Friday, September 30, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 271 - Reading rainbow

Just sitting around watching Charlie Rose, because my Friday nights rock more than your Friday nights do. Actually I am going to try to turn in relatively early, I have a Deluca's breakfast planned for the morning and what should be a long day ahead of me in the morning. While I have many of the day to day tasks at work caught up, it is time for me to make a serious run at fixing the computer system at work once and for all. No invoices are awaiting me when I go in, most of the price changes are already done, I should be able to focus almost solely on the computer system, which is nice. I can't remember the last time I was this caught up on things.

Being caught up is good, because it means I can spend more time on my book, “1493” which has been a fascinating read to this point. The book basically deals with what is called “The Columbian Exchange”, that is, how the world was changed when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. Sure, there are the obvious changes that come from settling the land, but there are also changes by what the newcomers brought with them, such as animals and diseases. Likewise the exchange goes both ways, so the book also explores how what was found here was taken to other parts of the world and the effects of that as well. Simple things like earthworms, which were not native to North America and how their introduction changed things like farming, likewise for all of the use of tomatoes and tomato sauces in things like Italian cooking, the tomato itself came not from some place in Europe, but from South America. I am still very early into the book, right around the colonization of Jamestown and the introduction of livestock (horses, cattle, pigs) and diseases like malaria from Europe, and the introduction of Virginia tobacco into England and how that helped to initiate chattel slavery. Fascinating reading for the like of me, but not stuff that I can sit down and bang out a couple hundred pages, even if my schedule allowed for such free time.

Speaking of which, now would be one of those free times, so maybe I should sneak in some prime reading time. Nite.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 270 - Puck this


I think I remember saying a little while back that I wouldn't use not having anything to say as a crutch for avoiding to blog, but on days like today it is very tempting to break that vow. At least last night I had an excuse, I was pretty well drunk, enough so that I was lucky to bang out the two sentences that I did. Memo to self, stay away from shots of Jack Daniels in the future.

If it is of any consolation, the blog wasn't the only thing I was neglectful of last night. I was supposed to take part in a fantasy hockey draft, but I missed it, so my team was autodrafted. The thing is the league is only 6 teams, so I have to think everyone got a pretty decent roster, and given how bad I was last year, maybe having Yahoo draft for me will turn out to be better than me doing it myself. A quick glance at the roster and I seem to have started out okay,

  1. Alexander Ovechkin LW WAS

  2. Henrik Lundqvist G NYR

  3. Nicklas Backstrom C WAS

  4. Pekka Rinne G NSH

  5. Pavel Datsyuk C,LW DET

  6. Jarome Iginla RW CGY

  7. Mike Green D WAS

  8. Drew Doughty D LA

  9. Ilya Kovalchuk LW,RW NJ

  10. Keith Yandle D PHO

  11. John Tavares C NYI

  12. Matt Duchene C COL

  13. Christian Ehrhoff D BUF

  14. Vincent Lecavalier C TB

  15. Marian Gaborik RW NYR

  16. Erik Karlsson D OTT

  17. Alexander Burrows LW VAN

  18. Scott Hartnell LW PHI

  19. Ryan Whitney D EDM

  20. Chris Stewart RW STL

  21. Corey Crawford G CHI

  22. Tyler Myers D BUF

  23. Patric Hornqvist RW NSH

  24. Stephen Weiss C FLA

Not too shabby for me not being in attendance. Might be a little heavy on Capitals, I was burned with Mike Green last year and if I had been there I would never have drafted Ryan Whitney, who gets injured about as often as he breathes. Oh well, with 6 teams in the league I am sure there will be ample opportunity to replace the sucky guys.

There, I guess there was something to blog about after all. Now I can sleep a tad bit easier.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 269 - Bedtime


Looks like I am running way late. I fell asleep after work and a few beer and now I am down to 5 minutes to do this before the midnight hour. Well, I will do it in two and say I will be back tomorrow instead. Night all.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 268 - Running the asylum


Nothing exciting to report, just sitting around watching more rugby on TV, this time it is the United States and Italy. And again it is a rebroadcast, the initial airing round these parts was last night/this morning around 2:30 am and while I am enjoying watching rugby on TV, I am not going to stay up half the night to do it when my alarm goes off at 5 am most mornings.

Looks like the inmates get to run the asylum at work for the next few days. Ed has apparently opted to check out for the year and start his winter vacation in Florida. I don't know if this is because he and Brian had another fight, but I was under the impression that he would be sticking around until the first week of October, but Brian has been in the last couple of days and we have witnessed the traditional “cleaning of the desk”, where Brian tries to make sense of all of the stuff Ed left on the desk by basically removing it all. And it looks like Dee is going to be gone for a few days, she is going down to Florida to spend a couple days with Bill, who is down there on business. Not sure how good of a time she will have, she seemed to be getting sick the last couple of days, being all coughy and pumped full of cold meds, but maybe some warmer air is what she needs to get better. Which she will need, I have a feeling much of the day to day operation of the store over the next couple of months is going to fall almost squarely on her. Before he left Ed was already sort of grooming her for what was coming, letting her have a hand in scheduling and what not. And the coming schedule for next week is entirely her creation, no outside input from Ed whatsoever.

I went ahead and penciled in my vacation days for the rest of the year. With weekends falling in there, I am looking at possibly converting my 6 days off into 10 or so, and getting both Christmas and New Years Day both off. Not that I do anything on New Years Day, but it falls on Sunday this year and Sunday is the one day that I am definitely scheduled off. Now the $64,000 question is how much of that time I want to spend at home versus just having some time for myself. I love my family but that much time with them may be pushing the limit, I might be better off saving a few days for my own personal down time.

Oh well, tomorrow is payday, and none too soon I might add. I can use some cash in my grubby little paws, if for no other reason than to enjoy another good breakfast this weekend. I made the mistake, and I will call it a mistake right now, of going to Hanlon's Cafe last Saturday for breakfast. It is the place that moved into the old Steel City Diner location. On the plus side, the service was good and it was pretty cheap. Everything else would fall on the bad side. Maybe I have spoiled myself by going to Deluca's and Jo Jo's, but when they fire off some good Italian bread into the toaster, it is quite good. The bland offerings of toast at Hanlons, which was like out of date, generic white bread was not nearly as good. The coffee was okay, but what was the deal of serving it in Styrofoam cups. I get that if I am at McDonald's or am getting it to go from some place, but if I am sitting down in a restaurant, I don't want to be eating off of paper plates or drinking out of Styrofoam cups. And the food? Ugh. I got what they call the Eye Opener (two eggs, side of meat, hash browns or home fries and toast). I have already bitched about the toast. The eggs were okay, but how hard is it to make eggs? The homefries were cold in the middle and the sausage was those little crappy links you can get out of the freezer section of the grocery store. Just bad, very bad. I can safely say it will not become part of my Saturday ritual on a regular basis.

Okay, I have babbled enough, time for some shut eye, or maybe something to eat, I haven't decided yet.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 267 - Chucky's in love, unless he's not

So I am sitting here watching the Word Cup match between the United States and Australia. I know technically the match has already been played, but if they aired it live here I didn't see it, and as the old NBC slogan says, if you haven't seen it, it's new to you. Not that I expect the United States to win here, it would be more likely that a naked woman would walk through my front door and ask me to ravage her body that the United States would win this matchup. I will spare you a glog on the festivities, because I am a newbie at watching rugby, so my knowledge of all things rugby is extremely limited. I can tell you that there are some really good teams, (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Great Britain) and there are those that suck, like the United States. Beyond that I am pretty much at a loss.

Work was okay today I guess, not great, not terrible. It has been a little bit slower the last couple of days, just because the Art Institute students are on break. Because they are more like a technical school than a traditional college, their school year runs on quarters rather than semesters, so they are in school all year round, with 4 two week breaks sprinkled in throughout the year. As it happens,. we are in one of those breaks. Which is fine with me, I am using the time to make sure I am getting some other things caught up. I was all happy that Saturday I had managed to get my invoices off of my desk, but by noon today they were already replaced with about another 7 of them. Plus, because of the slower pace of business, Ed decided he would stagger the start times for Sammy and I, I would work our normal 7a-3p, but Sammy would be slid back to 11a-7pm, and we would just eliminate the 3p-11p guy on Monday and Friday of this week.

And of course there were no issues with Sammy and I, we just went in and dominated in our typical fashion. But the guy I am feeling sorry for right now is Chuck. Well, maybe sorry is too strong a word, I am not really losing sleep over his situation, but I have a sense this guy is on his way to a significant crash and burn, because he threw his lot in with the wrong people. I have said previously that by and large I don't trust the people that I work with, save for maybe a couple, so I would be less than likely to cast my lot with them on anything outside of work, especially some of the newer ones who I don't even know well enough to not like yet (just wanting to beat the Christmas rush there).. One of the newer ones is Chuck, who is equal parts brown noser to a sickening degree (think Pip from South Park) and stupid. To his credit, he does seem to want to work, at least so far in his young Smithfield News career, and when he came to us a few weeks back he was basically homeless. So I appreciate that he wants to get himself on his feet and be productive, I wish more people were like him in that regard. And he has been working hours that are comparable to my 6 day weeks, if not even more.

On the bright side, because of his employment with us he was able to find an actual home. The problem I would argue is in the home he found. He and some other people that work for us (more of the newer employees) have opted to go in on renting a house together in Pittsburgh's South Side. I want to say there is between 4 and 6 of them living in this place. The rent is well out of my price range, $1600 a month plus utilities, though if it gets divvied up properly it could be quite manageable. The problem is when they they got this place, the only name on the lease is Chuck's. You can see where the problem is already. If someone decides to not pay their rent, Chuck's ass is the only one on the line. He has set himself to be hung out to dry. And one of the people he is rooming with has missed the last couple of weeks of work for a family issue. So Chuck has volunteered to cover his rent, believing that eventually he will be paid back. A couple of the people that are going to live there are girls, Chuck has already told one of them that he will help her with her portion of the rent. And they haven't even turned on the utilities yet. Maybe someone will eventually pony up their name to be on one of those bills, or maybe they are waiting for Chuck to sign his life away on those as well. But heating an entire house in winter in Pittsburgh can be a costly proposition. A $300 a month gas bill is a safe bet, though it could be significantly more, depending on how well or poorly the house is insulated. They want to get cable TV, slap on another $80-$100. And we haven't even turned on the electric yet and we are already looking squarely at a 2 grand a month venture, with possibly the only person that could be held accountable being Chuck. Ed and I both warned him of this possibility, not enough to say he shouldn't do it (I wouldn't tell him what to do or not do), only that he is putting himself at a considerable risk. He would b e far better off on a smaller place, maybe one roommate that he knows he can trust than to get involved in this type of venture with a bunch of people knowing any one of them could walk away at any time and leave him high and dry.

The reason I bring this up now is that Chuck worked the overnight shift on Sunday, so when I went in Monday morning he was there, getting ready to leave for the day, the thing being he was waiting for his replacement to arrive, which also happened to be one of his female roommates. Calls to her went unanswered, she just doesn't show up. The only plus to this I guess is that Chuck knows where she lives, so he eventually leaves to go home (and presumably get her out of bed). She finally shows up, about three hours late and I am just left thinking, these are the people Chuck threw his lot in with, one who hasn't worked in two weeks, another that is showing up late for work. There is no way he is going to make enough money working for us to pay for all of this nonsense he has gotten himself into. He has been with us less than a month and already he is in the office asking Ed about a raise. That is just a sign of desperation to me. I don't want him to be back to living on the street, but I have a feeling his roommates are going to make that decision for him.

Okay, that's all I got for today, I still have a second half of the rugby match to watch. The US is already down 22-5, but anyone with internet access probably could just look up the final rather than wait for more belated updates from me, so I will just go ahead and scoot.

Black Monday

Merry Christmas


Multiply 365 Day 266 - The glog is back, Steelers - Colts


Don't mind me, I am just getting settled in here. Between checking football scores on my fantasy teams (all three are doing okay so far) and making vegetable soup in the kitchen I am a little bit back and forth at the moment. Plus for the first time in ages I am actually on the desktop as opposed to the laptop. Not that that is bad, though the desktop had been running slower of late, I ran a defrag the other morning before heading out to work and it seems to have sped things up a bit. It's not perfect but it is better. Plus I still have this copier/fax/scanner thing right next to my keyboard that is somewhat cramping my style, if not my overall ability to type.

Part of the reason I am on the desktop is that tonight will be the first glog of the NFL season. For those that are new around here, a glog is a game blog, the term stolen from the fine people at Usually that means I blog during a live sporting event, in this case it will be the Steelers-Colts game this evening. Unlike traditional glogs though, these tend to turn into stream of consciousness things, where I talk about the game, the commercials, anything else that crosses my mind.

Not that football was the only thing happening today, the Pirates had a home game. I only make mention of it because it was the game that I got my cousin Sarah tickets for. And thankfully she was able to go, she was sending Facebook updates from the game. I was afraid that, not knowing her schedule, a Sunday afternoon game might not work out but apparently it did. It was another of those goodies that I got from work, and while technically they were given to me, I knew she was hoping to get to a game this year, so I in turn gave her the tickets.

This is my last real day off for a while. Technically I am sure I have at least one day off on the schedule next week, but as I blogged about yesterday, I want to try and get some extra hours in by getting caught up on some additional projects at work. That way I have some additional cash for the hockey game on the 13th. I think I am about to start a countdown clock until faceoff, but I will wait until I actually have the tickets in my hand. I have already jumped the gun a tad bit by asking Dee when I don't have the tickets just yet, but Fred has been very good about the things he promises the store, so I have the utmost confidence he will come through. He was good on his word last year regarding hockey tickets and he also brought two autographed photos of Max Talbot that he promised. What makes the pictures cool is they are pictures of Talbot scoring the game winning goal in the Stanley Cup final against Detroit. In that regard the photo itself would be cool, the fact Max signed them (more Superstar treatment) only makes them better. The only bad thing is that Talbot left the team this off season, signing an offer with the Philadelphia Flyers. I am sure that will put him on the dislike list for many Pens fans, but I just appreciate what he did here. Much like Jaromir Jagr, there are plenty here that don't like him, I am not one of them.

Well we are about one hour before kickoff now and I see that on my desk are three quarters . No I am not going to get all superstitious, rather I need those for laundry that I have to do later. So in that regard I will take a certain amount of pleasure in that find.

I was listening to the radio earlier but I had to turn it off when the Steelers pregame show started. Not that I have anything against the Steelers per se, I actually like them, but again it is just too much when your pregame show on the radio starts four hours before the game is played. The thing is, with an 8:30 pm kickoff, the game tonight will probably not end till around 11:30 or so, which means the radio post game show will end somewhere around 2am. Sorry but my life doesn't revolve that much around the Steelers.

I did sneak out earlier for a little walk, keeping that Sunday project alive. I wasn't out for too long, but I still managed to find 8 more Coke caps and a code off of a 20 pack as well. So that helps in my quest to get the Ipod at 1500 points. I am now around 1050. I didn't think I would get there before the end of the year, now I am not so sure I can't pull this thing off.

I just looked and I will be moving on in the Survivor pool I am entered into. San Diego did beat Kansas City so I make it to week #4. I used the Cardinals in Week #1 and the Steelers in Week #2 So I still have some of the bigger name teams left (Green Bay, New England, New Orleans for example) so I will have to look at the schedule and see if I can't come up with another winner for next week.

The soup is done. Nothing too fancy, just a batch of vegetable soup with some egg noodles thrown in for good measure. That should provide some game time tasty goodness. I certainly made enough of it. So I will have plenty for the next couple of days. And there is plenty of white pepper in it, so it has plenty of kick to it.

Just checking my fantasy football scores before I settle in to start glogging. In the league I am playing for money I probably have my first win, I have a 42 point lead and my opponent doesn't have anyone in the last two games (tonight, tomorrow night) whereas I still have the Steelers kicker, so I might get another point or two, but that game is pretty much over. I needed a win there too, an 0-3 start and I could pretty much consider my $50 entry fee a donation. In Jade's league I am in pretty good shape as well, I have a 71 point lead, with a handful of players still playing and tonight she has Rashard Mendenhall from the Steelers, I have Santanna Moss from the Redskins on Monday night. I will not call it a win just yet, but I like my chances. Lastly in my Madden league I have already won by 34+ points, I say plus because we use fractional points in that league, the actual score was 108.84-74.36. So I have a good shot in the last two leagues of starting the year 3-0. Why can't those be the leagues I am playing for money in?

The bad thing about eating soup this evening is now I am very warm. Not that it is too warm outside, I would argue it is quite comfortable, but the bad side effect of too much white pepper I suppose is that I am starting to sweat.

Waiting for the game to start here and just saw a commercial for the movie “Real Steel”. Why does this movie look like nothing but a cheap knock off of that old children's toy, “Rock Em Sock Em Robots”? Am I missing something here. Oh well, at least I am getting a few things done prior to game time, like eating and reading new messages and commenting where appropriate, I will save the inappropriate stuff for personal messages.

I had mentioned last week that I got a Cuban cigar from work and had planned on smoking it, but as is sometimes the case with me, I didn't. So instead I will be going all Cuban during the football game this evening instead. Which beats going all commando during the game, not that I am expecting company any time soon, but even at home by myself I at least wear boxers around the house.

Okay, just about underway here, we have sat through that horrid Faith Hill opening sequence so we are just about underway. Which means I better get my stats window open here for reference as well. Truth be told, I am sure this game looked much better when the schedule first came out than it does now. Pittsburgh is coming off of a Super Bowl appearance and Indianapolis has one of the best quarterbacks in the game in Peyton Manning. Except Pittsburgh looked downright awful in losing in week one to the Baltimore Ravens, turning the ball over 7 times, and Peyton Manning is still out after having a third surgery on his neck, the Colts in his absense have started the year 0-2 including a loss last week to the Cleveland Browns. Nobody will mistake the Browns as an offensive juggernaut. So tonight's game may be the season for the Colts, start the season 0-3 and they really have an uphill climb to catch the Houston Texans in their division, who are 2-1 including a week one win over the Colts.

I have my second bowl of soup, my cigar, a 2 liter bottle of RC Cola and I think I am ready to get this thing started.

Pittsburgh will get the ball to start the game and start from their own 20 yard line after a touchback on the opening kickoff.

First play of the game and Roethlisberger runs a play action pass and finds Mike Wallace for 18 yards and a first down. A promising start to their first possession. Two play later it is Roethlisberger to Wallace again on a screen pass and Wallace takes off for a 30 yard gain. Two more plays, an incomplete pass and a Mendenhall run force Pittsburgh into a 3rd down and 8 and the pass down the middle goes into and out of the hands of Emanuel Sanders so Pittsburgh settles for a 48 yard field goal from Shaun Suisham and an early 3-0 lead.

By the way, the soup is very tasty. It really isn't much, I took some chicken broth, added some water and 7 chicken bullion cubes, one bag of egg noodles and one frozen bag of veggies (peas, green beans, carrots, corn) and added a little ground black pepper, ground salt and white pepper and taa daa, we have eats.

Indianapolis has the ball and they will start their first drive from their own 15 yard line and on first down it is Kerry Collins finding his tight end Dallas Clarke for 6 yards. Two plays later and it is Collins finding Reggie Wayne for a short gain that is good enough for the first down.

Commercial break and we are subjected to a stupid Coors Light commercial. If this is what Jim Mora is relegated to than I never want to see him on an NFL sideline again.

And we are back, the Colts are facing a third and eight and Collins pass is short and nowhere close to its intended target so the Colts will punt the ball back to Pittsburgh. Change of possession, that means another commercial break and for me it means time to hit the RC Cola. I don't know, I don't like RC as much as Pepsi, but I do like it better than Coke and since we sell it for 60 cents less a bottle at work, I will go RC if I have to.

Pittsburgh with the ball and on first down it is Mendenhall for a 2 yard run. Not much better on second down, he loses two on that carry and Pittsburgh is looking at 3rd and 10. And like the route that Sanders ran earlier, Roethlisberger throws down the seam but this time it is to Antonio Brown who catches it and Pittsburgh has a first down. Two plays get three yards and Pittsburgh has another 3rd and long, this time 7 yards. And what looks like a miscommunication, Roethlisberger throws behind Mike Wallace so Pittsburgh is forced to punt and it is still Pittsburgh 3-0.

While I could spend time commenting on commercials again during this break, instead I used the opportunity to drop a quick message on my cousin Sarah's Facebook page, just to apologize for giving her tickets to a Pirate loss. Not that that is uncommon when you have 19 straight losing seasons, but hope springs eternal that on those days where you or someone you know ventures to the ballpark that the heavens may open, the seas part and the Pirates actually win a game.

By the way, the Colts are looking at 3rd and 8 here and Collins is able to step up into the pocket and find Pierre Garcon on a crossing route for a first down.

Three plays get 8 yards and last I checked you needed 10 for a first down so the Colts will be all kinds of punty here, so Pittsburgh will get the ball for a third time while still holding a 3-0 lead.

Great, my luck as I am working on this glog I get a Words with Friends request. Oh well, I will get to that when I can, right now this takes precedence. I just hope it doesn't go all OT on me, the game will be long enough as it is. Then again, overtime doesn't seem likely as Roethlisberger hooks up on a long pass with Wallace again, who got behind everyone for an 81 yard touchdown pass. Pittsburgh 10-0. We haven't even gotten out of the first quarter and already Mike Wallace has 129 yards receiving.

The ensuing kickoff gets returned and Indianapolis brings it out to their own 25 yard line. First down and Troy Polamalu jumped the snap count on Kerry Collins, almost getting a sack. Some of you may remember last year when he did the very same thing to Collins when Collins was in Tennessee. Well that drive sucked ass, three plays, maybe a yard and Indianapolis will punt again.

Pittsburgh on first down, this time a much shorter pass, only a yard or two to David Johnson. Second down and Mendenhall continues his uninspiring start, no gain on the carry, he has 6 rushes for 4 yards. But on third down and nine it is Roethlisberger finding his tight end for 12 yards and that play will end the first quarter. For those not paying attention, it is Pittsburgh 10 Indianapolis 0.

Second quarter underway, I got a couple of Words with Friends games out of the way, I am in 5 different games right now. It is starting to get a little confusing to be sure. So far I win about half of the time on that Facebook app. Which I guess is okay. Not great, not bad.

By the way, Pittsburgh had a 3rd and 8 and again Pittsburgh converts, an 18 yards pass from Roethlisberger to Brown. Roethlisberger is already approaching 200 yards passing and we are barely into the second quarter.

Pittsburgh again facing a long 3rd down, 3rd and 11 to go, but Pittsburgh has been doing well in these situations up to this point. Not this time though, as Roethlisberger is hit from behind and fumbles the ball and the Colts recover right around midfield. For Roethlisberger, that is his third fumble this year, to go with 3 interceptions.

Second down and Collins has Garcon open down the field and Garcon drops it. Al Michaels says that Garcon is a good receiver after the drop. Maybe he is, except when he is not. But Collins finds Collie on third and eight to keep the Colts drive alive.

Another first down and the Colts might be looking to take advantage of the Pittsburgh turnover, they are inside the Pittsburgh 30 yard line here with a first down. And Joseph Addai makes it a third first down on this drive and the Colts are down to the 18 yard line. Another first down on a swing pass to Reggie Wayne and Indianapolis has a first down inside the 5 yard line. Nice drive by the Colts so far. And on first and goal they get called for holding and that will back up the Colts by 10 yards.

So first and goal from the 12 yard line and it starts with Addai carrying the ball for maybe a couple of yards. Second down Collins hooks up with Dallas Clark down to the three yard line, so in two plays the Colts almost made back what they lost on the penalty. And third down the pass is incomplete, so the Colts will settle for a short field goal, which will cut the lead to 10-3.

The Colts kickoff and again it goes for a touchback so Pittsburgh will start from their own 20. Two plays and Pittsburgh picks up 20 yards, 16 of it on a pass between Roethlisberger and Brown. Third down and long again for Pittsburgh, 13 to be exact and again Pittsburgh converts as Roethlisberger again finds Brown for a first down. Don't look now, but even Brown has 75 yards receiving.

Of course the success of the Steeler drive is short lived, as again Roethlisberger is hit from behind as he attempts to pass and again he fumbles, this time however the Colts are able to pick up the ball and run with it, Jamaal Anderson rumbles (and given his size, rumble is appropriate) 47 yards for the tying touchdown. Game on! 10-10.

If this keeps up, Roethlisberger is going to have a David Kreig like season when it comes to holding onto the football. Pittsburgh gets the ball back on the ensuing kickoff, again they will start from the 20 and one play later the Colts have the ball on a Ben Roethlisberger interception. The subsequent return and an additional 15 yard penalty and the Colts are all the way down inside the 15 yard line of Pittsburgh.

Two plays, one pass and one run, tally 5 yards and the Colts will have 3rd and 5 from the the 7 yard line and the 3rd down pass is well over the heads of everyone in the endzone, including the intended receiver. The Colts instead settle for a field goal, but the kick is enough to give the Colts a 13-10 lead. The Colts, not exactly known for putting points on the board, have scored 13 points in 4 minutes and 25 seconds.

Another kickoff and a quick kneel down on first down my Roethlisberger (at least he didn't fumble) and that is it for the first half with the Colts leading 13-10.

Halftime, time for me to commence with the cutting of the Cuban. Ahh yes, the taste of a good cigar. This may go on my list of 'Things that are better than sex”, right up there with a fresh towel from the dryer after showering. And the cracking of my neck when my body is releasing stress.

.Okay, second half is about to get underway. Since Pittsburgh had the ball first in the first half, it will be the Colts who will have the first possession in this half, starting from their own 28 yard line.

Three plays and the Colts have the first first down of the second half on a short pass from Collins to Collie. But two consecutive incomplete passes after that and the Colts are looking at a third down and ten. The pass from Collins to Collie will be close, it will probably be a measurement for a first down, and it is just enough to keep the Colts drive alive. First down. But the Colts do nothing on the next two play, creating another 3rd down, this time 11 yards to go and the third down pass is incomplete, so Pittsburgh will get the ball back after a punt for their first possession of the second half.

Pittsburgh will start their drive pinned back a bit, from their own 14 yard line.

And we are back to how the game started, Roethlisberger finding Wallace for a first down. On the very next play we see something we didn't see in the first half, a 15 yard Mendenhall run. I think the Steelers rushing total just doubled on that carry. Two more Mendenhall runs leave Pittsburgh with a 3rd down and inches and a quarterback sneak is good enough to keep the Pittsburgh drive going.

First down and it's Issac Redman getting his first carry, for no gain. One incomplete pass and we have a 3rd and 10 for Pittsburgh, and Roethlisberger steps up into the pocket to avoid the rush and finds Heath Miller for a first down to keep this drive alive. 10 plays so far on this possession for Pittsburgh.

Two plays, a run for minus 1 and a pass for 5 yards and Pittsburgh has a third down and 6 and a short pass completion for only 2 yards will force a fourth down. Shaun Suisham comes on for the 36 yard field goal attempt to tie the game, but the kick hits the upright and is no good. Somewhere Jeff Reed is punching a paper towel dispenser in glee. Indianapolis still leads 13-10.

The Colts take over possession from their won 26 yard line. The drive is short lived however, a quick three and out for the Colts so Pittsburgh will get the ball back.

Something that I thought about during the last commercial break, back when they were running a promotion for the new comedy “Whitney”, starring Whitney Cummings. How stupid are comedians? Because when you think about how many shows where the lead character is named the same name as the comedian (Whitney, Seinfeld, Bob Newhart , Everybody Loves Raymond to name a few) one has to think that they are too stupid to remember a name other than their own.

By the way, Pittsburgh takes over this possession on their own 22 yard line and it takes them just a few plays before Pittsburgh is already down to their own 38. And the clock runs out on the third quarter with the Colts still leading 13-10. Have to say, if Pittsburgh goes on to lose this game, I don't think you can pin this on the defense, so far they have allowed 93 yards passing and 48 yards rushing. Those types of numbers should win you most games.

The fourth quarter is underway and it starts off in a rather bad fashion for Pittsburgh, a 10 yard holding penalty. A short pass to Heath Miller and Pittsburgh is left with a 3rd down and 18 yards to go, yet Roethlisberger finds Sanders for a first down and the Steeler drive continues.

Three plays get nothing and Suisham is on to try another field goal, this from 44 yards out and it is good and the game is tied again, 13-13. Good god, I hope my thought about overtime earlier doesn't prove prophetic.

Pittsburgh kicks off and its a touchback so the Colts will take over possession on their own 20 yard line. Into the game at quarterback will be one Curtis painter for the Colts. Collins left with what is being called a concussion at this point, though injury reports during the game are sketchy at best. Let's not kid anyone, Collins was hardly effective, 29 pass attempts and only 93 yards. That, my friends, is just awful.

Two plays, both running plays get the Colts about 6 yards, leaving a third down and 4. And Curtis Painter's first pass attempt is an overthrow of a wide open Garcon that easily would have went for a big gain. Instead the Colts are forced to punt and the 44 yard punt is returned 37 yards by Antonio Brown, who continues to have a decent game for Pittsburgh, so the Steelers will take over with a first down at the Colts 33 yard line.

I start the Steelers possession by getting me a pack of peanut butter crackers. Sorry, but I was getting all snacky.

As for Pittsburgh, 2 plays net 2 yards, so it is 3rd and 8 and haven't we seen this before. Check that, make that 3rd and 13 after an illegal formation penalty on Pittsburgh. And Ben Roethlisberger makes his fourth mistake of the game, taking a sack that will leave Pittsburgh out of field goal range and force them to punt. The punt goes into the endzone, so the Colts get the ball back on their own 20 yard line and we will see Curtis Painter V2.0.

Good god, now I know why I don't do this more often, I have seven pages to proofread before I can post this damn thing. The spell checker in Open Office is good, but not as good as Microsoft Word. That's what you get for freeware I guess.

Two plays by the Colts, both running plays and the Colts have a first down. Maybe that is the answer, never let Painter throw the ball. Painter drops back to pass on second and 10 and ten and this time the blame is squarely on Dallas Clark, who drops the pass. Third down and Painter throws his third incompletion, leading to another Colts punt. Antonio Brown again with a good punt return, 25 yards, so Pittsburgh will take over with a first down on their own 35 yard line.

First down and Roethlisberger throws a quick pass to Sanders for 3 yards. Another ineffective Mendenhall run brings up 3rd down and 8. The Colts defense stiffens and Pittsburgh will be forced to punt after a quick three and out.

So we are left with an philosophical dilemma, which will happen first, the Colts will manage an actual drive or the Steeler offense will find a way to give away even more points. Stay tuned.

I hope I never need to take a boner pill. The list of potential side effects is so great that I think I would rather be bonerless.

There you go, why Curtis Painter is not the Colts quarterback, he drops back to pass on 2nd down and three and is hit and coughs it up and Troy Polamalu picks up the fumble and runs it in for a Pittsburgh touchdown. Pittsburgh 20 Indianapolis 13.

Pittsburgh kicks off after the defensive touchdown and it is a touchback, so the Colts will start on their own 20. More Curtis Painter action is coming. Wait, he completed a pass. A short little 4 yarder, but a completion nonetheless. On third and three it is a three yard pass for a first down.

The very next time Painter hits Garcon on a decent throw downfield and dare I say the Colts may be looking at an actual drive. Another completed pass to Garcon and the Colts have moved down to the Pittsburgh 25. First down and Addai goes for 12 yards and another first down at the Steeler 13 yard line. Another completed pass by Painter to Garcon brings up 3rd and 2 and Addai sneaks into the end zone for the Colts touchdown. With the extra point we are back to being tied, 20-20.

Pittsburgh gets the ball back, with a 2.09 remaining and starting on their own 20 yard line. First down and a quick pass to Wallace gets 5 yards and we have reached the two minute warning. More commercials, yay!!!

A pass to Hines Ward gets Pittsburgh a first down. After an incompletion on first down, Roethlisberger finds Mewelde Moore for the first time tonight and Moore scampers 22 yards for a first down. First and 10 and Roethlisberger drops back to pass again but instead scrambles forward and gets 11 yards and another first down. With 1:13 remaining Pittsburgh calls timeout with a first and ten from the Colts 30 yard line.

First down and Moore get the handoff and gets 5 yards on the carry. The Colts call timeout, in hopes of keeping some time on the clock should Pittsburgh score here, as they are well within field goal range. Another Moore carry gets 4 yards, leaving a third and 1. Rashard Mendenhall take note, this is how you run between the tackles. 3rd and 1 and the carry goes to Issac Redman, who gets 3 yards and the first down, so Pittsburgh will run the clock down here and perhaps just try for the game winning field goal.

Timeout Pittsburgh and on comes Shaun Suisham to attempt a 37 yard field goal to win with 8 seconds left. The kick is up and good, Pittsburgh leads 23-20 with 4 seconds remaining.

The kick goes through the endzone so the Colts will start on their own 20 and have basically one shot to get down the field for the win, or at least a penalty for a possible tie. But Painter pass is neither deep nor accurate, short hopping its intended target and Pittsburgh wins, 23-20. Not exactly a pretty effort by Pittsburgh, but a win is a win. Okay, time for a spell check and proofread and then I am outtie, like a belly button.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 265 - Just a day


I guess I shouldn't complain too much, I got a lot done at work today. Not everything that needs done mind you, but enough that it wasn't like I milked the clock for the 7.5 hours I was there. Of course 7.5 hours isn't much of a shift, unless you aren't even on the schedule, then it is a sizable amount of time to be at work.

I managed to get the order done for Monday, all of the invoices off of my desk until Monday morning, almost all of the Pricemaster order is now tagged, I only have a couple of boxes of stuff left to go, but I managed to run out of labels in two different pricing guns, which I took as a sign that maybe I should stop. I also did 19 pages of price changes that I had to get caught up on and continued my work on getting all of the crap out of the computer system.

But I'll be honest, for all of the work I got done, my heart wasn't in it. Not that work was bad, but I am distracted by thoughts of the upcoming hockey game. And technically my last day of this pay period is tomorrow, but I am off, so by leaving a some work behind I can add some hours to the next pay period, and trying to get all of our items into the computer system and priced properly will be a time consuming process. If I do it during the next pay period, or at least make a more than noble attempt, than I will be getting paid literally the day before the game. And having some cash on hand when out with a female companion might not be all that bad of an idea.

So I will start banging hard on the hours come Monday, but for now I am just going to settle in and do some light reading until then.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 264 - The die may be cast


This had the makings of an incredibly bad day. There were lots of reasons to dread it going in, I had plenty of stuff I needed to do, work was just piling up on my desk, it was going to be my first shift with Sammy since we fired his son. All signs pointed to it being a good day if I could just keep my head above water.

Then of course I started the day by making it worse. I completely overslept and was way late for work, so the pile of work on my desk was even larger because I was getting a late start on everything  When I got there I had another stack of invoices on my desk that needed to be dealt with, on top of the folder of them that I currently have. I checked the company email only to find that I was sent another price change sheet from Sledd, 11 pages of items that needed their prices changed on the floor. Oh goody. I still had a Pricemaster order in the basement that I needed to tag, Ed had ordered from one of his outside vendors again and rather than just buy what we need, he realized that he can save on his freight charges if he buys 500 lbs or more, so we are now buying crap based on weight and not whether we actually need it. So I have like, 80 boxes of lighters, all of different types, that all need to be priced, literally hundreds of those little packs of medicine that have one or two tablets in them, and they all need to be hit with a pricing gun. All in all he spent over $3000 on items that I am going to have to price by hand. Just another in a long line of time consuming tasks I have to get to. I know already that I am going to be there an incredibly long time on Saturday, perhaps all day if not longer.

Yeah, it was starting out that bad. And it was getting worse, our Sledd order arrived and I was upstairs sorting out cigarettes because we had orders for three different locations, so I had to paw through over 200 cartons and send them to their appropriate location. Usually I will call in those orders myself, but Ed and Brian decided to help me and call them in yesterday. The problem is they almost always mess up one or two of the types of cigarettes on the order, so then I have to turn around and call Sledd, tell them the mistake so they can pick them up on our next delivery, and then reorder the cigarettes we were supposed to get the first time. So it really doesn't help me all that much. And today was no different, they ordered regular Parliaments instead of Parliament Lights that were needed. Luckily I had a couple of extra cartons to cover for the mistake, though I still have to call in the screw up and hope Sledd picks up the cartons I don't need.

It was at this time that Fred showed up. Fred is our 7 Up representative, and while I didn't think we would be getting that big of a 7 Up order (usually they run about 20-25 cases max), it was still going to pull me from getting the Sledd order checked in and put away. So we head downstairs to start putting the order together for Monday when the entire day changed considerably for the better. The much, much better.

Last year 7 Up got the beverage contract for the Consol Energy Center. The CEC is the new building in Pittsburgh where the Pittsburgh Penguins play, so if you are there to watch a game, you can't get a Pepsi or Coke, instead you get an RC Cola, no sprte, instead it is 7 Up, Canada Dry is the ginger ale, etc. In conjunction with that, some of you long time readers of the blog may remember that I had signed the store up for a contest last year, one where we received entries in a raffle based on the number of cases of 20 oz bottles we purchased and each week they would draw a winner who would receive Penguins related merchandise. Ed had no interest in the contest but because it costs us nothing I went ahead and threw our hat into the ring and sure enough we ended up winning once last year, two tickets to a Penguins game from the 7 Up luxury box at the CEC. While Ed didn't do anything with the contest, he found out that we had won and ended up giving the tickets to his doctor. I was disappointed at the time, since I had done much of the legwork to get the tickets, but his doctor did recently perform heart surgery on Ed, so there were far worse people who could have benefited. Plus Ed promised me he would take care of me later in the year, which he did, getting me into a game and in seats almost as good as the one's 7 Up has (the 7 Up seats retail for about $200 a piece, the one's Ed gave me were like $150 each).

But that was last year. Well it turns out that 7 Up is running the same program this year so again I signed us up. Again it is simply a matter of throwing our proverbial hat in the ring. And guess what? We won again. Two tickets to the October 13th matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. Actually I had a choice, I could have one or two tickets. I said I would go with two, with a couple of weeks lead time I am sure I could scurry up someone who would like to go to a hockey game.

That would be cool enough, knowing that I am going to a hockey game. But what would make that even cooler? Well, I do seem to have an extra ticket, or as the Ferengi might refer to it, an opportunity. And I most definitely seized it. See, earlier in the day, John had went upstairs and bought a $20 scratchoff ticket out of our lottery machine and ended up winning $400. Not a bad trade to be sure. Dee had even commented that she is never that lucky, then again who is? But as I am coming down the stairs to go drop something off on my desk, Dee is walking in front of me and I say, guess who else may have gotten something today? When she had no idea just what I was talking about I said, what's your social calendar look like for October 13th? She said she didn't have any plans, so I said I could change that, since I now have an extra ticket to the Pens game that night, in the 7 Up box, which seats 8 people and comes complete with actual waitress service. And she is in. Sorry, but my day just couldn't get better than that. Again I am not going to get all crazy about this, or at least try not to. After all, lots of things could still go wrong, Fred could fail on getting me the tickets, Dee could change her mind, I could be fired before then. Anything is technically possible, but for now I am content in the way things are going, and it has been a couple of weeks since I could say that.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 263 - No drama for now

For the first time this week I thought I would get through a day drama free.  And I guess I did, though that may be short lived after how the day at work finished off.

I had mentioned previously that my coworker Sammy had gotten his son a job with us.  Things with his son Shane have been hit and miss, there are tiomes when he seems to be doing well and then other times where I wonder just what the hell he is thinking.  And it wasn't just me who felt that way, Ed was in the same boat.  The thing is Sammy is one of our best workers, I have come to rely on him quite a bit, so when his son would screw up it had the potential to create an uncomfortable situation.  And it didn't get better after Sunday night.  Ed made one of his surprise visits to the store and he parked in his spot down the street and sat in his car.  The reason he did so was that he saw Shane standing outside smoking a cigarette.  Now as a boss, I am pretty lax on taking breaks.  They aren't scheduled per se, I don't run a take 15 minutes every three hours type deal, but if you want to take 5 and grab a smoke, or maybe grab something to eat, I don't care as long as you are doing your job.  Well Ed sat in his car for a good 10 minutes just watching Shane stand outside the store.  Eventually Shane went inside and Ed go out of his car and went in the store as well, which was a complete mess by Ed's standards.  So he procceded to ride him for a solid two hours at work that night, making sure that he was working.

Of course when I came in Sunday morning I also noticed a bunch of stuff that didn't get done or was done half assed.  Sammy saw it too, he was equally upset but it didn't become an issue until Ed pulled us into the office to complain about what he saw the night before, which only made a bad situation worse because Ed obviously saw things I didn't and I saw things Ed didn't.  It was bad enough that when Shane came in for second shift that day, he was called into the office with Ed and myself and basically put on notice, if he screwed up once over the next 30 days he was done.

Well, Thursday obviously falls within those 30 days.  The thing was, Shane wasn't even scheduled to work.  Instead he had the day off and had stopped by our one store, Universal News, to get a couple of things.  I have explained our charge sheet policy before, we are allowed to get things at work and Ed will charge us his cost for them.  We just write them up on these sheets and at the end of two weeks, whatever we charge goes against our paycheck.  It is a small perk for working there to be sure.  Anyway as I was writing, Shane shows up at Universal and asks Cierra to put a carton of cigarettes on his sheet.  She does this and he proceeds to say how he is taking the cigarettes and reselling them at a profit, which is the first big no-no.  To make matters worse, he asks Cierra for a second carton, but don't put it on his sheet, which was never going to happen.  She got him the second carton but made sure to put that on his sheet as well.  I figured she handled the matter well enough (as luck would have it I was there putting in Universal's order at the time) and we even talked about it afterward and I told her she did the right thing, there is no reason for her to put her job in jeopardy for him.  But the matter handled to my satisfaction I didn't thing anything more of it.  Turns out though that one of Ed's "secret shoppers" was in the store at the time and made a call to him regarding the matter, which basically means Shane is fired. 

Now how this is going to play out tomorrow I have no idea, Shane is no longer even allowed in our stores and I don't know how Sammy will take it, he was informed just before he left today.  Hopefully he will understand that nobody is blaming him for his son's actions, but we still did fire his son, so we will see.  I have a feeling I am going to need a drink by the end of this week.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 262 - Any better?


I guess into every life a little rain must fall is absolutely true, given that it rained again this evening here. But it was actual rain, not the “oh I am going to be all clever and make some sad analogy” type rain. Honest to goodness precipitation. Of course if Beavis and/or Butthead were ever to read this blog, I am sure they would be all “He said Anal-ogy”, followed by their laugh track getting dubbed in.

But before I go getting all too happy here, there is some sad news to report on the homefront. Jo Jo's Diner caught on fire. You may remember the photo of the giant omelet I posted a couple of weeks back, that ended up being two days worth of breakfast to me. It is the very same place. So one of my weekend breakfast places is now off the market for the foreseeable future, as the damage was estimated to be $100,000.

I could go on about the changes on Facebook, many of which I would argue are also bad, but instead I would like to give a thumbs up to Pandora, who is giving a tutorial on how to upgrade a site without making it completely nonfunctional for most users. It is spacier and cleaner without being all boxed into it's little comic strip like feed. Much, much nicer.

And my fantasy teams are off to an okay start, 2-0 in two leagues, but 0-2 in the one I am actually paying for after losing a 110-106 game this week. I am also in a couple of side projects, one is a continuation of a game inside the Madden app on Facebook where you have to pick all of the winners of the NFL games and rank the games 1-16, 16 bei9ng the game you are most sure of down to 1 being the one you are least sure of. The accumulated points are of use later in the Madden game to unlock bonuses. I did quite well for myself, going 14-2 on my selections, only missing the Ravens (14 points, ouch) and the Colts (3 points). And some of the people I am in a fantasy league with also started a survivor pool. For those who haven't been in one it works like this, each week you pick one team you think will win. If you pick wrong you are out. If you pick correctly you advance to the next week, the stipulation being you can't pick a team you have picked previously. So there is a bit of strategy involved, if you pick all of the good teams early, you will have no sure things later in the year but you want to pick a team you are comfortable enough with that you think you can advance another week. The last person left who has not picked a loser is the winner. After two weeks I can quote the Greek philosopher Gloria Gaynor and say “I will survive”.

But that isn't what has me thinking semi positive thoughts this evening. Rather it all goes back to that secret b log I wrote many moons ago. Not that anything has specifically changed since then, heck we haven't even went out since then beyond one outing with a couple other employees, but within the last few days things have been odd in a good kind of way. I am not even sure I can put a finger on why, maybe things elsewhere aren't to her liking, maybe patience is becoming a virtue for me but suddenly I find her offering to do things for me,like yesterday when I was loading up a dolly to take about ten cases of soda down to our other store. Sammy had left to go to the bank, so I could have just waited for him to get back and then both of us run it down together but I figured I could handle it when she asks if she can go with me. Mind you, managers don't do physical labor as a rule, so the fact she was offering to go with me to make sure I don't send product spilling down Smithfield Street was strange. Then she changes her mind and decides rather than taking the dolly we will just load everything into her SUV and drive it down. I am all kinds of cool with that, so I wheel the stuff out, we load it into her vehicle and I go take the dolly back inside. I come out and the passenger side door is already open and waiting for me. Like I said strange. Then we get there and she decides she is going to help unload the truck by grabbing two cases herself. Not that she isn't muscular enough, she does hit the gym a handful of times a week. But me being a guy, if she takes two, I have to take three. The thing is, I have often joked with her she could save on a gym membership and just catch trucks with Sammy and I and she never wants to, so her volunteering for this project was completely out of the blue. But I refuse to read anything more into it than what I just wrote above, it was odd but good. Truth be told, after this past weekend she might have been the perfect company to take my mind off of things. Or at least ably distract me for more than a moment or two.

Anyway, enough prattling from me. Looks like the forecast was right, less suckage on the page. I should forecast more often.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 261 - Forecasting for dummies


Just sitting here with a couple of meatball sandwiches wondering what it is I am going to write about. Hopefully today's post will not be quite as useless as yesterday, but I guess we will learn more as we move along.

On one hand, I can't sit here and say things are significantly better than the last time I wrote. The passage of time does help with some things, with others I am not so sure. The things where it helps a bit are things some people around these parts know something about, the things where it doesn't are things that I can't talk about here, at least not yet. And to be honest I hope they work themselves out in such a manner that I am never talking about them here.

For those things I can talk about, well let's just say there have been issues recently. Newbies to the page be warned, we are taking a trip in the Wayback machine, sans Peabody and Sherman. But many moons ago I wrote a blog entry (like I haven't done that a few times in the past) and for what I am going to talk about here you need to only focus on the first paragraph ( The reason I took you back there is that it was brought to my attention recently that the subject of that first paragraph actually didn't exist at all. I learned of this little bit of information only after learning recently that another person on my friends list also didn't exist. Rather they were elaborate ruses of significant complexity created by a person or persons for some unknown purpose. We aren't talking Nigerian email scam purposes here, nobody ever asked me for cash or credit card information in order to claim a non existent inheritance, so in that regard it was a no harm, no foul thing. But harm isn't simply measured in dollars or property, and while I wasn't the only one to fall victim to these elaborate hoaxes, I find that when I come back here now I am much more pensive, wondering just how much beyond this page is real at all. Perhaps nothing, maybe everything, I just don't know.

By the same token, there very well could be people who are looking at my page right now wondering the very same thing. And while I could stand here, stomping my feet, yelling to the heavens “I am real”, I can easily understand how that could still be questioned, because I am asking those questions myself when I come in here now and start reading posts. How much of this is real or believeable? How much of it is just made up for someone's own personal amusement? It makes coming in here and trying to enjoy writing and blogging more challenging than it needs to be.

Wow, and I said this wasn't going to be as bad as yesterday. It may be worse. Note to self, write the blog entry first before getting all disclaimer happy. So I won't get too far ahead of myself and say tomorrow's entry promises to be better, I have about as much chance of being correct as the weatherman has of getting the forecast right. Instead I will just say that tomorrow's blogging forecast looks to be mostly positive with a 20% chance of suck. That is as good as I can do at this point.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 260 - Not in the mood


It is days like these when I could use a guest blogger, someone to just step in and take over for this whole 365 project. It's not that there aren't things I could say, just not sure if I want to say them, at least not right now. The past 72 hours or so it's like the whole Summer of Suck has been revisited upon me, and while I am trying my hardest to not fall back into that same trap that was last year's summer, it seems to be getting harder by the day. After all, I should be content with this weekend, not one but two trips to Deluca's (Saturday was chocolate chip pancakes, Sunday was cinnamon French toast) but I if I put the weekend on one of those 1 to 10 scales, it's hovering right around a two (one for each breakfast). It is scary when work is slowly becoming the best part of my week. And it isn't that work was good, I am almost to the point of firing half of my crew and starting from scratch. Or maybe better yet, just working 16 hour days and not having any of the problems I am currently having there. It's scary when I see Ed this morning and he says that he came in Saturday night and nothing was being done by my crew and proceeds to tick off a list of things that didn't get done, and rather than me trying to defend them I look at Ed and say that I can add to his list substantially. And that is the good part of my day.

In theory I could go all SDR with an entry, but I really don't like doing that. Not that everything in my life needs to be a complete open book for the page, by the same token I don't want 365 blog entries (or whatever final total this project becomes) to end up being some people get some entries and other people get other entries. I have delved into secrecy once when I felt the page merited it, not sure I want to go that route every time something is bothering me though. So maybe the best course of action for the time being is just to keep my mouth shut, which makes for less than compelling reading to be sure.

Sorry, I am sure the above paragraphs read like nonsense. Inside my cranium I can assure things aren't much better.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 259 - Because we need a laugh


I am making the most of my Sunday, trying my damnedest to get this all in one printer,faxcopier,scanner thingy I got at work the other day (more goodies for being such a great employee; pretty soon I am going to have to claim all of this stuff as income on my taxes) and I think I am making progress.  How do I know this?  Because I am so rocking that grey vest back in 1974.  What can I say, I was cool before it was hip to be cool.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 258 - In the meantime

I am a little foggy here. Just woke up, at 11:30pm, after falling asleeep at 7pm. It was because I stayed up all night last night to make sure I wasn't late for breakfast with Sammy, now I have to make sure I am up for breakfast with my aunt for tomorrow, so I am going to go ahead and set my alarm and see if I can't get right back to sleep if that is okay with everyone. I'll yammer more tomorrow.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 257 - TITIT #17 Stuff you don't care about


Yes it is time once again for another one of these ventures into a bunch of randomness where the collective whole is less than the sum of its parts.........

A question that came up at work today. Okay, not so much a question as it was me thinking out loud. But if they were to make a porn movie about Thor, would his penis be the hammer of God?

This week saw the Pittsburgh Pirates extend record streak of consecutive losing seasons by a professional North American sports franchise to 19. One has to wonder if they get to twenty if everyone on the team gets gold pocket watches or something.

And let's not kid anyone, 20 consecutive losing seasons is almost certain. Sure the team was in first place as late as early July this year, but that had a lot to do with the pitching staff performing far above any realistic expectations prior to the beginning of the season. Since the All Star break they have pitched more like what was expected, towards the bottom half of MLB, couple that with the less than spectacular hitting that has been a constant all season long and 20 seems like a forgone conclusion at this point.

Whereas just the opposite was the case with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who played incredibly poorly in their season opening loss to the Baltimore Ravens. To hear the locals and some national pundits talk about it, they might as well blow up the team and start from scratch. Please, this is a team that made the Super Bowl last year. How often are they realistically going to turn the ball over 7 times in one game? Or play that poorly on both offense and defense. One game is far from enough of a statistical sample to go getting one's knickers in a twist over. Come back to me when they have 20 consecutive losing seasons and then we will talk.

So I am reading a story on AOL this morning before checking the company's email and I am not sure how that much stupidity can be in one sad story. The story was of a woman who gave birth to twins and suffocated them both. A woman, living at home with her parents gets pregnant with twins, hides the pregnancy from her family for 9 months and gives birth in the bathroom (over the toilet no less), proceeds to suffocate both children and then hide the dead babies in her laundry basket. First, no body in the house noticed she had gotten bigger despite being pregnant with twins? What, the change in her size was due to extra helping of pot roast? And how often do they do laundry if she thought a good place to hide the dead babies was her laundry basket? That house has to be like a perverse Twilight Zone or something, where you are about to enter a dimension of stupidity and sickness.

I should make note of something, because I do not know how much longer I will be able to blog here. I may be incarcerated in the very near future. See, I was given a Cuban cigar this week at work and I have every intention of enjoying it this weekend. Because of our fucked up relationship with Cuba, that cigar is technically illegal here. I don't care. Call it my protest over our Cuba policy if you want, I am just going to call it me enjoying a good cigar for a change.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is pitching an idea that Pennsylvania should divvy up its electoral votes in Presidential elections. I know that Democrats hold a registration advantage in the state, but the state has never been a safe state for Democratic Presidential candidates. Of the last 10 Presidential elections, Pennsylvania has voted for the Republican candidate 4 times. Because of the number of votes in the Electoral College, Pennsylvania has been an important place to campaign with a prize of 20 electoral votes. Telling candidates that they are only realistically stumping for one or two additional votes here and the rest will be pretty much divided evenly is basically telling them that there is no real need to campaign here at all. In the last 4 races, the winning candidate got 55%, 51%, 51% and 49% of the votes. How much effort are they really going to put in to get from say 11 to 12 Electors? I am guessing not much.

Okay, looks like the clock is ticking and if I want to try and get this posted before midnight (Multiply willing) I had best call it a night. Be back manana.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 256 - Meat Jeebus


There is something that happens on a lot of Thursdays that I am not sure I mentioned in the blog before. But since it happened again today I guess it bears mentioning.

Part of my job on Thursday consists of placing grocery orders for our two downtown stores. I usually start with Universal News, because it is the easier of the two stores and because I am the only person who knows how to place an order there. I guess it is part of my indispensable nature.

The trip between the stores is a relatively short one, just a walk down Smithfield Street about four blocks, then hang a left on 5th Avenue and it is a couple of doors down on the left hand side. What makes Thursdays unique however is that on the other side of the intersection of 5th Avenue and Smithfield Street a guys usually stands there spots religious nonsense at the top of his lungs. I call him “Jesus on a Stick Guy” because he is usually standing there with a sandwich board sign draped over him and a giant pole like think with a Jesus on a cross on the top of it.

He will stand there yelling things like “Repent” and “Damnation for all you sinners”. Of course when I see him, I can't help put channel my inner Homer Simpson and yell back “Save me Jeebus”. Today was no different than most Thursdays, save for he traded in his giant Jesus on a Stick for a much smaller one that could be held in a hand (I call it his travel version), but the yelling and everything were all pretty much the same as they ever was (thank you Talking Heads).

But I think I may how found the savior's weakness today. There is a T Mobile store almost directly across the street from Universal News. There usually is nothing all that noteworthy about that store, I am sure it is like many other T Mobile stores around the country. But today it was different. They were doing some promotion to get people to come in, with a table set up and balloon and other promotional stuff to get people to buy their phones and services. But the kicker was that along with this table, they also brought out a grill and were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers to give away to potential customers.

It was then that I realized the power of grilled meat, as the scent had apparently chased Jesus on a Stick guy from the corner, or else he ascended to heaven, who knows. But he was gone, faster than a pedophile priest escaping justice. So I guess this is a good day for vegetarians who hope for salvation some day. For those who like meat, maybe not so much.

Multiply 365 Day 255 - You got your beer in my blog


Just my luck, when I go to post this Multiply decides to get all crappy on me. Not that I have written anything of an earth shattering nature, but despite fighting through the fogginess of drinking, to now not be able to post just kind of sucks. Hopefully this will be remedied soon. I can only pick so many fights on Facebook after all.)

Hey kids, what's going on? Just managed to stumble in from the bar, a trip much needed for me but one that comes with it's own set of problems as well. Like I can't type. I know what you are thinking, that I couldn't type before but this is like a night and day thing compared to my normal pecking at the keyboard. I am going back and fixing something every couple of words . That would be bad enough if I were only working on this, but I am busy poking the proverbial hornet's nest over on Facebook with a comment thread and an ongoing chat and posting on a handful of pages here on Multiply. Not sure what it is about alcohol and me this evening that is making me so chatty but spell checking a number of different things at the same time while working with maybe half of my brain is not a good thing.

I tried to keep my cooking to the most basic of things this evening, hot dogs and baked beans. Anything beyond that and the combination of alcohol and open flame could result in a headline on the pages of Fark. That wouldn't be good, though it might provide fodder for tomorrow's blog. Hmm, human sacrifice for the betterment of the page? I don't think I am to that point just yet.

At least work was okay, busy but okay. Another one of those days where it feels like too much is being put on my plate, but I figure at this point I only have to make it till the beginning of October before Ed leaves and I can fall back into a normal routine. We did fire a kid today, one of those good riddance moments. Someone who I referred to in the office as a “lazy piece of shit” proved me correct by not showing up for work again yesterday. The funny thing is I actually offered to bet someone $1 that he wouldn't show up an hour before his shift even started, but they politely declined. Probably good for them, they would have been out a dollar, or one double cheeseburger at McDonald's.

Well before this entry gets much stupider I am going to stop and rescue the franks and beans from the stove top. Just hope there isn't any DUI checkpoints between my laptop and the kitchen, oif there is then I am pretty much screwed.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 254 - First picking, first sitting


I didn't want to bore you with a fantasy football post, but then I didn't expect this to happen, at least this early in the year, so I guess that makes it blog worthy.

For the record I did okay during week 1 of the NFL season. I went 2-1 in the three leagues I am in, but of course the loss came in the league where I am playing for money. But if I did anything right on draft day it was going hard after Ray Rice, who I have in all three leagues. Of course next week Ray Rice could break an ankle and I will be on here bitching about how bad my luck is, but early on it seems to be a wise pick.

That isn't why I am her though, I am not going to break down how I did in each individual league. That would be a time consuming process that would entail me going into the differences in scoring in the three leagues and I don't have the time for that. Instead I am going to tell a story about the bar league and go from there.

The thing about being in a fantasy league for almost two decades now is that some teams come and some go. You have your core teams that show up every year, but there are always a couple of teams that may be in one year but not the next. This year we had a league member who couldn't commit to the league, he had some personal things going on that took precedence which is way cool with me. This isn't life or death after all, it's a game. While I probably put forth more effort on my fantasy football teams than I do blogging, they carry roughly the same amount of importance to me in the grand scheme of things, the difference being there is money involved in fantasy football. I still haven't figured out a way for this page to generate any revenue. So there is that.

So we were stuck with 11 teams and a call went out to see if someone could come up with a 12th person. Not that 12 teams are needed, you can do a schedule with an odd number of teams (I have done it plenty of times as commissioner) it is just more work is all. But ideally we like to run with 12, just for the sake of balance and what not.

George posts a message in the league about a person who used to play in the league, Chadd, and whether or not we would like to have him back. I got along with Chadd when I was commissioner, though no matter what we set the league buy in as (we played for cash then), he would always suggest that next time we should play for more. Not that we were the most expensive league out there, but at the time (2005 we were playing with a $100 buy in, which isn't cheap by any standards, let alone ones for a bunch of guys who spent much of their time drinking their money away while working cheap ass jobs. But if that was the only thing I could think of, well then it wasn't a biggie so I said sure he could be the 12th team.

About a day or so later I get the message from George saying they would like to play for money again this year. A cheap $20 buy in, winner take all. No problem I think, we had played without a cash prize for a while but that didn't mean we couldn't go back. Worst case scenario I don't win the league and I give $20 to one of my friends. Trust me, I have made far worse investments with my money. Then the $20 becomes $50. Again I don't mind, though as treasurer I do suggest that if everyone decides to play for cash (we didn't make it mandatory because it was suggested a week or so before the draft) then we might want to divvy up the cash a little bit. Maybe two or three prizes, depending on how many people want to play for money.

Draft day comes around and who would get the #1 pick overall? Chadd. I already blogged about how I was kind of bumming in the #3 draft spot, but it worked out okay (Ray Rice fell to #3). But Chadd had the first pick in the draft of anyone, and he took Adrian Peterson. I would have done the very same thing in that spot. So this will not be a blog complaining about someone's draft strategy. Which is good, I am sure your eyes would glaze over at the prospect.

The draft goes pretty uneventfully. Some good natured ribbing back and forth. At one point Gary put on “The Lion King” to entertain his daughter while he drafted, so any time Gary would take too long on his pick I would joke that he was caught up in the movie. And there were jokes from drafts past, like Damon always drafting Rod Smith back in the day, or the dreaded free agent signing of Craphonso Thorpe (look that one up in your free time).

With the start of the NFL season on Thursday, that also started fantasy football season. And my team got off to a rocky start, not because of anything I did, but because my opponent had Drew Brees, who had himself a very good game even if his team lost. There is always Sunday to get those points back. Not that I did, I already said that I lost. But the story here is Chadd. And while his pick of Peterson was serviceable enough on Sunday (90+ yards rushing, good for 6 points in our league) it certainly wasn't spectacular. Then again, rare if ever is there the guy that will score a ton of points for you every week. And I admit I didn't pay all that much attention to how the rest of his team did, (I wasn't playing him after all, so I had my own worries on Sunday). But I log into Yahoo on Monday to see just how bad I was getting beat and I happened to look down at the league's message board and there are posts from Chadd down there. Firs he starts bitching about how you can pick up players, then it is bitching about the scoring rules, then we are all “cheap ass cunt whores” because we are only playing for $50 (which he hadn't even paid yet mind you) and he will not play for less than $100 next year. Since I am only treasurer and not commissioner I could have easily stepped away from this mess, but what the hell? So I put it to Chadd bluntly, that since I am not commissioner there is certainly nothing I can do as far as his having a team in the league goes, but if he is going to continue to act like this there is nothing in the rules that requires me to take money from anyone, so he will not have to worry about playing for money because he will not be part of that equation. He continues his tirade and finally I had had enough and just told him that if does send an entry fee in it will be returned to him, and that he could take his fee and shove it up his ass for all I care.

Of course it turns out that I am not the only one who apparently felt that way as George went ahead and kicked Chadd out of the league this morning. Just went all “SMU death penalty” on him, banned from the league, from contacting anyone in the league, from future participation in the league. Just stick a fork in him, he is done kinda goodness. So let this be a lesson to you kids, don't ever, ever get the #1 overall pick.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 253 - Just stuff


Funniest non funny thing I didn't see on TV this weekend. The fact that amid all of the 9/11 coverage of memorials and remembrances and all that jazz, the media couldn't be bothered to spend 5 minutes talking about the 77 soldiers that were injured in Afghanistan when a truck bomb went off outside their base, you know that place we sent them after 9/11 to protect us and stuff. See, it wasn't happening here so it really isn't important. Fucking par for the course.

I realize I am swearing more in the blog recently. I think it is just my overall frustration with things in general. Today I was just getting ready to leave and Ed hands me some pages from today's invoice and asks me to have someone check to see if the prices are correct in the system. Since nobody there has access to the system prices (at least the ability to change them) save for Dee and myself and Dee doesn't know how, I just took the paperwork and started working on it. At best, someone else would have tried scanning the items, but even if the price was wrong or the item wasn't in the system at all, I would have had to fix it, so for me it was just easier to do it myself. Ed tells me I should let someone else do it, too many people are not earning their keep and I say, we are well past that point already.

I have Monday night football on the radio right now. More as background noise than anything else. I know I sure didn't want to sit through the Republican debate tonight. Thankfully I didn't have to, the guys from Red State Update are doing a fine job of keeping me entertained with their updates on Twitter and Facebook. Where else could you get quality info like this, “Tip for Ron Paul: Next debate, don't quote Osama bin Laden.” or “Texas protects life, says Rick Perry. No joke necessary. #CNNTeaParty.” This stuff is priceless.

Oh well, if there was one good thing out of this evening, besides the Red State update guys, it looks like Amy and I are doing breakfast on Sunday, which is nice because it has been a while since we have had breakfast together. Our schedules just haven't meshed for months now, so it is nice that apparently this Sunday they do mesh, after all it was one year ago today that we started doing breakfasts and that lasted for about 6 months before everything fell apart, so getting back into the breakfast swing of things will be cool.

But for now I am calling it a night, I have work in the morning, just not sure I am looking forward to it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 252 - Opening weekend


So what's up? Not too much here, just watching a little Sunday night football before calling it an evening. It is opening weekend of the NFL season after all. Plus I managed to fix a problem that has been ailing me for lo these many months. Right around the time of the Super Bowl I was in a bit of a groove, I had found two different streaming services to watch sporting events, and it would be quite often that rather than having the TV on I would be watching football or hockey online. Apparently Homeland security got wind of this and shut the sites down, again because if I can watch sports online then the terrorists most surely have won.

Well today I was just settling in on my laptop, I was going to listen to the Steelers game while working on some other stuff and I ran across a new link and the streaming worked, so I am once again looking at the real possibility of watching football online all year. So while I was watching the Steelers – Ravens game, I wasn't watching on the local CBS affiliate, rather I had the ESPN America feed from across the pond. For those unfamiliar, it is really the CBS feed, but ESPN has the NFL television rights over there, so they rebroadcast the CBS feed from the states. But I was just happy to find a new site that Homeland Security hasn't shut down yet.

Of course the Steelers got killed, 35-7, which means many in Pittsburgh will be depressed tomorrow. Not me, I had Ray Rice of the Ravens on all three of my fantasy teams and he had a very productive day. Not that his effort alone means I will win anything, but he certainly didn't lose me any games this weekend.

I also got out for a nice walk this afternoon. It has become something of a habit for me of late, I get out and just stroll around for about an hour or so. This time I too a bus up top Squirrel Hill and ran a couple of errands then decided I would walk back, cutting through Schenley Park and the Carnegie Mellon University campus before making it back to Oakland. It is a nice habit I have been getting into on my days off.

But I did all I could to avoid any 9/11 coverage today. As soon as I saw something about it on TV I immediately changed the channel. No memorial services for me, thank you very much. Which bring me to the Sunday Night football game, between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Jets. On one hand, I am not a fan of the Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, but likewise I am not big on the whole patriotic crap that is awash with the New York teams on this given day. If ever there was a game where I wish both teams could lose this would be it.

Well, instead of more 9/11 crap I will just call it a night instead. I have my spaghetti and meatballs handy and if the game starts to suck too bad I can always go bake some brownies or something.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Multiply 365 Day 251 - That makes three


It was one of those kind of days. More 9/11 nonsense leading up to the 10th anniversary tomorrow. I think the best thing I heard in that regard all day was this...

“What's the difference between a cow and 9/11? You can't milk a cow for 10 years.”

The day was a little different in a couple regards. Because of the holiday on Monday this past week, I had to go in and actually catch a truck and put things away before I could go about doing my normal Saturday work. And because there was a delivery involved, Sammy offered to come in and help put things away. What made the day truly different though was that we did breakfast again. Yeah, how is that different you ask? Friday we were getting some work done and Clare asked me if we were going to breakfast on Saturday, I said I didn't know because technically it was Sammy's turn to buy. We usually alternate buying each other breakfast, but we never push the issue when it is the other person's turn to buy. Whenever they decide is a good Saturday for breakfast is when we go, that way nobody is forced into buying breakfast on those weekends where they are low on cash. Well Clare says that she is going to go and buy this time. We have been down this path before, Clare says she will go but then doesn't. So I wasn't going to push the issue, because if Sammy and I both show up and she isn't there, then Sammy is going to think he is forced into buying breakfast (even though I had the money to cover it, should it come to that) when he very well may not have enough to be splurging 10 days after payday. So I tell Clare that it is up to Sammy, not me. Sammy was already in a bad move, the job he got his son with us may not be working out. Without getting into too many details, I will just say that there have been issues during Shane's probationary period, including the fact that he went home early on Thursday. So I ask Sammy if he wants to go to breakfast and I explain that Clare says she is going and buying this time (which is actually part of a promise she early this year) and Sammy, after a little arm twisting from em says that he will go but if she isn't there then she doesn't get invited ever again. It is a position I am cool with, it is pretty much how I have felt for a while now.

So this morning my alarm goes off at 5am, I smack the snooze button a couple of times and apparently I hit the on button for the radio, thereby nullifying the alarm because the next time I open my eyes it is 6:25am and I have to be downtown at 6:30am. Since I do not possess teleportation technology that meant I would definitely be late. I was able to scramble and throw on some clothes, scurry off to the bus stop and get downtown in about 30 minutes, but that still made me significantly late. And lo and behold Clare was actually there. So the three of us head off for the Strip District to grab some breakfast goodness. Since Clare was buying (though I did keep my cash on me just in case, one can never be too careful) it was up to her to pick where we were going. That all but rules out Pamela's, as I don't think she is even all that aware of that place, leaving only Deluca's and Jo Jo's. On one hand she is more familiar with Deluca's, she went there once with Sammy and I and has been back there plenty of times since with her boyfriend, usually on Sunday mornings, on the other because I had to doggy bag my order from Jo Jo's last week, she did see what half of a Jo Jo's omelet looks like, so I know that piqued her curiousity somewhat. But in the end she went with the more comfortable of the two options. And it was a good breakfast, as almost all Deluca's breakfasts are. And it did get Clare out of the doghouse a bit too, after the number of times we waited for her only to have her not show up. And really, we were all working this morning, so might as well go in with a breakfast fortified with vitamins and iron and grease and caffeine.

The rest of the day went relatively uneventfully, I got my work done, though later than usual because of the delivery and me being forced to do orders for two stores as opposed to one, plus there were about 10 pages of price changes that I had to go through this morning, many of which were in the system wrong to begin with, so that needed fixing as well.

ON the down side, I lost one of my books already. I am sure it is in my apartment some place, just not sure where right now. So I had to grab another one to take with me to work. Not for work, but for the bus ride in and home, and as an added bonus because I worked so long today I made a detour on the way home and grabbed a late lunch/early dinner from the Squirrel Cage, getting their club sandwich (turkey, ham, cappacola) and fries. I figured I needed to get my bus pass anyway, so I would pick it up at Giant Eagle in Squirrel Hill after snacking, plus I wanted to get some garlic bread for dinner tomorrow (I am making spaghetti and meatballs) and some stuff to make vegetable soup, namely vegetables, otherwise it is just broth so it wasn't an unnecessary trip. And I did get some reading in, so I now have three books going at the same time. And who would have thunk I didn't even need a million dollars for that. The worst part about the book I brought with me was that I bought it out of the Amazon cheapie bin (I think I paid $3.98 for it in hardback) was that the reason it was so cheap was that it was in large type. So I am sure I looked like a blind buffoon sitting there eating my sandwich and reading a book that looked like a damn doctor's eye chart. But the book is good, Christopher Buckley rarely steers me wrong in that regard, and I managed to bang out about 60 pages despite only starting it on the way to work this morning.

So now I have a true dilemma, which book should I finish first. One on hand I have one that I started months ago, and not that it was bad but life started getting in the way and then I started another book which I did finish, and my three book Amazon order arrived and I have now started two of those. I think ideally I would like to finish the one I lost first, if I can ever find it, because I am pretty sure I will blow through the Buckley book. I tend to read fiction much faster, but as I argued in the past, for me non fiction is meat and potatoes stuff and fiction is like candy, and who doesn't rush through their candy?

Well I am going to scoot, I have three games of Words with Friends going on at the moment. I am new to the Facebook app, though it is a lot like Scrabble, but with no time limits, you can leave the game and come back a day or so later and play a word . It is cool like that. I have completed 3 games so far, 1 win and 2 losses and just checked and my opponent in one game just played a 52 point word. Can I get a 1 and 3 from the congregation? Hallelujah and all that jazz.

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