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The buzz

>Let 'em have it

All we want for Christmas is just one more way to make our already impressively zoo-like Bills games even more fun. And we've gotten it, with what we say is a grand new tradition in the making. First you hear sirens. That's your signal. Then you see two cops on motorcycles heading toward Ralph Wilson Stadium. Behind them are two buses. And on the buses are the enemy players -- in Sunday's case, the Miami Dolphins. Everyone pours out onto Milestrip Road and gets to pelt the buses with eggs, chicken wing bones, anything short of rocks. When you've got it out of your system, you go back to tailgating. "It's a great tradition," one Bills fan enthuses. "And I think it reflects well on the area."

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>Sports talk

What fun, Sunday, to hear Tim Russert interviewing Newt Gingrich. Both are full of smarts and charm, and Russert was trying his best to play down Gingrich's strengths and find his weaknesses and, in the process, score a few good sound bites -- lines that could be replayed to Gingrich's detriment on the evening news. It's more like football, really, than journalism. Gingrich proved that when Russert asked what he thought of Bill and Hillary Clinton. "I see the Clintons with deep professional admiration, the way you'd see an opposition football team," Gingrich told Russert. He added, "You, coming from Buffalo, would understand that."

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>Stamped out

Wednesday, after much Sturm und Drang -- or, more accurately, Donner und Blitzen -- Buzz finally took the Christmas cards we managed to get done to the Black Rock post office. It was a zoo, with the vending machine kaput, the line long and us having to settle for tiny, cheesy flag stamps. Dazed, we uncharacteristically failed to notice a cutie trying to hold the door for us. "I'm trying to be a gentleman here, and you're making it difficult!" he burst out, laughing. Doh! But we weren't alone in our fog. Seeing another woman with a heap o' cards, we told her we were glad we weren't the only one mailing them last-minute. She looked at us blankly. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, and it's coming from our computer monitor. Why didn't we just send e-cards?

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>Supersize us

This is the Christmas of excess. A friend got us our Christmas tree, and it's six feet tall and five feet wide. We gave it a quarter cup of vodka -- which two different people suggested would keep it fresh -- and are hoping it doesn't attack us. Also getting bigger and fatter: the Festival of Lessons and Carols. This year, St. Paul's Cathedral and Blessed Sacrament Church both included two hymns, not one, for every lesson. St. Paul's clocked in at a whopping 105 minutes. Muttered one attendee, "By the sixth lesson, I think I got it."

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>The buzz

We saw three ships! Well, we saw one, but it was as big as three. We're talking about the "Alpena," seen Monday maneuvering its way past the grain elevators into the Buffalo harbor, tugged by a tugboat. Just like in the history books. ... Last week, Buzz kvetched about loud music in Niagara Falls, Ont., drowning out the roar of the falls. The folks at Table Rock Restaurant called to tell us they take a stand against such encroachment. "We want to keep it natural," says Sarah Wood of the Niagara Falls, Ont., parks department, "so people can enjoy the vista and the sensations you get at the brink of the falls -- feeling the mist, seeing the water and hearing the water." Great idea!

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>QUOTE

"Santa don't sing."

-- Charlie Griggs, as a hired Santa, asked at a Kenmore party to take his turn at karaoke

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