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The day I became The News’ restaurant critic, I lost my appetite.I found it again, to be sure, but my first months as a professional opinionator were disconcerting. For 25 years as a newspaper reporter, my opinion was the last thing my bosses wanted.As much as possible, my stories were straight, just-the-facts-ma’am journalism. Appearing biased – that is, indicating …

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The opening lines of Liz Moore’s book, “Heft,” immediately immerse readers in the world of Arthur Opp, a brilliant and isolated man.The first thing you must know about me is that I am colossally fat. When I knew you I was what one might call plump but I am no longer plump. I eat what I want & furthermore I eat whenever I want. For years I have made very little effort…

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Getting older seems to bring out the author in people. And seniors are discovering the booming self-publishing industry is their path to every author’s deepest desire: a book.There are far more pay-to-publish options today, including on-demand printing that lets customers order one book at a time. Local libraries now are more likely to place donated copies on their shelv…

Many motorists don’t know it, but it’s likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there’s a snitch along for the ride.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration this month proposed long-delayed regulations requiring auto manufacturers to include event data recorders – better known as “black boxes” – in all new cars and light trucks beginning Se…

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You probably have seen Danielle Fox of Lancaster working somewhere in the area. Though only 28, she has had many jobs. Her first job was at John and Mary’s pizzeria in Alden. She has worked the McDonald’s drive-thru. She also has delivered pizzas.For the past four years, Fox has worked in the hospitality industry as cloak room clerk, housekeeper, banquet manager and ho…

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You might call it noteworthy if the top leader at Women & Children’s Hospital was a graduate of the hospital’s own maternity ward.What about that fact – times four?The top four leaders at the Buffalo hospital specializing in infant, childhood and maternity care – Cheryl Klass, Debianne Peterman, Allegra Jaros and Dr. Margaret W. Paroski – were all born at the Bry…

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Every year fashion offers up the good, the bad and the ugly. But what the industry is really built on – and consumers respond to – is buzz.Here are the top moments of 2012 that made our heads turn:• Angelina Jolie at the Oscars. The leg that peeked out of the thigh-high slit of her Versace gown was the most exciting appearance on the red carpet. The gown fit perfectl…

What a couple of mugs, sporting less-than-perfect physiques in the bargain.But was there anything lovelier than Jack Klugman or Charles Durning doing what they did for an audience?Rumpled Klugman exploding at his prissy flat-mate Tony Randall in the long-running sitcom “The Odd Couple.” Portly Durning hoofing, fleet of foot, and singing how “Ewwwww, I love to do a li…

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Tom Joyner’s morning radio show on WBLK-FM powers listeners through their day. It helps drive the urban music station to its regular spot near the top of the morning ratings chart. And, according to station reps, it encourages community consciousness, which is critical for a station that calls itself the “The People’s Station.”“Tom Joyner in the Morning” is pro…

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Rolled oats are the type of oats most often used in the American kitchen, often arriving in a cylindrical cardboard container.The most nutritious of the cereal grasses, they’re often cooked into hot breakfast cereal by simmering with water or milk, or used as the base of a cold cereal, like muesli or granola.When it’s not breakfast time, rolled oats are found in baked …

Food writer Janice Okun has enjoyed a long farewell from The Buffalo News. After 40 years of covering cooking in and dining out for readers in Western New York, she retired a few years ago from her daily beat while continuing as The News restaurant reviewer. In March, she turned that job over to our current food editor, Andrew Z. Galarneau, but she continued to write a col…

Buzz loves Christmas, and we never lose sight of the real reason for the season, which is annoying the guys at the Buffalo nursery where we usually buy our tree. They are such grinches! Which we love. We go alone, wearing a red scarf, and while the guys grouchily show us our options, we smile, humming “O Tannenbaum.” “Merry Christmas!” we sing out when we leave. Th…

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“Be sure to check out the floor in the fancy restaurant,” urged my friend Martha when I told her that we’d be staying overnight at the grand hotel in her hometown of Bethlehem, Pa. “It was all carpeted over when I was a little kid, but now they’ve uncovered the Moravian tiles.”And so I’m staring at the polished red tiles beneath my feet as I make my way to ou…

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‘‘At least the table looks good.”It did – everything was shiny and perfect. The other preparations were coming along, too, though there was much still to do. With luck, they would have it all ready in time. And then: “Grrrrrr -GRRRRR!,” loud and louder! What on earth was upsetting the dog? “Here’s a biscuit ... What’s the matter? You don’t want it?” T…

Lifestyles

‘‘At least the table looks good.”It did – everything was shiny and perfect. The other preparations were coming along, too, though there was much still to do. With luck, they would have it all ready in time. And then: “Grrrrrr ... GRRRRR!” loud and louder!What on earth was upsetting the dog? “Here’s a biscuit ... What’s the matter? You don’t want it?” …