Sunday, February 22, 2009

Justice is and isn't served

Common sense would dictate that I would be in bed right now, hoping for sleep to come, but then again, when did anything I ever did resemble common sense? So instead, while the East Coast is rising out of its peaceful slumber, having breakfast, I am just getting settled in on the home front after another overnight shift sitting down to a less than nutritious dinner of half of a tuna sub from Subway, complete with all of the fixins, if the fixins are lettuce, pickles and spicy brown mustard. Sure you laugh at that concoction, but the one other person to try it was hooked when I suggested it. Oh, and before I forget, go with the Italian herb and cheese bread, just because. For dessert it is pretzel nuggets packed with peanut butter. Dinner is served.

Okay, lots to talk about so I best get yammering if I want to be done in time for faceoff of the Penguins Capitals contest at 12:30. Sure that is 3 hours away, but I am loquacious, and that means I might not be able to get everything in.

First I would regale you about the awesome music I am listening to while I work on this post, but I have been Yahoo-ed since we last chatted.  Yes, I bragged about my Launchcast station over at Yahoo, and how much work I had put into it and blah, blah, freaking blah, but of course the day after I mentioned it, Yahoo shut it down.  Well technically they still have music, but now it is a partnership with CBS Radio, which means all of the individualized stations, such as my own, were done away with.  As an added bonus, because I wasn't just a Launchcast user, but a Launchcast Plus user, meaning I had unlimited skipping of shitty music and the ability to listen without commercial interruption, I am doubly ass pounded as those features are gone as well.  Wake me when Yahoo does something right.  The only plus I can take from this is that I am not Chinese, otherwise I am sure Yahoo would have turned me over to the government, as they are sometimes wont to do with dissidents.

So let's get a quick change meter out of the way before delving into the meat and potatoes of yet another blog.  Another $2.49 cents to the kitty and the economic downturn continues to be the meters upturn, as the new total is $56.14.  This is going to be my best year by far, but I am not making any projections, because the last time I did that, saying I might crack $40.00 by the end of December, I fell short.  Rather I will just ride the wave of my new fortunes for as long as they are willing to hold out.

I did bag myself a little extra job security on Friday afternoon.  Seems we had this man come in the store, he went around grabbing a few items here and there and came up to the register to check out.  He didn't come to my register, rather he went to the girl next to me, Laura, and proceeded to give her a hard time.  First he was questioning how much everything was and what his total was.  Then he started asking to see his total without paying for anything, which we can't do, as the register will not print a receipt without payment.  When she tells him that, he starts swearing at her, at which point I step in and tell him he isn't going to talk to anyone in the store that way.  So what does he do?  He picks up his bag, without paying for it and leaves the store.  And what do I do?  I dart out from behind the counter in pursuit.  Because we are the corner of Smithfield Street and Blvd of the Allies, when I get outside, I am not sure which direction he went.  I opt for the logical course I would take, which would be toward the center of town to get lost in the masses if possible, which means, head down Smithfield Street. So I run down Smithfield for about a block and I don't see him.  I look around, no sign of him, so I start to walk back to the store, thinking I may get chewed out for leaving in the first place.  Just as I am about to cross the Blvd and go back to work, I see him, walking up the Blvd on the opposite side of the street.  Of course when you need a traffic light to be in your favor it isn't, so I pursue form the other side of the street with him unaware of my presence.  I get to the next traffic light, scanter across the street and I am now less than a block behind him, when the Swift Feet of Justice kick into high gear.  By swift feet, I mean as fast as a slow white guy who smokes a pack a day and believes that exercise should be outlawed, will carry him.  Still he wasn't running, so I was gaining significant ground on him, so the plan was going to be a quick run by, where I just yank the bag right out of his hands.  Of course then I was spotted and all of the hard work was done for me as he dropped not just the bag and but his duffel bag as well and fled in terror of the might that is me. I comeback to the store the conquering hero, fresh with the plunder that is the spoils of war, or at least the spoils that weren't paid for.  When asked for a description of said perpetrator in case he came back to the store, I gave the best one I could, he was a dirt bag, or better yet, a Rusted Root reject.  Sorry all of you Rusted Root fans out there, I have never cared for them, and having dealt with them at a previous job, back when I was host at the Church Brew Works, I liked them even less after the encounter face to face.

Funny I should be talking about work right now, they just called.  They want to know if I would be willing to work 3pm-11pm tonight and be off on Monday.  I can't see that happening, it would mean even if I went to bed this very instant, I would get maybe three hours of sleep and then have to be back up and my first day off would be making up for not sleeping today.  That just will not happen.  I'll stick with the hours I have.  Besides, I don't want to miss a hockey game on my day off and I would miss one if I worked today.  I am thinking that I will hit the bar around 11:30am, have a couple of morning beers, come home and glog the game and then hit the sack around 4 or 5pm.  The Pens have been playing better of late, since firing their head coach, they have picked up 5 of a possible 6 points in the standings and I want to see if they can keep it up.  After all, while they have won their last two games, they were both by 5-4 scores, so it isn't like they are playing flawless hockey, just good enough hockey. 

Now the Pitt men's basketball team is another story.  When last I mentioned them they became the first team in school history to ever reach the #1 ranking in the country while being undefeated.  I said then that I didn't expect them to remain unbeaten and was proven right, they have dropped a couple of games since then, both on the road to teams ranked in the top 25 (Villanova and Louisville) but this past week, after starting the week ranked #4, they beat the #1 team, the University of Connecticut at UConn and blew out Depaul here in Pittsburgh, meanwhile both North Carolina (#3) and Oklahoma (#2) lost on Saturday, so when the new poll comes out Monday, Pitt should again be ranked #1 with a 25-2 record and more wins against top 25 teams (5) than anyone else in the country.  Anything to delay the start of baseball season is fine with me.  I would watch the curling team (if we had one) before I would punish myself by watching Pirate baseball. 

Okay, I am back from my beer break. I stopped by for a quick two beers, dropped $10 in the poker machine, took out $80. Not that I always win on the machines, but when I lose I am usually not in the mood to talk about it. That being said, time was a factor, I wanted to be home for the faceoff of the game, so I could bring the action to you the only way a glog can. Yes kids, it is another blog feature, the glog, an idea I stole from Sportsline where someone blogs the game. the differences are, they blog live, whereas I post my blog after the game, and after I am done yammering post game and unlike a normal glog, I will sometimes commentate on the commercial break, or whatever comes across my mind. These aren't everyone's cup of tea, truth be told, I only ever got one positive comment on my glogging ability, but this is still my page to do with as I see fit, and I see fit to glog, so glog we shall.

So a little pregame background to today's contest. The Pittsburgh Penguins are in Washington to take on the Capitals. Pittsburgh is in 4th place in the Atlantic Division with a record of 29-25-6 while Washington leads the Southeast Division with a record of 37-17-5. Both teams play in the Eastern Conference, and the top 8 teams qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. If the season ended today Washington would be the #2 seed in the East, while Pittsburgh would be on the outside looking in, 4 points back of the 8th and final playoff spot. For those not in the know, a team gets 2 points for a win and one for a shootout or overtime loss.

Also of note is the offensive firepower both teams possess. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are 1 and 2 in the scoring race, with 86 and 78 points respectively. In third is Washington's Alexander Ovechkin with 75 points, but Ovechkin leads the league in goals with 42. Also of note is Washington's Mike Green, who leads all NHL defensemen with 22 goals and 51 points.

The teams have met twice this year with Washington winning both meetings, 4-3 and 6-3.

Okay, enough of my babbling, I have microwave burritos to fetch. Thankfully we are in a commercial break so I can do that.

And we are underway from the nation's capital.

Pittsburgh's Tyler Kennedy registers the first shot of the game, but it was very much a weak one and Jose Theodore easily makes the save and pushes the puck aside for Washington to take possession.

Donald Brashear, known more for his fists than his hands, has the first quality scoring chance of the game, redirecting a shot in front of the Penguins goal, but Marc Andre Fleury makes the save and the game remains scoreless.

Washington gets called for the first penalty, Boyd Gordon gets two minutes for tripping Pascal Dupruis and Pittsburgh will have the first power play of the contest. Not that that is necessarily a good thing for Pittsburgh, their power play has been mediocre this season and they have given up a decent number of short handed goals.

The sides have evened up, Ryan Whitney is called for holding, so for 30 seconds we skate 4 on 4 then Washington will get an abbreviated power play. During Pittsburgh's time with the man advantage they could not even register a shot.

Turns out Washington didn't need a full power play, as Ovechkin scores the first goal of the game, and his 43rd of the season and Washington has the early lead 1-0.

Commercial break and time for me to snack. Mmm, burrito.

Roughly halfway through the first period the teams are relatively even in shots, but Washington has a 1-0 lead. Pittsburgh will be getting another power play, Alexander Semin is called for a trip and for the second time Pittsburgh will try their hand with the man advantage.

Again Pittsburgh manages to not only come up empty on the power play, but commit a penalty themselves to kill the advantage, Jordan Staal gets called for trippinng and we skate 4 on 4.

4 on 4 pays off for Pittsburgh, Maxim Talbot scores his 8th of the year for Pittsburgh and we are tied at 1. Of course, Washington will still have a power play here once Semin gets out of the box. And get out of the box he comes, Semin scores his 22nd of the year, the Washington power play is now 2 for 2 and the Capitals take a 2-1 lead in the first period.

Maxim Talbot takes a penalty, 2 minutes for boarding and we get our third look at the Capitals power play.

Hey, Pittsburgh killed a penalty, that's a first. No really, it is.

Pittsburgh will get their third power play of the first period, Donald Brashear will serve two minutes for hooking, and Pittsburgh will have a power play for the remainder of the first period, and if needed, starting the second.

Pittsburgh does nothing with the power play, at least this portion of it and the score remains Washington 2 Pittsburgh 1 after one period of play.

So, while we go through our first intermission, I have a question. Much has been made of Kate Winslett saying she will never do a nude scene in a movie again. I assume this is partially because she is up for an Oscar nod for "The Reader". Now, when I was at work last night they showed a clip of the movie, and it looked as boring as the title suggests. Winslett is in a tub with a man who is reading to her. Okay, have we fallen so far down the list of movie ideas that we now make movies out of simple things like reading? What's next, "The Breather" where for two hours we watch people respirate and then pat them on the back for what a good job they have done breathing? Mind you the movie would be better if they didn't breathe and just keeled over, but really, this Oscar crap is the most over hyped tripe I can think of. Everyone gets together to celebrate movies that for the most part, people don't go to see. Okay, Heath Ledger is up for an Oscar for portraying the Joker in Batman, but let's not kid ourselves, he is up for the Oscar because he is dead. That movie isn't rolling in Oscar nominations and if Ledger were still among the breathing, chances are it would have one less nomination than it currently has.

Okay second period is underway, and I managed to blather here there and everywhere during the intermission.

Well that didn't take long, Sergei Fedorov scores right after Washington kills off Pittsburgh's power play and Washington now leads 3-1.

Pittsburgh gets another power play early in the second period, John Erskine gets called for interference, and the anemic Pittsburgh power play will get crack # 4 of figuring out the riddle that is known as scoring.

How much more can Pittsburgh ask for, Washington takes another penalty, too many men on the ice, and we see a 5 on 3 advantage for Pittsburgh for 45 seconds or so.

Pittsburgh finally takes advantage of having a power play, Sergei Gonchar nets his 2nd of the season and Pittsburgh cuts it to a 3-2 deficit.

I'll say this, Pittsburgh should be happy it is only 3-2, as Washington has missed the chance to cash in on a few good scoring chances here that could have blown this game open, coming up empty when Erskine got loose on a breakaway after coming out of the penalty box, and Ovechkin was stoned when he intercepted an errant pass and ripped a shot that Fleury managed to make a glove save on.

Ovechkin again makes a move around a defenseman and gets in front of the net but can't get the puck past Fleury. The shots this game have been relatively even from a statistical point of view (17-16), but the quality of the shots Washington is putting on net leaves the impression that they are dominating this game.

And let me say this for the Washington crowd, it is about time they get behind this franchise. It wasn't that long ago that Pittsburgh fans would make the raod trip to Washington in such numbers that they would outnumber the Capitals fans in their own building, so it is good to see that the building today is sold out with fans for the home team as opposed to the visiting Penguins.

Washignton makes it a two goal lead again, Shaone Morrison gets his third of the year when Fleury gives up a long rebound on an Ovechkin shot. And not to be outdone 25 seconds later Brooks Laitch scores for Washington and it's 5-2 Capitals and to say the last two goals were weak on Fleury's part would be being kind to the word weak. They were bad enough that Pittsburgh made a goaltending change, in net now for Pittsburgh is Mathieu Garon. For those keeping score at home, Fleury has now given up 13 goals in less than 7 and a half periods played. Those aren't good numbers kids.

Washington is starting to really dominate play now, not just on the scoreboard but all over the rink. The Penguins have been having trouble even getting the puck out of their own end.

We have coincidential roughing minors, so we skate 4 on 4 for 2 minutes. as both Brooks Orpik and Alexander Semin will spend time in the penalty box.

Not much happens on the 4 on 4, save for Mike Green leveling Ruslan Fedentenko at center ice on a highlight reel hit. Still the second period comes to a close with no more scoring and after 2 periods Washington has a substantial 3 goal lead, 5-2.

Third period underway and starts with some pressure by Pittsburgh but nothing to show for it and now the Capitals are back up to game speed and that momentary advantage the Penguins had is gone.

Pittsburgh will get the first power play of the third period, as Tom Poti goes to the box for elbowing. Pittsburgh has now had 6 power plays to just three for Washington, but Pittsburgh has had little success to this point, going just 1 of 5 as opposed to 2 of 3 for the Capitals.

Another penalty kill by the Capitals and it remains 5-2.

Here we go again, Pittsburgh will get their 7th power play of the game, as Sergei Fedorov goes to the penalty box for holding. While Washington holds a three goal lead, taking stupid penaties is the surest way to let a team back in the game, when they really have been the better team on the ice to this point.

I should mention I did little blogging during the second intermission as I was busy checking out some posts over at Voy Forums and starting another boss fight on Dark Ages. It is about the only thing I have really been doing with Facebook. I spend most of my time just rejecting requests to play half a dozen games in there. Other than Dark Ages and some Tennis, I just don't have a lot of desire to get caught up in games. I have enough here to bide my time.

Washington killed off another power play, and barring a miracle comeback by Pittsburgh, this game is all but over, with half of the third period gone now.

A stoppage of play as Ryan Whitney takes a puck off of his face.

Down to less than 6 minutes remnaing and the score remains 5-2. About the only good thing Pittsburgh can take out of this is that after switching goaltenders, Garon has made 11 saves on 11 shots, other than that, I can't see many positives from this game for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh gets but yet another power play, Shoane Morrison serves two minutes for tripping. That is power play number 8 and for the 7th time in 8 chances the power play can be described with one word, "Fail !"

Now we are down to 2:18 remaining and all we can expect from this point on is whether or not a fight will break out.

And it's a final, Washington wins 5-2.

Now you know what a glog is all about.


Okay, with that out of the way, many, okay some, okay mabe one of you is probably wondering just where the Asshat was last week.  Rest assured, I do have one and unlike some weeks, it isn't the funny kind of Asshat that we can get a little chuckle out of and continue on our merry way.  Rather this week's Asshats (there are two of them), were I a religious person, are the type of people for which I would hope be reserved a very special place in hell for the harm they have done.  Judges Mark A Ciavarella and Michael T Conahan ran courts, but they were courts where rulings were already made before defendants ever showed up.  These two were serving on the bench hearing cases in juvenile court, but here is the rub, they were getting kickbacks from two juvenile detention facilities in which they were sending minors.  The facilities get funding based on the number of juveniles they house, our friendly neighborhood judges here would hear cases, sometimes without the defendant even having the benefit of counsel, sentence the alleged offenders to these two facilities, then get a kickback when the facilities were granted funding for the number of juveniles they were housing.  Yes, that my friends is Asshat worthy and then some.  More details can be found here for those that want to read about the evil an Asshat or two can do.

As for me, I am going to try my damnedest to do a spell check and post this thing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Easy as 1, 2, 3

Picking up on the theme from my last blog entry, I will get down to business and start with a few other features that show up on this page from time to time and try to explain a little about them, since they have or will be making an appearance in the near future.

First is Ask Matt Anything, which is something I try to knock out about once a month or so. The theory is simple, I pick a date and time and answer any and all questions that come my way as best I can. Don't get me wrong, I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but the idea that I will just happen upon anything and everything that the reader wants to know while blogging would be conceited on my part, so I do a live blogging exercise where people are free to ask me questions about whatever. They can either submit questions ahead of time, or wait for the scheduled date and time and I will be manning the thread live for as long as it goes. Sometimes it goes very well, sometimes it sucks, but as long as I can cut away a small portion of my time for the people that have the decency to drop by the page, then it is something that I will continue for the forseeable future. I have been adding these events to the calendar portion of Multiply, just because if I leave them as a blog there is a chance that they will fall off of the update screen, so it is just easier with a scheduled event.

Next would be the Blunt Force Trauma, of which I just completed another one. Unlike Asshats, which are short, or regular blog entries, which are more personal in nature, BFTs are usually long winded, uncensored diatribes about something that has been bothering me. As a result they are often works in progress rather than something I hammer out over the course of one blog sitting meaning they can pop up at any time, I never know when I will get to start or finish one. I will say that while BFT 10.0 was finally posted this evening, after almost a month of work, BFT 11.0 is sitting firmly in my draft folder awaiting my attention.

Lastly for this round of updates would be The Neverending Thread, which is a running list of all of the books I have read this year. I started this in 2008, and I admit I will probably have fewer books this year just because I am no longer getting free review copies at the radio station, but I would like to think I am somewhat of an avid reader, time and money permitting (hey, books ain't cheap when they ain't free) so whenever I complete a book, I add it to the thread as well as a link to the Amazon listing for the book. Not that I suggest you go run right over to Amazon to buy it, but because Amazon has a pretty fair listing of reader reviews to the book, and I am far from a literary critic, this blog is the extent of my limited literary abilities (and also a fine example of my typographical inabilities) so anyone wishing to learn more about the reading material can go there and find out. I also welcome suggested reading into the thread, but rarely does that happen, so for the most part it is just me and mine.

There we go, more of what this page is about, and I still have a swallow or two of coffee left in my cup before I meander off to bed, and yes, I plan on curling up with the next good book, because it is better than curling up with a bad woman. Well, maybe not but I have a book here, and I don't have a woman, so a book it is.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stolen Content - Day off extravaganza

Here is what happens sometimes when I have a day off, I go shopping.  Not spend thousands of dollars shopping, but just getting some essentials for the home and what not.  Of course shopping involves waiting for a city bus (or in this case two) which meant I had time to digest nearly all of the Post Gazette, I read most of the sections, and even completed the NY Times Crossword and Celebrity Cipher while I was at it.  But this was in the paper, and it is what stuck out at me, so I share, and I share because I care.  Or because I am just killing time till AMA in a couple of hours.


Facebook's '25 things' too many

Facebook's '25 Random Things About Me' is all about you. And you aren't that interesting.

Joel Stein

February 13, 2009

Idon't want to know 25 things about you. In fact, I don't want to know two things about you. But somehow you've found me on Facebook and sent me your "25 Random Things About Me," which I deleted. Like any normal person, I am far too busy learning random things about celebrities.

Between Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, Facebook users sent out 5 million of these "25 Things" lists, far more than any other application in social networking history. Which is impressive until you realize the competition consists of a Ponzi scheme involving fake vampire bites instead of money or a cause called "Don't Let Newspapers Die."

If your list was actually interesting -- you cheat on your husband, prefer your second child to your first, have a debilitating sexual crush on me despite devoting yourself to Christ -- I'd read it. Instead, you're just going to tell me that there are foods you like more than other foods, and that your kids bring you joy you could have never imagined. These are answers to questions so boring, James Lipton doesn't ask them.

The idea of sending me information about yourself on a social networking site -- where your entire page is full of information about yourself -- makes no sense. It's like having a porn website with extra porn on it. I think I just came up with a really good idea.

Worse yet, you're clearly using me. After you type your 25 things, the application requires that you send it to 25 friends. Then I get an e-mail notifying me of your masterpiece, which says: "If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you." No. It's because you want me to know more about you. The self-love is so transparent it makes me uncomfortable.

Not long ago, very few people got their writing published, and those people were often paid for it. Now everybody can type about themselves online, and "25 Things" has finally established writing's Internet Age value: You actually have to pay to get read. And the payment is wading through other people's boring writing about themselves. This isn't how writing works. This is how talking works.

I'm bombarded bi-hourly by status updates and tweets and clever texts that you're "eating peanut butter like it's 2008." We need to reestablish the barrier for writing in the first person, limiting it to jailed civil rights leaders, little girls hiding from Nazis and me.

The first step is to prevent everyone from having a keyboard in front of them wherever they go. People used to read when they arrived first at the restaurant or waited for a doctor; now they type. And their keyboards also act like tiny printing presses run by drunk union guys who are about to retire and don't care.

We have erased the distinction between a note left on the counter and a publishable work. We are blasting our notes to everyone we know and everyone they know, until we're just demographic slivers who know nothing except when we're each going to bed. We've used the world's most impressive technology to provide an entertainment last enjoyed by the Waltons.

How can I prove how pointless this type of faux writing is? I have posted my own "25 Random Things About Me" on I predict no one will read it, despite the fact that I had much more fun writing it than this column, because several sentences in this column weren't about me.

If I find out from the tech department that the list gets more hits than this column, I'm going to law school. Or write a book called "50,000 Random Things About Me."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Musical teasers

It feels like ages since I have done one of these. Then again I have been getting sidetracked much too easily these days, so my focus isn't there for the required time to sit down and jot out a long blog. I think ever since I accidentially erased my Reset blog a week or so back, I just haven't really felt the desire to sit down and go through the motions again.

Still I find myself in front of the computer on a Sunday night/Monday morning with my sleeping schedule all out of whack after doing an overnight last night at the newsstand and knowing I am in at 7am Monday morning, so while I should be sleeping I am very awake, having nodded off for a good 7 hours earlier this evening. So it is either this, work on my last Pogo badge of the week (I have the Hearts left to do) or blog. Actually I have been redoing a lot of badges in Pogo. Seems that you can do a badge more than once, so I have been opting to replay games I like for personal challenges, and when I get bored I reactivate one of the many badges that I have purchased and redo it again as well. That way I get the bonus tokens for rewinning it plus I get to play a game I actually like, as opposed to chasing after a badge in a game I don't care for, like Squelchies.

I should stop myself, as we do have some new people to the site who may not know what I am talking about. Pogo is a gaming site on the web, you pay to play it, either by month or year, and they have probably 100+ different games to choose from. Most of the games have a chance of winning money, though I never have, and award tokens that can be redeemed for a number of things from money raffles to additions to your avatar for the site. In addition, every week they issue certain challenges in a couple of games that if completed will give you bonus tokens. I like playing there, it is a nice little quiet spot when I want to get to get away from the noise of the internet. It is one of the many places I hang out from time to time, and I will sometimes update my progress on this page.

I do lots of things with this page actually, of varying degrees of importance. Since I have a few minutes here, maybe I will tell you about some of them.

Probably the oldest feature to the page would be the Change Meter, which is just a running total of the money I find when I am out and about. It was going to be a study of stuff that people needlessly throw away, as I was intrigued by the number of times in my travails where I would see coins laying on the ground, either intentionally discarded by their owner or dropped by accident and never retreived. Still I wondered how much money I could accumulate from such findings and the change meter was born. The rules are pretty simple, the money has to either be lost or discarded from its previous owner, I can't steal it per se, and it can't be money that was at one time was in my possession. I often use the laundrymat anaolgy when it comes to the change meter, if I find a coin on the floor of the laundrymat, chances are good that I found it so it counts, if I find it in the washer or dryer after taking my clothes out, chances are it was in my pocket already so it doesn't. That being said, I have been adding to the meter quite a bit recently, as a number of people that visit the newsstand often opt to leave the change behind, moreso than I would have thought actually, and it is a newwsstand, it isn'tIlike I am in a job working for tips, so that to me counts as discarded money which also counts. The only stipulation I put on it is that we have one of those penny trays on the counter, so I will not take pennies at work, but any silver left behind is mine. And I have been making quite a bit of money there, at least considering the change meter in the past averaged about $10-$11 a year, yet I have already hauled in almost $14 in the first two months of this year. Yes, for those following at home, we have a new change meter total, as I am adding a robust $4.26 to the kitty, so the new number is $53.65.

Sorry, I stepped away from the blog for a second, I am cooking while I do this and my angel hair pasta just got done. I have been cooking and listening to my launchacast station while I do this. My station is just something I play with from time to time and it is always in a state of tweakage, with me rating more songs and refining the playlist. Between rating albums, artists and songs, I am closing in on 10000 ratings, so I have put a little bit of effort into it. I do cheat a bit, anything I don't like I quickly rate and fast forward to the next song, but stuff I do like I will listen to, time permitting, which time is doing right now, which means I am typing and listening to "Candyman" by Siouxsie and the Banshees, which I always though would have made a interesting choice of music for John Candelaria, former pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who went by the moniker Candy Man. It would have been cool if he took the mound to start the game to that song, but I think his career preceeded the song, which would make it a virtual impossibility to occur.

Now we have come up on "Stupid Girl" by Garbage, which is appropo for a number of reasons, as the next blog feature we can talk about is the Asshat. This is basically a look back at the past week in the news and picking one person whose stupidity just outshines everyone else. I am an Asshat behind, I didn't post one last week, but I doubt if I would get any objections if I selected the Octuplet Mom. I won't waste anyone's time recounting the idiotic tale, but I will suggest a potential solution, rather than let her live off of the public dole for her now 14 kids, make the fertility doctor pay child support for the 8 he implanted in her after knowing she already had six kids and no job. Problem solved as far as I am concerned. That, by the way is a rarity, usually I just point out the Asshat, not offer a solution to the problem of the Asshat. After all, if I tried to solve every Asshat dilemna, I would have far less time to look at internet porn.

Ah, "Dreamworld" by Midnight Oil, I knew I liked my station for a reason. And I only had to skip one song, a bad ABBA tune, to get to it. I know, some of you are wondering if there is a good ABBA tune, I have always been partial to "Waterloo" myself. Hmm, Abba for Karaoke Friday? There's a thought that brings us to another blog feature, Karaoke Friday, one of the newer recurring features to the blog, where I just pick a song out of my past, search down the video and post it. Because it is karaoke and all, I hunt down the lyrics as well, or at least the best version I can find of them on the web, and post those as well so you can sing along.

"Crucify" by Tori Amos, another good song by my station, though Tori is one of those people that every time I start to like her, she does some crazy thing with her appearance, or records some song that I am left wonedring just what the fuck I was thinking. Probably my favorite stuff form her came back on the "Under The Pink" CD. Of course, by admitting that I like Tori Amos, you should really start worrying just how serious I may be about ABBA and Karaoke Friday.

You'll find that when I put my kind to it, I can actually put forth a lengthy blog about little or nothing at all, as I am doing here quite nicely. There are instances though where someone else's work deserves a more prominent role than my own, hard to believe I know, which has given birth to what I call Stolen Content, in which I just take verbatim was I found and post it on my page, usually with limited commentary by me, as the stolen stuff is the far more important material.

While I am mentioning these blog features, I need to restate something. Some of you have seen the fact that I put Facebook in my links section. I didn't do that out of some love for Facebook, but a friend of mine was trying to set up a page over there and he sent me an invite to look at it. Sadly, the only way I could look at it was to become a member, so I swallowed my pride and signed up. That being said, I am not posting anything over there, so readers of this fine blog have nothing to fear. I set up an RSS feed over there that links back to this page, so people over there can come look at this, but I am not going to be blogging on two sites. I do have a life outside the internet and I refuse to be tied to my computer trying to update 15 different social networking sites. I picked Multiply and this is where I will stay, for as long as they will have me. If someone over there wants to comment over here, they are more than welcome, but I am not going to be running back and forth between the two trying to maintain two different pages.

"Tenderness" by General Public. I told you my station was way cool. I should make a note here that there is a link to this station in my links section, but because of the background theme I chose, the numbers of pages I actually have are almost impossible to see on my homepage, leaving me with the option of changing my theme, which I don't want to do because I like it too much, or just say that you might want to highlight the page to see the numbers of the additional pages. See how helpful I can be when it comes to promoting myself?

Okay, I am at a crossroads here, I could continue mentioning things about this page, but then I will be up all nite and I really don't want to do that. So instead I think I will leave some of it go for the time being and come back to it later, this is what they call a teaser in the business, or a hook, a reason to come back to the page. But if I don't stop now, I will have defeated the purpose of sitting down here, that being to post an actual blog, because I will be too busy typing to actually do any posting, so for the time being we will call this a wrap. If you have questions of the page, I may be inclined to answer them at the next Ask Matt Anything, another recurring feature, which will take place this Tuesday at 9pm EST. Wow, 2 teasers in one paragraph, a personal best for me. Since I can't possibly top that I will quit while I am ahead.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What I have been doing while I am not here

Perhaps it is this. 


Maybe it is just me, but the bit with the CPR dummy is the funniest thing I have seen on TV in a long time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Stolen content - Passings

Let it never be said that culture doesn't come to this page from time to time, or in this instance, the death of it.  Sam Hazo was probably one of my favorite people to have on the radio, back when I did such things.  He so impressed me that there remains a link (in the links section of all places) to his website for the International Poetry Forum.  Which made it all the harder today to see in the newspaper that this was on the front page......


Poetry Forum utters its final verse
Friday, February 13, 2009

It was clear that something was in the air at Wednesday night's reading by Samuel Hazo at the International Poetry Forum, the organization he founded in 1966.

On a blustery rainy night, the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall was more crowded than usual, the audience largely of Dr. Hazo's generation and familiar with his work. The poet himself greeted many of them at the door as though they were guests at his own home.

Dressed comfortably in a brown sports jacket and matching turtleneck, Dr. Hazo, standing always at center stage, departed frequently from delivering his own poems from memory with reminisces about his travels, his meetings with great poets and celebrities, snatches of verse in Italian and German, one-liners from a Vegas comedian and finally tributes to his family, including wife Mary Ann sitting in the front row.

It had all the feeling of a farewell, which is what it was. Seeming reluctant to leave the stage he has held for 43 years as Pittsburgh's poetry impresario, Sam Hazo said goodbye to the poetry forum.

Stepping forward after his final poem, ironically titled "And The Time Is," Dr. Hazo said quietly, "It looks like this is the last year" for the forum.

Messages about the evening's announcement had gone out earlier in the day to the forum's board members, advisers and longtime supporters. They responded by filling the hall.

He explained the reading series was caught in the country's financial whirlpool that has washed so many organizations down the drain since the collapse last summer.

Like all investors in Wall Street, the forum's stock portfolio lost 25 percent of value, as did the holdings of Pittsburgh foundations that had contributed to the forum in the past.

"There's no foundation money to be had," Dr. Hazo said. Coupled with the cutoff of funds was the forum's inability to secure a replacement for the 80-year-old director. "Next season is out."

Yesterday, he said, "Last year at this time, I believed we had at least two more years of life if we didn't raise a penny, then the market took a hit. It was a 25 percent loss for us."

Ticket sales barely covered a fourth of the forum's costs, he said, so he depended on nonprofit and private support. Helping out in the past, privately, was Anthony O'Reilly, former head of H.J. Heinz, and from the nonprofit sector, the McCune Foundation and its director, Henry S. Beukema, Dr. Hazo said.

McCune gave the forum $25,000 last year to support its Poets-in-Person outreach program that sends writers to public and private middle and high schools in five counties around Pittsburgh.

According to the foundation Web site, it had contributed $177,500 since 1997.

Literary arts patron Drue Heinz funded an upgrade of the forum's Web site. Dr. Hazo said the site would continue to be upgraded as it expands its audio archive of poetry readings.

He also will write a revised history of the organization, first published in 1999.

"It's the end of a era," said a surprised Jim Daniels, poet and professor of creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University.

"I had never seen anything like the poetry forum anywhere until I came to Pittsburgh [in the early 1980s]," he said. "It's a miracle that Hazo could sustain an organization that long. Just the idea of selling subscriptions to poetry readings is unusual around the country."

The forum brought "the stars of poetry to Pittsburgh," said Mr. Daniels. "Some of these writers will be in poetry anthologies for a hundred years.

Among the poets were Russia's Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Nobel Prize winner Seamus Heaney, U.S. poets laureate Billy Collins, Robert Pinsky, Richard Wilbur and Stanley Kunitz and other key figures such as Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton and the late John Updike, who brought his parents to his reading in 1969.

"It's amazing to expose that many people to contemporary poets," he added. "Not everyone agreed with him, of course, but that's poetry."

Sherrie Flick is co-director of the Gist Street Reading Series, a year-around literary program founded in 2001. In a city with two major university writing programs, the forum's independence was critical, she said.

"The forum seems to have a rich history, and I'm sad to see it go. I think it's important for literature to reside both inside and outside of academia, and with the poetry forum gone, there's one less established outside resource for lovers of literature."

"In starting the forum, he was the person who created the first element of the poetry renaissance in Pittsburgh," said Edward Ochester, editor of the Pitt Poetry Series at the University of Pittsburgh Press.It's really remarkable and he did it with an enormous amount of energy for raising money and getting things going."

Mr. Ochester, himself a poet and professor of English emeritus at Pitt called the International Poetry Forum "a major resource for the city. What Sam did certainly spread to inspire poetry readings at Pitt, Carnegie Mellon, Chatham. Pittsburgh is now a center of poetry in the United States. It's a sad loss."

Ms. Flick added that she wished Dr. Hazo "could have passed on the organization, wish it could have seen a new vision, some new ideas that might have made it appealing to new generations."

Dr. Hazo sounded confident that there was life after the International Poetry Forum.

"I'm a writer after all. Last year I published a novel and a book of poetry and I have a publisher interested in a new book. I'm also invited to give readings all over the country," he said.

"I can also stand back and observe my son [Samuel Hazo], who's a composer of wind symphonies."

Bob Hoover can be reached at or 412-263-1634.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Stolen content by three, because that's the way I roll

I know, you are used to the Stolen Content thing coming up when I find something of merit with which I think sharing may be a good thing.  Well I ran across this stolen content while reading this week's SI, which I mentioned a blog entry or two ago had an amazing cover.  How amazing you may ask?  Well lets start first by going to Stolen Content #1, the tape, which is that of Santonio Holmes' game winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds remaining in the Super Bowl, giving the Pittsburgh Steelers a 27-23 win.  Don't worry the video is short less than a minute long....


Now the reason that we post that is because of Stolen Content #2, the SL cover shot.  There is such a thing as being in the right place at the right time, but given the video you just watched, I am not sure the SI photographer could have been in any better position that this.....

With two Stolen Contents out of the way, that leaves but one, and that would be this article from inside the magazine, which in a few short paragraphs, manages to encompass all that is bad about our current economic times and all that was good about the game.  I feel like Monty Hall here, let's see what is behind Stolen Content #3.....

February 09, 2009

Excess, Please. Extra-wretched

I WENT TO Tampa last weekend hoping for the worst.

Not from Super Bowl XLIII, but from the scene. I wanted excess and I wanted it wretched, with two scoops of celebrities in every (luxury) box. I wanted to see the glitterati rinsing their Escalades with Cristal, then drying them off with imported, endangered pandas. I wanted to see supermodels giving table dances to indicted executives wearing Armani do-rags. I wanted to see Warren Buffett on a corner using a leaf blower to send $100 bills aflutter. Why? Because it's what the country needs right now. Sure, most years I decry the decadence surrounding the Big Game, but at this, the first Super Bowl of what may be the second Great Depression, I wanted to be reassured that America is still capable of otherworldly exorbitance.

It wouldn't be easy. All I heard was grim news: how tickets were marked down, how hotel rooms were going begging. I tried to attend NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's press conference last Friday, only I mistakenly walked into a Timothy Geithner briefing. Soberly grasping a podium and addressing a sea of rumpled sport coats, Goodell kept using words like crisis and fear and layoffs. Hey, everyone, it's party time!

As for Tampa, it tried its best: turning a blind eye to public drinking, facilitating tent cities for merchants. Only the more places I went, the more depressed I got. Vendors told me no one was buying, no matter what they were selling. A guy with a flyer yelled, "Wanna bet big on the Bowl?" and when I replied that, no, I really didn't, he nodded and said, "Who can afford to, right?" On a corner near Raymond James Stadium the day before the game, as cars drove by with Terrible Towels twirling out the window like gold-and-black pinwheels, a middle-aged man in a crisp gray suit held a sign: TERRIFIC EMPLOYEE. LOYAL PERSON. I NEED WORK. Then there was a phone number.

The landscape was bleak, but surely the parties would provide solace, right? Standing amid famous-looking people at the last great Super Bowl blowout—the Maxim party—I thought that I'd found my oasis of excess at last. Patron flowed; four dozen models gyrated. To my right Pat Riley bobbed his head while, onstage, Terrell Owens shimmied as a woman in a nearly nonexistent green dress tried to hike him a football. Or at least that's what it looked like she was doing. Overhead, Steve Perry warbled, Don't stop. Be-leev-in'. Hold on to that fee-ee-lin', and man, did I try. Until, that is, I stepped into the chill evening and met a red-carpet model named Jen who (of course) works two jobs. "Party's sort of tame," she said, teeth chattering on a cigarette. How tame? "I'm not even getting hit on."

Sure, there were glimmers of hope. Cardinals running back Edgerrin James had promised himself that if he ever went to the Super Bowl, he would buy a Lamborghini, and by God he did. Silver and shiny and gloriously unnecessary, it arrived early in the week, shipped to his hotel in Tampa. (Explained James, the one-man stimulus package, "It's the Super Bowl and it's a fun week. Why not have it?") At the Marquis Jet party, the last place I expected optimism, one of the dozens of CEOs in attendance cheerily said of his company, "We've chosen not to participate in the recession." Now that's an opt-in plan I want to learn more about.

Still, come Sunday I remained disheartened. Until I got to the game, that is. It turned out I'd been looking for reassurance in all the wrong places. I met Arizona fans who'd practically hawked family heirlooms to make the trip and tailgaters wearing lucky underpants and, way up in section 303, Dale and Christine Pollick in their Steelers jerseys. The couple, both in their 40s, had flown from Pittsburgh after laying out $3,400 for tickets. "It was a little scary to do it right now," said Dale, "but c'mon, the Steelers are in the Super Bowl. It's worth it."

And the craziest part was, it was worth it. When Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison toppled into the end zone just before the half, left prone like some Ironman finisher, it was clear something special was happening. And by the time Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes nicked the corner of the end zone with his toes—a moment of ballet amid the mayhem—all perspective was lost. The stadium exploded in gold, spring blooming two months early.

For one moment—hell, for the better part of the night—foreclosures and collapsed stocks and ticket prices were forgotten. All that mattered was Pittsburgh's 27--23 win in one of the best Big Games ever.

So, in a funny way, the Super Bowl did come through—not off the field but on it. Finally, a bunch of rich guys who earned their bonuses.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I promise I won't ramble this time, but just wanted to say thanks to a couple of posters over at Voy forums.  Apparently my fan club has three members (including me), woohoo.

Thanks and thanks again.

In the wee hours

I guess this is either a late night blog or an early morning blog, depending on your perspective, but it is 3am here in the Burgh, once again I can't sleep, or rather I can't get back to sleep so I figure I would pontificate a bit and see if I couldn't bore myself back to bed, though that might be a pretty stupid idea in and of itself, since I have to be at work in 4 hours. I might be better off just staying up at this point.

It has been a week of frustrations of many sorts. On the good obviously was the fact the Steelers won the Super Bowl. Tuesday was parade day for the team in town, and thankfully I was off work. Not that I wanted to go to the parade, but since it was running right in front of the newsstand, I knew it was going to be a mad house down there, one of which I just didn't want to be part of. It is just a bunch of drunken idiots and people needing but yet another reason to not go to work or school for a day. Consider this, as of the last census numbers taken, the population of the city of Pittsburgh was tabbed at 311,218 persons, making it the 59th largest city in the United States. Now consider this, the crowd estimate of the parade was 350,000. That is right, more people showed up for the Steelers parade than actually live in the city itself. And knowing that these people were going to be right outside my place of employment, well at least some of them, the sidewalk is only so big after all, the further away from work I was, the happier I was.

Mind you work is frustrating as well. Well not the work part, how hard is it to sell newspapers after all, though business did go up this week with the parade, the Super Bowl copies of the local papers and today we received our magazines, including the sports mags with their Super Bowl coverage (including the Sports Illustrated with the very sweet cover photo), so people have been coming in buying multiple copies of everything, either for keepsakes or to send to friends and relatives who had the common sense to get out of town while the getting was good. That is not the frustrating part however, what is frustrating is that we have a nice sized high def TV hanging on the back wall of the store, and during the day it is usually tuned into one of those cable news networks, using the term news in its loosest possible interpretation, as they rarely focus on news, and more on sensationalism, but that is neither here nor there. I am just tired of seeing Barack Obama on the TV every damn day. Even today he was railing on about greener cars, fuels and blah blah blah when at one point he said "The time for talking has come to an end, now it is time for action." If life ever were like professional wrestling, this is where they would have cued my entrance music, as I fired back at the TV, "Well then, stop talking!". It would be one thing if he came out once in a while, but it is every damn day. The day before he was out with Treasury Secretary Timothy Gaitner talking about the economic stimulus plan. For the record, the process still holds, just as with Bush in office, every time these guys start talking about economic stimulus, the market takes a dive because nobody trusts them any further than they can throw them. Still I am listening to Gaitner talk about executive pay caps and what not, and it is an idea I could get behind, after all these execs are asking to live on the public dole, a welfare plan for the super rich so to speak, but why is Gaitner giving us this message? His claim to fame is that he failed to pay his taxes while employed by the World Bank, so just where does he get the credibility to cap anything? And just how the hell was he confirmed by the Senate to begin with? How is the man that is going to be partly responsible to see to it that you and I pay are taxes able to get away with not paying taxes himself? Shit like that just boggles the mind.

Not that that was the only thing that was irking me about the TV, the Asshat of the Week also comes from TV and this week gets handed out to FOX News. Seems last week the economic stimulus plan was making its way through the House of Representatives. Don't get me wrong, I am not defending the plan whatsoever, but the bill managed to pass the House and was on its way to the Senate. That being said, the day after the bill passed, there was Fox and Friends telling us that it was a victory for the Republicans, because no Republican voted for it. Mind you, the bill passed the House along the lines of 244-188 or some near approximation of those numbers. Now I am not a math major, nor do I play one on the blog, but when you get you ass kicked by 50+ votes, that my Fox and Friends, is not a win. But it is Fox, and they do report and I do decide, I just decided that something that stupid was worth an Asshat, so congrats.

My sleeping schedule continues to be all fucked up, as if you couldn't tell by me being up at 3am blogging wasn't a pretty big clue. Obviously Sunday's football game didn't help, but Monday after work I do some stuff then come home and when I did try to sleep I couldn't because I had a toothache that every time I would start to nod off a little the pain would wake me up again. It wouldn't be till late Tuesday morning (11am ish) that I would even get my head onto a pillow and grab enough slumber that I could consider it actual sleeping. The problem was that I slept right through a phone call from Fred, my uncle, who called to see if I wanted to go to the Penguins game Wednesday night as he had an extra ticket. Well, having missed the first call ( I didn't even hear the phone ring, which shows how exhausted I must have been), he called again on Wednesday, but I was at work, so I am now two for two in missed calls. After work I ran some errands and didn't get in until about 7pm, at which point I check my phone messages to find that rather than dropping my stuff down and just settling in for an evening on non entertainment, I could at that point be at a hockey game. I called to apologize for not getting back to him sooner, but still I felt like such an idiot for missing the calls to begin with. Luckily he found someone to use the extra ticket, but as it turns out it was quite a game (see the Pittsburgh Tampa Bay video for what I missed, located in your updates and my video section, as are all Pens games), with Pittsburgh coming back from 3 goals down to win in overtime.

About the only thing that has gone relatively well is the change meter just continues to blossom this year. If this is what happens when we have an economic downturn, the change meter wishes we would have them more often, even if my wallet doesn't. The new total stands at a robust $49.39, as I have almost pulled $10 since the start of the year. Part of that comes from tips at work, which I allocate to the change meter, since I am in a job that I don't deem tippable, therefore it is still money that people are throwing away, and therefore addable to the change meter total. If I were in the service industry and part of my income was based on tips, that would be one thing, but I am not, so if you are just leaving me money, then you are throwing it away, which was the meters job to come up with in the first place.

Okay, I have rambled on enough, and nearly killed an hour to boot, so I am going to try to grab a quick two hour nap and then get back at it for the morning grind. We will see what happens on that front.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The best laid plans

The plan was relatively simple. Somehow I managed to have Sunday off of work, not that I work Sundays all that much, but given that it is Super Bowl Sunday I expected someone to request off leaving me to fill in. But alas that wasn't the case, rather I did end up with the day off. Of course I did work overnight, 11pm Sat to 7am Sun morning, so I had a plan, come home form work, do some prep work to make chili for the game, sit down and try to glog the festivities. Ah but the best laid plans of mice and men.

Some things did go right, the work shift went off without a hitch. Given I work Saturday nights with Mark, any night where he doesn't have another seizure I have to consider at least a small victory. I still worry that if it happens again I am going to be stuck there by myself for the rest of the night, while dealing with just way too much crap, but so far nothing has happened so I will take that as a win. After work I headed off to Giant Eagle to do some small grocery shopping and to pick up my Feb. bus pass. I finished my most recent book on the way to the grocery store, picked up a few items I needed and a couple that I didn't but were on sale (yes, the frozen chicken was on sale again, 3lbs for 5.97, can't pass that up) then I hopped a bus and headed home.

I got home a little after 9, sat down at the computer and proceeded to undo a blog I had written, showing once again my skill set for all things Multiply. I had written a Reset blog yesterday, it was something that I would work at a little, then walk away from, then come back to. As a result, I would save my work as a draft and come back to it. When I finally finished I posted the blog and got dressed for work. Well when I came home today, there was the blog, no comments had been made on it, but I noticed that a version was still in my draft folder. Thinking since it was posted i no longer needed the draft copy, I went into the folder and deleted it, of course Multiply took it to mean I also wanted the blog entry itself deleted, so it erased that as well. Suddenly the day didn't seem so bright. Nonetheless, I went about putzing around on the web, I hopped over to Pogo and played a game of Monopoly, simply because I only needed to pass Go two more times for my next rank, so I knocked off a quick game, played some Bejeweled 2 as well, washed a few dishes and realized that since the game didn't kick off for another 7 hours or so, I didn't have to start making my chili just yet. Now I am in a time perspective, in no mans land. Monday morning I will work from 7am-3pm. If I go to bed (it is roughly around 11 am by now) I fuck up my sleep schedule. If I don't I am going to be exhausted come time for the Super Bowl. I needed a diversion, so to the bar I went. Jake was doing some set up for tonight's game, they were throwing a small soiree, just some pizzas and sandwiches and potato and macaroni salad for the regulars and the crowd that will come in to watch the game. I saw some of the last Steeler playoff game there and knew that It isn't the type of crowd I want to hang out with for the football game, thankfully I had my chili plans already in motion at my place and I was just killing a couple hours of time till I could start cooking. That being said, I helped Jake out a little bit, going down to the bar's basement and bringing up a cover for one of the pool tables so it could serve as a buffet table, and I had a few beers when I realized that I might be coming an alcoholic.

Let me rephrase that, it wasn't the beer that brought about that realization, but rather a discussion about the game that brought it about. See, the bar was running a block pool for the game. For those that don't know what a block pool is, allow me to elaborate. A 10x10 grid is created and people purchase blocks within the grid, until all 100 of the blocks are sold. After all of the blocks are sold, the two teams, in this case the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers are then added, one team along the left side of the grid, the other across the top. Then the numbers 0 through 9 are randomly selected, first for the rows, then for the columns, with one number corresponding to each row and column. Each intersection of row and column (a block) then gives you two numbers, one representing one of the teams, the other representing the other. The goal of a block pool is to have the correct last digits of both teams playing in the game. Most pools work by quarters, so for each quarter of the game there will be two digits, and whoever holds that block in the pool wins money. I was thinking that I hadn't even gotten in one this year, so maybe I could hop in on this at the last minute. Problem was, the pool was sold out, being Pittsburgh and all, that isn't surprising with the Steelers playing. That still isn't the troubling part, the troubling part is apparently I had already bought two blocks and honest to God, I have no memory of it whatsoever. I don't know if I was drunk or stupid or what, but I don't remember spending any money on this pool at all. I had a faint recollection of a block pool, but I thought it was something that kind of came to me in a dream and then faded away, as my dreams have been prone to do recently. I am having vivid dreams when I sleep, but I only sleep for an hour or two, then I am up for an hour, then I go back to bed and the process repeats itself until I have to be up in the morning, or evening if I am working overnight. So I thought maybe my faint reminder was just one of those dreams and not that I actually signed up for one. But apparently I did, and I have no idea what each block costs, though I am thinking they were 10 bucks a piece.

Anyway, I look at the pool and I have one shitty block, it was like Arizona 5 Pittsburgh 2, numbers that are hard to come by in a regular NFL game, the other showed more promise, Arizona 7 Pittsburgh 0. Oh well, i figure, I will just file it in the back of my cranium, and move on. I head home and start putting the chili together, browning a pound of ground turkey (it is cheaper than beef and works just as well for this purpose), and started adding the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot. 3 cans kidney beans, 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 chopped yellow onions, liberal amounts of black pepper, red pepper. cayenne pepper, chili powder and hot sauce and mix thoroughly. Once the turkey browned, I drained it and added it to the crock pot, mixed again and set the crock pot on low. By now it is almost 4pm, that leaves a good two hours for it to cook until kickoff so I lay down on my bed. Bad move as I nodded off, at least long enough to miss half of the first quarter of the game. So the chance of glogging is now gone.

When I open my eyes it is Pittsburgh 3 Arizona 0, which is how the first quarter would also end, so that wasn't a block winner for me. Second quarter underway and Pittsburgh gets a short touchdown run from Gary Russel and it is Pittsburgh 10 Arizona 0. Arizona answers back with about two and a half minutes left in the quarter when Kurt warner finds Ben Patrick for a touchdown and it is Pittsburgh 10 Arizona 7. Wait, I own the Arizona 7 Pittsburgh 0 block, I might make some cash here. Pittsburgh gets the ball back and Ben Roethlisberger throws an interception deep in his own end and my dreams of cash are slowly fading, surely Arizona will at least get a field goal here and tie the game, sending my dreams of cash off into the Pittsburgh night. Arizona gets all the way down to the Pittsburgh 3 yard line with 10 seconds left, kurt warner drops back to pass and is intercepted. It is still 10-7 and my cash is safe, but wait, Arizona forgets to tackle james harrison after the interception and he runs 100 yards the other way with it as time expires in the first half. tack on the extra point and Pittsburgh leads 17-7 and in 10 seconds I went from having money to not so much.

Third quarter Pittsburgh puts together a long drive, aided by three two unsportsmanlike penalties on Arizona. Pittsburgh kicks a 28 yard field goal and it is 20-7 Pittsburgh, but my numbers are matching again in my block. Wait, foul on the kick attempt, on Arizona, take the points off of the board, Pittsburgh has a first down inside the Arizona 10. The cardinal defense stops Pittsburgh again and they still end up with a field goal, so it really is 20-7, and that field goal is the only scoring in the quarter, so I believe when I go to the bar next, I get the third quarter kitty from the pool.

4th quarter and this is where I really wish I would have glogged the game. Arizona scores on a touchdown pass, Kurt warner to Larry Fitzgerald and it is 20-14. The teams exchange punts and Pittsburgh starts a drive inside its own one yard line. Third down and ten, 3 minutes and change left in the game, Pittsburgh looking to kill some clock but they need a first down and Ben roethlisberger finds Santonio Holmes for 23 yards and a first down. Wait, penalty on the play, offensive holding on Pittsburgh and since the penalty took place in the end zone, that is an automatic safety for Arizona and it is 20-16 and Arizona gets the ball back on a free kick. Pittsburgh kicks the ball away and a couple of plays later Warner again finds Fitzgerald going down the middle of the field and he races some 65 yards or so for the go ahead touchdown, 23-20 with just a little over two minutes left in the game. Pittsburgh gets the ball back and in one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history, goes 70 = yards in under two minutes and a leaping catch in the back corner of the endzone by Santonio Holmes, who managed to get both feet down and Pittsburgh has retaken the lead 27-23, laving just 35 seconds on the clock. Arizona can do nothing with the ball, they complete a couple of passes but with 15 seconds left, kurt warner drops back to try a Hail Mary pass, is hit and fumbles the ball and the Steelers recover and win the game, and their 6th Super Bowl 27-23. I am happily tucked away in my apartment right now, as I imagine the rioting will take place well into the wee hours of the morning. The craziness doesn't stop there though, Pittsburgh City Schools will operate on a two hour delay simply because the Steelers won. Any excuse to not work I guess. Holy crap, I just turned on the news and they are running school delays on the bottom of the screen. Not weather related delays, the weather tomorrow looks fine, but these are just football related delays. Unfucking believable. I would list all of the schools that are running delays, but my fingers would get too tired from typing. meanwhile, local sporting goods chain Dicks reopened as soon as the game ended, at almost 11pm just so they could sell new Steelers Super Bowl merchandise. Don't worry, if you don't get anything tonight, they are opening again tomorrow at 6am. Meanwhile, according to the news chopper flying over the neighborhood, some idiot set fire to something or another. And you wonder why I am happy to be safely tucked away indoors right now.

Oh well, I better get off of here, I do have work in the morning and I have leftover chili to put away. Nite all

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