Monday, June 30, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 181 - Scheduling conflict

     Okay, I didn't prepare for today very well at all.  I woke up early enough, more than early enough actually, but after hitting my snooze button a few times I shut the alarm off, thinking I would close my eyes for 15 minutes and then go about the business of being functional.  Well that didn't work out as planned, I ended up falling back to sleep, and while I was able to wake up in time to catch the buss and report in for a normal day of work for me, today was anything but normal.

     First, Brian is on vacation.  Which means anything Brian does when he is around now falls squarely on my shoulders.  I am now not only running the deposits to the bank, but I am doing all of the actual banking as well, moving money between accounts so we can pay bills, cover payroll, meet our Western Union obligations, etc.  I am actually doing things that eve Ed doesn't do, which means I guess I am officially sitting at the big kids table.  Plus today was the day that payroll had to be submitted to ADP, and while Ed will call in the hours for everyone, I was responsible for editing any hours by tracking cal offs and tardiness, as well as tracking any advances that may have been doled out over the last two weeks.  Not to mention as well as our grocery order I had three other cigarette orders coming in that needed separated, I still had the books to do from our weekend sales.  It was a busy day to say the least, made all the worse because I was stupid enough to go back to bed this morning. 

     I have another 9 or so days of being Brian as well as being me, and if I am going to make it through this I think I better get to bed a little earlier tonight and not go back to sleep when the alarm first goes off.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 180 - Clean up week

    This is nice.  I think today is the first day since Dee left that I have actually not been in the store.   I have my phone with me, just in case, but the day is half over and no major emergencies have arisen yet, so I am starting to like my chances that I will not be going in at all

      Okay, I took a little break from the blog.  Original plan was to take my Sunday walk and half way through it stop and write for a bit and then walk home.  I went and got my coffee and had picked out a decent spot to write, outside the Pitt student union, across from the panther statue.  When I first left out on my walk it had started raining, nothing to heavy , but it was coming down steadily, but by the time I had reached my blogging destination it had stopped and all seemed well.  But every time the wind blew the rain would fall off the tree leaves and right onto my iPad, plus it started raining again, less than when I first started but enough to interrupt the blogging conditions.

     So I left,now I am picking up while doing some laundry.  Usually this is one of those tasks I save for late night, when no one is here and I can have the place pretty much to myself, but if today is going to be a day off (work still hasn't called) then I probably should make use of it.

    While I was on my walk I was taking notice of things and thinking what all I should write about.  Sammy has come up with a phrase, "clean up week", where he goes through all of the products from a specific vendor and makes sure that anything that is out of date gets returned.  I think that might be a good approach today, just things that I may have missed at one point that should probably be dealt with in some manner.

     For instance, while I was on my walk today I went by Peet's Coffee, one of a chain of such coffee shops.  I was there once shortly after they first opened and I tried a large dark roasted something or other.  Normally I am not one to complain about coffee,for me it is a purpose drink, that purpose being to stay awake.  I am not a coffee snob, I will not go into details about which coffee beans do what, or different brewing processes, just make me a cup that I can swallow and that keeps me up and I am good.  Except that wasn't what happened, what I got was something that tasted like it was burnt.  Now I understand that there is a special skill set involved in burning a liquid (Cleveland will always be special in this regard for catching a river on fire), I just have no desire to drink a burnt beverage.  Maybe I am just not hip enough to understand the full bodied coffee flavor that was crossing my tongue, but it was still burnt.  I didn't complain. I just have never been back and have no intention of doing so.   Still, as I walked by Peet's today there was one of those a-frame signs on the side walk, some new trendy coffee they had with flowers of some type in it.  Personally I think they should come up with Vanity Blend, with clouds in my coffee, clouds in my coffee and.......

      Of the things that I have forgotten to mention recently, I had, count them, two different sightings of The Sexican.  I hadn't seen her since her family had closed the Mexican restaurant next door to Smithfield News and pretty much had not planned on seeing her again.  But one day Sammy and I were taking the weekend deposits to the bank, we were chatting with Gillian and Denise and who should come into the bank right after us but The Sexican.  My heart got all fluttery, as it is prone to do in such instances but I tried to maintain a relative cool demeanor, lest I come off as a twelve year old who is seeing boobs for the first time in National Geographic.  The second time was about a week later, I was on my way to the casino after work, just to blow off some free slot play I had accumulated and as I was getting on the subway who should be getting off but The Sexican.  She was wearing these baby blue denim pants that on most people would have looked odd, but on her they looked great.   Then again I am a biased observer, she could be wearing a tarp and I am sure I would still be stunned by the ensemble.

     Yesterday I went into work, something that I do pretty much every Saturday.  My day started around 11:30am with a trip to the store formerly known as Gus Millers, where I picked up a cigarette order for Monday and then I made my way into Smithfield News.  I had been there maybe a half hour or so when Lauren, who was the primary on duty, had told me there was a call off on the next shift.  I called Ed to see if it had been taken care of yet and he said another person tried calling off as well, then he went on a tangent about whether he should hire someone, but he doesn't want to cut hours.  I just said, if they aren't here, they are already cutting their own hours, it does us know good to give someone 40 hours and they show up for say, 30 of them.  All we can do is what is right for the business, and that is to make sure the store is always staffed, if people want hours they will be here for them.   Then I welcomed him to the world Dee dealt with on a daily basis.  I know I am not liked enough for people to call me about calling off and Brian just will not tolerate it, leaving Ed to catch those phone calls because he is the most soft hearted of the three of us.  It is like when you were a kid and you wanted to do something, you always picked the parent that would give you the best chance of getting the answer you wanted.  Ed is that parent now when it comes to our employees.

     My family reunion is coming up in a couple of weeks and I am in a bit of a dilemma about what to do.  I would like to go, I haven't see some people in my family in years that will be there, but I did take on this new job title and the responsibility that goes with it.  Plus Brian is already going to be away on vacation, he is spending 10 days in Mexico, and I don't want to shoulder Ed with everything.  Mind you, I would only miss a Saturday shift and I could possibly transfer most of my Saturday work to an extra long day on Friday, but that would mean getting about 6 other people on board with that because of all of the orders I usually do on Saturday.

     Anyway the laundry is done, which I guess is a good thing.  All I know is I am sweating a lot, lugging clothes to and from the laundrymat is not a fun process when it is humid outside.  The temp isn't that bad, probably upper 70s ( it was 78 when I went on my walk earlier) but unlike Arizona, there is no such thing as a dry heat here, so even days that should be comfortable like today can make the sweat just come pouring off of you.  On the bright side, maybe I will lose some weight, I could use it.  Toodles for now.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 179 - Well that was useless

     There I went and made a blog entry yesterday, and while I assumed it might be funny to some and upsetting to others, what I didn't expect to happen was for it to become obsolete in a day.  Don't get me wrong, you can still buy your cock socket for the iPad at the link over there but apparently it didn't take long for Youtube to realize that the video violated their terms of service agreement.  The video is still on the Fleshlight page for anyone who wants to poke through the sex toys to see it, you can just no longer see it on Youtube or my blog for that matter.   Some days I wonder why I try.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 178 - Product in the spotlight? No, the Fleshlight

     You know how when you first click onto this blog there is a content warning.  Today is going to be the day to heed that warning, if you are easily offended turn away now and don't look back.  What I happened to run into the other day while online is not for the faint at heart.

     Let me start by saying that I have no idea of what anyone does in the privacy of their own home.  Nor am I seeking details of such  things, but I think it is probably safe to assume that one or two of you have masturbated at some point in time.  Maybe even today, who knows  I don't know and I don't care.

     But apparently there is a hole in the masturabatory market (pun intended), and one that the people at Fleshlight would like to fill (again, pun intended).  Fleshlight is a maker of sex toys and apparently there was one place in the sex market that hadn't been addressed yet, that being the people who want to have sex and be on their tablet at the same time.  Well that problem is now officially solved with the Fleshlight Launchpad.  Yes, someone came up with the bright idea of strapping a cock socket onto an iPad.  Don't believe me?  Here is the specifics and for just $24.95 you can be the proud owner of this

     You know, there will come a day when we will no longer be here and the archaeologists from a future time with go combing through our fossils and one of them is bound to come across this thing and wonder if we didn't write with our penises (or penii for those who like scientific pluralization).  They may think that their evolution had stopped since man apparently once had a "trained seal like" penis.

     My biggest concern though is where does this stop.  Most guys I know have pretty strong libidos, and apparently we are just a cock socket attachment away from fucking pretty much anywhere.  Think the girl behind the counter at McDonald's is cute, get the Fleshlight Happy Meal.  Hell at Starbucks the barista could give you multiple sizes of cock sockets, each with trendy names so that even if someone is small in genital stature, at Starbucks it would be called the grande sized cock socket.  Not just a means to masturbate, but to build one's ego as well.   Really the possibilities are endless, and I could spend all night here typing them, but I am waiting for my Fleshlight Blogger to arrived, because apparently I am just fucking around with today's post.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 177 - Highlights

     Growing up in and around Pittsburgh through the course of my life I am been blessed as a sports fan to have some really great teams to root for and support.  As I have mentioned previously in this blog that for some having that level of success has brought about a certain entitlement mentality, very little appreciation for the periods of success certain teams have achieved because success is to be expected rather than cherished.  There is no enjoyment in the journey to the top of the mountain because they believe the journey starts at the top of the mountain.

     In my lifetime the Pitt football team has won a national championship, the Pittsburgh Pirates have won two World Series, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won three Stanley Cups and the Pittsburgh Steelers have won the Super Bowl 6 times.  While I have witnessed many of those moments though the wonders of TV, I have never been to any of them.  That isn't to say I haven't been fortunate, I have been to many sporting events that will leave a lasting impression on me such as seeing Pitt basketball beat Georgetown at the Civic Arena, almost a coming of age party that Pitt was ready to be a player in the Big East basketball conference, being at PNC Park for Barry Bonds's last at bats in Pittsburgh before the end of his career, having the privilege of watching Mario Lemieux play hockey numerous times, watching Greg Lloyd absolutely crush Brett Favre in a preseason game, etc.   I am sure there any many Pittsburghers like myself who could go into detail about sporting events they were at and what those events meant to them.

     Through the wonders of technology (mostly the internet and Youtube) I give you the three most memorable sporting moments I was lucky enough to be in attendance for in my lifetime.

     3)  May 17th 1999   Toronto Maple Leafs versus Pittsburgh Penguins, Eastern Conference Semifinal - Unlike previous teams in my lifetime, this particular Pittsburgh Penguins team was not one of the favorites to win a Stanley Cup.  Sure they had great players, including Jaromir Jagr and Tom Barrasso, but this was a team that was on the decline, not an upswing.  Things were even worse financially for them, enough so that winning playoff games was necessary just for the organization to balance the books with the additional gate receipts.  The Penguins entered the playoffs as the 8th seed, but managed to dispatch of the top seeded New Jersey Devils in the first round of the playoffs and the second round found them against the 4th seeded Toronto Maple Leafs.  May 17th would be game 6 of that series, Toronto led the best of seven 3 games to 2 and I would be in attendance because I was covering the game for the radio station I was working for at the time, I think we were going by the moniker of Sportsfan 1360.  My job would be to cover the game, take notes and then go into the locker room and get post game audio, which would then be cut up and used for sports updates on the station later that night and the next day.   I remember that there were so many media members there that night, many from Canada where hockey is almost like religion, that my press credential was not issued for my normal seat in the press box, but instead was in additional media seating behind the visiting goal.  The game would go into overtime and then Gary Valk happened and Pittsburgh's season would come to a close......

     2)  January 25th, 1988  Pitt Panthers versus Providence Friars   By this point in time Pitt had made itself into somewhat of a power in Big East basketball.  The Pitt team would feature two players that would get drafted by NBA teams, Charles Smith and Jerome Lane, as well as Sean Miller who has become one of the better college coaches in the country,  currently plying his trade at the University of Arizona.  On this particular night no one really expected anything historic to happen, Pitt was ranked in the top 5 teams nationally and Providence was just a middling Big East school.  Not that a Pitt win was a foregone conclusion, but expectations were such that most people in attendance were not showing up for a tussle between to epic basketball programs.  I was there because it was my freshman year at Pitt, I liked basketball and student tickets to basketball games were free, you just showed your ID at the ticket window in the student union and they gave you a seat in the student section.  But what would happen very early in this game is a highlight that would get played dozens of times over in media markets all around the world....

     I remember the game was stopped afterward for about 30 minutes, they brought out the halftime show to entertain the crowd while they replaced the now broken basketball hoop and the entire time the crowd never stopped cheering, or even sat down for that matter and when the teams came back out to restart the game, it was like Providence's will to play had just been broken, Pitt would go on to blow out the Friars 90-56.  I got back to my dorm room and my roommate came back with pieces of the shattered backboard he had picked up off of the floor, he was giving them to everyone.  I imagine I still have mine buried in a box someplace.

     3)  November 15th, 1987  Pitt Panthers versus Penn State Nittany Lions    Another game that I attended my freshman year of college.  Unlike basketball, where tickets were given for free to students, for football season student had to spend a whopping $9 and for that $9 you got a ticket to every Pitt home football game, 7 in all.  Pitt - Penn State was a rivalry that, at its peak, was one of the biggest in the country. It would have been on par with the likes of Ohio State - Michigan, Alabama - Auburn, Texas - Oklahoma, USC - UCLA.  At this point in time though the rivalry was beginning to taper off a bit, Pitt's program was down a bit and Penn State had just come off of winning a national championship the season prior.  Add to that Penn State's coach, Joe Paterno, had never lost a game at Pitt Stadium, and while hope sprung eternal that maybe things would be different this year, Pitt winning would definitely be considered an upset.  If you are a person that is into high scoring football, then this wasn't a game for you, it ended up being a defensive battle the entire game, neither team did much on offense, Pitt kicked a field goal on its first possession to go up 3-0, and that is how the score would remain until the last minute of play, when Penn State would get the ball and begin driving into Pitt territory. 

     As Billy Owens ran down the field everyone in the student section was no longer sitting, they were standing on the bleachers, trying to get a better view of what was happening.  As Owens crossed the goal line and sealed the win for Pittsburgh, the section erupted into bedlam, someone actually landed on the back of my legs, knocking me down three rows of seats into a rather attractive female.  I regret that I did not have a pick up line at the ready, I wasn't as clever then as I am now. 

    Anyway, those are the three most memorable moments that I have been fortunate enough to actually be in attendance.  Hope you enjoyed and for a change I actually blogged a little, Who'd have thunk that?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 176 - Still AWOL

   My writing muse is still missing.  Not sure what I did with it, I am hoping it comes back soon.  Ever since this past weekend, where it seemed my brain was firing on at least some cylinders it has just been a downhill slide in the creativity department.   The new job isn't necessarily hard, just time consuming more than anything else and the people who used to pull at my time before; vendors and what not, haven't grasped yet that I have more responsibility now and less time for them.  Getting the cell phone has only made it worse, now they think they can cal me at any time and I will drop whatever I am doing just for them.  If it is a store issue, that's one thing, if it is someone who just wants me to do something for them and it has nothing to do with our core business, honestly, I couldn't give a shit.  And I signed up for a two year contract with this thing.  Well at least one month is gone, only 23 to go and after that I don't think I want to renew at this point.

     Well rather than bitch and moan I should go be productive or something.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 175 - I'm dreaming of a I can't

   Big highlight of my day today, our grocery rep came in for her biweekly visit (which is every two weeks and not a weekly visit from a bisexual for those who might have been confused) where she goes over new products with me and writes up any returns we may have.  Today she came in and wanted to see ED, she is trying to schedule a store reset, where they come in with new tags for the shelves and relabel the entire store.  To me that sounds like a great idea, we have plenty of products where the tags need changed, either the price is wrong or the item number has changed (usually due to a change in packaging) which makes ordering a ot harder than it needs to be.

    I was thinking that I had dodged a bullet today, not that I have anything against our rep, I just had a lot to do between getting all of my orders put in for tomorrow and getting the daily sales reports done from Monday so I could run the deposit to the bank.  But the she says, Matt I need you to look over something as well.  It was an order sheet, upcoming specials that I may or may not want to order.  The kicker was what the order sheet was for.  Christmas candy!!!!   Yes, it is 85 degrees outside, we are 6 months removed from the yuletide season and I spent part of my day ordering Hershey chocolate Santas and Reese Peanut Butter Cup Christmas trees.  I think I even bought Hello Kitty candy canes. 

    So I guess it isn't too soon to say Merry Christmas everyone, I just better get cracking on the new Christmas list.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 174 - Sorry folks

     I wish I could pull a rabbit out of my hat here, but any sort of creativity I may have been having on the page these last few days just isn't with me tonight.  It is like a baseball player having a 0 for game, this is one of those nights where I am just not feeling it.  Maybe it was because I was late getting out of work, maybe it is just my lack of energy since I got home, but I can say in no uncertain terms that I will not be wowing anyone with my brilliance this evening.  This is jut one where I struggle through and hope to do better tomorrow.

    It isn't my only writing tonight, I did jots a few notes on a radio discussion board that I visit and I commented on a blog that appears on my reading list, but none of that writing really translates very well to a post here.  Hockey and local radio politics don't exactly drive traffic around these parts.  Then again, not much does drive traffic around these parts.

     Anyway I am just going to call it a night, ry making something to eat and see if I can't be more successful in that venture as opposed to this one.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 173 - Out of the pool

Maybe mine in a singular experience, but I don't think it is.  Remember when we were kids.  For those of us who didn't have swimming pools, maybe for those who did as well, there was the moment when summer would come around and with it thoughts of going swimming.  The experience was almost always a fun one, I know for me once I got in the water and started splashing around the last thing I wanted to do was get out.  I could swim for hours on end.  Once it was time to go there was always that moment, with the towel wrapped around me, where I could still feel the sensation of the water all around me and there was the urge to just jump right back in.  I just didn't want to leave.

I say this because I had a similar experience today.  When last I left this very fine page I had mentioned hat as of that writing I still had not heard whether or not I would be going to breakfast with my aunt this morning.  Well after finishing my entry and posting it I got word that she still wanted to go to breakfast so we went ahead and set a time for 9:30 this morning.  Given how long I worked last night I just decided it would be better to stay up all night, get an early start this morning and make my way over to the Strip District since we had decide once again on having breakfast at Kelly O's.  Worst case scenario I figured I could always come home after our breakfast sojourn and grab an afternoon nap.

So I pop into the shower here around 6:30am, hoping the hot water would help startle my somewhat dreary senses and after taking my good old time in there I proceeded to find clothes to wear today (the masses frown upon public nudity in general and mu public nudity in specific) and grabbed all of the stuff I would need and hopped out the door. 

I did not study the bus schedule, so I wasn't sure when the 54C would arrive but I knew it generally runs every half hour or so and I left my apartment with plenty of time to catch one.  I left early enough that I stopped for coffee at the corner gas station.  I wanted to make sure I wasn't being all sleepy and stuff while we were together and few things work better in that regard than coffee, so I grabbed a large one and headed off to the bus stop, where I ended up waiting long enough that I had all but finished the coffee by the time my bus had arrived. 

I boarded the bus, replete with my ear buds locked in, listening to "Prehistoric X" on the local alternative station.  I forgot how much I liked that show, it has been so long now that I have listened to anything outside of Pandora for music and Fox Sports Radio when music wasn't my choice that actually tuning into a local FM station and staying tuned in for more than 5 minutes is all but a novelty for me at this point. 

I could feel myself starting to nod off on the bus, the eyes would close for a minute or two and then snap back awake, trying to take in the new surroundings, hoping that I did not miss my stop completely.  My lack of sleep was overcoming my caffeine induced alertness.  Thankfully I did not miss my stop, and after checking my cell phone I realized that I was almost a good hour early so I took the opportunity to take a long looping walk through the Strip District, up one street, down another.  The walk did what the caffeine was supposed to do, it got me up and moving and alert so that by the time I made my way back to Kelly O's to meet my aunt I was not fighting sleepiness at all, my second wind was in full effect.

My aunt Amy arrived and with her was my cousin Sarah and we made our way into he restaurant and much to our surprise there wasn't a line this morning, which is very odd for a Sunday at that hour, usually there is a bit of a wait but we were able to grab a table immediately.  We all ordered breakfast, and got about the business of catching up which is probably the best part of our breakfasts together, just spending time with family in a relaxed atmosphere and finding out what has been going on in each others lives.

Apparently I was the only one that was prepared for the breakfast experience, because both Amy and Sarah were having trouble finishing their breakfasts while I more than conquered the breakfast burrito that was in front of me.  If breakfast was an Olympic sport then this morning I easily took home gold.

We finished up and decided to walk around the Strip for a bit, poking our heads into different stores to see what all might be worth purchasing.  We had just entered our first store, which was a shop that specialized in handmade clothing when I heard a weird sound go off.  It was my cell phone and I am still not used to it yet.  I really am coming to loathe that thing already.  There are only a handful of people that have my cell phone number and most of them are work related, so if it is going off chances are it isn't good.  This was no exception as I looked on the caller ID and Brett's name popped up.  Now Brett normally orders cigarettes through our store since we have a wholesale license, but I already work six days a week, I can't imagine why he would be calling me on a Sunday morning.  Well I could imagine it, I am was sure he wanted to place an order and there was no way I was going into work on my day off, not after being there until almost 10pm the day before doing the ordering for Monday.  As far as I was concerned, that ship had sailed.  My guess was 100% correct and I just said sorry, Sunday is my day off, I am at breakfast and have no intention of going into work today.

After ending that phone call it was back to going in and out of stores, Amy found a purse she liked, Sarah got a couple of floral wreath like things for her hair and a hoodie, and we were checking out a bookstore when the phone rang again.  This time it was work.  "Matt, one of the registers quit working."  Yes kids, that would be a "Fuck Me" moment, something I would have to address in the near future.  So we went to a few other stores, an Italian grocery store and I drug everyone into Mancini's bakery just because I wanted to buy another loaf of cracked pepper and tomato basil bread (which is awesome by the way) before deciding to call it a morning.  Sarah had to work today and now apparently so did I, so we ended our little shopping foray.  Amy gave me a ride into work, which is actually closer to the Strip District than my apartment is.  She dropped me off and I went inside where all I had to do was literally hit the power button on the register and it started working again.  It took all of like one minute for me to fix (or so I thought, more on that later) so I grabbed my things and headed out to the bus stop to go back to Oakland.

As I got outside the store though and looked down Smithfield Street in the direction of the Strip District I had that swimming pool moment again, thinking about how much fun this morning was and wanting to just dive right back in.   Instead I was being drug from the fun of the pool and was going home.  The only plus to going home was that at least I would be able to get some sleep.

I got into my apartment about 12:30pm or so and was probably asleep within a half hour.  It was a nice peaceful sleep too.  Until 3pm, when the cell phone rang again.  Once again it was work and the register wasn't working again.  So I got up, called the register technician people and said we may be having a problem and I will probably need them to look at it.  Then I got dressed and stumbled my way back to the bus stop, or tried to.  I got about halfway there before realizing my wallet (with my money and bus pass) were still in my apartment, so back home I came to grab that before heading back out. 

I got back into work around 6pm, tried a few different things but couldn't get the register up and running, so I went down to my desk to get the register keys so we could at least open the drawer and take the money out of it.  After emptying the drawer I tried calling the register people again, since they did not call back after my first attempt.  Still no answer, just voice mail. I tried the power button one more time just before I was leaving and all of a sudden the register started working again, so I am not sure if we have a problem or not.  It could be the register is overheating and shutting down (though both the attached printer and the credit card keypad were working) or it could be an issue with the drawer not closing properly which will cause the register to not function.  At least those are my two best guesses at this point, I am still having them look at it before we use it again.  I don't want to continue to revisit the same problem two and three times a day ad infinitum.  I called Ed and clued him into what was happening and how I handled things and then came home, where I made a sandwich on my fresh bakery bread and now I am here.  I think I would still rather be in the pool though.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 172 - Seeking professional help

     I was at a loss as to what to write about this evening.  Not that I was at a loss all day long, I had ideas earlier and then lost then in the great beyond that is known as my mind.  I actually had a couple of good ideas I was fleshing out this morning/afternoon on my bus ride back from breakfast.  I went and used the free birthday pancakes I had gotten from IHOP for my Saturday breakfast and was just catching the bus back into work when I had an idea for a blog, it was starting to even flesh itself out a little bit in my head.  Ideas of how it should begin, what the middle might look like were taking shape.  I didn't have an ending mapped out, I was still in the planing stage.

     I suppose I could have pulled out my iPad and started writing a little something, but iPad-ing on the bus isn't as easy as it sounds, and worse, just as I was fleshing out a good idea for a blog someone sat in the seat next to me.  And it was an attractive someone to boot.  So now I am at that point where I don't want to let on that I think the person sitting next to me is attractive, so I am pretending not to notice her because that is the proper way any 45 year old man should act around an attractive female.  But I also don't want to now pull out my iPad and start blogging right next to her, because it is impolite to pull out your junk in public and worse, if she happens to read anything I am writing I could scare her off without even saying anything.  It is like when you approach a bird in your yard, you don't want to get too close because you will scare it away, but sudden movements might do that as well, so you are just stuck there frozen.

     Of course she ended up riding the bus all the way into town, the same stop I was getting off in fact, so before I could actually right anything down I was already at work and there was plenty to do there so the thought of just taking some time and blogging wasn't an option.  Whatever idea I had, by the time I got fully involved in my job, it was gone.  Perhaps it will come back tomorrow or the next day, who knows.

     Instead I got home from work just about 15 minutes ago and fired up the laptop and was just getting ready to say I had nothing to write about.  First though I wanted to check Facebook, my aunt had suggested going to breakfast on Sunday and I hadn't heard back since I replied to her so I just was checking to see if there was an update (as of this writing, no there isn't), but there was a message for me over there concerning yesterday's blog entry from a friend of mine, Richard.  I decided maybe I better go back and look at yesterday's entry to see what was so exciting, maybe I missed something. 

     What I found was that I had typos and screwups galore.  So much for spell check on the iPad, that thing looked horrible.  So I went back and edited a few things, mostly typos but a couple of other small things as well.  I didn't change the content, just some spellings (or misspellings) and rephrased a thing or two, but I have decided that maybe I need to take some applications for a full time proof reader.  I'll admit, the job pays as much as what grinding out a daily blog pays (nothing) and chances are it will add absolutely nothing to your resume, but anyone wishing to apply for the job is more than welcome to.  You can't do a worse job than I already do. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 171 - Freedom isn't free, but Friday is

So I am in the midst of my night of living free, or as close to it as I can get.  Sitting in Red Robin, burning off my free burger certificate, though I am actually getting the BBQ chicken sandwich instead.  Some would consider it almost criminal to be here and not be getting a burger, but just wasn't in a burgery kind of mood.

This is actually my second stop after work, I stopped at the movie theater and picked up my ticket for X-Men, which is showing at 7:20, so I have some time to just sit back and relax and enjoy dinner before going to the movie.  Getting my ticket early (which was also free) means I don't have to stand in line later on when more people will be trying to get in.

Yikes, my dinner showed up and I barely started the appetizer.  I got the pretzel bites, which are soft and warm and tasty, served with a yummy cheese sauce.  Apparently my dinner was brought by a food runner because the bartender (they seated me in the bar since I am flying solo this evening) just came over and apologized for not giving me enough time with the appetizer.  As if putting plates of food in front of me is a bad thing.  Really the only thing bad about sitting in the bar is that there are two TVs on over the bar, one is showing women's golf, the other is showing World Cup soccer.  You couldn't interest me less if you had gay porn on over the bar.  I know why soccer is on, as much as it bores me, we are in one of those sports media lulls that happens during every World Cup, where they try to convince us how much the United States is embracing soccer, when we are in fact not.  The spectacle is what has the attention of some, get back to me when the MLS fields a team that consistently plays in front of sell out crowds, or one that is competitive with their European counterparts.  Don't mistake a nation's poor attempt at patriotic fervor with actual sporting interest.

As for why women's golf is on, I think it is because a 12 or 13 year old amateur was competing.  I imagine the desire to have round three on TV was quashed when the girl shot 78-78 in rounds one and two.  Don't get me wrong, those scores are great for someone her age and certainly better than I would ever shoot, but I am not trying to compete with professionals.  Once you step on a course, field, platform, etc with people that are professionals at what they do, then the excuses for why one did not measure up need to be tossed out the window.   I say that now, before the stories that will follow tomorrow morning about how she did good for a girl her age.  And it says something about women's golf that one of the few ways it can get attention is through a spectacle and not the talent of the professionals who compete on a weekly basis.

For the record, men's golf isn't any better because on the men's tour the focus is still on Tiger Woods, who hasn't played in months and hasn't played well in probably better than a year now.   Imagine how it would feel if every day that you went to work your boss pined over someone who used to work there, constantly reminded you of how much better he was at your job than you are and could not wait for the day that other person returned just so you could be put back in your place where you belong.  That my friends is today's PGA.

Just finishing dinner, the BBQ chicken sandwich was awesome, I did get seconds on the bottomless fries, and now I am fat and happy.  Which is better than most days where I am just fat.  I am ready to pay my bill, just waiting on the check, though the bartender has been pretty busy, the pub section is filling up, but it is Friday night at dinner, so the fact they are getting busier is not a surprise.  In fact, the sooner I get my check, the sooner I will pay my bill so they can turn this table for more customers.  I did food service long enough to know it is partially about turnover if someone is looking to make a good evening's worth of dinero.  I am just down to 40 minutes till movie time, I would say I planned this out pretty well.

My check was 8 dollars and some odd change, I didn't really pay attention, I just left a $20 and rolled.  Even when I get a deal like I did tonight, I still tip based on what the check should have been versus what I actually paid, and my service was pretty outstanding, so leaving an extra ten bucks wasn't that big a thing.   Now I am sitting in the theater waiting for the movie to start.  I would have waited outside at one of the tables at Starbucks but it was raining and with a full belly my desire to have a post dinner coffee while sitting outside in the rain just wasn't there.  Maybe if the rain had held off I might be okay with it, but that wasn't a choice I had.

The bad thing about getting into the theater early is that I have to sit through ten minutes of commercials.  I miss the days where the only thing you used to see before a movie was a couple of previews.

I'm back, movie is over and it was pretty good.  Not necessarily the best movie I had ever seen but certainly not bad by any stretch.  Definitely worth the price of admission.  Now I am just waiting for the bus home.  My stomach still feels fat and full, and sitting in a chair for 2+ hours didn't do my knees any favors.  I think that may have been the longest I have sat in one place in quite some time.  Usually at work, or even at home, I have enough anxiousness about me that I can't sit still for that long.

I should probably bring this to a close though.  It is definitely long enough and I have less than two hours to email this to myself, and then copy and paste that email into Blogger.  So for now I bid you all a fond adieu or is that a blond fondue.  I am never sure about such things.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 170 - And it comes back to me

    So I mentioned last night before turning in that my birthday plans didn't quite work out.  Don't get me wrong, not complaining about the day at all, I had fun at the casino, the free buffet was great, cake and a card at work were a surprise and the day went pretty smoothly as well.  No issues to report, so far the promotion has went pretty smoothly, though part of that is due to having Ed around.  People still want to talk to him more than me, which is fine, usually he gets stuck with scheduling issues that I would rather not deal with.

     The only bad part to the day was I had planned on taking in the free movie at Schenley Park.  Every summer they show free movies on Sundays and Wednesdays, weather permitting and the movie that was scheduled on my birthday was Iron Man 3.  Now I saw IM3 at the theater when it first came out, it was a decent enough movie (though they really made The Mandarin kind of shitty) but I though for free and as an excuse to getting out of the house, well it wouldn't be a bad way to cap off turning 45, or as I call it, halfway to death.

     But then I was late getting out of the casino, I still had to go to the store formerly known as Gus Millers to get their cigarette order that had to be put in today and I would have had to run home and drop my laptop and iPad off as I had left them at work to be picked up on my way home from the casino, so the chance I would get everything done and get to the park on time for he start of the movie was problematic at best.  Worse, as I was leaving the casino  and getting off the subway downtown I saw some flashes of light to the north.  At first I though maybe someone had hit a homerun in the Pirates - Reds game taking place at that time, they shoot fireworks off when someone from the home team does that, but there was no followup bang, so it wasn't fireworks.  And then the flashes started becoming more common, lightning flashing in the distance and the light bouncing off of the buildings downtown, it almost looked like someone had a giant police cruiser light in the sky it was happening so often. 

     So I catch my bus to head back to Oakland and on the bus I decide that if there is a storm coming (and it was certain at that point, it still could pass north of the city, which is where most of the flashes were) I don't want to be caught in the park in the middle of a movie that I had already seen.  Free movie or not, my desire to get caught in a storm was not strong enough, so I just decided to grab the cigarette order and come home instead.   Good thing I did, because shortly after I got home, what would have been about an hour into the movie, this type of thing started happening

     It probably was like this for a good 45 minutes or so outside, I rushed through my last blog entry, hoping the power would stay on long enough that I could post before midnight (obviously it did) and while I was just waiting the storm out at home I hopped over to my email.  I have already gotten quite a few freebies from different companies during my birthday month and I knew one of the websites I use, Swagbucks, gives out 50 bucks for your birthday but I hadn't received mine, so I wanted to see if there was an email I had to reply to or acknowledge in order to get that as well and sure enough it was sitting there waiting for me, which put me over the 450 bucks needed to order another $5 Amazon gift card.

     There was another couple of emails there as well, one from Camel cigarettes which just said Happy Birthday, enjoy your cancer or some such foolishness and one from Marlboro cigarettes, where, along with wishing me a happy birthday and cowboy themed cancer enjoyment, there was a birthday present as well, two free movie tickets.  So while I missed a free movie, I get to replace it with two others, and ones I haven't seen to boot.  Not too shabby if I do say so myself.  There was also card in my mailbox from my mom, who once again went overboard, especially with the issues they have been having, I was just happy with her and I talking on the phone two days prior.

     So tomorrow night it looks like birthday week continues with a free burger from Red Robin and going to see the X-Men movie for free as well.  This week isn't turning out half bad.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 169 - Birthday

What can I say, it was a pretty good day.  I slept in a bit, got into work, banged out all of my stuff, talked to Dee on my cell phone briefly, I will probably be seeing her on Saturday or early next week, there was cake and a card for me at work, went to the casino and had my free buffet and spent some money with my newly gotten raise.  The only bad part was missing the movie in the park, but given it is storming out right now I doubt the movie is taking place anyway.  In fact, I am just happy the power stayed on loig enough for me to type this much and rather than tempt fate I am going to call it an evening. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 168 - Bjork it

Nothing new to report, save for we are now less than two hours from my birthday, so I guess it is time to cue my music.....

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 167 - Let birthday week begin

     Yes my birthday is in two days, and scarily enough I am starting to get excited for it.  As a kid my birthdays were never big things, we didn't make plans or anything, usually there would just be a cake and I might get a birthday card or two but that would be the sum of the events.  Even now I don't do the big go out and get drunk sort of thing, but I am looking forward to my plans, however meager they are.  I will of course be working, Wednesday is still a work day after all, but so far this week it looks like I will be going to the casino on Tuesday (at least $50 in free slot play), back to the casino on Wednesday (free buffet for my birthday), free movie in the park Wednesday night (Iron Man 3), dinner on Friday and breakfast on Saturday.  Unlike last week where my plans got changed (due to work and weather), I have no intention whatsoever of changing my plans this week.  That is the power of birthday week, my plans change for no one, lol.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 166 - Mistakes that don't matter

     I failed to mention something in yesterday's blog, in part because it was already late and I was pressed for time and in part because I didn't realize it until after the fact.

     Sitting on my desk at work was a stack of emails, not work related emails, just some personal goodie correspondence that I had printed up and wanted to take with me.  I have been mentioning (hinting) that my birthday is coming up and I received some offers in my email from different pages and companies that I interact with on Facebook and the web in general.  So, sitting on my desk was an email for a free burger at Red Robin, free pancakes at IHOP and a free bagel w/cream cheese at Brueggers.  My plan after missing the concert last night was, worst case scenario I would at least go to breakfast this morning, free pancakes were sounding good for a Sunday morning.

     But as I unlocked my apartment door last night I realized all of the birthday offers were still sitting on my desk at work and given today was Father's Day as well as Sunday, I imagined that unless I went into work very early to retrieve my emails and then go to breakfast, until I got there IHOP would be full of fathers being taken out to breakfast as well as people either coming or going from church.  And with Sunday being my only day off I wasn't much in the mind both getting up early and going into work.

     So I slept in a little bit, until 8:30 or so and got up and puttered around the apartment when the dreaded cell phone rang.  There are only a handful of people that have my cell number at this point, so if it is ringing then work is probably calling.  And it was work,  someone had a ticket stuck in the lottery machine.  Since the keys to the lottery machines are locked up in the office in my desk that meant that I had to go into work today anyway, but by then it was too late to go to breakfast without running smack into the breakfast crowds that almost assuredly would be out there.  Plus, just getting into town was a process with both the Three Rivers Arts Festival and Pridefest going on and today was the last day of both. As part of Pridefest there was a parade blocking off a handful of downtown streets, so getting to and fro was taking more time than usual.

     I did get into work and the lottery machine was all of about a 30 second fix, as soon as I opened the machine the ticket that was jammed came falling out, but since I was already at work, I went ahead and ran another credit card settlement and pulled the deli numbers from Friday morning.  Ed has been tracking how much breakfast business we have been doing, well he has been looking at the numbers, actually puling the report is my job.  I swear that I love the new register system, I am getting to the point where I can get it to do lots of neat little things that our old software was completely incapable of.

     After that I just decided to mosey around a bit, the day was beautiful outside and getting out of was going to be tricky, so instead I decided to do this.  Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 165 - Plans? Who needs plans?

I'll be brief.  Just now on my way home from work,  missed tonight's concert because I logged a 10 hour day.  The schedule was short staffed so I was in the deli making sandwiches on top of everything else I had to do.  And no, I still didn't get everything done.  It was more like triage than a successful work day, just do enough to keep the store somewhat functional until Monday morning.  Now however I am going home, food sounds good right about now (I haven't eaten yet today) and then some quiet time will have to suffice for the rest if the evening.  Maybe I will be a little bit more productive on Sunday.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 164 - An anniversary of sorts

     Well the Three Rivers Arts Festival closes this week and with it (and the subsequent week of my birthday), I am just about out of last times, such as the last time the Arts Festival was here I went with Ruth (who acted like she would have rather been any place else) and my last birthday was spent with her.  In all honesty the more time and space that I put between then and now just the more idiotic I realize I was being for two years.  There are times when I look back and just say to myself, "Matt, you were such a fucking moron".  As time passes though it is easier for me to accept my own stupidity.  Not justify it, just accept it.  I should have known better, there were just too many signs that I willingly ignored, as if by ignoring them or making excuses for them it was better than facing what would have most likely been obvious to anyone looking at it with no bias involved. 

    I can't say as I came out of it the same person, I pretty much don't trust anyone now, and my desire to have a relationship with anyone is nonexistent.  My blogging still suffers from it, every now and again I break through the malaise and pen something clever or witty, but for the most part my writing is still nowhere near where it was.  I am just not that nice a person to be around most days.

     Perhaps each day is a day closer to getting back to where I used to be, or maybe this is just it and the experience will shape the way I will be from here on out.  I guess time will be the ultimate determiner of that.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 163 - The best laid plans

So this is where I am sitting, waiting for the concert to begin in about an hour or so.  Behind me I can hear the opening band, but I am not much interested in hearing them, whomever they may be. Truth is, I am almost completely ambivalent about the concert itself at this point.  I would like to see a good show, which is what is keeping me here, by the same token it looks like it is going to rain and I have already put in another long day, so going home really wouldn't break my heart.   If it would rain it would make the decision for me.  And just as I type that drops start falling on my head.  Not downpour status, at least not yet, but enough to drive most of the people away from the fountain.  Funny thing is, the sky looks brighter than before, but the wind has also picked up, so what will actually happen is anyone's guess.

The rain got hard enough that I was chased from my perch overlooking the fountain, but by the time I got to the overpass that cuts the park almost in half the rain had stopped again.  It remains a toss up if I stick around for this.  I have reached the point where going home seems like a safer option, that way I don't get caught in the rain a second time.  The opening act isn't helping, they pretty much suck.  And I just saw a flash of lightning off to the north, if God was giving me a sign as to what to do, then right now I am pretty much ignoring him.  Even the occasional attractive female that walks by has now been negated by the 70+ year old an standing 20 feet from me who decided to remove his shirt.   This whole enterprise is taking on a car accident feel, you can't help but look despite how wrong everything is.

Great, the band with no talent just covered The Beatles, another band I have no taste for.  And don't comment on this blog about how great The Beatles were, it will fall on deaf ears here.  All they did was pave the way for every other boy band that would follow, and I have no respect for anyone who opens doors for the likes of The Backstreet Boys.  Being one of the first to do something isn't always a good thing, the first kid that pisses in the swimming pool doesn't make it cool for others to pee as well.

Okay, I just had to leave.  The opening act said they were going to play three more songs, starting with one that the FCC banned from being played on the radio.  After about a minute of it, I can safely guess that whether the FCC banned that particular song, nobody would have played it on the radio anyway.  At least not if they wanted to maintain any semblance of an audience.  That was the point that I checked the radar on my phone to see how bad the weather might be.  It looked hit and miss, enough scattered showers were in the west that we could get hit again and I just decided enough already.  I know by leaving it probably will not rain now, but even if it doesn't I am tired enough that leaving isn't going to upset me all that much.

Instead I think I will just head in a homeward direction, grab something to eat and call it a night.  Tomorrow is my free casino day, I should get at least $50 free dollars to play with because of all of the promotions and giveaways they are doing, so I will play with the house's money for a minute and whatever I win I will pocket and go home.  And next week I will go on Wednesday for the free birthday buffet and well as the free glass pitcher they are giving out.  What can I say, you should know by now free is my favorite word.

Okay, made it home, the rain has held off.  I am sure if I would have stayed it would be storming right now, but at least I got some food in my belly and now to put my head down and take a nap.  Toodles.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 162 - The week in music

I could spend  time yakking about how today went, or go on some political rant about what Eric Cantor's loss means in the grand scheme of things but instead I will just post two videos and get out of here, first one is for tomorrow night as part of the Three Rivers Arts Festival, second one is for Saturday as part of Pridefest.  So kick back and enjoy some Smithereens and Chaka Khan and I will try harder tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 161 - So far so good I guess

     Two days into my new position at work and so far there haven't been many screwups, I have been starting earlier than when Dee was there because the workload is enough that the extra time definitely helps.  On top of that our grocery vendor was in on Monday (or at least their rep) and now they want their orders in an hour earlier than before.  Used to be I had until 1pm, now it is noon.  Didn't quite work out that well today, I had to do three separate orders so by the time I got the last one squared away it was 12:30.  But in all I think I can handle the new responsibilities, thy are going to be more time consuming than difficult. 

     I did have the sit down with Ed regarding my compensation.  I didn't get everything I wanted, I'd say I probably got half but with a chance to revisit that issue in just 6 months.  If things are going better business wise and I don't turn into an abject failure in my new role then we will do the numbers thing again.  No complaints from me though, we reached a decent middle ground on Monday. 

     Haven't had much time to spend on my book recently, between the concert on Sunday, the new hours at work and another concert coming up Thursday and even potentially one on Saturday (depending on how long I am at work) it is looking to be a busy week for yours truly.  And next week my birthday pops up (on payday no less) which means a trip to the casino for a free buffet.  Yummm!!!!

     For now though I am off to bed.  I almost have this sleeping thing under control, which is another good thing.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 160 - Still off kilter

I till don't have this sleeping schedule thing straightened out.  I was up way too late on Saturday night/Sunday morning an then slept most of the day away on Sunday, waking up at 11am only to eat and go back to sleep until 3pm.  Last night I didn't sleep at all, I think in part it was nerves since today was the first day where I was working without Dee so if anything went it fell squarely on my shoulders, so I plowed through, opting instead to just go to an early breakfast this morning.  Getting home after 5pm, I managed to stay awake long enough to make a couple of sandwiches and then I fell asleep, napping for 5 hours before just waking up.  If it is okay with everyone I think I am going to go back to bed before I find myself fully awake and up all night again tonight.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 158 - Remember when I used to write long blog entries? Well.......

Greetings as I am live at the bus stop on the corner of 5th Avenue and Smithfield Street, though chances are you will not be reading this until well after the fact.  I am just waiting on a 61 bus (A,B,C or D) so I can head to Squirrel Hill and grab some lunch.  I have been at work for two hours now and decided that I would sneak out, grab some lunch and then come back into work.  The advantages of management I guess.  Since I haven't been to the Squirrel Cage in quite some time I believe the consuming of a Cajun chicken sandwich is called for.

Today is officially day #1 AD (after Dee) so I guess I am writing this as the only manager left at Smithfield News, save for Ed and Brian who are more along the lines of ownership than management.

If Dee was having second thoughts about leaving us, I think yesterday more than convinced her that leaving is probably a good thing.  We had one person quit, one person call off, one person go home early sick, the back office computer reset itself requiring us to call the vendor to get the password to log in again, catch a customer trying to steal around $100 in merchandise, and have a vendor forget to send us an order we had placed.  This is all on top of those things we are required to do.   Yes, Dee's last day turned out to be a fun one.  We will probably be seeing her a few times over the next couple of weeks, she isn't moving until the end of June, but she wanted some time to get her things in order before heading out.

All of this should prove most interesting, I can't speak to how much the employees liked or disliked Dee and I will not make up words to put in their mouths, but whenever they decided they were going to call off, it was always Dee they called.  I guess they felt she was the easiest to deal with in that regard, which is probably a correct assessment.  I know Brian is not looking forward to people calling him at all hours of the day just to say they aren't coming in, Ed is only around half the year and I can't see him wanting to be taking call offs while he is thousands of miles away in Florida and for me, I just don't think I am liked all that much.  Good thing I am not running for class president or something, I wouldn't stand a chance.

Anyway, like I said at the start, I am heading off to lunch.  I went to the store formerly known as Gus Millers first so I could get Esam's cigarette order and to see if he needed and help ordering lottery tickets, then made my way down to Smithfield News, where I had to fix a jam in one of the lottery machines, load a new book of tickets, take the money out of both machines, run a credit card settlement report, price and place Esam's order (as well as total the tobacco coupons he gave us), pull the booking sheet for everything that is already scheduled to come in on Monday and check the company email.  Not too shabby for two hours worth of work if I do say so myself.

I am not close to done, I still have price changes to do, orders for both Sledd and GFS to place and by the looks of things, potentially deal with a schedule issue come tomorrow morning.  Belinda decided that she would rather double on Fridays and then have the weekends off.  I have no problem with that, she has been there a long time (easily longer than myself) and if she wants to get her hours in 4 days as opposed to 5 by working 16 hours on Friday, more power to her.  That did however create a hole in the schedule on Saturday mornings, which Ed filled by putting a person in that spot, Beth, whom I have no faith in whatsoever.  Chances are I am right in that regard, as she is supposed to be in charge on Saturdays, yet today she managed to show up an hour late and is already whining and crying that she may not make it in tomorrow morning.  My own past with Beth is checkered, she used to be our rep for Coca-Cola, and was doing such a fine job that over a 12 week span she showed up once to actually do an order, the rest of the time I was forced to do them myself.  Don't get me wrong, I have no problem doing orders, I would argue I am even relatively good at it, but if I have to do all of the work then nobody else should be making a sales commission for me doing their job.  My personal assessment is just that she is lazy, and giving her a position of authority like running the store is just a mistake.  But I didn't get to make that call.

By the way, I have been off the bus for a while now, I am in the Cage, my iced tea and food are sitting in front of me and I should commence with the eating portion of my day.  Problem is, once I start rambling I find it hard to stop.  I have my electronic dog collar (i.e. cell phone) with me should anyone need to reach me but so far it has proven to be a most useless purchase.  I think I have gotten all of one phone call on it this week (I told you I wasn't liked all that much) but Ed may call to either have me address the potential schedule issue tomorrow or just ask me to work it myself.

As I am sitting here eating my French fries there is a girl at the bar who looks vaguely familiar.  I know that it isn't who I think it is, for one she is too young to be the person in question, but still the resemblance is close enough that they could probably pass as sisters.

I should also note they have someone new behind the bar today, not the lady who is normally there.  Not sure how this will affect the dispensing of the iced tea, hopefully not at all but that remains to be seen.  The cook is the same so I am confident my sandwich will still kick ass.  There are about 20 people in the bar right now, which isn't a large number but does make me wonder if maybe I chose the wrong career, sitting around a bar drinking seems like a pretty good plan for a Saturday, certainly better than the plans I usually have.

I guess I should talk a little bit about my family on here, if only because what has been going on on the home front is bothering me.  I called my mom on Wednesday, I was making my way home from work and the casino (I had $60 in free slot play I wanted to burn off) and at the bus stop I decided to call home.  I didn't expect anyone to pick up, my mom usually doesn't answer calls from numbers she doesn't know and I was calling from my new cell phone, but I figured worst case scenario I would leave a message and she would have my new number on her caller ID ( don't ask me what my phone number is, I don't know it, another sign of how unthrilled I am about having this device).  To my surprise though she did pick up, she saw the number and based on the time (it was like 9:30pm) decided whomever was calling, to call that late, it must be important.  So I proceeded to catch her up on the goings on here, hey I got a cell phone, it Dee's last week, yada, yada, yada.  Then I asked how things were going at home and that is pretty much where my heart sunk.  She told me that her and Mike (her husband) were applying for food stamps.  Now I am not foolish enough to think that they are made of money or anything, I know my mom is old enough to get Social Security, but Mike is like 17 years younger than her, and while he did have health issues in the past (long time readers will remember that he suffered a brain aneurysm a few years back) it is not like he is an invalid or anything, he is still more than capable of doing some form of work.  Prior to his health issues he was a truck driver for Wal-Mart and was making decent money, in around the $70-80 thousand a year range.  Between that money and the money my mom had gotten from my grandmother's estate when she died, they had ample opportunity to sock some money away for a rainy day.  But they didn't. Instead after the aneurysm Mike briefly went back to work for Wal-Mart and for reasons that I know nothing about they let him go.  It would be easy to say that it is another shining example of the evil of Wal-Mart, but apparently there was cause to let him go because he did not fight his termination.  Instead he went on unemployment for a while, then took another trucking job that lasted less than a year and went back to being unemployed.  Instead of saving some money while he was working, they instead bought three cars, and when he quit working they lived off of my mom's Social Security and the money from my grandmother's will until the will money dried up and they find themselves looking at food stamps as a means to get by.  It is all just sad, depressing and was probably 100% avoidable.

I am just made of different stuff I guess, not that I am all that responsible with my money, but if I am not working then I am out pounding the pavement looking for the next job, any job really, just to make sure I can pay the bills and not just spending money until the well runs dry.

Well lunch is over, I got one refill on my iced tea so my service wasn't awful, especially since the barmaid was waiting on everyone at the bar plus all of the tables that were occupied.  I suppose I could have organized an Occupy Squirrel Cage movement and got some anti corporate, anti globalization signs for my booth, pitched a tent and laid around in my own feces until another glass of tea arrived, but I do have to get back to work.  Maybe next time.

I am back to waiting for a bus.  Thankfully one is about a block away and the bus stop isn't overrun with people ( yet).  Just my luck, it wasn't my bus after all, so there is still time for the hordes to descend upon the bus stop.  I would like to get a bus where I can sit down, it is much easier to type than by standing.  Plus I am lazy, I would just rather sit.

I see another bus.  Port Authority 2, electric boogaloo.  It too is not a bus I can take, so we continue waiting for Godot, or a bus, whichever comes first.  Look at me busting out movie and literary reference like I know shit or something.  Just remember, I have more moves than Gale Sayers in his prime.

Maybe I needed that Squirrel Cage run more than I realized, I haven't been this wordy in ages.  Just when you think I am going to be all about rather brief blog entries I go and do something like this.  Sucks, doesn't it?

Well the hordes have grown, still no sign of a bus.  At least the weather is nice, it is very easy to stand outside today, sunny skies, I would guess it is probably about 80 degrees outside, just all around kind of awesome.  Just the opposite of the weather one would normally expect during the Three Rivers Arts Festival.  The Port Authority now has two buses going the very same way showing up at the very same time.  Benito Mussolini would be proud.

Typing on the bus is harder than I would have thought.  Somehow they have managed to equip this bus with shock absorbers that would make the car in The Flintstones seem like a smooth ride by comparison, and as an added feature it appears to be equipped with a GPS that not only locates every pothole, but actively seeks them out and directs the bus to drive right over/through them.  Perhaps that is a sign that I should take a break.

Brief interruption there as I logged another 6 hours at work.  Ed came in around 8pm, but I was busy so I didn't have a lot of time to talk to him.  I had my order to for Sledd to do as well as GFS.  As an added bonus, while it was at lunch I got another cigarette order to price and place.  Plus I reloaded the milkshake machine, adding another six dozen milkshakes to it, since it was almost empty.  I also put out some more desserts, there were only 4 left from the deli, so I put another 10 or so out, some molten chocolate cake and some apple caramel cheesecake.  Not sure if they will sell this weekend or not, all I know is they can't sell if they are sitting in the freezer in the basement.

At least I didn't have to wait for a bus after work, I no more than got to my bus stop and the bus was right there.  It was, dare I say, Minute Rice perfect.  Now I am going to go home, post this rather large missive, make some dinner and play some Marvel Puzzle Quest.  I am all kinds of cool in my antisocial butterflyness, aren't I?

Okay, bus is stopping and so am I.  I am outtie, like a belly button.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 157 - Karaoke Friday - Come Sunday

I have mentioned a couple of times now that I will be going to the Three Rivers Arts Festival (which started today) Sunday night to go see a band play that I like.  This makes for a very easy Karaoke Friday for me, doesn't it.  Also a pretty easy entry.  Maestro, my Sunday music please

I could never pretend that i don't love you

you could never pretend that i'm your man

that's exactly the way that i want it

that's exactly the way that i am

and you'll call me in the mornin with your troubles

takin it downtown every night

i could never place the stars at night above ya

got my hands on the ground and you know i'm right

you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long

it's a coffee stained earth every time it happens

lighten up honey it ain't that bad

and the after thought rose to recognition

like every other coffin that i had

then your Buick broke down in *Winnemucca*

you fall to your knees and you pray to the lord

then you take up hope at the politicians

nothing happens in this burnt down town anymore

you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long

and your heart rolls on like a frozen freight train

you know that I'll help you if i can

but I'm just a raindrop in a river

just a little itty bitty grain of sand

and you know that i'm doomed to repeat this

with all the bad habits that i learned

but its better than your fine earned fornication

and all the dirty money that you earned

you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long

you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long
you wait so long

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 156 - Remember when

I guess I must have missed the memo. I don't know where this whole Throwback Thursday thing started or why it is so predominate on my Facebook newsfeed, but rest assured I will not be playing. I don't need to pick a Thursday to bring up things from the past. If the past intrigues anyone, I have been blogging for like a decade now, there is plenty of old stuff to root through without me breaking into a “Remember When...” vibe every Thursday.

The Three Rivers Arts Festival starts tomorrow, and I have a lot of work to do on Dee's last day tomorrow as well so I am going to cut this short and call it a night by climbing into bed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 155 - Quickly

Yes I am running behind, I had a relatively easy day at work, probably my last for quite some time, so I took it upon myself to do some casinoing afterward, then I had to run to The Store formerly known as Gus Millers and pick up a tobacco order for tomorrow, and now I am just trying to settle in and get some food in my belly and what not.  I haven't eaten all day so food sounds like a plan.

The new cell phone is okay, I put a few numbers into it and made a few calls, so far no issues, but t has only been one day.  I know it allegedly has web access and other such nonsense, but I don't need that on my phone, it is like putting spinny rims on a Yugo for me, nice, but hardly necessary.

Tomorrow looks to be busy for me, lots of ordering to do and I should make an effort to catch up on my invoices,  It is always good when we pay our bills in a somewhat timely fashion.  The Three Rivers Arts Festival starts on Friday, hopefully we will be busier because of it.  I plan on going to it a few times, not so much for the art and artists but for the musical acts that are coming, since both Trampled by Turtles and The Smithereens will be playing  And they are playing for free, which is always my favorite price for anything.

Anyway, I am going to go eat.  Don't forget, 14 shopping days until my birthday.  You have been warned.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 154 - Work, minus the office

     Today was the first day where I was scheduled to work, but not go in.  Instead I was slated to go to a show for a food vendor, GFS, and meander around some displays they had set up.  Just go, try some samples, grabs some notes and information and generally be lazy.  All in all, a pretty lazy day for me, but what the hell.  So I went and tried some things, got some notes and afterward I went out and picked up the dreaded cell phone.  Verizon lets you order your phone online and then pick it up in the store, so that is what I did, opting to get my phone at the Waterfront store.  Of course this meant a huge chunk of the day for me was spent on buses.  The trip to the GFS show (in Monroeville) is about an hour on the bus from Oakland.  The trip back was almost as long, but I got off of the bus in Squirrel Hill, and walked a few blocks, then transferred buses to get to the Waterfront.  After getting the phone it was another bus back from the Waterfront to Oakland.  All told I was probably on the bus about 2 1/2 hours.  Thankfully I had a book with me that I could read to kill time.  Too bad I killed the book in the process.  Oh well, back to World War I I guess.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 153 - I'm up

I honestly had a good plan Sunday, I was going to get up early, make my way to a hearty breakfast and then go into work, bang out whatever I could on the paperwork and then come home and enjoy the rest of what looked to be a pleasant Sunday.  Except I didn't get up early, unless 10:30am is the new early.  So with the early rising officially not going to happen, I decided I would pass on breakfast and just go in to work and get my paperwork done.

 That part of the plan went off better than I thought it would.  Usually when counting the registers, especially from multiple days, there is always the chance something might get missed and it will mess up the whole process.  It doesn't even have to be anything large, just one missed payout or overring and the whole process can be thrown askew.  But I only found one problem when I was there, a single money order that was sold was typed into the system for the wrong amount, the rest went exactly as planned.  I managed to put to bed the end of May as well as the lottery deposits in about 3 hours, making Monday morning all the easier.

When I got home though I had a decision to make.  I have been having a harder and harder time getting up in the morning.  Instead of having a schedule like a normal person, I will sleep for a hour or so in the afternoon and then not go to bed until way late and try to force myself back out of bed in the morning.  It usually leaves me somewhat of a mess, so I thought last night I would work to correct that problem.  Once again having problems falling asleep, I went and did a late night laundry run.  Maybe that would burn off some of my energy.  But when I go home I was still awake, so I started making those deals with the devil you make where reason really isn't part of the process, but you start doing math in your head, wondering if I can stay up x amount of time longer, then I can go do y and be up for the day.  Which I ended up doing.  I knew Kelly O's opened at 5am, but wasn't sure how early a bus would run in that direction.  Turns out the 54 (the bus that goes from Oakland to the Strip District) is one of the earliest buses to start running, as early as 4:30am, so i could go to breakfast before work on Monday, then just stroll into the office with a belly full of food and plenty of energy to get through the day.

That plan worked until about 12:30pm, the breakfast was fine (steak and cheese omelet, home fries, Italian toast, coffee) an I got in and started putting together the Sunday numbers, since Friday and Saturday had been taken care of the day before, then the grocery order came in and I was helping to check it in and sort certain items that were going elsewhere.  Included in the order was another three pages of stuff Ed bought in West Virginia in April, so those items had to be added into the register system before they could even be put out to be sold.   And at 12:30 I just hit the wall, it was like my body no longer wanted to function even though I still had plenty to do.  My tiredness hit me pretty much all at once.  I managed to struggle through until 4pm, when my bus came to take me back to Oakland, though I had to stop at our old store before I could come back to my own cubby hole.   As I was on the bus I was literally struggling to stay awake, cloing my eyes only to open them and see that another three or 4 stops had blown by.  Each time my eyes would open there would be a momentary panic as I adjusted to just where I was, scared that I might have slept through my stop and was now off unto part unknown.  But I managed to pop my eyes open at the right time, get off the bus, check in at the store and then walk home.  I think I was home maybe 15 minutes before I was sound asleep, I didn't even get as far as turning my radio on before I was (probably) snoring.  

Three hours later ad I am up, but I am not sure if I want to stay up or if I can convince myself that going back to sleep would be in my best interest.  But this entry needed done, I should probably eat something (since my last meal was 14 hours earlier) so instead of going back to sleep, here I am.  Just hope I don't catch my second wind and end up away most of the night again.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 152 - A weekend from my blogging past

This is one of those blogs where you probably had to be around a long time for it to make any sense.  I did a blog a while back about a coffee vendor we had at work.  I only knew him by the name Johnny B, and his company, Complete Vending.  In that entry (found here), I went over some of the issues that happened while we were doing business with him.  Well, as it turns out, he is back.  Not back in the store, but rather back in the news.  Seems there was something of a marijuana growing operation taking place in his warehouse.  I believe the phrase "Oops!!!" may be in order here. No wonder he couldn't tell what good coffee tastes like.

As I was looking for more information regarding the pot bust, my past was in the paper again.  It seems that one of the radio stations that I used to work at, WJAS 1320 am, has been sold.  In typical radio fashion, the sale was completed on Thursday but none of the staff were alerted to it until Friday.  But then, it was the Greek philosopher Bob Slydell who said "We find it's always better to fire people on a Friday. Studies have statistically shown that there's less chance of an incident if you do it at the end of the week.."  Bonus points for the people who got that.  I have no idea what the selling of the station means for the people that work there, though they do employ two people that have been in broadcasting for decades in Jack Bogut and Bill Cardille.  I know I have fond memories of working with "Chilly Billy" when we would have to put together shows for his vacation time.  Bill and I would sit in the production room and bang out his liners and what not so it would sound like he was still on the air those days he was off.  Hopefully everyone who works there lands on their feet, I sat through one mass firing when I was at WAMO (that was also due to the station being sold, and also happened on a Friday) and it is far from a pleasant experience. 

More on the station being sold (since I am being all linky and stuff). 

Oh well, enough focusing on the past, I am 6 days away from my promotion (unless I get fired before then) so I will focus a little more on the future if that's okay.  Like what will I have for dinner?  What will I write about tomorrow?  Decisions, decisions.

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