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It seems to us . . . Chickening out, holding water, puzzling over Japan and seeing hope

CULINARY FLIGHTS: Last weekend's national chicken wing festival at Coca-Cola Field went through 40 tons of chicken wings. That's 40 tons.

At about eight wings per pound, two full wings per bird and two wing parts per wing -- therefore, two birds per pound of chicken wings -- that's 40,000 chickens stepping up to the plate at the downtown ballpark.

Oh, well, there goes our chance of luring PETA's world headquarters to Buffalo.

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FALLING SHORT: No disrespect to Saratoga Springs or anything, but c'mon.

Faced with the need to tell the U.S. Mint which federally linked park it would like to see featured for this state's quarter in a planned issue of "America the Beautiful" 25-cent-piece designs, New York officials chose the Saratoga National Historical Park near Albany (where the British Army faced its first major defeat of the Revolution).

Hello? There's a natural wonder of the world over here, and it was deemed eligible. Other states have battlefields. How many have Niagara Falls?

Oh, that's right -- you can't see this end of the state, from Albany. Silly us.

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PARTY LABELS: First the White House, now Japan. Word arrived from Tokyo this month that citizens dismayed by a failing economy voted overwhelmingly for change, sweeping the populist Democratic Party into power.

That much seems familiar. But we think the Japanese need to work on their labels a bit. The voting ousted the long-dominant more conservative party in Japan -- namely, the Liberal Democratic Party. So if you're a conservative there, you're a Liberal Democrat. Doesn't seem right, somehow.

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MAYBE THIS WOULD HELP: Automated e-mail responses from the offices of many state senators over the Labor Day holiday informed constituents the senators would get back to them as soon as they returned to the office -- in 2012 or 2015.

Senate spokesmen blamed a computer glitch, but we think reform might finally be taking root.

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