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A ghost named MerlotGeorge Thomas Apfel is a medium and his fiancee, Anne Rogers Karpiak, is a clairvoyant. Darned if we know the difference between these job descriptions, but the important thing is, on Saturday night, they both participated in Paranormal Pursuit at the Statler. “There was a bar and a few concessions. I had red wine and chocolate,” Anne told us. “We…

There are things you should do once it is clear you are going to be laid off. But what if there is some uncertainty about your continued employment? What then? “I was told that my company is being bought out, making job loss a possibility,” wrote a woman who was worried about her job. “This came completely out of the blue as we are doing very well, though I guess tha…

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Before long, those colorful leaves on the ground will be replaced by snow. If you choose to hire a contractor to plow your driveway this winter, make sure you get your money’s worth and the level of service you expect. Tops on the list of what to consider: ensure the company you choose will actually clear your driveway. That might seem obvious, but in late 2010, dozens o…

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Like the hundreds of thousands of photographs he has snapped over six decades, Richard Sterling's studio is frozen in time. The turquoise vinyl chairs are so dated they are chic again. The paneled walls shout “Sixties!” A note on a steel desk gently asks customers to wait three minutes before ringing the bell. Sterling typically emerges from a back room within a few se…

Lifestyles

Joyce Advey, 81, of Ebenezer, has worked as a waitress for more than 60 years, most of those at the Deerhead Inn, where she still works today. (Her first waitress job was at old Hotel Richford downtown.) Working weekends at the restaurant would be a tough task for most people her age, but Advey does more than work. She golfs. She teaches Sunday school. And she only recent…

Lifestyles

Last weekend, when the Motown tribute band Spectrum joined the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra for a Pops concert, some folks from the audience joined in. And they weren’t singing along. “We can’t hear you!” they yelled. It seemed we had heard this song before. A few weeks ago, when Wynonna Judd appeared at Kleinhans Music Hall, kicking off the BPO’s Pops season,…

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You wouldn’t say that Tippi Hedren looked terrified, just noticeably apprehensive. I watched the star of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Marnie” as she sat in an aisle seat on a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles. No one else seemed to recognize her. To those who hadn’t seen Hitchcock’s films – or this evening’s “The Girl” on …

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Mark and Joy Warren weren’t always Arts and Crafts enthusiasts. It took buying a bungalow for them to embrace the style – and the philosophy behind it. The Warrens loved the century-old house in the Village of East Aurora from the moment they saw it. After moving in, they were curious to learn more about its architectural style and history, and to explore ways of resto…

If you ever have a chair in your home that, for whatever reason, you don’t want anyone sitting in, I have a solution: Just move it to a teen’s bedroom. It will no longer function as a chair. Instead, it will become the drop zone for clothing – which, I suppose, is better than the floor. I try not to mention this too much around our house because many years ago, in th…

LONDON – British writer Hilary Mantel has won the prestigious Booker literary prize for a second time with her blood-soaked Tudor saga “Bring Up the Bodies,” which the head of the judging panel said had “rewritten the book” on historical fiction. Mantel, who took the 50,000 pound ($82,000) award in 2009 for “Wolf Hall,” is the first British author, and the fi…

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Schools have always had dress codes. Some rules were made for safety precautions, others simply to regulate indecent attire. But are public schools taking it too far? Area students have conflicting opinions. Brittany Packard, a senior at Lackawanna High School, says that there is nothing wrong with her school’s regulations on attire. “I think our current dress code is …

Food and Drink

In 2005, writer Michael Ruhlman and chef Brian Polcyn published “Charcuterie,” a master-level seminar in cured meats, terrines and French-style pâtés masquerading as a “how to” volume. The book that launched a million pancettas has become a seminal work in the growing American home curing movement. Its clear instructions, built on savvy discussions of meat’s te…

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When Chris Christie invited me to descend into the basement of his West Seneca home, it seemed innocent enough. After all, I was there to write about the jack-o’-lanterns that Chris and his son Alexx carve for Halloween. For 10 years they have honed their craft, spending hours paging through arcane manuals and fashioning their own sharp, specific tools. Long ago they’d…

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The potty train has left the station. It’s quite a relief, considering I started stressing about potty training before our daughter Chloe was even born. Anxious to get it over with, I was ready to dive in at 18 months the early end of the age when experts suggest starting to train. But Chloe wasn’t having it. If we tried to get her to sit on the potty, even with her cl…

Lifestyles

By Anne Neville The largest and most successful pet adoption event in the region will fill the Hamburg Fairgrounds Event Center this weekend with adoptable pets, products and services for animals and their people, and educational and entertaining demonstrations. The third annual Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project Pet Expo and Super Adoption Event, presented by the PETCO Foundat…