Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stolen Content - I say thee yay

"The Spy" to return to Oklahoma radio

Five years ago, 105.3 FM "The Spy" left the airwaves, replaced by a Spanish language station, and a great experiment in ultra-alternative rock radio was consigned to history. Now O'Brien, the morning disc jockey on The Spy, has bought the station from Citadel Broadcasting

and the long dormant Spy returns to the airwaves Monday.

"I've been working on this at least since March — actually physically working on this deal," said O'Brien. "But in all actuality, this has been something I've been thinking about doing, wanting to be doing, for the last 10 years."

O'Brien, whose career in radio began with KDGE-FM in Dallas

, eventually moved to Stillwater, where he was a key player on KSPI-FM, the stylistic precursor to KSYY. KSPI-FM changed formats in 2000, and O'Brien joined 105.3 FM when that station adopted a deep alternative format in December 2002, playing a diverse selection of underground British and domestic rock.

After KSYY changed formats in June 2004, O'Brien continued to work with Citadel, hosting a "Spy Radio" program on KATT-FM. But O'Brien said his dream has always been to run his own station, and he reached an agreement earlier this year to purchase the station from Citadel with his own money and investment from family members.

Since embarking on the process of buying the station, O'Brien has been collecting and programming the necessary equipment and reaching out to past colleagues such as former Chainsaw Kittens

singer Tyson Meade, one of the regular deejays on the station. Meade, who now lives and teaches in Shanghai, China, is expected to return to The Spy with a regular show recorded half a world away.

In the meantime, O'Brien is filling his equipment with digital song files, ranging from classics by The Smiths and Talking Heads to local bands such as Pretty Black Chains.

"I've had the automation system for about two months, and I am still working on it today," he said. "I lock myself in my basement, and my wife refers to it as "mad scientist syndrome."

While he acknowledged that there are big risks involved in this undertaking, O'Brien said he thinks he can operate a profitable business while bringing a radio legend back to life.

"You know, I'm not in this specifically to get filthy, stinking rich, where I fill up a bedroom with 100-dollar bills and roll around naked. If that happens, that's great, too. But if I break even and make a good living and can pay the bills and keep it on the air, I know I can do that."

Stolen Content - Merry Christmas Bob

I figure of all of my contacts he might appreciate this most (though I would say Rich would be a close second),


Hackers steal electronic data from top climate research center
Scientists' e-mails deriding skeptics of warming become public

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world's foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails in which prominent scientists engaged in a blunt discussion of global warming research and disparaged climate-change skeptics.

The skeptics have seized upon e-mails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Britain as evidence that scientific data have been rigged to make it appear as if humans are causing global warming. The researchers, however, say the e-mails have been taken out of context and merely reflect an honest exchange of ideas.

University officials confirmed the data breach, which involves more than 1,000 e-mails and 3,000 documents, but said they could not say how many of the stolen items were authentic.

"We are aware that information from a server in one area of the university has been made available on public websites," the statement says. "We are extremely concerned that personal information about individuals may have been compromised. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm what proportion of this material is genuine."

Michael E. Mann, who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said in a telephone interview from Paris that skeptics are "taking these words totally out of context to make something trivial appear nefarious."

In one e-mail from 1999, the center's director, Phil Jones, alludes to one of Mann's articles in the journal Nature and writes, "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

Mann said the "trick" Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. "It's hardly anything you would call a trick," Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.

But Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said this and other exchanges show researchers have colluded to establish the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change.

"It is clear that some of the 'world's leading climate scientists,' as they are always described, are more dedicated to promoting the alarmist political agenda than in scientific research," said Ebell, whose group is funded in part by energy companies. "Some of the e-mails that I have read are blatant displays of personal pettiness, unethical conniving, and twisting the science to support their political position."

In one e-mail, Ben Santer, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, offered to beat up skeptic Pat Michaels, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, out of sympathy for Jones.

Neither Jones nor Santer could be reached for comment.

Fantasy Football MVP - Week 10

Call it a case of overthinking.  I went into week 10 of the fantasy season with a 5-4 record but the bye week for a couple of my star players made it a week I wasn't looking forward to.  Houston was off, so there went my starting QB Matt Schaub and WR Andre Johnson, leaving me two holes to plug in to my weekly lineup.  I went with QB Matt Hasselbeck and WR Percy Harvin, the first time this year I have played either one of them despite the fact that they have been on my roster since draft day, neither has been good enough to merit cracking the starting lineup.  I also had an issue on the defensive side of the ball, where I usually play the Green Bay defense, but they were coming off getting torched by a previous winless Tampa Bay squad, so my comfort level in them was less that good, especially with Dallas on the docket for week 10.  Instead I went shopping, looking for a defense on the free agent wire that was a) available and b) facing a easy matchup.  Truth be told I should have just stuck with Green Bay, they ended up scoring  30 points in a 17-7 win against Dallas, including 5 sacks, and interception and two fumble recoveries, but the thirty points wouldn't have been enough anyway.  I ended up losing by 10, 86-76, dropping my record to 5-5 and the defense I replaced Green Bay with actually did pretty good in its own right, as I got Tennessee off of the free agent wire since they were playing Buffalo.  After all, as bad as Tenessee has played this year, Buffalo couldn't exploit 11 guys I picked off of the street let alone an NFL roster and my thinking was justified by the fact that the Tennesse defense ended up being my fantasy week MVP, scoring 28 points (2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 TDs scored) and the two points I lost by not playing Green Bay wouldn't have changed the outcome of my game anyway.  Anyway, we do have a highlight package right about here....


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stolen Content - The best excuse ever!!!!!

Dangerous work: Home chores could reduce a man's fertility

It's the get-out clause work-shy husbands have been praying for for years.

A study has found that household chores – including using a vacuum cleaner or microwave oven – could reduce a man’s chances of having children.

Researchers exposed male volunteers to electromagnetic fields – high doses of which are produced by all electrically charged objects, including refrigerators and vacuum cleaners – and found such exposure could double the risk of having poor-quality sperm.

Fertility expert Dr De-Kun Li said his work provides the first evidence of a link between electrical goods and declining male fertility.

Dr Li, of Stanford University, California, said: ‘I would advise men and couples trying for a baby to reduce their exposure to electromagnetic fields as much as possible.

‘I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a microwave but it makes sense to turn it on, then move away and go back when it is done. Keep devices, especially those with electric motors, away from the body.’

The study recruited 148 donors at a sperm bank in Shanghai. Tests showed that 76 had poor sperm mobility, shape or count, while 72 had good-quality sperm.

Those volunteers whose job involved working with high temperatures or being exposed to chemicals linked to sperm damage such as solvents and pesticides were excluded.

Participants were asked to wear meters which took readings of magnetic fields every four seconds for 24 hours on days they considered ‘typical’.

They found that the half of the group who had peak readings above 0.16 microtesla – a measure of magnetic field strength – were twice as likely to have low sperm quality as those with readings below this level.

Dr Li’s team also revealed that the chances of having poor sperm quality increased as the time exposed to higher-strength magnetic fields rose.

He said of the research, due to be published in January in the journal Reproductive Toxicology:

‘This is the first study to show a link between measured electromagnetic fields and poor semen quality in humans, which may provide a logical explanation for why we have seen reductions in sperm quality in men over the past century.’

Although the study did not look at what was producing the magnetic fields, electrical appliances – especially those containing motors such as hairdryers – produce high frequencies and therefore strong magnetic fields.

In previous studies, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, a poor diet, drug use and obesity have all been shown to reduce sperm count.

Dr Allan Pacey, of the British Fertility Society and a fertility researcher at Sheffield University, said: ‘I believe there might be something in it.

‘If these results are repeated in a bigger study, we need to start thinking seriously about promoting advice about avoiding exposure.’

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Stolen Content - Nothing to add

I am not going to go on a long winded speech about what follows, I have mentioned this person in the past and those that have read the page on a semi regular basis know the high regard that I have held him.  He was, imho, the gold standard for what it is that I do.  I was honored to know him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fantasy Football Week 9 MVP

Say hello to my little friend, Larry Fitzgerald.  Actualy he isn't that little and given he was one of my top draft picks seeing him produce is no surprise to me.  Still, it was the 20 points I got from him after a 9 catch, 123 yard, 2 TD performance that helped pull out a 86-68 win that once again got my team above .500 at 5-4.  And yes, we do have highlights, otherwise I would just be watching TV instead of typing this.



Asshat - To protect and service one's self

Officer arrested in child porn case

By Ryan Hutton, New England Newspapers

Updated: 11/03/2009 06:12:08 AM EST

Tuesday, Nov. 03ADAMS -- Veteran Adams Police Officer Alan C. Vigiard, 45, was arrested last week and charged with possession of child pornography. He has been placed on administrative leave pending further investigation, authorities said Monday.

According to state police reports, Vigiard, who is married with two children, allegedly downloaded and viewed child pornography in the Adams Police Department evidence room. He pleaded not guilty to the child pornography charge Friday in Northern Berkshire District Court.

Police Chief Donald Poirot and the State Police Berkshire Detective Unit began investigating after a folder containing 153 images of child pornography was copied onto CDs with evidence for a larceny case and sent to the Berkshire County district attorney's office, according to court documents.

The images included both male and female children "clearly under age 18" in various states of undress and in sexually explicit situations, according to state police reports. Mixed in with the pornographic images were pictures of clothed teenage girls who have been identified as being from the Adams area.

Also on the CDs were images and a video clip of a male masturbating in front of a computer monitor, the reports state -- the male's head is never in view, but the background was clearly identified as the Police Department's evidence room. According to police, the man in the video had a distinctive scar on his left hand that matched one a state trooper noticed on Vigiard's hand when he was arrested.

Vigiard is one of only four people with access to the Police Department evidence room, Poirot told state police.

According to court documents, the State Police Digital Evidence Unit was called in to investigate the department's computers, and Poirot contacted the town's network administrator to track Vigiard's account. The administrator said all computer accounts are protected by passwords, so it is not possible for someone to access an account other than his or her own. The digital evidence unit found that time stamps reporting access to the pornographic files matched the times Vigiard had been logged into the system.

The digital evidence unit also found that "Lime Wire" -- a peer-to-peer file sharing program -- had been installed on the evidence room computer. Lime Wire is a program used to download both pirated and legitimate music and videos, as well as more illicit materials such as child pornography. In the Lime Wire searches, police found numerous words and phrases common with searching for child pornography, court documents state.

Poirot told state police the Adams Police Department is not properly equipped or trained to handle cases of child pornography so none should be located anywhere on the department's computers or network.

On Thursday, Poirot confiscated Vigiard's key to the evidence room, court reports state, adding that while state police were meeting with the chief in his office, network time stamps showed that Vigiard tried to delete additional files from the department's network from another computer. State police were able to recover all the files.

According to court documents, Vigiard, after being confronted with the charges, agreed to cooperate with state police: He asked that they not respond to his home and arranged a meeting with troopers at the Adams Police Department later Thursday afternoon. Before that meeting, however, Vigiard called Poirot to cancel, and at 6:40 p.m., state police arrested him outside his home.

While he was being booked at the Cheshire State Police barracks, a trooper observed that Vigiard had a scar that matched the one in the masturbation video and documented it, reports state.

Poirot said he could not comment on an open investigation. He said the department was taking the case very seriously and cooperating with state police. The district attorney's office would not comment beyond confirming the charges against Vigiard.

Vigiard has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Dec. 21 in Northern Berkshire District Court. If convicted, he could face up to five years in state prison or two and a half years in county jail, as well as fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Swag (Stuff we all get, or at least I get)

I have been putting off blogging, not because there haven't been things to blog about, but because I have had an epidemic lack of motivation after getting home from work. Most nights I am just content to find nourishment and maybe some entertainment and be content with that. That being said, events have transpired which have forced me to break from the blogging funk I have been in and venture forth once more into a little wordplay. Check that, rarely do I do a little wordplay when it comes to blogging. Far too often it is a rambling diatribe for which I know not where it will begin, nor where it will end.

I will say that as I type this I have hockey once again on the computer. Yahoo's hockey night features the NJ Devils and the Washington Capitals. Beats anything that might be on TV right now, that's for sure.

I am also enjoying a nice cup of java, compliments of my coffeepot. And maybe that is as good a place as any to start, swag. I have been racking up the swag these days, starting with my swag bucks, of which I am becoming a small fan. I have had the account there just a few days now but so far I have rung up 12 swag bucks. Maybe if I were online more I could just do my Christmas shopping on the Swag site, but alas, life gets in the way of such things. For those unfamiliar, swagbucks is basically a search engine, but every so often when you do a search you will be awarded swag bucks, and those bucks can be redeemed for various prizes on the swagbucks site.

I found out about the application on Facebook, where I do a few different applications that can render prizes. I have mentioned previously that I play Scratchix over there as well, basically a lottery scratch card game where you can win prizes as well, either cash prizes or tokens for prizes. So far I have won maybe $5 there and a few tokens toward prizes. Technically you can either take the prize or the cash equivalent, depending on the prize I might take the cash, if I were ever to win something. So far I have 2 of 40 tokens for the Wii, 6 of 70 for the Kindle, 1 of 40 for the iPhone 3G and 1 of 10 for the Game of the Month. Usually about all I win there however is just more tickets that I eventually lose on. For example, here is what I won today....

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 10 scratch cards (prize value:2.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 10 scratch cards (prize value:2.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 10 scratch cards (prize value:2.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 10 scratch cards (prize value:2.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

Nov 05 2009 1 scratch card (prize value:0.50 USD)

That is a typical day for me. A few winners, but rarely amounting to anything.

The other app that I have been using is called Food Friendzy, which is a pretty simple app, you are given a board of tiles and three rounds. In each round you uncover 7 tiles and and at the end of three rounds you use your total points accumulated to redeem for coupons at (it also works with, where I do a lot of my online ordering) and for entries into a weekly drawing for a $100 credit to said services. You have to use all of your points each day, you can't carry them over from day to day to try and get bigger prizes. I think the biggest prize I have won so far was $4 off, which I did use, so it has helped a little bit. I don't use all of the coupons I win (you have to redeem them within a week), but usually they are just a dollar off, nothing big.


Well, as is my bad habit I walked away from the blog and a couple of days later I finally get up some of the motivation to continue typing. It's Saturday morning for those not in the know and I am firing up a pot of coffee. Since I left off the last entry with stuff I have gotten recently, the coffee seems as good a place as any to start. I finally reached the magic threshhold on My Survey ($35.50 in surveys) that I went ahead and got the 10 cup Proctor Silex coffee pot. Mind you, ten cups is actually like three for me, but it is bigger than my old one, which was a small two cup jobber my mom had gotten me for Christmas, which was just way to much work for too little caffiene in my own opinion, thus the upgrade. I have since done a few more surveys over there, my account is up to almost $1 again and I haven't received credit yet for the mail in survey I did, which will be good for another 50 cents, so I am once again plodding my way forth to more money or prizes.

I alos mentioned swag bucks earlier in this entry, well my account is up to 26 bucks now. Still not worth much from a prize perspective, but I am a patient sort when it comes to those things. If I am going to be online anyway I might as well get paid for it.

Since nobody stepped up to claim the last giveaway on here, I will go ahead and tell you what you passed on. A coupon. Yes, that is right, I was giving away a coupon. It isn't as bad as it sounds, it was a coupon good for 2 free rentals from Blockbuster, a bucket of popcorn and 2 20 oz Cokes. It's the type of thing I might like on a day off, if I were a Blockbuster member, but since I am not I thought I would offer it to somebody else. Since nobody stepped up, I just gave it to my mom, I am sure she will find use for it.

Sorry, just got off the phone with my mom, turns out they want to come down and see me today, so I will have to grab a shower shortly and actually think about getting dressed. That is a bigger challenge than you might think, as my motivation is pretty limited on my days off.

Okay, that is accomplished so I might as well continue with the blog until company arrives, or the football game starts, which ever comes first. It is rare that I would be able to follow college football, at least locally. I will admit, I haven't been much of a fan of Dave Wannstedt, Pitt's football coach, but here we are 8 games in and Pitt is 7-1 and ranked in the top 20. With four games remaining, including two aganist ranked opponents (Notre Dame #22 and Cincinnati #5) plus the yearly rivalry game with West Virginia, should Pitt run the table they would most assuredly be in the top 10. If they win the three conference games remaining (Syracuse, Cincinnati, West Virginia), they would be Big East Champions and playing in a BCS bowl game around Januaury 1st. So the stakes for the remainder of the season have definitely gotten bigger for the Panthers,

Anyway, continuing on the list of things I have gotten, yesterday I was walking home from work, well not from work, but at least from the bus stop that I rode home. Usually I will take the 67H Squirrel Hill home, because it stops right outside where I work and leaves me within two blocks of my apartment. Almost curbside service, and what is even better is that it stops outside work around 3:10 pm, and I am usually off work at three, so there isn't even an extended wait at the stop before I am on the bus and homeward bound. Yesterday wasn't one of those days though, I had to go buy my bus pass after work and I wanted to stop by my favorite cheapie store, Smithfield Outlet, just to see what they had in stock. They aren't a dollar store per se, but most of the stuff is very cheap, such as the fact they still have Reese Peanut Butter Eggs, which they sell three for $1, or 40 cents each. Big bags of potato chips that retail for $2.99 they sell for $1.49. I like to browse around and see if there is anything there I might need for the apartment that I can get on the way cheap, and if not, then still get me some of the Reese Peanut Buttery goodness. The result was that I missed my normal bus, so I have two options at that point, catch another bus into Oakland, one that might leave me a whole 4 blocks from my apartment, or wait another hour for the next 67H. I opted for the former and am glad I did. I hopped off of the bus and started walking down my street, detouring slightly one street over so I could stop by my local watering hole, Uncle Jimmy's, to have just one after work beer. I didn't have the cash to get all drunk and stupid, but a beer and reading my book seemed like a good thing. yes, the blog is filled with unneccesary details, but you have come to expect that and who am I to deny the reading public? As I am walking down the sidewalk I see a discarded McDonald's french fry box. As many of you know, McDonald's recently had their Monopoly game, but the thing is for all of the people that seem to eat there and play along, many of them never bother to double up so to speak and play the online version as well. So when they get duplicate game pieces they often throw them away, rather than redeeming the codes on them to see if per chance they may have won something online. It is something I took advantage of in the past when I worked there. While we technically weren't allowed to play, I would often take the discarded game pieces off of the tables and what not and rush home to redeem them online. I never won anything big, I think the best thing I ever got was a free game from Gamepass and some free fantasy basketball teams on CBS Sportsline that I never used (I just don't follow professional basketball all that much). Since those days I have not been a big McDonald's guy, the food is okay, not great, not terrible, and all told I had maybe 8 game pieces for this years contest, 4 of which I found and I did do the online codes on them and won 25 Coke Reward points. Back to the fry box, I see it laying on the ground and figure I might as well pick it up, as it had two game pieces attached, an almost sure sign that it was never redeemed online. People who know me know I do this with soda caps all the time, so no surprise there. Anyway I peel off the two pieces and wouldn't you know one of them was for a free breakfast. Who am I to pass up free food? That might be how I start my day tomorrow, before I get out and about to run some weekend errands. It is good for a free breakfast extra value meal and I have always liked the steak bagels. Can't say as I care for the hash browns all that much, they are like potato brillo pads sopping with grease, but a free bagel sandwich and coffee (and McDonald's coffee is highly underrated in its goodness) sounds like as good a way as any to start my Sunday.



Yes another break in the action as we are now at Sunday morning. My family did stop down, we did the trip to Golden Corral, a buffet style restauarnt that they like to frequent when they come down this way. I tried a little of everything, well maybe not everything but did manage to try the pot roast, burbon street chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, just all kind of yummy stuff. Plus they were buying and again who am to pass on free food. Actually I figured they might be buying since I bought lunch the last couple of times they came down. Not that I couldn't have bought it, but I didn't put up that big of a fight when they offered this time.

And like I mentioned in my last entry, I did head out to McDonald's for breakfast today to enjoy my free steak bagel and coffee. I wanted to head downtown and pick up a couple of things at work and put them on my charge sheet. Nothing major, just some cigarettes we have on sale and some cheese crackers to munch on today while football is on. Of course it wouldn't be a venture out for me without keeping my eyes peeled for more free junk and sure enough I found a coupon for a free can of Camel Snus on the sidewalk, which I can understand why someone would want to throw that away, it isn't all that good, but since I get credit for it at work against my store charges to me it was just $4.27 off of this week's charges, which I will gladly take any time.

My swagbucks since I started this entry have went up a little bit, I am now up to $30 swagbucks which is fine with me. Still not enough to get anything of merit, but slowly we climb up the swagbucks ladder. I need 45 swagbucks for my first $5 Amazon card, and apparently I can stack them up and use more than one at a time. I might end up doing some of my Christmas shopping there after all. Certainly I could have used one of those cards recently, as I just picked up a copy of the new Andrew Vachss book, "Haiku", that I desparately wanted. I have been a Vachss fan for a little while now, especially his Burke series, because of the darker, seedier side of New York that it presents but that series recently came to a conclusion. I am not sure if this book will end up being a stand alone story or the beginning of a new series for him, but in the music vernacular, it dropped on Nov 1st so I put in a preorder with Amazon to make sure I had a copy. By using Amazon I saved probably $5 after shipping and handling than what I would have paid at a local bookstore, plus there is no guarantee they were going to carry it anyway. While my friend Jim manages a Bradley's store, there selection of new titles is somewhat limited, they are better in carrying back issues and what not, and one of the two Barnes & Noble stores I like going to is closing in less than two months, so I don't know how much new stuff they are going to be ordering in versus just trying to get rid of the back stock they already have. So it was Amazon for me, not that I suggest everyone send their business to them, but it allowed me to get something I wanted without the hassle of trying to track it down.

I have spent some of my time this weekend adding to to my Facebook frends list. Not that I am garnering tons of new friends, just adding for the sake of increasing my chances of winning on Scratchix. As I stated in a previous blog, you can win either if your ticket wins or if a ticket you send out wins, so the more tickets you send out the better your chances. I am up to almost 80 people that just play Scratchix, so if I send my tickets out on time that is another 80 chances to win something, even if it is just more tickets.

I should mention the change meter, if only because I haven't in what seems like many a moon. I get to add another $2.39 to the total so we are up to a grand total now of $134.77. Another $5 or so and it will be a triple digit year, a first for the change meter to be sure.

There is one more thing I need to add to the list of stuff I have gotten recently. I often talk about work in this blog, almost moreso than when I actually did radio, which I didn't think would ever happen, but my bosses have been more than cool with me, which makes working there almost a pleasure. Sure it sucks sometimes and what I do would never be confused with brain surgery by any means, but management has been very nice to me and that means something to me. Sure I could complain about how much I make or the amount of work I have to do, but at the end of the day, any time I have ever needed anything they have been there. Plus there have been plenty of times like this week when I was pleasantly surprised by the things they have done for me just for doing my job well. The actual management heirarchy at work is kind of hard to explain. There are Dee and John, both of whom are managers, John does much of the financial work, keeping the books for all of the stores we run, making sure all of the bills get paid on time and what not. He also makes sure that our Oakland store (Gus Miller's) isn't short of anything and often runs stuff from our store up to them if they need any additional stock. Dee also does stuff along the financial lines for the stores, more along the lines of making sure we have enough cash in house for handling our daily business transactions, whether that be pay outs, Western Union, change (which we go through plenty of) and what not. Dee is alos the one who hired me, which is unusual in that she normally doesn't do the hiring, usually that gets vetted through either Brian or Ed, but since both were away when I applied last year she opted to go ahead and hire me and deal with the repercussions later. I would like to think those have been few and far between, I have been there almost a year now and haven't given them any reason for concern. It could be argued that Dee might be the best at hiring people, simply because I think I am the only one she hired and I haven't done anything to make that look like a blotch on her judgement. Next would be Brian. Brian is the owner of the franchise, having bought it from his father Ed. One would think that would leave Brian as the head of the organization, but he isn't all that hands on of a guy. Not that it is bad, he trusts those that he leaves in charge of aspects of the business to do their jobs and do them well. And at the end of the day all business decisions fall to him, so he isn't ignorant of what goes on, he just delegates well to those that serve him. Last but certainly not least is Ed. Ed, when he is there, is the hands on guy. Technically he is no longer even on the payroll after selling the stores to Brian, but every day he is there putting in an 8 hour day making sure all that needs to get done does in fact get done. He also has a hand in the ordering and the store layout. Because of his presence there I often put him and Brian along the same level. Ed is the hands on guy, Brian is the guy that is the end game on decisons for the stores.

The reason I say all of that is that Ed tends to take winters off. vacationing in his home in Florida, leaving more of the day to day stuff to Brian and they both have different approaches, each with their own merits and disadvantages. Because Ed is more of the hands on guy, any concerns or questions I have I usually funnel through him. Ed likes to keep a lot of stuff in stock, Brian wants to run a leaner outfit, and now with Ed gone it falls to me to get us down to a leaner operation. I say Ed is gone because he left to vacation in Florida on Wednesday. Before he left, on Tuesday, he came into the store with 6 hockey tickets. The family has season tickets in the Igloo Club section, the most expensive and some of the best seast in the arena. Ed was looking to get rid of some of his tickets because he obviously wouldn't be around to use them. He had two for a Dec game against the Chicago Blackhawks and 4 for a Feb game against the New York Rangers. Pricey seats to be sure, they retail for $124.75 each. I was thinking that it would be cool to go to a game, the last time I went was way back in the day when the radio station had media credentials and I sat in the press box, but I haven't actually been to a game in a regular seat ever. I have been to probably 60+ games in my lifetime, but always as a member of the media. That being said, Ed was looking to sell the tickets, at a loss, for $100 a piece, still a significant sum for the likes of me, who is far from rolling in cash. That being said, one of the few things about my job I have never taken advantage of is borrowing money. Not that the bosses frown upon it, they have loaned money to employees in the past, usually $20 here, $40 there. It is a nice thing to fall back on in a pinch, but it isn't something I wnated to get involved in, knowing my paycheck would be cut into before I got it. The charge sheets are bad enough, though I usually keep mine at about $20 or so and that is all cigarettes after I turn in whatever coupons I find or have mailed to me. Still, I have been loathe to get into the point where I am just working to pay off a debt. But with Penguins tickets and the fact that the team has sold out 125 straight games in a row, getting tickets at even face value, let alone cheaper, is just too tantalizing of an offer for me to pass up. So I ask Ed if I could buy two of the Ranger tickets for Feb and just take the money out of my upcoming pay. I figure I could pay it all at once once I got paid or pay it over time since the game wasn't until Feb, whichever worked better. Ed looks at me and says "just take them. You bust your ass here and I want you to know that I appreciate it." How fucking cool is that? The boss just hands me almost $250 worth of goodies simply because he appreciates what I do. I can't wait, never been in the Igloo Club, usually to pricey for the likes of me, but I am sure I can drink either before or after the game.

Okay I got a little distracted there, football has kicked off for the day and while the Steelers do not play until Monday night when you play fantasy football like I do, just about every game has some meaning, either you or your opponent has someone playing. Add to that I have my new coffee pot firing up another bundle of java and I had some messages to send out online and it made for me to be somewhat distracted from the blog entry. Right now I have the Bears Cardinals game on, just because I have Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald on my team. So far he is making a push for team MVP of Week #9 with two touchdown catches so far. Plus I had to clean up my inbox on Facebook, lots of stuff I didn't need in there. I am one of the few people that doesn't play any of the mafia type games, so I had to delete all of those requests, as well as some that asked me to join pages or causes. About the only appps I use are Food Friendzy, Scratchix, Bejeweled Blitz, Farkle, Bingo Explosion and Super Scratchoffs. I have tinkered with Dungeons and Dragons (though I haven't played in weeks) and Gridiron Live and that is about it.

I think I have covered all of the free stuff and what not, so now onto some things that bother me. What, you thought I was done? Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids and all that jazz.

More distractions, of the very good variety. I was just talking to my friend Rich, I wanted to see if he wanted to join me in going to the hockey game in Feb, which of course he agreed to. That wasn't why the call was so good however. His wife has had many health issues, far too many for me to recount here and truthfully she had some of them long before I met him or her. Anyway, many of them are transplant related, rejection issues and what not and she just came off of a lengthy stay in the hospital followed by a long stay in a care facility until she was ready to come home, which she just did this last week. During my call with Rich I also talked to Cindy and she sounded better than I have heard her sound in quite some time. Yes, that is a smile on my face, thanks for asking. I plan on heading over that way Wednesday after work to do some visiting. It will be good to see her again.

Anyway, I was planning on griping and griping I shall. Anyone see the trailer to 2012 yet? Am I the only one who thinks this might be the dumbest movie ever made? I hate movies where the special effects dominate the movie because the plot is sooo bad and this looks like one of them. From the trailer it looks like John Cusack's character, whoever the hell that actually is, basically just outruns a natural disaster for 30 seconds, first in a car then the disaster stops long enough for him to get on a plane and then continues to follow him. To make matters better, rather than actualy fly the plane at an altitude where everyone would be relatively safe, instead they are dodging falling buildings and roadways, because after all, that is how low planes normally fly. It just looks like buckets upon buckets of stupid. It is one of the reasons I passed on the GI Joe movie earlier this year, GI Joe at least to me, was suppposed to be a soldier, mind you a damn good one, but still a soldier nonetheless. The trailer had these guys jumping over rockets and through buildings and just taking the franchise and making a mockery of it in my eyes. There is a difference between being a great soldier and a super hero type character and this movie crossed that line, which was a turn off for me. Sure it looked cool, but just didn't seem all that realistic, even from a cartoonish perspective.

I am watching football, which I mentioned earleir. Right now I have the Packers-Buccanneers game on and Tampa Bay is wearing their throwback uniforms and I can't understand why they ever gave them up. Those uniforms were awesome.

I mentioned Pitt earlier in the blog. Well they won again, they are now in the top 10 of the AP and coaches polls (#8 and #9) and up next is Notre Dame, who just fell out of the top 25 after losing to Navy this weekend. With Cincinnati still on the schedule, if Pitt were to run the table and get some help they could finish the season in the top 5 or so. I will not go out on that limb and say they could end up as national champions, far too many things would have to break their way than I could possibly list here, but by simply running the table a top 5 finish is certainly within reach.

It looks right now that I will not be home for Christmas this year. With Christmas on a Friday, I will be working Christmas Even and Christmas Day (7am-3pm both days) since we never close. I will have Saturday and Sunday off, so I can probably go home Christmas Day after work, but it looks like I will miss the family festivities on Christmas Eve. I don't get a paid vacation until late Jan when I have put in a full year, then I get a week, so it looks like I will have to suck it up this year and save some vacation time for next year.

A quick question, why do farts defy physics? Seriously, regardless of how windy it is, when you break one outside, there is that period of time where it just doesn't blow away. I can't get my head around it. maybe someone else has some idea.

I talked to my mom about the Blockbuster offer, looks like it still stands after all. Her Blockbuster store was plowed under to make way for a gas station. I tried my aunt also and her local store has closed. Are there any stores left? Any at all? Or have they been Netflix-ed and Redbox-ed out of existence? I am not a member and my store isn't all that close, at least for me, renting and returning videos would be more a hassle than it is worth. Still it might not be as problematic for some, so the offer still stands for whoever claims it.

Okay, I have blathered enough. I could go on, much trumpeting and grimacing about the whole healthcare debate is out there I could opine on, depnding on whose ox is being gored on that particular question, but really all that has happened so far is a bill got out of the House. We still await a Senate bill, then the compromise bill between the two and then a Presidential signature. All of the high fiving or complaining (again the ox and gore thing) is still very much premature so there is no point in getting to emotionally attached to the argument one way or the other. When we have a finalized bill someone can get back to me, until then thanks but no thanks, I got nothing to say on the matter.I will let the fundamental rules of civics run their course first.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fantasy Football Weeks 7 and 8

Small problem with the week 7 video, while the team did well, a 105-91 win that extended my winning streak to 3 games and pushed me over the .500 mark at 4-3, there was no exciting video to add for an MVP.  The winner would have been Chad Ochocinco, who had 118 yards receiving and two touchdowns, but the NFL Recutter didn't even have one of his TD catches in their highlight package, which made posting the video pretty much a moot point.

Week 8 was a little different, as in there were few highlights to choose from, which happens when your roster on manages 41 points and you lose, 67-41.  That of course drops the record back down to 4-4, a full 4 games out of first place (we still have one undefeated team) with just 6 games to play in the regular season.  Still last year I made the playoffs as the three seed (the top six qualify) and ended up winning the title, though the first playoff game went to a tie breaker, so as long as I am in the top 6 I am still relatively okay and right now I sit in 5th place overall.  And unlike last week, we do have a couple of highlights from the week's MVP, Ray Rice who rushed for 84 yards and a TD and had another 24 yards receiving.  Time to cue up the video evidence...


Sunday, November 1, 2009

I spy.......

I am looking for the following

1) a person who frequents Blockbuster

2) has a computer (preferably with Adobe Acrobat installed) and a printer

3) someone who will be in the United States between now and Dec 29, 2009

There is a method to my madness so act fast, otherwise the RSS feed will pick this up on Facebook and the potential claimer pool will increase exponentially


New toy I am playing with

Starting using this application today, don't know if I like it or not.  I am all for getting free stuff, and I spend plenty of time on the web looking stuff up, so it does have practical applications, and more free stuff may mean more giveaways on the webpage (though I am dangerously close to my next Coke Rewards prize in here) or maybe just more goodies for me, like my new coffee pot from My Survey.  Anyway here is the plug if you wish to check it out, if not, no big thing.  I also have it on my Multiply homepage now as well.



Search & Win

Our inspiration (the title for this blog)

Picture Window theme. Powered by Blogger.

Where we've been