Monday, December 28, 2015

B365V2.168 - Frohliche Weihnachten

Grettings and salutations, sorry if the title shows off both my brilliance and my ignorance, brillance because I retained a little something after four years of high school German (You should hear me sing Rudolph mit rotem Naschen) but ignorance because I couldn't find umlauts on a keyboard to save my life.  Which would make for a funny Japanese game show, killing people who can't find umlauts.  Just sayin.

Anyway, hope everyone had a good holiday.  Mine wasn't great but wasn't awful either.  It just was what it was and we will leave it at that.  I did take some time this holiday season to update my change meter, which I have been neglecting like my father neglects his kids.  Anyway I am adding another $25.88 so the new total as we close the books on 2015 is $660.98.

As for what I did for my holiday, well it started off with me working.  Sorry, but if I am going to ask my crew to work holidays then I am going to do it too.  But rather than make it a sucky kind of experience I thought I would be the nice guy and made a smallish Christmas dinner for those of us that worked, just a turkey, some mashed potatoes,gravy, green bean casserole, corn and some cauliflower/broccoli steamed veggie mix with cheese.  I also picked up a tray of shrimp and cocktail sauce and threw together a quickly devised cheese and cracker tray as an app.

Apparently the turkey turned out okay (actually I know it did, I ate some of it after all) because by Saturday morning it was all gone, as was the corn and mashed potatoes.  I love cooking, I just hate cleaning up afterwards.  And anytime I can flash my rudimentary kitchen skills for someone besides myself  I am up to said task.  If I am cooking for myself, I will get by on PBand J and cereal.  But with a holiday next week I figured I could get my ordering done early, then have the whole weekend off which would be nice.  I could go home for Christmas if I wanted, which would be nice since I still had the gifts for my family in my apartment from last year.  So anyway I finish up at work around 4:30 on Christmas, come back to my apartment and finish wrapping gifts, because I procrastinate like anyone who reads this blog should know.  How long has it been since I blogged, two weeks now?

I go to sleep Christmas night, though I had no visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head.  Hell I don't even know what those are so how could I possibly visualize them.  I figure I will run into work Saturday morning then come back to my place and possibly see what the family had planned.  They had offered to come pick me up on Christmas day, but they called while I was at work and I do have a certain dread of staying too long there which I have covered in a previous blog entry and, like your parents when you were a kid, I am not repeating myself.  Suffice it to say visits take on an uneasy ambivalence for me.  So when I got home from work Saturday morning, I kept having a running mental debate with myself about whether or not to call.  Turns out it was good that I didn't call, my phone rang at 11:30pm, one of the over night guys didn't bother to call or show up, so now I am dragging my tired ass back to work to do an overnight shift when I had mapped having the whole weekend off.  That solidified any Christmas plans I had, I wasn't going home and I was going to be stuck with two years of Christmas gifts in my apartment.

I work the overnight, which was incredibly slow, no students downtown, just crack heads and porn shop patrons for the most part until 7am when the next shift came in, I hurried up and dropped my money in the safe and got out of there.  At that point I had been up for 22 hours straight and bed sounded really good.  I got home and fell into bed around 8am and my eyes just started to close when my mom's husband called me.  Would I like to go out to dinner Sunday, I say sure what time and he say 3pm.  I figure that is good, I can get some sleep before they arrive.  I get off the phone and it rings again, it's Ed in Florida asking if I worked all night to which I say yes and then he tells me me all of the things I already know, we need to get some new people, put an ad out, get applications yada, yada, yada.  Nothing I am going to do at 9am on a Sunday morning, but I know I will have to do on Monday.  Finally I get to close my eyes, I wake back up around 1pm, figure I better hop in the shower if I am going to confront the day, so I shower and get dressed and am waiting for my parents to show up.  they get here around 4pm, there was a detour on the Parkway east due to the impending implosion of the Greenfield Bridge on Monday.  They get here, I grab all of the presents I have for them and climb into their truck and we opt to go to IHOP for dinner, Mike has a gift card for there.  Doesn't matter to me, it's food.  Besides it was about my breakfast time anyway.

Turns out they didn't get me anything, not that I am surprised, my mom has been all off kilter since her stroke and Mike is Mike, he isn't going to run out and do Christmas shopping.  Still they are taking me to dinner, beggars can't be choosers right.  Except we get there and Mike doesn't have enough money for dinner, he has two gift cards, an IHOP card and a Visa gift card, I make up the difference.  As a personal note, I would never ask someone to dinner and not have the money to pay for it, it's just the way I roll.  (Wink and a nod to Kat on that line, she will get it.)  So we get back to my place and Mike asks me about working Christmas, I say I got paid time and a half and got an extra vacation day out of the deal, so by January I should have 13 days saved up.  Again long time readers of the blog know that I am planning a vacation, thus my accumulation of days, when Mike spouts out, good, you can take some time off then and help us put in the new carpeting.  Excuse me, but I am calling the shots with my time off, the fact they left their home fall into a state where they need new carpeting isn't my fault, I did not have a pet(s) and let them piss and shit on the rugs, or have a hole in the roof and then wait around to get the insurance company to fix it (the hole was due to a fire at a neighbors place) to the point where they had extensive water damage making the problem far worse than it had to be.

All in all I can say I can wait the 364 days to do this again.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Penguins @ Wild 12/26/2015

Pittsburgh 3  Minnesota 1

Sidney Crosby - G, A

Pittsburgh has won the last two in a row after a five game losing streak


Blue Jackets @ Penguins 12/21/2015

Pittsburgh 5  Columbus 2

Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin - 2 G each

Matt Murray records his first NHL win


Panthers @ Penguins 12/19/2015

Carolina 2  Pittsburgh 1

Evgeni Malkin - G

Matt Murray made his first NHL start in goal for Pittsburgh




Bruins @ Penguins 12/18/2015

Boston 6  Pittsburgh 2

Conor Sheary - G, A

Pittsburgh has lost 4 in a row and 6 of last seven


Penguins @ Bruins 12/16/2015

Boston 3  Pittsburgh 0

Jeff Zatkoff - 24 SV

Pittsburgh's losing streak at three games


Caqpitals @ Penguins 12/14/2015

Washington 4  Pittsburgh 1

Evgeni Malkin - G

First game under new head coach Mike Sullivan


Sunday, December 20, 2015

B365V2.167 - The Inverse Penis Reaction Fun Hour

So this is what two days off in a row feels like.   My mental batteries are starting to recharge, and I am mentally starting to string together ideas that have nothing in common in order to try and be funny.  And it all started with a Saturday morning cartoon.  Go figure.

I was putzing around the apartment Saturday morning, flipping through channels on TV, when I fell upon something I hadn't seen in years.  People at work have heard me sing the theme song before, "Up from the depths, 30 stories high, breathing fire and his head in the sky."  Yes on one of the obscure digital channels  ( no cable for me, as you all know) I found a rerun of the old Godzilla cartoon.  Let me say, it wasn't as good as when I was as a child.  People riding around on a boat, getting into trouble (Johnny Quest rip off anyone) and as soon as they do, one guy presses a button on his belt and Godzilla shows up and defeats the bad guys.  Not exactly Shakespeare is it?

Apparently that got embedded in my head, as well as the idea of Saturday morning cartoons in general as I made my way out the door to do some Christmas shopping. No real plan to my shopping mind you, I just picked a mall and started browsing, if I saw something appropriate, I bought it.  So my sojourn saw me head into Bed, Bath and Beyond.  I found a couple of things there but when I went to check out I saw a pack of Scrub Daddies.  For those not into Shark Tank, it was an idea pitched a couple of years ago, it is a sponge that is a hard scrubber until it gets warmer in water, then it just acts like a sponge.   I had need of such a device in my kitchen so I bought a pack for me, the only thing I bought for myself the entire trip, killing the rumor that I am all about me, even if that rumor is 100% true.

I finished up my Christmas shopping and went home to made dinner.  While making dinner I decided to open my package of Scrub Daddies, and they worked just as advertised.  Wet with cold or cool water they were all kinds of scrubby hard, but as the water got warmer they got softer.

So I get up this morning, and on my way out the door I see the scrub daddy on my counter, I grab it and feel that it has mostly dried out and that it was once again hard.  In science they call this the inverse penis reaction, the warmer something gets the softer it gets.  It also works with snow, so next spring instead of the snow thawing, just look at your kids and tell them to go outside and play in the snow before the coming inverse penis reaction takes place.

I leave my house, doing a Sunday stroll over to the South Side so I could buy stuff to make Christmas dinner at work on Friday, or at least attempt to.   And I started combining my Christmas trip with the Saturday morning cartoons, and I came up with a great idea for a Saturday morning cartoon, The Inverse Penis Reaction Fun Hour.   You could have all of those cold super heroes and villains on it, starring Iceman and Captain Cold.  Anyone who gets weaker as they get warmer.   Don't laugh, you know you will watch.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

B365V2.166 - The case of the hockey ticket

Sitting at Mitchell's, I am looking for the chalk outline on the floor, because it was here last week that my crime of stupidity took place. And it all starts with that hockey ticket I mentioned in the last blog, or at least the last non hockey video or fantasy football blog.

When I least left you faithful readers, I had become stuck with an extra hockey ticket and about a week to find a hockey companion.  In truth I could have asked a few different people at work but I didn't want to appear to be playing favorites so I didn't.  I mean the tickets were $250 a piece, so if I give one to an employee I risk pissing off the others.  So I did not, instead I opted to go outside the confines of Smithfield News to find a partner in crime for the evening.  My first option was our new rep for Full Circle Distributing, Chelsey.  She has been our rep for about a month now and in at time she has done a better job than our previous two reps with them combined.   I thought I would make a nice offer to her, because as a manager I like to take care of the people that take care of us.  So I sent her a message on Facebook (I friend many of the people I do business with, it is like my LinkedIn with Candy Crush requests thrown in.   Anyway, so I sent her a message on there and for days I didn't hear from anything.  Of course you all know I was running up against a semi tight deadline, so I couldn't wait forever for a reply.       But then a funny thing happened, Kat stopped by the store on Friday.  An interesting story that one, I have always been attracted to her, but when she worked for us it would violate one of the Animal Planet Rules of Dating, that being you do not shit where you eat.  Relationships by and large turn out like shit, and your job allows you to eat, so don't mix the two.  Kat left us under less than ideal circumstances, she was busted for drinking on duty twice and I was the idiot after the first time for arguing for her to keep her job.  I was thinking the first time might be a come to Jesus moment, instead it was just a Matt is a dumbass moment, as it obviously happened a second time.  At which point I can't save people from themselves.

Well she stopped by the store on Friday, mind you it was in part because I had got her son a couple of small Christmas presents, because whatever issues she may have the issues of her baby daddy ( using the street vernacular) are far worse.  Being an authority on having a fuck up father, I can guarantee that his father's issues are worse than the issues of his mother.  Let just say the dad has a crowd funding page for people to get his drunk ass home from the bar.  Thank god no one was stupid enough to donate to it, but there are this kids parents ladies and gentlemen, one who can't put down the bottle long enough to complete a shift at work and one who looks online to support his habit of getting drunk.  Honestly the kid is fucked.  I hate to say that but I see it every day,  and God forbid, this is an instance where I can hopefully help if not make a difference, so I got the kid a little something for Halloween earlier this year.  Kat had picked it up from where I where I work (and where she used to work) and sent me a picture of her son and the basket/bucket I had put together for him.  It was cool of her to do so and the pic was also cool.  People on my Facebook can verify the coolness of it, those that aren't need to get with the program.  Anyway, I had got him a train set for Christmas, not one of those cool model set for collectors, but just a cheapie that runs around in a circle.  I figure worst case scenario they can set it up under their Christmas tree and he might get a kick out of it.  I also got a couple of small things for her, simply because having a small understanding of her situation (and admittedly my understanding is very small) I didn't want her to have nothing for Christmas.  I went through that last year, and while I understand why it happened (my moms health issues and what not) it still sucks.  So if I could keep someone else from going through it all the better.

Anyway Kat had stopped by to get the things I picked up for them, but then she realized she would have trouble navigating the trolley home while carrying it, so she asked me if she could pick everything up on Saturday, to which I said fine, it wasn't going anywhere.  I went back to work and she continued to go about her errands downtown.  I was just about finished with my paperwork in the office when someone lets me know that there is someone there to see me.  Here I am thinking I must be all kinds of Mr. Popularity, I come upstairs and it is Kat again.  So I ask what is up and she wants to take me out for a drink after work.  So we go to Mitchell's where we each grab a shot and I grab a beer.  All told I think she had two shots, I have more, but not so much hat I was drunk or anything, rather I was very much aware of my surroundings.  I would like to think we were both having a good time and then inspiration struck me, so I asked her if she would like to go to the hockey game on Monday.  She said yes, so my third attempt at getting someone to go to the game seemed to be off to a good start, which was good as I was running out of time.  We finished our drinks at the bar and Kat said she had 30 minutes to catch her trolley, so I walked with her over to the subway station, where we waited for her ride on the platform.  Once we got there however she suggested we take a walk down along the river.  I politely said no, because we would miss her trolley then.  Besides whatever errands she had to run downtown, she still has her son to get home to.  So instead of walking along the river, she pulls out her phone and tells me to pick a song.  I do and then she hands me an earbud and we slow dance on the trolley platform.  There were a couple of kisses thrown in there as well, not OMG, they swallowed tongues PDA type of kisses, just very short ones while we were dancing. Eventually her trolley arrived, we agreed that we would meet on Saturday at Smithfield News around noon so she could pick up the gifts, so all was cool. I was getting the gifts out of the office at work and I had a date for hockey game, ticket criss averted or do I thought.

I get to work on Saturday around 11:30 and was there for a good 8 hours ( I do do work there after all) no sign of Kat, do not hear from her, nothing.  Now I don't now if something happened to her or what, but I tried calling and sending messages (via Facebook) and she never got back to me.  A bunch of possibilities went through my mind, none of them good.  I thought maybe she had fallen off the wagon again ( provided she was ever on it) and could be on a bender some place, to perhaps her thinking Friday was a complete mistake, she wasn't attracted to me at all in he first place.  Rather it was a bad mixture of time, space and alcohol.

Of course if she was going to pass on seeing me Saturday for whatever reason, chances are very good that she would pass on the hockey game Monday as well.  It would be one thing to just fess up, say Friday was a mistake or accident or what not, but it was quite another to not hear anything.  So I had no idea if she still wanted to go to the game or not.  And I still didn't want to be stuck with s ticket.

That was about the time Debbie and I started talking on Saturday.  Long time blog readers may remember Debbie as the person who dove through the bedroom window the first time I was having relations with a female.  I realize that sounds like one of the make out scenes in an 80 s comedy, perhaps if I were having sex with Molly Ringwald then it would be complete.  Busting up my relations notwithstanding, Debbie and I have been good friends over the years, she is one of the sounding boards that I can turn to when there is generally something of import on my mind.  So I explained the events of Friday in all of their glorious detail, we both came to the same conclusion, that it was pretty fucking inconsiderate that should you have a change of mind or heart about the game you might want to let me know.  Wait, isn't how this whole fucking thing got started, by someone not saying that they changed their mind?  Why yes it is, which is why women as a general rule just suck.  So we continued to talk and Debbie jokingly said she would bug he ticket off of me, which is a no, because I got the seats for free to begin with, I wasn't going to start scalping freebies, least of all to my friends.  Instead I asked her how much of a warning she needed, she does not live in the city unlike yours truly, but I still wanted to give Kat time to say something, anything really.  We basically decided on two hours prior, now of course I am putting a friend's schedule on hold now too for this nonsense, but if something serious did happen it would give Kat ample time to get back to me.  If by ample time I mean all day Saturday, all day Sunday and Monday up until 5 pm.  Of course I did not hear anything and as I write about it, seeing it all spelled out on the page pisses me off all over again.  But I called Debbie and she made it to Pittsburgh (fighting rush hour and game day traffic no less) in about an hour and a half.  We walk over to the arena and slid in the door literally one and a half minutes before face off.

So it only took four tries to get someone to go to a hockey game.  I must suck at that or something.

B365v2.165 - The list

Time once again for the unveiling of the annual Christmas list.  This year's edition is shorter than those in the past, which means you have fewer options if you are going out to buy me something. 

Chocolate peanut butter milk
New wallet
Ceramic knife set
Female companionship
Hulu subscription
Passport application fee
Go Pro
Drone w/ camera
Thug Kitchen cookbook
Netflix
Hulu subscription
Washington Post subscription
Gift cards
Groceries
Maid
iTunes card
Isos to level up my MPQ charcters

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Kings @ Penguins 12/11/2015

Los Angeles  3  Pittsburgh 2  SO

Eric Fehr, Evgeni Malkin - G each

Penguins fire coach Mike Johnston a day after game


Friday, December 11, 2015

Penguins @ Avalanche 12/09/2015

Pittsburgh 4  Colorado 2

Beau Bennett - 2 G

Third straight game where Olli Maatta scored a goal




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Penguins @ Ducks 12/06/2015

Anaheim 2  Pittsburgh 1

Olli Maatta - G

Maatta has scored a goal in each of his last two games


Penguins @ Kings 12/05/2015

Los Angeles 5  Pittsburgh 3 

Chris Kunitz - G, 2 A

Pittsburgh has lost 4 of their past 6 games


B365V2.164 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #12)

I will keep the pregame chatter to a minimum and just get to the results

Work league - (L)  89.52 - 83.50  Remember when I said I would have to win my last four games to get a playoff spot?  Obviously that isn't going to happen.  Now the best I can hope for this year is a 7-7 record, I am currently 5-7, and I would need a bunch of other things to go my way in order to get a playoff spot.  Make no mistake though, one more loss in this league and it is good night, the party's over time for me.

Bloggers league - (W) 90 - 43  Amazingly I am still alive in this league, though my only path to making the playoffs would seem to be winning my last two games and having the first place team in my division lose his last two.  I play him once, next week, so I will have a slight hand in things, albeit a very slight hand, but it is another one of those situations where I will have to win out to have a chance.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

B365V2.163 - Work related issues

     Just sitting in Crazy Mocha on the South Side, trying to process the sat week or so in my brain.  Have to admit, mentally I am not in a good place.  But really, when am I ever.

     Our story goes back to before Ed left for his winter sojourn to Florida, so we are saying maybe late August.  Before he left he had meetings with all of our reps, nothing unusual about that there, since he would under not be seeing anyone for 6 months or so.  One of those meetings was with 7Up, and through the course of that meeting we were Ted that we hadn't used our allotment of tickets yet.  We get roughly $2000 worth of tickets to Consol Energy Center every year as part of our contract, so Ed had asked me if there was anything I might want to go to.  Of course my thinking was hockey, as it always is when it comes to events at Consol.  But tickets to see hockey are not cheap, especially while sitting in 7up's box.  Those seats run about $225 a piece.  And Ed asked me if I wanted to take someone, so I am being offered $450 worth of merchandise simply because I am a kick ass employee.  So I go through my mental Rolodex of friends and acquaintances that 1) enjoy hockey as much as I do and 2) I hadn't offered stuff like to before.  I know if I asked someone at work everyone else will think I am playing favorites, so I didn't want to go down that road.  Instead I thought of someone you blog Anders should know, that is if you read this blog, that being Erin.  The thing with her is we really aren't friends so much as acquaintances, we know of each other's existence and that is about it.  We had coffee once, and that has been our interaction to this point.  But I did learn that there are some days where she works late, so I shot her a message saying I may be able to get hockey tickets if she wanted to go to a game.  She said to keep her posted, so I put in a request for a game that would work around her schedule, Dec 14th against the Washington Capitals.  Other than that, we hadn't had much back and forth about the game, because I am loathe to promise a game without the tickets in my grubby little paws.

     So we fast forward to last week, Ed and I are have one of our conversations about store related issues (more on that forthcoming) and I mention the game again and that I hadn't heard from anyone at 7up regarding our tickets yet.  A few months out I didn't want to bother anyone, heck I made my ticket request before individual game tickets went on sale to the general public, so there is no saying 7up had their tickets yet but now we are a little more than a week out and there is me, sans tickets.  So I let Ed rattle some cages with the regional manager at 7up and he got word to me earlier this week that the tickets are going to be brought to our store in the coming days.  I send a message to Erin as to what is happening, the keeping her posted she requested.  Then I get the message she can't go, why I couldn't be told this anytime in the prevailing months leading up to this I don't have a fucking clue.  Yes, you can tell I am getting pissed off because my nice guy language is deteriorating.  It is one of those moments when I wish people would just be fucking honest with me rather than leave me twisting in the wind, if someone doesn't want to go, just fucking say so.  I will make other arrangements.  My boss does me a $450 favor and now I am the one who is going to look like an ass.  Excuses aren't going to matter, it is simply going to be you asked for these tickets and now you aren't using them.  Truth be told, I will use at least one of them, and try to find someone else who has Monday night free, but I should have had months to do this, not fucking days.

      If that were the only work thing that happened this week, then I would rack the entire episode up to my own fucking stupidity and move on, but alas it wasn't, not by a long shot.  I am sitting at my desk one day balancing the books when I see I have a message on Facebook.  That is an odd occurrence but not so odd that it never happens, more likely the frequency would coincide with a lunar eclipse.  So I check my message and it is from my half sister, Heather someone who I rarely mention in my blog.  That would be because we rarely speak, since I tend to distance myself from all things related to my father, that includes my half sister as well.  I don't have anything against her or for my fathers side of the family for that matter, just the way circumstances have unfolded in my life.  So I was curious as to what she wanted to get in touch with me about.  Turns out she is somewhat worried, she was wondering if it was safe to send her son to spend time with his grandparents (her mom, my dad) based on some things she had heard our shared father may have done, including threatening her mom.  I said if she should send her son, it should be a supper used visit, then proceeded to recall how one of my first memories of my father was of him choking my mom out in the living room floor when I was 3.  If he has not corrected that type of behavior (and I have no reason to believe he has, though I haven't spoken to him in 23 years so who knows) then what she was worried about could in fact be what has actually taken place.  Save for talking about our dad (turns out she has similar feelings about him) the conversation went fairly well.  It was good to catch up with her, just wish it could have been under better circumstances.

     Lastly I had a hand in letting someone go at work this past week. Brian (not owner Brian, obviously) hD started working for us shortly after I did, in fact I had trained him on some things.   When we got our new register system a couple of years ago, we implemented a new policy regarding over rings.  For those not in the retail world, an over ring occurs when a customer changes their mind regarding a purchase, they don't want something, or they are short on cash, anything that would cause us to void a transaction.  Only a handful of people have cards which allow you to take a transaction off the screen (to keep employees from cancelling transactions after the fact, and then pocketing the money themselves), for everyone else we have created over ring slips, where after cashing out a transaction that was cancelled, you print the receipt and staple it to the slip, right the reason for the over ring and then have a second person on duty sign it as well as the person who is submitting it.  It isn't perfect, but it is the best we can do with the tools we have.  So I am breaking down the paperwork for a day of sales and I get to Brian's paperwork.  In it he has a number of over ring slips, but nothing is filled out on them, no reasons for why they occurred, nor did he sign any of them.  The second person signed them (an issue unto itself, people signing blank slips), but just dropping slips with nothing filled out sets off alarm bells.  So Brian (the owner) had me check the cameras, cross referencing the time on the receipt with what was taking place on the cameras at that time.  The second one I checked wasn't an over ring at all, the customer bought the merchandise and it was cashed out through the register.  That was enough that Brian (owner) and Ed decided to let Brian (non owner) go.  It sucks because I like Brian ( non owner) but nobody said everyday at work would be a pleasant one, and while I didn't see any money being stolen, it doesn't look good from a visual perspective.

      So, anybody want my week?  Anyone

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Penguins @ Sharks 12/01/2015

Pittsburgh 5  San Jose 1

Evgeni Malkin - G, 2 A

Pittsburgh's first win in San Jose since 1997


Sunday, November 29, 2015

B365V2.162 - Life is just a fantasy (week #11)

Time to do the weekly recap of my fantasy football teams

Work league (W) 88.22 - 74.48  The first of what I feel will be four wins to close the season to get a playoff spot,  my record is now 5-6, the 4th and final playoff spot is 6-5.  Up next is the only remaining team on my schedule who has scored more points than myself.

Bloggers league (L)  66 - 73 Another league where I am 5-6, but my playoff prospects do not look nearly as promising.  While this league there are 6 playoff spots, 6th place is 7-3-1.  I really don't like my chances in this league, but as the old adage goes, you can't win them all.

B365V2.161 - Saturday Night (almost live)

  So, last nite I broke with my tradition of never doing anything and instead opted to go to the WXXP 30th Anniversary Reunion show at Stage AE.  For those not in the know, WXXP was a radio station in Pittsburgh circa 1986 - 1988 that played alternative music back when such a thing wasn't mainstream crap.   During their brief existence there were only a few stations in the United States outside of college stations that had a similar format.  As it so happens, I graduated from high school in 1987, so it could be argued that they were around during my formative years.  And being probably the only person in my school who listened to them regularly (I come from the land of the mufflerless truck and redneck rock) their time on the air holds a special place in my memory.

     So when I saw there was going to be a reunion show, complete with an old local band that I liked back in the day, The Affordable Floors, of course it was a must see event for yours truly.  So I got up earlier than I usually do on Saturday morning, to make sure I was in to work on time so that I would have everything I needed to get done done, then I would hop the subway over to Stage AE, catch the show and time permitting, take some Christmas pics downtown afterward.

    I get into work about 10 am after navigating my way around the Celebrate the Season parade, and proceeded to put away the Sledd order, which was delayed a day because of Thanksgiving.  It felt good to do stuff on the floor again as opposed to being hidden away in the office.  After that I put together the GFS order, which I had already started earlier in the week, sorted out three different cigarette orders, and broke down a week's worth of invoices for our accountant Monday morning.  I finished up around 3 pm, which was still too early for the show, where doors were opening at 6 pm, but I had no desire to rush home only to turn around and meander back into town, so I grabbed a couple of jalapeƱo dogs and walked down the street, thinking I could go play some MPQ in the park, to kill some time.  I made it through one dog before my hands were too cold to be outside playing on my tablet, so I walked back to work and  went back to the office where I watched some Homicide: Life on the Street on YouTube to pass some time.  I also brought some stuff up from the basement and finished checking in a delivery that came in.  I putzed around until 5:30, then walked to the subway station where I bought my next week's bus pass from the kiosk there while waiting on my subway to arrive.

     It shows up and I get to Stage AE, the concert venue just as the doors were opening, so I flittered inside, where a bunch of 80s alternative music was playing, leading up to the concert.  I heard there was supposed to be a couple other bands playing, but there were groups I had never heard of.  The reason being was the bands were basically cover bands, playing other artists material.  I made my way over to the merchandise table, where I grabbed a couple of shirts, then to the bar where I got a beer.  I wanted a Yuengling but they didn't have it, so I opted for a Sam Adams Rebel Yell IPA, and I would have rather had my first choice, thank you very much.

      Finally the first band came out, Seven Color Sky, and the nicest thing I can say about them is they would be an okay band to play weddings and bar mitzvahs.  By far the worst part of the evening.  I stepped out to the patio area to have a cigarette toward the end of their set, so I didn't catch the name of the second band that played. They started off okay but then it turned into a jam session, first the keyboardist from the Floors jumped in with them, then I saw a lead singer that I thought I recognized, and it turns out I did.  It was Alex from Submachine, and he was on stage singing with whomever was part in of the band's ensemble at that point.  Alex and I used to work together at The Attic, like 15 years or so ago.  He sand some songs by Public Image Limited and Shriekback, as everybody was doing covers save for the main attraction of the evening.

       While watching Alex, a couple of girls in front of me were pointing out who was on stage, and I could swear I recognized them from my time at the Attic as well.  It looked like Kathy and Rebecca, and I suppose I could have confirmed my suspicions by asking them, but then that would go against my personality of not approaching females, lest I get cooties or something.  Though I will say if it was Rebecca (and I think it was) she aged quite well the last 15 years.

     The other lowlight of the evening for me was our grandest poobah, Mayor Bill Peduto came out at one point and did a proclamation stating that Saturday was officially WXXP day in Pittsburgh.  Maybe it is just me, but I did not need a mayoral affirmation to attend this show.

I switched my drinking pattern, going to run and Coke as opposed to beer, save for the fact it was rum and Pepsi (Pepsi has the beverage contract at Stage AE) but that is useless information you didn't need but I provided nonetheless.

After the show I walked back to the subway station and got off in town figuring I would take some Christmas pics while I was downtown.   But the Wintergarten was closed at PPG place, as was the Christmas village in Market Square, so I took just a few pics and walked back to work to get my bag and go home.
                                         North Shore Subway station
                                          Outside stage AE, gates opening
                                          Inisde Stage AE
                                         Stage AE patio area
                                         Stage AE sells peodphile sausages, but hey, they are honest
                                          Seven Color Sky











                                         Tha Affordable Floors

                                        PNC Park at night
                                         Gateway Plaza subway station
                                         Christmas tree on the Horne's building
                                         Santa's village Market Square
                                         Still the best pizza downtown
                                          Ice rink at PPG place

Oilers @ Penguins 11/28/2015

Edmonton 3  Pittsburgh 2  SO

Evgeni Malkin - 2 G

Malkin has 7 G in his last 6 games


Penguins @ Blue Jackets 11/27/2015

Columbus 2  Pittsburgh 1  OT

Marc-Andre Fleury - 41 SV

Columbus has won 5 of their last six games against Pittsburgh

Thursday, November 26, 2015

B365V2.160 - I will not be on youtube

     Leave it to me to have my first attempt at making a turkey on Thanksgiving be by involving the  most dangerous method possible, that being the deep fried method.  You see, we have a deep fryer at work, so in my mind I was thinking I have access to some of the equipment already so rather than go out and buy a roasting pan, why not?  What's the worst that could happen, besides the fry blows up and takes the business with it. 

     As evidenced by the fact I am typing this as opposed to dictating it from my hospital bed, we can safely determine that no explosions were involved, there is no disaster footage to be found on Youtube or on your local nightly news, instead I found an easy recipe, followed it to the letter (or thereabouts) and everything worked out swimmingly.  Which was good, because I hedged my bets, I was afraid I would screw something up or the turkey wouldn't turn out right, so I didn't go full blown Thanksgiving day spread at work (maybe next year, now that I know I can do this), I just made turkey for the staff, because I am a cool boss like that. It came out all kinds of tasty and juicy but unlike lasagna, I did not get lucky afterward, unless by lucky you mean having a full belly. 

     The only accident that did occur was in brining the turkey, which the recipe called for putting the turkey and brine in a cooler overnight with ice and storing it in a cool dry place.  I opted against using ice and storing the cooler in the basement in a fridge we have down there.  Well I used a stryofoam cooler for storing the turkey and at some point some of the brine escaped the cooler, whether there was a leak in it or someone accidentally spilled it, I do not know but there was water all over the floor when I went to get the cooler this morning, I opened it and most of the brine was gone.  Just as well, there was still some in the container and that was good enough.  I took the turkey out of the cooler and let it rest , patted off the extra moisture with some paper towels and gently lowered it into the fryer.  The advantage of using the fryer at work as opposed to one of those home type creations some people use is that I could set the oil temperature rather than be a G and try to regulate it.   The oil bubbles somewhat ferociously but as it calmed down I continued to lower the bird into the oil  until all was good, save for the fact the oil didn't completely cover the bird, so I had to turn it a few times while it was in the oil, while making sure not to burn myself in the process.  But after about 30 minutes or so we had it, deliciously deep fried turkey, all that was left was to rest the turkey for about 30 minutes and we had food. 

    And that was the first ever turkey that I made, now I plan on following it up by taking some downtown Christmas pics tomorrow after work and then Saturday it is the 30th anniversary WXXP show at Stage AE with yours truly in attendance.  Plans, glorious plans I say.

Blues @ Penguins 11/26/2015

Pittsburgh 4  St Louis 3  OT

Sidney Crosby - 2 G

Crosby has now scored a goal against every NHL team


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sharks @ Penguins 11/21/2015

San Jose 3  Pittsburgh 1

Phil Kessel - G

Pittsburgh outshot San Jose 39-29


B365V2.159 - Discombobulated

I have a bunch of discombobulated thoughts, and for the past few days I have been trying to find a way to string everything together but to no avail.  There is no way this will read as making an iota of sense, so far better for me to just dive right in rather than look for some sort of inspiration, divine or otherwise.

      Work has been busy of late, not that business has ticked up ( it hasn't) but because one of Brian's kids broke his foot playing basketball or some such nonsense, so there were a couple of days where I had to fly solo, running the entire operation.  Much like in the radio, the more I do it the less nervous I get about things being all mucked up.  I did such a good job in fact that Brian gave me an extra $50.  Which would have fit well into my plans, I was thinking of going to the casino Friday after work, I was going to blow the free $50 they offer on Friday to people with casino cards ($25 for the week and a bonus $25 on Fridays in November)  so I thought I threw my casino membership card in my bag before leaving for work Friday.  As I was finishing up I opened my bag to fetch the card, so I would have it out when I got to the casino but I couldn't find it in my bag.   I checked a few more times to see if it was in there, but to no avail.  So now I am pissed at myself, seeing as how I thought it was in my bag when I left my apartment, now my Friday night plans were ruined, instead I got some snackage from the store and went home.  When I got home I unpacked my bag, took the snackage and what not out and lo and behold, there was my casino card, it was in my bag the entire time yet I managed to miss seeing it on at least three different prior occasions.  I thought about heading back into town and going to the casino, but that would have meant navigating Light Up Night traffic, so I decided to stay within the confines of my apartment instead.  I figured I could go Saturday before work, mind you I would lose $25 free dollars of spending cash, but I would still have my $25 weekly bonus to play with.

     I get up Saturday morning, I make sure I have my casino card and then head out to the bus stop, I get halfway there when I realize my cell phone is still laying on the floor of my apartment, so back home I go again.  If I didn't have to work I would have stayed home entirely, there is only so many mental mistakes I accept from myself before I just adopt a fuck it all attitude and resign myself to doing nothing at all.  So I go home, fetch the phone and head back out, where I board a bus surrounded by overbearingly loud college kids, I get into town switch over to a subway and ride it over to the casino.  I get to the security guard in front and open my bag, it is common place now, I have been through the drill enough that I let them see in my bag, which had all of two books I am currently reading and my tablet for work.  So I open the bag and am told bags are no longer allowed in the casino due to increased security measures.   Yes, because letting you see in my bag wasn't convincing enough that I wasn't packing a bomb or something.  Trust me, if anyone was looking to threaten the casino, they would drive a car bomb right through the double set of glass doors out front.  I think I gave a smart as, fine I will leave to the security guard and left the casino.  I know Pittsburgh believes itself to be the Paris of the Appalachias, but really that is more of a self delusional importance by the citizenry than anyone else gives us.

      So with my plans all but kiboshed I walked across the North Side to the Giant Eagle over there.  I hadn't been in that store in years, the last time Debbie still live in Pittsburgh and we were looking for cough drops for her, I think she had bronchitis or a bad cold or something.  We got the cough drops, she took one and began coughing to which I said "See, they work."  Happy thoughts.  Anyway I wanted to pick up a turkey, I am planning on using the fryer at work to deep fry one since I have to work the holiday anyway.  Besides the walk from the casino to the store and then to work (2.7 miles according to my footpath app) could work off some fat.

      I got into work banged out my deli prep work, did the invoices, priced a bunch of glass pipes, did the dairy price changes and did my ordering.  So I guess there was a reason for me to be there.

      But if I was to spend my time just recounting things I did, that would be pretty boring for me and probably not all that interesting for you either.  I guess the elephant in the room these days and what has been particularly buzz worthy in both the media and Facebook would be the Syrian refugee crisis.  I guess I am all kinds of old school, in that I believed the things taught in school, the whole "bring us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free" and the Reagan thought of America being a "shining city on a hill" and whether or not to take in Syrian refugees is a test of that.  Do those words and ideals mean anything, or is it just nationalistic jingoism.  Do we let the actions of are sworn enemies change just who we are?  What is the example we which to portray to the world, a nation whose values can't be shaken by a few armed thugs or a people that cowers in fear at the first sign of trouble?

      Okay, I got that one off of my chest.  I feel better now.

Friday, November 20, 2015

B365V2.158 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #10)

     Hope is starting to fade in my fantasy football exploits this season after another week where I lost both games.  Here with the lowdown is, well, me.....

     Work league (L)  115.94 - 79.66  Once again my opponent rings up over 100 points, the season total of points against is now 1110.86.  By comparison, no other team in the league has even had 1000 points scored against them, so if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all (gloom, despair and agony on me and all that jazz.)  My record is now 4-6 with 4 games left to play I am in the 8th spot, 2 games out of a potential playoff spot.  The hope I have is that of my four remaining opponents, two of them are below me in the standings and only one of the four has scored more than my team this year (I am 3rd in points scored, it's that points against that is killing me).  Potentially I could run the table, the schedule is set up nice enough.  But if my luck this year holds true to form I will lose all 4 games and my opponents will continue to ring up 100+ point outcomes against me.

     Bloggers league (L)  81- 73   The loss leaves this team at 5-5, 1.5 games out of a playoff spot and much like my other league, four games left, two of which are against people who trail me, but unlike my other league I can't see me running the table over the last 4 games.  7-7 is probably the best I could expect as an outcome in this league.  The other two teams I play are projected playoff teams, (seeds #3 and #4 out of 6) and I don't see me beating both of them.  But what do I know anyway?

Avalanche @ Penguins 11/20/2015

Pittsburgh 4  Colorado 3

Ian Cole - 2 A

Pittsburgh is 56-4-1 in games where Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both score a goal


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wild @ Penguins 11/17/2015

Pittsburgh 4  Minnesota 3

Evgeni Malkin - 2 G, 2 A

Olli Maatta suffered an injury after being run into the boards


Sunday, November 15, 2015

B365V2.157 - Whatever the hell this is

So I am camped outside Pamela's, waiting to have a late Sunday breakfast.  Hell, 1 pm you could probably call this brunch.  But since it is Sunday and I have no place to go, I decided to join those in the Soviet style bread line and wait a little bit to eat.  Besides waiting gives me the perfect opportunity to type, something which I have failed to do quite a bit recently.

Yesterday was a pretty interesting day, by that I mean it was a busy workday, complete with some additional festivities like kicking another thief out of the store and kicking a bum off of the corner who though he was going to sleep in his cardboard box out front.  Mind you this bum also has stolen from the store in the past and is usually drunk and harassing customers in front of the store, so before anyone gets all "Matt is mean to homeless people" vibe going, let it be known he was warned on numerous occasions by myself and Brian that we did not want him hanging out out front and he wasn't allowed inside, last nite I see him out front again and I gave him two minutes to leave, walked around the block and came back and he didn't leave, so I called the police.  Now we all know my luck with the police, I expect they did nothing other than chase him off, but dare to dream and all that jazz.

Okay, I made it through breakfast.  I don't know why but late yesterday I started getting a craving for pancakes, so I ran out and got some of the banana chocolate chip variety.  I say ran out but that is a bit of a lie, my lack of energy still persists.  It went more like this, I know Pamela's opens at 7:30 am, I woke up around 6am, played some MPQ, laid back down at 7am, slept until 9:30am, woke up and convinced myself that even if I had to wait in line for a table it didn't matter because I am off today, so went back to bed and woke up again at 11:30 and fumbled around the apartment for a hour or so before finally getting to Pamela's around 1 pm.  I really need to find that second gear in the morning to get motivated.  Friday I didn't get out of bed until 9 am, that is usually the time I start work.  Saturday I didn't get out of bed until 11:30, and got in to work after 1 pm.   Obviously anyone who has come here recently noticed that I haven't been blogging nearly as much as well.   Save for the fantasy football posts and hockey vids which thankfully make it look like I am paying attention to the page, even if I am not.

I should say some words about what happened in Paris, but it really does defy mere words.  On one hand it invokes a bloodlust, a desire to want to see the people involved die, preferably a horrible and painful death, but by catering to such emotions I put myself on par with those that committed the atrocity to begin with.  Of course because of the irony of that I have chosen to say little, rather than those who have opted to blame the refugees from Syria for what happened, or to suggest that if Parisians had guns then maybe some of the carnage could have been prevented as opposed to what more likely would have happened, that being an increase in the already too high body count and to confuse the first responders on the scene as to who the active shooters actually were.  Sorry, but I have rarely seen where more guns are the answer, save for the occasional anecdotal story the statistics don't bare that out either.

Just the other day, going with anecdotal stories, I saw where a toddler shot his sibling.  He got the gun out of the glove box in the car.  When shown this story by a friend I suggested it wouldn't have happened if there had been a good toddler with a gun there to prevent it.  Because that is the insane logic we use these days.

Now I am sitting at home typing this out and watching a German basketball league game on the laptop.   I believe the teams are from Fraport and Bamberg, though I know so little about European professional basketball that it might as well be nuclear physics.  Anyway I have a couple of hockey vids I need to catch up on, and to post this as well, whatever the hell this is.

Penguins @ Devils 11/14/2015

New Jersey 4  Pittsburgh 0

Jeff Zatkoff  - 33 SV

First loss of the season for Jeff Zatkoff in goal


Blue Jackets @ Penguins 11/13/15

Columbus 2 Pittsburgh 1 

Patric Hornqvist - G

Pittsburgh is 7 for 54 on the power play this year


Thursday, November 12, 2015

B365V2.156 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #9)

So, we close in on the end of the fantasy football regular season, most league including both of the ones I am in stop after 14 games, weeks 15 and 16 (and in my 16 team league week 17) are the playoffs, so it is time to start worrying about where I am in the standings as well.  That being said, it was nice to have a week where I won both my games after two weeks of losing both.  How does this past week help me in future endeavors, lets get to that shall we.

Work league (W) 127.46 - 117.10  This was the game that I was most worried about, my opponent going is was 7-1 on the year and if I didn't want to make an early exit from playoff contention I needed a win here.  Thankfully I managed to pull one out (thank you Antonio Brown for the crazy 284 receiving yard performance) and moved my record to 4-5.  The top 4 teams make the playoffs here, 4th place is currently 5-4 so I am definitely in the hunt if and it is a big if at this point, I keep winning.  Another week where my opponent scored 100+ points (he had the second highest point total in the league this week) and my problem is I can't buy a break, my opponents average over 111 points a game, nobody else is even at 100 points a game against.

Bloggers league (W) 90 - 45  A win here kept me above 500 at 5-4.  The top 6 teams make the playoffs in  tis league and 6th place is currently 5-3-1, which happens to be my opponent this week.  OF course as is the case with this team, the injury bug came back to bite me as my quarterback went down and may miss a few weeks with a sprained foot.  If I make the playoffs here it will surely be luck that gets me in as I am playing without my quarterback and my first round pick at running back. 

Canadiens @ Penguins 11/11/2015

Pitstburgh 4  Montreal 3  SO

Sidney Croby - 2 A

Pascal Dupuis scored the first goal 13 seconds into the game


Monday, November 9, 2015

B365V2.155 - The flavor says.....

     So what is new world?  Not much here really, other than an epidemic lack of motivation, which is part of the reason I haven't posted for a while. I mean I could post, I still have all of my fingers needed to type and I still have my laptop, or my iPad or worst case scenario, my deathly slow desktop, but I just can't find the impetus to get me up and doing things.  Even waking up in the mornings i find myself climbing back under the covers rather than getting u and facing the day.  I could go on WedMD and do some sort of ill advised self diagnosis, but I attribute it to just laziness on my part. 

     heck I got home from work, popped a pizza in the oven, ate a slice of it, clicked over to Youtube and was looking at the recommended videos, there was one about drugs and porn and my first thought was "Por que? The flavor says butter." Wasn't sure why that video was in my recommended ones, but I grabbed a slice of pizza and settled in for all of the dirty drug induced secrets of the porn industry.  It was so enchanting that I fell asleep.  I woke up and auto play had moved on to the next video, which was about a heroin epidemic here in Pittsburgh.  That held my attention long enough that I didn't fall back asleep. 

I figured rather than go back to sleep I would try banging out an entry on here instead.  Not sure how it will go, not much exciting is happening here.  I snagged another $3 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks on Sunday,  I still haven't heard what it is that I won from Camel cigarettes yet, that tracking information they are supposed to send me regarding my prize has not arrived in the email yet. 

I did clear up a little financial problem my bank account had regarding work today though.  We have been having problems with one of our air conditioners and it leaking into the basement, and after the resident repairman Ed uses coming out on three different occasions and not solving the problem, I called a professional in to give us an estimate.  When I am on the phone with them they say they need a credit card number to hold the appointment.  I give them my debit card number and say I can pay the repairman when he arrives, because we tend to do most of our business like that as cash whenever possible.  I was told it would be $109 for the appointment (I got to get me a new line of work with rates like that).  the price seemed a little high but it was something that needed done so I went ahead and did it.  The repairman shows up later that day and he is n site for about a half hour or so when he tells me we have a cracked drip pan under the unit.  I give him his money and he tells me he will get back to me in a day or so with some estimates for a repair.  Imagine my surprise when I see a charge on my card for the very same thing I paid for.  Luckily nothing fucked up my account for that, I had also purchased a concert ticket and my bus pass after my card was also billed for the service call.  I did resolve the double billing issue though, the amount should be credited back to my card in a couple of days.  Which is good, I can't afford to be dropping $109 hither and yon, it's not like I live on repairman wages or something.

The concert ticket I got was for a show coming up in March, Coheed and Cambria.  If this is anything like my ticket ordeal to see The Replacements, the show ill be cancelled and the band will break up.    Until that happens though, a little Coheed and Cambria to play us out of another blog entry. 



Sunday, November 8, 2015

Penguins @ Flames 11/08/2015

Calgary 5  Pittsburgh 2

Phil Kessel, Nick Bonino - G each

Loss ended Pittsburgh's 6 game winning streak


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Penguins @ Oilers 11/07/2015

Pittsburgh 2  Edmonton 1

Phil Kessel, Daniel Sprong - G each

Jeff Zatkoff is 2-0 in goal for Pittsburgh


Thursday, November 5, 2015

B365V2.154 - I'm back

      Not sure why I haven't blogged recently.  I could argue that I just didn't have the mental energy for it.  Then again, maybe it is because I haven't wandered over to the park in a few weeks, that could be it as well, but for whatever the reason I haven't found the requisite gumption to put cursor to keystroke and grind something out.

      Life has exactly ground to a halt here either.  I picked up a couple of books the other day when I went to the movies to see the new Steve Jobs flick (yes even my social life is boring, Steve Jobs?  Really?)  One of those books is over on the bookshelf to the right, Wonderland which is one of the Spenser novels in the Robert Parker series.  The problem being that Parker is dead, the Parker estate tabbed Ace Atkins to pick up the mantle in his place and honestly the book reads like Parker wrote it, so that's a good thing.  I was iffy about buying it because I thought it might not feel the same, but it was in the cheapie bin at Barnes and Noble, so I made the half hearted investment of $7, nothing ventured nothing gained after all.  Of course the opposite is also true, nothing ventured, nothing lost which is probably more along my ways of thinking.  After all, I do train my new employees on the Mattism "Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed."

     The biggest thing to happen since the last time I blogged is I won something.  I was over on the Camel website, requesting my monthly coupons.  (I can redeem them at work for cash on my cigarette purchases, one of the perks of my job.) there was some photo contest going on over there.  Actually two contests, one in which you could submit photos and one where you pick a random photo and if there is a prize underneath it.  The requested photo this week was a framing photo, I opted to send them this.  Not sure it will win me anything, but I am not much of a photographer to begin with...
Having submitted that, I went head and did their daily contest as well, I picked a photo and this was under it....

I haven't seen the tracking email yet, hell I don't even know what I won, there was no description given.  I am just supposed to sit tight I guess.  I am curious though.  I won a all in one tool thing on the Marlboro website the other day, but me and tools are like drinking and driving, two things that don't go together at all.  If I can't fix it with duct tape, I don't want to be bothered.

I did do my nice guy thing the other day.  I know, I have to quit being a nice guy, because we all know they finish last, but que sera sera.  We had an employee a while back, Kat, and while I will not go into the reasons why she is no longer with us, I have stayed in touch with her intermittently on Facebook. She stops by the store every now and again to say hi, quite a few of us that work there know her.  She has that single mom thing going, trying to raise a son by herself.  Not the most enviable position to be in, but then I find it hard raising myself.  I thought I would do something nice and throw together a Halloween treat thing for her son.  not much really, just a trick or treat bucket with some candy tossed in.  I figure she will eat more of the candy than he does.  Of course as luck would have it, I don't see Kat again until this Monday, long after Halloween, but I kept the present for her son in my desk, so I ran down to get it when she showed up.  I think it went over okay, based on the picture Kat sent me.

Yes, the handle on the bucket does light up, it seemed like a cool feature to have if he was taking it trick or treating, which obviously didn't happen.

And that dear kids is what I have been up to recently. I rather boring life I lead, no?



B365V2.153 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #8)

I have kept up those losing ways, another 0 for 2 weekend.  I am not liking this losing thing very much.  I have made trades in both of my leagues, pending approval.  I almost never make trades in fantasy football, I usually get any players I need off of the waiver wire.  But there is slim pickings on waivers these days and I gotta do what I gotta do.  On to the results.

Work league (L) - 99.78 - 96.04.  For only the second time in 8 weeks my opponent did not score 100 or more points.  Of course in those two games I am 0-2, so maybe I need someone to try and kick my ass for me to get a win.  This weekend I get the 1st place team in the league, he is 7-1 to my paltry 3-4.  I have y work cut out for me here.

Bloggers league (L) - 61-33.  My quarterback comes back from a knee injury and my starting running back (and first round draft pick) goes down with a knee injury.  How the hell this team is 4-4 is beyond me, what with no depth and injuries galore.

Penguins @ Canucks 11/05/2015

Pittsburgh 3  Vancouver 2

Phil Kessel - 2 A

Pittsburgh has won 5 straight


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Penguins @ Maple Leafs 10/31/2015

Pittsburgh 4  Toronto 0

Eric Fehr, Matt Cullen - G, A  each

Marc-Andre Fleury recorded his 40th career shutout


B365V2.152 - Halloweak

I am walking and typing at the same time.  Better watch myself, if I chew gum I could throw the whole cosmos off kilter.  I haven't written much recently because honestly not much has happened.  At least not much I would consider blog worthy.

I could start by giving a shoutout to Lithuania, since somebody from there dropped in on my piece of internet real estate, so "Hello Lithuania".

There is nothing new to report on the Misty front.  The last time I mentioned her I said that I got the feeling she wasn't that into me, and the longer I leave this play out the more I feel that way.  I sent her a couple of Fireworks videos from the Pirates game I had invited her to in what feels like months ago.  Not even a slight acknowledgement from her, not that I was looking for a thank you or anything, but a simple "leave me alone" would have sufficed.   I am not big on being ignored when I haven't done anything wrong.  In fact it kind of pisses me off, but I am trying to not cave in to the angels  of my lesser nature.

Apparently the crazy Canadian stopped by the other day as well.  I could tell because the tracker hits suggested it came from a blog reader and the search terms used when visiting included her name.  Really if I wanted to be surrounded by people I don't like I would go to work or something.

Speaking of which, a ad realization hit me today, this is going to be one of those 7 day work weeks.  With Sunday being the first day of November, I get to go in and close the books on the October paperwork.  I should have looked at a calendar before today and recognized how this weekend was going to play out but I was stupid.

I realize today is Halloween, but honestly the holiday doesn't do much for me.  My neighborhood is mostly college kids so there are plenty of girls out looking trampier than normal.  No trick or treaters in my neighborhood.  No candy to hand out.  I did buy some lollipops to hand out to any kids who come in the store at work and I did get some candy for a friend's son, but that was it as far as the candy thing goes, save for the Reese cups I bought for myself at CVS.

So I am checking my Facebook feed the other day and I see something from one of the local TV stations promoting the fact that they are going to give us their winter forecast.  Excuse me, these people can't even get a forecast right 24 hours in advance, now I am supposed to trust them with a weather forecast for the next few months?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sabres @ Penguins

Pittsburgh 4  Buffalo 3

Jeff Zatkoff - 50 SV

Pittsburgh was out shot 53-29


B365V2.151 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #7)

Well it was a week where I went all Beck (I'm a loser baby), though I would appreciate it if no one killed me. Something about living and breathing seems good to me. Anyway, on with the results.

Work league (L) 101.80 – 82.30 Another week, another opponent hanging a 100+ point effort against me. The total is now 778.04 points against in 7 weeks. More of the same old, same old here, though I am only one game out of a playoff spot and I have to believe at some point I will not get everyone else's best effort.

Bloggers league (L) 91-68 This I expected with so many of my players having a bye, I should get my starting quarterback back from injury this week, which could help the cause, whatever cause that actually is.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Penguins @ Capitals 10/28/2015

Pittsburgh 3  Washington 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 33 V

Phil Kessel scored his team leading 4th goal


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Penguins @ Predators 10/22/2015

Pittsburgh 2  Nashville 1  OT

Marc-Andre Fleury - 38 SV

Phil Kessel leads the Penguins in goals with 3


Sunday, October 25, 2015

B365V2.150 - Lost and found

So today I woke up with the plans of watching some of the early NFL game from London, which Yahoo was streaming, so of course I had my fingers crossed that it would actually work, but it did work fairly well, slight lag which I expected because of the number of people who would be viewing the stream.  Afterward my plan was to go blow off my free movie pass that I have been toting around for a few weeks now.  I knew the pass was in my +1 bag of wholesome goodness,but before I ventured out I figured I would need my wallet.  Except I couldn't find it.  I checked the pockets of the shorts I wore on Saturday, I checked the pockets of my jacket.  I started to panic, wondering where I had it last.  I remembered I had it when I was buying the stuff for Rocko (see yesterday's blog for more on that) last night, and I had it afterward because I bought two lottery tickets.  Did I set it down on my way home when I stopped to rearrange the stuff I was carrying?  I didn't think so but I could be sure.  So now I started checking pockets on clothes in my laundry, and while I didn't find my wallet I did find $30 that I had left in them.  

I also found a stack of tickets for number games, lottery games with an actual drawing.  They were dated Oct 17th, and I instantly remembered where they were from, I ran some numbers at work for a guy and then he complained they weren't the numbers he wanted.  Since we have no way of cancelling a ticket once it is printed I bought them all ($5 in total) just so the lottery wasn't short when it came time to balance it.  I figured I might as well go on the lottery website and check them.  Turns out one was a $250 winner.  So losing my wallet is proving to be a profitable endeavor at this point.  

I eventually did find my wallet, underneath a pile of stuff, grabbed it and the +1 bag of wholesome goodness, the winning lottery ticket and walked out the door.  First stop was to double check the ticket and make sure it was a winner.  I enter it into the touch screen lottery machine and sure enough it did win $250.  Bet that guy is wishing he had taken my mistake now.   Instead of taking the $250, I bought 3 $10 scratch offs and 4 $5 scratch offs and pocketed $200, which is still way better than I had started the day with.   Next I walked across the street and got my gas station coffee that I fetch on non Crazy Mocha days.  I go over to the coffee section, there is a girl there trying to figure out where everything is, me being a trained professional, zipped through my coffee stuff and made my way to the checkout.  I pulled out the money for my coffee as well as my coffee card (buy 9, get one free) and it turns out today was #9.  So I have a free coffee coming, except the girl got in line behind me, she had finished her coffee learning experience, so I turned around and gave her the card.  

I walked over to my bus stop and decided I might as well scratch off my tickets while I wait for my chariot to arrive.  Turns out the $50 in tickets I bought won $90.    I figure I will take them with me to the Waterfront  and cash them in at Giant Eagle and then take my new found extra winnings to Barnes and Noble because I have been jonesing for some new reading material.  First though was getting my free movie ticket and picking a movie.  I wanted to see "Pawn Sacrifice" but is has already come and gone from theaters here, so instead I opted for the new Steve Jobs  movie.  

I say free movie ticket though technically it is a voucher, the voucher is good for $15, which is more than the cost of a solo ticket, but I am a professional at flying solo and there is no one I would rather be with right now than myself.   So I present the voucher to the ticket last and puck a showing, I picked one after 3 pm, just so I would have time to go to Barnes and Noble before the movie.  As it turns out $15 is good enough for VIP seating, so can you say upgrade, upgrade.  I wonder if this is what people who fly feel like when they get bumped to first class.   I have been to quite a few movies at the Waterfront, this will be my 1st first class seating experience.  I even got a coupon for 3.50 off at the restaurant they have up there.  Of course it isn't open today but I was told I could save it for another sojourn to the movies and use it then.  

I did make my way to Barnes and Noble and picked out two books from the cheapie bin and am sitting down in the indoor Starbucks here, drinking a large hot chocolate.  The barista is a cute redhead (+1 to all her charisma checks).  So I did the requisite Che king out, no jewelry, no rings but that could just be because of the job, though I note she was not wearing a necklace either.  

I escaped Barnes and Noble before I looked like a creeper, but then I am rocking the Holy Guacamole Grubhub shirt today, so creeper is just part of the ensemble.  Instead I went to one of the outside tables at Starbucks, there are three Starbucks at the Waterfront, a standalone, one in Barnes and Noble and one inside Target.  I would much rather go to Crazy Mocha, but any port in a storm as it were.  Plus I am all into stealing wifi (no, I will not give it back). Instead I am sitting outside the standalone, which ironically enough is where I blogged from after my bus crash incident.  

I came over here after using the public restrooms here, which aren't back as far as public restrooms go.  The toilets have one of those sensors that automatically flush when you get up, but my ass was being all eclipsy, I merely turned around to put down my +1 bag of wholesome goodness and the toilet flushed, I hadn't even sat down yet.  It flushed again when I was done and a third time when my fat ass blocked all available light when I picked up my bag.  I think I will refer to future occurrences of such a phenomena as an assclipse.  

I could go get something to eat but my diet of Reese peanut butter cups and Diet Coke last night has my internal tapeworm in a sugar coma, which was aided by my coffee and hot chocolate today.    

Anyway, I better put the tablet away for a while, I think I have written enough to constitute a blog entry.  Let's just hope my ass doesn't get in the way or you will never see it.

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