneless buzz.

Saturday night:

zzz-zzz: When ru coming over for dinner? (A text message from my mother, Saturday night, read at a stop light while I was in the car on my way over to her house)

zzz-zzz: Can u stop and buy whipped cream? (A second maternal text, met with a sigh: I would have driven a different way and I hate grocery stores on the weekend. Response: “sure”)

zzz-zzz: Three new emails (Trudging through the parking lot at Wegmans, buying aforementioned whipped cream. Probably spam, my internal filter notes. I’ll check it later.)

zzz-zzz: News alert: Bills WR Andre Reed has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. (”That’s great! Awesome!” I exclaimed as I checked my phone pulling into my mother’s driveway for dinner. Reed is an all-time favorite Bill and his election puts a capstone on what is for my money the best football team ever assembled. I tell my mother this. She jumps up and gives me a high five.)

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  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Canal Fest, here we come This column should be titled "Roads and Streets." First of all, Meadow Drive is finally open. Although it took very long to be completed, it's beautiful. Riding by the other day brought into focus how many people will use this to cut across town. One less thing for residents to complain about.

    July 12, 2014