Saturday, April 30, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 119 - Getting to know me

Once again my sleeping pattern is still messed up.  It is 2am and I am putzing around online,  Since I hadn't done one of these in a while, I decided I would attempt a personality test.  Anyone wishing to follow suit may do so here.  And what did we learn?  I would be good for government work, which means I would be good for not working at all.  My retirement begins right!   Actually here is what it really said

Your personality type is ESTJ

ESTJ's are very much in touch with the external environment. They are responsible mates and parents and are loyal to the workplace. They are realistic, down-to-earth, orderly, and love tradition. They often find themselves joining civic clubs! 13% of the total population.

ESTJs fear a bankrupt nation that abandons its heritage and its obligation to a prescribed set of standards. Like all SJs, ESTJs feel the need to earn their place in a just society. ESTJs believe that membership is ensured through responsible serving and the threat of being forsaken or cast out will make them feel insecure. They will worry about dereliction of duties and betrayal. The resulting stress can cause ESTJs to redouble their efforts at controlling disorder. In an effort to correct what they feel is out of place, they will direct their anger and frustration at what they consider the irresponsible behavior of others. At these times, others may feel the ESTJ is not responsive to their point of view and is jumping to unjustified conclusions.

If stress continues, the ESTJ may become physically immobilized and experience illness, unpleasant bodily sensations, and fatigue. Feeling incapacitated, the ESTJ dreads the thought of being deserted and begins to feel increasingly unappreciated and left out. Their grievance list usually includes those to whom they are responsible; thus it may appear that the ESTJ is neglecting their own obligations by blaming others. While exempting themselves from their own responsibilities, the ESTJ may henpeck and nag others. This can cause those who feel hindered by the ESTJ's complaints to feel defiant and to rebel further.


This lists represent careers and jobs people of your type tend to enjoy doing. The job requirements are similar to the personality tendencies of your personality type. It is important to remember that this is not a list of all the jobs possible. And it is very important to remember that people can, and frequently do, fill jobs that are dissimilar to their personality... this happens all the time...and sometimes works out quite well.

government employee
pharmaceutical sales
computer analyst
technical trainer
project manager
officer manager
factory supervisor
credit analyst
electrical engineer
regulatory compliance...officer
chief information officer
construction worker
general contractor
industrial engineer
budget analyst
data base manager
funeral director
security guard

Friday, April 29, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 118 - The days I dread

really aren't all that bad.  I am sitting here with absolutely nothing to say.  that isn't to say I will not say things, this is a blog after all and not a cone of silence, but by the same token, nothing I will say will have any merit.

I managed to really screw up my sleeping schedule this week.  I got to bed late Sunday, then  overslept Monday morning, fell asleep after work Monday and ended up waking up around 11pm and not getting back to sleep, stayed up late again on Wednesday and Thursday and now, I am having episodes where I feel almost like falling asleep as soon as I sit in a chair.  the other day at work as I was finishing up the grocery order, I could actually feel my mind drifting from the task at hand to the point where I was about to go under, then again tonight after work while sitting at my computer that feeling came on again.  I should probably use this weekend to try to rectify that problem, if I can.

But I am sure you aren't all that interested in my sleeping habits, hell I am not even that interested in them, but then again, I really don't know what else to talk about.  Royal weddings bore me, natural disasters are tragic, but unless it is a first person account not really blog worthy, at least to the minimal standards I have set for this page, and my sex life would make for the shortest blog ever. 

And as I expected, bizarro world continues to rotate on its axis.  Donald Trump claims the President isn't born here, then when President Obama produces a birth certificate the moonbats still scream conspiracy (it's fake, it's doctored, etc, etc) and Trump still thinks that other people are stupid.  For long time readers of the blog, you are seeing exactly what I claimed many moons ago play out in front of your eyes.  Conspiracy nuts are all about the narrative, if the facts don't fit that narrative, ignore them or just claim they are not facts, but part of the greater conspiracy.  It is why I said that spending time debating with such people is a pointless task, it is an energy draining task that can't bear any fruit whatsoever because the narrative was set in stone before the debate began.  Do you really think one Birther's mind was changed by the birth certificate?  If so, send me your email address and I will tell you about an inheritance you are about to receive, I just need a small down payment to handle the banking transactions required.   I keep a quote on my Facebook profile for just such occasions "I am not obligated to treat transparent lunacy as though it were worthy of respect simply because it happens to be popular. I am not obligated to be that nice a person."  So to all of the people out there still peddling in this nonsense, go fuck yourselves.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 117 - Free dum dum dum dum

The old folks home around here just continues to roll on. When last we checked with that little old thing called the change meter I had made note of the fact that if I could pull a dollar a month (which I can usually do, even in the lean years oif the change meter I could do that) the total would break the $300 mark. Well the good news is that we are definitely keeping pace, the bad news is that it wasn't quite enough to get over the triple century mark. Instead we add another $2.04 to the meter and the new total now stands at $293.38. Throw in a free T shirt from mycokerewards and a $5 gift card from Amazin this week and it has been a cool week. And the pending dumpter diving has me geeked for more goodies next week.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 116 - TITIT #11 Reality bites

I'll try not to be distracted this evening, but with a game 7 going on, chances are I will be at some point. Here is hoping I perservere and that the Penguins win (not necessarily in that order). But I have some shit on my chest this evening so a TITIT-ing we will go.

Last night was the most recent edition of "Fat Camp". Promos ran all week about how this week someone would quit the ranch for the first time. I can't say I watched the show, I opted for sleep instead, but I did get a quick recap online this morning before heading out to work. Now I argued previously that, unlike what the promos stated, plenty of people have opted to leave this season. Sure their choices involved weigh ins and then deciding between a few people before someone would do the noble "fall on my fat for the greater good" routine in volunteering to leave. But this week one of the contestants had to leave for "personal reasons" even before the weigh in. That may have been unique in the show's history, but the notion that it was the first time someone quit most certainly wasn't. In fact the show this year might be better off being called "The Biggest Quitter" than anything else. Oh, and lest we thing a trend didn't continue, the person who was voted out again managed to somehow gain weight at fat camp, only the third time in the last 6 episodes she had managed to bulk up rather than down. Do they not vet these contestants? Or are the trainers just that bad? Because with results like these, we all know what we call it around here; government work.

In something that will mean nothing to anyone outside this region but needs to be said anyway, whoever decided on the ads that Mark Flaherty is running in his bid to be county executive of Allegheny County needs to be fired immediately. Mark Flaherty does have a decent resume, including a stint as county controller. But during the ads they talk about how as controller he conducted audits of different agencies to better serve the fine people of Allegheny County. Included in those is his auditing of the Port Authority, Pittsburgh's mass transit agency. I am sorry, but given fare increases and service reductions by PAT and constantly running to Harrisburg, cap in hand, to complain how broke they were, the last thing a candidate running for office needs to do is say, well hey, I audited them. That too, would appear to be government work. Perhaps Flaherty could call a press conference where he kicks puppies also, I am sure that polls very well.

President Obama has released his birth certificate to the media. I am not sure what to make of this. On one hand, I never questioned his citizenship, if that story ever had legs beyond a fringe movement, either Hillary Clinton or John McCain would have used it in 2008. But by the same token, if there is one thing we know it is that is there is no appeasing moonbats, so by releasing the birth certificate, we can expect a round of "It's a forgery" nonsense because that is just what moonbats do. I am sure Jerome Corsi is already typing up the taking points.

I am hating being a football fan these days. Don't get me wrong, I love to watch the game and as readers know, I more than enjoy having a fantasy football team or two each season, but when it comes to the whole potential NFL lockout I really have no sympathy for either the players or the owners. Sure I would hate to have year without football, but I just can't garner any sort of concern for either side in this debacle.

Note to everyone, dumpster diving in Oakland begins in the next week or so. The college kids are moving out again and will most certainly be too lazy to pack anything up, which means lots of potential treasure will be curbside over the next couple of weeks. Anyone who knows me knows that the only thing better than stuff is free stuff.

I have an admission to make. While most everything I write on the page here is honest (I don't recall lying, but am to lazy to do the legwork that is required to fact check about a decade worth of blogging material) the reader doesn 't get everything. Much like the Supreme Court can't define pornography (they just know it when they see it) I can't tell you the reader where the line is between that which I should and shouldn't tell, I just know it when I see it. Maybe at a later date I will extrapolate what it is I am talking about now, but suffice it to say that as I write this, there are things that are going on that I wish not to disclose. We will call them trade secrets and move on.

NBC is premiering another reality show called "The Voice" this evening. The premise of the show is that 4 singers build teams from a slew of contestants, people that they will apparently coach or something. The stipulation is that, when the contestants first come on the stage, the singers/judges will have their backs to the stage and judge the contestants solely on their voice. Is there a more shallow concept for a show running today? Well okay, Kardashians aside, the notion that if one of the judges looks at a contestant and is all, "I want nothing to do with that Quasimodo looking person on the stage" and this is deemed as a good idea, speaks volumes of how shallow of a people we have become.

Okay, ranting done, because I need to save some material for a later date and the hockey game is still on so I am still officially distracted.

Fark this

Yeah, it has been a while for this type of blog entry as well.  It has been like old folks home around here, a walking tour a couple of weeks ago and now this.  For those not in the know, Fark is one of my favorite sites for news/non news and part of what makes it so fun is that submissions are done entirely by Fark readers, or Farkers to use a better term.  Plus they rewrite the headlines in a much funnier manner.  Me, I just pull the ten funniest headlines I see on a given day (today) and run with it.  For the record, since this is a stolen content type of blog, it does not count toward the 365 project, meaning that I will be back later today.  Just to give you a fair warning.

Ted Bundy was from the Planet of the Apes, Jack the Ripper was the Elephant Man, and no black or asian dude looks like what you think he does. Your police sketch vs. actual picture of perp roundup

Everything You Wanted To Know About Fantasy Mutant Sperm But Were Afraid To Ask

While high and watching an episode of "The Jeffersons" with a friend, he came to the realization he was Jesus

Sick man receives restaurant bill while being loaded into ambulance. Now THAT'S service

"He spent the found money at Chipotle and on helium balloons. 'I remember because I earmarked it for non-essentials'" 

Inventor of the teleprompter dies. President Obama said to be at a "loss for words"

New document reveals that Chicago was selected as a "major terrorist target," but was abandoned for the summer because terrorists couldn't top the Cubs' horrific endeavors 

Showering every day, rinsing after brushing teeth could be bad for your health. Residents of France, West Virginia now expected to live forever

Plans to build new UFO museum are currently in cryo-sleep due to budget, paperwork error, inability to convince patrons that the anal probe was necessary

Much like your Mom, Greece is turning out to be a deeper and darker hole than anticipated. 'Obvious' tag explodes, leaving no trace but a tattered, smoldering pair of granny panties

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 115 - Why?

The question that rattles around my cranium right now.  Why did I do this to myself.  I was on the computer for a bit when I first got home from work, but noticed that I was nodding off a bit.  So I put the computer off to the side and climbed into my recliner to watch a little TV.  Then I nodded off.  On the b right side, I slept through "Fat Camp", so you are not subjected to my rantings on that subject.  The promos this week didn't look promising, it was all about for the first time in "Fat Camp" history, somebody was going to just leave the show.  Apparently they don't watch their own tapes, I have been bitching for weeks about how this cast was made up of nothing but a bunch of quitters.  Sure, technically the ones that left were chosen, but only after telling all of their fellow contestants that they were ready to go home, falling on their fat for their fellow man I guess.

But by nodding off I missed an easy blog topic for the evening.  Now I am all scrambly and stuff to make sure I get something done before midnight.  And I am also thinking I could go for something to eat.  It is one of those evenings where I second guess the whole idea of blogging once a day for a whole year, if for no other reason that I could surely go for being lazy about now. 

So I guess this is going to have to pass for my entry.  I have some other things I need to get to before going to bed, and I really need to sit down with my book and put an effort into reading again, something I have been slacking off doing.  And somewhere out there is the video highlights of last night's hockey game, which also need posted.  So I am officially done for the night.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 114 - Olde Tyme Radio

Hey kids, sitting on the laptop again.  The desktop is just furniture this evening.  I am also listening to the radio, the Penguins-Lightning game is currently on and since I don't have cable and the Department of Homeland Security cracked down on my favorite streaming sites (because if I can watch hockey online for free then surely the terrorists have won) so it is all of the occupants of my apartment (me) gathered round the radio, hoping for good news. 

So far all it is not good, it is Lightning 2-1 after two periods.  But we still got time.  Really, if "Chuck" wouldn't have been a repeat I would probably be watching that instead of listening to the game.  Even as a repeat it was a tough choice, just because an hour of Yvonne Strahovski on my TV is an hour of good television in my book.  Many thank to the fine people of Australia for sending her this way, even if it is just for TV tapings before she jets back.  The people of Canada could take a lesson from you.  Shania Twain?  Alanis Morrisette?  Bare Naked Ladies?  Really?  Really?  In hockey parlance, that would be a 5 minute major for sucking.  Maybe even a game misconduct.

But while I type and listen (in that order, it is the second intermission) I am once again gnawing on a Cuban sandwich.  The more I eat these things, the more I am apt to think that they are just the best sandwich ever.  I know it has definitely climbed up my list of favorite local sandwiches, right up there with that pinnacle of locality, the Primanti's capacola and egg.  Nothing against Primanti's, this sandwich is, to quote the Greek philosopher Kurt Angle, is just "that damn good.  It's true, it's damn true."

I would like to say that there is something besides my sandwich that is blog worthy today, but really what is there?  One of Charlie Sheen's girlfriends left him, presumably because the prospect of the torpedo of Ron Jeremy was better than the Torpedo of Truth.  How do they do that in Twitterspeak?  #fucking

Hey, it's 2-2 now.  Woohoo and all that jazz.  That is what I get for typing slowly, now it is 3-2 Lightning.  Unwoohoo and all that jazz.

My reading has tailed off a bit, still trying to build up the Amazon account, though I did add another $5 on Sunday to the account.  But I picked up a biography on Teddy Roosevelt that I am slowly working my way through. 

Wow, the Penguins are absolutely awful on the power play in this series.  They just had another one with the chance to tie the game, yet they failed making them 1 for 30 in the series.  How the hell did they get a series lead with god awful numbers like that?

Well the sandwich is now done, and I should be as well.  After all, the whole 365 project only requires that I blog every day, not blog well.  That would be a completely different animal, and possibly beyond my meager skill set.  So on days like today, you just take what you can get.  Besides the game is now 4-2 and I have a feeling everyone is going to stop gathering around the radio in the near future.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 113 - The best of times, the worst of times....The Zombie Jesus Day edition

Sorry about getting all literary on the title, but it seemed the best route to go today, on a day that featured a little bit of everything. First off, Happy Easter everyone, or as some of my friends have put it, Happy Zombie Jesus Day. I have to admit, I would have made a very bad Jesus. If after getting strung up, given a crown of thorns and pummeled to death with stones, someone gets all Sega Genesis and hits the reset button on my life, I know that my first job after coming back is to go all Rambo on the motherfuckers that strung me up in the first place. And that my friends is why I am a manager at Smithfield News and not your messiah du jour. But we aren't here to talk about my career or lack thereof, we got some Zombie Jesus Day stories to tell.

Last week I had called my mom, a pretty good and lengthy chat during which she tried to persuade me to come home for Easter, which is an odd request in that we usually don't do much for that holiday. Sure, she will make baskets but it isn't like we sit down and make a big meal or anything, and with my grandmother no longer around, the one person who might have gotten more than a couple of people under one roof for a day like this, if only to see the youngest of the grandkids hunt eggs, that meant everyone just did their own little thing. Plus, as evidenced by yesterday's post, I did have stuff to do at work on Saturday and while I am sure Ed would have let me back burner the price changes until Monday, I already have shit to do Monday without adding to that pile. So Saturday was the best day for doing price changes, and with that and me needing to place a grocery order, it just seemed kind of stupid to rush home Saturday only to come right back on Sunday. So I guess I nixed that plan. Instead, earlier this week my mom suggested that her and Mike would be coming down to see me on on Sunday. Usually when they come down to visit it results in us going out to eat, and that is almost always at Golden Corral. While I have nothing against Golden Corral, the food is decent enough, and being a buffet you can almost certainly make a pig out of yourself if that is your life's calling. She didn't say what time they would be coming down, so I made sure to be up semi early in case they wanted to do brunch, or if they were early enough I might be able to talk them into a Deluca's breakfast, if I can get them over their aversion of not trying anything new. Not that breakfast foods are new by any stretch, but because I am sure they have no knowledge of the place, save for what I have mentioned in conversations (they do not read this blog, joining billions of others in that category). So I get up relatively early for me on a Sunday, 8am, and trudge down to the corner store for a morning cup of coffee because I was too lazy to make it at home.

I get back and nobody calls or anything for one hour, then two, then three. I entertained myself by playing Madden on Facebook (which Zombie Jesus would have done if he were alive today) and hung out in some Yahoo chat rooms making new acquaintances and just b s ing as only I can. Still nothing, I finish off my Facebook daily apps, get my daily Swagbucks offerings, and finally about 1:30 or so I am starting to wonder if they are coming at all. So I am seriously contemplating food, having not eaten yet and not knowing when or if they will show up. I fire up a pot of tea so I can make iced tea, and then toss an onion bagel in the toaster figuring that would tide me over until they eventually arrive. I had just finished making the tea, though it obviously wasn't cold yet, and had sat down at my desk to gnaw on my bagel when they arrive. Sure enough my mom had again made me an Easter basket (the Reese peanut butter bunnies are already extinct, so no you can't have none) and they wanted me to go with them to a late lunch (it was around 2pm) and of course they wanted to go to Golden Corral. What can I say, they are nothing if not predictable. The thing is, if you are going to go there on a holiday, you can't be showing up at 2pm and expecting to be seated right away. There was a line almost going out the door, and given how many people a typical Golden Corral seats, that means they were jam packed. So instead we turned around and opted instead for Lonestar Steakhouse.

This was my first visit to a Lonestar, so this will almost start to read like a restaurant review at times, and for that I am sorry. You all know how much I abhor doing reviews. Beyond a simple “I liked it” or “I didn't like it”, I am not all that qualified to go pontificating on things I know little about, like writing when it comes to books, or cooking when it comes to restaurants. I just know what I like. Anyway we go in and the first thing I notice is that they have available seating (thumbs up on Easter Sunday) and that everything was big, big chairs and booths, very roomy. It was like it was built for “Fat Camp” contestants. But that is okay, sometimes I like to sprawl out when eating and given how roomy the seating was made that a no problem kind of thing. No bumping elbows with anyone at the table, that is for sure. Of course it had the requisite 5 or so TVs, because we as a society have reached the point where we can't go anywhere without television being part of the package. Eventually places where you can go and sit and eat and converse without the interruption of at least one idiot box will go the way of my Reese bunnies. I also wasn't too keen on the country music being piped in for ambiance, if for no other reason than I pretty much hate country music. I don't care if Joe's wife left him and his truck is on blocks in the front yard and the tornado picked up his trailer and deposited it in the next county, I am eating here. The menu, which was big in size, was pretty standard for a steakhouse, lots of steak offerings with a few seafood and chicken dishes thrown in for good measure. There was even a couple of additional items, one of which I got in the rack of BBQ ribs and a loaded baked potato (with bacon, cheddar and sour cream). Mike got a steak and baked potato (though with only butter), I think it was a porterhouse (though I can't be certain) and my mom, ever the non adventurous sort, got chicken fingers and fries. I can't speak to anyone else's food, I am not the sort to go sampling anyone else's entrees and if anyone comes after mine they can be prepared to be stabbed with a fork, but the slab of ribs was big, fall off the bone good and maybe the only miss was their wasn't enough bite in the BBQ sauce, but that is probably a me and spicy foods thing more than anything else. Then I learned why they play music and have so many TVs, the conversation started.

Not really good conversation either, more like History Channel conversation. You know, the documentaries they run about myths and legends, like the lost city of gold. Well kids, that is where we went, except it was with my grandmother's estate (again!). As I mentioned previously, my mom got her first check, somewhere around $8000, which she said she would give some to me, and which I said I wanted none of, I am trying to stay as far from that mess as is humanly possible. Well now it was the lost money and who would get it. See, there are rumors of other accounts my grandmother had as well as money that was hidden in her house and no one seems to know where it went. My mom would feed the beast by saying, you know she had a CD that was worth x amount of dollars, and what not. Mike would then chime in with his outrage about how they didn't get a cut of this mysterious account. Meanwhile, Bigfoot and I are in the back going “I don't fucking care”. Hell, if my grandmother wanted people to have any of this mysterious money (if it even exists) all that bad she could have easily given it away before she died. It wasn't like we didn't have ample notice of her potential passing. Her death may have been somewhat sudden, but her deteriorating health certainly wasn't. You don't get the invite to the extended care living facility because of its luxurious benefits. Not that that type of logic would ever find its way into the conversation taking place, it was more along the lines my mom talking about seeing lights in the night sky and Mike wanting to storm Area 51 to drag out the alien bodies.

Thankfully lunch/dinner had to come to an end and none too soon, as black helicopters could be seen overtop Lonestar Steakhouse. I took one of the sheets of aluminum foil they left for my mom to wrap her leftovers and fashioned myself a hat, lest their mind control devices start to probe my skull. Instead we all climbed in the car and headed back to my place, to basically drop me off. The ride was pretty uneventful, at least until we got within a few blocks of my apartment. See, the way to Lonestar goes near where I used to work in radio, so the subject of my old job came up and it seemed innocent enough. What is happening there? I don't know. How many people still work for the station? Well since they consolidated jobs, it could be as few as none, everyone there now has to do the work of multiple people, my old station doesn't have a staff of its own. That was all fine and good, then it was well if Obama gets his way there will be a Fairness Doctrine. After just sitting through the bullshit that was lunch conversation I couldn't bare to now sit through right wing talking points, so I said “That is so fucking stupid, there has never even been a bill introduced for it.” When Mike started to argue with me about it I just said, “Listen, it is a dumb talking point for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity to continue to get people to tune into their shows, it has no basis in fact, it is just fear to make sure the same sheeple that tuned in yesterday tune in today as well. The time one of those shows actually comes up with a good idea, it will be the first time, until then all they are doing is using fear to sell soap.” When Mike countered that they seem to be pretty successful I said, “Well, that says a lot more about their audience than it does about any factual information they may be peddling.” Yeah it was a parting is such sweet sorrow kind of conversation.

So they dropped me off, I came in and clicked on the TV and my spirits were picked up because hockey was on. While it wasn't a Pens game, I don't mind watching a good game that doesn't involve the home team, and I think I got one in a 5-4 overtime game where Philadelphia evened their series with Buffalo at 3-3 in a best of 7. Later on “Dead Like Me” came on, a show that isn't great but isn't half bad, so I can sit through it and sometimes even enjoy it. Then I hopped on the computer for a bit, not paying any mind to the TV until the gentle strains of “Celebrity Apprentice” started emanating from the idiot box. If that weren't bad enough, before I could get off my bed and change the channel (I was on the laptop on my bed), there was Donald Trump asking the B list of assclowns/ass kissers on the show if he should run for President. When they all said they would vote for him, he said good because if they didn't they would have been fired and they would be stupid not to do so. Because nothing says you would be qualified to be President like calling people stupid if they disagree with you. The fact that Trump hurls the third grade insult of stupid at anyone who isn't his supporter makes George Bush look like a fucking member of Mensa by comparison. And who thought I would ever work in George Bush and Mensa in the same sentence in this blog? What, you didn't? Well you're stupid. There, now I should run for President. The thought of me running for President would have Jesus turning over in his grave, that is if he weren't a Zombie Jesus and thereby not in need of a grave. But now that I think about it, Zombie Jesus might make a pretty good Halloween costume. Or at least a good punk band name.

Okay, I have spent enough of your time for one evening, besides the foil hat is starting to get itchy, so I am outtie, like a bellybutton.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 112 - Miyagi do retailer

I am slowly getting the new/updated register system at work back to a state of complete awesomeness. By the way kids, how are we doing? Just thought I would ask, you don't have to answer that. Consider it like an unwanted sexual IM and move on. Anyway, when last we left our little biblical saga regarding the registers, they were in the process of being fixed by the Ultimate Retailer people, with me lending what little assistance I could, given my overall unfamiliarity with the software in question. Sure, I have used it in it's previous form, but as far as actually crawling around the inner workings of it and why this system does this, and how to program it to do that, that I am not quite so good at.

I did learn that I was right about something, much of what was put in the system before I started doing it was done completely wrong, so I will have fixes with that until the cows come home. The software identifies products with two numbers, there is the bar code, which I am sure you are all aware of, having purchased items in the past. The other is called an SKU number, that number is a number explicit to the store that is selling the item, It allows the cashier the ability to add items to your inventory that might not have a bar code. For instance we have a soda fountain system, so people can buy beverages from it. Since the cups don't have bar codes on them, if we just relied on one number, we would have no way of ringing those items into the system, but because we have SKUs as well as bar codes, the item can be rung up simply by putting the SKU number in at the register. Well, before I started inputting items into the system, some people would use the bar code as the SKU number. This would create a problem because in theory the system isn't supposed to recognize the same number twice, so what would happen is either it would arbitrarily change the bar code so as to avoid a duplicate number, thereby making the item unscannable at checkout, or it would keep both numbers the same but create issues within the system itself. Shawn from Ultimate Retailer, who has played the role of my Mr. Miyagi in training me on the system (thankfully he hasn't told me to "wax off" yet) has been able to identify some of these items that have been causing the system problems, three pages of them so far, that I had to then go back into the system and redo or just delete altogether. So this has been a tag team effort of sorts, since he is doing his work off site, I end up being the hands on guy and following his instructions on how to do the fixes the system requires.

We have had some other issues as well, such as the coupon keys no working for everybody, in some instances they would only work for managers, in others they wouldn't work at all. We also had discounts popping up on the registers when the Misc taxable and non taxable keys would be used. Ideally those keys are used as a last resort, something doesn't scan for whatever reason, you can just use the appropriate key and if you know the price of the item and input it using those keys. But what was happening was that on a few of the registers, when the same Misc key was used twice in the same transaction, the system would running a discount. It was I who recognized that what was taking place was those keys were tripping some long dead promos that we no longer need, so I went into each specific register and deleted all existing promos.  Taa daa, and now it works. While the system isn't perfect yet, it did get it's first workout today.

Ed wanted to change the prices on all of the regular size candy bars, increasing them from .99 to 1.09. This is similar to what occurred when the system was ground to an almost choking halt last time, when he wanted me to change all of the king size bars from 1.49 to 1.59. The more changes I made, the slower the check out registers ran trying to keep up with all of the changes. It got to the point where the registers would take longer than a minute to reset between transactions, if they reset at all. So today's project was going to put the new system to the test, me making multiple changes (as well as fixing many of those stupid SKU/bar code mistakes made by others). I was literally doing changes for better than an hour straight, changing SKU numbers, fixing bar codes that were edited and then changing actual prices. And guess what? No choking by the system. It is almost running swimmingly. I am sure there will be some bugs to fix yet, no system is perfectly running right out of the box and with my moderate skill set plus a lack of time due to other responsibilities at work, finding and fixing those problems will continue to be a work in progress. I know that all of our magazines and newspapers have to be redone, because none of the magazines were ever inputted properly and we just did price increases on all of the newpapers, but for now it works, which is more than we could say a few weeks ago. And that my friends is good enough for me. It makes me so happy that I think I am going to go "Wax off" now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 111 - My Facebook status

I promise I will be brief.  I just checked into Facebook and saw this under the status of a number of people on my friend's list. 

"If you cross the North Korean border illegally, you get 12 years hard labor. If you cross the Afghanistan border illegally, you get shot. If you cross the U.S. border illegally you get: a job, a drivers license, a place to live, housing benefit, health care, education, child benefit, tax free business for 7yrs. Need I carry on? Put this in your status if you wonder we are a country in debt. So true" 

I can't tell you how stupid this is.  At least not in one sentence.  Is the suggestion that these people would rather live in North Korea or Afghanistan?  That those places are somehow role models we should emulate.  It is akin to when Newt Gingrich was droning on about the Ground Zero mosque nonsense and asked if they would let a church or synagogue be built in Mecca.  It is easy to be a nation of back water, intolerant bastards; it is quite another to accept those things that make us different from any old third rate dictatorship as a glowing example of what a great nation can be. 

That is all!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 110 - Almost missed

Yeah I am late getting to this.  I fell asleep and didn't wake up till after 10pm, a silly combination of food and alcohol.  The food was good because my belly was empty and the alcohol was good because I didn 't have to buy half of it, Dee, Sammy and I walked over to the 110 after work and had a couple beers (well Dee drank wine) just to relax and and take our minds off of work, but during weeks like this alcohol tends to work as great a sleeping pill as a stress reliever, so it wasn't long before I got home that I was on my bed on the laptop hitting keys with my eyes half  closed.  It was so bad that I attempted to upload the most recent Pens video and somehow managed to save it as a draft rather than actually post the thing.  I tried tinkering with some Facebook apps but kept nodding off in the middle of them.  Finally I succumbed and rested my pretty little head in some awkward position for about 4 hours before waking up and realizing that I hadn't done this yet.  Also there was a strange craving for chocolate, with which I also had to deal, so after a quick trip to the corner store for a Caramello bar and a few other items I am now here, if only to say I am here,  That might be one of the most pointless things I ever said.  Now that I am up, the only question is when will I get back to sleep?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 109 - TITIT #10 Corsi-can'ts

Long time readers to the blog know of my dislike for one Jerome Corsi. He is the moron who has peddled in such stupidity as the Swift Boat campaign used against John Kerry and the North American Union nonsense (and just where are the defenders of that inanity these days?) so it should come as no surprise that he is once again out there doing what he does best, that being glomming onto an issue and running with it, no matter how completely wrong he is, facts be damned. This time he is pitching a book on the whole Obama/Birther issue. Rather than get into the specifics of the book, which I will not waste one iota of time reading, let me just say that Oprah Winfrey has a better chance of being a lingerie model than Corsi does of actually getting something right.

I have a confession to make, I think female ice hockey players are way hot!!!!! And consistently so, not just there is a hot one here or there. Sure there are beach volleyball players (who are also hot) and softball players (some are hot, the ugly ones usually play first base or catcher) and basketball (where most are not) but for my money when it comes to sports, consistent hotness goes to hockey chicks. And don't get me started on figure skating, it isn't a sport. We have had that argument before. Anything involving a judge's interpretation for scoring isn't a sport. A physical skill perhaps, but not a sport.

Free stuff is still the best stuff. Coke is offering free college T shirts this month in their mycokerewards program. All you need to do is first enter the code ncaatshirt on the webpage, then 6 caps from 20oz bottles of Coca Cola products and taa daa, you get a free NCAA T shirt. You don't lose any points, you just get a free t shirt. I have cashed out twice so far (the contest ends on April 30th) and have the caps laying around here for at least one more shirt.

Why are there no episodes of "Cheaters" where the person who is asking for assistance is in fact proven wrong and no cheating is taking place? Not that I have anything against the trailer park like drama that unfolds on a typical episode, but where is the episode where the suspicious person is wrong about their concerns?

For pure sports drama, I am not sure there is anything more compelling than a Stanley Cup playoff game in overtime. While I have been around to see three Stanley Cup winners in Pittsburgh, possible the best game I had ever had a chance to witness would be the Penguins - Capitals game in 1996, which went an entire game and almost four complete overtimes before the winning goal was scored. I remember the game starting around 7pm that night and when I got off my shift a little after midnight it was still going on. I say that because as I type, game 4 of the Pittsburgh - Tampa Bay series is going on and again we are in overtime. I hope I will not be up until 1am waiting to find out who won.

So the color coded Terror Alert system, which I mocked in the past as being all but useless is being replaced because it was too confusing and in it's place will be a two tiered system with statuses of "elevated" and "imminent" and all kinds of maps and stuff. The fact that this reeks of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic isn't lost on me, but I am wondering if we are going to have "terrormen" standing in front of the maps with their kazillion watt mega doppler pinpoint accuracy terror radar so that you the viewer can see the terror threat as it approaches your neighborhood.  Or as Julie Bologna might say, it is not just terror, it is hyper terror.

One overtime down and we are still not done. Damn I love overtime playoff hockey, so I am going to stop now and focus my attention elsewhere.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 108 - Eggshells

Guess what? I'm not drunk. That is a good thing. I am not necessarily all pleasant and things, but I am getting there. In order to get there though it took some of me being a dick, a process I am not sure I am completely through with.

Let us revisit history, shall we? I mentioned that I expected to get an ass reaming at work on Monday and that is what happened. The way events unfolded were like this. A few weeks ago, Fred, our 7 Up rep, asked us if we would be interested in getting a free floor cooler for the store. While the idea seemed okay to me, that is a decision that I can not make arbitrarily, so I went to Brian and asked him. I also asked Jon regarding our other two stores, as they were willing to offer a cooler for each location. Brian said yes, but issues of space kept us from getting any more than one cooler. Shortly after this discussion, Ed makes it back from Florida, the cooler hasn't shown up yet, but other than that all things are going swimmingly. As luck would have it, the cooler showed up last Thurdsay morning, shortly after Ed had left Pittsburgh to go to a show being done in West Virginia by our grocery vendor, a two day event, so Ed wouldn't be coming back until Saturday. I temporarily placed the cooler in our first aisle, the one row in the store where we could put it and still have people get by, though I realized that it probably wasn't going to be a permanent placement. Well Ed comes back on Saturday and by Saturday night he is in the store and he sees the cooler and goes ballistic. I get a phone from Dee at 10pm Saturday night telling me Ed is upset and wondering who authorized this. It basically laid the groundwork for what I knew would be an ever so shitty Monday morning. I was not wrong in that assessment.

When Ed first came in the door he says that he wants to see me. So off to the office we go. I am again asked who authorized getting the cooler, who decided where to put it, etc. I said that I had cleared getting the cooler with Brian, and that if need be I could move the cooler, that wasn't an issue. Then I get told that all decisions have to go through Ed, he doesn't care if Brian owns the store, he doesn't want anything done without his approval. Fine, I screwed up. I think we are done. That was until later in the day.

Ed is going through the store and he looks in the front Pepsi cooler and sees two rows of Seattle's Best Coffee, one vanilla and one mocha. Here we go again. I get quizzed on who's product it is (it is Pepsi's, I would not be stupid enough to put someone else's product in the Pepsi cooler), what are we paying for it (we are paying $1.01 a can, retailing at $1.79 thereby hitting Ed's margin on beverages and Pepsi kicked in a bunch of $1 off coupons, so worst case scenario, even if it doesn't move Ed could still redeem the coupons for cash, plus return the unused product for credit, a literal no risk proposition). Didn't matter, I got the lecture on how any new product that comes in from here on out has to be approved by Ed. Fine, you have now officially pissed me off. It isn't like I was out there just buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff, pretty much anything I did was with the store's interest in mind, what are we getting out of the deal. In some cases it was using getting literally cases of free product, in others it was like the coffee fiasco, I had our back covered where we couldn't lose money. Yet I am being treated like I don't know what the fuck I am doing.

So I am getting ready to leave the store yesterday and I decide I will stop by the lottery machine and buy a couple of tickets. I am pissed off enough that I go for the $20 ones and the second one hits for $200. Great I think, drinking money. And that is exactly what I did. What made it even better was Ed usually buys those very same tickets, in fact Saturday after throwing his fit in the store, he bought some of those very same tickets and won nothing, and before he could buy more the machine ran out of them, it wasn't restocked until Monday morning. Otherwise Ed probably would have bought it.

I end up tying on a rather good bender, as evidenced by my lack of an entry yesterday, but that wasn't the end of it for me, not by a long shot. I was and still am pissed. So there was plenty of snark when I went to place the grocery order today and I said "Let's see how bad I can fuck this up" and telling some of the managers that I wanted nothing to do with the vendors anymore, besides putting in their basic order. Any meetings involving new products or ideas for sales or anything, I wanted nothing to do with, Ed can deal with it all. Many of those very same managers were on eggshells around me, Brian even came in and told me not to take it personally, I don't know if that is because they truly believe Ed was a little over the top with me, or the fact that if they lose me, then they lose probably the only person who can actually operate their register system properly. I am sort of indispensable in that regard. The agent form Ultimate Retailer has gone to talking to me almost exclusively as far as fixing previous screwups that others did. He just emailed me the other day a three page list of things that were done wrong that I am the only guy who can fix, unless they wish to pay the Ultimate Retailer people themselves to do those fixes. Not that they couldn't, but it would be a much longer process because they don't know our inventory like I do, or how the fuck ups originally happened so that the proper back tracking could be done to undo them.

While everyone is on the proverbial eggshells around me at work, upon leaving the store today I went ahead and bought another one of those tickets that Ed likes so much, another $20 ticket and it hit for $50 which meant I went out after work again today, but not to get drunk this time. Rather I have been needing a new pair of shoes because while I love my mom, the shoes she got me for Christmas really suck. I am sure she got them at WalMart or something, and I tend to blow through cheap shoes pretty quickly, but these were espcially bad. Not because they came apart, but because whenever I wore them after about 5 minutes it felt like every time I took a step someone was driving a nail right into the bottom of my foot. It was a pain that I have been tolerating for about two months now but finally I had enough and made the trip to DSW to get a new pair of shoes. After walking around the store for a bit, checking out some shoes here and there and everywhere, I settled on a pair of Avias for about $40, throw in some new socks and there went the $50.

This was when I realized that retail clerks don't pay attention to the weather. Now I am not a big paper or plastic kind of guy, I will take whatever is available. I don't lie awake at night wonder if a tree screams when it falls in the forest, or if by getting a plastic bag I may someday trap Flipper in an ocean full of nonbiodegradable garbage. But one would think that when it is pouring rain outside that the clerk wouldn't be handing out paper bags, unless they were requested. See, news flash bulletin, they don't hold up well when they are wet. I know, you're shocked. Hell I was shocked when I got out of the store, I just expected the bag to come with a built in umbrella to fend off the elements, but it didn't. And since I had to wait around for a bus I had plenty of time to test that hypothesis.

The opnly plus to all of this was that I decided I would pick up a couple more scratch off tickets while I waited. Since I didn't know how long it would take for the bus to arrive, I spent $20 but spread it out over 8 tickets, 4 $2 and 4 $3 tickets. Yeah, I won again, another $106 total. So I guess if I get fired from my job I can always eke out a living with lottery tickets.

Okay, I have rambled on enough for one night. Maybe this makes up for yesterday's drunken babbling. But I doubt it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 107 - Coping

Well anyone who read day 106 knows that I was about to gtet a lecturing and sure enough I did.  It was such a fun time that by the end of work I wen and had a beer.  And another.  And another.  And another.  And another.  Suffice it to say I am sufficiently handicapped by the alcohol, enough so that this is all I am writing this evening.  It is too hard to concentrate on making the words come out right, let alone fix all of the typos.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 106 - Off switch

You'll have to excuse me if I get pulled from teh computer from time to time here.  I am in the process of making dinner, compliments of my trip to breakfast this morning.  Amy and I went to Deluca's again, she opted for the cinnamon french toast, I went to the special board and got the eggs and peirogis.   Everything was awesome, the conversation, the food, all of it.  Afterward we did walk around the Strip District for a bit, poking our heads into different stores.  First we went to Fudie Wudgie, a gourmet chocolate shop.  I didn't see anything I wanted, at l;east within my price range, but she did pick up a few mimi chocolate eggs for her husband.  Then we went to Market Outlet, which is kind of a discount grocery store.  basically everything they have is either near or past the sell by date.  Not that the product is spoiled, that would violate state law to knowingly sell spoiled product, but much of the canned stuff is technically still good enough to eat, so places like this will buy it a huge discount from the wendor, who just wants rid of it, then they resell it at really low prices.  Like a 24 pack of 20oz RC Cola bottle, which if I were to buy at cost from our vendor at work would cost me $12 out of pocket, yet Market Outlet sells it for $5.99.  We just did a quick peek in, didn't buy anything.  Next we ended up going to Pennsylvania Macaroni, where I got the stuff for the dinner I am currently eating (I finished cooking)) and Amy picked up some stuff to make as well.  Plus she bought this gallon bottle of extra virgin olive oil, which they have in these huge barrels and you can pour your own into a glass bottle for $11.99, which is a steal for that amount of EVOO.  While i would never need that much of the stuff, she has 5 people living at her house and they like using it as part of a salad dressing, so it will most likely get used.  I picked up some meatballs and some angel hair pasta and a mini loaf of asiago ciabatta bread, which I have now turned into toasted garlic asiago ciabatta bread.  It might be one of my best ideas of the year. 

After that I walked Amy back to her car, ran into the bookstore and bought two new books to read and then went to work.  That's right, I ended up showing up at work again today.  Ed left on Thursday morning for West Virginia, Sledd was doing a product show which they do every year, and Ed went down for the two day event, which usually means he bought a bunch of stuff that we will be now be showing up at random times for the next 6 months.  Well shortly after Ed left on Thursday a small cooler arrived at the store. Just a floor unit that I had cleared with Brian a few weeks ago before Ed had gotten back from Florida.  So I set it up and plugged it in to make sure it worked, I haven't even bought product for it yet, and had in on the floor, figuring when Ed got back he might want me to move it.  If only it were that simple, Ed gets back from West Virginia Saturday evening and the first thing he does is go to the store.  He sees the cooler and starts getting all pissed off, where did it come from, who authorized it, blah, blah, blah.   So last night around 10pm, shortly after I got off the phone with my mom, Dee calls me because Ed called her complaining.  I told her that I cleared everything with Brian before I did it, I wouldn't go out and just start throwing coolers in the store all will nilly.  Then I asked a question about the register system, we had a issue running coupons and she told me of a possible fix to it, so that is what I was doing today, fixing the register system.  Plus I had a couple of things I could drop off, but here it is, another day off and I am at work.  The good news is when I left the coupon problem seemed to be resolved.  The bad news is I can expect another lecture come Monday morning.

So for tonight I feast, for tomorrow I might die, or at least get my ass chewed out.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 105 - Fireside chats

T minus 10 hours and counting till Deluca's.  Yes I am excited already.  I tend to get that way about Deluca's in case you hadn't guessed, and getting to have breakfast with family is always a plus.  So my aunt and I will venture forth to the fine Strip District.  I have some other things I want to get while I am there, namely some new reading material since I finished another book the other nite and am now bookless.  I figure I can hit the cheapie store and get a couple reads while I continue to rebuild my Amazon account.  I added another $5 gift card the other day and have another pending from Swagbucks, so right now I have $31 in the Amazon bank with $5 more coming.  But I don't want to spend that money just yet, I'd rather wait and build up the account a little bit more, since I spend at least $25 every time I order there.

Sorry Lee, but if you would have seen the hit the other night in the Pens - Lightning game one then there is no way you could call ice hockey "nancyball".  For those that didn't see it, which I imagine is the majority of you, Tampa's Martin St Louis caught a stick squarely in the face.  It was an accidental stick, there was no intent and St Louis face was not targeted, but nonetheless the stick caught him right in the mouth and with enough force that it knocked out two teeth.  Despite that, St Louis continued to play and after the game had two root canals done where the teeth used to be and come game two St Louis was again on the ice and playing.  Just another reason why hockey players rock compared to other sports. 

As for the Pens-Lightning series after two games, what can I say?  The teams are tied at one game a piece, and I still have no idea if the Pens will get out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The emotional, homer side of me says yes, the realistic side of me says that Tampa is just too talented.  If the Pens had all of their players then I would give the Pens an edge, and maybe a huge one, but with their two best players out in Malkin and Crosby I just don't see it happening this year.  Don't get me wrong, I will still cheer for all it is worth, but I am not blind to the fact that Tampa Bay is a pretty good squad as well.

I did get a chance to talk to my mom on the phone tonight, which is why I am blogging as late as I am and is such a haphazard manner.  I hadn't talked to her in a while, maybe too long of a while, but usually we talk for maybe 30 minutes, which is short for me.  Yes, I talk almost exactly like I blog, once I get started it is hard to shut me up, so the fact we hadn't talked in a while meant that we were on the phone for well over an hour.  And truth be told I am not sure we talked about anything important, but when has that ever stopped me before?  The topic that I dread, my grandmother's estate, did come up again.  I guess the kids got their first check from the great divvying that is taking place, $8000 is the number I was told, and my mom was telling me that she was going to give me some of it, so again I had to say that I really didn't want it.  I wasn't part of the will and the less I have to do with how it all pans out the happier I will be.  Not that I couldn't use money, hell it is on my Christmas every year, but this isn't the way I want to go about getting it.  I would rather be poor, thank you very much.  I am getting so good at being poor that I might soon be able to shake my amateur status and start being paid as a professional.

Speaking of being paid, I am not getting paid by the word here so I will stop and call it a night.  After all, I need to get to bed at a decent hour if I am going to make it to breakfast in the morn.  Toodles!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 104 - Meatatarians Unite!!!!

Gee I did leave a little on the table after the last entry didn't I? Well, I guess there is a common theme in those things I mentioned, that being food or lack thereof. Still it is probably best to start from the beginning, so we will start with "Fat Camp" and work from there.

As many of you know, I am not a big fan of "Fat Camp", or as NBC calls it "The Biggest Loser". This season has been particularly bad, with people gaining weight or quitting rather than fighting to stay on the show. After this season of lowlights the show is down to 9 contestants. And how should we reward this sorry lot of people? Why with a trip to New Zealand of course. Not that I have anything against rewarding those that are deserving, but I think we got this season in a nutshell when it came time to the weigh ins of  this group after one week into their trip overseas. Of the nine people left, one lost no weight and two gained weight. That is right, 33% of the entire group failed in the task upon which the show is based, that being to lose weight. And of course it came time to vote someone to go home, because they have yet to adopt my idea of gaining weight being an automatic disqualification, and once again in lieu of having a spirited discussion or building any sort of palpable drama over who might or might not go home, we had someone quit. It is government work come to reality television.  Let the rewarding of failure commence!

Now there are some people who know me, or at least know of me, that would take one look at my physique and question whether or not I have the right to mock those on "Fat Camp" because I am far from a perfect physical speciman and I certainly could lose a few pounds to which I would say they would be absolutely correct. But I don't want to. And I don't pretend I do want to only to be on TV. And after pretending I do want to and getting on TV I don't then show the world just how much of an abject failure I actually am. So if I am calling people out, it is because they deserve to be called out. If I can sit through a week and watch one of the contestants treat a bag of tortilla chips like it is a lost oasis in the middle of the desert and still see him lose more weight than some of the other contestants that are allegedly trying, then mocking of all of the contestants must ensue.

Since I readily admit that I am fat, I can then say that rather than audition for a TV show, instead on Wednesday I decided to take in the fare at the Pittsburgh Burger Company. I hadn't had a good palaver with Phil in a while, so I decided to give him a ring and see if he wanted to check out the new place which opened at the Waterfront where formerly Fuddruckers used to be. Apparently the same people run the business, but they wanted to get out of the chain type restaurant and instead open something that is more of a gourmet burger shop. The place is still a work in progress, they are doing some remodeling and the menu is still in the process of being tweaked but they have kept the intrusions into the dining experience to a minimum, at least during our visit. The menu is mostly burgers, there are a few other sandwiches on it as well and some appetizers, but obviously the burgers are what they want to be known for. And truth be told, when most of the burgers check in at 8 oz. and are served with either bottomless soup, bottomless salad or bottomless french fries, appetizers are almost not needed unless you are taking a group to tackle the appetizer ahead of time. The burgers are in three groups, there is the basic type burger where you build your own, specialty burgers that are designed by the house and burgers made from things other than typical ground beef, such as buffalo, ostrich, and kobe beef. Phil got just a traditional burger, I went for one of the specialty burgers (The Company Burger - 8 oz ground beef, Applewood bacon, Cheddar cheese, fried egg) and the sandwiches were very yummy. The fries were okay, nothing spectacular. I would argue they would be better served making their own rather than the batter dipped, shoestring offerings they have that are obviously shipped in. But on the plus side, as well as having pepper grinders on the table, in place of table salt they had ground sea salt which gave even the mediocre fry offerings a nice touch of originality.

It was during this trip to the Pittsburgh Burger Company (and it's mediocre fry offerings) that I came up with an idea that wouldn't appeal to many, but would appeal to me, an all meat restaurant. As some of my blog readers know, I hold a certain about of disdain for vegetarians, arguing that they suffer from meat envy, because unlike us meat eaters, they seem to try to pass off their non meat offerings as meat. I don't know how many times I have seen such things as veggie burgers, tofu turkey, etc. yet I have never seen a good old meat eater deciding that his animal flesh would be better if it was masqueraded as a vegetable product. There are no beef carrots, no one is clamoring for chicken pressed in the shape of broccoli. It just doesn't happen, we are content with our food in its most tasty form, that being meat. Yet there are restaurants out there that have either a few vegetarian offerings, or are completely vegetarian and I ask myself, where are the meatatarian restaurants? The places that serve nothing but meat. Would my burger had been any less enjoyable if, instead if french fries, they instead served chicken fingers as a side? Sure the lettuce and tomato were nice, but my burger was best served with the non vegetable offerings, the bacon and egg. So why not have a restauarnt that only offers meat? Not saying it would be an everyday destination for everyone, but I know I could do it once in a while.

Oh well, the best laid plans and all that jazz. I guess I should stop now, there is an animal out there that needs a good eating.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 103 - Housecleaning

Had to do a little reding up around here today, lots of things needed posted that hadn't been posted ina while, so those that frequent the page will se a number of changes.  There is a new Shelfari/Neverending Thread update, a new Asshat and a number of Penguins videos to get the hockey season up to date through the last nite's game.  So while the 365 project has been sans anything of interest for two days running, I am still paying a little attention to the page.  Here's hoping I get a chance to sit down and bang out a quality entry tomorrow night.  Some things I need to get to would include a) another "Fat Camp" rant, b) dinner with Phil at the new Pittsburgh Burger Company, 3) meatatarians and 4) "Slingblade" and chicks.  I just have to figure a properly disjointed way of getting that all in one convoluted blog that makes no sense, which is harder work than it would seem. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 102 - Distracted

I'll be brief.  I am not all that into a long bantering diatribe becaus I am busy trying to sleep off a burger from the Pittsburgh Burger Company and the subsequent beers I had with it.  Besides, I am celebrating aPenguins win here. 

Asshat - I'll take sex with the doctor for 200 calories, Alex

Can't sleep, so I thought I would dig this up, heard about it earlier and decided to get all Lenoard Nimoy-y so I could bring it to you, the fine reader of this page.  Our Asshat winner is Dr Arie Oren and no amount of health care legislation is going to be able to explain this....

Weight Loss Doctor Told Patients Sex With Him Would Burn Calories, cops say


11:57 AM PDT, April 11, 2011

CONSHOHCKEN, PA (KTLA) -- A weight loss doctor is accused of sexually assaulting female patients telling them it will help them burn calories.

Dr. Arie Oren is charged with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault in connection with his alleged inappropriate touchings of at least six patients.

The assaults allegedly took place during weight loss sessions between September and December 2010, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Oren told one patient, "If you have an orgasm, that would burn 200 calories," according to court documents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 101 - What do you see?

Some times the events of the day overtake the blog.  This is one of those times.  This past weekend there was an incident during the Pittsburgh Pirates first homestand of the year.   Sadly that incident did not involve quality baseball from the home team, who cam home with a 4-2 record but by the end of a 4 game set with the Colorado Rockies their record was 5-5.  Rather the most hitting by the hometown folks was taking place in the stands, by the cops no less.  This video has led to a rush to judgement by many, most of which are saying the police used too much force, and they very well may have.  But I can't be sure for a number of reasons.  First, we have no idea based on this video what was the precipitating event that was getting the fan kicked out of the stadium to begin with, as that was the reason he was first coming down the steps, he had been asked by stadium security to leave.  Nor do we know how much of an incident actually occurred before he finally did leave his seat.  Second, while the suspect is leaving his seat he goes to high five a fan and then to further escalate the event, throws an elbow or forearm at a stadium worker, which certainly does not help in alleviating the situation.  third, while the cell phone video does pick up some sounds, we obviously here the fans and the sounds of the taser (which the suspect shrugs off) and the batons hitting the suspect, we never really hear what is being said between the cops and the suspect.  Is he mouthing off to them?  Are they doing so to him?  I just don't know.  Even if one suggests that the suspect was out of line and belligerent and the cops had a right to fear for their safety, as they claimed in their subsequent police report, the baton shot to the head seems a little much, even by my generous standards.  Probably the only thing I really take out of this video, without having more information than is readily available here, it that the biggest assholes aren't the suspect, or even the police, but the douchebag fans who stood around and cheered this confrontation with their "USA, USA" chants simply because of the color of the suspects jacket.  If ever there were a reason not to attend a sporting event in Pittsburgh, it would be jackasses like them.



Monday, April 11, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 100 - Don't make me famous

Day 100. I guess there should be some be extravaganza to celebrate the day, though this technically is only entry 99 since I did miss that one day way back when. But I am not in the extravaganza mood anyway. I should be but I just can't get up for it.

As some of you know, I am a fan of former PittGirl, now That's Church blogger Virginia Montanez. Her blogging is quite funny, and thought provoking, If only I were to reach such a level. But with that level comes issues all their own, namely a political opinion or two that gets uttered doesn't upset one or two people, but rather hundreds as was the case when she blogged recently about being a Republican, albeit a moderate one on most issues. Given the Democratic stronghold (or is that stranglehold) here it Pittsburgh, simply by uttering the words opened up the Pandora's box. Many locals who were readers were shocked (though any substantial reading of her blog would have given away that little secret) and vowed never to read her blog again, or sent vile emails and messages to her for having the gall to say she had previously voted for G W Bush in 2004.

Don't get me wrong I am not a Republican, even if I tend to be fiscally conservative and this isn't going to be an attack on those who have attacked her, because a) she is better at dealing with such things than moi, b) the chance that someone actually reads hers and my blog are about the same as someone splitting an atom with a spatula and c) anyone, myself included, who decides to venture into the forest of blogging knows full well all of the potential pitfalls that come with it. In her previous PittGirl incarnation when her blog was anonymous, her outing cost here a job, so I am sure she knows full well all that can go wrong in this sphere of communication. Just as I have no doubt that should I try to venture back into the world of radio someday, the words I write now could very much be used against me in such a prospect, they may already have been and I just don't know it. The thing for me is I don't care. Whatever is spilled out on the page is part of me, and part of what any potential employer buys into when they hire me. If it were to come to a choice of a radio job versus my blog it is a no brainer, it's the blog that wins. Not that I wouldn't want a radio gig, but I will not be censored outside of the workplace. That's a deal breaker.

Where Virginia and I seem to part ways however is in the people we attract to our respective pages. Obviously she has far greater numbers than I, though hers are more locally inclined therefore most of her audience is Democrats, whereas for whatever reason I have seemed to have attracted a significant number of Republicans (at least according to My Peeps on the homepage) despite being a Democrat. Like Virginia, I tend to jump the fence rather than be tied up in a single party's ideology. I have no problem going to the polls and yanking the lever for a Republican if I believe he or she is the best person for the job, most recently I did just that thing in voting for our new governor Tom Corbett. I have also been on record in this blog one more than one occasion defending the Supreme Court decision in Bush v Gore, a sore spot to this day with many in my own party. I tend to view myself as an equal opportunity offender in that regard. But thankfully, for whatever reason, maybe it is the lack of readers, or maybe because I come from a rather reasoned stance, I haven't been subjected to the venom that has been cast Virginia's way recently. For that I guess I have to say thanks to you, the readers, for that.

See, it wasn't that bad of a 100th entry after all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 99 - Back from the dead, The Walking Tour

Who all here remembers that?  Yeah it has been quite a while for a good walking tour blog, but as I was sitting here watching a hockey game today I realized that it would be in my best interest to venture outside, with this being the warmest day of the year so far and all.  I would say that the weatherman said we were going to get near our record high of 82 for this date, but then I realized it was indeed a weatherman, and they have as much credibility as Colin Powell at the U.N.  So instead I scurried over to the window, and really everyone should have one if for no other reason that to check the actual weather, and saw that it was indeed nice outside, so after sitting through a pretty good hockey game (Detroit-Chicago), I decided I had best venture out before this opportunity is lost on me and I end up regretting not making something of the day.  But where to go?   Well on a beautiful day like this probably the best place to go is the park, just to see how many others were taking in the warm temps like I had planned on doing.

So we start right here, on Blvd of the Allies leading into Schenley Park.  All was pretty and truth be told I could have made a walking tour blog of just the number of fine backsides that went jogging by me through the course of today's stroll, but that would have been creepy for all involved.  Or to paraphrase Julie Bologna, "Not just creepy, hyper creepy."  Yes, I am the only guy who reads this blog that will get that joke.  Entertainment for an audience of one indeed.


Before I go on, let me just say that Multiply needs to fix this whole dragging photos thing.  I don't know why, it used to be easy to just go over to the scroll on the right and carry the picture down.  Now it is some kind of Twister like game, left photo - blue and all that jazz, that makes putting together a blog like this much harder than it used to be.  Anyway, at the end of the bridge and after passing a couple of fine joggers who shall remain nameless, if for no other reason than I don't know their names, we come upon the lower part of Schenley Park, where the largest of the pavillions are, as well as the largest playground,  Again I opted for a wider shot rather than run up on the playground and starting to snap pictures of little kids, because if there is one thing hyper creepier than snapping pics of girl's backsides, it would be a strange man snapping photos of little kids.  I might have been mistaken for a Catholic or something.

Yes, this photo dragging thing really blows, especially when I am trying to be all left/right creative.  At least if I center them it is easier to copy and paste, I just have to remember to delete the photo that I copied.  Anyway, also in the lower portion of the park is the swimming pool, which obviously isn't open for business yet.  They normally open somewhere around Memorial Day, so for now the pool remains empty, but in about a month or so it will return to it's full glory of being the little kiddie pee pond that we have come to grow and love.

Apparently I didn't get the memo, because before I could begin the ascent to the Schenley Oval Overlook, I ran into these gamers all dressed in D&D garb, either mock fighting each other or preparing to defend the park from an onslaught of orcs, I am not sure which.  Thankfully they did not ask me to join them, otherwise I would have been forced to run home and get my 20 sided die and see if I could make a saving throw versus suck.  Okay, I know I am the only guy who got the Julie Bologna joke, but please tell me at least one other person got that one.

 About halway to the top I pass some people just playing Frisbee in one of the open green areas, as well as some people who are taking advantage of the Frisbee golf course that is in the park.  I will not even begin to start a rant on how much of a non sport Frisbee golf is, hell golf itself is barely a sport but at least it has some soap opera type charm, like Tiger Woods' wife attacking him with a golf club, though that never really happened, wink, wink or Fuzzy Zoeller going all Michael Richards with his fried chicken and collard greens comments a few years back.  If a Frisbee golfer were to cheat on his girlfriend it would be a non issue, because the minute she found out he played Frisbee golf I am quite sure she would have packed her bags and went all Leonard Nimoy "In Search Of.....A Non Geek".  A piece of advice to said female, don't go down the hill, because these guys look like Charles Atlas compared to the basement dwellers that are fending off the orcs down the road.

We stop with the comedy for just a second (well I think it is comedy, but laughter is in the eye of the beholder) and instead opt for a shot of the Cathedral of Learning from about two thirds of the way up the road to the overlook.  See, it is nice outside, but I still refuse to give the weatherman credit because the moment I do I am sure it will starting snowing again. 



Okay, almost at the overlook now and thankfully it is not even warmer tahn it currently is.  Not that warmer temps would have been bad mind you, I like hot weather myself because then it means it isn't snowing, but there would have been even more people laying out today and they would have been in bikinis most likely, trying hard to get a jump on the tanning season.  For a guy that is trying hard to behave himself and not take pictures of backsides, bikinis might have been a bit much.  Not that I am a prude, I like the female form as much as the next guy that isn't a figure skater, but I refuse to sign any waiver of accountability if girls in bikinis walk by while I have a camera in my hands.

Okay, we have reached the top of the overlook, as evidenced by the fact I can actually get an unobstructed shot of downtown Pittsburgh from up here.  If I would have taken a shot of downtown earlier it would have been through a tangle of tree branches, unless I climbed to the top of one of the trees, in which case I most assuredly would have fallen out, probably broken my back, which would mean no walking tour blog.  So far better to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground.



At the overlook there is a sign, this sign in fact, and there is information on three different sides of it regarding the park, its history, its green initiatives and blah, blah, blah because as we all know, when someone is outside enjoying physical activity the thing they want to do most of all is read.  Not biking, or rollerblading, or skating or fending off the orc invasion, but read.  I don't have anything against reading, I do quite a bit of it myself, I just choose not to do it while doing I am out being all exercisical. 











Some of the things that can be done at the top of the overlook include soccer, an activity that makings reading look pleasureable by comparison, or tennis, or even jogging around the track that encompasses both the tennis courts and soccer field.  When the weather gets better more consistently there is sometimes also a volleyball court up here, but since this was the first real warm day the nets weren't set up yet.  Tis a shame, I could have used a good game of volleyball to work off some of my fat, as opposed to just walking around taking pictures.


One of the things you can't do however is skating, at least not at this time of year.  When it is colder the rink is usually pretty busy, maybe it has to do with the popularity of ice hockey around these parts, or maybe figure skating has greater appeal than I would imagine, but in any event as long as it is warm outside then skating is not an option.  And that pretty much concludes everything that can be done up at the overlook.  Now I could go and venture to the far side of the park, I have only covered about half of it to this point, and there is still a golf course to check out and what not, but that will be saved for another day.  Instead it is time to head home.  That doesn't mean it is the end of picture taking however, I still have about a 20-30 minute walk to get back to my friendly confines after all.


That little dot in the middle of the picture is a robin, a sure sign of spring.  Certainly moreso than a bunch of drunks gathering around Punxsutawney to see whether or not an overweight rodent does or does not see its shadow.  Not that the rodent can speak mind you, rather it is some local assclown who apparently speaks groundhog and interprets it for the rest of us.  So the skill set of being able to speak groundhog means you have one day of employment during the course of the year, because really, when was the last time anyone filled out a job application and was hired based on their ability to speak groundhog?  For the other 364 days of the year however, he is just a yokel with no other discernable skill set, much like the groundhog itself.  Then again, given the relative innaccuracy of the groundhog's prediction, maybe he should be hired as a weatherman, he couldn't be any worse than the people that currently do it and they don't speak groundhog at all.

You can tell that we are getting close to the end of our trip, because I am able to take a snapshot of the Oakland skyline.  Not that their is anything significant about the Oakland skyline, it is pretty much all owned by two entities, either the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  Save for the Cathedral of Learning, there is no great piece of architecure, so instead you get this. 



Thankfully if I turn around and look off the other side of the bridge I can see this, one of the many trails that wind throughout the park and one of the things in Oakland not owned by the University of Pittsburgh.  At least not yet, but give them time.  After all, it was the University of Pittsburgh that managed to buy out the Syria Mosque, one of Pittsburgh's classic concert venues, just so they could put in a parking lot, a process that they repeated years later when they managed to kick both the State Store and the Post Office off of the same block.  In Pennsyvania, State Stores are where you have to go to buy wines and spirits, as the selling of alcohol beyond that of beer is handled by the state.  So in one fell swoop, Pitt had managed to kick both the state of PA (the State Store) and the federal government (the Post Office) off of the same block for, yes, another parking lot.



And I am just about out of the park now, though I thought I would stop and take a picture of Phipp's Conservatory.  Some of you may remember that I had taken pictures here in the past, a previous incarnation of the walking tour, but since the entrance to Phipps has been remodeled, I thought I would go ahead and snap a new photo.   I was hoping to get some pictures of the outdoor ponds as well, they have a couple of fountain like structures along the one side of the building, but they haven't been filled with water yet.  When they are, they are filled with different aquatic plants and sometimes they will have fish in them as well.  But for not they are just dry cement, and who wants to take pictures of that?

Across the street from Phipps is Flagstaff Hill.  This is another fine spot to watch people laying out come summer, usually the hillside will be covered with sun bathers, perhaps because there are times when the sun can be a rare occurrence around these parts.  What is also cool about Flagstaff Hill is that during the summer movies are shown in the pak, usually on Sunday and Wednesday nights on a screen which is set up right about where the group of people is located in almost the middle of the picture.  then everyone is welcome to sit on the hillside above the screen and watch a movie for free.  Usually the offerings in the "Cinema in the Park" series aren't too bad, not that they are first run pictures, but at least they are pretty recent.  They don't have the list of this years movies yet, maybe when they get around to it I will see if I can fit a few into my schedule since I am off most nights.

Lastly there is this little parklet, it is at the entrance of Schenely Park, just across the street from the Cathedral of Learning.  This is another fine achievement of the folks at the University of Pittsburgh, since after knocking stuff down to build parking lots, they took a parking lot and turned it into a park, even though there is a much larger park literally a block away.  This is for those people who like the park experience but don't actually want to walk to a park. 


Having escaped the park, and the parklet without getting into trouble with snapping pictures of women's better parts, I was all content to stop for some homemade ice cream on the way home, a treat to help kill off the healthy effects of walking for about an hour, but apparently some other people had the same idea that I did, and since I hate standing in line, I just took one last photo of the line outside of Dave and Andy's and went home. 


This is the part where I would say something clever about the trip, but I can't think of anything clever to say, so I will just say "The End".

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