Comets 5 vs. Pirates 2

Once again the Utica Comets special teams stepped up to lead the team to a 5-2 win over the Portland Pirates. Buoyed by a power-play goal and a short-handed tally, the Comets completed the season sweep of the Pirates with a perfect 4-0 record.

Alexandre Grenier (1-2-3) exploded for three points, including the eventual game-winning goal in the second period. Brendan Gaunce (0-2-2) and Jon Landry (1-1-2) recorded multi-point games for the Comets, while Joe Cannata made 33 saves for his 14th victory of the season. Gaunce’s multi-point game gives him eight points (4-4-8) in his last five games.

Brandon Prust, in his first period as a member of the Comets, kicked off the party at The AUD the right way. After he received a pass in the slot from Landry, Prust spun and fired a wrist shot on net that Joseph LaBate redirected past McKenna for his fifth of the season. The goal came just 7:06 into the game.

Chris Higgins doubled the Comets lead a little over eight minutes later when he buried a short-handed breakaway goal. Brendan Gaunce and Andrey Pedan assisted on the marker.

The lead was stretched to 3-0 when Grenier tapped home a beautiful back door feed from defenseman John Negrin in the second period. Gaunce’s second assist came when he picked up the secondary assist on the goal.

The Pirates picked up a short-handed goal of their own in the third, but the Jon Landry quickly erased their tally with a power-play goal just 49 seconds thereafter.

With a little over seven minutes remaining in the game, Hunter Shinkaruk inched a goal closer to the franchise record for goals scored in a single season when he sniped a wrist shot over the glove of goaltender Mike McKenna.

Tyler Sikura jammed a loose puck past Cannata 30 seconds later to make the final score 5-2.

With the win the Comets improved to 25-17-4-3, and they have now collected 15 out of a possible 16 points over their last eight games.

The Comets will be on the road Friday night as they meet the Crunch at the OnCenter in Syracuse, puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm.


Loren Data Corp. Welcomes You To The New LD.COM

It’s been a long time coming, but the launch day of our new corporate website is here along with a fresh, new corporate branding. Huge thanks to Jamie Schwartzman and his creative team at Flux Branding .

First, the new brand for Loren Data at the top.

Since 1987 the Loren Data brand has stood for integrity, reliability and dedication to our customers. As we start into our 30th year, we continue to live by our founding principles.

Next, a new look for ECGrid, our premier EDI Interconnect Network since 2000. The ECGrid brand continues to stand for reliable core EDI messaging for the EDI service provider industry, including Cloud and SAAS providers, system integrators, VARs and consultants.


With ECGrid we leave the value added to the many talented companies out there who specialize in all sorts of technology and industry verticals. You can see a great example of those offerings on our new Enhanced Solutions page.

One thing we have learned in 16 years of running ECGrid is that Trading Partners Matter. Our new brand offering, Hubbub, is our gift to the EDI community. With a free account on Hubbub, any EDI user can manage their trading partner community setting up their own portal including contact information, listing VAN or Service Provider mailbox accounts and uploading their AS2 configuration data. The end user can then invite and share that information with their trading partner community – all for free.


Additionally and optionally, on Hubbub if you want a great hosted mailbox with unified VAN and AS2, harnessing all the reliability and power of ECGrid under the hood, for an amazing, great and honest price, you can set that up on Hubbub, too! It is just a click away.

With all that, I invite you to explore our new website at Please comment and let me know what you think.

Kindest regards,


Why Sarcastic People Are More Successful

Everybody just loves sarcasm. It’s so warm and fuzzy and makes everyone feel nice. So go ahead with those biting quips — they’ll definitely win you friends and admirers!

I’m being sarcastic, of course. Sarcasm, as we all know, might be occasionally hilarious (and often a pretty great way to vent your annoyance with the world), but it doesn’t exactly seem like a surefire strategy to build alliances and get ahead at work. In fact, most career coaches would probably tell you to avoid it at all costs at the office.

Except maybe they’re all totally wrong. That’s the suggestion of research on sarcasm that is bound to cheer fans of snarky comments everywhere. Apparently, sarcasm doesn’t just make you happy; it can also help you be more creative and successful.

“The highest form of intelligence.”

The study, titledThe Highest Form of Intelligence: Sarcasm Increases Creativity Through Abstract Thinking for Both Expressers and Recipients, was conducted by a team of researchers from Harvard, Columbia, and Insead. The team tested the effects of sarcasm by having volunteers engage in a sincere, a sarcastic, or a neutral (control) exchange before completing a task designed to assess their creativity.

What did the researchers find? Sarcasm, it turns out, is a pretty good mental workout. “To create or decode sarcasm, both the expressers and recipients of sarcasm need to overcome the contradiction (i.e., psychological distance) between the literal and actual meanings of the sarcastic expressions. This is a process that activates and is facilitated by abstraction, which in turn promotes creative thinking,” Harvard’s Francesca Gino, who participated in the study, explained in the Harvard Gazette.

The result was “those in the sarcasm conditions subsequently performed better on creativity tasks than those in the sincere conditions or the control condition. This suggests that sarcasm has the potential to catalyze creativity in everyone,” Adam Galinsky, another member of the research team, added. In short, sarcastic comments make your whole team more creative, so go ahead and let fly with the occasional snide-but-hilarious comment. Thanks, science!

Trust required.

That’s happy news for the more sarcastically inclined, but before you get carried away, the researchers caution that this finding shouldn’t be taken as a blank check to be sarcastic whenever and wherever the mood strikes you. If you don’t want to hurt people and burn bridges, you need to restrict your remarks to contexts where trust has already been established.

“While most previous research seems to suggest that sarcasm is detrimental to effective communication because it is perceived to be more contemptuous than sincerity, we found that, unlike sarcasm between parties who distrust each other, sarcasm between individuals who share a trusting relationship does not generate more contempt than sincerity,” Galinsky notes.

Central New England Railway Spring Tour 2016

This is a heads up for those planning to join us for the 2016 segment of annual bus tour along various portions of the former Central New
England Railway.

See a WebSite on this trip.

Waryas Park in Poughkeepsie
Waryas Park in

Our trip will take place on Sunday April 3 starting at Waryas Park in
Poughkeepsie.  There is a parking lot on Water street just across from
the Metro North parking garage. within sight of the Hudson River and the Bridge. The buses cost less on Sunday and traffic is less at
least in the morning. It seems like the weather is better the first
weeks of April than March and that is another factor. Please notify your friends so that everyone who wants to go has a chance. The price will be $55 per person again.
This years trip will include the former railroad bridge ( now a Walkway) Poughkeepsie, The line from Highland to Maybrook and Campbell Hall. One of the stops will be the  restored Hopewell Junction and Museum. and  the newly built replica of the New Haven Switch ss 196.  Then return to Poughkeepsie. As usual lunch will be
provided. We have planned this trip to reach as many of the remaining historical spots as our intrepid scouts could locate. In many cases we have had to rely on photographs, new and old, to fill in
parts of the puzzle. We hope that you will gain a better understanding of the part that the railroads played in the history and development of York. As usual, everybody will get a copy of the 2016 CNE Tour guide We have a lot of ground to cover so we will have coffee and buses will roll at 9:00. Try to get there by 8:30 or earlier.

The cost of this year’s tour will be $55.00 per person and payment
should be made out to:
Joseph Mato CNE 2016
Joe Mato
62 Wood RD CNE 2016
Redding, CT 06896
(home): 203 938-9992     e-mail:
Be sure to include your E-Mail address so we can contact you if we need to. If you don’t have E-Mail then include your phone number.
Any money that is left after expenses will be used as “seed money” for
next years trip.
As we did last year, we have two buses with 47 seats each. In past years we sold all seats and had a waiting list so don’t wait too long to send in your reservation. Please note that any request for refunds must be received thirty (30) or more days in advance of the tour date. If you can find a replacement to take your bus seat, that’s OK just let us know who it is. We have to know who to let onto the bus when the tour starts. If you can’t find a replacement then we may have somebody on the waiting list to suggest but we can’t refund money that has already been spent on tour expenses.
Bernie Rudberg
7 Marion Ave.
Wappingers Falls, NY    Phone 845 221-9330
12590-6017       E-Mail

Market Funk

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

Watching the stock market on a daily basis is a good way to go insane. If you doubt this, all you have to do is read the various explanations for the daily gyrations – which rarely make much sense. Nevermind them. Since the start of 2016 the market’s been in a serious funk, which is to say it’s had a major urge to get down.

The official explanation is “China”. Something about China, at least. We’ve never bought that here at Barataria, focusing instead on the positive news that surrounds us every day. No, we’re not joking. There is indeed positive news and the market reflects this – sort of, at least.

Like good funk, the story of the stock market today comes with a backbeat and a solid bass line. It’s all about how the vagaries of international finance flow through the news and the market with a beat…

View original post 617 more words

10 Really Smart Things Successful Millennials Do

All those bad habits older people complain about? They’re actually kind of brilliant.

It’s time to stop whining about Millennials.

My company has grown a lot since 2014, and we’ve hired a lot more people. As we’ve done so, the average age has gone down. I’m a Gen-Xer; so are the CEO, COO, and a few other key people. But I think a majority of us now are Millennials.

Like everyone else, Millennials have their strengths and weaknesses. But after working in a Millennial-dominated company, I’ve developed a lot of respect for them. I’ve also learned that many of the things older people criticize this generation for are actually pretty smart.

Here are 10 admittedly broad generalizations about how Millennials work that I actually think the rest of us should emulate.

1. “They’re out for themselves.”

2. “They’re obsessed with technology.”

3. “They don’t know how to stick to their role.”

4. “They don’t pay their dues.”

5. “They think they’re experts.”

6. “They dress like they’re hanging out.”

7. “They think they define their roles.”

8. “They’re too sensitive.”

9. “They’re so presumptive.”

10. “They’re not loyal.”

Read the whole story

Why GE had to kill its annual performance reviews after more than three decades

The annual performance review has been a ubiquitous and generally loathed fixture of the corporate world for decades. But haters can rejoice: It’s finally starting to topple. The best part? Even the company that popularized the toughest form of formal annual review is moving away from them.

For decades, General Electric practiced (and proselytized) a rigid system, championed by then-CEO Jack Welch, of ranking employees. Formally known as the “vitality curve” but frequently called “rank and yank,” the system hinged on the annual performance review, and boiled the employees’ performance down to a number on which they were judged and ranked against peers. A bottom percentage (10% in GE’s case) of underperformers were then fired.

The company got rid of formal, forced ranking around 10 years ago. But now, GE’s in the middle of a far bigger shift. It’s abandoning formal annual reviews and its legacy performance management system for its 300,000-strong workforce over the next couple of years, instead opting for a less regimented system of more frequent feedback via an app. For some employees, in smaller experimental groups, there won’t be any numerical rankings whatsoever.

With the decision, GE joins other high-profile companies—like Microsoft, Accenture, and Adobe—that have started dumping or have already gotten rid of formal annual reviews. GE may not have invented stack ranking, but it’s the company most identified with it. And given the longstanding and pervasive influence GE has had over the business world, its move could represent the beginning of the end for a practice that has been at the heart of how corporations have managed people for many decades.

Picture Above:

Hallowed but shifting ground at GE’s Crotonville management training campus (General Electric)

Plowz & Mowz: Just Like UBER!

Knew it would happen! An “APP-BASED” business like UBER for driveway plowing.

Source: J&R Lawns & Landscapes
J&R Lawns & Landscapes in Syracuse uses new app to order plows from an phone app.

In the winter of 2012, after a major snow blast to Syracuse, New York, Wills Mahoney’s mother got stuck in her driveway. As she sat, she watched several plows go by, but couldn’t get one to her property. And there it was, the inspiration for Plowz & Mowz, an on-demand, residential plowing and mowing company, founded by 33-year-old Mahoney and college friend Andrew Englander.

“We are truly the only on-demand snow plowing app on the market today. You can go with other websites, but their turnaround time is about 48 hours, and they’re going to have to give you an estimate,” claimed Mahoney, whose company now serves 30 markets, including Boston, Cleveland, Chicago, Minneapolis and Milwaukee.

Customers download the app, type in their information, get an exact price on a snowplow and then that request is dispatched to drivers who contract with the company. Generally, those drivers are already out on their routes. They can accept or reject the job, depending on distance and schedules.

“It’s very similar to the Uber model,” said Mahoney.

Residential snowplowing is actually a growing business, as harsher storms hit the nation with increased frequency. There are approximately 30,000 residential plowing companies and three times as many who plow commercial properties, like malls and offices.

“The vast majority of the residential market is single contractors. It is highly fragmented,” said Martin Tirado, CEO of the Snow and Ice Management Association, who calls the app a “disruptor.”

“Some of the bigger companies that do this,” he added, “like Brightview, [formerly Rockville, Maryland-based Brickman] they only comprise 3 to 4 percent of market share, and they’re the biggest one out there.”

Jeff DeLine, a Plowz & Mowz provider for three years, said he has seen demand for snowplows surge dramatically.

“Easily hundreds more requests for each event,” said DeLine, owner of J&R Lawns and Landscapes in Syracuse.

DeLine employs about 30 drivers and uses Plowz & Mowz for additional revenue that he said comes without extra hassle.

“It just fills a gap in our current routes,” said DeLine. “We don’t have to gather customer information, we don’t have to gather their billing information, and we don’t have to bill them after the service is completed. All we have to do is show up to the job, plow it and send a picture when it’s completed.”

Last winter, when Syracuse was unusually dry, DeLine dispatched five trucks to Boston, which was seeing record snowfall. He said he made $15,000 on the trip and could not have done it without the app.

“It wouldn’t have been feasible to travel there and do that based on the amount of work that we would have had to do to gain customers there at the drop of a hat,” he said.

While there is no significant competition to Plowz & Mowz yet, there are still challenges to this model. It works for residential, but would need to be much larger scale to serve commercial properties, which require heavy equipment. The model also does away with old-fashioned customer relationships.

“It’s going to be a significant change and more challenging. Before this, people had a route, operators, drivers, they were familiar with the properties in advance. Now they don’t know,” said Tirado. “The property could have steep inclines and declines, sensitive landscaping, where are you going to put the snow? Before, people did on-site inspections. It’s going to be more challenging, but I certainly think people will adapt to it.”

Mahoney said he hasn’t had many issues with customer satisfaction. He notes that drivers have Google Maps, providing a picture of the property, and that customers can upload photos and instructions to their requests. Mahoney claims to have grown his app into a “multimillion-dollar company” in just three years. He said he has help from an angel investor and will be raising more funds soon.

No question, the promise of quick help after a storm is very attractive. With a possibly epic winter storm bearing down on Washington, D.C., where Plowz & Mowz does not yet operate, put a call in to a northern Virginia plow company Thursday to find out about weekend service. After sitting on hold for at least 10 minutes, we were told they could not guarantee a plow before Monday.





What Happened to Presidents Day, Never Mind Abe and George

I do not give much credit to other bloggers, especially if they are women; but my favorite blogger is Phyllis Zimmerman.

Her blog yesterday was all about the United States “Holiday”.

As she says:

According to my son’s school calendar, today is Famous Americans Day.

What happened to President’s Day? For that matter, what happened to Washington’s Birthday and Lincoln’s Birthday? To me, Famous Americans Day isn’t a good term because leaves too much room for interpretation. Technically, most U.S. celebrities are famous Americans. Can you imagine… On second thought, let’s not.

When I was attending Rome’s Fort Stanwix Elementary School during the 1960s, we had Feb. 9 off for Lincoln’s Birthday and Feb. 22 off for Washington’s Birthday. Then something happened. The two were combined into a single holiday on the third Monday of each February known by many as President’s Day. That’s what I’ve always thought, anyway. However, after doing a brief search on the internet, even that no longer appears as concrete fact to me. Different online sources offer different opinions. Some say that legally, today really is Washington Birthday, but it’s only called that in some states. Other states call it President’s Day. Some reportedly don’t bother with the possessive apostrophe and call it Presidents Day.

Now I’m really confused, but if I have to make a choice, I’d go with Presidents Day as that could honor both Washington and Lincoln. President’s Day is a singular possessive, which means that it would honor only one President. That could be Nixon for all we know.

Oh, what a minute. Richard Nixon was born on Jan. 9. I hope they don’t consider lumping his birthday in with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the third Monday of each January. You never know.

Forget that Lincoln’s Birthday was February 12, 1809. As usual she got the important stuff right.

I read Phyllis in the UTICA OD. She is a Rome, NY native now living in Harrisburg, She currently works as a freelance journalist for the PA Media Group, which publishes and The Patriot-News in Pennsylvania’s Capital region. She also is the author of a novel, All Things Must Pass, which is set in Utica, New York.

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