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>The legend

Thursday, in town for his Saturday gig with the Philharmonic, composer David Shire visited the Hyatt to see Jackie Jocko, who had been close friends with Irving Shire -- David's father, and a famous car painter. Did we say car painter? We meant society bandleader. We're mixed up because Howard, the guy we married, confused Irving Shire with Earl Scheib. Scheib went on to dominate lounge chitchat as Shire, mercifully, dined at a distant table. "Could he really paint a car for $30?" "It's really expensive now." "Isn't Earl Scheib still on Main?" "The sign's still there." The moral? Great musicians come and go. But only one guy could paint a car for 30 bucks.


>Down the drain

Others call it "brain drain." We call it "thinning the herd." We present Exhibit A: disgruntled rocker Wesley Doyle, who used to lead the Bloody Hollies, a Buffalo punk band. Doyle, who's now in San Diego, got a few inches of ink last week in a Southern California paper. "Buffalo is a terrible place," he says. "It's more bleak then people even know. Everyone thinks Detroit is terrible, but there is at least some opportunity there. Buffalo has nothing." Witty guy, huh? Decisive, too. The reporter writes that Doyle just couldn't take "dreary Buffalo" any longer. "So, after years of pondering, he just up and left."


>What's in a name?

Flour, water and eggs! Hearing that native son D.J. Noodles would be returning to Buffalo to take over WBLK on Friday and Saturday nights, Buzz rejoiced. Surely the D.J. took his name as tribute to Joe "Noodles" Conley, the actor who was Ike Godsey on "The Waltons" and deserves more accolades around here. Conley, who also played in "Gunsmoke" and "The Beverly Hillbillies," doesn't use Noodles in his stage name. But Buzz's dad, who grew up with him in South Buffalo, always called him that. "There's 'Noodles' Conley," he'd say. And we would gaze at the TV in awe. We salute both D.J. Noodles and "Noodles" Conley. We bet they're made out of dough.



For two weeks, Buzz has sweated, trying to shed our holiday pounds. We're talking cross-country skiing, grueling Pilates and a huge exercise ball, made in Taiwan, that came with opaque references to "inner thighs" and "Gluteus Maximas." (You get your exercise just blowing the ball up.) Finally, grudgingly, our body yielded two pounds. Eight to go. We don't know how we'll do it, especially with Mighty Taco's new El Nino Burrito. "One half pound of beef! Living large," a billboard blasts. How big are burritos -- and we -- going to get?


>The buzz

That bug going around -- it's musical! One sufferer confides: "My vocal quality went from normal to Lou Rawls to Barry White to non-existent to Barry White to non-existent to Barry White to Lou Rawls to normal over the course of two and a half weeks." ... It might as well be spring! Seen on the coldest day of '07: a fat robin, on Lakefront Boulevard, sitting on a berry bush, eating.



"So the wife's hands don't get cold when she shovels the snow." -- Sign on glove display at Irr Supply Centers, a Buffalo plumbing store

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