Friday, June 29, 2007

Update - Letting some others do the legwork this time

Police: Wiki Confession an 'Unbelievable Hindrance'

Computers Tied to Wikipedia Posting About Nancy Benoit Seized by Authorities


June 29, 2007 —

A Wikipedia posting about the death of pro wrestler Chris Benoit's wife that preceded the discovery of the Benoit family's bodies has become a major obstacle in the murder-suicide criminal investigation, authorities told ABC News.

"It is unbelievable what a hindrance this has put on our investigation," said Lt. Tommy Pope, a spokesman for the Fayette County, Ga., Sheriff's Department.

"We've got to put a lot of effort and time into working to prove or disprove that someone put up a hoax situation or that somebody was conceiving the death from out of state," Pope said, adding that investigators have been flooded with tips regarding a Web posting that's very likely a bizarre coincidence.

Police have traced the Wikipedia posting and subsequent anonymous confession and apology to an IP address in Connecticut. Pope said local authorities there are working with his department and have seized computer equipment from the person responsible for the postings.

"We know who the person is," Pope said, adding that police wouldn't reveal his or her identity until early next week. By then they hope to have determined whether the person was implicated in what police earlier this week called a double murder-homicide.

If the person had knowledge of the death before police discovered the body, he or she could face criminal charges.

The anonymous Wikipedia poster confessed early this morning to changing the entry for professional wrestler Chris Benoit to mention that his wife was dead -- 14 hours before the police had even discovered the bodies of Benoit, his wife and 7-year-old son, Daniel.

The confession, which was posted on Wikinews, came from the same IP address, traced to Stamford, Conn., from which the eerie posting about the pro wrestler's wife was made, an administrator for Wikinews confirmed. The WWE is based in Stamford.

"I am not connected to WWE or Benoit at all in any way," the poster wrote, describing himself or herself as an "everyday" individual, confirming a Connecticut residency, and claiming that the prescient entry was an unfortunate coincidence.

"I hope this puts an end to this speculation that someone knew about the tragedy before it was discovered," the Wikipedia user wrote.

Wikinews is the user-generated news site that falls under the same nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation as Wikipedia, the user-generated encyclopedia.

ABC News attempted to contact a person identified in a Wikipedia entry about Naugatuck, Conn., that came from the same IP Web address that police are now investigating. That person flatly denied any involvement with the posting related to Benoit and his wife's death.

The original Wikipedia posting that touched off the controversy began at 12:01 a.m. EDT on Monday, June 25.

"Chris Benoit was replaced by Johnny Nitro for the ECW Championship match at Vengeance, as Benoit was not there due to personal issues, stemming from the death of his wife Nancy," the posting read.

The posting was confirmed to ABC News by Wikipedia spokesman Sandra Ordonez on Thursday. Ordonez said Friday that the company had handed over any information to authorities that might help their investigation, including the IP address.

The company didn't have the name of the poster, but revealed the original posting about Nancy Benoit's death was stripped 47 minutes after it was added to Chris Benoit's entry, Ordonez added.

A volunteer editor flagged the post and notified the Web site's management, Ordonez said, before the company notified the police.

The writer claims in the "confession" that as speculation grew about what "personal reasons" may have forced Benoit to miss scheduled World Wrestling Entertainment events Saturday and Sunday, he or she latched onto a rumor online about the death of Nancy Benoit and posted it as "fact" on the Chris Benoit Wikipedia entry.

The Benoit entry, which has been updated hundreds of times this week, is currently locked due to "vandalism."

While there are ways to scramble IP addresses, police are often able to trace exactly where Wikipedia entries originate. "Authorities are usually very effective at figuring out where that IP address came from," Ordonez said.

Police say that Benoit asphyxiated his wife Nancy Friday, used a chokehold to kill their 7-year-old son Saturday and hanged himself with a weight machine cord early Sunday morning.

World Wrestling Entertainment contacted authorities Monday after Benoit missed scheduled events Friday and Saturday. The wrestling organization said the wrestler canceled his appearance at a Sunday night championship match, saying his wife and son were suffering from food poisoning. On Sunday, the wrestler sent a series of text messages to two of his co-workers simply listing his address. In another, he wrote, "The dogs are in the enclosed pool area. Garage side door is open."

The pro wrestling group also made "several attempts to contact Benoit via phone and text message," but hadn't reached him as of 11 p.m. Sunday, according to a WWE statement.

The WWE, which originally posted the contents of the text messages, has since stripped them from the pro wrestling organization's Web site.

The IP address from which the first Wikipedia addition -- and subsequent confession -- was made has been flagged for "vandalizing" other Wikipedia entries in the past, including a racist edit about troubled NBA star Ron Artest.

Another entry was edited earlier this month, apparently from the same IP address, about WWE wrestler Chavo Guerrero Jr., a close friend of Benoit's and reportedly one of the two recipients of text messages sent by Benoit over the weekend before the bodies were discovered.

In that entry, the IP user stripped an explicit and damaging description from the Guerrero post.

Chavo Guerrero is the nephew of Eddie Guerrero, another friend of Benoit's and a wrestler who died of heart failure in 2005. While he was reportedly clean at the time of his death, the coroner later tied the heart failure to longtime drug and alcohol abuse.

Jerry McDevitt, a lawyer for the WWE, told The Associated Press Thursday that no one at the WWE knew that Nancy Benoit was dead before her body was found Monday. "I have no idea who posted this," McDevitt said. "It's at least possible Chris may have sent some other text message to someone that we're unaware of. We don't know if he did. The phone is in the possession of authorities."

Authorities, who have ruled the incident a double murder-suicide and still have released no motive, also confirmed Thursday that federal drug agents and sheriff's officials conducted an overnight raid at the office of Benoit's personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, in search of medical and prescription records.

The search warrant was obtained by the Fayette County Sheriff's Department in connection with the Benoit investigation, according to Chuvalo Truesdell, spokesman for the department.

Benoit had been under the care of Astin, a longtime friend, purportedly for treatment of low testosterone levels. Benoit visited Astin Friday, the day police say he killed his wife. The doctor said that Benoit showed no signs of distress at their meeting.

Anabolic steroids were found in Benoit's home, leading officials to wonder whether "roid rage" may have played any role in the murders. Results from toxicology tests may not be completed for two weeks.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said that empty beer cans were found in a trash can in the Benoit home and an empty wine bottle was discovered a few feet from where Benoit hanged himself.

McDevitt, the WWE attorney, has said that Benoit and his wife had been arguing over whether the wrestler should take time off to help care for their son, Daniel, who suffers from a rare medical condition called Fragile X syndrome.

Benoit did request and receive four months off from work in 2006 for personal reasons. "He was feeling depressed, that kind of thing," McDevitt said.

On Friday, Benoit's father spoke publicly for the first time. Michael Benoit said he could not understand what might have motivated his son to murder his wife and son and kill himself, but he's hopeful the toxicology reports might finally provide some answers. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright © 2007 ABC News Internet Ventures

Benoit's Wikimystery

First off, gracias for the comments on the last entry, I tried to comment on them all as best I could, while keeping in mind that the investigation is still ongoing and trying very hard to keep my own personal speculations at a minimum and keeping only with what has been established as pretty much fact to this point. It isn't easy, main stream media sees a wrestler and prescription steroids in his home and run "Roid Rage" stories with no more facts to the case than that. Don't get me wrong, steroids may eventually play a role in the events that transpired in the Benoit household, but they may not as well. We need only look at the ongoing saga that is major league baseball and the allegations that many of the players either were or still are using steroids, yet we don't see vast numbers of baseball players offing their spouses or families. Assuming that some of the allegations involving baseball players are correct, then we can establish a theory that just because you use steroids, you aren't necessarily going to kill someone. It is this common sense logic that main stream media will pass on in favor of sensationalism, because putting butts in the seats for their advertisers is far more important than getting a story right and doing what passes for responsible journalism.

That being said, I have tended to stay away from the main stream media on this story, so I don't know how much of the wikipedia mystery they have covered, so I will be brief in this aspect of the investigation, just as a little more food for thought for the thinking public.

On Sunday, after it became apparent that Chris Benoit would not be participating in the WWE Vengeance pay per view, an addition to Chris Benoit's profile appeared on his wikipedia page, stating that the reason he would not be participating was the death of his wife. The odd thing is, the bodies of Chris, his wife and son would not be discovered until the following day. Strange to say the least but it could just be coincidence. I remember back when I was in 6th grade, I was throwing a tantrum of sorts, not even sure what the tantrum was about, but it was probably that we couldn't go outside for recess because of the weather and I wished that a tornado would come and blow the school away. Little did I realize, or appreciate at that time as well, that about 10-15 miles away in Apollo, PA a tornado had touched down at roughly that very same time, blowing through a trailer park. One could surmise that because I said it and it was happening in a town not that far away, maybe I had control of the elements, though we all know that the chance that I control the weather is highly unlikely, rather it was just a coincidence and nothing more.

What made the Wikipedia entry even more suspicious however, was that when tracing back the IP address to find who had done the addition to the Benoit entry, it was learned that it came from a computer in Stamford, Connecticut. For those of you playing along with the home version of this blog, Stamford is the very same town that serves as the corporate headquarters for WWE. Other posts had been placed on Wikipedia in the past from that IP address, from a variety of topics and most of the posts were not positive, going from The Sopranos to anti-gay remarks. That being said, the very same IP address was recently also used to do some corrections to an entry for Chavo Guerrero's entry in Wikipedia, clearing up some falsehoods that had appeared under his entry. What is unique about this, is that Chris Benoit was very close with the Guerrero family, his best friend being the recently deceased Eddie Guerrero, Chavo's uncle. Chavo was also one of the wrestlers that received one of the strange text messages Chris had sent out prior to taking his own life and that now the same poster who had corrected the Guerrero entry was now stating that Chris Benoit's wife was dead a day before the authorities knew about it.

Wikinews (eventually I am convinced, everything in the world will have a wikiversion) reported that they have since received a confession from the poster of the information on the Benoit page, which they cross checked with the IP address and determined it to be legitimate, and in it, the poster states that it is all just a coincidence, that he went on the page after finding out Chris wouldn't be wrestling and just threw something on there, not thinking that what he actually wrote was in fact a fact, rather just ramblings of someone who was disappointed in the lack of Benoit's appearance at the PPV. It is one of the disadvantages of running a system where anybody and everybody is allowed to contribute, fact checking can be problematic at best. After all, it wasn't that long ago that someone had posted the comedian Sinbad was dead, only to later retract that information. While I have found wikipedia to do a pretty good job in correcting such errors, it is far from perfect and I tend to take things there with a grain of salt, so to speak. That being said, it creates a new avenue in the Benoit investigation of who knew what and when. Is the computer in Stamford in fact a WWE computer? Does the poster have a connection to the Guerrero's or the Benoit's or both and was privy to information prior to the authorities? Or is it in fact just all a coincidence, and nothing more?

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Losing respect, it's as easy as 1...2...3

I guess I need to get this off of my chest. It has been ruminating in my cranium since Monday night and I have been putting it off, maybe thinking the longer I waited the easier this would be. I guess the simple way to put it would be to come up with some sort of excuse, like saying that words fail me, but that isn't quite true, words cannot fail anyone, rather I think I fail words more often than not, I am not sure I put my thoughts to paper in a manner that is befitting the topic at hand.

Maybe the best way to start is a confession for all of you newbies around this joint, and to those of you who aren't newbies but just don't know me all that well. I am one of those wrestling fans that everybody makes fun of. That doesn't mean I don't have a brain in my head, or that I am stupid and can't tell reality from that which is fake, I can and do. But just as someone would be willing to criticize me for watching it, I am sure there are plenty of things they like that they are not hounded over. After all, when was the last time someone said "You know Law and Order isn't real don't you?" Most people would know this without having it reminded to them at every turn, To me, wrestling is much the same thing, you enter with a suspension of belief and you go along with the storylines, and when two really good wrestlers are in the ring, their movements and ability to "sell" (for those in the know, it is the ability to fake that a move hurt more than it did) carries with it much the same appreciation that some would have for the exquisite moves of the ballet. When a storyline is furthered and a series of matches take place between a "face" (good guy) and a "heel" (bad guy) and they work in knowledge of their previous matches such as effective counter moves to moves favored by either the heel or the face, it can for me at least make for some entertaining television.

Having gotten that out of the way, let me make the next confession, if this is in fact a confession, and say one of the best people I have ever seen do this was Chris Benoit. He was not the best wrestler at cutting a promo, but inside the ring, his work was on par with the best the wrestling business has to offer these days. He was not one of guys who got by solely on physique and no talent, rather he was someone that when you watched him, you were seeing a performance from someone who understands the business and can let his actions in the squared circle tell a story far better than I can with a pen and paper.

That being said, unless you live under a rock, and some may provided they find a rock comfortable enough, the story that unfolded Monday about the events in the Benoit household are shocking, saddening and disgusting all at the same time. Shocking simply because one finds it hard to believe that Chris Benoit is capable of the events that transpired. For those that don't know, it is believed that over the course of the weekend, Chris first killed his wife, binding her wrists and ankles, choked his son to death the following day and up to a full day after that, hung himself off of the equipment in his home gym. This was a guy that until the events of this past weekend, pretty much everyone who followed wrestling had a decent amount of respect for, both fans and fellow wrestlers. It is saddening simply because at the end of the day, regardless of what may have happened to precipitate the events, three people are now dead as a result, and it is disgusting, at least for me, because I cannot imagine a scenario where a man would walk into his 7 year old son's room, a room that had posters of his father hanging on the walls, and proceed to choke the very life out of him.

The events of this weekend have changed my opinion of both the man and the wrestling "business" as a whole. It is easy to see why my opinion of Chris Benoit would change, regardless of the hours of enjoyment and entertainment he may have provided, at the end of the day he is just a murderer, mind you one with a talent, but a murderer nonetheless and that fact carries far more weight with me than anything he may have done previously. I am sickened by those that are looking to excuse his behavior simply because of who he was or what he may have done in the past. It is granting him a pass, when one is not called for. If the guy working the local McDonald's was really good about taking care of the fryer, cleaning it every night, making sure the proper oil was in it and made just out of this world french fries, and yet, in a fit of rage killed someone, we wouldn't give him a pass saying "Yeah, but those fries were so good, I am really going to miss him." And to those poeple that would take that approach, I am sorry but the psychological problems from which you suffer can't be remedied in this blog. Chris Benoit, accomplishments aside, will forever be remembered first and foremost as a murderer and that is the way it should be.

That being said, his actions were his alone, and it shouldn't tarnish wrestling in general, and as far as I am concerened it doesn't. The actions of the WWE following the double murder suicide however are inexcuseable as well. From the way the timeline unfolds, apparently Chris Benoit was to take part in a live event in Beaumont Texas on Saturday, and event that he asked his employer if he could miss due to a family situation. The WWE granted him the day off, thinking that he would be arround for the pay per view event on Sunday. In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Chris made a series of strange text messages to some fellow wrestlers, the messages stating his home address and that a door would be open or the garage was open and that the dogs (he had two german shepards I believe) would be in the yard. When Chris failed to show for the pay per view event on Sunday and the WWE was made aware of the text mesages sent, they asked the local police department to do a drive by and check up on the Benoit residence Monday. The police of Fayetteville, Georgia did that and upon arriving at the house they found three dead bodies, the Benoit family, with cause of death to be determined, yet they labeled it as a major crime scene. The WWE carries a live show on TV Monday nights. "Raw", and were wondering what they should do with the scheduled broadcast. They could have done a number of things, they could have opted to run a tape, they could have just cancelled and let the network instead run a movie or some alternate programming in the shows place. Instead, they chose to do a tribute show to Chris Benoit, knowing that the police were treating the scene as a crime and that the fact of what happened were still unfolding and it is plausible that Chris could have had a role in what unfolded there. Don't get me wrong, I am all for tribute shows to guys who gave their lives for a profession that they love and that allowed them the chance to entertain millions of fans, myself included, provided we know what happened that brought about their deaths to begin with. WWE could easily have waited a week to do a Chris Benoit tribute show, provided that facts had unfolded in such a way as he deserved one, but instead they went ahead with a three hour show, showing how great a wrestler Chris was, recapping his career highlights, having fellow wrestlers come on and talk about their interactions with Chris through the years and what he meant to their careers, some of them near tears with the news of his passing, meanwhile in Fayetteville, the police are doing a press conference that took place at 10pm, in the middle of that live tribute show, to say Chris Benoit killed his family. So, while the police are saying that Chris Benoit killed three people, his wife, his son and himself, WWE is running a show saying how great he was. It is grotesque in its timing and sensitivity.

The following night, WWE came on TV for their ECW show and opened with Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWE, saying that other than his opening remarks, they would not mention Chris Benoit again and proceeded to talk about the events that happened regarding the deaths of Chris Benoit and his family, yet he failed to do the one decent thing he needed to do, which was apologize for having a tribute for a murderer the night before. Myabe some people can get passed that, and they will tune in their TVs to watch wrestling either later this week, or early next week, I can just say that after this week, I will not be one of them.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The change meter is back!!!!!!!

I haven't talked about the change meter in a while, so I might as well start off with that particular piece of info, where we have added another 30 cents to the ongoing total. I believe that brings us to $15.86 now. The theory that by working in a fast food establishment woul;d help in my chnage seekign efforts have paid off, as most of that addition to the total came straight from the floor at work.

I have completed my first full week at Subway, it seems like it will be easy enough, I just have to get a better grasp on what all needs done when it comes to closing the store. Uusally I close with one other person, but that person is mostly in the back getting the dishes caught up and doing the cleaning that needs done in the back of the shop, leaving the front to me, and given after this week I have done it twice, I think it is just a matter of getting a timing schedule down for myself and I will be fine. I was supposed to have someone close the front of the store with me on Friday, but he called in sick, and as is the case in fast food places, amples replacements usually aren't to bew had, especially on a Friday night in a college section of town. The allure of alcohol to the yopungsters is too much and so the chance they will want to work past midnight on a Friday is pretty much nonexistent. I did get my first check however. Funny thing is, we get paid every other Wednesday, and my first day was teh Saturday of teh second week of a pay period. Since I am trapped in the radio studio on Sundays, that meant my first paycheck consisted of all of 6 hrs. Go me, woohoo. I did pick up an extra shift this past week, so my check shouldn't be too bad coming up, it will close in on the 40 hr plateau, which fits my radio schedule just fine.

As for radio, it is still disenchanting these days, I am just doing my best to put on ye olde happy face. I didn't even bother suggesting I sit in for one of Lynn's days off this week. She is taking time off for vacation, and I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with it. I even told management as much. It is too much of a pain with little return for the investment of effor, let alone to be questioned about it after the fact again. Instead I put in for vacation time later in July, I am taking 4 days off, and I know that they are going to want me to find a replacement for my days off, but the fact of the matter is, nobody else is required to find their own replacement, and I am not going to kill myself to find one for me. I put a note in the booth for the days I will be off, beyond that I just don't care. Even this evening, while I would normally be sitting at home after getting my studio work done, I am stuck here running another stupid Nascar race, one which we didn't sell a single spot for. Management will be happy to know that I am billing them for wasting my time this evening, I have filled out a time sheet for the time I am sitting here. Normally I don't have to do time sheets, being salaried and all, I just have to show up and do my job, but if they are going to pull extra time from my schedule for stupid crap like this,. then they are going to pay me extra money. I could just as easily worked my part time job and made money, if that opprtunity is off the table, then I will take money from here.

It's bitterness kids, enjoy it, I do.

I did get a couple of birthday cards last week, from my grandmother and my aunt, and my mom called to say she had one for me but they want to come visit rather than just mail it. That's cool with me, we usually end up going out to dinner and I really need to spend some time with my family, I don't see them nearly enough. That is one of the reasons I am taking time off in July, a family picnicat my aunt and uncles house. Knowing my luck it will rain, which is why I am taking extra time off, it case the day is a wash out, I will still have time to go visiting and just get away from everything Pittsburgh for a few days. You don't know how refreshing it is to spends days not reading the paper, or if I am reading the paper, it is ober breakfast with coffee and eggs or a bagel and just pacing my entry into the day, rather than being out the door and at work by 5am. In those instances, coffee and cigarettes are a diet to wake me up, there is no enjoyment in taking coffee that early in the morning.

My fantasy baseball team continues to languish near the bottom of the league, I am 9th out of 11 teams, though I do lead two categories, strikeouts and stolen bases, so I may recoup some of my 55 dollar entry fee. There are 10 categories and the leader in each gets $10, so I could get $20 back if all hold at the current pace, though we haven't even reached the midpoint of the season yet, so there is still plenty of time for things to go haywire, though I can't fall much further, a slight bonus to being near the bottom, there is only one way to go, up.

My Joe Random character is continuing to do well. I did simualte the games he was on the DL, and I brought him back and managed to gte the average somwhere around .430 or so, and upped the HR total to 4 in just 19 games played, with 13 runs scored and 10 RBIs. I went ahead and requested a call up, just to see what would happen and it let me go back to the major league team. I have just one start since being called up, I am not good enough to start everyday though I can spell people when they need a day off. In my only game I went 1 for 5 with a double and run scored. Not a great effort, but hey, I won the game and it was against Tom Glavine and the Mets, so I can't complain too much, after all Tampa bay does suck, so if I get a chance to lead the team to a few victories against superior competition, all the better.

No one asked me about it, but I did change the background on the page for a reason. I needed a new Pittsburgh pic since I had tired of the fireworks photo over the Point, so I figured what better photo than one of the most famous Pittsburgh photos ever. For those unfamiliar with the picture, which I imagine is most of you, since it was taken in 1960, the picture appeared in Life Magazine in the fall of 1960 and it is taken from the top of the Cathedral of Learning, shot from behind some onlookers down into Forbes Field, where the Pirates used to play. What made the photo so memorable was that it was taken as Bill Mazeroski hit his walkoff homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning of game 7 of the World Series to beat the New York Yankees 4 games to 3. Forbes Field has long since been taken down, and I don't even think you can get out on the ledges of the Cathedral of Learning anymore, and least not without sneaking, and the photo wasn't taken by a sports photographer if memory serves me correctly. Just someone who happened to be in the right place at the right time back in the day where everybody wasn't walking around with a cell phone camera. Ah, the good old days.

An Asshat update from last week, the two moms are facing 5 counts of involuntary manslaughter, 2 counts of reckless endangerment, 3 to 4 counts of child endangerment and filing false reports for lying about the presence of a babysitter that evening. I really am trying to temper my rage regarding the matter, which is quite hard to do. Ther are times where passion overtakes reason, and it while it is easy to say that they should just be locked up and throw away the key, I think that might be a bit much in this instance. I am not saying the mothers shouldn't be punished, only that the punishment should fit the crime. In that regard I think the DA Stephen Zappalla is probably right in saying the crime is involuntary manslaughter, the tragedy certainly fits the description where negligent behavior results in someone's death. I don't think anyone would say that going to the bar and leavine 7 kids home alone constitutes a behavior that is even remotely responsible.

I should set up for tomorrow morning while I am here, it will be less to do when I get in in the morning, considering I still have to do laundry when I get home. I am such the procrastinator that I am just letting life woverwhelm me. Maybe the motivation of going on vacation will be the kick in the ass I need, I hope so, not much else has worked to this point.

I still haven't had my meeting at the station about how much I make, though I am starting to think they assumed that by saying we would sit down and talk about it, it would be the same as actually sitting down and talking about it. They are sadly mistaken. The advantage of being with only one job for the last month or so was I was able to update the resume and get some newer refernces added to it and as a result, I am able to send out applications at my leisure to stations all across the country. One of the cool things about my part time job, besides the fact that I get free food, is that they are willing to work around my schjedule, almost too willing. Makes me think they are desparate for help, though if they keep hiring help as cute as the last girl they hired on Saturday, then I am all for desparation. Not that I would ask her out mind you, she is much too young andf i have learned you never date people you work with, the Animal Planet Rule of dating is in effect there "Don't Shit Where You Eat".

I finished reading "Infamous Scribblers", which was an okay book, I really didn't learn much. I'll admit it was interesting to get to know some of the players in early journalism in the colonies and eventually, the states, but I knew enough about the era that journalism was at best a lossely defined term and those that think today's journalism is skewed really need to go back and check their history. I'll admit that I have problems with the media today, but these terms of liberal or conservative bias are pale comparisons to how slanted journalism was when our nation was first founded. That being said, if I have finished readingf a book, that means I am reading another and I am, as I have started into "Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy" by Ilario Pantano. So far it is a good read, but I have barely scratched the surface of it. I will get into more details about it in a later blog, but for now I will just leave it to you, the investigative blog reader that you are, to do your own homework on this one.

Well, I think I have said enough for one day, you can talk for a while if you wish, or you can't just discount this to the idle ramblings of someone who is incredibly bored at work listening to a bunch of fools drive around in circles on the radio.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Unpleasant Asshat edition

Dezekiah Holyfield - age 3

Cedano Holyfield - age 4

Daekia Holyfield - age 7

Azquel Rankin - age 5

Andre Rankin - age 6

Those names shouldn't appear on this page, nor should the names of the older siblings, Jevon Irwin, 8 and Huedon Chambliss, also 8, whose fate may be more fortunate, but equally frightening given the events of the morning of June 12th.

Some of you probably saw the AP story, one of the less than positive things coming out of Pittsburgh during the same week that saw us host the US Open golf tournament. True to reporting on a national scale, the headline barely scratched the surface of the horror that was to unfold. It is easy enough for a national news service to simply print "5 Children Killed in a Pittsburgh Fire" to get the requisite shock and awe from the reading or viewing public, damn the details that may be further troubling, we don't have time for those. Even our local media has been tepid in broaching the subject, reminding us constantly that family was grieving and thereby giving them a pass on the hard questions that needed to follow. Even the police department would suspend their investigation into the events of the 12th, pending the funerals replete with caskets far too small, lives lost prematurely with little thought to the potential that was lost with them.

Let us go back to the early hours of that dreaded Tuesday morning. Most of us had retired for the evening, having survived another day in what has been determined to be "America's Most Livable City" by people who probably haven't spent 2 seconds here their entire lives. Roughly 1:30am that morning, the fire department received a call of a fire at 6429 Winslow Street, a residence in the city's Larimar section. It isn't the most well to do neighborhood in Pittsburgh, yet by most accounts the fire department responded with due diligence, arriving somewhere in the ballpark of about 8 minutes after receiving the call. Their efforts, while often heroic in nature, on this particular evening would leave them wondering what else they might have done, not that anything else was humanly possible. On the second floor of the residence, in a bedroom, the five names found at the beginning of this saga were found, having died in a fire that was tragic in its cost and horrific in the negligence involved.

For those that have paid close attention to what I have written so far, the question most surely had crossed your mind, for those a little more in and out on my scribblings, the obvious question has to yet to be asked or answered, that being "Where were the parents?" It is a question that people on the scene looking for who to ask about what happened I am sure asked themselves as well, as no parent or adult connected to the residence was to be found at the scene.

Shortly it would be determined who the mothers of the children were, Shakita Mangham, who lived at the residence, and her friend, Fuhara Love who dropped her children off there.

The police would bring the two mothers and the two surviving children in for questioning to determine what happened. During the questioning, Ms. Mangham said that while they weren't at home, the children were left in the custody of a babysitter, one Lashawn Smith or Smithfield. Police asked for help in locating the babysitter and through the interviews and an investigation by the fire department, the cause of the fire was determined. It appears that one of or both of the boys were playing with matches and it was this that started the fire on the second floor of the home.

An initial search for the babysitter proved fruitless, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review went as far as to print that no one in either of the families had even heard of the babysitter before the name cropped up in the investigation.

Ms. Mangham went and did what all good parents would do, she lawyered up, grabbing attorney James Ecker. For those not familiar with the local scene, Ecker is famous for taking the more high profile criminal defendants around these parts. It is akin to casting suspicion on the mothers story and begs again to question, well if no one was in the home, where were the mothers? That suspicion would become confirmed today, as the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that the police investigation determined that no babysitter was present at the home that evening.

That question about the whereabouts of the mothers would be answered in a not to pleasant fashion, when a local pub owner said he knew where they were, because they were in his bar that night. So the mothers weren't at work, there was no pressing event that drew the mothers away from the house, rather they were out drinking, leaving 7 children no older than 8 years old to be left home completely unattended and the result of their neglect is that 5 of them are now dead. I warned you last week, that this would be pleasant, but your Asshats of the Week are Shakita Mangham and Fuhara Love.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Taking the subway to work

Welcome back to the page everyone, hopefully you have been dutifully out shopping for my birthday present. Okay, here is a big secret, my birthday has never been one of those overly celebrated events growing up. I was envious of the kids who had more money and bigger parties than myself, heck I was happy if I got a couple of cards and there was no party most years to speak of. Not that I am complaining mind you, there were lots of things that I went without given we didn't have a lot of money when I was a kid. I am not making a pitch for sympathy here, just stating a simple fact. I imagine I will get a couple of cards, but really that is about it and even if I didn't get that, I wouldn't be all that broken up, after all, I will be 38 yrs old, at some point you have to stop celebrating getting a year older and start celebrating the fact you haven't died yet.

I am not taking Asshat suggestions this week, because the Asshat winner has already been determined, and unlike other times, when the award is somewhat finny or snide, this one will be neither, and the more I think about it, the angrier I get. Since it isn't due for a few day, I will try not to dwell on it now.

Today was the first day of the new job, making Subway sandwiches. i know, it sounds like a pretty sucky job, and in many ways I assume it will be in the long run. But for now, it looks like they are going to pay me on a regular basis, which is nice and they are members of the Oakland barter system, which is even better. Allow me to explain a little of what the Oakland barter system is. Because most of the businesses in Oakland are manned by college students, they work deals with other students at other businesses, so if we hook places up with some sandwiches, they in turn hook us up with stuff. Today is was first Rita's Italian Ice that stopped by, they were offering us Ices and Icy drinks, I know very little of their menu because I am more of a ice cream person than a flavored ice person, so I took a pass on the offer, though everybody else got something. Next Primanti's stopped by and I haven't had a Primantis sandwich in ages, so I hopped on that bandwagon, getting myself a Cappicola sandwich. For those of you not in the know, Cappicola is a spicy ham, and the Primanti's sandwich is actually a Pittsburgh tradition of sorts. The first store opened many moons ago in the city's Strip District, which is where all of the trucks come into town and unload their wares. The truck drivers would like to have something to eat but they couldn't sit down for a meal, because they would have to get back on the road, so Primantis started putting french fries and cole slaw right on the sandwich so the truckers could take it with them. The sandwich turned out to be very tasty and something that caught on as more than just a meal for the road. Given there multiple locations now and their late hours, they have also become part of the after the bars close set. Finding out I was getting their food for free today, was just an added bonus.

After my shift today, Thea the manager asked if I was coming back next week. Apparently they must be having problems keeping people if they have to ask that question, but I will gladly come back. I worked a little bit, but it wasn't any worse than some of the other places I have been, and the idea that I don't have to wash my uniform, they keep them on site, just made my life a little easier. Probably the worst part was wearing gloves all the time, you hands get very sweaty and pruny in them, but if that is the worst thing that can happen, I am cool with that. My first schedule looks pretty easy as well, just a Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week, two 5:30-9 shifts and one 5:30 - close. There is even a crazy suggestion that I may be getting paid for today's work on Wednesday, which I didn't expect as a lot of places I have worked hold a check for a couple of weeks before paying you, yet here I am getting paid on Wednesday for today's efforts, all 6 hrs of it. Heck, I don't even have to punch in and out, which is probably why they were trying to kick me out at the end of my shift, I was waiting for the next person to come on the line, I didn't want to leave only one guy there and they kept telling me to go, as a couple of people arrived just didn't make it out front yet.

By the way, Target called today while I was at work, they want me to start my orientation. I believe the phrase is "Too bad, so sad" to that line of thinking. I will stick with smelling like Subway food and pass on the Target opportunity.


Yes, this is another of those blogs that I start one day and just take a break from, only to comeback almost a full day later. Such is my lot in life, I am a professional procrastinator. I did get quite a bit done at work however, so it was not all me dawdling away time. I managed to get 4 commercial feeds done, recorded two 2 hr programs into the computer for next weekend, cut 2 new promos, dubbed 10 spots for clients, had the engineer fix the monitor in my booth, set up to edit two podcasts tomorrow morning, stole some music from yahoo, repaired the phone system that was down and was just basically my normal productive self.

I am, still tinkering with the baseball thing on PS2. For the second straight season, my guy got injured. This one is a little more sever however, as last time they gave me the option of playing through the injury, this time he fractured his forearm and will be placed on the 60 day disabled list. This can't bode well, I was a little off the previous seasons pace to begin with, hitting .372 with just 1 HR, 2 RBIs and 5 runs scored in the first 11 games before the injury. Heck, depending on how my replacement does, I may get sent down to AA ball when I finally come back. I don't like the prospects of that in the least. Just my luck that at the same time I get hurt, the major league first baseman also gets hurt, it almost certainly would have gotten me called up.

I don't know how many of you watched the US Open, I mean it is golf after all, not compelling television, but if anyone saw the conditions they played in the last our days, then you have an idea of what weather has been like here, since the Oakmont CC is only about 10 miles from here. Just sunny skies and comfy temps, as has been the case most of spring to be honest. I think the only time it rained during the 4 day event was the evening after the first round was completed, so the rain didn't affect the golf any, save for maybe making the course a little more manageable Friday morning, which ironically was when the best round of the tournament was shot, a -4 under par 66. I'll be honest, I was less than impressed with the event. I realize the course is harder than most courses on the PGA tour, but given the conditions, the number of just out and out bad shots was too me, just far too many for people that call themselves professionals. At least the winner, Angel Cabrera shot 1 under par the last day to win the tournament, but given how nice it was, a winner score of +5 overall just seemed more like people were making bad shots more than the course or the conditions were really punishing anyone.

I still have to schedule guest hosts for Lynn's vacation. I have asked a few people, but haven't heard anything back yet, and I have no idea if I should even consider sitting in, after how the last guest hosting effort by me played out with management. Mind you, they told me they want live people, yet they have no intention of booking anyone, so if it doesn't get done by me, it just doesn't get done. It is one of the bassackward things about my job that I really don't care for, because if I book someone they don't like, I won't here about it until after the fact.

Today was first day of the transit cuts in Pittsburgh. The bus system that services the city is cutting it service by 25%, so I didn't know how I would be affected. The new bus schedules are on the web, but being the professional procrastinator that I am, I didn't bother looking about Sunday service until last night. Luckily for me, it looks like my stuff on Sunday is unaffected, which I worried most about because weekend service is one of the things that got hit the hardest. I know a bus I used to ride on Saturday, the 67H Squirrel Hill was completely eliminated. Don't get me wrong, I agree with removing the route, usually when I rode it only 2 or 3 other people would be on the bus, hardly a wise investment in transit dollars and I can get to the same points by walking an extra block or two and catching a different bus, so why that route wasn't eliminated ages ago is beyond me.

Damn, it is warm this evening. I'll admit I don't own an air conditioner, for multiple reasons including cost and the fact my windows open sideways, not up and down, which means fitting one in a window in my apartment would be a challenge, I don't know if it is hot so much as just getting muggy. It was around 90 degrees today, but it wasn't that bad, but the air just seems heavier right now. then again, it could be that I just made dinner and that increased the temp in my abode, who knows. I know who knows, the weather channel knows. Well at almost 11:30pm, it is still 78 degrees with 57% humidity, so I guess the air is getting a little heavier. I don't see much on the radar as far as future precipitation is concerned either. Now I am curious as to just how far behind we are on rainfall this year. Well the average for June is 3.72 inches of rain, so far we have had .32 inches, so I guess we are behind the curve.

So, have I bored you to death yet with video games and rainfall totals? Good, because I can't think of anything else to say, so we will call this a wrap.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Amazing Klee Irwin

Well now, it has been a while since I have gone to the trouble of blogging about my life in general, maybe because I have seen my typing and I know all of the corrections that comes with proofreading (or spell checking) one of my rants. That being said, eventually I need to just catch up on things, lest you think my life has gotten all exciting or something and you missed out on it. Trust me, you didn't miss anything exciting, as I will explain as we go along.

We will start first though with another Joe Random update. I finished my first season, sitting most of the last month on the bench. I was still playing well at AAA and decided that I would request a call up to the major league franchise. Amazingly, the computer agreed with my talents and sent me up to the Devil Rays major league franchise. Unfortuneately, once I got there, I again clicked on the option to "Simulate to next appearance" only to find I was never called off of the bench, so I spent the better part of my last month just riding the pine. As a result, the major league stats didn't change at all, as for the AAA numbers, I finished the year with a .413 average, 22HRs, 24 doubles, 4 triples, 58 runs and 68 RBI's. Not too shabby for my first year. Of course I only signed a one year deal, so I had to renegotiate my second contract and again decided to stay with the Devil Rays system (a home town discount, see I am loyal). I signed another one year contract and have just started to get season 2 underway, though again I am starting at the AAA level, and since I requested a call up last season, I have to wait 60 days after I get sent back to the minors before I can request another one, and since I was in the majors at the end of last season, that means it will be 60 days into season 2 before I can make the request again.

Change meter time, we add another $.17 so the new total is $15.73. I remember when I first started this and the guesses for what I would find in a year. Here is is better than a year and a half in and I still haven't reached those lofty goals. I do have hope though, as I did get a part time gig finally. After waiting for Target to call to say when I could start my orientation, I decided screw them, I've invested far too much of my time waiting and far too little actually earning money. Instead I will be working at Subway shop about three blocks from my apartment. Looks harmless enough, not great money but only slightly less than Target wanted to start me at and I will reach the lofty Target starting wage after 30 days, so I really have no reason to accept the Target offer at all now. I am hoping that they still call just so I can tell them to cram it, though in less friendly terms than that. One of the things I noticed when I worked at McDonald's was that people dropped change all of the time, most employees would put it in the McDonald House Charity box. Not me, charity begins at home my friend, and given what they were paying me, every extra penny was one I earned, even if it didn't come directly from the company. Here's hoping more people drop more money at Subway and I can get to updating the change meter more often.

I mentioned something a couple of entries back that I realized I never followed up on, the dreaded Klee Irwin mention. Actually I am glad no one called me on it, I almost hope no one knows who he is. After all, who better to bring you some wholesome goodness like Klee Irwin than yours truly? Klee pushes a product called "Dual Action Cleanse", it claims that in can help alleviate some problems you may have in bowel movements by removing impacted fecal matter from the colon. Far be it from me to actually try the product and come back with a rating, the infomercial is enough to make me never want to try the product. Let's excuse the fact that Klee has the look of a cross between a 70s porn star and Snidley Whiplash for just a moment and consider how Klee pitches his product. Can we get some tape in here please?

How does this go down actually? Does Klee wait outside the bathroom door while his daughter is doing her business and then say "Remember not to flush until I check that out!!!!" Is there some great mystery that I am just not in on where it is okay to stick your head in the bowl after someone goes, just so see how long and thick it is? Maybe I was just brought up in an improper manner, after all, Klee isn't the only one checking out his children's stool..........

So Gary doesn't feel right, he has no energy despite the fact that he is eating healthy and taking vitamins. So what does Gary choose to do to alleviate the problem? He too checks out his childrens' stool, as if the answers to all of Gary's problems may be found in his kids' turds. I am almost scared to wonder if he didn't poke at them in the bowl in case the answer was written on the face down side of the fecal matter. In brings to mind the days when people used to tell the future with chicken entrails. This wouldn't be as funny except for the fact it runs literally every single morning on cable someplace, one of the fledgling cable networks looking to make a couple of bucks with paid programming cuts a deal with Dual Action Cleanse, and there is Klee, 365 days a year, reminding us that his daughter's crap is as thick as his wrist and as long as her arm . Mind you I would be frightened if I started crapping stuff as long as my arm, but that is neither here nor there. This stuff is comedy gold for people who sit through it, though the fact they run it early morning means that in order to watch it, you will have to give up breakfast if you have a weak stomach. There is something not all that appetizing about sitting down to some bacon and eggs only to find Klee was checking out what his daughter ate last night by swirling his head around a bowl full of her fecal matter.

Now you know who Klee Irwin is, though there really is no need to thank me. Your kindness is thanks enough. Speaking of kindness, my birthday is in just a few days, so get shopping already and anyone thinking of sending me Dual Action Cleanse, don't.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday pictures

Got out of work a little early and thought I would do some strolling in town, since the Three Rivers Arts Festival is going on and all.

Weekend Update

I will admit, I have no idea where this blog is going, only know where it has been, that being on my desktop while I typed whatever crossed my cranium at any given time.
I would like to say I have had my meeting at the radio station, but that would be a lie. Alan has been in Oklahoma for the last week, looking after our stations there, so I haven't had that sit down with him yet. I have to stick my head into his office on Monday to see what he wants me to do about Lynn's upcoming vacation this month, but that doesn't mean we will be talking about anything else, as a matter of conjecture, I imagine we will talk about nothing else.
The part time job hunt has taken a disastrous turn of sorts. Technically, I apparently have a job with Target, but technically and actually working are two different things. I went through three interviews with them (yes three different interviews) and did the drug test and was to report for orientation on Monday. Well, I show up and just as the gather the class of new recruits to start our training, they tell me that my drug test results haven't arrived yet so I can't continue, so back home I went. I called again on Wednesday to see if the results have arrived and they did and I did pass, but now they don't know when I am going to start. Just a royal pain in the ass if you ask me. Needless to say, I went ahead and did the online application for Fed Ex in my down time and I also just applied to Wal Mart on Friday since I had some free time. After all, I have no idea when or if Target will call me back at this point and sitting on my ass isn't making me any money.
I haven't done a Joe Random update in a while, mostly because I hadn't been playing all that much. I did break the game back out though, only to find Joe Random has split into an amoeba. Really what happened was more along these lines. I had played a few games and they have an interaction option where you can ask to be called up, complain about your playing time, moan to the media, etc. Well, I used the complain to the coach option and they cut him from the team, so I simulated the rest of the season and during the next off season 4 different teams were offering me contracts. I took one but saved the game under a different name so that I could play either one. The second option has me starting again in AAA but with the Pittsburgh Pirates to start my second season. Since I wasn't sure that was what I wanted to do, I have been playing primarily with the first file before I mouthed off to the manager. All had been going well there until today, when my guy pulled a leg muscle so I was left with one of two options, either accept a stint on the disabled list or play through the injury, but as long as I was injured I couldn't gain any attribute points. I opted for the DL, which will leave my guy out two to three weeks. Shame too, because I had been playing well. So far I have had a brief call up to the major league team, where I played in two games and went 5 for 7 with a double and a run scored, but the majority of my playing time has been at the AAA level, where I am putting up some pretty good numbers, a .402 batting average with 18 HRs, 20 doubles an even 4 triples while scoring 46 runs and driving in 53 in 64 games.
I actually woke up this morning to watch the French Open Women's Final. That is unusual for me, not the watching tennis part, I can sit through a match, but that I would get up for TV at 9am on a Saturday. Mind you, it wasn't much of a match, Justine Henin won in straight sets 6-1, 6-2. It was competitive for about a game or so, as Ana Ivanovic actually won the first game, breaking Henin's serve and was up 30 - love in the second and then we got to watch her fall apart on TV. It was probably nerves, but she went to serve and the ball toss was off and after that she just seemed to lose all composure, hitting balls long, consistently missing on her first serves. It was train wreck TV and I quickly turned it off as Henin won 6 straight games to win the first set and looked like she wouldn't have to play well, just keep the ball in play long enough for Ivanovic to screw up again and she played her part to unwitting perfection. The only plus was that Ivanovic had this Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar) thing going on that was kinda hot. Then again, attractive women with big brains are a big turn on, much more so than the airhead set.
In case you hadn't guess, I am still digging on the imeem toy. Recently I have been taking music I found there and adding it to a playlist, stuff I like that you will hate. But really, where else are you going to get some of the obscure music I listen to but on my webpage. I may let the imeem music list pop up on the page from time to time, as I add more stuff to it, and as the current list fades off into entry oblivion along with hundreds of other posts of mine.
Speaking of obscure things I like, since nothing is ever on TV, I have taken to watching more and more of WBGN, which is a low power, non affiliated TV station in Pittsburgh. They carry mostly paid advertisements (though thankfully not Klee Irwin, who I will get back to), but they do have some shows from my youth that I still somewhat like, like Family Ties and Hawaii Five O. They used to run a show called The Best of Carson, which was a recap of highlights of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, which was still better than Leno is today. Anyway, they have taken to running very old horror movies on Saturday night, much like Chiller Theater when I was a kid, complete with character actors during little intermission periods that perform in bad acting skits. It is pure camp, which is why I like it so much and the movies just do not hold up as far as the test of time. As I type now there is some black and white horror flick on involving entering an Aztec tomb. They keep the movies on their webpage, so you too can see how bad this stuff really is. It is and is certainly worth a look if you love bad cinema from God knows when.
I will say, the one good thing about having Saturday off while seeking a part time job is I get to lay around in my underwear as long as I want to. It is the epitome of laziness and I don't mind at all. Though I will admit that I did apply for another job today while sitting in front of the computer doing pretty much nothing, and I started doing some work for the radio station tomorrow by pulling a couple of podcasts off of the webpage so I can put new ones up in their place.
I have been playing pyramids on yahoo recently, but no good scores to show for it. I consider a good game any game where I get over 100,000 and I haven't had one of those in a while. It is almost enough to frustrate a person, but there are far bigger things to be frustrated by these days than a simple card game. Like my electricity going out time and again last night. I know we had a few storms come through the area, but it must have went off and on half a dozen times. I am ready to go to the hamster and the wheel as a backup generator at this point, knowing my luck though, once the power went out, I go to the hamster's cage to find I didn't feed him and he was lying dead in there. Face it, a hamster probably wouldn't eat the same things I do, today it was chili dogs for lunch and fried chicken for dinner, neither of which would pass the FDA recommended allowances for what a hamster should have every day.
Just found out the movie that is on The It's Alive Show. The title is "The Robot versus the Aztec Mummy". Told you this was way bad cinema. Just sorry I didn't tune in sooner. Spoiler alert - the mummy kicks the robot's ass, just in case you were wondering.
Think I will pick this up tomorrow, nite for now kids.
I would like to say this day has been good, but that would be the ultimate in lies, so I won't go there. It all started when I first got out of bed. Getting up shouldn't be too much of a problem, yet today it was as I stumbled about the apartment looking for my glasses, which I couldn't find. Luckily I have a backup pair, so I went to the backups for the time being. Next was the finding of the bus pass, the object that lets me ride the bus for free, well not free the pass costs $60 a month, but at least I don't have to pay per ride, except I couldn't find that either, so I ended up scrambling for change for the bus. They only take exact change, so if you overpay, you do not get change back. Already my day is a big 0 for 2. It would get worse don't worry.
I get to work, and figure I will do my commercial feeds and some other production work and have a nice relaxing day in the comfort of the studio, except someone took it upon themselves to lock the mail room at work and guess where three of the commercial feeds are that I need to record for Monday? If you guessed my mailbox, you get a gold star. As a result, I could only tape one of the 4 feeds I needed, which leaves me a boatload of work tomorrow, work that I would have rather gotten out of the way. The only plus seemed to be that this free time left me the option of going to the Three Rivers Arts Festival downtown. the festival usually runs about three weeks, but I usually only stop by for a day or two, yet here it is, me with free time and my camera in my bag, so I figure I can go snap some pics while the weather is nice and take in the festivities.
Most of the pics are on the webpage, feel free to gander at them, I won't go into too many details about any particular photo. Suffice it to say, the pics didn't come without problems as well. As I am strolling through I stop by a booth, mind you I didn't go in, I just stood outside and was taking in the patrons reactions to the work, which was nice I must admit. I figure I can get a good crowd shot and sure enough I fire off a picture. Then the owner of the artwork comes over and tells me he doesn't allow photos. Mind you I didn't have the camera focus in on any particular thing he created, but nonetheless, he says no one can take pictures of his artwork. Fine, I say I will delete it. Then he says, well you can take a picture if you include me in it. Mind you, if he had said that first, I would have been way cool with it, I might even had gotten him to pose near something that I found particularly creative and mentioned in and his website in my blog (provided he has one), but after chastising me for taking a picture of nothing in particular to begin with, the best I can say is "thanks, but I'll just delete the pic". Instead I went about my merry way and just took some other pictures, including some geese that were on the river, which I don't get to see every day.
I managed to make my way back home and shortly after I got in the door I found the very bus pass I had been needing all day, just $4.50 after I needed it. I think I should ask for some good karma for my birthday, speaking of which, there is only 8 shopping days left, so you better get cracking.
At least the weather was nice this weekend, but you know your life is in a bit of a rut when the only positive thing you can say is about the weather. I don't know, just seems like I have been stuck in a rut of sorts and can't get out of it. I even tried calling Target again on Saturday after I mentioned them earlier in this entry, figuring maybe they did have a start date for me and I just may have missed the call or something. No such luck, they told me to call back on Monday and I will have to admit, I am getting pretty damned tired of jumping through hoops for this bunch of assclowns and I haven't even worked a day there yet. So far it has been three interviews, a drug test, an orientation I was sent home from, two phone calls that I had to place because they have shown no initiative to call me and I am no closer to earning a paycheck than if I never walked in the door. It's enough to piss someone like me off, and I am getting closer and closer to telling them to take their offer and cram it up their ass. I have enough stupid people in my life without Target trying to vastly increase the quantity of them.
Well, that little rant was somewhat cleansing, I should swear more often and just get it all out of my system.
I haven't thought of this week's asshat yet. I could go Paris Hilton, but isn't that like picking low hanging fruit at this point? To be honest, I am all but sick of hearing about her, I sure as the hell don't want to devote an entire blog to her. 'Paris Goes to Jail", "Paris Says Her Cell Is Cold", "Paris Cries In Jail", "Paris Is Let Out", "Paris Ordered Back To Court", "Paris Cries Leaving Courthouse", "Paris Back In Jail" all of these headlines over this nonentity leave me but one thing to say to those that are wasting our time with this stuff "Shut the fuck up!!!!!!".
I did get a little more reading done this weekend, not as much as I would have liked, but at least the weekend wasn't completely thrown away on nothingness. Truth be told, the book I am reading isn't bad, just a little dry. I have no problem reading it when I am trying to pass time, like on the bus but when I am sitting around like now and I can think of other things I could be doing rather than reading, the book just doesn't have that kind of pull to it where I feel I have to be reading it.
Speaking of things I have to be doing, I have to go buy some smokes and then go to bed, so that is exactly what I am going to do. Nite everyone.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Some reading music

Something to listen to while you read the other posts here

Farking Thursday? You betcha

In honor of Drew's book coming out at the beginning of the month, we once again bring you another Farking day. By all means, go get the book if you want some serious smart ass critiquing of the media, if not, then you can always hope I might borrow some of his content from time to time.
Not news: school district cuts 35 teaching positions. Fark: district uses savings to buy $15,000 automated espresso machine for remaining staff

Remember those hi-tech tsunami warning systems they installed in Indonesia last year after that big one? Yeah, well they keep going off and freaking people out with false alarms, so they went and smashed one up,22884,21865819-5005940,00.html

Nature: 1 - Darwin: 0. This could get really, really bad,22884,21864495-5005940,00.html

Bush's Surgeon General Nominee: Boys and girls have different pipe fittings

Spain may send navy to stop Americans from recovering treasure from sunken ships. No word on if South American Indians will send troops to recover treasure from Spanish Navy;_ylt=AjtQkA_Rb_L0dLSTmZ7jjALtiBIF

Over 80 percent of Republicans are satisfied with their personal finances, while only about half of Democrats feel the same. Bunch of liberal whiners

Bishop found drunk. So drunk he couldn't walk diagonally

One of your National Guard members takes leave to gain custody of her daughter. Do you A) wish her luck B) attempt to find arrangements for the daughter C) refuse to extend her leave, then charge her with desertion on her return

Cable repairman accused of fondling a woman for about seven minutes and then stopping without finishing. So, in other words, typical Comcast service

After crossing the world in a private jet the Dalai Lama lectures Australians on conserving resources and protecting the environment,20867,21859416-2702,00.html

Monday, June 4, 2007

Asshat - The Commerative Presidential edition

It really was only a matter of time wasn't it? President Bush has said so many stupid things that the simple fact none of them were of asshat quality is probably more due to timing than being overcome with some case of competence on his part. Last week, the spell was broken, the President spoke and we listened as he said possibly the stupidest thing ever to a woman who had lost her son in Iraq. You would think you couldn't be shocked by anything he says, and you may very well be right, but it was shocking enough for me to grant the President the coveted Asshat title. And what exactly did he say? Well here with the math .............
"Don't go sell it on eBay."
-- President Bush, upon giving a presidential coin to families who lost soldiers in Iraq, according to Elaine Johnson. The antiwar activist, who lost a son in November 2003, told NPR's "Tell Me More" yesterday that she met with the president later that month at Fort Carson, Colo., where, she said, Bush presented the coin to a few families. "We never discuss the president's private conversations with family members of the fallen," White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said .

Damn, I miss good TV

The intro to my all time favorite TV show

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Stanley Cup Final Game 3 - Glog

Well, my team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, didn't make the Stanley Cup final, but that doesn't mean we still can't do some hockey round these parts, so, welcome once again to the glog. Tonight's feature game is Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final (unless NBC preempts it for something) between the Anaheim Ducks and the Ottawa senators. This is game 3 of the best of 7, and Anaheim leads the series 2-0.

Some may wonder why I should mention the possibility of preemption, well in the conference finals NBC did break away from a game just as it was going to overtime to instead do prerace coverage of the Preakness Stakes. Yes, they broke away not for a race, but prerace coverage of a horse race. The fact that the game between Ottawa and Buffalo was the series clincher for Ottawa (they won the series 4 games to 1) made it even worse. I could almost excuse it if maybe the series would continue regardless of the outcome, but with a team in Buffalo facing elimination, to break away to talk to some horse jockeys is just ludicrous. Of course, there is some rationale behind it, hockey is a sports that is almost negligible here in the states, save for those cities that have teams. It hasn't, unlike football, or even baseball or basketball, captured the nations fancy, it is very much a niche sport unlike in Canada, so the fact the finals come down to a team from the US and a team from Canada means there will be millions of Canadians rooting for the home team versus dozens of Americans.

While we wait for the game to start, we do have a new change meter total, the new total is $15.56, as we added our first ever bill, a $1 marker to the kitty. Cool stuff indeed.

I have stayed away form the blog recently, save for adding content from other places. Lots of stuff going on on this end of things and not all of them good, so I have been just keeping quiet until I didn't feel like going off on some vile rant that would have scared the kiddies off. Anyway, I had mentioned that I was supposed to have a sit down at work to talk about what I was making, and three weeks later, well, I am still waiting on that sit down. As a result, I have fired off resumes to other stations, 770 AM WABC in New York City and 620 KTAR in Phoenix. I can only sit on my ass for so long before I have to get up the impetus and go looking elsewhere in my field of employment. I did get a part time job, something that I probably need, even though I have gotten a little comfortable in this current schedule of only working one job. I am going to be working at Target starting Monday. Just part time stuff and they seemed to be really cool about working around my availability,

Anyway, it seems like the talk of me at least sitting down to discuss my situation with management at the radio station is just that, talk. It gets even better. One of the duties I have taken upon myself at the station is that when Lynn is off, I am the one that goes and finds replacement hosts. It is one of the reasons, though a minor one, that I am on the air from time to time. Lynn actually first suggested it, and I waited until I had the approval of both the program director and the station manager (who is now working with our stations in Florida), so those that should have been in the know were in fact in the know. Lynn was going to be taking time in May, so I emailed the PD and our acting station manager Alan about who would be sitting in, including myself on the 25th (the last show I imbedded to the page). After the show Alan asks to speak to me and I am thinking maybe we will be having the talk I have been waiting a couple of weeks for, instead it is to ask me why I hosted the show, even though I notified him 3 weeks prior that I would do it with nary a word mumbled about it. Now Lynn is to be taking a week off in June and to be honest, I don't want to book a single guest host if I am going to be second guessed on it. Technically, programming is not my job, I (and Doug's producer Greg) were doing it in hosts absences because it needed to be done. And it is not like I abused my opportunities to be on the air, I have hosted 4 times in a year, Lynn gets at least 3 weeks vacation time, not including sick days, so if I hosted, it would not be that I was making myself the first choice for the job, rather I would use me to fill holes in the schedule. Still, it is a pain, I have no budget to work with, so anyone I get is working for free and exposure, nothing more and if I am going to be second guessed on who I get for free, I'd rather get no one.

Well, we are in hockey pregame, I should go get some smokes and come back, so be right back.

Back, and minus a shirt. It has been incredibly warm here recently. Bad enough that since I live by myself, I have no problem walking around in varying degrees of undress, but it has been in the mid 80s and humid the last few days, making the idea of undress even more appealing.

One of the coolest parts of hockey games in Canada is the national anthems. Because the sport involves two countries, both anthems are sung before the game, but the Canadians have it down, as they always sing along during the Canadian anthem. I have always liked their anthem anyway, but it is really cool prior to a Stanley Cup game, the singer literally stops and just lets the crowd take over.

A little fantasy baseball update, I am still in 9th place, this isn't looking good a full third of the way through the year. The only plus is that I lead in stolen bases, so I may get $10 back, woohoo.

The game is underway.

Not sure what to expect, Anaheim has pretty much dominated play in the first two games of the series, but this is the first game of the series being played in Ottawa and the crowd should give the Senators a boost. The prevailing theory is that a road team has to weather the first ten minutes of the game until the energy of the crowd is settled down a bit and everyone is into normal game time situation. As I say that, Anaheim gets off a great shot that Ray Emery makes a glove save to keep it scoreless So much for that theory.

Ottawa take the first penalty of the game, not a good thing given they have yet to even score an even strength goal in the series, they don't need to be playing a man down. Last game they managed only 16 shots total and only four scoring chances and in the first game Ottawa only goals came on the power play.

Did I not say that going a man down wasn't a good thing? Anaheim scores on the power play and the game is just a few minutes old and already the Ducks lead 1-0. Andy McDonald is credited with the gaol and Teemu Selanne gets the assist and we have our first TV timeout, 6 minutes into the first period. Anaheim is leading in shots 4-1 and any jump Ottawa hoped to get from playing at home seems to be pretty much negated at this point.

Turns out it wasn't a TV timeout, Anaheim took a penalty, but they killed off the penalty, so it remains 1-0 despite the roughing penalty to Brad May. Sorry, if I as at the game someone would say I went to the concession stand, instead I went to the microwave and hooked myself up with two hot dogs. Ottawa has been dictating the play since the penalty to May, even though May has returned from the penalty box, but it is a lot of sound and fury and to this point signifying nothing as Anaheim remains in front 1-0 almost halfway through the first period.

Much like last years glog during the Stanley Cup finals, I need to make note of the fact that NBC has once again done a piss poor job promoting their coverage here in the states. I am sure if they were running a Law and Order rerun, we would have seen dozens of commercials about it, but because it is hockey, nary a mention.

Because of the humidity, there is a chance a thunderstorm could pop up and kill my electricity at any moment. I am taking to backing up this entry as I go, but if I get pulled away due to lack of power, I will pick up as soon as I can.

Matching penalties for both teams and we skate 4-4 for 2 minutes, a roughing call against Ottawa and a diving call against Anaheim. Ottawa has picked up the pace after being a little sluggish in the opening minutes taking a slight lead in shots, but I have to wonder how warm it was in Ottawa today. I am seeing a lot of people fall on the ice making cuts, that is usually because the ice is a little off, maybe a little slushy due to temperature.

As I say that the ice may be an issue, Ottawa goes on an extended run in the Anaheim zone, no goal to come of it, but Ottawa is definitely dictating tempo right now. As I type that, they finally cash in on a deflection Ottawa has tied the game at 1. Giguere got a small piece of it, but it goes off of him and into the net and we are tied and after starting down in shots 4-1, Ottawa has outshot Anaheim 8-2 since them. Chris Neil gets credit for the goal which Sportsline is saying is unassisted but I expect that to change, there was definitely an assist on the gaol, I just don't know who had it. I am good at this, the correction is made of the webpage, assists to Chris Kelly and Andrej Meszaros.

I finished the feast of the hot dogs, which was quite tasty. I know, people can tell me that you don't know what all is in a hot dog, I just know there is tasty goodness in them, that is all I need to know.

The last goal by the way was 5 on 5 so that was Ottawa's first even strength goal in the series. And we have gotten to just about the end of the first period, just a couple of second left but it looks like we will be tied after 1 period at 1-1. Ottawa leads in shots but not on the scoreboard. Both teams should be relatively happy with the first period, Anaheim made a good showing in their first road game of the series, and after getting down early, Ottawa should be happy that they managed to dictate play for a while and get the tying goal. All and all not a bad first period, the question remains if anyone in the states is actually watching it.

While in our first intermission, I will blather incessantly, about not much in particular. Yesterday I had to take my pee test, yes, Target drug tests their potential employees, so I had to go prove I could pee, and that when I did pee I wasn't all whacky with the cracky. I should have passed, I haven't had a good drug in my system in years. Funny thing though, since yesterday was the first day of the month, I had to go buy my bus pass for June. Good thing I got paid at the radio station yesterday, I had cash on hand to do just that once I cashed my check, but until I cashed it, I had to pay coins to ride the bus, so I paid for my ride to the pee place from work, 2.25 with a transfer and after peeing, I decided that I would walk back to get my bus pass, from Greenfield to Squirrel Hill, just a short jaunt along Murray Avenue. As I am crossing the bridge from one neighborhood into the other, I see a billboard along the road, it is for Rold Gold Pretzels. The billboard says "Our pretzels are as big as small dogs." How the hell is that appetizing? When was the last time you reached into a bag of snacks and said, "Hmm, this is almost like Spot?" Or when was the last time you looked at your pet and said, "Damn, I am hungry now." I swear some people that go to college for this type of thing should demand a refund, because if that is the best you can come up with, then your college tuition would have been better spent invested in the stock market, where at least the chance of a return on the investment could take place.

They have Sidney Crosby in the booth between Pittsburgh. This might draw some interest in Pittsburgh if they had promoted the coverage of the game. Pittsburgh actually has the best local TV ratings of any team in the NHL when it comes to a home team's games, but then this is a crazy sports market, even the Pirates, as miserable as they are, can get some decent local TV and radio numbers for their baseball games.

Rich and I went out last night. It was good to get out, have a few beers, relax and throw some darts and shoot some pool. I am very easy to entertain ion that regard, just a simple night out is fine for me. Most women I know would have hated it, especially since we just went to my local dive bar, rather than any place overly fancy. I saw Rich after getting my bus pass, I was doing some grocery shopping and he said that his wife is back in the hospital, so we stopped by to see her since she is in my neighborhood, most of the big hospitals in Pittsburgh are in Oakland where I live. We stopped by for a while to see how she was doing and all seemed to be okay, I never say great when people are in the hospital, because if they were great, one wouldn't be in the hospital to begin with, but she seemed to be in good spirits talking to everyone and being alert. One of Rich's daughters stopped by as well, she was going to be spending the weekend at their grandmothers, and Rich's other daughter was at the Three Rivers Arts Festival, which I may be visiting on Sunday..

More later, back to the game.

The second period starts much like the first ended, Ottawa has started again in the Anaheim zone, dictating tempo of the game. Anaheim has rallied back however, getting a shot to bounce off of the post beside goaltender Ray Emery. We have our second set of coincidental minor penalties, so for the second time this game we skate 4-4. Lots of end to end action during the 4-4, but no scoring. It is the type of stuff I like to watch, but because there is no scoring, sports fans here in the states hate it. One of the reasons soccer will never get a foothold here is Americans have no patience for sitting through and hour and a half of 0-0 action. Regardless of what is happening on the field, to them the ultimate action is actual scoring, so a 0-0 game is very boring here. Mind you there are games where shutouts occur here, but because of their rarity, that is what makes them exciting, if they were commonplace no one would watch.

Anaheim scores about 5 minutes and 20 seconds into the second period and the Ducks now lead 2-1. Not panic time for Ottawa, still plenty of hockey left and they have played well to this point, but the last thing they want to have happen is to fall behind 3-0 in the best of 7 series. Corey Perry gets credit for the goal, his 5th of the playoffs. for the record the previous goals, Andy McDonald's was his 7th and Chris Neil's was his 2nd.

And just as I tell you that Ottawa has been playing well and it wasn't panic time yet, they strike right back to tie the game at 2. Anton Volchenkov gets his second of the playoffs just 27 seconds after the Anaheim goal. This has been a pretty good game to this point and I am sure this glog isn't doing it quite the justice that it deserves. But my page was begging for original content, and who am I to ignore begging? Well, I guess who it is doing the begging. I will be the first to admit, if I see someone on the street asking for change, chances are I am not kicking up coins but if they have better shoes than me, there is no way at all they will get money from me.

While I talk about things other than hockey, hockey happens and Anaheim scores again and the Ducks have their third lead of the game, 3-2. Ryan Getzlaf gets the goal, his 7th of the post season, and an assist to Corey Perry who had the last goal for Anaheim. Again, no need to panic for Ottawa, but they at some point have to quit playing from behind in this contest, as the game is almost halfway over, we are approaching the 10 minute mark of the second period. One of the things that will have to change for Ottawa is that their scoring line of Alfredsson, Spezza and Heatley are going to have to contribute. Going into the series, they were the highest scoring line of any in the playoffs and yet tonight they have no goals or assists and 2 penalty minutes.

Ottawa has picked up the pace again, they really aren't playing bad hockey to be losing at this point, but this is the Stanley Cup Final, chances are bad hockey would keep you from getting this far. Ottawa has started throwing the body around as well as they just threw two huge checks, maybe trying to establish a little more of a physical presence, but again, not much to show for it on the scoreboard, they still trail 3-2. The hard work did result in penalty, Scott Neidermayer gets 2 minutes for roughing, so maybe a power play will get the tying goal for Ottawa. They failed to score the last time they had the man advantage, and this has been a pretty clean game so far, so those few opportunities with a power play, Ottawa needs to take advantage of. Speaking of opportunities, Anaheim takes another penalty, so for 5 seconds we skate 5 on 3, then it will be 1:55 more of 5-4 action. Anaheim kills the first penalty off, so we are back to 5 on 4 action. We have a potential tying goal, but it will be reviewed to see if it was kicked in. After all folks, this isn't soccer, you can't kick the puck in the net. It can go in off a skate, but there can't be a distinct kicking motion that results in a goal. The call on the ice was no goal, but the review judge can overrule him, though I don't see it happening here, I will go out on a limb and say the call will stand and it will remain 3-2.

It's official, I have no idea what I am talking about as they overrule the on ice official and call it a goal. Credit Daniel Alfredsson with the goal and it is now 3-3 and the line that I said needed to produce does indeed produce the tying goal on the power play. With a little more than 23 minutes of hockey time left, we are right back where we started with a tie score.

A mere two minutes later and we have yet another goal, and it is an Ottawa marker, giving them their first lead of the game, 4-3. The goal actually goes off of the stick of an Anaheim defenseman before going in the net, but since you don't get credit for scoring against your own goaltender, the goal goes to the last person from the other team to touch it, in this case it will be Dean McAmmond getting his 5th goal of the playoffs. Ottawa almost scores again in the remaining seconds but a huge shot glances off the iron and deflects wide and after 2 periods of action the Senators lead 4-3. Both teams are credited with 11 shots that period, very reflective of how it went with lots of opportunities at both ends of the rink. By the way, I failed to mention that the goal by Alfredsson was his 11th goal of the playoffs, which I think leads all players in the post season.

From the last intermission, since Rich's daughters were away, we went and had a few beers, maybe a few too many,, but it was a good time. I need to work on my pool before shooting anyone again, I didn't shoot bad last night, just not great either. I can play better and I ill be the first to admit I don't mind losing if I play well and just run into someone playing better, I do mind if I don't play to my ability. Last night, i thought given I haven't shot much recently, I was happy with how I did. We ended up going back to Rich's house afterward, a little bit of a hike from Oakland, it is about a 15 to 20 minute walk, but part of that is the steps from hell, a huge climb over 100 steps. And of course I was still wearing my work clothes, which yesterday was a black shirt and black pants, so I was a heat magnet. By the time we got there, I was drenched in sweat and I think we were there for maybe 10 minutes before Rich passed out. I was hungry so I ordered food, but Rich didn't stay up for it. I would say more pizza for me, but I ended up eating the breadsticks first and then Rich's daughter came back and we split the hoagie, and by then I was full. I think I had maybe one or two slices of pizza throughout the night, I fell asleep on the floor and as I will sometimes do, woke up throughout the night, ate a little something and went back to sleep. Unlike smoking in bed, you can't burn the house down with pizza, though I guess I could have choked, but alas I didn't or this blog would be much shorter.

Since today is my last day of freedom before I go back to having two jobs, today Rich and I tinkered with his Diablo game. I helped him out a little with an Amazon he created and then when I made it home, I joined him online with the sorceress I have created. I hadn't played much with her recently, so it was good to run around and kill some stuff. It was either that or come home and do more job applications. While I do have the part time gig, I have decided to keep looking and if something better is out there I am going to take it. I know Fed Ex is looking for part time package handlers, and since I do such a good job handling my package, it would seem to be a natural fit. Okay, that was a cheap laugh, but they pay almost $9 an hour to start, so it is something I want to look at and they contacted me about how to apply when I answered an ad they had in the Sunday paper a week ago. Had I not had to go for interviews at Target, I probably would have already done it, but since they gave me the online applying option, I can do it from the comfort from my own home.

Third period is underway. And we start with a breakaway for Ottawa just 30 seconds in but Giguere makes the save and it remains 4-3. It should be noted that the breakaway as set up because of another player falling on the ice, I really have to wonder about the skating quality of the ice this evening. You usually don't see that happening as much as it has so far in this game.

Ooooh, Dean McAmmond just broke in to the Anaheim zone and took a shot on goal and received a shot as well, an elbow to the head and he hits the deck and the game is stopped while they tend to him. He is being helped from the ice, no stretcher but one person on each side of him so he doesn't fall while skating to the bench. If this were the regular season, I am sure this would have led to a fight of some sort. Then again I spoke too soon, as three different scrums break out. Lets see how this all breaks out penalty wise. It looks like the only penalty called will be against Anaheim for roughing, which means that Ottawa get another power play and if they could covert here it would be huge to have a 2 gaol advantage here in the third. As it is, it is 2 minutes that Anaheim will play short handed when they still need to get the tying goal at some point. Time will become a factor at some point, it isn't yet, there is still 16 minutes left.

As soon as I type that, Anaheim almost scores short handed, only a great save and second save off of the deflection by Ray Emery keeps the game at 4-3. A very good penalty kill for Anaheim, now they have to take the momentum from that and see if they can turn it into something while playing at even strength. Instead they take another penalty, and a pretty dumb one at that with the puck in Ottawa's zone, so Ottawa gets the man advantage again.

Anaheim killed off the penalty, but now we are down to less than 12 minutes remaining and while they kill the penalty, they can't get the puck out of their own zone and Ottawa does score the goal, not a power play goal but a goal nonetheless and they have the two goal advantage as its 5-3 Senators. Anton Volchekov gets his second goal of the game and third of the playoffs. Chris Kelly did get his second assist of the game on the goal as well.

Ottawa take a penalty, maybe not the brightest move here, you have a two goal lead and less than 10 minutes to play. The powerplay is short lived however as Anaheim takes a penalty just 22 into the power play so we will skate 4 on 4 for a minute and 38 seconds. Anaheim can't be giving away opportunities this late down two goals.

During the last ADT commercial, we see a troubled woman who gets scared when her house alarm goes off, she gets out of bed and calls the appropriate authorities that someone may be breaking into her home. She and her daughter are huddled together and then they show what I assume is the next day with her and her husband and kid outside the home during daylight and I ask myself, where was the husband while the house was being broken into? Out banging his secretary?

Less than 6 minutes left in the game, we are all back to 5 on 5 hockey, but Anaheim's task is getting progressively harder as they still trail by two goals and the clock is definitely not their friend here. I will say the commercials to tonight's game by and large have been better than last year, when I blogged about the Dodge commercial with the dog's ass hanging out the car window. We haven't been subjected to animal rectum this evening, and that is a good thing.

Well, that should just about be it, Anaheim has taken yet another penalty, with just 4 and half minutes left, even if they kill the penalty, that will take two minutes of time off of the clock. I will give credit to the referees, they at least didn't sallow their whistles this evening, that used to be the rule of thumb in the NHL, late in a game you could almost kill someone and nothing would be called, here it is less than 5 minutes to go and a team down 2 gaols still gets hit with a penalty.

Anaheim kills the penalty but their is less than 2 minute left. Anaheim has pulled the goaltender for the extra attacker for the last little bit of hockey.

With just 10 seconds left, Ottawa takes a penalty, so in theory Anaheim will skate 6 on 4 for the last ten seconds, but nothing comes of that very abbreviated power play and the game ends with the Senators victorious 5-3, though Anaheim still leads the best of 7 2 games to 1.

Hope everyone enjoyed my ramblings, time to post the blog.

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