Sunday, November 30, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 324 - Like a boss

     Friday marked the first day where I ran the store pretty much with no assistance.  Ed stopped by on Thanksgiving for a couple of hours and when he left he said he wasn't certain if he was leaving for Florida on either Friday or Saturday.  Turns out he opted for Friday, leaving the store in my hands for the first of what will be many days, unless I get fired first.

     Brian made a cameo appearance, he showed up somewhere around 11:00am and by 12:30 he was already gone.  Not that he was needed, hell I wasn't needed to be honest, business is always slow on Thanksgiving and the day after.  I know that some places are busy with Black Friday specials, we just aren't one of them.  Our business is based on being a place to stop for people going to and from work (or for lunch while at work) and as the de facto grocery store for both Point Park University and The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.  Well, with both schools off and not many people working, that cut down on business considerably.   In fact I started late on Friday and still had my paperwork done around noon.  Starting late isn't going to affect my paycheck all that much, I got time and half on Thursday (plus an additional vacation day) while pulling an 11.5 hour shift, so a shorter Friday isn't all that bad.

     Just because we were slow doesn't mean I didn't have issues to deal with though.  One person called off, another showed up late and still another asked to go home early; our lottery rep came in, apparently we got a new one and no one bothered to tell me, so I talked to him about some issues we were having such as the fact I had stuff for a lottery promotion and no prizes to give away with it, prizes the lottery is supposed to provide.  Thankfully he had those with him, so that problem was solved relatively easily. 

     By 1:30 I was thinking all I would have to do is go to the bank and that would pretty much put a wrap on Friday.   Silly little boy that I am I should now better.  On Friday as part of the bank run we get the weekend change for the store.  Any additional 1 and 5 dollar bills we may need as well as a box of pennies ($25) and a box of quarters ($500) are always part of the order, sometimes we will add nickels and dimes as well if we think we need them, but the big thing we always get are the pennies and the quarters.  In fact usually the bank has those items pulled for us, knowing we will be in Friday to get them.  I say usually because Friday that wasn't the case, when I go to the bank our coins weren't pulled yet.  No problem normally, if they aren't pulled then they can go back and get them from the safe.  Except nobody had access to the safe.  Apparently the safe at the bank operates on a two key system, each employee is granted a key but not everyone has the same key, so in order to open the safe you need one employee who has one of the keys and one employee who has the other key.  The problem was that everybody who was at the bank Friday had the same key, the employees who had the other key were all off so nobody had access to the safe.

     That forced me to go back to work, sans most of the change I needed for the coming weekend.  Instead of going home, I was stuck calling other branches of our bank (they only have one branch in downtown) to see if I could get change from them instead.  The branch on the South Side said they had the change I needed, and thankfully they were open on Saturdays, so I had them set aside what we needed and picked it up as part of my Saturday shift.

     Monday will be the first real test though, everyone is back and it is business as usual, but with me in charge.  So maybe it is as usual after all.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bloogger 365 Day 324 - Hating on the media (again!)

     By now anyone who follows the NFL in even the slightest has heard that a third party arbitrator has decided that Ray Rice should be reinstated to the NFL; that Ray did not lie to the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell when ray talked to the league about the night when he knocked his wife unconscious and that the league had no standing to punish Rice once (a two game suspension) and then a second time (suspended indefinitely) after the video of Rice striking his then fiance (now wife) was available for public consumption. 

     That doesn't mean that Rice has a job, his former employer the Baltimore Ravens, cut him so he is capable of signing with any team in the NFL, should a team choose to do so.  OF course signing Ray Rice comes with all of the baggage and media attention that comes with hiring a man who abuses women, or at least one woman.

     Still that did not stop one of the experts over at CBS Sports from pontificating just where Ray Rice may go, suggesting that the Indianapolis Colts might be interested.  You really should take a look at the article, its author, Jason La Canfora, makes an interesting case for why Rice might fit with that team.  Read the article very closely though, because if you look closely enough you will see something that is lacking.  Namely a single source that would even suggest that the Colts might be interested in signing Rice in the first place.  It is all just idle speculation simply to garner page hits and make some advertisers happy.

     But wait, it gets better.  After posting that article the same site posted this later on,  Report: Colts not interested in running back Ray Rice.  The thing is, there really is no need for this article because the idea of Ray Rice going to the Colts was never news anyway, it was just something one of your writers made up out of whole cloth.  

     This is one of the tricks that takes place nowadays, whether it be on TV, on the web or in print, a news organizations posits a narrative with scant evidence to back it up, and then when someone comments on the narrative in question, the comment is treated as news as well.  The news isn't about informing the public, it is about getting web hits and eyeballs to advertisers and nothing more, and the truth and actual reporting carry no relevance in that conversation whatsoever.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Maple Leafs @ Penguins 11/26/14

Pittsburgh 4  Toronto 3  OT

Blake Comeau - Hat trick (3 G)

Comeau's hat trick was his first since 2010

Blogger 365 Day 323 - It's not my fault, I swear

     Once again it is a late night (and late from a day perspective) foray into blogging.  I wish I could take credit for this, that the reason I didn't get into a blog had to do with me spending time with my family over a holiday meal, or even me sitting on a bar stool and being too drunk to blog.  Okay, maybe the drunk thing is a bit much, but a night of revelry with the regulars at the bar wouldn't have been bad.  Instead my day was spent at work, 11.5 hours there.  There is a few positives to that, I got paid time and a half and I picked up an additional vacation day, the store now owes me 8 of them, so today wasn't a complete loss.

     The decision to work though means I am getting about the process of writing even later than I should.  I suppose as soon as I got home I could have cracked open the laptop and started typing, but part of winding down after a long day is just taking some time for myself and doing whatever it is I feel like doing, and eating of course.  Not that I need food, I imagine I could get by just off of my own body fat if need be, but still one meal a day isn't too much, even if that meal was just a deli sandwich from work and a couple of microwave burritos.

     I could have done the holiday thing if I threw my proverbial management weight around, Brian invited me to have Thanksgiving at his house with him and his sons and Ed and Sharon.  I don't think Brian realized that I was on the schedule actually pulling a floor shift tonight as well as going in and doing the sales numbers before that.  Or I could have made the argument that I wanted to go home to have Thanksgiving with my family, but with the way things are there I doubt it would have been much of an event.  I am still not sure my mom is even mentally capable of operating the appliances in a kitchen and I have some experience cooking, but I don't know if I have the ability to pull off a Thanksgiving day feast, so more than likely I would have went home only to end up going out to eat, which isn't all that festive in my eyes.  Plus I still would have had to come home almost as soon as we finished dinner no matter where we ate, because Friday morning I am back in the office at work, and it will be the first day sans Ed, so it is my dog and pony show for the next six months.

    So Thanksgiving wasn't so much about me going where I was wanted, but instead going where I was needed.  Now I am just sitting here, typing when I should be sleeping because it just a few short hours I get to do it all over again.  Wash, rinse, repeat. 


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 322 - One down, three to go

     Just doing another of my fantasy recaps here, I actually managed to clinch a playoff spot in one of the football leagues, the Swagbucks league, which is funny because at the very beginning of the season Yahoo had me projected to go 0-14, yet here I sit with a 9-3 and having clinched a playoff spot with two weeks left in the season.  Just how wrong did Yahoo come with their projection on my team, well lets get into that shall we....

     Fantasy Football

     Swagbucks league - I posted a 141.08-88.60 win, pushing my record to 9-3 and clinching one of the 4 playoff spots.  Technically I am still in second place, but how I finish in the regular season isn't nearly as important as how I finish in the post season.  After 12 weeks though, I do want to spend a minute showing just how wrong Yahoo was at the very beginning of the year when they projected that my roster wouldn't win a single game (0-14).  Not only am I already 9 games better than that projection, but after 12 games I am the leader in a number of categories, such as;

Longest win streak - 5
Smallest margin of defeat - 5.43 points per game
Points scored (week) - 141.08
Points scored (season) - 1264.58
Offense points (week) - 126
Offense points (season) - 1060.58
Kicking points (week) - 21
Defensive points (season) - 113
Points from post draft acquisitions (season) - 317.9
Touchdowns (week) - 12
Touchdowns (season) - 73
Passing Yards (week) - 479
Passing Yards (season) - 3872
Receiving Yards (season) - 4084
Field Goals (week) - 5

     Suffice it to say, projections aren't everything.

     Work league - Another win, 113.70-86.10 to move to 7-5.  I remain in 4th place with the win, having what amounts to a two game lead over 5th place (6-6 but I hold the tiebreaker edge), so any combination of a win by me or a loss by the 5th place team over the last two weeks will get me in the playoffs.  Still there is no guarantees, I play the 2nd place team this week and the 1st place team to end the regular season, my pursuer plays the 8th and 2nd place teams.  I could finish as high as second place, though lots of things would have to break right for that to happen, and again, it doesn't matter where you finish in the regular season, only where you finish in the playoffs (if I make it that far).

     Fantasy Hockey

     Radio league - There are no playoffs here, just standings for how you finish the season and given I have no understanding of the scoring, which I have bitched about plenty in the past, I am happy that I am in 4th place, albeit out of 5 teams.  The Voracek saga continues, he remains tied for first in the NHL in scoring, yet is ranked 42nd in fantasy scoring, right between Cody Franson (who?) and Leo Komarov (who?).

    My league - I went 4-4-3 last week, overall I am 32-23-11, good for 75 points and 6th place.  Points wise I am tied with 5th place, but the first tie breaker is wins (wins are more valuable than ties).  The top 6 teams are separated by just 10 points in the standings, meanwhile there is a 9 point drop off between 6th and 7th and the top 6 teams make the playoffs.

     There, a fantasy recap for everyone.  A boring read to be sure, but a great way to kill time while cooking a turkey tomorrow.

Penguins @ Bruins 11/24/2014

Pittsburgh 3  Boston 2  OT

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 300th career NHL win in net

Blogger 365 Day 321 - Coocoo for cocoa puffs

     Today was one of those uneventful days at work, things just click along well enough hat there wasn't an issue anywhere that I am aware of.  Perhaps something did happen that I was not privy to, if that is the case then I stand by the ignorance is bliss notion and happily move along.

     However, on the bus ride home, that is a different matter.  I had to make a stop at the store formerly known as Gus Millers, so I took one of the buses at my stop that will take me along Forbes Avenue in Oakland.  As I am waiting for the bus I am chatting with a lady who also rides that bus, she works across the street from us and is in the store once or twice a day, so I know her to see her, but honestly I couldn't begin to tell you her name.  Anyway, we are chatting and waiting for the same bus, it comes along and we both get on, she goes all the way to the back of the bus, I went about halfway back and sat down.

     Next thing I know there is a younger guy who was sitting in the back of the bus on the opposite side, and now he is changing seats.  I wasn't sure what to make of it, maybe he just wanted more space to himself, maybe he had something against the female I had been talking too, maybe he is racist (she was black, he was white), honestly I don't know why he moved to a different seat.  

    The bus gets into Oakland and makes its first stop along Forbes Avenue and picks a few more people up, including an older black lady.  The man in question gets up and offers her the inside seat.  When he gets up, he makes this spin like, pirouette move almost like he is offering her a seat and doing it with a little bit of flair.  Except he keeps spinning.  He must have spun around like 4 or 5 times before finally sitting back down. 

     Now my stop is coming up in another two stops so I get up and throw my backpack over my shoulder and wait in the aisle.  I figure if anyone is getting on the bus they can have my seat and I will slowly make my way forward to the front  after the next stop.  All goes well, someone does get on the bus and does need a seat and so they take the one I previously had, meanwhile the bus is now approaching my stop.  I make my way up the aisle and the man in question gets up also.  Maybe he is getting off at the same stop.   Nope, he just stands in the aisle and starts spinning again, then changes seats again.

     It was one of those things that was so odd I can't even find a way to make fun of it.  I have seen strange things in Pittsburgh before, as evidenced by the Burger King Presidential candidate, Fucking Chicken Lady and Jesus on a Stick guy just to name a few, but I don't think I have ever seen anything quite like this.  And if I see it again I am going to have to think hard to come up with another clever name.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 320 - The countdown begins

     Friday arks the day where the empire is mine, all mine.  Excuse me while I cackle to myself while rubbing my hands together in a devious manner.

     Actually I do not know if I am looking forward to it or not, Ed is leaving for Florida the day after Thanksgiving and it will be up o me to keep the business afloat for the next 6 months.  I am sure Brian will be in more often but still it is quite a burden and responsibility.  The success of the business relies in large part on me doing my job to the absolute best of my ability.  Don't get me wrong, Ed will still be doing things, he usually does payroll and the scheduling while in Florida as well as some ordering and what not, but the actual day to day dealing with things both profound and nonsensical will fall squarely on my shoulders.

     I am sure over the next day or so I will have to have a sit down with Ed, just to make sure I have a firm grasp over just what he expects of me over the coming months.  Some boundaries will need to be put in place, what will I be able to do on my own versus what does he want me to consult with him about.

     Brian will no doubt be around more often, he usually is when his dad isn't in town and that should help me to some degree, but I don't know how many hours he plans on putting in every day.  Today he did all of three, I hope that increases because there are certain things I like about having him around, such as the fact that he doesn't put up with as much stuff as Ed does.  Ed is a nice guy, but he often treats his employees like family as opposed to running a business, so there are times he is reluctant to make moves that need to be made, Brian is under no such illusion in that regard. 

    It will be weird in that now I am the bad guy as opposed to Ed but when he leaves I will be the good guy as opposed to Brian.  At the end of the day, I just want the business to be successful, I would like this to be the last job I ever have, not another waypoint onto other things.  For me I would like this to be it, so I guess there is some selfishness involved in wanting the business to do well. 

    First things first though, I have a couple of days to GMST before the empire is mine, all mine lol.

Blogger 365 Day 319 - Cookoffs

     Don't mind me, I am just making a late nite batch of chili.  I have been meaning to make a batch for a while now but my laziness kicks in most evenings after work.  I didn't work today however, so I guess I have ample time to make chili, though why I started it at 12:30 at night is anyone's guess.

     Really I was hoping to make it last night, after work I made a trip to The Waterfront, under the guise that I had to pick up office supplies for work, which in fact is a truth.  I have run out of envelopes to file away the daily paperwork, and I also know we were running low on staples so I figured after work I would run over and pick those things up.  Plus I had my new book with me, so pretty much any bus ride is more tolerable if I can sit here and read the entire time. 

     Problem was I didn't get out of work until almost 8pm and the next bus that goes there from town arrives at 8:15pm, so I had time to catch it, but by the time the bus made all of its stops along the way we pulled into m destination right around 9pm.  Still, it's a Saturday night, stores are pitching pre Black Friday sales now (remind me again how there is a war on Christmas, the holiday is now taking up 6 weeks, almost 1/8th of the entire fucking calendar) so I should be able to get in and out of Office Depot pretty quickly and then go buy my foodstuffs to make chili.  Except when I got to OD they had in fact just closed, so I pretty much wasted a trip.  Well the trip was noteworthy in that I had possibly the worst Port Authority driver ever, she had to have taken the bus up onto curbs and sidewalks at least 4 times during the trip.  I think they get bonus pay for that or something.

     Anyway I still went to a couple of stores, Target first to pick up a scented candle for my apartment as well as some deodorant and then to Bottom Dollar, where I grabbed ground beef, kidney beans, peppers and onions for chili.  Of course I also bought other stuff, I am terrible in grocery stores, I always end up getting more than I planned on.  I walked out with four bags full of groceries.

     I made it home but with the realization that I would have to turn around and go back today to get the office supplies that I didn't get on Saturday, so rather than making chili this afternoon I was shopping for envelopes and staples, and desk calendars and pens.  When I got home it was after 2pm, so I checked up on my fantasy football teams and just spent the rest of the afternoon being lazy.  Finally around 8 o'clock I got up the gumption to venture out to CVS, my house was still lacking in the beverage department (I had no desire to lug that on the bus Saturday) and while there I saw more stuff that I didn't need but was on sale so I bought anyway.  Lots of items where you get the price of the item back in reward bucks, which is just money you can spend in the store next time you are there.  For instance, they had Combos for 1.69 a bag, but you got $1.69 in reward bucks for your next visit.  I am normally there once a week or so, so I will easily spend the free cash.

     When I got home I goofed on the computer for a bit, watched some of the late NFL game, even though I didn't have anyone in it from a fantasy perspective and then I decided to do some dishes and start chopping veggies for chili.  Once I chopped the veggies I threw them in the skillet with 1.5 lbs of ground beef and let them cook together on low heat, then put the veggie and meat concoction into the crock pot with two cans of kidney beans, one large can of diced tomatoes and one large can of tomato sauce, all of which I seasoned with a healthy dose of Frank's Hot Sauce, cayenne pepper, chili powder, crushed red pepper, black pepper, white pepper, garlic salt, regular salt and Italian seasoning. 

     Now I am just letting that jumbled mess slow cook in my crock pot, it will definitely be done before work in the morning, but give my sleeping habits recently, this will probably keep me up until it is time to get ready.  Saturday I didn't get to sleep until 6am, so I am hoping to just power through a day and then go to sleep at a normal time on Monday after work. 

     Well, time to check on the chili so I will call it a night. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Penguins @ NY Islanders 11/22/2014

NY Islanders 4  Pittsburgh 1

Evgeni Malkin - G

Pittsburgh is just 3-3-1 against the Metropolitan Division, 10-1-1 against the rest of the NHL

NY Islanders @ Penguins 11/21/2014

NY Islanders 5  Pittsburgh 4  SO

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Pittsburgh played without Pascal Dupuis, who will miss the rest of the season after blot clots were found in his lungs.

Blogger 365 Day 318 - Karaoke Friday - Cold enough for you?

     Yes, it is getting close to that time of year here.  While the calendar would say that winter is still almost a month away, stepping outside my apartment and nearly falling on black ice would be a surer sign that the seasons are about to change than any sort of arbitrary calendar date.  As if to reinforce that notion, on the way to work today I happened past three different auto accidents.  Mind you my trip to work is all of about 4 miles tops, but already people are showing a vast amount of non skill in driving in these conditions.  If "Driving Miss Daisy" were shot in Pittsburgh today, chances are it would have been about a ten minute movie, Miss Daisy gets into her vehicle and her driver wrecks.  End of picture. 

     Anyway, I needed something to fit with the season, so why not "Winter"?  Seems esy enough.  Take it away.....

Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens
Wipe my nose, get my new boots on
I get a little warm in my heart, when I think of winter
I put my hand in my father's glove

I run off where the drifts get deeper
Sleeping beauty trips me with a frown
I hear a voice, "You must learn to stand up for yourself
'Cause I can't always be around"

He says, "When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
'Cause things are gonna change so fast"

All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Boys get discovered as winter melts
Flowers competing for the sun
Years go by and I'm here still waiting
Withering where some snowman was

Mirror, mirror where's the Crystal Palace
But I only can see myself
Skating around the truth who I am
But I know, dad, the ice is getting thin

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
'Cause things are gonna change so fast

All the white horses are still in bed
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear

Hair is gray and the fires are burning
So many dreams on the shelf
You say, "I wanted you to be proud of me"
I always wanted that myself

When you gonna make up your mind
When you gonna love you as much as I do
When you gonna make up your mind
'Cause things are gonna change so vast

All the white horses have gone ahead
I tell you that I'll always want you near
You say that things change, my dear
Never change all the white horses

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 317 - A month later

     Late night and I am just up putzing around and I realized that I hadn't put anything on the page today.  I was actually pretty comfortable with that, but then I ran across this little nugget.  I don't know how many readers know who Jim Ross is, I would imagine there are some readers who do and some who wouldn't have a clue, but for the uninformed Ross is probably one of the best announcers in the history of professional wrestling.

     The reason that I am referencing that is because his guest is Mark Madden, a name that probably fewer people know, though locally here in Pittsburgh that wouldn't be the case as Mark hosts a three hour sports talk show.  The reason Mark is a guest on Jim Ross's show is that Mark also used to be an announcer for the now defunct WCW (World Championship Wrestling). 

     Since I began this week digging into my radio past with the Lynn Cullen event, I figured I would close it out the same way, as I was actually in the building during one of Mark's earliest radio appearances.  Mark used to be a substitute host for our drive time host, Bruce Keidan, early in my radio career and later on I would catch Mark off and on as we were both covering the Pittsburgh Penguins for our respective radio outlets, him for 970AM and me for 1360AM. 

     That isn't to say he and I are friends, beyond a hello or a couple of words here and there I can't say he and I spoke much and chances are he wouldn't have the slightest clue who I am today.  While we both share a great admiration for Doug Hoerth, Mark and I obviously ended up walking very different paths.  Still while poking around the web this evening I saw this over on, an interview that Jim Ross did a month ago and since I have posted other events that other radio acquaintances have done in the past, like Lynn's cabaret show or Rocco Pendola's brief run on Fox Sports Radio, then posting this interview seems like a logical place for me to go this evening.  Enjoy!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Penguins @ Canadiens 11/18/2014

Pittsburgh 4  Montreal 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 27 SV

Fleury leads all NHL goaltenders with 4 shutouts this season

Blogger 365 Day 316 - Day 3:16 says I just got my ass whipped

     Another week of fantasy sports and all I can say after that week was yikes.  On the plus side none of the results were so bad as to cause permanent damage to my team and their playoff aspirations but this past week didn't instill any confidence either.  Time to take a look at the results.

     Fantasy Football

     Work league - A 142.12 - 76.40 loss.  The overall record drops to 6-5 and the only redeeming thing about this particular week is that as of now I would still have a playoff spot as the 4th place team, though only via a tiebreaker.  With three weeks left my work is cut out for me because the last two weeks I play the first and second place teams in the league.

     Swagbucks league - A 79.32 - 67.86 loss.  Only my third loss of the year, my record sits at 8-3 and the margin of defeat was the largest of those three losses.  The loss did drop me into second place overall and with three weeks left I have a two game lead on the last playoff spot.  Good news is that two of my remaining three games are against the two worst teams in the league, so while a playoff spot is not assured yet if I miss the playoffs it would have to be a choke job of the highest order.

     Fantasy Hockey

     Radio league - I am currently in 4th place, one spot higher than last week, though I continue to lose ground to the first place team.  I have 7 of the top 25 scorers in the NHL, but scoring doesn't matter in this league apparently.  Here are the players I have and their NHL scoring rank, followed by their rank in fantasy points; Sidney Crosby - T 1st, 4th; Jakub Voracek - T 1st, 41st; Claude Giroux T 6th, T 6th; Rick Nash T 11th, 22nd; Kyle Okposo T 18th, 104th; Nick Foligno T 18th, 3rd; John Tavares T 18th, 53rd.  There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to this. How three guys can have the same number of points but be ranked 3rd, 53rd and 104th is beyond me.  They have the same fucking number of points!!!!!

     My league - I went 5-6-0 last week, putting my overall record at 28-19-8.  I didn't drop in the standings much, I m in 6th place with 64 points (two points for a win, one for a tie), and second through 7th place is separated by all of 5 points (67 to 62) so everything is still packed pretty tightly after 5 weeks.  I am glad that most of the team owners are still involved, with a 21 week regular season there are leagues where people get tired and just quit showing up, but so far that hasn't been the case here.

     Anyway that should bring everyone back up to date, I am sure you have been waiting on the edges of your seats for that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 315 - 20,000 reasons to go

     Made it back from seeing Lynn Cullen at the CLO Cabaret Theater.  It was my first ever visit to the venue so I wasn't sure what to expect.  Seating was assigned, based on the number bought and the amount paid.  I bought one of the cheapie seats for $50 and was seated in a relatively good spot, but given how intimate the setting was I doubt there were bad seats per se. 

     What I did not know about cabaret seating is that they serve you food and drinks prior to the performance if you wish.  I didn't partake in any food or beverage, but what I saw being brought out from the kicthen looked decent enough; sliders, quesadillas, cheese plates, just lots of simple appetizer-y things, nothing too fancy but everything was well presented when it came out. 

     The show was great, lots of clips from Lynn's TV days and funny stories from her time in Pittsburgh media and before, but probably the best thing about the show was that it was a benefit and the proceeds of the show ended up going to Planned Parenthood of Western PA.  With a sold out venue that meant that Planned Parenthood got $20,000 from tonight's event.  Not too shabby.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 314 - Way back time

     Just getting ready for bed here, tomorrow looks like it could be a busy day.  Of course work will be work, which means I will have a weekend's worth of things to catch up on, but after that I am off to the CLO Cabaret Theater.  Lynn Cullen, who I used to work with in radio many moons ago, is doing a one woman show/ career retrospective thing and asked if I would attend.  So tomorrow night will find me in the dreaded Cultural District.  When I first moved to Pittsburgh it was just the red light district, replete with its own hookers and scam artists, pimps and pornographers.  And now?  All kinds of non fun things like theater and stuff, lol.

     Come to think of it, that would be a show worth seeing, a bunch of pimps and prostitutes giving us a career retrospective.  Chances are someone is already pitching that idea to a cable channel and it's just a matter of time till that dream becomes a reality.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

NY Rangers @ Penguins 11/15/2014

Pittsburgh 3  NY Rangers 2  SO

Evgeni Malkin - G, A

Pittsburgh has recorded at least a point in 10 of their last 11 games (9-1-1)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Penguins @ Maple Leafs 11/14/2014

Pittsburgh 2  Toronto 1

Pascal Dupuis - 2 G

Thomas Greiss has stopped 63 of 65 shots in his last two starts

Blogger 365 Day 313 - Growing up Google

     As this little project of mine is winding down I am learning some things about myself.  The most obvious would be that I enjoy blogging, which comes as no surprise to anyone, but that I am in need of some sort of happy medium.  Bogging every day is a grind, especially when it feels like there is nothing to blog about, or life gets too hectic to sit down and bang something out.  The result is lots of posts that were probably better left not written, they weren't all that compelling or creative, they were simply words for the sake of words.  That being said, forcing myself to sit down every night does remind me of why I like doing this as much as I do.  Recently that hasn't been the case, not that I have enjoyed blogging less, but I haven't been here every day and I am okay with that.   There is a space in between somewhere, between blogging every day and blogging once in a blue moon, where I think my comfort zone actually resides.

     The problem with that of course is it would become very easy to just become lazy about the whole writing process again, and I am not sure I have the discipline needed to adhere to a semi-regular blogging schedule.  there are plenty of things in my life that if I don't carve out time and make sure I do them I will never do them, like my Sunday strolls so a schedule where I set my own schedule with absolutely no guidelines might not be good for the blog long term. 

     So as the year winds down I am still struggling, not with writing, but with the frequency with which I should write and I am not sure if I have any answers to that question yet.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 312 - Bad calls

     I was sitting in my apartment Tuesday night, just minding my own business which I do more often than not, when I got a text message from my aunt Amy asking if I would be around.  Since I really wasn't doing anything, of course I was around.  We proceeded to talk, she had a baby shower for her soon to be first grandchild and one of the people that went was my mom, and after witnessing how my mom was at the event she was concerned. 

     I have been as well, what I have not been able to figure out is how much of the current condition my mom is in is temporary versus how much of it is permanent.  Her memory still isn't what it was, she still talks of seeing her parents (my grandparents of course) which is quite the impossibility since they have both passed away. 

     I had sent my mom her first Christmas present in the mail on Monday, two tickets to the Pittsburgh - Kansas City game on Dec 21st (I sent them because obviously the game is taking place before Christmas) and after Amy's phone call I thought I would call home on Wednesday just to see if the tickets had arrived yet.  It would also give me a good chance to possible gauge my mother's condition. 

     So I got home Wednesday night, settled in and dialed up my mom, and honestly, I don't even think she knew who I was for at least part of the conversation.  When I said it was Matt, she seemed lost, like I was someone calling to talk to Matt as opposed to it being me on the phone.  As the conversation progressed I asked if the tickets had arrived and she said yes, they came on Tuesday, which would be impossible.  Tuesday was a government holiday, no mail would have been delivered that day, plus I had just put them in the mail Monday night after work.  Mind you I live close enough that mail should get there in a couple of days, but not a couple of hours. 

     It is all just sad and disheartening.  I keep hoping for some signs of improvement since her surgery, but honestly I am not seeing them.  I am not expecting or hoping for miracles, my mom is never going to be someone who runs a marathon or anything, but I still hope for little signs of improvement, yet I am not even seeing those. 

Penguins @ NY Rangers 11/11/14

NY Rangers 5  Pittsburgh 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 30 SV

The loss snapped Pittsburgh's 7 game winning streak

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 311 - Channelling my inner Jim Mora

     Those who are familiar with his rant remember when Jim Mora, then head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, was asked about the playoffs after his team lost a game where they turned the ball over 5 times.  I believe the exact quote was "Playoffs?  Don't talk to me about playoffs.  I'll just be happy to win a game."  And while my teams have fared better than his Colts did on that given Sunday, the truth remains, don't talk to me about playoffs, I just want to win a game. 

     With that being said, or typed, it is time to look at how my fantasy teams did this weekend.

     Fantasy Football

     Work League - A 119.18 - 72.62 win, pushing my record to 6-4 and extending my winning streak to 5 games.  Based on that win and other results in the league I am currently in 4th place, with the top 4 teams making the playoffs.  Up next is a matchup with the 3rd place team, who has the exact same record as me at 6-4 but holds the tiebreaker in this league due to beating me in week 2 of the season.

    Swagbucks league - A 140.00 - 78.64 win, and now I sit at 8-2 and still in first place.  There is one other team with an 8-2 record, but in this league the tiebreaker is points scored and my 140.00 points this week was the highest score in the league this season, meaning I actually extended my lead by 10 points (the other 8-2 team scored 130 this week).  The total difference between the two teams is 69.5 points, or about 7 points a week.  With 4 weeks left in the regular season I have a three game lead on 5th place, and since the top 4 teams make the playoffs, I am not guaranteed a playoff spot but if I consult my Magic 8 Ball I am sure it would say "Chances Are Very Likely".

     Fantasy Hockey

     My league - A 6-2-3 week leaves my record for the year at 23-13-8, good for 5th place in the overall standings.  I am still trying to dig my way out of that horrible week 2 mess that buried me.  I do have the best team in the league in two categories, assists and shutouts, it's the other 9 categories that count that I seem to falter in.  My opponent this week is in 6th place overall, but actually has won one more game than me (24-15-5), so climbing up further in the standings this week will not be easy.

     Radio league - I still don't understand it, chances are I will never understand it.  I have already mentioned the Jakub Voracek conundrum last week, 2nd in the NHL in points (22) yet ranked 33rd in fantasy points.  Compare that too Dion Phaneuf, who has 7 points on the season (1 G, 6 A) yet is somehow ranked 4th in fantasy points. It just makes no sense and anyone saying it does must smoke a lot of crack.  So to say I am in last place, despite having on my roster the guys that rank #1, #2 and #6 in scoring in the NHL should come as no surprise.  Apparently it is more important to block a shot or win a faceoff than it is to actually, you know, score.

Blogger 365 Day 310- I can't even when I want to

     Excuse me for a second while I get my Pandora on here.  Just trying to cue up some blogging music.  Okay, that's taken care of.  Now, as for my absence yesterday, well I ended up at the bar again.

     It really wasn't my intent, I swear.  I was at work yesterday and Ed has been considering making some changes recently, including with the staff.  So he had me put an ad on Craigslist and we have been taking applications, and he has conducted a couple of interviews.  No major staff changes yet, just more or less seeing what will come of it I think.  But one of my friends, Connie, had asked if we were hiring and I said yes, because we very well may be. 

     The reason I know Connie is because she is one of the regulars at the bar.  That being said, just because I know someone doesn't mean that they get a recommendation from me, I know plenty of people that I can say would be a very bad fit where I work.  Either their skill set doesn't mesh with what we do, or they think that simply because I am in charge I will somehow go easier on them, which isn't the case.  Friendship is one thing in my world, work is another and I keep the two very separate.  Anyway, since I said we were hiring Connie decided to stop by the store yesterday and ask for an application, so I gave her one. 

     Around 5pm I am still working at my desk, another one of those long days that I have been putting in, and my cell phone rings.  It is Connie and she says that she wants to give me her application, she is finished with it.  The fact she wasn't even bringing it back to the store but expecting me to go pick it up already throws red flags up for me, how much does anyone want a job if they can't even be bothered to drop off a completed application?  So I said that I would call when I got done with work, and I did call on my way home and said I would just meet her at the bar to get the application,  I don't know where she lives, nor do I want her knowing where I live and that seemed to be as good a place as any to meet.

      I get there and she hasn't arrived yet, so I have a beer and put $5 in the poker machine.  Problem was I kept winning.  At one point I was up to $160, but as long as I was winning I kept drinking and then it was playing the jukebox.  Finally she arrived with her boyfriend, I bought them each a couple of beers and kept playing and kept winning.  I eventually cashed out at an even $100, which still isn't too shabby on an initial $5 investment,  grabbed her application and resume and finally headed home, but by the time I got home and made something to eat I had neither the desire nor the energy to try to write anything of merit.

     As for Connie's application?  I gave it to Ed today with the stipulation that I know this person, but I am not acting as their reference.  The application thing obviously sets off one red flag for me, but not the only one.  I also know a little about how she lost her last job and I have seen on more than one occasion the people she hangs out with and I would call them to be less than model citizens and really wouldn't want them hanging around where I work.  I have enough problems with that regard already without inviting more problems upon myself.  Ultimately though I told Ed the decision is his, he can bring her in and talk to her if he wants, just know that I am not acting as a reference by any means.

     So now you know why I wasn't here.  Now if you will excuse me I have another entry to write.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 309 - Explaining things

     So yesterday's post was about all I could get off in my inebriated state.  That happens when I drink multiple beers and then start doing shots of Jack Daniels on top of it.  Sadly that is becoming the norm anymore, I have probably been to the bar four times in the last week.  I am getting to the point that most days after work I am thinking that I need a drink.  Everything is falling on my plate and I am doing my best to juggle all of the balls and keep them in the air, but there are times where it is just too much.

     Prime example would be Friday.  We got a new fryer for our deli, it is a large floor model fryer and it has it's own hood, so it doesn't need a ventilation system, it has a charcoal filter in the top instead.  This is a piece of equipment which I will probably never use since I do very little work in the deli itself and while I have some experience with fryers (years of foodservice experience will give one such knowledge) I have never used one that had its own filtering system and hood, so there were some bells and whistles that I am not familiar with.   Nothing I couldn't learn and pick up on fairly quickly, but it isn't knowledge that I will put to use all that much.

     The supplier sent someone out Friday, his job was to train the people who will be using it on how to use it.  That's all fine and good, but for some reason Ed wants me to know this as well.  Anyway, I get my paperwork done fairly quickly on Friday and I run off to the bank to do our deposits and get the weekend change.  When I get back I am told that the guy is there to show us the fryer.  All well and good, hopefully they got things started and I will catch up as the training goes.  Except they didn't get things started, they waited for me before they even began.  And one of the first things that needs to be done is the fryer needs boiled out, a process that takes 30 minutes.  So rather than start this process they waited meaning another 30 minutes of my day was shot while we learned absolutely nothing, it was literally the process of watching a pot boil. 

     So instead I was once again held way after work, I didn't get out until after 5pm and by the end of this nonsense I just wanted a drink.  Saturday morning rolls around and while I am not hungover, I just have no energy whatsoever.  Everything just felt like it was like walking in quicksand.  It was so bad at work that I actually cut out for an hour, I thought maybe a trip to the Squirrel Cage for lunch might put a fire back in my belly but when I got there the kitchen wasn't open, so it was just a wasted trip.

     I started reading a book, in hopes that maybe that will ignite my mental energies, since usually when I spend too much time away from reading I start feeling dumber, but the book I am reading isn't something I would normally have picked out, so my interest level is mediocre at best.  I ordered another book off of Amazon but it hasn't arrived yet, so I am settling at this point until it gets here.

     Alright, enough whining from me.  I guess the good news is I didn't go to the bar today so there is that (yes it is open on Sundays).  But then, I didn't work today either, lounging at home is a little less stressful than work so the desire for a beer or three just wasn't there.  Instead I got my Coke points updated, adding another 100 (the weekly max) and pretty soon I am going to have to pick out a prize or something and I did manage a trip to the grocery store (and reading on the bus as well) and now I think I will go set y fantasy hockey lineups for the upcoming week.

Penguins @ Sabres 11/08/2014

Pittsburgh 6  Buffalo 1

Sidney Crosby - 5 A

Kris Letang and Patric Hornqvist each had 2 goals in the win

Penguins @ Jets 11/06/14

Pittsburgh 4  Winnipeg 3  SO

Brandon Sutter - G, 2 A

Teams combined for 102 penalty minutes

Blogger 365 Day 308 - I got nothing

     I wish I could say there were crazy good things going on in my life right now, but really there hasn't been.  If anything, my life has been pretty mundane, save for work which has been cutting into what little free time I usually have.  What is worse is that I have been spending far too much time at the bar, which has turned into my coping mechanism for everything that goes wrong at work.

   That of course effects this, my ability to write, even semi coherently.  The last thing I want to do when I am all kinds of incoherent is to try to sit down and bang out something that is more coherent than what I am normally.  So better to not blog than try to pretend to be more involved in this process than I actually am.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 307 - Levels of productivity

     Leave it to me to celebrate a milestone in bogging for myself by turning around and taking yesterday off.  It seems that sometime in the past few days I have made this the busiest year ever in my blogging career, if you could call this a career.  Too bad I celebrated it by going out last night and having a few too many, and I have been paying for it most of the day.  Feeling like crap but not really having the time to stop and enjoy feeling like crap.  Between placing three different orders, working with a vendor on installing a new fryer, trying to get someone to fix a broken slicer and a broken hot dog roller, being trained on a new web app for work, going over future bookings for products and still doing the stuff I normally do, lets just say there isn't enough coffee to make me functional at this point.  I'd rather just put my head down and sleep for a few days, and I know that isn't going to happen. Instead I think I will settle for a nap about now and hope to wake up feeling better later on.

Penguins @ Wild 11/04/2014

Pittsburgh 4  Minnesota 1

Thomas Greiss - 33 SV

Greiss recorded the win in his first ever start for Pittsburgh

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 306 - In the wee hours

     Hello Warsaw!!!!!   Sorry but I had to, I just was checking the site's tracker before beginning this here entry and someone checked in from Poland.  Probably a mistake on their part, but welcome to the show nonetheless.

     Not really sure what I am doing up this early, it is 5:10am after all, though  have been up for a couple of hours now.  Went to the bar last night, drank a little and played the poker machines.  Broke even on the machines, but the beer is another matter entirely.  And afterward I managed to make my way down the street and order some dinner, only because trusting me anywhere near a stove and open flame in that condition wouldn't be in anyone's best interest.

     Called home to check up on my mom, and because I wanted to start getting an idea of Christmas lists for everyone back home.  Yes kids, we are getting dangerously close to that yearly tradition around here where I post my Christmas list.  I did get them one Christmas present already, which I already told them about since it is a before Christmas Christmas present.  I managed to snag off of Ed two tickets for the Pittsburgh - Kansas City game on Dec 21st, just something to get them out of the house.

      I did vote yesterday  but like I told my Facebook friends, I don't say that to brag because my ballot sucked so bad that I wouldn't piss on any of the candidates if they were on fire.  Literally there were three races on my ballot, two of which were unopposed races.  It was damn near a waste of my time.  I had no intention of voting a straight party line going in, but when two seats are unopposed and the third I wasn't enamored with either candidate, it turned out to be a straight party line vote anyway.

    Well I should wrap this up, my two alarms (cell phone, iPad) will be going off in about 30 minutes and I have decisions to make, do I get another 30 minutes of sleep or am I just up for the day.  I am leaning to the latter option, I am drinking coffee after all, not the best beverage to be having if I am planning on sleeping, so I guess it is off to the showers with me and to try and get this day started.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 305 - Fantasy projections

     Since tomorrow is Election Day and the cable news channels will be replete with idiots sitting around a desk making projections on what will happen with only some of the votes counted, I thought I would do my own projections for what my fantasy teams will do this week, since technically there is still a game going on right now. 


Work League - With all of my opponents players done and me having an almost 50 point lead and one guy still playing, I project that I will in fact win this matchup, pushing my record to 5-4 and extending my winning streak to 4 games.  Furthermore, with two of the other 4-4 team playing each other, I can now project that by tomorrow morning I will be in 4th place in the league and the top 4 teams make the playoffs.

Yahoo League - With my opponent having one player still playing and myself two, this one is not definitive yet but since I have a 46 point lead I am going to project a win in this matchup as well and an overall record of 7-2, good enough for first place in the league (via points scored tiebreaker). 


Hockey will be easier because for scoring purposes our games ended on Sunday night.

Radio league - 4th place, 370.4 points back. A shitty week where I dropped a good 100+ points to first place, though again I still don't understand the scoring here.  Tommy Wingels is the 4th best player in the league?  Get the fuck out.  While Jakob Voracek, who right now is second in the NHL in scoring, is the 81st best player.  You figure it out, I can't.

My league - 8-1-2 last week to push my overall record to 17-11-5, good for 7th place.  That bad week last week still hurts but I still have time to dig myself out of that hole, I just need more weeks like last week.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 304 - So much for Sunday

     Well the best laid plans and all that jazz.  I mentioned about maybe going out for breakfast and taking a walk today, at least I was one for two in that regard. 

     I woke up early enough, even too early to be honest.  For whatever reason I woke up around 5am, that horrid time when I know that if I want to go to breakfast I have about two hours before I can leave, unless I go to a 24 hour place like Eat N Park or IHOP, and I wasn't particularly interested in either of those destinations.  So I stayed up for a little bit, but eventually decided to lay back down and when I woke up it was already 10am. 

     Again I suppose I could have went at that point, but by the you are waiting in line to get into most of the places I go and I had no intention of waiting outside for food.  Plus I am minus good reading material right now, so if I took an extended bus ride I would literally be sitting on the bus bored to death, so I just decided to pass on the breakfast offering and putz around the apartment. 

     I listened to a couple of fantasy football shows on the internet, then popped over to Hulu to watch a couple of shows that I like and can catch up on on there without having cable.  While I am not one to watch the TV much, I do have a couple of shows that I like and will catch over there, such as Parenthood, The Profit and Quickdraw.  So I settled in for a little internet viewing and some Marvel Puzzle Quest-ing, i killed a couple of hours before falling asleep during an episode of The Colbert Report.

     By the time I woke from my afternoon nap there was no chance I would be hitting breakfast, so I made a decent lunch/dinner of steak and mashed potatoes (go, go bachelor cooking) and eventually made it out for a walk, so the day wasn't a complete waste.  Just mostly.

     Now I have to go set my fantasy hockey lineups for the coming week, lest I put myself at a decided disadvantage come Monday night. 

Sabres @ Penguins 11/02/2014

Pittsburgh 5  Buffalo 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 18 SV

Fleury has posted shutouts in his last two games and three of his last four

Blogger 365 Day 303 - Karaoke Friday - Avert your eyes

     Another one of those days where Pandora at work surprised me with a tune that I knew but had left fall so far into the recesses of my mind that I would never have thought to look for it had I not been given such a subtle reminder.  That being said, after seeing the video that goes with the song it probably should come with a warning label.  I have a saying at work when Sammy tells me tries to show me something that is probably not in my best interest, you can't unsee things.  Once you start this video, you will see exactly what I mean.  You might be better off just closing your eyes and listening and perhaps singing as well

Yeah, ooh
Ooh, ooh, hoo
Look at her

She's a bad mama jama
Just as fine as she can be, hey
She's a bad mama jama
Just as fine as she can be

Her body measurements are perfect in every dimension
She's got a figure that's sho' â€~nuff gettin' attention
She's poetry in motion, a beautiful sight to see
I get so excited viewin' her anatomy

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's got)
Got all the curves that men like
(She's got all the curves that men like)

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's got)
Got all the curves that men like
(Got all the curves that men like, look at her)

She's a bad mama jama
Just as fine as she can be, hey
She's a bad mama jama, oh
Just as fine as she can be

Looks like she's poured into the gold, she bad
The essence of beauty, ooh, such lovely hair
She's foxy, classy, oh, sexy, sassy
She's heavenly, a treat for the eye to see

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's got)
Got all the curves that men like
(Got all the curves that men like, oh)

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's got)
Got all the curves that men like
(Got all the curves that men like, ooh, wee)

She's a bad mama jama
(Ooh, she's bad)
Just as fine as she can be, hey
She's a bad mama jama, ho, ho
Just as fine as she can be

Woo, hoo
Na na na na na na na na na na na na
Woo, hoo
Na na na na na na na na na na na na
Woo, hoo

She's built, she's stacked
Got all the curves that men like

Her body measurements are perfect in every dimension
She's got a figure that's sho' â€~nuff gettin' attention
She's poetry in motion, a beautiful sight to see
I get so excited viewin' her anatomy

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's stacked)
Got all the curves that men like
(Got all the curves that men like)

(She's built)
She's built, she's stacked
(Oh, she's got)
Got all the curves that men like
(She got all the curves that men like, look at her)

She's a bad mama jama
(Hey, hey, hey, hey, yeah)
Just as fine as she can be
(Oh, yeah)

She's a bad mama jama
(Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, I don't understand)
Just as fine as she can be

She's a bad mama jama

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Blogger 365 Day 302 - Routinely speaking

     I guess the best thing to say about today is that it almost felt normal.  No running around or worrying about things beyond my control, instead I was just able to go into work and bang some things out and actually feel like I made some process for a change. 

     As a bonus yesterday was the last day of October, which meant I had to do the sales reports for Friday today as opposed to doing all of the paperwork on Monday morning.  I am hoping it will make Monday a little easier, we will see on that front.  I also got some other things done that had started to pile up on my desk, what with me taking three days off last week there were price changes that I hadn't gotten to, and invoices that were overdue to be broken down and sent off to our accountant.  Most of the price changes are done and the invoices are completely caught up, so It is almost like I was back where I was before everything with my mom happened.

     I suppose the only thing that would make everything completely normal around here would be for me to get up tomorrow morning and go for one of my breakfasts and my Sunday stroll.  Sounds like a plan to me, now just hope I can stick to it.

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