Friday, August 29, 2008

A quick curve update

Oct 16th of 2007 I wrote........(via the old 360 blog)


"And lastly on the internet front and the photo at the top of the blog entry is one Sarah Palin. I knew very little about her, but was intrigued when I saw her on Charlie Rose this past Friday. I didn't know exactly who she was, I just knew that she had this schoolmarm-ish hotness about her, so I was intrigued to learn some more. She is a Republican and the Governor of Alaska, but what is fascinating is that, in a age where Republicans as a whole are not doing well in the polls, she is very much the exception to the rule, having the highest approval rating of any governor in the United State, with the lowest approval number I have seen being 84% (with a 5% disapproval number). Mind you, I get that Alaska is very much a Republican state, but 84% is an impressive number for anyone, any where and at any time. After reading up on her (and oggling her photos more than I would like to admit), I can say that while I do not agree with all of her stands on issues per se, it is still refreshing to see someone in public service actually work for their constituents, rather than simply paying them lip service."

Well today she is the Republican nominee for Vice President.  Damn, are we ahead of the curve here again, or what?

T minus 2 shows and counting

The end of the show continues with this fine epiisode, including Sally Wiggin from WTAE Channel 4 News, Joanne Rogers (wife of Fred Rogers) and Kit Ayers, whose title last I checked was Assistant to the Provost of the University of Pittsburgh, but that title may have picked up a few more adjectives since I started typing this entry.

Anyway, more fun and frivolity for those interested.



Lynn Cullen Show - 2 shows remaining

Thursday, August 28, 2008

T minus 3 shows remaining and maybe it meant something after all

Here is the second in the 4 part series, it is almost like a blogumentary or a blogudrama or something.  This fine episode of the show finds a few calls and conversation about the current Democratic National Convention, but lots and lots of farewell calls.  I am trying to put together the group email list to help Lynn keep everyone notified as to where she will end up next, but on the first day of this project I already have over 1000 emails to sort through. It is a wake up call of sorts, for the days when you just want to come in and go through the motions, to see this type of response. 


Well for the listening pleasure of those of you who frequent here, or have been directed here as a result of the radio show, here is Wednesday's show....





Lynn Cullen Show - 3 shows remaining

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

T minus 4 shows and counting

I am not sure that I am doing this so much for the normal frequenters of this blog (though they are more than welcome to listen) as I am for posterity's sake.  In any event, since the radio station has ended our podcasting service because of the coming change in format that will see the end of the radio show, I am taking over the podcasting duties myself for listeners that wish to save them as keepsakes or what not.  Here is the first of our last 4 shows.  Enjoy!



Lynn Cullen Show - 4 shows remaining

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stolen content - Georgia on my mind

Thanks Ray Charles for the title, and thanks Wash Post for writing in a more clear fashion than me what should be said.

Georgia's Recklessness

By Paul J. Saunders
Friday, August 15, 2008; A21

The fates of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are chief among the many issues that are still unresolved in the war between Georgia and Russia. What's clear, however, is that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili ordered his country's military to assert his authority over South Ossetia by force. American officials should reflect on the implications of Saakashvili's behavior for U.S. policy toward Georgia, Russia and the region.

Saakashvili ordered the assault last week knowing that South Ossetia would resist, knowing that his forces would have to take on Russian peacekeepers and knowing that Moscow has been spoiling for a fight. In fact, his own government had claimed for some time that Russia was preparing to attack.

Georgia's president clearly thought that his troops could quickly occupy South Ossetia and that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin would not dare to intervene because doing so might provoke the West, especially the United States. A similar logic underlies Tbilisi's long-term foreign policy calculations. Throughout history, weak nations with powerful neighbors have energetically sought strong allies. Serbia enlisted Russian support against the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for example, and Poland turned to Britain to deter Nazi Germany.

Saakashvili has embraced this tried-and-true strategy with gusto, sending a substantial share of the country's small army to Iraq (from which its troops were understandably recalled in recent days) and parroting Bush administration talking points on international issues -- especially on promoting democracy -- more than almost any other leader worldwide.

Ultimately, however, it wouldn't matter to Georgia's president whether the United States was a democracy, a theocracy or ruled by Martians so long as he could use Washington to change the dynamics of Georgian-Russian relations.

Saakashvili's recent statements demonstrate how well he has learned to push America's buttons, probably with the help of his government's lobbyists in Washington. In several interviews and articles, including an op-ed in yesterday's Post, he has compared the recent Russian attack on Georgia to the Soviet invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. He has also invoked former president Ronald Reagan and tried to frame the war as a Russian assault on Western values. "We are attacked because we wanted to be free," he said on CNN.

But the situation inside Georgia belies Saakashvili's rhetorical commitment to freedom. Most glaring was his handling of opposition protests last fall. The State Department's 2007 Human Rights Report, released just a few months ago, found "serious problems" with Georgia's human rights record and notes "excessive use of force to disperse demonstrations"; "impunity of police officers"; and declining respect for freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and political participation. Ana Dolidze, a democracy advocate and former chair of Georgia's Young Lawyers Association, has described in detail how Saakashvili acted quickly after entering office to empower the executive branch at the expense of parliament and to strengthen the government by "stifling political expression, pressuring influential media and targeting vocal critics and opposition leaders" -- including by using law enforcement agencies. Saakashvili is far from the morally pure democrat he would have the West believe he is.

Georgia's internal realities help make clear that the fighting erupted not primarily because of what the country represents but because of its government's actions. Tbilisi could have avoided the confrontation by deferring its ambitions to subjugate South Ossetia and pursuing them through strictly peaceful means.

Few seem to remember that the United States and Russia worked together with the Georgian opposition to ease out then-Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze and facilitate the election that ultimately brought Saakashvili into office. Russian views of Saakashvili changed over the past five years as Moscow perceived Tbilisi to become increasingly hostile and watched Saakashvili use threats of force to topple the government of another autonomous region, Ajaria, in 2004.

None of this justifies Russia's actions. But even if Moscow had been lying in wait for Saakashvili to provide an excuse to act, it was all the more foolish for him to do so. Regrettably, the Georgian leader has allowed Moscow to demonstrate quite clearly the limits of American interests in Russia's immediate neighborhood. The Kremlin has much more at stake there than Washington and is willing to act decisively and with overwhelming force. Recognizing the potential global consequences of a serious break with Russia, America has not been willing to do more than provide humanitarian relief, pointedly state that U.S. forces would not protect the Georgian ports and airfields where the aid is to arrive, and dispatch Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the scene.

Allowing the graphic exposure of these realities is a major failure of U.S. policy that will undermine American objectives throughout the region. One hopes that in private, the Bush administration is clearly communicating to Moscow that whatever Saakashvili's failings, the United States will not tolerate his removal by force -- and telling the Georgian government that America doesn't need reckless friends.

The writer, executive director of the Nixon Center, served as senior adviser to the undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs from 2003 to 2005.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This entry is a piece of shit.........really

Flying piece of art causes museum chaos in Switzerland
Aug 11 03:26 PM US/Eastern
A giant inflatable dog turd by American artist Paul McCarthy blew away from an exhibition in the garden of a Swiss museum, bringing down a power line and breaking a greenhouse window before it landed again, the museum said Monday.

The art work, titled "Complex S(expletive..)", is the size of a house. The wind carried it 200 metres (yards) from the Paul Klee Centre in Berne before it fell back to Earth in the grounds of a children's home, said museum director Juri Steiner.

The inflatable turd broke the window at the children's home when it blew away on the night of July 31, Steiner said. The art work has a safety system which normally makes it deflate when there is a storm, but this did not work when it blew away.

Steiner said McCarthy had not yet been contacted and the museum was not sure if the piece would be put back on display.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Trying this again

Hopefully this giveaway will go better than the last.  This time it is a free song, and the directions are a such.  Go to and enter the following code J7P35SP6X9 to claim your prize.  Like all giveaways, it is first come, first served so get cracking.

Monday, August 4, 2008


I feel like the gauntlet has been tossed down in an odd sort of way.  Twice in the past week, I have inferred that my blogs can ramble on.  Mind you, for those that actually scan my friends list from time to time, I would argue that I don't have nearly the longest blogs, at least compared to others, yet still, I feel almost compelled to ramble on and on.  That is a good thing actually, I have been having a hard time deciding where exactly to begin on a blog entry and that small opening has given me just the opportunity that had been seeking.  Mind you, I had went about creating my own opening yesterday, but that little bit of info is as goo a lead off place as any.  I have been pretty well tied down with the two job thing.  While I don't work quite as many hours as I did previously, the travel time between jobs more than makes up for it.  I often find my eyes shutting either on the way to the second job, or on the way back, with my head tiltinmg off to the side and grabbing a quick few z's while in transit. IO can usually tell when I am getting sleepy, my mind does its wandering thing where thoughts that I normally would put together start to mesh and become almost a dream like sequence that makes no sense to anyone but me, because I retain just enough of the knowledge that started them that I can make a modicum of sense out of mental gibberish.  I read in the past that people who are in full control of their dreams can in fact alter them, changing settings, importing items and what not into the dreamscape, I am not quite that savvy.  I can get a handle on what it was that triggered my dream sequence, at times I can even pull myself out of a particularly bad one (you would be surprised the number of times I dream that I am about to die) but I haven't mastered the art of control over my dreams, at least not to the degree where they can't be threatening.

See, babble, babble, babble and I have barely started.  My original plan was to take you all on a trip with me, to work, because I know that you have always wanted to go there, and since I had little else to do on Sunday, what say we make that dream a reality.

First stop, leaving ye olde apartment. 

I am sure some of you recognize this view, at least if you have been paying attention to the blog, as this is the view as I step out the apartment door.  The temp is quite comfortable, low 70s at 9:30am, so me in my shorts and Scrabble (You can't spell stupid without U) t shirt seems to be appropriate apparel.  Of course I have my camera with me, how else would I take the pictures you are about to see, and I have a book in my backpack to read on the buses that I have to take to work.

A brief time out, I just heard something that sounded like bad breaks on a car, which could be my dinner.  I ordered in tonight, for the first time in ages, as I didn't want to cook.  I have done more than enough of that while working one job.  Now that I am doubly employed, this is the first chance I have had to celebrate of sorts, as I just got paid at the radio station today and I get paid at Wal Mart on Thursday, so while yesterday I was far from flush with cash, today I have enough that I don't have to eat my own cooking, which my stomach thanks me for.  I have been adding garlic to just about everything I make, which to me tastes better, to my ass it is another reason to fire off stink on a grand scale the following morning.  Last night it was a tuna helper al fredo which I felt would taste better with some salt, pepper and granulated garlic, this morning it would have been a chore to be in my radio booth with me.

As opposed to the last time I did this, we will be turning left at the end of the driveway as opposed to right when I took you all to breakfast with me.  At the intersection at the end of the street is a nice little Italian grocery store, pastas, sauces, a deli counter and produce, but we won't be going quite that far, as after a few steps we will be hanging another right, deep into the heart of.........




We head up what I affectionately refer to as "Crack Alley".  technically this little piece of real estate does show up on Google maps, I believe the title its St James Place (private), but it isn't a street, traffic can't come up here and the alley itself is just some paved ground running between buildings, usually with either garbage or broken glass littering the way.  Thankfully it is only one block long.  By the way, what I thought was dinner apparently wasn't, as I have no food in front of me yet.  Once I do, you will know, as the blog will be littered with the remnants of the food I cram into my maw.  One of the other things about working tow jobs is that I often find I am only eating once a day, usually when I get home from the second job.  Morning comes to soon to make breakfast, and I am usually travelling at lunch between the jobs, so it is just dinner that i eat, plus a few cups of much needed coffee when I first get to work.  Speak of the devil, my food has just arrived, excuse me while I open an item or two.  Talk amongst yourselves while I start the feast on my end of things. 

While I snack on some french fries, at the end on "Crack Alley", we hang a left.  Some of you really astute readers of the blog will recognize the sign to the left.  It is Larry and Carol's Pizza, a place that I had the misfortune of managing for over a year, before leaving in what is still called a blaze of glory by those that were there at the time.  Ever since then, there are still some people that when they see me, refer to me as Jerry McGuire and when they do, I remind them that it wasn't a memo, it was a mission statement. Most of the people that worked there when I did are gone now, as even the owner who I blew up on in glorious fashion has since sold the business.  I don't know that much about the current ownership group, though I will say it looks like they have made at least a few improvements to the interior and the menu since I last worked there.

Going up Semple Steer a few blocks, Semple being the street that plays home to Larry and Carol's, it is time to cut a left onto Louisa Street.  For those of you that are tired already, all I can say is buck up little campers,. I still have 40 or so pictures to go.  Just sing along with me "Picture pages, Picture pages, time to get your picture pages, time to get your crayons and your pencils".  Mind you I could easily mope and groan about other things, such as the fact that I am hating my computer games something fierce these days.  My Joe random guy on baseball for the PS2 was sent down to the minor leagues, despite leading the league in batting average, homeruns and runs batted in.  I was in the minors just long enough to get injured before I was recalled, but I lost my lead in homeruns.  I was given a choice of being placed on the disabled list and getting some attribute points to make my character better, or playing hurt and adding to my stats but not getting any points to improve as long as I was playing hurt.  I opted for the playing hurt angle, I would rather add to my stats than sit for 15 days and hope I don't have to catch up too much.  My Diablo 2 character is pissing me off too, I am at a point where I am just looking to get experience points, as my next challenge I most certainly will die multiple times, and since you lose experience when you die, I would rather wait until I have levelled up before throwing away experience points than lose what I have worked so hard to obtain.  as an added bonus, I managed to find a unique helm, which I could wear as an improvement and not moe than a few trips later I found nearly the very same helm.  While I could and did sell it for gold. how unique is an item if you find it twice in relative short order?  Okay, enough bitching, I am mucho photos behind, so, lest go to the end of Louisa and hang a left shall we.

And so we have reached Atwood Street.  On the plus side, this is the last street we have to go on to reach my bust stop, as it is at the end of atwood Street on Fifth Avenue.  On the not so bright side, about halfway up on the right is an Asshat winner, the Garage Door Saloon, the establishment that thought it would be funny to refer to it's Wednesday night tequila special as Wetback Wednesday.  When people wonder about Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania saying he probably got 5 points in the last election because his opponent was black, I remind myself that idiots like the owners of the Garage Door Saloon find racial slurs not only to be appropriate but funny enough to use as marketing slogans.  When people say that Barack Obama has the upcoming election sewn up, they fail to realize that not only does he have to be the better candidate, but he has to overcome racism that for some people is as natural to them as breathing.

We have reached the first bus stop.  I am starting to realize that it is quicker to walk this route than it is to type it.  I should note that the building in the background is Childrens Hospital.  Why I should note that, I have no idea, unless you have a kid staying there, then you will be happy to know that you aren't that far from my apartment, as total walking time to this point is about 10 minutes tops.  Now if you take the tour of "Matt's Broken Dreams in Oakland" in may take you 30 to 40 minutes to get here, as you will be forced to walk by all of the places I used to live and treated to stories of loves gone so sour that the ancient milk in my fridge, purchased back in December, would probably taste better.  Yes, I wear my bitterness crown quite proudly, thank you very much.

Ah yes, the first bus is arriving.  This trip is getting shorter, I better find something else to blather about, so how about the circular shaped structure to the right of the photo.  Those are Litchfield Towers,. dorms for the University of Pittsburgh, and just beyond them is Holland Hall. In view are Towers A and C (A to the right and C to the left.  The view of Tower B is obscured by Tower C, but I lived in Tower B my freshman year, in room 712 to be precise.  the distinct advantage of being in room 712 was that it directly faced Holland Hall, which as it turns out is an all female dorm, and I am not too proud to say there was more than one night I wish I had binoculars.  there was one night my freshman year where we convinced some of the young ladies of Holland Hall to do a strip tease for us,. the reward being that we would by them dinner from down the street.  So here were a couple of girls taking their clothes off, meanwhile there was us, enjoying the show and eating the food that we said we purchased for them.  Those were the good old days.

And so we arrive at the first cut off point, we exit the first bus and await the second.  The two bus stops are just across the street from each other so there is little walking involved (we will save that for later in the blog, trust me).  You will note that on the second floor across the street is Gold's Gym, so I can sit at my bus stop and smoke cigarettes and drink coffee and mock the people who think a good way to spend Sunday morning is to exercise.  If I were to be extremely cruel I suppose I could go inside and wave donuts in front to fthe really fat ones, , but I need not push my karma any further than it already has been pushed.  When I die, it isn't a matter of heaven or hell, but rather Original or Extra Crispy.

Cool, our second bus is arriving.  While I don't mind sitting around outside, especially when the weather is this pleasant, we still have places to go and people to do, and it best that we get on with the going and doing part of things. 





And a short bus ride (5 -10 minutes) and we are at the next bus stop which isn't all that far from where we need to be.  We are going to the building with the satellite dish on the roof, the third floor of that building to be precise.  I should note that i used to work at the building in the foreground as well, as that is the call center for Vocelli Pizza, serving half a dozen states along the east coast.  A very thankless task, when people in Florida try to give you driving directions to their house and you say "Sorry sir./;ma'am, but I am a couple thousand miles away from there, I might need to look that up on a map".  Then it is followed by the argument of why can't someone there take their order and blah blah freaking blah.   Finally you just want to hang up on them but then it is your ass in a sling.  Thankfully I got out when the getting was good, which is to say about two weeks before they took an order for a driver in a local neighborhood in Pittsburgh, and when the driver arrived he was shot and killed.  I am so glad I didn't take that order.  I have enough of a guilt complex without adding to it.

  The elevator will leaves us off right here, the third floor of 900 Parish Street.  It looks empty because only assclowns like me work Sundays, the rest of the world barbeques and visits relatives, I treat is just like every other day of the week, if it is daylight, I am probably working someplace.




This is the room that we will be spending the majority of the day in, the AM production room.  I have three commercials feeds and one program all to put into the system,m, and this is the room where that magic happens.  Obviously directly in front is the production board, the computer to the left is the Metro News browser.  Since it is Sunday, I have it opened to the important news of who is posting on Multiply.  The computer on the right is the one I use for all of the digital editing and acquiring of commercials that are posted on the web.  It is is a state of reboot because usually the first thing I do when I get in on Sunday is run Lavasoft on it for a full system scan and then reboot after removing anything that may be dangerous.  And dead centre, above the production board is the Maestro computer.  That is the system that runs all three radio stations, there is a computer like it is all three on air studios and both production rooms.

This is what the room looks like when I am trying to steal music, the computer on the left is tuned to my launchcast station, while the one on the right is recording the audio and saving it as an mp3 file.  I pay for as little as possible.  If I am not redeeming soda caps for music, I have ample other methods to steal music from and then keep all for myself.  Speaking of which, a couple things on the cap front.  Phil, who sat in for Lynn on Friday, brought me a little baggie of Pepsi caps, which was way cool.  I added them to my account, I am now up to 51 points, though I haven't added any music recently.  The last thing I bought was a tv download of the West Wing episode that aired after 9/11.  I hadn't seen it when it fist aired, I imagine there were a lot of people that had a hard time getting back into the normal swing of things back in the day, and I didn't see it on Surf the Channel, so I just bought it.  It cost me 12 points but it was worth it.  Also of note, I posted the Coke reward freebie the other day.  I looked and saw that a few people that are from the United States (and therefore I assume were definitely eligible) had visited the post, yet no message was left for whether anyone tried using the code, so I did and I got stuck with the $2 card.  Sorry kids, it was up for better than a day and all I was trying to do was see if it had been claimed, but once I entered the code, I was stuck claiming it.


This isn't the end of the picture blog, far from it, but it is now Tuesday morning.  After filling myself on a double cheeseburger, french fries and bread sticks as a late night snack, I turned in for the night so that I might best be able to deal with the coming day.  And the day promises to be a long one.  A quick look at the schedule looks something like this;

5am-12:30pm - Work at the radio station

12:30pm-1pm Catch 36D downtown to change buses

1:15pm-1:45pm Catch 56D Hazelwood from town to the Waterfront to await but still another bus

2:00pm-2:30pm Catch 59A North Versailles out to Wal Mart

3:30pm-9:30pm Wal Mart shift

10:00pm-10:30pm Catch 59A back to Waterfront

10:45pm-11:15pm Catch 59U Waterfront/Oakland/Southside Works bus back to Oakland

11:15pm-11:25pm Walk back to apartment

11:30pm Hopefully start dinner and then maybe sit down in front of the computer for a bit

Seeing as how I still have roughly 30 or so photos to add to the blog, I hope I can get some of it done before falling back into bed, but keep in mind, tomorrow's schedule looks exactly the same as today's, so how much I will get done is questionable at best. 

I should note that as well as getting the above done, I did manage to sneak out for a beer or three yesterday, it was nice to be able to imbibe for the first time in a few weeks.  I also bout 10 dollars worth of lottery tickets (I won $52) and I won probably another $30 on the poker machine, which is why I had the extra cash to order in last night.  I also got to throw some money at my landlord, buy my monthly bus pass and add to my prepaid credit card so I could throw some shekels at Pogo, where I completed all three challenges this week (I did the win 5 in a row at Freecell Solitaire for my personal) and I added the bonus Spell 8 8 letter words in Scrabble to my game award badge collection, which I immediately made my new personal favorite badge, taking the place of the Score 100 points in one move Super Dominoes badge I had been toting for a while now as my fav.

Well the show is getting started so time to scoot.  Let the games begin.


Wednesday and I obviously didn't get to this last night.  Chances are I will not get to it tonight either, the schedule is a wash, rinse, repeat of Tuesday and when I get home I will probably do the eating thing and dabble at the Pogo badges, which should be posted by then.  Thursday night I may have some free time, I only work one job, but it is a Wal Mart payday, so I will still probably be venturing out in that direction, if for no other reason than so I can put some spending money in my pocket before Friday's double and Saturday's 9  hour shift.

I will say that working there isn't too bad, we aren't allowed to be on our feet for more than two hours without at least a 15 minute break.  My 6 hour days (yesterday and today) I get a 15 minute break and a 30 minute lunch break (I have to punch out for lunch), so it is not overly straining, just more monotonous than anything else.  I did get my Wal Mart discount card in the mail yesterday, I now get 10% off everything in the store (minus groceries and clearance items), so I should take advantage of that and buy some new clothes at some point.  Anyway, I need to get back to doing what I do best, radio.  Write more soon, maybe.


Here it is, Friday, and I am no closer to completing this blog than I was a couple of days ago.  Even yesterday, while I didn't work both jobs, I found myself again at Wal Mart, this time to pick up my first ever paycheck from the new gig.  I took the opportunity to get the digital converter box for my TV antenna.  I figure I needed to get it at some point, and since I had my government coupon for $40 off, I might as well pick it up.  Between the coupon and my store discount, I got the box for  about $5, which I don't think was all that bad.  I hooked it up lat night, and I don't know if it is the crappy location of my apartment or a lack of broadcasters using the digital medium yet, but while I would get some additional channels (such as Channel 11 now has Channels 11.1, 11.2 and 11.3) but other stations I used to get if I moved the rabbit ears around I got no signal with the digital antenna, so while the picture quality is better on those stations I do get and their additional signals, I don't get as many stations. 

I need to make a conscious effort to finish this blog either tonight or tomorrow, as my schedule really doesn't get any better any time soon.  Over the next couple of weeks, it looks like this

Day          Radio           Wal Mart

F              5-12:30         3:30-9:30

S              Off                12-9

U              8-3                Off

M             5-12:30          4:30-9

T              5-12:30          4:30-9

W            5-12:30          4:30-9:30

H             5-2                 Off

F             5-12:30          3:30-9

S             Off                10:30-7

U             11-3              Off

M            5-12:30          4:30-8:30

T             5-12:30          4:30-9

W           5-12:30           4:30-9

H            5-12:30           4:30-9

F             5-2                 Off

Looks like fun does it not?

Nobody asked me, but while I often ridicule the local news because of the lack of actual news and the incessant bantering between the people on the set to make them appear more "friendly" and like us, I so far am liking the new hire by Channel 11 here, Danielle Nottingham. Maybe if I saw her everyday, I would sour on her quickly, but for now, when I do see her on TV (she is used mostly on Saturday mornings and as a vacation fill in), I have been fairly pleased with her delivery.

The first Steeler preseason game is set to kick off tonight.  I have nothing done for my fantasy league yet, at current rate I have to wonder if we will even be having it this year.  One of the guys in the league, who used to work where we had hosted the draft,, is no longer there, and while I imagine we could still do the draft there, I have a feeling he will not want to go back to his place of former employment.  It's petty, and one of the things I have to deal with as Commissioner.  I'd rather not deal with it to be honest, but this league has been running for better than a decade and I would hate to see it fall apart on my watch.

Well, I better get back to work, while typing this I have been running the morning news here at work, and trying to get one of the weekend programs in the can for our sister AM station.  I still haven't even got to the show prep portion of the morning yet.  It's going to be a long day.


It is after midnight, so technically the day has ended, but I am just getting around to the blog at this point.  Had to check a few things online before I got to this, the fantasy baseball team, my email which had been down for about a day, my company email to see if my next author is going to be on the air.  I hope so, because I am already looking forward to it.  I know the book is being sent and I can possibly get him for next week.  You may or may not recall the name David Maraniss, he did a book a while back on Roberto Clemente that I raved about.  he also did a book on the Clintons before that, but i didn't get to read that one.  In any event, he just released his most recent tome, Rome 1960, the story of the Rome Olympic Games.  A little about the book maestro.  Plus I just found out the statewide cable outlet, Pennsylvania Cable Network, wants to tape some of the show next week to air Sunday afternoon on TV, and mojo of all mojos, I might be able to put the interview and the TV taping together.  I am the king!!!!!

Okay, when I last left off on out picture stuff, I believe that I had just created video evidence of me potentially stealing music, then all kinds of crazy stuff got in the way, like work and Pogo and blogs on the Olympics, and podcasts on my calendar, and I got away from it.  Time to get back to our journey, what say you all?  It doesn't matter what you say!!!!  Sorry, I channelled The Rock there for a second.

Meet Al!  He is usually in the office on Sundays, just me and him.  He is running the FM station and technically is responsible for making sure none of the stations go off the air, though I do my fair share of helping him out, seeing as how I am more familiar with how the AM stations operate.  Still, I am there on Sunday mainly for the commercial production, he is there to make sure we stay air worthy.



And another fine day of radio has ended, so it is time to leave the friendly confines and begin the journey home, so we exit the front door and let that journey begin.  As a side note, while I am typing this, the local news just finished up, and once again I am highly disappointed.  On a day where John Edwards admits to his affair (mind you I blathered about this way back when, when people were arguing over which Democratic candidate had the most baggage when it came to be the party's presidential nominee, but those of you who hang out with me know that this blog is so far ahead of the curve, the curve isn't even viewable in the rear view mirror at this point), the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games took place (and say what you will about the Chinese, it was a helluva spectacle), The Russians invade Georgia, the DNC chair Howard Dean was in Pittsburgh.  So I ask, what was the lead story on the local news?  The Steelers backup quarterback broke his collarbone in a fucking preseason game.  Yes, a man who for the most part doesn't play, gets hurt in a game that doesn't count and that is your lead story.  Welcome to hell, thy name is Pittsburgh!

Well, every journey begins with its first steps, and this is the road we walk to begin the journey home. Again that is the Vocelli call center on the right and after working there and at WalMart, I will take WalMart, thank you very much.  Actually, they bought pizza for all of the employees today, apparently they splurge on such things when we reach milestones like so many days without an accident. I know that sounds simple, but when you deal in just the sheer volumes of people, somebody is always bound to fall down, or walk into a shelf or some other inane thing that would deny the staff free food.  Today however, we feasted.  Actually, I think if it gets up to some crazy number like 120 days, we get a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.  But I know the time we get to day #119, someone's grandma, in a feat of strength, will try to hobble along without her walker and deny us the food we so richly deserve.


Here it is, a full week after I started this blog, and truth be told, I should have started this blog today as opposed to last Sunday, as the weather is about 10 degrees cooler.  certainly not cold, but definitely more comfortable for the things to come.  I hope i can finish this tonight, I still have laundry that needs done, though my clothes could probably walk by themselves if they needed to, and that isn't a good sign. 

I did manage to confirm the PCN TV taping of the radio show today, so I got something done, well something besides my normal radio shift.  This coming week promises to be a busy one, and if all goes according to plan, so does next week as well.  Anyway, i should stop the whining and get back to the picturing.

The end of the street for the radio station.  No, I didn't go out of my way to take a picture of flower4s, they are planted there by Greentree borough.  In an odd sort of geography, the end of the street is also the border of Greentree and Pittsburgh, and never is that more evident than during winter when the road will be plowed to this intersection and then it won't be plowed beyond it.  Greentree does better road maintenance, and every time a modicum of snow falls, it shows.

And after a very short walk down Greentree Road,we come once again to my bus stop.  I suppose I could cross the street and wait for the bus but.........





what kind of blog would this be?  Instead, what say you all we do this the old fashioned way and walk it?  Come on, it's only 8 miles or so, nothing too straining and the weather is pretty good for this.  It's not like it is raining or snowing, or even all that humid.  I can think of few better ways to spend a lovely Sunday afternoon than a nice stroll, so let the walking begin as we continue down Greentree Road.


Look, a bottle and there was a cap on it.  I say was, because of course I took it.  This, of course, is another reason to walk home, to add to my cap collection.  As a bit of foreshadowing, and saving my camera from taking picture of trash all that often, I will say that this trip netted the following;

1 - Mountain Dew cap (a loser)

4 - Coke caps (12 reward points)

1 - Canada Dry cap (a winner, I won a free bottle of soda)

4 - Pepsi caps (4 Pepsistuff points)

Actually, between Phil bringing me some caps from his job, me snagging them in the WalMart break room and finding some and drinking others, I have the Pepsi count up to 70 points again.  I could redeem that for 14 songs, but I am thinking I may play for the professional headphones at 125 points.

And so we enter the West End, formerly Temperanceville.  Much like Istanbul and Constantinople, I am not sure why they changed the name (people just liked it better that way?) but I imagine the day that had the town hearing on what to change the name to, the guy who said Untemperanceville, was probably booted from any and all future town meetings.



The main drag in the West End.  There really isn't much to it, just a couple of diners and a very seedy looking bar.  There used to be a place down here called the Temperanceville Tavern, and I think it lasted longer than the name temperanceville did.  However, it didn't get to be called the West End Tavern, it just got to be called Out of Business.



The entrance to our traffic nightmare known as the West End Circle, at least the entrance from Main Street in the West End.  Sure people that are in cars have to detour around it, but since we are walking, cutting right through the construction site seems like the responsible thing to do.



Whew, made it through the construction without harming myself, now just to cut under this bridge where there is no sidewalk and avoid getting hit by cars that are coming up behind me, and the first obstacle of this trip home will be successfully vanquished.





Sorry, I took another break to do laundry and that was an experience all unto itself.  I am not a business major, never have been, never will be but while I was out a simple business question came to mind.  Seeing as how I live in a very smallish apartment, when it comes time to do laundry I can either use the machines in the building across the street that my landlord also manages, or I can go to one of two laundrymats that are within two blocks of my apartment.  One is cheaper but very ghetto-ish, the other a little more expensive but has cable TV and air conditioning.  Usually I opt for the comforts of the pricier of the two, that way I can watch TV while my clothes wash and dry.  So I meander my way there, and as I leave my apartment, it starts to rain, so I have to come back in and grab a plastic bag to cover my clothes so they don't get soaked in the rain and I walk over to the laundrymat only to find when I get there, the change machines have no quarters.  excuse me, but when you run a business where your machines only accept quarters and you have none in your change machines, just how the hell are you supposed to do business?  I contemplated going and getting quarters and coming back, but the closest place to get quarters was the other laundrymat, and if I had to go there anyway,.I might as well just do my laundry there.  So I did, ,and Mr Savvy Businessman lost out on my business.  The sad part is, there is nothing there to occupy my time, save for walking across the street to the bar and imbibing while my clothes get clean.  Which I did, and I played the poker machines while I was there and turned $25 into $90.  So all told, the rain and the man who can't run a business worked to my favor and I managed to make some money while doing laundry.  As for the picture, that is the first turn out of the West End Circle, onto West Carson Street.  You may remember that when I walked to breakfast, it was located on East Carson Street.  This is the same street, but on the other side of downtown Pittsburgh, which serves as the dividing line between East and West Carson.

This was a questionable decision on my part, do I stay on carson, where I can obviously go home, or do i change up things a bit.  After all, we have all seen some of that trip already, so rather than go that route, I will veer to the left and down through Station Square, which I have also visited with the camera before.  Still, it's my party and I walk where I want to, walk where I want to, walk where I want to.


Off to my left is a collection of boats, which in Pittsburgh is just another reason to drink, this time a floating reason, but a reason nonetheless.  Actually forbes Magazine just did a study on the hardest drinking cities in America.  I don't know if we should take pride in that or not, after all if it is something to be attained, we should do better than #11, if it isn't then why would we want to be on the list at all.  By the way, Charlie Batch's collarbone is still broken, just in case you, like far too many Pittsburghers, were wondering.  And Francisco Franco is still dead.

The disadvantage of adding this many photos to a blog is that Multiply doesn't always put the photos at the bottom of the blog, but rather at the top, and then it is click and drag time to the end of the blog.  A normal length blog, that isn't a problem. a meandering bit on nonsensical trivia like this, and even dragging pictures becomes a time consuming project.  Anyway, since we are approaching downtown, I might as well get in the obligatory shot of said downtown.


Okay, I have decided we are going to go home via a trail.  Pittsburgh is slowly getting better with its implementation of foot trails to get around, and since I haven't taken this one before, I figure I might as well try it now.  It should run along the Ohio River, then the Monongahela  till we get back to Oakland, then it will be time to cross the river and climb the hill to my apartment.  That is a ways off however, for now, a journey begins with a first step and all that jazz.


The trail will run along side Station Square, between the shopping area and the river, and here is the beginning of that journey.  Of note in the background is the Sheraton Station Square.  Why it is of note is that I spent the night there with an ex girlfriend many, many moons ago.  Sure, we had an apartment in Pittsburgh, and there was no need to take out a hotel room in the very town in which we live, but we were in the mood to splurge, and the idea of a pool and sauna and clubbing downstairs at Chauncey's (since closed) seemed like a good night out for us.  Of course it would have been a better night had she not come along, as as soon as we got there, it was just her bitching about how she didn't feel good, and she didn't want to go out and just basically being a pain in the ass.  Just more ammunition for me in my quest to never, ever make that fucking mistake again.  I would rather have a gun to my head and pull the trigger than get involved in a relationship, because at least the gun is quicker and doesn't bitch as much.

Continuing or walk, off to the left is the dock for the Gateway Clipper Fleet.  Unlike the hotel, I have pleasant memories of the boats, probably because I never took Jen on one.  Between my first state Student Council conference, where one of our activities was a dinner cruise, to taking the boat to the baseball game with Hope (back when women weren't quite as evil), and the boats have been very good to me.  far better I didn't taint that legacy with bitterness that I am sure would have come from taking jen there.  Though I suppose it did deny me the opportunity of throwing her overboard, but que sera, sera.

 So we reach the beginning of the actual shopping and restaurant area of Station Square.  I will be honest, ever since the Waterfront opened, and to a lesser degree the Soth Side Works, I rarely shop down here.  It is just too much out of the way and the shops are more of a novelty variety than some place I would go looking for general necessities.  Some of the restaurants are nice for taking a date (though they did close my favorite, The Cheese Cellar, where the beer batter fondue was way yummy) but we have already covered I will not be dating any time in the near or not so near future.

A picture of our very own Hard Rock cafe, through the dancing fountain.  Mind you having a Hard Rock Cafe anymore is sort of like having a McDonald's, everyone has one, so where is the novelty?  On the bright side, I assume it was better than the offering next door, a place whose name I didn't catch, but that had the cooth to call their outdoor seating John's Big Deck, and have their waitresses run around in T-shirts that implored the clientele (for the morons that would go there) to ask them about their crabs.  Oh, how very non funny.  I hate places that resort to third grade potty humor to promote their business.  It is like a place we used to have called Whiskey Dick's Saloon, and the dumb slogan was "Where at least the drinks are stiff."  Thankfully they are no longer in business, I can only hope that te same befalls this horrid place.

One of the things that used to be cool about Station Square, before they went all Hard Rock Cafe on us, was that since it used to be the train station for Pittsburgh way back in the day, they had kept some of the rail cars and some of the novelty shops were outside the train station and instead were located in the rail cars.  That day has since passed us by however, now they just have a couple of cars around for little more than decoration.


So we come to the end of Station Square, but the trail continues on.  Off to the right is another slew of bars including Hooters, because how can you have a Hard Rock cafe and not have a Hooters after all?  On the bright side, while I blog this entry, I am also playing my PS2, trying to sneak another baseball game in.  I did hit homerun #30 earlier today, so one more and I set my career high and I still have two months of game time left this season.  But the baseball game gives me something to do while the pictures upload.

Well, much like many of the roads around these parts, it seems that the trail is also under construction.  No wonder I hadn't taken it before.  The only thing this scene is missing is some orange barrels and maybe a PennDot worker sitting on his ass pretending to work, all at taxpayer expense no doubt.  Then again, this being Sunday, he would have gotten double time to sit on his ass, so for the taxpayer's sake, I am glad that isn't the case.


Okay, maybe my eyes are fooling me here, but this looks decidedly like a street.  This is what passes for a trail detour apparently, forget grass and trees and just walk on a sidewalk, how very Pittsburgh.  Well, if this is the path that destiny sets forth, I guess I am left with the choices of either reversing course or trudging onward.  I say thee , march forward and so we shall.




Monday morning, this blog is now 6 days old and still not done.  Instead I am sitting here in the radio studio getting ready for another fine day of radio, and as I am doing my show prep, I see the Democratic Party is having another "Penis moment". You may remember when I blogged about the Pitt football team last season, how they were 4-7 yet an apologist for the team went on the radio and said that if a play here or there was different through the course of the season, they could have been 9-2, to which I made the penis reference to begin with.  Well this morning it needs reiterated.  As I was doing my show prep, Good Morning America was on in the background and they were blathering about the John Edwards affair when one of the anchors noted that Howard Wolfson, communications director of the losing Clinton campaign made the remark that if the news of the Edwards affair was made earlier, Hillary likely would have won Iowa, and probably the Democratic nomination.  Say it with me kids, "And if my aunt had a penis, she would be my uncle."  He was on the ballot and you lost, now shut the fuck up already.  You want a reason as to why you lost, look in the mirror, you had the frontrunning candidate when the primary season started yet found  a way to lose.  Get over it!

Well, again, I am hoping when I get off of work tonight I will be able to finish this blog.  On the bright side, there aren't that many photos to go, on the not so bright side, I am sure when I get home the first things I will do will involve checking on my fantasy baseball team, then my emails, then Multiply updates, and finally a couple of radio message boards before I can sit down with some food and blog away.  But for now, radio is once again about to begin and I am minus some serious coffee here.


Well, I finally made it back home, after another double.  I could have left work at 9pm, they actually pulled me off of register early enough that I could have caught the 9pm bus, but I decided to do some shopping, I needed another loaf of bread for the apartment, some smokes and some new reading material, so I waited around for the 10 pm bus instead.  Now I am home, trying to sneak in a meal before bed, and I figure I might take a crack at finally finishing this blog up.  before I get all pictury on you again, I need to add .27 to the change meter, so the new total is $37.14.  I am starting to find money again, I am still waiting for someone to get all careless at WalMart and drop a wad of cash, but for now I am just finding pennies, nickels and dimes.  I am at least finding bottle caps, since we do the whole recycle thing, I check the plastic bottle bin, which is usually good for a few extra caps each day I work.  Today was another 5 (2 Coke, 2 Pepsi and one Canada Dry) and I did get my ticket in the mail today for a free bottle of soda from the winner I found on the walk home that I have been blessing you with in pictorial form.  Speaking of which, when last we left, the trail had turned into a road when..........

we encounter a bridge with webbing underneath it.  And not the cool Spiderman type webbing where the Vulture is all tied up waiting for the authorities to arrive, but rather the catch the debris falling from the bridge type webbing that makes one wonder if the detour for this trail wasn't designed by the same Acme folks that outfitted Wile E Coyote so splendidly.    On the bright side, dinner did come out of the oven and microwave, french fries and el cheapo hot dogs, the ones that are a whole .67 cents a pack at WalMart, and unlike cool hotdogs, these shrink when you nuke them.

The trail veers left, down an alley that looks to be an abandoned loading dock type area.  there are signs saying not to block the doors, but it doesn't look like they have been used in say, the last couple of decades or so. On the bright side, this is putting us closer to the river and the place where the trail is supposed to be.  Maybe this will get me home yet.



The green sign on the right is the marking that the detour is officially over, woohoo.  While I could have taken a closeup shot of the sign, I actually wanted the building in the background more.  The building is across the Monongahela river from where I am currently standing, and while the structure has sort of modernish feel to it, you don't want to visit there, as it is the county jail.  leave it to us Pittsburghers once again to have the foresight to take prime waterfront real estate and use it for a correctional facility.

At the beginning of the trail, or the rebeginning as it were, the city was kind enough to leave us a map.  "The Map, The Map" for all of you Dora the Explorer fans out there. Sorry for the bad TV reference there, but then again, it could be worse, I could be giving you mens' gymnastics references, as that is the Olympics coverage I am subjected to right now.  There is nothing I like about watching gymnastics.  I feel guilty when I watch the women, because they are so you that I want to take a shower afterword (well save for Chelsea Memmel who is 20, and therefore legal) and when I watch the guys, I just feel gay.  There is nothing redeeming about this, I would rather watch water polo or ping pong, anything but this.

And so we come to the last photo, not because I am home yet, but because I am out of film, plus, I am literally just a couple of blocks from Tom's Diner, and we have al;ready made that trek before.  Mind you, I will be walking along the water as opposed to carson Street, but all that affords me is the luxury of going through bunches of gnats  and signs along the river that say high water can lead to sewage running into the river, hardly what we would call picture worthy.  Yet I found this picture worthy and you may ask why.  The intersection across the river is with 2nd Avenue (running parallel to the river) and 10th Street (the bridge)  is famous for a couple of different reasons.  Just past the intersection, 10 Street turns into the ASrmstrong Tunnel, which goes underneath the Duquense University campus, coming out on Forbes Avenue, and the tunnel was used in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's "The Stand".  The intersection was also the place where the Steelers starting quarterback, Ben Rothleisberger had his motorcycle accident that nearly killed him, getting knocked up over the hood of a car while not wearing a helmut.

And with that our journey is complete.  I am sure I could check for typos right about now, to be honest, I am just happy it is done.  Sleep is definitely beckoning, and if you make it this far without giving up, I will be pleasantly surprised.  But 8 days after I started, it's a final kids and I am outta here.

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