Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 241 - I'll be brief

If for no other reason than I just woke up after taking a longish afternoon nap (4pm-10pm).   Not that I wanted to take that type of a nap, but I had a headache that was killing me from about 12:30 or so and the best way I know to rid myself of that problem is to try and sleep it off.  Of course now I am up, who knows when I will sleep but my head isn't hurting quite as much, just a dull foggishness as opposed to the full blown head throbbing from earlier.  But now I have to see if I can find something to eat, most likely I will just order in.  Just not feeling well enough to cook yet.  And I have to see if I can locate my keys, which have just disappeared in the last 24 hours.  Some day I will clean my apartment and makie such tasks as finding my keys much easier, but not today.  Today I am just going to eat and then if I am lucky, sleep.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 240 - Pissing off Pennsylvania Democrats


There was a time, not long before the end of my radio career, when those of us in the great state of Pennsylvania were gearing up for a US Senate race. The race proved to be an interesting one, in that the seat in question was being held by Arlen Specter. Arlen Specter can be described as a career politician, with his career in public service starting as assistant council during the Warren Commission and was one of the co authors of the “single bullet theory” regarding President Kennedy's assassination. His first foray into elected public life would come in 1965, when as a Democrat, he was elected District Attorney of Philadelphia. He would subsequently change his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican and in 1980 would win one of the two US Senate seats.

During his time in the Senate Specter would prove to be a guy that would be hard to pin down, never completely towing a specific party line. While he was Republican, he had his critics in the Republican party, for among other things, his support of stem cell research, his effort in blocking the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court (which would enter into the political lexicon the verb “Borked”) and his unwillingness to support the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, invoking the Scots law principle of “not proven”. While this would seemingly make him a friend of the Democrats, he wasn't that either. His blistering questioning of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, where he claimed that Hill had perjured herself during her testimony, his support for the authorization of the Iraq war, and he wrote the clause in the Patriot Act regarding the appointment of interim US Attorneys, which allowed President Bush to appoint 8 such attorneys without term limits and without Senate confirmation.

Basically, Specter was a pain to everyone, which I sort of liked. But in 2004 Senatorial race, Specter found that his support on the far right side of the Republican aisle was tenuous at best. Specter's strongest challenge that year did not come in the general election, but in the Republican primary, where he barely beat out Pat Toomey, gaining 51% of the vote in that contest.

I would argue that probably had a lot to do with his flipping of party affiliations again in 2009. With another Senatorial campaign about to begin and again Pat Toomey looming as a contender for the Republican primary, Specter switched his party again, going back to Democrat. Maybe he is telling the truth in why he switched, the party had gone too far right for him and he felt more closer to the Democratic line of thinking, maybe it was a purely political move to dodge a potential primary loss. Whatever the case, the last year of Specter's time in the Senate would be as a Democrat.

I say last year because, while Specter may have switched parties to better avoid an upset in the Republican primary, what wasn't figured into the calculus was that the Democrats have a primary too. And Specter would not be running unopposed in that primary, instead he would be running against Joe Sestak, a former three star admiral and as in the case with most primaries, it is the more ideological voters that come out. So while Specter was able to dodge the social conservatives in the Republican party during the primary races, he wasn't able to dodge the far left in the Democratic primary, who viewed Specter as simply a political opportunist who couldn't be trusted if reelected.

It was at this point in my radio career, while working with Lynn Cullen (a liberal talk show host) that I suggested that I would vote for Specter for a couple of reasons, those being that Specter's voting record in the Senate made him his own man, he wasn't always going to tow a party line, which I find refreshing in a candidate and that secondly, from a strictly party perspective, the best way for the Democrats to hold that Senate seat is Specter, who has beaten Toomey once in the past (Toomey did win the Republican primary this time) and even if Specter were to pull, say, 10-15% of the Republican vote and he carries the Democratic vote, its a winning formula (Specter still carried a 55% approval rating among Republicans in the state). Sestak, despite his distinguished military career, isn't going to pull those numbers among Republicans, and it will become an ideological pissing contest, one in which I feared Toomey would win. And Toomey did win, by about 80,000 votes.

The reason I bring this up now is because sometimes actions that can seem pointless at the time indeed do have ramifications, far beyond what we would like to think. So Pat Toomey goes to Washington as US Senator from Pennsylvania, so what? Well enter the whole debt ceiling debate, one in which some Republicans actually argued against extending the debt ceiling because the idea of the United States defaulting on its payment obligations isn't that big a deal. In Toomey's world, we could just prioritize the payments, a situation some of us of lesser means are all too familiar with. We get our paycheck and begin to figure out which bills have to be paid, which ones we can just pay on and which ones that, eh, maybe we can put this off another week or two. But it isn't the way I would argue you want to run a country. The United States doesn't need to be seen as the country with a truck up on blocks out in the front lawn.

However, before the country could go all defaultish on it's payment obligations a compromise was reached amongst the Democrats and Republicans in Congress that allowed the debt ceiling to be raised and the United States to continue to meet it's financial obligations. But at a cost. Part of that compromise was the creation of a “super committee” of 12 members (6 Democrats, 6 Republicans) whose job it would be to cut 1.2 trillion in spending over the next decade.  One of the 6 Republicans on that committee is, you guessed it, Pat Toomey. Where those cuts will come from remains to be seen. One of the places that would seem to be an obvious place to begin would be to let the Bush era tax cuts expire in 2012, but Toomey is staunchly anti tax (he was previously the head of the anti tax Club for Growth) and would most likely view such a move as a tax hike. And it doesn't look good for those of you who aren't running a business, as just today it was reported that Toomey wants a lower corporate tax rate from 35% to somewhere in the 20s, but he doesn't say exactly where (, so we know who he doesn't want to cut from? Any guesses where he is going to come looking for money? Any at all? 

So I ask you, fellow Pennsylvanian Democrats, how's that Joe Sestak vote working out for you now?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 239 - 3 down, 1 to go


Where were we? I am not even sure anymore, I just know that I have 6 more work days until I take a paid vacation day. Not that I need a vacation day mind you, but it will be good to wake up next Wednesday and not have to be at work. Yeah, I am burning one of my 7 days just for me. No real plans, I may take in lunch with a friend but beyond that it will just be a lazy day for me.

Not much of real import has happened since I blogged about my actual life, and maybe that is just as well. I did do a couple more fantasy football drafts, though only one by choice. I was invited to a league, but there are only 6 teams in the league so if you were in that particular grouping and came out with a team you didn't like all I can say is that it is all on you. I walked out of that draft with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Plus it is a PPR league (points per reception) and I managed to snag running backs that kill in that category, three of them had over 50 catches last year and a 4th had 48 while splitting time, an issue he will not have this year as the guy he split with is no longer on the roster. The other draft really wasn't. I signed up for it only because I got 22 Swagbucks for doing so, I was going to take the draft semi seriously, but found out I was drafting 11th out of 12 teams. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, I have had success in the past drafting late but while it was a live online draft, nobody showed up, so each pick was taking the full minute and a half before the autopicker made the selection for the absent owner. I had no desire for a fourth team to begin with and the idea I was going to sit around and wait on picks half the night just made me turn right around and walk out of the draft. I got my Swagbucks, that's all I cared about in that one anyway. Now just one draft to go, this Saturday and it is the biggie, the return of the Uncle Jimmy's draft that I have been in for years now. As an added bonus it looks like we will be playing for cash this year, a $20 buy in and it sounds like it will be winner take all. Because it was a late suggestion to the league, it will not be a mandatory buy in, but if you do not buy in then you can't win any money. The highest placing team of those that buy in gets the cash. Of course I am all kinda down with that. As an added bonus, it looks like I will be nominated treasurer. What role haven't I done in this league? Way back in the day (before the internet became way cool) I was the stat guy, pouring over copies of the USA Today doing all of the numbers for the league, then I ran the league as commissioner for a decent number of years, now I am being selected as treasurer. In an odd twist, when I was commissioner, I had George handle the treasurer duties, now he is commissioner and it looks like I am treasurer.

Sadly, other than that not much has been happening here of late. And I really don't have the energy to come up with another long rant about semen and mental disorders so I think I am going to call it a night.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 238 - Inspired

For the record let me say that I am not all kinds of inspired like yesterday, in which I was on a crazy kind of tangent inspired.  I am not even inspired to blog all that much, but what did inspire me to do something was that I have been in a researchy kind of mood this evening.  First I was getting the "First Responders Snubbed at 9/11 Ceremony" nonsense.  If you haven't seen it yet on your Facebook feeds/blog posts or talking head shows, just give it a day or two.  As we get closer to the 10th anniversary you will see more of it.  The fundamental questions remain, like why in 10 years is Shanksville still nothing but a field and Ground Zero nothing but a hole?  If anyone ever wants to make a case for why the private sector sucks versus big government, well, at least the Pentagon was fixed. 

Anyway, after doing a little research on the policy regarding the ceremony regarding the 9/11 ceremonies (it is the same as in previous years)  I started doing some research on another blog entry that I read.  And it was this blog entry that ended up costing me money.  Because during my research for my comment on the blog I ran into an interesting book, and because I have money in my Amazon account I opted to go ahead and buy the book. 

Now we know the Matt policy on buying books on Amazon, I have to buy at least $25 worth, just so I can avoid the shipping fees.  So I next went to the Amazon best seller list and in there was a book whose review I had read about a week ago and thought it would look good on my Christmas list.  Of course the thing about my Christmas list and books is I never get the books I ask for, so they are almost as much of a running joke on the list as is my request for "a pliable female".  So I decided since I needed to spend the money anyway I would go ahead and grab it as well. 

Wouldn't you know that I was still roughly $2 short of the necessary $25 to avoid the shipping fees, so into the $5 and under bin I go and after going through about 11 pages of just crap books, I did find one I want.  And with that I reached the $25 mark.  I usually save the linkage for the Neverending Thread, but because I have been neglectful of that for a while now (because I haven't finished reading a book, still stuck in two different ones) I will go ahead and link them here

"The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What's Right"

"1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created"

"Supreme Courtship"

That means in about 5 days or so I have new reading material arriving, so I better get cracking on finishing my other two books.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 237 - Swallows minus Capistrano = Blog


Just sitting here listening to the Steeler's preseason game on the radio and trying my best to avoid hurricane talk, which isn't easy. Pretty much everywhere we are getting nothing but Irene this and Irene that. Mind you, this coverage has more to do with the areas that may (or may not) be affected than anything to do with the actual size and power of the hurricane, which is now not even a hurricane technically but a tropical storm. Que sera, sera.

I was at work today and my mind was multitasking, part of the brain was focused on the tasks at hand, part of the brain was thinking about what I could blog about. I haven't blogged about my social life recently because I pretty much have none. Sure I have my Thursday night volleyball, which was back this week after a two week hiatus and where I managed to smash my knee into the floor diving for a ball. So a gimpy left foot and now a gimpy right knee. My body is starting to show its 42 years right about now, and it isn't pretty.

But during one of my smoke breaks at work I am watching the pretty girls walking by, some Art Institute students, some Point Park students and my mind got to thinking about what it would be like to be , say, 20 years younger and actually pursuing the nubile creatures that were walking about. Then I remembered that I pick crazy. And that can't be a good thing, so maybe I am better off being 42 and realizing that these girls are young enough to be my daughter which is reason enough to stick with the hands off approach. After all, lets review my picks in the past shall we, one has shot herself, one suffered a mental breakdown, one thought that if you microwaved a hot dog for one minute, you then nuked 10 of them for 10 minutes, and one opted to go back to an alcoholic boyfriend who beat her. God damn I pick well.

But then I thought of something else, a slightly better thing about the women I dated, namely they all swallowed. And I thought maybe craziness and swallowing go together. I am sure there are some females out there right now that think it is crazy to swallow to begin with. But really, has there ever been a study? Is there a greater likelihood for mental problems amongst women whodon't spit? Where's my government funding for this pressing issue?

Lacking said funding, and not having that many coins in my pocket, I had to result to Google instead. My first attempt was just the words swallow and crazy, which didn't seem to help all that much. Lots of links to either porn sites or objects people have swallowed. But no answer to the pressing issue of the day. What can I say, it's a slow day in the non hurricane/tropical storm zone.

Adding the word semen didn't help much, it got rid of the people who swallow objects but also increased the porn hits. So if you are bored some night and looking for something to do, type “swallow semen crazy” into your Google search bar and have fun.

The next step was to remove “crazy” and replace it with “mental disorder”. For a change the first link wasn't “Girl swallows boatloads of cum” so perhaps we are making steps in the right direction. Maybe big steps. After all I did run into this.. It would seem that swallowing semen may help with high blood pressure. Who knew that? But again, if you implore your female partner to swallow and she agrees only after you tell her you want her to swallow to lower her blood pressure, well she is probably crazy, thus bringing me back to the original issue. Further investigation is apparently needed.

Then I ran into this, on a dating website forum.

I found this on Redbook's website and thought it was really interesting.

Q. My fiancé loves for me to give him oral sex and I have no problem with that (believe me) , but he wants me to swallow his semen. Can it hurt me? Are there any health problems associated with swallowing semen?

A. The good news is that it's beneficial! Recently studies have shown that regular consumption of semen can actually have some wonderful health benefits. Semen contains at least 13 prostaglandins and high concentrations of hormones that retain potency if taken orally. The quality of the seminal hormones is thought to be superior to even prescription versions. In the study women who regularly consumed their lovers sperm showed such benefits as a reduction in ovarian cancers, lowered depression and many even had acne symptoms lessen or stop entirely. It is thought that the oral consumption of the potent hormones had a balancing effect on woman's hormonal ups and downs caused by their periods and pregnancy or breastfeeding.

The key to the findings is "regular consumption". Only once in blue moon won't have the same effect. Those that indulged once or twice a week received little benefits. The ones who received the results were the ones who ingested semen four to five times a week or more! Now that's dedication. If this seems like a lot of work you need to remember that your partner can assist in producing it. All though preferable, a blow job is not the only way to obtain semen. You might be surprised how fast your man can produce sperm for you all on their own.

Oddly enough only married or monogamous women showed the benefits. Those with multiple partners showed no beneficial effects or even reported detrimental effects. This is thought to be caused by the differences in the hormonal makeup of multiple partners.


Who knew? Well I think we all knew that the guy could assist in producing semen. Which is good, I think the semen deliveryman went the way of the old milkman. But as I thought about it more, I did realize that most of the crazy women I was with did have good skin. And none of them had ovarian cancer. So there is that. But again, if she buys the “I can help with your acne, suck my dick” ,. we once again broach the crazy conundrum. There is just no way around it. So back to searching I go.

And it was in my last search that I realized how harmful what I had done in the past had come to light. No, I still didn't learn if craziness and swallowing are linked (must work on proposal for government funding I'm afraid) but I did find this nugget on a real medical website.


Semen as an Antidepressant

A recent study has suggested that semen acts as an antidepressant in women, so that women physically exposed to semen are less likely to suffer from depression.

It is thought that the psychological effects of semen are a result of its complex chemical make-up including several mood-altering hormones (testosterone, oestrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, prolactin and several different prostaglandins).

In a scientific survey of 293 college women it was also found that those who did not use condoms were most likely to initiate sex and to seek out new partners as soon as a relationship ended, suggesting that the chemical dependency to semen creates a "rebound effect".

The effect of semen on a male sexual partner (a receiver of semen) is not known.

Yeah, we have covered the antidepressant thing already, but it was the third paragraph that scared me. Chemical dependency on semen? That my past relationships were meaningless, that while we were lying there naked and she was performing fellatio, it wasn't love, it wasn't that she wanted to but rather it was that she needed to. I had become the crack dealer of cum. “Crack dealer of cum” would not be a cool punk band name by the way. But now, as the hour is getting late and I am getting ready for bed I am troubled by the simple thought that somewhere out there a female is sucking a guy's dick and it could be my fault.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 236 - Original or extra crispy?


I am not what you would call a religious guy. I guess my fundamental problem comes with the notion of an afterlife and whether one will be elevated to a place of paradise or burdened with eternal damnation based on worshiping a single entity. If there were such an entity, and that was the basis for inclusion or exclusion, then I would suggest such an entity has some issues he probably needs to work on. So when it comes to concepts like heaven and hell, any one who knows me knows the party line response (provided those places exist) is “It isn't a matter of heaven or hell, but original or extra crispy.”

See, the thing is sometimes I see stuff and the worst of my inner funny guy comes out. I would like to think I am a relatively funny guy (you might not think so, in which case I suggest commenting to tell me how unfunny I am) but often the funny part is not very kind. It can be downright cruel to be honest. Prime example was yesterday when I was waiting for my bus to head home from work. Across the street was a family unpacking a car, as the students at Point Park University are coming back from summer break. So mom and dad were helping their daughter move in. And the daughter was not a small girl, by not small I mean bigger than me. I readily admit that I could stand to lose a few pounds, I am not a peak physical specimen by any standards, so if you are even bigger than me, then you too are not a peak physical specimen. Anyway, as they are unpacking the car, she pulls out one of those long, slender door mirrors, the kind you would hang on maybe the back of a closet door or something. And the first thought that crossed my mind was “That better be a fun house mirror, that will be the only way she fits in it.” Original or extra crispy indeed.

If that were an isolated incident I suppose we could write it off as an out of character moment, but it isn't. It's par for the course. Just the other day Ed asked me when we were going to write back to our prison pen pal and the first words out of my mouth were “She isn't going anywhere.” Which is true, I believe she still has about 13 months to serve yet. So barring a prison break, I think we are relatively secure in just where her location will be.

And today, I am sitting at my desk and a slew of invoices had piled up, I had been letting them go a bit because of other pressing matters that required my attention. I know that I 'll be in on Saturday, I can easily get caught up on my paperwork then (though I did get a large chunk of it done today) but in a stack of invoices that was tossed on my desk was an application that had been completed. I have nothing to do with hiring of people (though I do get a say on the firings of my own crew) but somehow this application got stuck in my paperwork. So now I am reading it and it turns out this particular person worked for us before (though before I actually worked there), so now I am looking at the job history and it seems that she worked for us, but then left to take a job as a cashier at a grocery store (Foodland). Leave it to me to just blurt out “In the business I believe we call this career advancement.” Though to be fair, the application was funny on its own without my input, at one point there was reference to a job at Donut Connection and the reason for leaving was........drum roll please.......”tired of donuts”. I don't know, there is a simple honesty there that is both funny and telling. I almost hope Ed does rehire her for that answer alone.

Well, I am going to scoot. I still need to shower yet this evening before bed. If seven herbs and spices come out instead of water, well, you know what happened.

Karaoke Friday - In the wee hours

As I mentioned in the blog earlier this week, I did end up staying up all night one day after getting a too long nap in earlier in the evening. One of the things I did while I was up was convert some more of my Amazon cash into music I could then burn to CD and listen to at work.  While I could go about posting the entire list on here in the music category, instead I will just opt to post one of the songs in video form.  As always there are lyrics in case you want to sing along.  After all, how Karaoke-ey would it be if you couldn't sing?  Now wanting to sing, well that is entirely up to you to decide.



All these buckets of rain
I've heard enough about
You say that I lied
I am a gentlemen
Didn't I ask for a place I could stay
Well, what were we both thinking
the next part just got in the way?
You were just always talking about Changing
What if I was the same man
The same I always was

All these things that you say
Like i'll forget about
The mind-numbing games that you play
I am a gentlemen
Didn't I pay for every laugh every dime,
Every bit in return
And then you feed me some lie
I wont hear one more word about Changing
Guess what I am the same man

same man I've always been

Days pass and turn into weeks
when we don't even speak
We just lay wide awake
And pretend we're asleep
And you go home alone
And your checking your phone
And you're looking at me
Like I'm Something You Own

All these buckets of rain
You cant forget about
You say I'll never try
I am a gentlemen
Didn't I answer every time that you called
Picked you up when you fall
But you never listened at all
You were just always talking about Changing
Guess what I am the same man, same man

Changing guess what I am the same man, same man

Changing guess what I am the same man, same man

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 235 - That's two


I know, I missed another day. That's twice this year and while it may have been a tad disappointing for those that are used to a blog entry popping up in there feed, it was worse for me because I had the entry probably ¾ of the way done and it turns out it was all for naught.

When last we left the blog I had mentioned the longish afternoon nap I had taken, and how much I had enjoyed it. Of course that nap came with the problem of not being able to get back to sleep. So I didn't. I just stayed up, hopped in the shower a tad bit early, but made my way to work to start another oh so fun day. Again I used my Matrix like ability to avoid most of the shit storm that has been raging for a good week and a half now. Not that Ed was in that much better of a mood, I just managed to avoid most of it.

So I get out of work relatively unscathed and I think that if I go home and nap I run the risk of repeating the very same pattern that happened the previous evening, so maybe I better play it safe and try to stay awake as long as possible. I figured I would work on some stuff, then maybe order some dinner in and then bang out a blog entry. All relatively simple. Around 9pm I am thinking that I should consider the food option, then I realize that the only bill I have in my wallet, save for a few singles, is a $100. Now I don't know what kind of money the typical delivery driver carries on them (though I have my guesses from managing a pizza shop for a year) but I know the last thing you say when placing an order is to tell them that the driver needs to bring change for $100. Any manager that would send a driver on that type of run should lose their job immediately, because that is usually a set up where the driver gets robbed. Even though that wouldn't have been my intent, I get the alarm bells such a request sets off. I start thinking of where I could break a $100. I could walk to Rite Aid or CVS and buy something that I probably didn't need. I could go to a busier restaurant and just pick something up and bring it home, but most places that would fit that description weren't places that I was all that hungry for anyway.

Inspiration. I would go have a couple beers. The bar always has change for big bills, and beer might be a good stress reliever given how work has been recently. So I went to have a couple and a couple turned into 6. Still I left the bar in plenty of time to come home and work on the blog, but I still haven't solved the original problem, that being obtaining sustenance. And given it was now after 10pm, the number of places that will deliver gets shrunken somewhat. About the only places that do deliver that late are pizza places and I wasn't in a pizza mood. Instead I decide I will just pick something up and bring it home, so I run by the Campus Deli, pick up a sandwich and some fries and come home. I start eating and start typing. The eating ended first, but I had made significant progress on the blog entry as well.

Then it happens, I put my head down on the pillow, just to close my eyes for a moment (I was blogging from the laptop on the bed) because nothing was on TV or the radio. Just close my eyes for a second and then get back to the blog entry, which was already well over a page long. And I was out. I didn't wake up again until my alarm went off at 5am. The laptop still open to my Open Office document I was typing. As an added bonus it was storming outside, so I didn't want to even have the computer on at that point, even if it wasn't storming it wouldn't have mattered, I was already 5 hours late for an entry, so I didn't even bother saving it, I just x-ed it off the screen and shut the laptop off and enjoyed the stormy weather before making my way out the door to work.

I really don't want to make a habit of that sort of thing, I actually like blogging a little too much, but my body seems to be on a more regular schedule now, so missing the blog wasn't an all bad thing for me. Now I just have to learn to go to bed at a more sensible hour, like now maybe. Nite.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 233 - Nappage

That was an awesome nap. It is not often I say that, even though I pretty much nap every day. By nature I am not a morning person, it is one of the few things about my job that I don't particularly care for. Showing up for 7am does have its bonuses, like most days when I get off there is still enough left time left in the day to go run an errand or two if need be, but other than that I am just not a morning person. Most days see me getting a cup of coffee from the corner store next to my bus stop, not because I have a huge love of coffee, but because it is my effort to make sure my eyes stay sufficiently propped open for the next 10 hours or so. But by the time I get home I end up taking a smallish nap most days and then being up until some god forsaken hour, like 2am, and then falling asleep until 5am or so.

Except today. I don't think there was anything smallish about the nap I just woke up from. Given I say just woke up and I am typing this at 11pm, I think you get the gist of where this is going. I stumbled in from work around 4pm, with a meatball sandwich in hand that was going to be dinner. I sat down and actually clicked on the TV for a few moments, Judge Judy was on (groan) so I ended up turning the TV off, lest I be inundated with useless earthquake coverage. Useless because I don't need to hear man on the street interviews from the likes of Betty from Crafton telling me how she felt the earth move, when other than that literally nothing else came from the event locally. No property damage, no deaths, no injuries, the whole event was akin to the planet passing gas locally and didn't require live, breaking, team coverage with a bunch of reporters wasting time on what was in essence a non event. So I instead turned on the radio and laid down to poke away on the laptop and fell asleep. At 5pm, which is fine, it is about the time I would normally nap, it was the fact I slept for almost 6 hours that made the nap so good. I am actually waking up feeling quite refreshed. Of course the fact I am waking up refreshed at 11pm at night can only mean one thing, I will be up half the night again.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 232 - A case of the Mondays


At least it is over. That is the plus coming out of today. Because other than that it wasn't all that good. Just lots of me getting in trouble for things I did and didn't do. It was day where I was glad to get out of work.

Apparently my problems started Saturday night when Ed made one of his not so surprise/surprise visits to the store. I say not so surprise because while they are relatively unannounced, he does them so often that it has become almost expected by now. Still, him showing up isn't a bad things in and of itself. I had already received as note from him, as well as a phone call on Saturday saying that he wanted me ordering more back stock on paper products. It isn't the first time I have heard such a request. Probably will not be the last either. Some of the items were legitimately my fault, others I can only make suggestions on but at the end of the day I can not buy them myself.

There were a couple of other things that we were low on as well, and I will fall on the sword for not having them. Still I could have probably escaped relatively unscathed, certainly I would not have been pulled into the office for lecture today, say for the complete ineptitude of some of my coworkers. Apparently when Ed showed up Saturday whoever was in charge proceeded to tell him we were out of coffee for the coffee machine. Now I do not do the ordering for the coffee machine, Rick actually takes care of the coffee station products (coffee, sugar, creamers, etc.) so this would have fallen outside of my purview to begin with. What was worse was that we did not in fact run out of coffee, it was right where it has been for the last 2 and half years that I have worked there. But because no one could find it (let's not look where it always is) that set Ed off. Worse was he wanted the open air cooler restocked with microwave burritos, breakfast sandwiches and what not and again no one can seem to locate them (again items I am not responsible for) and again they were exactly right where they always are in the freezer in the basement. Of course Ed wouldn't learn this until today, two days after the fact because no one can be bothered to pick up a phone and actually ask. So instead he is under the notion we do not have these items, which pisses him off. And once that ball gets rolling, everything is going to set him off. No matter how big or small.

So today was a day where everyone who was lucky enough to get called into the office proceeded to get ripped for how they are doing their jobs. Things that Ed and I covered on the phone and addressed Saturday afternoon were brought back up like we never discussed them.. The things we did have and nobody could actually locate were now our fault as well. Their incompetence became our fault as well. What is worse is that I have now got stuck in a pissing contest between Ed and Pepsi. I have made mention in that our Pepsi orders have been quite large, we currently are the largest account they have in downtown Pittsburgh. But for every order we put in, there are almost always shortages of some sort. On a 250 case order it is not uncommon to get say, 235 cases with 15 cases being items that are out of stock. One of those items that regularly comes up as out of stock are the syrups for the Polar Shock machines (Pepsi's slush puppy like product). I tend to keep one extra case of each one in house, and with three machines we carry 6 different flavors, blue raspberry, cherry, orange frost, strawberry melonade, mocha and french vanilla. I only keep one extra case as back up because for two reasons, each box carries 3 gallons of syrup which is not a small amount, by the time you do the mixing with water (4 parts water to 1 part syrup) you have a significant amount of product there, 24 gallons of each flavor and the cases are not cheap as the fruit flavors run $90 a box and the coffees are $99.

Well a couple of weeks ago I walked through the Pepsi order with Tom, our rep, and we were on the last case of vanilla. So I ordered one so I would have a back up, our turn around on Pepsi is quick, we order Wednesday and they deliver on Thursday.. So the Thursday delivery come and no vanilla. While the two coffee flavors are our slowest movers of Polar Shock, they still do sell. And as luck would have it, we ran out of vanilla in the week between orders. I explain to Ed what happened, we ordered it, it didn't come in and while he may have been upset it was something I managed to keep under control for the most part. So Wednesday Tom is back and I order two cases of vanilla, one for the machine and one back up and Thursday the truck arrives and again no Polar Shock. Now I am pissed. I tell Ed that again it didn't show up and he tells me to call Pepsi and find out what happened, because it was listed as in stock Wednesday (Tom had checked before we ordered) and sure enough they did have some and just didn't bring it, their argument being that it was close to being out of date (the sell by date is the first week of September) and I said I don't care about the date, I don't have any and I can't sell what I don't have. So Tom tells me he will see to it that the product gets to us, even if he has to drive it in himself. I get off the phone and tell Ed what is up and he tells me to get back on the phone and tell Tom not to bother, we are just going to have Pepsi pick up the machine and take it out. Now this gets into all kind of ugly contract shit about what we are required to carry and what not, things I am not all that privy to (above my pay grade and all that jazz) but I call Tom back an tell him what Ed told me, he doesn't want the product, he wants rid of the machine. Of course Tom can't make that call on his end either, we are both middle men playing out in this drama between our respective managements, but he says he will make sure his boss (Shavone) calls Ed hopefully they work things out.

So Saturday while I am working on the order a Pepsi driver arrives with the two cases of vanilla Polar Shock. I assumed that it meant Ed and Shavone had spoke and patched things up and he approved the order, so I accepted it and went ahead and hooked up the beverage and got it running again. Well it turns out they didn't speak and apparently Shavone told them to deliver it anyway, so I got drug further into this pissing contest between Ed and Pepsi. On the plus, Ed didn't blame me for accepting the order but he was none to pleased that they delivered an item he specifically said he didn't want. Not that I can blame him there, that is $200 that he didn't authorize to spend (even though when this eventually all plays out I think we would have bought it anyway) because he said he didn't want it.

The thing is, in general I like Tom (as I do most of our reps that come in) and I don't like playing the bad guy with him, yet here I am calling him back up again today telling him Ed is all kinds of pissed off about that delivery. And I am not sure how this will eventually play out, on one hand Ed can be a pretty big pain in the ass, he has shut off Coke deliveries entirely on two different occasions since I worked there just because of disputes with them, on the other Pepsi is by far our best seller in the store, it runs in the ball park of a 4 to 1 edge over anything Coke offers, so to go all cold turkey and just kill Pepsi ordering would seem to be an unlikely move on Ed's part. Which just means most likely lots more days of this unenjoyable status quo where both sides bicker back and forth and nothing ever truly gets resolved.

This job may drive me to drink yet.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 231 - 10 Players I Hate More Than You (Fantasy Football)


I haven't done one of these in a while, so bear with me. But I do need something to do between waiting for the 24hour window expiring on my laptop (everything is still running all okely, dokely) and I could either be all responsible adult like (yeah, like that is going to happen) or I could be all “steal some other peoples ideas and make a blog all you own”. Yeah, I am going with the latter option.

Before my first fantasy football draft I handed out some very basic rules that I have come to live by when it comes to fantasy football and drafting players. Tonight will be draft #2, and rather than get all rules-y, instead I am going to pick 10 players I hate more than everyone else heading into the upcoming season. By hate, I do not mean I despise them, they may very well be fine upstanding human beings, nor am I suggesting that you shouldn't draft these players, only that I believe that they are going higher than they are actually worth.

For the record, the numbers regarding draft position are based on the numbers tallied by to this point. You can argue whether or not Sportsline is better than ESPN or Yahoo or any of a number of other sites out there that also host fantasy football, but rest assured that the numbers are not ones I have pulled out of my ass, but are from a pretty legitimate source when it comes to where these players are being taken in typical drafts.

Michael Vick QB Philadelphia Eagles – ADP 6 – It is not that Michel Vick doesn't have the potential to be good, very very good actually. But this love affair with him that has him being taken as the first quarterback overall is a bit much. This is an instance where people are buying the past. Not that there is anything wrong with looking at a players previous numbers in making a determination of what to expect in future seasons, but career years are rarely if ever repeated. And you don't get points based on what a guy did last year. What Vick had last year was a career year for him, 30 TDs (21 passing) and accounting for almost 3700 yards of offense is a ceiling for Vick, not a floor. And the league started to catch up to Vick at the end of last season, he threw interceptions in each of his last 6 games (he also lost 5 fumbles over that span). So are you buying the Michael Vick who had 11 TDs and 0 INTs over the first 10 weeks or the one that had a an 11-7 split over the final 7?

Steven Jackson RB St. Louis Rams – ADP 17 – I like Steven Jackson. For the longest time he was about the only thing with the Rams worth watching. But it is that longest time things that scares me here. In fantasy there is the unwritten rule on running backs, usually that they peter out by age 29. Jackson is 28 and some of those signs may be starting to show here. He carried the ball 330 times last year and his yards per carry were a very pedestrian 3.8. In games where he didn't reach that YPC, it wasn't that he didn't have ample opportunity, his carry totals in those contests were 22, 22, 23, 29, 28, 19, 24, so it wasn't opportunity, it was results. And he is a year older now.

Hakeem Nicks WR New York Giants – ADP 25 – Alvin Harper! When I see Nicks, that is who I think of. People may remember Harper, he was opposite Michael Irvin on those great Cowboy teams, and Irvin garnered enough attention that it allowed Harper to roam free and pad his stats a bit. The problem came when Harper's contract ran out and he was looking for big time money for the numbers he posted. The Cowboys didn't bite and Harper went to Tampa Bay, where he became the #1 receiving option and quicky disappeared into obscurity, because the attention a #1 receiver sees (lots of two and three man coverages) is much different than that seen by a secondary option. Nicks was the beneficiary last season of not being the #1 option, that responsibility fell to Steve Smith, but now Smith is gone and Nicks has to prove he is more than a secondary option. Given he only broke 100 yards receiving 4 times in a 16 game season, there is little to suggest here that he can consistently put up big numbers.

Cedric Benson RB Cincinnati Bengals – ADP 41 – Will the real Cedric Benson please stand up? Is he the guy who couldn't take the starting job away from Thomas Jones in Chicago, or is he the guy who two years ago 1251 rushing yards with the Bengals? Last year was a little of both, while he again eclipsed a thousand yards rushing (1111), his YPC were a very unimpressive 3.5, this in an offense that had other weapons in Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens. All three of them are gone now, so if Benson had problems producing when he wasn't the focal point of the offense, how are things going to be better now that he is?

Knowshon Moreno RB Denver Broncos – ADP 38 – I don't get it, here is a player who didn't rush for even 800 yards last season. And now there is the added plus of knowing Willis McGahee has been working in the goal line first team offense. McGahee's claim to fame is that he poaches short yardage touchdowns, ask any Ray Rice owner. So for Moreno to be of use, he is either going to have to outplay McGahee in short yardage, or break long TDs . Given his longest run in two seasons in the NFL is just 36 yards, that doesn't seem likely.

Steelers DEF Pittsburgh Steelers – ADP 70 – I can't say this enough, don't draft defenses early. In a 12 team league this would be a 6th round pick. For what, an extra point or two a game at best? Putting aside the issues with the Steelers defense (Harrison, Polamalu nursing injuries, an aging defensive line, questionable secondary), you can get more in the 6th round than this. Serviceable defenses will be available later and with little harm to you on a weekly basis.

Mikel Leshoure RB Detroit Lions – ADP 92 and Ryan Williams RB Arizona Cardinals – ADP 95 – This is what happens when your league drafts too early. Both players may go on to have great NFL careers, but both are out for the season with injuries.

Jahvid Best RB Detroit Lions – ADP 45 – Two Lions running backs on the list, maybe I have it in for the city of Detroit. Or maybe it is just reality. Best comes with a significant injury history in his second season in the NFL, concussions in college and turf toe in his first NFL campaign, and was just bad from a fantasy perspective, 555 yards rushing, 3.2 YPC, 4 TDs and in no game last year did he break 100 yards rushing, his best output was just 78 yards, so Best didn't even steal you a week last season. Forget the second coming of Barry Sanders, Best might not even be the second coming of hockey analyst Barry Melrose.

Yeah, this list has been pretty RB heavy, so I had better throw in a WR before I run out of my 10 slots.

Roy Williams WR Chicago Bears – ADP 116 – To paraphrase Chris from “Family Guy”, “How does Roy Williams keep getting work?” At what point can we call a failure a failure? In his 7th year in the league, Williams has been involved in some pretty pass happy offenses in both Dallas and Detroit, yet he has one good season to show for it. You can get better odds at the casino than you can by drafting Williams.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 230 - Broken


Laptop, why have you forsaken me? Yes, for all that has been good this week, there has been one recurring problem, that being my laptop has been acting all kinds of virusy.

I forget which day it started, but about a week ago I started getting messages from the network shield of Avast, saying that it had blocked a malicious site. Now if I had been looking at porn at the time, yeah, maybe I could see that. But usually they would start on a regular site and suggest I was trying to connect to a different one, even when I hadn't. I did a little research on the issue and unearthed a couple of tools that I thought would help me. So I downloaded them and ran them and and the pop ujp messages seemed to go way.

So did my home page. Just gone. Instead I would get a captcha that I would have to fill out to see my homepage. I would fill it out and instead of my homepage, another captcha would pop up. My laptop wasn't completely useless mind you, I could still scurry around the web, just not to my homepage.

I took to my internet sleuthing skills and found a web forum that deals with Avast issues. It was there that I met Essexboy. Who he is, I have no idea, but he has proven to be a godsend to this point. I explained my problem on the page and was given some very general directions, download these programs and then post the reports on here and Essexboy will look at them and see if he can help. Apparently he is a techie wizard of some sort, handing out nuggets of wisdom on a few different sites. The only problem for me is that he is in Great Britian, so there is a time difference of 5 or 6 hours or so. When I am at work, his day is half done, when my work day is done,, he whole day is just about finished. So to a degree we had been playing message board tag, I would post my issue, wait for his reply and then follow his instructions, which were very good for a non tech skilled person like myself.

I explained my first issue to him, I had gotten warnings about sites I wasn't visiting, then the home page went all haywire. Even automatic updates had shut down, they couldn't be turned on from the task bar or from the system option in the control panel. So he gave me some instructions, which I followed. Then more instructions, again which I followed and finally a third set of instructions and everything worked, for a day. My automatic updates were back, I could visit my homepage, everything was wonderful.

Then I made a mistake. I was visiting a website regarding comic books and up started the whole malicious site warning all over again. Not as frequent as in the past, where they would pop up in groups of 3 or more every 5 minutes, but given I had seen this pattern develop previously I had a hankering things would not be good, so back to the board I went and I spent a good portion of today fixing my laptop while also trying to get my real job done. It was a long day to say the least, but again Essexboy seems to have come through, no warnings since this afternoon and everything is running okay. He even had me upload a questionable file to a file sharing service, just so he could get a better look at it.

But for now I am on a 24 hr laptop watch, I am to report anything that doesn't seem to be working properly and if all goes smoothly I should be completely back in laptopping order by this time tomorrow. I hope so, I really don't want another week of playing with programs that I don't understand. Besides, one of the updates wiped out my Swagbucks toolbar, so I am losing time chasing anothert Amazon gift card while this thing is on hiatus. I could reload the toolbar, but I want to wait to make sure everything is running properly before slapping on anything new to my computer.

For the blow by blow on what has taken place, you can check out this thread

and I will go on the record as highly recommending them. The people that post there, at least the administrators, seem to be quite skilled at fixing what I am very good at breaking. But for now I am going to stop, lest I break something else.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 229 - Spoiled

If ever there was a doubt about how much I am spoiled at work it was all but removed this week. It is almost embarrassing how well I am treated, and for me to point it out is probably saying something. I would not say I am a perfect employee by any stretch, I regularly make mistakes. But usually if I do screw up I tend to own it, state that I screwed up and move on. I know many people that when they are called on the carpet for what they have or have not done, tend to get in the office and argue the point with Ed or start the defense of what they are in trouble for by saying "Well (insert another employee's name) did this ,,,,," as if that somehow addresses the concern being brought up at that point in time.

Maybe it is my willingness to own my mistakes, maybe it is a superior work ethic or maybe it is a recognition of how many things wouldn't work without me, I don't know, I just know that if ever there was a week to show how spoiled at work I am, then this was that week.

It should be noted that for many people this week it was not a good week to be an employee of Smithfield News. Part of that is due to the added pressure Ed is going through in trying to get his other business project off of the ground. If ever you want to make your own personal life miserable, try starting a business in downtown Pittsburgh and dealing with the city workers in charge of issues permits and what not. Failed government bureaucracy at it's finest ladies and gentlemen. Then there is the issues we do have with our current employees, and there are a few. Add in the rising costs of what we do and a belief by some that seem to think that the store is just made of money and have no understanding of a bottom line. Needless to say, for many this week Ed has been a handful.

But not for me, for me I have been dodging the proverbial shitstorm with Keanu Reeve's "Matrix" like ability, minus the bad acting. Instead it has been a relatively easy week for me. I just go in and bang out my tasks and all is good.

The spoilage I guess started on Monday. Ed came in and told me that there was a radio in his car, his wife couldn't get the CD player to work, so if I could fix it it was mine. My first though was "Great, I am now going to be burdened with broken down electronics that don't work." I am not that kind of a fix it guy. So I just pretty much forgot about the radio. It wasn't until Wednesday that Ed reminded me of the radio and said that if I wanted it it was in the trunk of his car. Since I had to run a couple of things out to Dee's car I figured I might as well grab this radio also. I get it out of the trunk and it is a nice radio, a Sharper Image CD alarm clock radio with detachable speakers. I think, since we usually listen to the radio in the basement while stocking coolers, I will at least test it out, if it doesn't work I might at least be able to make use of the speakers in some way, shape or form. I plug the radio in and the tuner works just fine. Not that that was an issue, the issue apparently was with the CD player. So I grab a CD and I notice that the CD doesn't mount on the wheel in the CD player on the inside, if you place a CD on it, it just falls off the mount. Then I recognized the problem, and it wasn't a manufacturing issue. Rather the design of the CD player is such that you just lay the CD against the plastic cover opening of the player and when you close it, it snaps the CD into place. That was it, that was the big defect in the CD player. So I basically got a new radio for nothing. It wasn't broke at all. I even explained this to Ed and his words were "I already bought a new one, so you keep it."

If that were the only thing I got this week, I would call it a good week, but it wasn't, not even close. Later that day, Ricky, who owns the building in which Smithfield News is located, is in the office and tells Ed that he can't use his Steeler tickets for Thursday night and offers them to Ed. Ed in turn offers them to me, which I accept. After all, I have never been to Heinz Field, the last Steelers game I was at was back in the days of Three Rivers Stadium, many, many moons ago. Apparently there are two tickets and Ricky will be dropping them off on Thursday. I think, okay, well I am not going to ask anyone to the game yet because I do not have the tickets in hand, if the worst case scenario happens and Ricky doesn't come by on Thursday, then I haven't promised someone a game that we can't get into. As we are sitting in the office that day though, Ed is talking about the tickets and he says the only stipulation is that I get to work on time Friday morning, with the game being an 8pm kickoff it wasn't going to end until late. Which for me isn't a problem, I am usually up later than 2am on most week nights anyway.But almost as soon as Ed utters those words, he recants them. Literally he just looks at me and says come in whenever you want, just work 8 hours, you want to come in at 9am, just work till 5pm. Now given how much he has been ripping people about being late recently, the fact he is just telling me to make up whatever schedule I want is shocking, even to me. Not that I abused it,f or the record I showed up about 10 after 7am and worked until 3:30pm, barely any different than any other day I work.

So Thursday comes and with it the day of the football game. The morning is relatively uneventful, nothing big happens. But around noon Ed has a meeting with a real estate agent for some potential locations for his new business venture, so he steps out with the agent and does his thing. Meanwhile Lynn Cullen stops by to say hi, which is funny because Ed keeps asking me to get the three of us to go to lunch together and now here she is and he is nowhere around. Lynn and I chat for a bit, she is getting ready to take a trip to Holland in a few days and wants to get together sometime after she gets back. I am cool with that, her and I haven't had time to do much of anything since we parted ways after the selling of WAMO AM and the breaking up of the radio band. She has been doing her internet show on the Pittsburgh City Paper webpage and I have been busy climbing the newsstand corporate ladder as it were. But we talk for a bit and then she leaves.

I go back down to the office, I had finished putting together our grocery order and was getting ready to phone it in when Dee says that Ricky dropped off the tickets for the game and she came over to my desk and gave them to me. Cool, so I have two tickets to the game, about 6 rows back in the 500 level, near midfield. Nice seats, they run about $90 a piece. My mind starts wondering who I can get to go to the game, I think maybe my friend Rich or my uncle Fred would be the two most obvious choices. Then it almost gets strange. Dee says to me, "If I didn't already have plans with my nephews tonight, I would go with you." This would be funny but I didn't ask. Not that I hadn't thought about asking, but I had already figured it would be better if I didn't. We still haven't hung out outside of work together since I dropped the blog on her, save for one instance with two other employees, so I was thinking that while we get along very well at work, maybe that avenue has since been closed. Or maybe not. Or maybe it was just a preemptive thing on her part, to stop me from asking before I did. I don't know and refuse to overanalyze this particular point, I have Steeler tickets in my hand. Though I did joke with her that if she goes to the game, she would then be allowed to come in late for work. But she said that rule only applied to me, not to her. Not that it is a big thing, I am there before her every day anyhow.

So I have got the order called in, I am working on some invoices when Ed comes back from his meeting, he has a bag with him from Joseph A Bank, a clothing shop that has a few stores downtown. A little bit on the pricey side, at least for someone on my income, but then Ed tends to use bags like that to carry stuff. I have my backpack with laptop slot I always carry, Ed can always be seen with his paperwork in something like a Bed, Bath and Beyond bag. So to see him with a bag from Joseph A Bank could mean he simply switched bags for his paperwork, or maybe he went shopping after his meeting. Then he drops the bag on my desk and says this is for you. Four polo shirts, and while Ed said he got a deal on them from the clerk and admittedly I saw later that night that those shirts were marked 60% off, the price tag on each one was $69.50. Like I said, Ed said he made a deal with the clerk, enough of a deal that he basically said the clerk was stealing from the store, but just assuming he got the advertised discount, it still would have been a $111.20 purchase that he just dropped on my desk out of the blue.

So let's review, I got an CD alarm clock from Sharper Image which I am sure wasn't cheap, 2 Steeler tickets that ran $90 a piece, Four shirts that should have retailed for another $100 and oh, by the way, when I got paid on Wednesday I saw that Ed just wiped out my charge sheet, which may have been $30 but still. It's why I never understand why people don't bust ass there. Sure the hourly wage could be better but if you do you job well and actually act like you care about the business and not just treat it as a place where you put in your 8 hours and go home, there are definitely rewards to be had. People wonder why I do 6 days a week and recently did 20 straight days, there is why. At the end of the day, Ed will take care of the people that take care of him.

Okay, enough of that, we got some pics from Thursday as well. So get your crayons and your pencils, it's Picture Pages time.

On my way to the bus stop to go to the game I stopped to take this picture of Forbes Avenue heading into the Pitt campus.  It is probably just me, but I did the way the Cathedral of Learning just looms over this street in the background.

I got off the bus on Smithfield Street downtown, due in part to the traffic nightmare that was created by the combination of a Steeler game that night and more movie stuff going on with the Batman movie filming in town.  I work about 5 blocks down this street on the other side and no, I am not going back to work, so I will turn and go in the opposite direction.

Any wondering what kind of Batman fever has gripped some segments of the populace here need only go to church Sunday mornings to be reminded.

Even my favorite toy store, SW Randall, is in on the Batman act.  Usually they focus on lots of collectible items, things for train sets and doll houses can be found here.  I even bought my matching stuffed animals for Hope and I here many, many moons ago.  Ah, the good old days.  But the store front window is currently occupied by Batman, nothing but Batman.

You can tell it is a football night in Pittsburgh when there is a blimp flying overhead. They don't fly blimps over Pittsburgh for Pirate games.  That being said, it was a second tier blimp, not the Goodyear blimp, or even the Fuji blimp, rather it was the Direct TV blimp.  I think blimps have officially jumped the shark now.

My first shot of Heinz Field, from the 6th Street (Clemente) Bridge.  When I saw this with my naked eyes I thought it would be an okay pic, but the setting sun almost hiding the stadium I thing makes the shot cooler han it has any right of being coming from my camera.

The crowd filtering across the Clemente Bridge.  There are many ways by which one can get to the game.  You can opt for public transit, but given how bad traffic was I had given up on that option.  If you drive you can park there, but usually parking on game day runs about $20.  I don't have a car, so that is an option I don't have.  You can dock your boat outside the stadium, and you would be surprised the number of people that actually do use that option for what not an ocean front town, you can take a boat over to the stadium as there are a couple of boat services that will ferry people across the river, including the Gateway Clipper Fleet.  Or you can do what I eventually opted to do and just walk.

A fountain along the river walk.  After crossing the 6th Street Bridge you can walk along a trail that runs beside the river all the way down to the stadium, which is the path I chose to take.  About halfway to the stadium is this fountain that for some reason I opted to take a picture of.

The Majestic, the largest of the Gateway Clipper boats, dropping people off outside the stadium.

While the first football game was not played here, Pittsburgh can lay claim to having the first professional football game, as evidenced by this marker near Heinz Field.

I entered the stadium through Gate A, which faces the Ohio River.  After going through the security pat down (there was no fondling of the junk)and entering the stadium you notice you entered right underneath the scoreboard.

The concourse area inside Gate A.  Lots of picnic tables and foodstuffs to be had here, but being in section 535 meant that I was going to be 5 levels above this. So while this is a nice place to visit, I wasn't going to stay here.

I started climbing up the west ramp to get to my seats and decided I would take a walk over to the railing and take a quickie pic of downtown.

And making a full loop around the ramp, one of 5 to get to the 5th level, I decided maybe I better take a picture of the field as well.

The view of heinz Field from my seat, not quite midfield but pretty damn close.

And the view back down from whence I came, the scoreboard and the concourse area inside Gate A form my seat. 

Getting close to game time, the figure in the black shirt and tan pants would be none other than Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

The Pittsburgh Steelers take the field.

And the first play of the game.

After the Steelers first touchdown, a Antonio Brown touchdown catch

Make that two for two and the Steelers celebrate a second touchdown, this time a Hines Ward TD catch.

The Steeler defense coming off the field after intercepting Michael Vick a second time.  They would get three interceptions of Vick in the game.

Finally I had had enough of the kid sitting next to me, who was equal parts annoying and stupid.  Think George Bush on a cocaine and alcohol bender and you get the idea.  So it was either get up and walk around or throw the kid from the upper deck on top of the people below.  If I had thought it might shut the kid up I would have tossed him, but I am not even sure that would have shut him up, so I decided to walk around and take some more pics from the ramp, including downtown again.

A shot of the game from the ramp, just before Pittsburgh would take a 21 point lead and all but lock this game up before halftime.

Another shot of the Gate A concourse area from the west ramp, just as the crowd was beginning to file into the concession stands for halftime.

And lastly I had to snag this picture for Prissy (if she read this far).  One of the boats docked outside the stadium.  While there were plenty of people who not only took their boat to the game, but actually stayed on their boat and watched the game on TV (I guess they didn't have tickets but still wanted the tailgating experience).  I actually walked past a group that had a projection TV set up and a giant sheet attached to the side of their boat just to watch the game on TV outside the stadium.  That being said, there is only one boat I saw that was called "Bad KItty".  Enjoy Prissy.

And with that I conclude my Picture Pages.  Time to do a quick spell check and get out of here.  Night everyone.

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