Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bad hare day

So it was Zombie Jesus day this past Sunday and it should have been a good day, but that isn't the way it turned out.  All of the elements were there for a good day, the day holiday actually started Friday, when I received an early Zombie Jesus Day present from Jen, a new book to read, a lovely card and a chocolate bunny. We also woke up early Zombie Jesus Day morning and chatted for a few hours while the Zombie Jesus Day festivities were unfolding there.  My mom and her husband also came to visit me, complete with an Easter basket in tow and wanting to take me out to lunch.  This was all the more surprising because her husband had just gotten out of the hospital on Thursday.  He had went to their local hospital the previous Sunday, complaining of some discomfort.  A quick check saw that is blood pressure was way too high, but the hospital couldn't figure out what was wrong, so they sent him to one of the larger hospitals here in Pittsburgh, where he stayed until Thursday, undergoing a litany of tests.  So I was surprised that he was out and about and actually driving so soon afterward.

Anyway, we ended up going to Red Robin for lunch, and I guess lunch passed uneventfully enough

So then, why would Zombie Jesus Day suck you may ask?  Certainly lots of good things happened, enough so that I should have been awash in Zombie Jesus Day cheer. But instead I found myself angy, perhaps more than I should have been, but angry nontheless.

Anyone who has been on this page for more than the briefest of moments knows that for the most part, what you get is me.  I have no desire to sit around and make things up in order to entertain the masses or to impress any person or group of people, what you see is pretty much what you get.  At least to the best of my ability, certainly some bias filters in from time to time which a reader should expect, this isn't journalism after all so there is no hard and fast rule to being completely objective.  Still, I am not going to waste either yours or my time peddling in falsehoods, it's just not the way I roll.

But one of my character flaws is that I am too much of a trusting sort.  So rather than enter into things with a skeptics eye, I tend to grant people the benefit of the doubt.  Even when common sense would dictate otherwise, I go through all sorts of mental gymnastics, trying to rationalize what I am being told so that there is a way that it might be true.  But when even that wall is broken down, when there is just no other way to see things and it becomes blatantly obvious that someone lied directly to me, well then it becomes hard, if not impossible for me to believe them again.

And that is what also happened on Zombie Jesus Day, someone who I will refer to as an acquaintance ( I will not name names, lines in the sand and all that) had told me some things, and I ignorantly believed them.  Maybe I wanted to believe them so much that I willingly dismissed the obvious, maybe the words were wrapped in just enough truths that the lies didn't stick out like a sore thumb, whatever the case, I bought in hook, line and sinker into what was being said, until I found out just the opposite was the case.  Which set me off on a two day pique of anger, where any and all close to me caught some of the flak.  I was pissed at the person who did the lying, and I was pissed at myself for being fucking stupid enough to believe them in the first place.  So anything good that happened was wiped out by this anger that I was feeling, and anything bad was subject to a multiplier effect from my already existing rage.

Long time readers of this page know that there used to be some truisms that I live by, one of which is "Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed."  Yet recently I had been shedding that philosophy, pushing it to the back of my mental closet and then this happens, I expect something relatively simple like honesty and sure enough, I am disappointed.  And as I am rooting though the mental closet, I am finding that those old clothes still fit me a little too comfortably.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A day in the life

8:59 AM  Thought I would try something a little different today and just blog about my day as it happens, just to show you all what a boring life I do lead.  For the record my day didn't really start at 9am, that is just the time that I arrived at work, I woke up around 6:30am, to a note on my messenger from Jen, who had herself already headed out to her job, whereas I have a a little bit of flexibility in my schedule on Saturdays, I can come and leave when I want, as long as I get my work done while I am there.  So instead of heading straight into work, I had breakfast at Pamela's (two eggs, chorizo, potatoes, toast, coffee)  and then made my way into the friendly confines.  I did some reading at breakfast, Jen sent me a book for Easter, and this morning seemed as good as any to start reading it.  Don't worry, soon enough it will show up on Shelfari to the right and on the Neverending Thread as well.

     For now though I am going through the process of getting my day started, which means plugging in the laptop (I foolishly left the mouse at home while getting ready to come in, I hate the touchpad) and starting by updating the Cosmos system, wich is the ordering device I use for our grocery ordering.  I hop online with it and it updates all of the items we can order and new pricing info as well.  From tis point is where I will start to tackle the day.  So a quick note to Jen, a trip to Pandora for office music and away we go.

9:58 AM   Managed to get the deli order done and two cigarette orders done as well.   We act as a wholesaler for some smaller stores, so they end up placing their orders through us, or more accurately, me because I am the one that gets all of the legwork involved.  Thankfully Pandora hasn't went on one of it's angy chick spats yet, most of the music has been good to this point, I only had to skip one song so far.  Plus, even as I am doing all of this, Jen and I are talking while we slave away on our respective professions.  Misery loves company and all that jazz.   Really though, I don't think either of us despise our jobs all that much, but I'll admit a weekend off once in a while would be nice on this end of things.

11:00 AM   Okay, just realized how muc of a hassle I have in front of me, price changes today will be a bitch.  Got one of two booklets done that I was emailed, but the second one is 16 pages long, which will be absolutely no fun whatsoever.  I will be here quite a while.  Yuck!!  Especially given how nice it is outside again.

12:01 PM  Went though our canned vegetable section, scanning each individual item and checking to see if it was in the system and if so if the pricing in the system is correct.  This is just an ongoing thing for me, I have most of the store in the register system, but there are always new items that sometimes slip through the cracks as well as items that were deleted when we upgraded the system a while back that just never made it back in after their old, misentered labels were deleted.  I also managed to bang out about a quarter of the price changes, so all in all a pretty productive hour on my part.

1:57 PM  Got most of the pice changes done, only a few pages left but it is just a time consuming process today.  But it is so nice outside that the motivation to be indoors is pretty much non existent.

3:52 PM  Just finished putting together and sending my orderr in.  Quick guess on my part says we probably spent at least $12,000 there.  Add to that the two other deliveries coming on Monday and the total is probably closer to $15,000, but who's counting?  Really?  Anyway, it is at this point where I start to pack up things, including but not limited to the laptop, so this will be my last entry from work.  I could stick around and do more stuff, but 7 hrs on a day where technically I am not even on the schedule is just about enough for me.

5:54 PM   Sitting at home, eating a cheap Antoon's cheese pizza (16" 12 cut for $4.80) and playing on Pogo.  This is the time of day where I try not to think too much, just relax with some Pogo or Facebook apps, or go work on my Swagbucks or something, because any more I don't like climbing inside my head all that much, so the more I keep my head busy with useless stuff, the happier I am.  I suppose I could clean, but that is what Sunday is for.  Of course come Sunday I will say that is what Monday is for and so on, but for now that is a Sunday task.  I imagine Jen and I will be talking later, what about I have no idea and even if I did know chances are I wouldn't say.  WE have talked pactically every day for almost 7 months now, so I am going to go out on a limb here and say that we will be talking again tonight.

1:33 AM  Getting ready to call it a night.  My eyes are getting a little droopy because of the hour, but Jen and I just stopped talking for the night.  That happens quite a bit, where we talk until we are both just exhausted, neither one of us actually wanting to say good night so we end up staying up far later than common sense would dictate that we should be.  But she has Easter plans and work in the morning, I am a bit luckier in that Sunday is te one day where I do not wok, and chances are my family will not be visiting since my mom's husband just got out of the hospital earlier this week, he went in Sunday when his blood pressure was dangerously high and was not released until Thursday, so I am betting my family will not be on the roads travelling on Sunday. 

And really, it is probably late enough that I can put a wrap on this blog anyway.  I ould stay up later, but there would be no real purpose behind it, so I will just close my own eyes here and call it a night.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I guess this means I am back, Penguins - Flyers glog


Just settling in here for some Sunday afternoon hockey, Penguins-Flyers no less, an in state rivalry here in Pennsylvania, made only more so because of where the teams currentlt reside in the standings. With 4 games left in the regular season, Pittsburgh has a 3 point lead on the Flyers in the standings, with Pittsburgh occupying the 4th spot in the Eastern Conference and the Flyers in the 5th. The difference in that is the higher seed will have home ice advantage in at least the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs in about a week, though most likely it will still be these same two teams in a best of 7 series in the first round of the playoffs. Not guaranteed, but unless something drastic happens it will be these two teams and all that is left to determine is where a game 7 would be played (if needed) in a first round playoff series.

And since hockey is on, and I am watching, I figured that I would go ahead and watch the game while sitting down at ye olde computer and bang out a blog, because it has been ages since I have done so. I spent some time the last few days going back and rereading some of my old blog entries, trying to get that writing muse back. After all, I do like blogging, but I just really haven't had the motivation to do so recently.

Part of that is just interest I guess, there has been no compelling hook to darw me back to the page, no one compelling thing I really felt I needed to say, the other is just trying to get a grasp on my own personal life, which has been a bit of a roller coaster recently. I don't want to get into too many details, because it would border on the lines in the sand thing I sometimes talk about, some things just aren't meant for public consumption after all, and since those things also involve more than me, there are privacy issues involved as well. If it were just me, I might go forth and blab on the page, but it isn't, so I will not. What I will say is that things appear much better now than they did a few weeks ago, and that is all kinds of good with me.

Hey, the game is about to start? Dare I say glog? I think I just may. A quick note for those unfamiliar, glog is a term I stole from,. and it is just a game blog of a sporting event.

As I type that brief description, we are underway from here in Pittsburgh, and Pittsburgh gets credit for the game's first shot, a back hand attempt by Kris Letang that is gloved by Sergei Bobrovsky.

And we have a goal, a mere 1 minute and 14 seconds into the game, Steve Sullivan getting a goal to stake the Penguins to an early 1-0 lead.

Philadelphia tried answering back just seconds later, but saw a slap shot hit the post, and the pinging sound that is a goaltender's best friend some days.

Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis got assists on the Sullivan goal,. Dupuis is having a career type year for the Penguins, he has tallied 24 goals and 31 assists so far and while they aren't superstar numbers, they are quite good for someone who was almost considered little more than a throw in in the Marian Hossa deal a few years back.

We have another goal, and it is again all kinds of PIttsburgh, this time James Neal is your goal scorer, his 39th goal of the year and Pittsburgh has a 2-0 lead early in the first period.

So far Pittsburgh has had by far the better of the scoring chances, as evidenced by the two goal lead and a 9-2 advantage in shots 5 minutes into the contest.

Assists on the Neal goal go to Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz, so that is one more point for Malkin, who is making a strong case for the Hart trophy as the league's MVP, with 103 points (48 goals, 55 assists) which leads the NHL.

I should mention that since the Penguins have moved into the Consol Energy Center two years ago (they used to play at the Civic Arena) Philadelphia has never lost in PIttsburgh.

Pittsburgh, already sporting a 2 goal lead, now will have a power play opportunity, as Daniel Briere was called for interference, the first penalty by either team in the contest.

Pittsburgh has been playing 5 forwards on their power play recently, opting for no defensemen and the results have not been good. Lots of short handed odd man breaks the other way, and Philadelphia had two during the power play, though neither opportunity resulted in a goal, so the score remains 2-0.

A little over 11 minutes in, Pittsburgh still has am advantage in shots, 11-5, power play opportunities 1-0 and on the scoreboard 2-0.

I should note, the last time these two teams met, PIttsburgh built up a lead, only to lose the game by allowing two third period goals, and then an overtime goal with less than 2 seconds remaining, so an early lead, while promising is by far from a done deal when it comes to Penguins-Flyers match ups. One thing that has been missing early on here is the usually chipiness that happens during these rivalry games.

Remember when I said that the Flyers came back from two goals down last time these teams played? The Flyers just scored, the puck literally trickling through Marc Andre Fleury's legs, and the score is now 2-1. Scott Hartnell gets credit for the Flyers goal, which oddly does help my fantasy hockey team, even if it doesn't help my biased rooting interests here.

A quick flurry of activity of the Penguins in the Flyers end results in a few scoring opportunities, but nothing more, and instead now it will be the Flyers who will get their first power play opportunity. A change has been issued on the last goal, it is now being credited to Claude Giroux, his 28th of the year, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr getting credit for assists. Meanwhile a penalty is called on Matt Niskanen, 2 minutes for holding.

A successful penalty kill by the Penguins and there are less than two minutes remaining in the first period, Pittsburgh still holding on to a one goal lead thus far.

And another brief flurry of activity closes out the period, followed by a little bit of pushing and shoving after the whistle and after one period of play in Pittsburgh it is the Penguins leading 2-1. Both teams are 0 for 1 on the powerplay and Pittsburgh has a 16-8 advantage in shots.

Since we are at the first intermission, I guess I will grab something to eat and try to make myself a little more comfortable here. If anyone was taking bets on what it is I would actually eat, anyone who put money on a bear claw can pick up their winnings, everyone else better luck next time.

Since we are on a break here, for those unfamiliar with how my glogging style works, I just pontificate on useless stuff, sometimes it will be commercials that pop up during the game, other times it will be stuff that just occurs to me that I haven't had time to write about yet. This will be one of the latter.

As most of you know, I work at Smithfield News, a newsstand in downtown Pittsburgh, though it is probably more of a convenience store than actual newsstand. Because of our location between two schools downtown (Point Park University, Art Institute of Pittsburgh) and our hours of operation (opens 24hrs, 365 days a year) we are basically a grocery store for the students that reside downown and we carry a variety of products for just such people, including microwaveable foodstuffs, including a product that is called Big Az Burger, whcih is just a play on words for big ass and the fact it is a larger microwaveable hamburger style sandwich tahn you would normally find. Anyway, as I was checking some of these in the other day from our most recent delivery, I look at the packaging and I saw something that, I don't know who gets paid for doing marketing for the people that make Big Az sandwiches, but that person needs to be fired immediately. It seems that the packaging on the sandwiches changed recently, and on the wrapper it says so, it says "New look, same Big Az taste" Now excuse me for a second, but who wants a burger with ass taste? Anyone? Is there a trend of eating ass sandwiches out there that I was never clued in on?

Okay, looks like the second period is just about to get underway, which is good because you can only write so much about ass eating anyway.

And there you have it, I mentioned that the Flyers came back from two goals down the last time these teams met and they have just done it again, 1:35 into the send period as Max Talbot gets his 19th goal of the year and we are all knotted at two. Zac Rinaldo gets credit for the singular assist on the goal.

The Flyers have started dictating play here early in the second period, most of the action is taking place in the Penguins end of the rink. This despite the fact that two Flyers defensemen have left with injuroes and they are only playing with four as opposed to the usual 6 most teams play.

The differnce in shots between the clubs is still 8 (19-11 Pittsburgh) but Philadelphia has had by far the better scioring chances here in the second period, including a couple of odd man rushes.

Pittsburgh has their first really good scoring chance of the second period, Kris Letang setting up Sidney Crosby who comes in alone on Sergei Bobrovsky, but Crosby's shot is denied and the score here remains tied at 2.

Still only two penalties called to this point, and the action has been relatively even for the last several minutes and the 2nd period reaches the 14 minute mark. Usually Pittsburgh-Philadelphia matchups have a tendency to have a little more pushing and shoving involved, but perhaps neither team wants to take a stupid penalty with losing home ice advantage in the playoffs possibly being the result.

Just as I say that, the Flyers get called for their second penalty, Marc Andre Bourdon goes to the box, 2 minutes for hooking, and again Pittsburgh is going to start with with 5 forwards and no defensemen on the power play, Anbd that plan lasted all of a few seconds before Pittsburgh took a penalty as well, Steve Sullivan gets called for tripping just 10 seconds into the power play, so the teams will skate for 1:50 in a 4 on 4 situation and the Flyers will have a 10 second power play after that.

Another Flyer penalty, too many men on the ice, and we have had three penalties in the last minute and a half or so. The result is the Flyers will lose their 10 second power play and Pittsburgh will have the man advantage for about 85 seconds. Eric Wellwood will serve the 2 minute minor penalty for the Flyers.

The Penguins second power lay unity is on the ice, and it seems to be doing better than their 5 forward group they had been running earlier, if for no other reason than they aren't giving up odd man rushes the other way.

All of the penalty, power play nonsense is behind us, the end result is nothing, no goals scored by either team, we remain tied at 2, but again as soon as I say something, just the opposite happens, the Flyers get called for another penalty, Eric Wellwood again serving 2 minutes, this time for hooking. And Pittsburgh again runs out the 5 forward unit to start the power play, nearly getting the go ahead goal, but Bobrovsky makes a sprawling save to keep the score tied at 2. And that will be the end of the second period as well. Pittsburgh will start the third period still on the power play for one minute and 42 seconds. After two periods, Pittsburgh has a 30-14 lead in shots, but that hasn't translated into a lead on the scoreboard.

I know I wanted to mention something during this second intermission but I will be damned if I can remember what it was now. So instead I will just bust out the glass cleaner and clean my monitor, as I am on my desktop computer for the first time in a long time. I guess it has something to do with an actual working keyboard, which helps if you are going to type a lot. I thought about getting my laptop's keyboard fixed, but the more I think about it, I think I will just splurge and by a new laptop. After all, the one I bought was a refurbished model and I can get a good model; for what I need brand new off of Amazon for about $400. I could probably find something cheaper if I looked hard, but with Amazon I can basically get it for free if I save up enough Amazon cash. I already have $75 in my account there, and I could probably add close to another $100 in gift cards from the Pepsi orders at work, so I am almost halfway to the laptop already. Plus I still have another $5 pending from Swagbucks, and if I really need to spend the last few bucks for the laptop, I can just go to Coinstar and buy an Amazon gift card with the change I have laying around. Plus there will be a certain amount of satisfaction if I can manage to get a free laptop, rather than pull coins out of my own pocket for it. Yes, I am still that cheap kids, some things just never change.

I am getting an idea for what to do during the intermission. You will see it at the top of the blog, a younger me hanging with one of my favorite Christmas presents from years gone by, a stuffed Q-bert doll.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the game has gotten underway again and Pittsburgh is called for a penalty early in the third, say hello to the penalty box Kris Letang and we will skate 4 on 4 followed by an abbreviated Flyers power play. As for the scanned picture, I think I will use it to open the blog, but you will have to read this far just to know what it is about.

And the Flyers break the tie on the power play, Wayne Simmonds notches his 28th goal of the year and the Flyers have a 3-2 lead, after trailing 2-0 very early in this contest. Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek get credit for the assists on the go ahead goal.

Pittsburgh follows with a flurry of activity in the Flyers zone, but can beat Bobrovsky to tie the game.

The problem is when you start pressing for a goal, you sometimes get beat the other way and that was the case as Jakub Voracek gets loose for a breakaway in on Fleury and he beats him to make it Flyers 4 Penguins 2. In his last three games in goal, including today, Fluery has given up at least 4 goals in every game. That is not the type of goaltending you want heading into the playoffs. Meanwhile the Flyers are looking to continue their winning ways in Pittsburgh's building, and that looks like it will be the case, with just over 12 minutes remaining.

With a two goal lead, the Flyers will get another power play, Matt Cooke gets called for slashing and Pittsburgh will play short handed for two minutes of the remaining 11 minutes of action.

Pittsburgh does kill off the penalty, but time is not on their side here, they still trail by two goals with now just 8:04 remining. Meanwhile I think I will go open my Multiply page and start getting this thing ready for publication. After all, I do have a picture to add to the page.

That is what I get for trying to get to my page, the Flyers score again, it's now 5-2 Flyers and really, this game is over. Let's not kid ourselves, it is all about just what the final score will be. Marc Andre Bourbon with the 5th Flyers goal. I should note that there were assists on the last two Flyers goals, on the Voracek goal, those would go to Eric Wellwood and Braydon Coburn and on the Bourbon tally the helper goes to Claude Giroux.

We can now safely assume that Pittsburgh will lose here, that is three losses in their last four games, the only win coming when backup goaltender Brent Johnson was in net against Buffalo so sports talk shows will be riddled with "What is wrong with Marc Andre Fleury" phone calls tomorrow.

And it looks like we have a Pittsburgh goal, it is being reviewed in Toronto (league office monitors all games in real time) because the puck actually hit the camera in the net and shot back out, and wasn't recognized on the ice as having went in the net. But it is a goal (thank you league office), Steve Sullivan getting his second goal of the game to make it a 5-3 contest. The problem being there is just a little over 4 minutes left in the game.

Pittsburgh has a sizeable advantage in shots, 41-24, but that matters little at this point. Before I forget, the assists on the Sullivan tally go to Paqscal Dupuis and Zybnek Michalek.

Pittsburgh trying furiously to get another goal and the chippiness is starting to show during every stoppgae of play, more pushing and shoving and almost fisticuffs but no penalties are handed out.

And we have another Flyers goal, and empty net tally because Fluery was pulled for an extra attacker to make it 6-3 Flyers, Jakub Voracek again scoring to add to the Flyers total and the Penguins misery.

The subsequent faceoff and finally the fisticuffs break out, people square off literally all over the ice. Even the coaches are up on their feet yapping at each other. If this turns out to be a first round playoff matchup, well, let's just say their will be plenty of bad blood between these two teams come next week.

Let's see if they sort out all of the penalty nonsense, all I know so far is the Flyers coach, Peter Laviolette has been thrown out. As far as penalties, that is still being sorted out. I probably could use this time to do some spell checking, but why start spell checking now? I have a reputation to maintain after all.

Finally we are back underway for the last minute of action and Pittsburgh quickly scores to make it a 6-4, Chris Kunitz getting the goal with 32 seconds remaining in the game. Assists to the goal go to Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.

And its a final. Philadelphia 6 Pittsburgh 4. No announcement on the late penalties yet, I guess I will have to wait and see if they post them online in the near future, though given they really didn't affect the outcome of the game, so I doubt anyone will be in a huge rush to get that information out there.  The lasty goal by the Penguins was a power play goal however, because of all of the extra curricular activities that broke out at the end of the game.  Brayden Schenn did get a 2 minute unsportmanlike conduct called against him, by I know that Aaron Asham from PIttsburgh and at least one Flyer were escorted from the ice, so chances are there will be more penalties handed out for all of the statistics geeks out there.

I will not be waiting for that info however, I want to get this thing posted and call it a day.  Still lots to do and part of that is not waiting on useless trivia.  So toodles to you all, glad to be back. 

Okay, before I go, I reference the penalty nonsense at the end of the game, here is the final result on that.....


Brayden Schenn 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Wayne Simmonds 5 min - fighting (major), Pavel Kubina 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Marc Andre Bourdon 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Daniel Briere 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Brayden Schenn 2 min - roughing, Zac Rinaldo 10 min - misconduct


Deryk Engelland 5 min - fighting (major), Aaron Asham 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Craig Adams 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Joe Vitale 2 min - unsportsmanlike conduct, Aaron Asham 10 min - misconduct.

I think that covers it.  Now I will go.

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