Sunday, August 31, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 243 - The one that counts

    Okay, just gearing into my fantasy football draft that I was looking forward to here, not the one I did a few weeks ago for some swagbucks.  The drafting lobby is open (it is another online draft, I miss the days of in person drafts and the fun that goes with them) and according to the random order selected I get pick #5, which I can live with, it means I will get one of the guys I am targeting in the first round, so no complaints.  It Rounds 2 and on that I will worry about.

     Okay, the results are in, the team looks like this

1)  Matt Forte RB CHI (5)
2)  Drew Brees QB NO (16)
3)  Brandon Marshall WR CHI (25)
4)  Julius Thomas TE DEN (36)
5)  Rashad Jennings RB NYG (45)
6)  Michael Floyd WR ARI (56)
7)  Matt Ryan QB ATL (65)
8)  Golden Tate WR DET (76)
9)  Knowshon Moreno RB MIA (85)
10)  Arizona DEF (96)
11)  Ronnie Hillman RB DEN (105)
12)  Doug Baldwin WR SEA (116)
13)  Jeremy Hill RB CIN (125)
14)  Marqise Lee WR JAX (136)
15)  Matt Bryant K ATL (145)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 242 - Halfway through the weekend

  Just hopped on a bus from downtown, headed to Squirrel Hill to continue to enjoy my weekend off.

     It started yesterday with a baseball game, a Friday night tilt between the Pirates and the Reds.  You probably know some of that with the boatload of photos I dropped on the page.  It was quite a game, the Pirates ended up winning 2-1, due in large part to Josh Harrison, who went 3 for 4 with a single, double, and triple, while driving in the thing run and scoring the winning run.   That alone would have been a really good game, but he also made at least four plays in the field that could best be described as stellar.  I had the company's seats for the game, I gave two of them to Stacie at our bank so she could take her boyfriend.  It was just a really good time and an excellent way to kick off the weekend.

     Today it was tickets for college football, Pitt was playing the University of Delaware in their season opener.  Sammy brought his girlfriend's daughter to the game, I used one ticket for myself and managed to sell the other one I had, as well as a parking pass, for $10, so my extra ticket wasn't a complete waste.  We didn't stay for the whole game, there really wasn't much need with Pitt leading 48-0 in the third quarter.  Plus the sun was just beating down of anyone in the stands, so rather than continue to sit there and cook like bacon, we called it an early day.   Now I am off to the Squirrel Cage, as the old video game used to say, "Matt needs food badly."  Plus I need to get next week's bus pass and do a little grocery shopping.

     I have already been to work twice since my weekend started, yesterday after the baseball game I stopped in.  I wasn't planning on working, I left my stuff there rather than lug it to the game, so all I was going to do was pick up my laptop and iPad and go home, but when I got there one of the open air coolers that was supposedly repaired earlier that day was leaking water, so I had to pull it out, only to find that when it was fixed they didn't bother putting the drain back in the drip pan, so water was just draining out onto the floor.  It has been my experience recently that if you want a job where you get paid to do nothing, cooling and refrigeration is a fine vocation to look into.  Your day basically consist of answering service calls and doing just enough of a shitty job so that you get called back to repeat the process. Today I went into work after the Pitt game, just reloaded the lottery machines and pulled out money so the store could repay Ed.  I had paid out a number of lottery tickets the last couple if days, roughly $1700 worth of winners, and usually I will use the lottery money to buy change on the weekend and then pay it back Monday, but with the payouts I had to borrow a grand from Ed for the change.  I got his money back from the instant ticket machines today, so now I just owe lottery money on Monday morning and now two or three different people.

      Made it to the Squirrel Cage and guess what?  For some reason the kitchen is closed until 6 pm, so I am going to break from my normal behavior here and have a beer instead and then go about the business of my grocery shopping.   It is probably just as well, I shouldn't be wasting money eating out, but since I already had a cigarette out and lit I will sit for a minute, smoke, type and drink.

      Okay, I made it home.  Only had one beer, which is actually the first time I had a beer at The Cage (as the locals call it).  Finished my cigarette and tried to pull up the final to the Pitt game on my cell phone but having no luck, so I left and walked down Murray Avenue to Giant Eagle.  They have frozen chicken breasts on sale, $5.97 for a three pound bag, and I got a few other things so that my dried, withered skeleton in not found in my apartment some day.  When I die I will still be fat.

      I got home and finally pulled up the score to the Pitt game on my laptop (Pitt won 62-0) and played a little Marvel Puzzle Quest.   Next I made a couple if turkey sandwiches and reheated the chicken and rice soup I threw together the other night.  See, I really didn't need to spend money eating out, I can cook on occasion.  I got my Coke caps caught up and now I am just resting, thinking about doing laundry but only at the thinking about it stage thus far.

     Still haven't figured out what to do tomorrow, I do have free movie passes from my Coke caps, but it is for two tickets, a large popcorn and two large Cokes.  Not sure I want to expend the energy to find someone to go with.  Who knows, I am sure I will find some way to get into trouble.  I always do.

Blogger 365 Day 241 - Why I wasn't here

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 240 - One of "those" days

     There ae days where, even when you first wake up you have this fear that today will be one of those days where you would be best served to just stay in bed.  Admittedly waking up with such an attitude can contribute to how the day goes, but today was just one where no mater what attitude I had to start the day, by the end of it I would have the same shitty attitude I have right now. 

     I woke up early enough to get a head start on the day, but as I am prone to do, I started making deals with the devil, first I woke up at 4am and decided I could sleep for another hour at least, then even when that hour (and then some) came to pass, it was jst the 5 more minutes routine about 10 times more than it should have been.

     Work was just stress piled on top of stress, one step forward and two steps back for most of the day.  Or I would do something only to turn around and have to do it again.  Even on those instances today where I would try to do things for others, or even be nice to them, it was just a day of getting shot down in that department as well.  The only thing that saved me from offering them all a big "Fuck you!" was that to do so would be to expend more energy then they are actually worth.  Nothing noble about it, not some rising above or such nonsense, some people just aren't worth the effort for me to even care at this point.

     I just keep reminding myself I have the whole weekend off, and the clock is ticking on that.  18 hours to go.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 239 - Not to waste your time

    Really, I have very little to report here, so if you skip today it is perfectly alright.  I would like to skip today too.  All I now is I woke from a pretty peaceful slumber this morning.  By peaceful I mean a dream I was into, who knows if I was thrashing about in my sleep.  All I know is I was having a dream where I was aboard a spaceship and apparently we were following another ship, trying to figure out just who or what it was.  At one point I know a probe was sent out (or what passed for a space faring probe in my dream) and it was destroyed before it caught up to the other craft.  Next thing I know I am in a room sitting around a rectangular table with rounded sides and edges, amongst some people that I know in real life, others who I did not know and others still who are from the sci-fi genre from television, apparent reenacting their roles for my dream.  A meeting was taking place at the table to determine what to do about the other ship, and on he table was the disemboweled head of Captain Kirk, offering his two cents into the goings on.  After a decision had been reached, someone took Kirk's head and put it in a large container, then someone started pouring water on it, I guess that was how he was kept alive with just a head in my dream, but I am just guessing.  All I know is during the process of submerging Captain Kirk's head in water inside this container someone in my dream said, "Wow, that's a lot of water" and I replied "well, that's a lot of head".  Really, after a dream like that, where else can I go today?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 238 - Schedule changes

     The reason why I should never say what is going to happen in the coming days, like I did on this here blog just a few days ago, is once I say it it will most certainly change.  I mentioned that I would be having lunch today with Lynn Cullen and Ed, and yes that came to pass and it was a really fun time.  But I also suggested maybe I would go to the movies on Saturday since I was off.  Well now I have football tickets to the Pitt game that afternoon, so maybe my schedule has changed.  The only plus is that regardless if I go to the movies or the game (I will probably go to the game, the movie theater will be there even after Saturday), I still have the weekend off.  For now.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 237 - Watching from afar

     I don't spend a lot of time on here talking about my radio days anymore, in part because I no longer work in that field and while this platform (or other like it) would be a good place to promote upcoming events, whether that be guests who would be on the air or times when yours truly might be heard as either a guest or host.  But those days are long gone and while I am n longer involved in the business, I still follow my lace of employment, in part because for the last few years it was like an upcoming car crash, you just sit fixated on what you know is about to happen and aware that there isn't a single thing you can do to stop it.

     I actually could see the end long before it actually came, while I was still employed there.  For those not in the know, I was working for Renda Broadcasting at the time and they held three properties in Pittsburgh (1320 AM, 99.7 FM and 1360 AM).  I was working for the last of those stations, 1360 AM, whch was running a talk format at the time and I pretty much knew the gig was up for that station when there was only one local talk show left, Lynn Cullen (with little old me) on weekdays from 9am-12pm and our lead in was a nationally syndicated show (Laura Ingraham) that was being aired on a 21 hour delay.  When management cares so little for one of the most important day parts in radio (morning drive) that they are airing a show that is 21 hours old (a lifetime in a news/talk format) it isn't hard to see the writing on the wall.  So it came as no surprise when they eventually let Lynn go and basically just started bartering the airtime to anyone who would pay to be on the air.  Ron Morris was the sucker in that bet, combining enough ego to think he was good as well as deep enough pockets that he could pay to hear himself talk for 15+ hours a week.  The fact that Ron had cancer and was basically broadcasting on borrowed time didn't really matter, as long as the check he wrote cleared that was enough.  Of course Ron eventually succumbed in his battle with cancer and with his passing went management's lone way they believed they could make money with that signal.

     Down the hall at 1320 AM the format was older adult standards.  Think along the lines of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, etc and you get the idea.  Manning the ship down there during mornings and afternoons were two mainstays in this market in Jack Bogut and Bill Cardille.  Combined I would not be surprised if they had a combined for 90+ in broadcasting in Pittsburgh between their stints on radio and television.  But there was no plan in place should either of them were to retire, no shifts were made available to talents to be groomed to one day take either of their places should they retire, so the only advertising business that station could generate would be based solely on what those two could bring in.  Renda Broadcasting has a sales staff to be sure, but that staff was asked to sell for all of the properties and it is more lucrative for a sales person to sell for the one FM signal (where the commissions would be higher) than to sell for either of the AM signals.  As a result most of the sales done on those stations were business that was driven by the on air talents themselves and the relationships they had initiated and  maintained over the years.  Needless to say, it came as no surprise when in July it was announced that 1320 AM was sold (1360 AM was donated as a charitable contribution, i.e. tax write off, after Ron Morris died) and the fates of those people employed there would be left to the new owners  and what they wanted to do with the signal (everybody was let go).

     Now we are up the the crown jewel, the FM station 99.7 and today I learn that even more people that I used to work with have been terminated.  After all, if there were people there who used to work for all three stations and now there weren't three stations, well then, I guess we don't need as many people do we.  Prime example, when I was there, one person, Ron Antill, was the program director for all three stations, as well as a co host of the morning show on the FM station, and he also assisted in the engineering and creative services (commercial production) for three stations.  Well obviously if there are no longer three stations his work can be rearranged so that others could be let go.  And so it is that more friends and acquaintances of mine are looking for work this evening.  It's sad and depressing and I've seen this day coming for the last 5 years now.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 236 - The week that might be

     It has been a while since I was looking forward to the coming week.  Not that I go around dreading each coming day (though I do dread some of them), but it has been a while since I had multiple things to look forward to in the coming week, but this week might just be that week.

     First I am supposed to have lunch on Tuesday with Ed and one of m former radio partners in crime, Lynn Cullen.  It has been a couple of years since I have seen Lynn, but I caught one of her shows on the Pittsburgh City Paper page the other day and decided to send her a comment about it, and one thing led to another and we decided to set up a lunch date.  Ed has been asking me to introduce him to Lynn since he found out years ago that she and I worked together before my time at Smithfield News.  Lynn has been in media in Pittsburgh for quite a number of years and prior to doing radio she was on TV, which is how Ed knows about her.  I emailed Lynn and told her about Ed and she said he was more than welcome to come with us.  They are political opposites so it could make for quite the lunch.

     Friday I get my casino night again, and they are dong a bonus promotion which seems like it might be col, plus I have tickets to the baseball game that night as well.  It will be my first game this year surprisingly enough, despite the number of tickets and opportunities that cross my desk, I really have been doling them out to other people moreso than using them myself.  I haven't been to a sporting event of any kind since last fall and a hockey game against Columbus.

    And I am off Saturday this week, or I should be.  Usually I go in to place a grocery order that gets delivered on Monday, but with Labor Day being Monday there is no delivery to speak of so I don't have to go in.  I might use the day to spend my movie passes from mycokerewards and go check out Sin City 2, we will see.

     Not too shabby of an upcoming 7 days if all of my glorious plans come to fruition.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 235 - I'll be brief

     If there is one thing to be learned in management it is that things never turn out the way you think they will.  I expected an easy day today, yet here it is some 10 hours later and I am barely closer to getting home than when I started.  That means you only get this, just a little reminder that I was in fact thinking of the blog, just didn't have time to say anything of import. Then again, I never say anything important anyway, so why should today be any different?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 234 - "If nominated I will not run, if elected I will not serve."

     This is going to be another one of those blogs where I piss people off, but then I have been known to do that from time to time.
     Facebook has become a place that I don't like to go to as much these days, simply because of the number of Ice Bucket challenge videos that are being posted.  You know what the are, you take a bucket of ice water, dump it over your head and then ask three friends to do the same.  It is all part of raising awareness for ALS.  News flash bulletin, I was already aware of ALS, even before hordes of people decided to take on the drown rat look.  Apparently many of these people have also donated to ALS, though one can't be sure of that, I would much rather have videos of them writing checks if that were the case.That certainly would be more inspiring for me (and believable) then a video stunt.
      My big issue though is that for me, charity is something of a personal nature, you do something or donate to a cause because it is just the right thing to do.  You don't beat your chest about it, or try to coerce others into doing the same.  I don't know how many times I have seen on Facebook companies say that if we get a certain number of "likes" we will donate x amount of money to such and such a cause.  Really?  If you have that charitable of a spirit and the means by which to do so, then the charitable endeavor shouldn't be based on the behavior of others, just shut the fuck up and do it.  Another example was when Donald Trump said he would donate $5 million dollars to the charity of Barack Obama's choice if the President released his birth certificate or college transcripts or some such nonsense.  That my friend isn't charity, it's blackmail.
     Likewise if I somehow get tagged in one of these nonsensical videos (so far I have been spared), all the tagger will get from me is a big hearty "Fuck you!!!!".  What I choose to do for charity and how I choose to do it is really nobody's damn business and I will not be coaxed, prodded or cajoled into changing that stance. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 233 - The places we go

Usually I use this time to say something about myself or to opine about something, that will not be the case today.  Well, almost not.  Instead I am sharing with my reading public my reading list, blogs that I frequent on a regular basis.  I don't always comment, but then I don't always have something to say.  The old adage that you have two ears and one mouth and they should be used in that ratio applies I guess.  Some of you might recognize a few of these, heck they might even be yours.  Anyway, my reading list........

Thankfully most of them do not grind out content at the pace of one a day like I do or most of my day would be spent reading them rather than getting anything done.  Then again, anymore I don't get much done after work so maybe reading would be a good thing. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 232 - Back on track

     Well I got the number of entries back to where it needed to be, though I am sure I will still feel guilty about missing a day.  Tonight was a lot like Monday in that I spent far too much time at the bar.  Unlike Monday I still made it back here, and I did order dinner and have every intent of being awake when it arrives, so I will not go foodless after drinking. Yay me and all that jazz.

     The bar trip probably wasn't needed but I decided to do it anyway, I ended p with another 10 hour workday.  We are in the middle of change our entire cigarette pricing structure.  Previously we had an agreement where a specific brand of cigarettes (Pall Mall) was to be our lowest price cigarette.  That meant that even if I could find a brand which was cheaper than Pall Mall, by contract I couldn't charge less for them, Pall Mall had to be the cheapest offering we had.  Well that contract has come to pass and Ed decided to alter the pricing structure with some other brands of cigarettes, so now I have to alter the pricing on 5 or 6 different brands of cigarettes.  On top of that, Pepsi issued a pricing increase on August 1st and we are just now getting the numbers we need to adjust our sale prices accordingly.  Guess who is the only one who knows how to do this?  If you guessed me, you get a gold star.  Alcohol, even when it probably shouldn't be an option, is becoming my fallback option.  I'll drink to that.

      Brian hasn't even bothered to show up the last two days, I guess I should get used to this.  I really believe that once Ed leaves for Florida in November I will be pretty much on my own.  Even Ed is tiring of what we do, usually checking out sooner than he did even a year ago.  Mind you he is 67, I don't expect him to have the energy of a 24 year old, but he is as close to an equal as I have in both understanding the business and having the work ethic to make the trains run on time, so if this is wearing on him then I might be on my own even sooner than I think.  Again, I think I need a drink.

     All of this wouldn't be so bad if I was just worrying about my store and one business, but I still find myself tending after two and three other stores, which just takes my time from the core business that keeps a roof over my head.  Again, it is enough to make one drink, which I am doing all to frequently.

     Oh well, I am home now, both from work and from the bar, Dinner is forthcoming, complements of Grubhub and there is no alcohol in my home, so for a change it isn't a time to drink.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 231 - What happened?

Just trying to get a virus scan out of the way on my computer. It hasn't been running terribly, but I have been getting a large amount of Shockwave crashes recently. Not sure what the cause of that is, so I figured I would run a virus scan just in case.

I am not going to make any excuses for missing yesterday's post (and thus adding two today), I just had a long day at work and decided on my way home to have an adult beverage or 3, or 5 or 7, etc. By the time I got home I was at that drunk point where I knew I hadn't eaten yet, but I wasn't sure if I could trust myself to make something or if I should order in. I opted to just fry a burger and was hopping around on the internet when I put my head down and closed my eyes and that was it.

I know there are tales of people who have fun getting drunk (I probably even have a few) but the vast majority of the time alcohol just makes me sleepy. It is probably the one thing that deadens my senses enough that I can just close my eyes and sleep the deep sleep. Last night was no exception, I fell asleep around 8pm and didn't wake up until 2am, at which point I thought about doing a late post but decided against it and just went back to sleep. Then this morning I just couldn't get motivated for anything, I woke up early enough that I could have went into work as early as 7am, but didn't go in until 8, a decision I would come to regret because of the work that was waiting for me. It was probably a good thing that Debbie switched our lunch date from Tuesday to Thursday, I would have been ill prepared for it today.

Anyway, my virus scan is almost complete here, so I am going to check and se how this thing is going to runs post scan and then maybe call it an earlier night. Yes 10:30 pm for me is an early night.

Blogger 365 Day 230 - Karaoke Friday - Yesterday

     Yes I missed a day, so I am a day behind here.  I'd like to say there was some great reason for it, like I was out curing cancer or something, but no, I was just at the bar drinking more than I should have.  By the time I got home I was drunk enough that I fried up a burger patty, realized I had no rolls or bread, so I cut it in half and jammed it on two hot dog buns.  It's a drunk logic thing, don't try to figure it out.  But it is inspiration for another Karaoke Friday.

After I stuck my hands into your ground
And pulled out somebody else's son
I felt a little unfortunate, a little mistaken

I felt like I'd been wasted
All day long, all day long

After I bent myself to my knees
And raised my hands up right above my head
I felt a little, a little bright patch

I felt like I'd been wasted
All day long, all day long

After I took my eyes from the west
And brought myself back to my place
I felt a little light for a while, a little light stone

I felt like I'd been wasted
All day long, all day long

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 229 - First up

     So I am sitting here waiting, just one hour until my first fantasy football draft of the fall.  This is not the league I am worried about, this is just a league with 10 random players that all are signed up on Yahoo.  I am only doing this league for two reasons; 1) I got an additional 25 Swagbucks for signing up for it and 2) I will treat this almost like a mock draft for the league I am actually interested in, one that will involve two coworkers, because few things in life are as much fun as being able to talk fantasy football smack at work. 

      Admittedly I didn't do much predraft work heading into this, I watched bits and pieces of a couple preseason games and checked out a couple of different online listings to see where players were getting taken in other online drafts, but that really was about it.  As a result I doubt I will spend much time breaking down how this draft went or why I selected such and such player at any given point.  As of right now I do not even know what the draft order will be.  If I had a choice, I would like to be somewhere in the 4th to 6th pick range, but Yahoo randomly determines draft order, not me.

     I did get out of the house a bit today.  Yesterday Esam called me, he is the owner of the store formerly known as Gus Miller's.  First he called me to place a cigarette order for Monday, but after I had gotten his order written down he asked if I could stop out when I was done.  I didn't get done on Saturday until after 9pm, so stopping out was a little further down my list of things to do then actually getting home and making something to eat.  Instead I decided to stop in this afternoon, he just wanted to give me a little money for helping with the ordering, he usually throws me like $15 a week for doing three cigarette orders for him.  It's not much but it s actually more than any of the other people who I help with their orders do, so I am not complaining.

     Since I had to go out I figured I might as well spend some of my ill gotten loot from the casino Friday night.  I need a new pair of shoes, the ones I got in April are still okay, but the inside sole in the left shoe is no longer attached.  I can put it back in place before I wear them but by the end of the day it has slid around under my foot to the point where it is almost coming out the heel of my shoe.  The plan was then, go to see Esam, then walk across Forbes Avenue and catch a bus to The Waterfront and revisit DSW Shoe Warehouse.

     I was sitting at the bus stop, I had my choice of catching either a 61 C or 61 D bus, but over the course of better than a half hour I saw a 61 A , 61 B, 67 and 83, but none of the buses I wanted.  Being sick of waiting I decided that I would walk up to Fifth Avenue instead and catch a bus into town and see if they had anything at Burlington Coat Factory.   I might not find anything, it's a coat factory not a doctor Jim, but unlike waiting one of two buses, I could catch 9 different buses into town, and downtown is closer than the Waterfront anyway, a 10 minute bus ride versus a half hour.  Plus getting back from either place is just as problematic, one bus for the Waterfront versus 8 for downtown, so downtown just seem to make more sense from a time perspective.

     I get to the bus stop thinking I shouldn't have to wait nearly as long, but is still ended up being another 15 to minutes before a bus caame.  Except one bus didn't come, there were three in a row, all going the same way into town.  Common sense would dictate that if they were all going to the same place from the same stop, you might stagger their arrival times so people wouldn't wait as long and not have three buses arrive at the same stop at the same time, but then public transportation is government subsidized work, so any measure of expected common sense should probably be done away with.

     I did get into town, the bus stop is right across the street from Burlington, so I went up the escalator, third floor - mens wear and all that jazz, started pawing through their selection of shoes until I found something that was affordable and looked decent (I never try shoes on in the store, or any clothes for that matter) and decided to walk around and see what else they had.  By the time I left I had two pairs of shorts, two shirts, three pairs of socks, 3 pairs of boxer shorts and a pair of shoes all for $83.  Had I went to DSW, I would not have gotten nearly that much, in part because their shoes would have been more expensive and in part because it is a shoe warehouse, not a shirt, socks, shorts, underwear and shoes warehouse. 

     Look at that, I am down to 20 minutes until draft time.  I think after the draft I will bake a pie.  I still have the pumpkin pie in my freezer I bought from Scratch N Dent a couple of weeks ago, I might as well fire up the oven and actually make it.

     I haven't done one f my breakfasts in a couple of weeks.  I was up early enough today but I think we already knew what the special would be at Pamela's, blueberry pancakes.  That special is like a shitty song on American Top 40 that just won't go away.  We get it, you have blueberries.  Enough already.  Plus with more kids moving on campus, even if I had a desire for blueberry pancakes (I didn't), the restaurant would have been packed with kids and their parents dropping them off for the coming semester.  If I am going by myself, I like to have an element of peice and quiet during my morning breakfasts and that would no have been the case today.

     Time to open the online drafting lobby window and get ready for the football festivities.  Sing it with me kids, "Let's all go to the lobby....."

     Got the lobby window open, looks like I am picking 9th out of 10 teams.  And yes I went all 1957 with that concession stand reference above.  Some one had to do it, might as well be me.

     Three minutes until draft time and 7 out of 10 teams are on autodraft.  I hate autodraft simply because it takes way too much time.  I don't need the computer spending 2 minutes to tell me it is going to take the highest player on the pre-ranked board. 

And so it begins

1) Peyton Manning QB DEN
2) Brandon Marshall WR CHI
3) Ryan Matthews RB SD
4) Julius Thomas TE DEN
5) Rashad Jennings RB NYG
6) T.Y. Hilton WR IND
7) Bishop Sankey RB TEN
8) Golden Tate WR DET
9) Anquan Boldin WR SF
10) Andre Williams RB NYG
11) Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN
12) Ben Roethlisberger QB PGH
13) Buffalo DEF
14) Mark Ingram RB NO
15) Robbie Gould K CHI

     Now to go see if any of the guys I picked are already hurt or cut by their teams.  Yay, they are all still on rosters, that's good I guess.  Not sure I like it very much, but like I said, I really didn't care, it was more practice than anything else. 

     With that done, I guess it is time to go bake some pie.  Toodles.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 228 - Ferguson

      I doubt I am going to be liked much for what I am about to write, but if I was doing this to be liked, well, I would have stopped along time ago I suppose.

      I'll admit that I do not know all of the details about what happened in Ferguson, MO the night that Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer.  What has been made apparent so far is that on August 9th Michael Brown had apparently robbed a local convenience store, stealing some cigarillos from the counter and physically assaulting one of the employees there who tried to stop him.  Later on Brown and one of his friends would have an encounter with officer Darren Wilson.  At the time of the encounter Wilson was unaware of the burglary of the convenience store, nonetheless some type of altercation happened with differing accounts of who was the aggressor, but the result was that Officer Wilson ended up shooting and killing Brown. 

     To say what happened was justice would be to do a disservice to the word, Brown was not armed and even had Officer Wilson known of the burglary prior to their encounter, it still would not be appropriate to shoot and kill an unarmed man over what amounts to a petty theft.  So no, I don't subscribe to the idea that what happened in Ferguson that day was justice, I just call it karma.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 227 - Emotional pendulums

     I am not sure what to make of this week, it has been at best an emotional roller coaster of a ride, and while I am normally able to just roll with the punches just the almost violent way that the emotional pendulum has swung this week has left me feeling like I am just along for the ride at this point.  It has been a week of extreme high and lows and left me with a feeling of just wanting a couple days of normalcy rather than this back and forth stuff.

    It all starts on Monday, I am at work and things are going okay.  For those that have read entries other than this, yes it was the day Gillian's gifts arrived at work which was a good thing, but there was one thing that pretty much trumped that on Monday that wasn't nearly as good, which was the passing of Rolf Larsen.  For those that follow the link it will be a long read, befitting a complicated man.  What that article will not tell you is that Rolf and Ed were very close friends, Rolf was in our store pretty much every day so I had the chance to speak with him on numerous occasions,though sometimes the best thing to do would be just sit back and listen to hi and Ed banter back and forth.  The article also will not tell you that what first had Rolf admitted to the hospital was when he collapsed on the sidewalk outside our store, the very beginning of what would become a month long hospital stay that would see Rolf get progressively worse.  So yes the week did get off on a wrong note.

     But then, as I was giddy and anxious about most of last week, the gifts that I had ordered for Gillian's last day at the bank also arrived on Monday, and I was happy about that because I wanted to do something nice for her before she left.   So already you see the back and forth that is taking place, and it is only Monday. 

     As Shakespeare once wrote "parting is such sweet sorrow" and that is how Wednesday was because it was Gillian's first day not at the bank.  The bank run is one of my favorite activities of the day, not because I am carrying bundles of cash, but because I get to go out and be amongst people, as opposed to being trapped in the basement office at work, and everyone at the bank is very nice.  It really is a highlight of my day to go there and just talk and carry on with the whole staff there, but Wednesday trip was just a little less special without Gillian there.  Don't get me wrong, she had to go.  You get accepted to grad school and have an opportunity to pursue your dreams then you absolutely give up the job of bank teller and go for it.  I get that, but the selfish part of me still wonders if that is just it,  someone who comes into your life rather quickly and exits it just as quickly.  I mean, yes we are friends on Facebook for what that is worth, but it isn't like we hang out together or anything, so it does have that door closing feel to it. 

     Wednesday was also the us ride from hell, my trip home after work, a trip that normally takes 10 minutes but took an hour because there was an power outage in  my neighborhood that knocked out two consecutive traffic lights on Blvd of the Allies, bringing traffic to a near standstill.  The power would go out again later Wednesday night, but that ended up being more a blessing than a curse, as it afforded me the opportunity to take in some of the Perseid meteor shower, something that is usually a hard thing to do while dealing with city light but made much easier when the entire block has no light.

     Yet by Thursday I am back on a high again because out of the blue Debbie shows up at my place of work.  I am not even sure I have mentioned Debbie in this blog before, because as long as I have been blogging (somewhere around 10 years now), it has been even longer since the last time I had seen her.  Debbie and I met when I was in 9th or 10th grade in high school, she was dating one of my friends back then and while their relationship did really pan out (how many high school relationships do, come to think of it), my friendship with her did. Somewhere around 20 years ago, she moved to Norfolk, Virginia and we had lost touch with each other.  Lives leading us all in different directions and what not, but probably 9 months or so ago I managed to find her (again its a Facebook thing) and we had been sending messages occasionally back and forth.  She got divorced and moved back to her hometown where she met someone and now has two kids.  Apparently she was in Pittsburgh because she had to take one of the children to the dentist and decided to drop by on her way back home.  For the record, she ages much more gracefully than I do, I look like time uses me for a punching bag, she looks almost exactly the same.   Sadly our chat was cut short somewhat, she had her kids and wanted to get them home (I saw firsthand the dangers of sugar and children, lol) and I was at work after all, the Coke rep was waiting on me to place an order, but we are hopefully going to meet up next week for lunch.

     Ed made a point to tell me on Thursday that he needed the sales numbers as soon as possible, he was going to have a short day on Friday, he had a doctor's appointment that he needed to get to, so I had mentally prepared myself to get to work as early as possible.  I am making my way out the door Thursday, thinking of how I will have to juggle things so I can have everything ready for when Ed arrives, when Brian calls me to say that Friday is Ed's birthday, so now I have to rerearrange my Friday schedule, because I need to amke sure that not only are the things Ed needs done for when he gets in, but that there is a card and birthday cake in the store and hidden away before he gets there. 

     I make my way into work 2 hours early, just to handle everything.  Usually I start at 8:30, today was 6:30.  I stop by CVS and get a birthday card on the way in, my plan is to send Sammy to Prantl's in Market Square to get a cake.  I will keep an eye out to see if any deliveries come while he is getting the baked deliciousness, we have 5 deliveries that come in Friday morning (Herr's, Utz, Sledd, Pepsi, Coke), so if I am going to send him on an errand I have to be prepared to help out if need be.  7am rolls around and with it the shift change from the overnight crew to the morning crew.  Except one of the two people that should be there working register at 7am doesn't show up, no answer on their cell phone (or their roommates cell phone for that matter) so now I am short a person on the floor as well.  Next person in isn't due till 8am, but she is in the deli, next one after that is 9am, but he is going to be late because he has a dentist appointment.  So now I have to juggle my work with keeping an eye out while Sammy is away and paying attention to the floor because I am way short staffed.  Yet somehow I managed to get it all to work, we had cake for Ed, he got his numbers on time, I ended up checking in one of the orders (Herrs) and helping Sammy put away two others (Sledd, Pepsi), called in a lottery order and still had most of my work done by 2pm. 

     Of course Friday night is also my casino night, where I go over and blow the free money they give me ($45 this week) and if I am lucky I win back enough to ay for next week's bus pass.  As it turns out, I did a little better than a bus pass, winning $140, so I guess we are back on a high note.  But I also know I have a ton of work waiting for me tomorrow given the way this week has played out thus far I can easily see the pendulum swinging back the other way again.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 226 - I've got nothing

     I'll be honest, as I sit down here tonight I have very little that I want to blog about, at least very few things that I want to get into great detail about in part because I really haven't mapped everything out in my own head yet.  My brain just feels like it is a bit of a fog and I can't quite clear it up.  That is something that usually writing is good for, I can just sit down and bang out words and slowly things start to unpack for me, but I don't have that kind of time tonight.

     I have to be at work bright and early on Friday, Ed wants the reports on his desk as soon as possible because he has a doctor's appointment and a funeral to go to.  It also happens to be his birthday, so I have to arrange to get a cake into the store without him noticing.  It would have been easier had  known soner, but Brian didn't tell me until late this afternoon, otherwise I could have run down to Prantl's in Market Square and got something all cool and stuff.

      Not sure I am ready for this early rising stuff, one of the very few perks with the new job is usually I am not in the office until 8:00 or 8:30, tomorrow I will have to have most of my work if not done, on the way to being done, by then.  So whatever is going on in my head, it will keep for another day or so.  There will be plenty of time for me to analyze me after work (and my weekly casino visit) tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 225 - The heavens can't wait

     This almost feels like a continuation of the last blog, if only because what precipitated it is the very same thing that precipitated the last blog.  After I finished the last entry I set about starting my dinner.  I had picked up a few things at work, kielbasa, sausage, sauerkraut and pierogis and my plan was to just throw them all in the crock pot and walk away.  Which I did and and a couple of hours later I had the veritable Polish feast.  My belly was happy and full and I was thinking I would just have a relaxing evening the rest of the night.

     That wasn't how things turned out however.  As I am sitting here doing something either on my iPad or on my computer (I tend to bounce back and forth as the evening progresses) and snacking on the Polish goodness I had created  the power went out again.  So I stumbled about the apartment for a minute or five, trying to locate a candle and some matches so I might have a little bit of light to get by.  It took a while, in part because it was dark, but also because this is my apartment we are talking about here, if something is put away then it is obviously out of place.

     Locating the needed items I decided I would throw on some clothes and step outside to see if it was raining or what the reason may be that once again Oakland was being relegated to Third World status.  I even made a hashtag of it on Facebook, #ThirdWorldOakland, which will never trend by the way, so don't look for it.  I step outside and ........ nothing.  No rain, no thunder, a little bit of lightning way off in the distance but nothing even remotely nearby.  In fact the skies above me were clear.  Not only that, but with a least an entire city block without power (I didn't investigate just how far the outtage went) I could see more of the night sky, and it was supposed to be the last good night for viewing the Perseid meteor shower.  So I just perched myself out in the driveway and waited.

     Again the eyes were playing some tricks on me, where you try so hard to see something that you almost imagine things are there, even if they aren't.  And while my apartment and the surrounding buildings were dark, there was still more than enough ambient light from the rest of the city that seeing the lighter shooting stars with thinner tails was tough, and that seemed to be all I was seeing (or imagining). 

    I was probably outside for a good 15 minutes or so before I saw my first really bright one, with a longish tail, going in a westerly direction toward downtown Pittsburgh.  A couple of minutes later there was another one, then another after that.  The power ended up staying out for 30-40 minutes and during that time I probably saw a 15 or so shooting stars, at least 6 of which were bright with longish streaking tails.  It was amazing, and had the power stayed on chances are I never would have ventured out so I guess it all worked in the long run.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 224 - In the dark

     I am sitting in my apartment, enjoying some unexpected peace and quiet.  I left work around 4:30 pm and what should have been maybe a ten minute bus ride turned into a one hour sojourn.  Normally when traffic is backed up to such a degree you expect to see an accident or something, but as I was standing on the bus (SRO on the 65 Squirrel Hill) we just kept creeping along.  Traffic was slowing down as early as Duquesne University and by the Birmingham Bridge it was at a crawl.

     As we creeped along though there was no accident to be seen, just endless creepage, which while it may be a career accomplishment for a member of TLC, it is just the epitome of suck when used to describe traveling on a PAT bus.

     It wasn't until the bus actually got to my bus stop that I found put what the issue was and why traffic was moving so slowly, the traffic light at my bus stop and the one a block away were both out.  Given that I live relatively close to my bus stop that means my power is out as well, #ThirdWorldOakland if you wish.  I can't, I don't have electricity.  Instead I think I am just going to forage for food and remember the good days of lights and running water.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, August 11, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 223 - Almost minute rice perfect

     I guess I get to do the big reveal today, since things went about as well as could be expected.  AA few blogs back for those that have been playing along, you may remember a prank I tried to pull, one that went horribly wrong where I abducted a gnome from one of the tellers (Gillian) at the bank our store uses.  The plan was to then take pictures of the gnome all over Pittsburgh, but said gnome died an unfortunate death, falling onto the concrete platform of Allegheny Station on his way back from his first foray into freedom, Rivers Casino. 

     A few months ago Gillian had told me (actually I read it on her Facebook page, where her and I are friends) that she was accepted into grad school.  Because she wasn't sure how to break the news to her coworkers at the bank, she asked me to keep quiet about it until she found the proper place and time to tell them.  Not an issue with me, I kept her good news a secret until she had a chance to tell everyone.  She told them her last day at the bank would be August 14th.

     Me being me, I wasn't going to let such an occasion go without doing something to mark the occasion.  With her last day coming one day after payday at work, I figured I would have time Wednesday after I got off to work on my plans, glorious plans.  I wasn't sure what I would do yet, just that I wanted to do something nice for her.  After all, she had to put up with me for months on end, in Boys Scouts they give you a merit badge for such an accomplishment.

    Last Monday Sammy and I were at the bank together, I will take him with me some days because there is an insurance issue involved, our insurance company will only cover someone up to $10,000 if something should happen to them on the way to the bank, any amount over that is just lost, so I avoid that by creating two deposits and both of us going, especially on Mondays where I have all of the weekend sales money as well as three days worth of lottery sales and money we borrow from the lottery account to buy change that all needs to be deposited.  While there I had made mention of Gillian's last day was 10 days away or some such silliness, and she said no, actually her last day was now Tuesday, not Thursday, because there is an orientation program for grad students that she needs to attend on Wednesday.

     This threw a couple of kinks in the works for my plans, glorious plans, because I get paid on  every other Wednesday and while I am not destitute, a good chunk of my last paycheck went to my rent.  Seeing as how it was the first month on my new lease (roof over my head for another 12 months, holler) I didn't want to pay it late and start the new lease off on a bad note.  So I wasn't going to be as flush with cash as I might have thought, nor was I going to have as much time to go out and about to  find something to mark the occasion.

     I muddled over what to do in my head and inspiration struck me when I realized that while I might not have adequate cash on hand, I did have adequate Amazon cash on hand.  One of the reasons I love Amazon is I can squirrel away cash and gift cards there, almost like a bank, and then just pull on those funds whenever I need them.  This would be one of those times, but I didn't want to just buy the first thing that happened upon my computer screen. 

     One of the many bad habits I have (besides the cigarette I am currently smoking) is that I pay attention, even when people don't realize I am paying attention.  It is how I can pull obscure details out of the blue at work at almost the drop of a hat.  As I often joke, I am the keeper of the great knowledge.  Likewise I knew some things about Gillian, I know she likes hockey probably as much as I do, and I also know she likes things to do with sailing and the ocean.  So I turned my trusty skills to Amazon and got this, a 3' x 5' Pittsburgh Penguins banner

and this, which I said was kind of like Build A Bear, but with jewelry and seafood.  (For the record you can not eat the oyster in the kit.) 

      Still picking out the presents wasn't the only issue, since I ordered them from Amazon I still had to worry about them arriving prior to Gillian's last day at work.  What good does it do me if her stuff arrives after she no longer works there?  That was the part of the plan that had me in a little bit of a panic, sure I thought I had left myself enough time between when I ordered and when she was leaving (I had them shipped to my workplace, just to save me a day on my delivering them to her) but until I have the goodies in my grubby little paws then I wasn't going to be happy.

     Enter today at work, where once again on a Monday it just seemed like I was swimming in quicksand, I could never get caught up.  Every time I would make a little progress something else would pop up that would stop me in my tracks as I had to attend to something else.  It wasn't until almost 3pm before I even got the sales numbers done, not that it mattered much, for the better portion of the day her gifts hadn't arrived anyway.  It wasn't until after 2pm before Fed Ex actually dropped them off at work, and while I would have been content to run them down the street as son as they arrived, I still had piles of money on my desk that needed counted, including $1100 in $1 bills and another $1200 in $5 bills.  It wasn't the amount of money slowing me down, it was the sheer numbers of individual bills.  It didn't help that I was busy fucking up my first sales report and spent additional time trying to figure out why I was going all full blown retard.

     Eventually everything got done and I did manage to get out of the store and took the box from Amazon with me to the bank.  Whether Gillian actually liked her gifts, well you would have to ask her, wouldn't you?  All I know is my work here is done.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 222 - Keeping me up at night

      As per yesterday's blog, I did make the venture outside last night in hopes of catching some of the Perseid meteor shower.  I waited until a little after 12am before leaving, my plan was that I would take my headphone, and my iPad, grab a coffee on the way and then go sit outside for a while atop the Schenley overlook and see what I could see,  Of course, plans are different than realities and last night was no exception.

     I went as far as to check to see what the conditions would be like, there would be little to no reason to go out if it would be overcast with the possibility of rain.  But the forecast was all clear, a cloudless night (or close to it) and temps in the lower 70s, so it would be comfortable out as well as clear.  I threw some clothes on around midnight, pack up all of my things in my bag and made my way out the door.  First stop was to be the corner store (One Stop) where I might chat with Numan, the owner, for a minute, then grab a coffee and be on my way.  Sometimes I will just say hi and be on my way, other times Numan and I will talk shop, since we are both running similar type stores.  The stores are far enough apart that they are not direct comeptition with each other, so I might poke my head around when inside and see what he has that maybe we should get.    Plus given the location, Numan tends to be open late, usually the store will open at 8am and close somewhere around 2am, so leaving at midnight should give me plenty of time to get my coffee or what have you.  Except when I walked down the street and made the turn to go into his store it was already closed.  Not sure what happened that he would have closed that early, with college students slowly trickling back in, if anything I would have thought he would have made sure to stay open on a Saturday night.  Guess not.

     Sans coffee I went ahead and started the walk to the Schenley overlook.  The thought was that being up that high hopefully I could escape some of the city lights that would wash out the night sky.  There are light in the park, but most of those are along the roads through the park and there is plenty of darkness to be had along the hillside of the overlook that views both the skylines of Oakland and downtown.  But as I am walking to my destination I notice how bright it is outside.  A day before the super moon (whatever that is), the moon was incredibly bright in the night sky, so much so that it was helping to make seeing stars and shooting stars even harder than was expected.

     The walk up to the overlook took maybe 20-25 minutes and I found a spot on the hillside just below the turnaround where I plopped my bag down and just laid down in the wet grass.  There was no escaping the city lights, the air was hazy enough that the lights from the city were giving off an orangish hue, combined with a bright moon that was effectively washing out most of the sky to the south and seeing things was hard, you really had to focus in order to see a handful of stars that able to penetrate the light bubble that ruining most of the visibility.  Another thing that didn't help was my glasses.  I never really thought they would be an issue and without them I am pretty much blind as a bat, but because they are metal framed, if I turned my head I had to make sure that if I did see a streak of light, it was actually in the sky and not just light reflecting off of my frames.  After about an hour of this I can maybe confirm seeing 3 shooting stars and I made the mental calculation that the ends weren't justifying the means, so I made my way home, thinking I would just go to bed when I got in.  I was pretty sleepy when I left and figured it wouldn't be long after I got home that I would be sound asleep.

     Except that is when the train wreck that is the internet happened.  I got home and was just doing a little late night web surfing and the story of Tony Stewart hitting a race car driver was really starting to blow up online.  I went to check ESPN first, but they were useless most of the night.  I should have known better, ESPN shows journalistic integrity about as often as I get laid and since NASCAR is one of thing things ESPN has a contract with, far be it for them to get immersed in a story regarding a NASCAR driver unless they absolutely have to.  Much like the joint venture ESPN was doing with PBS, they were going to do an in depth piece on how concussions affect NFL players after their time in the league.  AS soon as ESPN started getting pressure from the NFL they backed off, jettisoning the joint project and some more of their integrity as well.  So I went to some other sources, Fox Sports, Deadspin, Sporting News, bouncing between them to see if I could hear the latest on the news.  For those not in the know, a quick synposis; Tony Stewart was iracing in a sprint car race in upstate New York, a race not sanctioned by NASCAR.  This is nothing unusual for Stewart, there are many times when he will race at local tracks prior to larger events, and Stewart spent some of his early years in motorsports racing sprint cars.  With the NASCAR race Sunday at Watkins Glen, Stewart used the opportunity to race at a smaller dirt track on Saturday night.

      During the course of the 25 lap feature race, Stewart and Kevin Ward Jr were jockeying for position going into the first turn of the track, Stewart's line forced ward into the wall, wrecking Ward's car and ending his racing for the night.  The race went under a yellow flag (caution) in order for ward to try to restart his car and get it off of the track, but rather than restart his car, Ward climbed out of his vehicle and made his way angrily down the track to confront Stewart on his next pass under caution.  As Stewart's car approached him, Ward got closer to the car, pointing his finger and yelling at Stewart.  Just as Stewart's car was about to pass Ward, there was a slight revving of the engine and the back end slid, catching Ward underneath the car and subsequently throwing Ward a good 50 feet from Stewart's car. 

     The story kept unfolding through the night, actual video was posted online of the accident, and there were rumors and speculation over what was unfolding.  Did Stewart hit him on purpose?  Is Ward okay?  Will there be criminal charges?  And me, rather than going to bed, was hooked on this story for most of the night.  So far what we know is Ward was dead on arrival at the hospital (which comes as no shock to those who have seen the video), so far there are no charges against Stewart though the DA is still investigating, and Stewart pulled out of the race today at Watkins Glen, after his publicist originally said they would race, "business as usual" was the rather poor choice of words he uttered. 

      Right about now we have reached the opinions are like assholes stage of things, everybody has one.  I even have one, but I do not know enough about racing or how sprint cars operate to even begin to suggest that mine would be any more valid than anyone else's, and if you want to just grab an opinion of any uneducated layperson, there are tens of thousands out there right now to choose from.  No need for me to enter that mass of stupidity.  It is one of the reason I have never been a fan of letting readers comment on new stories on TV or newpaper web sites, rarely do those comments amount to anything, the only reason that section is there is so that the site can generate more traffic for its online advertising. 

      I think I finally fell asleep around 5am, woke back up at 7am, went back to sleep at 9am, woke back up at noon and have felt pretty miserable all day.  The only good news I could take from today is that my package is now in Pittsburgh according to Fed Ex, so the timing thing may just play out pretty well after all.

     For now though I am going to call it a night, I need to see if I can get myself back on something of a normal sleeping schedule after I fucked it up yesterday.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 221 - The late show

     After having a longer work day than expected (9 1/2 hours) I am hoping I can keep my eyes open long enough to stay up most of the night,  Rumor has it that this weekend is supposed to be good for for viewing the Perseid meteor shower.  The best time is supposed to be between the 10th and the 13th and since I am not scheduled at work on Sunday morning, I want to venture out and see if I can't see some things. 

     Of course seeing things in the city can be problematic at best, the city lights have a tendency of washing out the night sky, so my play is to go up to the overlook in Schenley Park and just lay down on the hillside and wait.  Staring into the sky at night has this tendency of making my life and its problems seem small and insignificant by comparison to the vastness my eyes are taking in.  It is a good way to keep myself grounded, and I haven't done it in so long that perhaps it is overdue on my part.  Not sure what time I will head out, it is supposed to look best right before dawn, but if I go out earlier I can grab a coffee before the corner store closes (2am) and take it with me.  Plans, glorious plans.

    For now though I think I am just going to relax and take it easy for a bit, it was a busy day at work (for me at least) and relaxing seems to be called for right about now. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 220 - It's all about the timing

     Things are moving according to plan on the little surprise I have coming up.  I have hinted around about it for a few days, I should be able to reveal exactly what it is either Monday or Tuesday next week.  What I can say so far is that the needed package(s) have been shipped and are due to arrive on Monday.  I don't know for certain if that will happen, but I am liking my chances at this point.  If not, then I absolutely need them by Tuesday,

     Truthfully I usually have good luck with things getting shipped to me, there have been one or two bad instances but if I were working on a percentage scale, I would say 98% of the time when I need something by a certain date it almost always arrives by then.  Of course I do my due diligence as well, I don't wait until the last minute before ordering, but rare is the instance where something I order and it gets held up or lost in the mail.  I am banking on my luck holding true to form in this case, and so far it is. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 219 - I've got three weeks

     I got a pleasant surprise at work today.  I believe I have mentioned before that Brian has season tickets for the Pittsburgh Pirates, not a full season ticket plan, rather his is just for home games on weekends (Fri, Sat and Sun), so while there are 81 home games in a baseball season, he probably has tickets to 18-20 of them.  The other day when I was at the bank one of the people we work with there, Denise, asked me if she might be able to buy tickets from us, she was looking for two tickets to a game for her husband for his birthday and was willing to buy them from us.  Because Brian doesn't go to all of the games that he has tickets for, I thought I would check and see if the game she was looking for was available and, if so, if Brian or Ed would want to sell them.

     As it turned out the tickets for the game in question were taken, but Ed asked if there were any other games she might be interested in and said that because of the work she does for us at the bank, don't even worry about selling them, just have her pick a game and we will give her the tickets, 4 in all plus a parking pass.  So today Brian brings in the sets of tickets he has for the remaining games and Ed calls Denise at the bank and goes over the dates and just tells her to pick one, then I would drop the tickets off when I went to do the store deposits later on.  After going through the remaining dates Denise picks one, so there were roughly 5 sets of tickets left on Ed's desk, tickets for other games that Brian hasn't used yet nor has either he or Ed given them away.  Ed looks at me and says, "Pick a game."  So apparently now I am going to a game, I picked August 29th, a Friday.  Now I just have three weeks to find three other people to go.  Any suggestions? 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 218 - Squeezed

     "Summer is over I can count the cost, footprints on the beaches are now footprints in the frost."  That thought, or song lyric as the case may be, has been replaying in mind mind recently.  The beginning of August means that the college students start moving back into my neighborhood.  Most apartment leases take effect on Aug. 1st, so if you are going to pay for a place anyway, you might as well use it.  Actual classes will not begin again for a couple of weeks, so not everyone is back, but they are trickling in.

     As for me, I am just in need of some quiet, me time.  I wish I had the mental discipline to meditate, to just sit some place and let all if the stress of life just wash over me, but I am not wired that way.  Instead I am more the hyper, perfectionist type.  Anything I do I want to do to the best of my ability.  That is great when it comes to things such as work, not so great when it comes to things such as arguing.

     Right now I am sitting at the Squirrel Cage, waiting on my dinner and just trying to relax for a minute.  There was a purpose to my trip, besides getting food of course.  I had to stop at Giant Eagle down the street and get an Amazon gift card.  My plan was just to use the Coinstar machine, but the bill acceptor on it wasn't working, instead I had to go over to the gift card display and buy a card and have the cashier load it.  It is all part of my plan I mentioned a couple of blogs ago and will get into more detail when the time is right, but for now suffice it to say there was a reason I ended up in Squirrel Hill after work.

     While at Giant Eagle I did something I always do, I visited the blood pressure testing machine.  Once again I rocked hypertension on both numbers.  Go me!!!!

     My food is here and I am trying to remind myself to not rush through it, the world will still be there whenever I finish.  Yet I still find myself cramming French fries into my face as if somebody is going to come along and take them.  Mind you the food is good, otherwise I wouldn't keep coming back, but I actually have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy it.

      Work is still work.  Recently Ed has been a little preoccupied, he had one friend pass away over the weekend, another of his friends is laid up in a nursing home and by the looks of things, probably will not get out and Ed has also had a number of doctors appointments in the last few weeks.  Between that and Brian's limited time he spends at the store, which is less when his dad is around, there are times where it feels like I am on an island and the success or failure of the business rests solely on my shoulders.  It can be a bit much.   I find myself pouring over sales numbers, hoping they are good enough, rethinking how the entire store is laid out, wondering what we can add that will sell and what needs to go, and relaying to Ed what I see as far as the people that want to work versus those that seem to just be taking advantage of him.  Admittedly I still do not have the authority to do much in that department, but now when I approach him about certain things, I do it from a place where he knows I am supervising everything, I can go to reports if I need to to prove my point, or the cameras or what have you, I am not just relying in what I hear about.

     Well I finished dinner, just a little iced tea left then it is time to get back at it, I still have to stop by the store formerly known as Gus Millers, then go home and do some invoices, then work on the little thing I bought the gift card for and then maybe I will take a nap or something.  Not that napping has benefited me much recently, nowadays I find I wake up at 4am and am up for a half hour or so before falling back to sleep.  Not the most restful pattern, but it has become the rule rather than the exception these days.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 217 - Trying to stay on my best behavior

     I did it.  I made it through a day without going to the bar after work  A polite golf clap might be called for here. 
     I haven't turned into an alcoholic, at least not yet.  I am not consuming booze simply to escape the pain of life or any such nonsense.  Really the only reason I have been going more frequently is that my local watering hole has hired an attractive bartender.  (Editors note:  I have no idea if I should say bartender or barmaid at this point, I don't know if bartender is gender specific, or if saying barmaid might be demeaning to women.  Political correctness annoys the fuck out of me.  End rant.)
     I am not even sure why I go, it is not like I would ask her out (it violates the age rule I mentioned a few blogs back), so really all it is doing is costing me money.  She is nice and we have talked a little bit, but by the same token, if I am behind a bar I better be talking to everyone there to a certain degree, my money (tips) may depend on me showing them a requisite amount of attention.
    So for the last couple of weeks I have been poking my head in more often than not, some days I will go and shoot pool, or play the poker machines, or sit at the bar and either eat (they don't have a kitchen, so I usually grab a sandwich from some place and take it in with me) or do paperwork, like invoices or work on my ordering for the store.  If I step outside myself for a second and just look at what I am doing, I would say my behavior borders on pathetic.  I mean, let's be honest, if they hadn't recently hired her, chances are I wouldn't be going nearly as much.  While I do have more disposable income since my promotion in June, I am not sure the best new expenditure I can have is to sit on a bar stool simply because a bartender, who I will never even think of approaching, is attractive.  Maybe this is what they mean by sex sells.  Or maybe I really am pathetic.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 216 - When numbers collide (or something like that)

     After I posted my blog yesterday the fine folks here said that it was my 1600th post.  Not on this page, there were some that were imported from Multiply and before that Yahoo 360.  Truth be told there was even some lost blog entries from Yahoo 360, ones that just disappeared into the internet ether, perhaps someday they will miraculously reappear someplace as the rumor has it that once something is online it never goes away.  I would beg to differ, I have had plenty of shit on the internet disappear; blog entries being one and pretty much every radio podcast I ever posted on Imeem being another.  I am probably the only person who could take nude selfies, post them on the web and the entire internet community would conclude that those things just need to go and never be seen again.

     Anyway, along with my 1600th post it turns out that I now have 12,500+ page views.  Who'd have thunk that?  I passed the 12,500th mark on the same day as 1600 posts, which is kind of neat in a trivial shit you really didn't care about kind of way.  I am pretty sure nude selfies would cut down on the page views as well, though I have no intention of testing that hypothesis.  Some of life's questions don't need to be answered.



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 215 - There is no escaping it

So I woke up relatively early today, at least early for me on a day off, rising from my peaceful slumber around 8am.  With nothing of note on the agenda I thought I would go grab some breakfast and the set about the business of doing my thing.  But as has been the case most of this summer, Pamela's was out as a breakfast destination because they were once again doing specials with blueberries.  Some variety people, please.  The other issue was that it was storming out, not a loud crashing storm with brilliant flashes of lightning but rather one of those dull, lumbering thunderstorms that doesn't seem all that violent, but doesn't seem like it will go away either.  So I sat I my apartment for a while, playing Marvel Puzzle Quest and hoping the rain would eventually stop.

About 10am I decided that rain or no rain I needed to once again be a viable member of society, so I hopped into the shower and cleaned myself up a bit.  Then I remembered I still had my Christmas gift card to IHOP in my wallet, I had used part of it earlier this year but there was probably a couple of bucks left on it, so why not make use of it today.  I threw some clothes on (public nudity is frowned upon after all) and packed up my backpack with the things I might need, such as a book to read, and invoices for work.

I make my way out of my humble abode and head off to the bus stop, stopping at the gas station to grab a coffee while I wait for my bus to arrive.  My timing was pretty crappy, I didn't check bus schedules before I left and as a result I ended up waiting like 30 minutes before a bus finally came.  It is on occasions like that that I am glad to have packed my book, I got some solid reading in while waiting, and on the bus ride itself as well.

I got to IHOP around 11:30, which turned out to be impeccably bad timing.  Usually I can get in and out of there pretty easily, but today there was a 30 minute wait just to be seated.  By now my book has earned its money's worth on this trip, as I read while I was waiting.  Eventually they did seat me and I got a Colorado omelet (bacon, ham, green peppers, and onions, topped with cheddar cheese and pulled pork) and sat down to some invoices.  I figure as long as I am up I might as well be getting paid, so it became a working breakfast.  I banged out two or three invoices just waiting for my food to arrive and another two while I was eating.

After breakfast I walked down the hill to The Waterfront, I wanted to get the ingredients to make spinach dip again and the deli at work needed stoppers for the sinks, so again I paired a personal trip with work and killed two birds with one stone.  Thankfully everything I needed I was able to find at Target, my desire to run from store to store was pretty much non existent.  I even picked up a little something for later on this month, a plan I am working on that I can't talk about too much here.  All will be revealed in good time, don't worry.

Now I am at home again, after nearly falling asleep on the bus on the way back.  I don't know why, but just being on a bus, or in a car for that matter, I can get sleepy pretty quickly. I am sure getting up early didn't help matters in that regard.  Anyway, I have my Pandora station on and I probably should finish the invoices I started at breakfast.  After that I may sort through a giant pile of shelf tags so I can cut it down from every item Sledd carries to just the ones I need for my store.  Toodles!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 214 - Karaoke Friday - Inspirations fom elsewhere

     I know that it isn't Friday but I think at this point we can pretty much throw that rule out the window when it comes to karaoke blogs.  Besides, I was in the middle of a two part blog yesterday and it would have been rude of me to not finish what I started and instead did this.

     As or today's entry into the vault of karaokedom, the song was one I knew of but I honestly would have never remembered were it not for two things; 1) always being at work and 2) Pandora.  I will never understand the Music Genome Project, but somehow as I was banging away on projects at work with my station playing, Pandora reached into the deep recesses of my mind and of cool music and pulled this thing out.  I must say I was highly impressed.  Now that Pandora has done the hard work, I get the easy part and get to make a blog out of it.  Enjoy!!!!!

You spurn my natural emotions
You make me feel I'm dirt
And I'm hurt
And if I start a commotion
I run the risk of losing you
And that's worse

Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone
Ever fallen in love? (Love…)
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with

I can't see much of a future
Unless we find out what's to blame
What a shame
And we won't be together much longer
Unless we realize that we are the same

Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone
Ever fallen in love? (Love…)
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with

You disturb my natural emotions
You make me feel I'm dirt
And I'm hurt
And if I start a commotion
I'll only end up losing you
And that's worse

Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone
Ever fallen in love? (Love…)
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with

Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone
Ever fallen in love? (Love…)
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with

Ever fallen in love?
In love with someone
Ever fallen in love? (Love…)
In love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with

Fallen in love with
Ever fallen in love with someone
You shouldn't've fallen in love with…

Friday, August 1, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 213 - 10 Players I Hate More Than You (Part 2)

     Time to get back at it, shall we?

     6)  Percy Harvin WR SEA - Average draft position 44.0 - Excuse me if I don't get what all the fuss is about here.  Harvin has never eclipsed 1000 yards receiving in a season, nor has he even played 600 snaps in a season, yet Harvin is getting drafted ahead of guys like T.Y. Hilton, DeSean Jackson, Michael Crabtree, and Michael Floyd.  Harvin has played in 10 games total over the last 2 seasons and has missed time in 4 of his 5 seasons in the NFL. 

     7)  Josh Gordon WR CLE - Average draft position 117.3 - Gordon is facing a year long suspension from the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy, and while Gordon has appealed that ruling make no mistake, he will be missing substantial time, if not the entire season.  Had Gordon just beaten his girlfriend then I would say draft him here, he is only going to miss a couple of weeks. 

     8)  CJ Spiller RB BUF - Average draft position 41.0 - This is just a case of where I am tired of waiting.  Every year those of us who read fantasy magazines and listen to fantasy shows are told how this is going to be the year that Spiller will be the number one running back in Detroit.  Then CJ Spiller happens, and he is less productive than his backfield teammate Fred Jackson, despite being three years younger than Jackson.  Now that Buffalo has added even another running back into the mix to get carries (say hello to Bryce Brown), I want no part of CJ Spiller getting beat out by not just one, but two teammates.

     9)  Johnny Manziel QB CLE - Average draft position 126.4 - As of this writing there is no guarantee that Manziel will be the starting QB in Cleveland, but even if he wins that job, who is he going to throw to (see Josh Gordon above)?  This isn't so much an indictment of the player (though rookie quarterbacks are a crap shoot to begin with) as much as it is an indictment of the situation in Cleveland.  Right now manziel is being taken ahead of Eli Manning (ADP 130.3) and I just can't buy that.  Manning has his issues, but he also has more weapons to work with. 

     10)  Jermichael Finley TE GB - Average draft position 120.8 -  Finley has yet to rejoin the Packers after going through neck fusion surgery following a helmet to helmet hit against the Browns last October.  This is where as a player of fantasy football you should be doing your due dilligence, there are plenty of tight ends on the board, and some of them are going to play.  Chances are Finley is not one of them.

     There, my work here is now done.  Next!!!!

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