Wednesday, September 30, 2015

B365V2.128 - My top 100

       If you are wondering what this entry is all about, it is simply my favorite 100 albums (or CDs, or MP3 or whatever it is they are called these days) of my lifetime.  The only stipulation I put on myself is that I can only use an artist once, so if they have multiple albums that I like, only my most favorite is on the list.  The list is not a ranking, because my tastes change with my mood, so on any day any one of these could be my favorite.Besides, this will give you plenty of stuff to listen to until I get around to doing another blog.


1)  Jane's Addiction - Ritual de lo Habitual
2)  The Replacements - Pleased to Meet Me
3)  Prince - 1999
4)  New Order - Substance
5)  The Cure - Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
6) The Affordable Floors - Drumming on the Walls
7)  Face to Face - Big Choice
8)  Alphaville - Forever Young
9)  Big Pig - Bonk
10)  Depeche Mode - Music for the Masses
11)  XTC - Oranges and Lemons
12)  Yazoo - Upstairs at Eric's
13)  Gene Loves Jezebel - Discover
14)  The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death
15)  Toad the Wet Sprocket - Dulcinea
16)  The The - Infected
17)  Dead or Alive - Mad Bad and Dangerous to Know
18)  Big Audio Dynamite - This is Big Audio Dynamite
19)  They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
20)  Nine Inch Nails - Pretty Hate Machine
21)  Ministry - The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste
22)  Howard Jones - One to One
23)  Korn - Korn
24)  The Mighty Mighty Bosstones - More Noise and Other Disturbances
25)  The Hollies - Evolution
26)  Big Star - #1 Record
27)  Tori Amos - Under the Pink
28)  Sinead O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra
29)  Johnny Cash - I Walk the Line
30)  Erasure - The Circus
31)  Modern English - After the Snow
32)  Flesh for Lulu - Long Live the New Flesh
33)  Keb' Mo' - Just Like You
34)  INXS - Kick
35)  Jesus Jones - Doubt
36)  The Smithereens - Eleven
37)  Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
38)  Metallica - And Justice For All
39)  Living Colour - Time's Up
40)  Tom Waits -Small Change
41)  The Church - Starfish
42)  ABBA - Gold
43)  Squeeze  -Singles 45s and under
44)  REM - Document
45)  B-52's - Wild Planet
46)  Goo Goo Dolls -Dizzy Up The Girl
47)  The Cult -Sonic Temple
48)  Kix - Blow My Fuse
49)  The Pixies -Doolittle
50)  The Smiths - Louder Than Bombs
51)  Material Issue -International Pop Overthrow
52)  The Jesus and Mary Chain -Automatic
53)  Mazzy Star - So Tonight That I Might See
54)  Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs -Show Your Bones
55)  Coheed and Cambria -No World For Tomorrow
56)  Fiona Apple - Tidal
57)  The Alarm - Strength
58)  The Police -Synchronicity
59)  U2 - The Unforgettable Fire
60)  Crayon Death - John's Dad
61)  The Soupdragons - Lovegod
62)  Arrested Development - 3 Years, 5 Months, and 2 Days in the Life of
63)  Sisters of Mercy - Floodland
64)  Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth
65)  Siouxsie and the Banshees - Peepshow
66)  Peter Gabriel - So
67)  Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense
68)  ZZ Top - Eliminator
69)  Cheap Trick - Live at Budokan
70)  Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil
71) Bon Jovi - 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit
72)  Neil Diamond - You Don't Bring Me Flowers
73) Stevie Wonder - Talking Book
74)  Sammy Davis Jr - Sammy Davis Jr Now
75)  Tennessee Ernie Ford - Sixteen Tons
76)  Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream
77)  City Sleeps - Not an Angel
78)  Ben Harper - Diamonds on the Inside
79)  George Benson - Breezin'
80)  Aretha Franklin - I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You
81)  Earth, Wind and Fire - That's the Way of the World
82)  The Buzzcocks - Love Bites
83)  Genesis - Abacab
84)  Fleetwood Mac - Rumours
85)  Garbage - Garbage
86) Public Image Limited - 9
87)  Camper Van Beethoven - Key Lime Pie
88)  Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians - Globe of Frogs
89)  Etta James - Tell Mama
90)  Nina Simone - I Put A Spell on You
91)  Social Distortion - Social Distortion
92)  Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine
93)  Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust
94)  Psychadelic Furs - Midnight to Midnight
95)  The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death
96)  The Call - Reconciled
97)  The Eurythmics - Revenge
98)  The Sundays - Reading, Writing and Arithmetic
99)  The Pretenders - Learning to Crawl
100)  Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting













Tuesday, September 29, 2015

B365v2.127 - Two down, one to go

I had mentioned the other day that I would be left in charge of Smithfield News all by my little lonesome for a couple of days, Brian was going to be out of town and Ed made his winterly sojourn to Florida early this year. One the management flow chart that left yours truly at the top. Now I haven't gone drunk with power the last two days, in fact I have been scrambling trying to keep the ship from sinking. Allow me to explain.

I got into work about a half hour early Monday morning. I figured I would give myself some extra time to deal with the weekend paperwork and what not, get my ducks all in a row and tackle the day. Except it didn 't go quite like that.

I had the lottery banged out in decent time Monday morning, and I was at Brian's desk working on the sales numbers and listening to Spotify. It was dare I say, going swimmingly. But if there is anything I learned about swimming this summer is it is just a few feet from drowning. As I am at the desk I see Spotify say that it went offline. No big thing, Brian's computer probably is riddled with viruses. I have no idea what he opens back there when he views his email, but at least once a week he does something that calls for my attention because something it has stopped working. So I reboot the computer, but that doesn't solve the problem. I find out that in fact all of the computers in the building have went offline.

This isn't my first time tackling this rodeo either, we have the name and number of a Verizon tech guy filed away for just such emergencies. The last time this happened, it wasn't an us problem, Verizon had a local outtage. So I am following the steps they tell me to take on the phone and lo and behold, they tell me I need to reset the modem. That made things worse, not better. We called Russel to see if he could solve our problems and he did, as well as saying that everyone that called Verizon to get back lonline he was being forced to visit that day because it was simply a local outtage and nothing wrong with any one locations equipment. Had they just told us to wait, everything would have been fine as soon as service was restored. So I am thinking again, this could be a local outtage issue, I don't want to call them and fuck with the equipment needlessly, so I call Russell, see if he knows anything about an outtage. I get his voicemail, but that is all. Now us losing internet service is a big thing because that means we lose our ability to do credit and debit transactions. So I try unplugging all of the modems and routers and plugging them back in (but not resetting anything) but no luck there. I figure if this is a local issue, that would explain why Russell hasn't gotten back to me yet. Finally I call him back about 3pm after he hadn't returned my call. He had good reason not too though, he took the day off to take his dog to the vet. But he walked me through a couple of things to try, which didn't work, and promised he would stop by in the morning to look at things himself.

So I come in this morning, figuring that I would have to deal with the credit/debit issue as well as get my order ready to put in with Sledd. The thing is, I use the internet for that too, so I had to go the backup route there and send the signal audio wise down a phone line. It only took three attempts before that worked. Meanwhile, Russell shows up and he starts doing his once over with things and I have three vendors show up looking to get paid. And life is all about getting paid after all. I dispatch with them, Russell finishes his work, the computers seem to be all online but the credit/debit processing still isn't working. Now I am looking at a register issue, because those cards get swiped on the terminal. So I call Roth cash register (they are better than the people from “I am Your Retailer God” fame, learn the blog, learn it, live it, love it) and explain the problem, the back office seems to be online but I can't process card tranasactions. They do their remote thing via logmein.com, during which time they decide to download all of the windows updates. There were like nine of them, but it means the back office must be rebooted when it is done, which takes all of the registers offline upstairs. We go through that process and after the back office reboots, everything can't connect to the internet again. It was like Groundhog Day, I have already lived through this once. The funny thing was though that Brian's computer was working fine, the rest of them sucked ass. So they tell me maybe we have a loose cable someplace, and perhaps we do. I begin pawing around at different cables and what not when I see a modem hidden away behind the tower for the back office computer. I replugged that in and everything came back. And on the 8th day, Matt gave us internet and it was glorious.

But even getting the internet back didn't solve all of the problems, I had to reset the credit card processing in the back office, which needed restarted after a reboot, and restart all of the registers upstairs which were still reading offline because they never connected to the software updater and were running on a temporary license until the problem was fixed.

The thing was, with the system down I wasn't able to run an accurate sales report, or get credit card numbers from before the system crashed on Monday. So now I am rushing to get things done, because the bank closes at 4pm and I am running up against a deadline here. Money in the bank means I can cover our outstanding checks, that is usually a good thing. So I scramble and get the money counted and run to the bank I get there with literally 5 minutes to spare before they close. Meanwhile it has been raining all day, so I am now sporting the drowned rat look that will be all the rage at Paris fashion shows this fall. “See how his soaked t shirt shows off the fattness of his stomach, oooh, ahhh.”

I get back to work, go outside and have a cigarette and that was when it struck me, I looked up and saw the clouds were blocking out the tops of the buildings. The fog for the oncoming zombie apocalypse was rolling in, and on the last day of the Blood Moon no less. Don't ask me what a blood moon is, I have no idea, a moon that is having its time of month perhaps. The only thing I know is two of these days are down, one to go. Please let it go smoothly.

                                         Bring forth your zombie apocalypse.

Monday, September 28, 2015

B365V2.126 - Park-ing places

Well I meandered back to the park, for the first time in what feels like ages, but in truth is more like a week or so.  I wanted to do a little blogging, since it has been a week since I wrote from outside.  Not that I stopped going to my spot after work, I just haven't felt the urge to write there.  Like yesterday, I got there around 7:30 pm with nowhere to be, but as I sat there, the bad part about that being the coolest spot downtown reared its ugly head. While it was comfortable outside, in that park the wind, what little of it there was, was whipping about all hurricane like.  When I walked to my bus stop a block away, it was like there wasn't a breeze at all.

I went there first and foremost to do some reading.  I am loving the new Jenny Lawson book I got via Amazon.  The writing style I would describe as manic, not as an insult to the author but because it reminds me a lot of how my mind is before I fall asleep.  I have tried describing it on this page before, but the process goes something like this, as an example.  I am tired, nearly asleep and a thought of my cat I had as a kid, Sniffles, pops into my head for some reason.  Sniffles was a cat and a cat has four paws. A pause is a period of waiting, but what am I waiting for, a person or something to happen.  If it is a person do I want to see them.  If it is something about to happen, it is good or bad.  Am I going to witness a tragedy?  Tragedy was the best song ever by the Bee Gees.  By the way, whatever happened to Andy Gibb?

This type of train of thought continues until my mind settles on one and I fall asleep.  It is the same feeling I get when reading Jenny's book.  I call her Jenny like we know each other, when in fact we do not.  She has no idea of my existence, unless she spends her free time reading obscure blog ramblings on the Internet.

I came to the park tonight in hopes of seeing the eclipse, but that isn't going to happen.  It is much too cloudy.  It was raining when I got here so I opted for dryness and am sitting under the pavilion.  Of course as soon as I got here I was interrupted by one of my tanukis.  I threw him some cheese popcorn as an offering and he stuck around for a minute to eat before running off.    And somebody just parked on the road, almost directly behind the bench I usually use when I am here,  so it is like I never left.  The suspicious drug vehicles and tanukis, I don't know why I took a week off from coming here.   Probably because I have worked the last 20 days in a row.  Now I am in charge of the entire operation at work the next three days, Ed is in Florida and Brian is out of town.    The store is mine, all mine, bwah hah hah.

My night vision would be great for horror movies.  Someone just walked by and all my night vision could make out was a silhouette of them.  He could have been carrying a machete and I would have never seen it.   But if my head were to be lopped off in the park, I am sure the Pittsburgh Police would be in no great hurry to solve the crime.  Our hearing for when the store was robbed last year was delayed again.  I know if I am a defense attorney I am arguing that my client is being failed in his constitutional right for a speedy trial.  He had been incarcerated for a year now and hasn't had a hearing yet.

I came home, no sense waiting outside for something I can't see.   I will say for anyone who is thinking about "upgrading" to Windows 10, it has been nothing but trouble for me.  I downloaded it and the first few days everything was fine, then I went to start my computer the other day and it wasn't recognizing a driver and it required me to reinstall Windows 10 all over again and then to redownload all of the program's I had before, including Firefox and my anti virus program.  Now I am having issues with my audio, I will be listening to something and the audio just disappears for no reason whatsoever.  Suffice it to say, Windows 10 has been a clusterfuck for me. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

B365V2.125 - Self spoilage

So, it is Friday and I feel the need to treat myself.  Spoilage is always good, unless it is in your refrigerator.   Maybe I should call it self spoilage, that would seem to be closer to the mark.  But I am back at the Squirrel Cage having my favorite, cajun chicken and fries. (For the record, spell check tried to call this conjunction chicken, now I have School House Rocks stuck in my head.  Conjunction junction, what's your function.....)

     I spent some time last night working on my underground economy, I had some Coke caps laying around, as well as two 12 pack codes.  No, I didn't buy any of them, my loyalty is still to Pepsi, though I buy more of the .99 pre priced RC Colas than anything else these days.  If I am going to drink things that are bad for me, I will stick with the cheap options, save for my Crazy Mocha runs, I will spend extra for that.  Speaking of which, my barista wasn't working today so the streak is still intact as far as exchanging introductions.

      Not that introductions are my strong suit, any time I feel compelled to introduce someone to my friends, rather than go through a list of names I will say, "so and so meet friends, friends this is so and so".  Though if I am introducing you to my friends chances are you are a friend as well, or I fell for your feminine wiles.  Perhaps that should be my epitaph, "I can't fall for your feminine wiles anymore, lol".  But it would be stupid to put lol on a tombstone, almost as stupid as saying bae.  I read somewhere online that bae is Dutch for shit, which seems appropriate because you have to be a real shithead to use that as a word.  Or baehead.

     But back to my underground economy thing (you thought I forgot where this began, didn't you) I did my Coke caps last night, I cleared the first daily hurdle on Swagbucks by earning 33, which is 33 closer to my next Amazon gift card, and I went over to Foodservice rewards and completed a survey worth 600 points.  Basically there system equates to a penny a point, so it was a $6 survey. I like them because of the Real Deal they run every Wednesday.  They take a normally decent item and discount it incredibly.  I don't know how many things I have bought simply because I had enough points when they were on sale.  The last thing I got was a 5 qt slow cooker, which I gave to Belinda at work.  I do tend to take care of my employees from time to time after all.  Before that it was an electric drill set which is still sitting under my desk at work.  Right now my account is up to around $24, which wasn't enough for yesterday's special offer, a waterfall, wireless Bluetooth speaker.  Think lava lamp, except the lights went up and blinked  in tune with the music.  It looked cool as fuck, but it was $56, now if I wouldn't have bought that slow cooker I would have had the requisite cash in my account.  But I suffer in silence, unless you are blind and having your computer read this entry to you, then I suffer at an audible level.


     My food has arrived.  Yes I took the food porn pic.  In it is the Jenny Lawson book I preordered from Amazon.  So it is my food and mind porn pic, though the book has nothing to do with porn.  If it does I haven't reached that juicy part yet.  But I find reading tends to stimulate my mental abilities just a smidge, though it doesn't stimulate other parts of my anatomy, making it even less like porn.  It showed up on a recommended reading list on Amazon and it caught my eye so I put in a preorder for it.  Which is strange because usually when it comes to books I almost always read male authors.  Maybe that makes me a reading chauvinist, I don't know.  Any women reading this far can now go make me a sandwich.

      Back to our economy thing, after my goodies last night I figured that would be the end of my goodies for a while, at least the Internet generated ones, but when I went to check my email after work there was a free movie ticket from Marlboro cigarettes in there, so if you go to the movies some day soon and hear someone dying from lung cancer, don't shush them because it is probably just me ruining your movie viewing enjoyment.  There was also a survey for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control for those that are Google inept), they send me one every few months, which I complete and then get mailed a $20 check.  Usually the surveys are about smoking and involve watching commercials that go over the dangers of smoking, but I live dangerously, so I sit through the videos, answer the requisite questions and then pocket their money with no change in my behavior whatsoever.  I figure the $20 will buy me two more packs of cigarettes.

    Of course I got my book today at work as well.  I always ship stuff to work so it isn't left on top of the mailboxes at my apartment where anyone with two hands could grab it.  Or one hand.  Or one of those prosthetic claws.  Suffice it to say I ship stuff to work because it is safer than leaving it unattended in Third World Oakland.   I should be reading it right now as opposed to blogging, that was why I came to the Squirrel Cage to begin with, well a chance to read and a Cajun chicken sandwich, though it looks like I will only accomplish one of those things here today.  That is okay, I can walk home through the park and read while I am walking.  Two things at the same time, how clever, perhaps if I chew gum as well I can fuck with the natural order of things.

     I have failed to mention that the Pirates have made the post season for the third straight year.  Long time blog readers will remember when I first started doing this and they were mired in a span of 20 consecutive losing seasons.  No word as to yet if I will be called upon to use my scalping expertise this post season, like the last two seasons.  You would think general manager would be enough of a job title, but anything involving a computer means that it is my job to do.  My boss tends to shower me with enough gifts, I know he will not offer me playoff baseball tickets.  And I don't make the required coin to purchase them, though seeing a post season game in person would be pretty fucking awesome.  I figure I shot my load on the gift gravy train when I asked for the hockey tickets before Ed left.  7 up still hasn't brought them in, though the game isn't for a few months yet.

      I started working on a new blog entry last night, I was compiling a list of my 100 favorite albums.  It is a task because I only allow myself one album per artist and I am not much of a music fan.  Anymore I can live with or without music, and the list is not put together in a rankings kind of way, it is just stuff I like as it crosses my cranium.  It has some local stuff in it where you will ask "Who the hell is that?" And some stuff where you will go, "He listens to that?"  I wanted to put together a get to know me type blog without you know, getting to know me.  Problem solved.  Most of the people reading this will know no more about me than when they started.  But then no one online gets me anyway, hell Google Adsense probably gets me better than anyone who visits this page does.

      Perhaps someone out there can explain something to me, why is the Popemobile a small Fiat?  Batman was just one guy without the backing of a global church behind him and he got a cooler ride than the Pope.  The Pope's vehicle looks more like a clown car, like they are going to open the door and a bunch of Popes are going to come spilling out.

      Well I finished my dinner, so I guess I should be packing up and heading home.  Laters.

B365V2.124 - Cutting promos

     So I have kept my little personal game going, I have yet to exchange greetings with my barista at Crazy Mocha.  They opened the shop on August 10th and I have been there every day since then, on some occasions twice in the same day and we have yet to exchange names.  I am wondering how long I can keep this up.  It is slowly reaching a tipping point, the other day I popped in on my way to work and said that getting my coffee was the highlight of my day, to which she said, "Wow, that's sad."  What can I say kids, I have a way with the women folk. 

     I decided not to negotiate pricing on Calypso lemonade like I had mentioned in my last entry.  I decided to drop Mark a note over at Full Circle and let him know someone else was making a play for one of the product lines he distributes.  I have know Mark for about 4 years now, we were one of his first accounts ever and certainly one of his first "big" accounts to deal with.  I watched him build Full Circle distributors from a one man operation with his busting his ass to generate sales to the point where he has deals and run promotions with Giant Eagle, the largest supermarket chain in the area.  What can I say, loyalty means something to me and Mark has always been fair with us, I wasn't going to see a company take him out at the knees without him knowing about it ahead of time.  And it turns out he didn't know, based on the messages we exchanged today.  So maybe I have one in the favor basket if I need to call one in at a later date.  It at least gives him time to prepare should a bunch of his accounts decide to switch vendors on him all of a sudden, or start placing products brought in my other companies in his coolers.  there are a handful of vendors and professional acquaintances that I consider friends, mark is one of them, and nobody fucks with my friends.  Just an unwritten and unspoken rule. 

       Turns out next Monday and Tuesday I get to play Mob boss at work.  Brian is taking those two days off, so I will take over his desk, which is the largest in the office and all the way at the back.  So anyone coming in to see me will have to approach the desk after walking the length of the office.  In my ind it feels almost like one of those mob movie scenes, where those seeking favors have to approach the godfather sitting at his desk.  I know it is silly mental imagery, but it works for me and should make Monday and Tuesday a little more fun for me. 

     Meanwhile we are still taking applications at work.  We haven't fired anybody yet, but we have someone leaving in December and Ed may make some moves before then.  We have had two girls come in, one whose name was Sable.  I of course starting cutting the old WWF promo, the t-shirt spot as Jim Cornette would call it, where during every episode of Raw Sable would come out in some tight fitting T-shirt and say "All the men want to see me and all the women want to be me."  The other one came in today, though she didn't fill out the application yet so I can't do anything with her name, but she was definitely cute, medium length red hair, big round eyes, Angelina Jolie type lips, she was quite the looker and they would say 40 years ago.  The thing was she was wearing some variation on parachute pants.  So now I want to hire her just so in the middel of the day I can yell out, "Everybody stop, Hammer time!"  What can I say but the things that amuse me don't amuse most of you. 

     Well, since I am busy cutting promos here, might as well close this entry out with a classic Ric Flair, "You can love me, you can hate me, but I'm the best thing going today.  Wooo!"

Thursday, September 24, 2015

B365V2.123 - My inner Ed

So I think I am learning from the master, Ed, when it comes to dealing with our vendors. I was interrupted during my paperwork the other day by our vendor from Everfresh. Nothing unusual about that, that is just part of my day. Truth be told I was interrupted by three vendors on Tuesday, Everfresh, ADL, and Coke, but as the Ferengi in me sometimes notes, only one of these vendors presented an opportunity and that would be the Everfresh vendor.

He came in and started talking about a new product that they would be carrying, the line of Calypso lemonades. I say new, because they may be new to you, they are not so new to me since I already carry them, but from a different vendor. And they do quite well for that vendor (Full Circle) with us, they are the best selling product in their cooler, so I am loathe to change where I get them from. Besides Full Circle pays for space in our store, just like everybody else, so for me to switch vendors on a product you either have to wow me on our cost, or shower me with gifts and prizes. Yes kids, grifting is how the game is played in my chair. I can be bought, but you have to make it worth my while.

If I do switch vendors I have to reorganize the two Everfresh coolers in my store to accommodate the new product, then redo the Full Circle cooler and find new products from them that make it worth their while to continue to do business with us. And truthfully, I think we have tried most of the offerings from Full Circle and we have reached a point where they are happy with the business they are doing and the product lines we are carrying. But having a second vendor just increases my chance to make a better deal for me from one of them.

Let the bidding begin.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

B365V2.122 - Life is just a fantasy (Week #2)

Well we are through two weeks of the fantasy football season and all that can be said after two weeks is we are back to where we started.  I am 1-1 in both leagues after two weeks, but both rosters could use some work.  I am a tinkerer like that.  Anyway, on to the specific.....

Work league (W) 126.64-106.56   My total was the highest point total in the league this week, which is good because the person I played had the second highest.  I know only too well what that feels like, to have a week where you think you have done enough to win only to lose.  But then I lost two playoff games in this league last year by less that three total points in two games.  So I am all kings of familiar with disappointment.  Once again it was Tom Brady leading the way, still can't believe I got him in the 9th round of the draft.  His 28.24 points were the difference between me winning and losing, as my backup QB would not have done enough to carry me to victory.

Bloggers league (L) 115-73  I did not expect to go undefeated, and I do all kinds of crazy things with this team, like drafting Boobie Dixon for his name alone.  This week I started two tight ends, which is almost unheard of in fantasy football unless you have Rob Gronkowski and managed to clone him and play both him and his clone, other than that, playing two tight ends is almost never done.  Well I broke with convention, starting Travis Kelce and Tyler Eifert.  But then my other pickings were slim, unless I wanted to start #boobie, which I most certainly did not.  With 16 teams the waiver wire pickings are slim, so it is hard to get my roster better than those guys I drafted originally.

On to week 3 and hopefully more wins......

Monday, September 21, 2015

B365V2.121 - 8 days a week

These 7 day work weeks are really starting to wipe me out. Today marked 15 straight days I have been at work, and by the end of it all I wanted to do was go home and eat and lay down for a bit. So I get home, I toss some pot roast and mashed potatoes in the microwave and fire up ye olde laptop and settle in. I just did the Windows 10 download yesterday and wanted to see if I could figure out where all the bells and whistles were. It still isn't XP, which was my favorite Windows system and saying it is better than Windows 8 would be damning it with faint praise given how much I hate Windows 8, but for now it seems to be better than that, for whatever it is worth.

Spotify failed me today as well, it is supposed to update my suggested listening list every 7 days but I just went back in and it is the same exact list from 8 days ago. So I went searching for some blogging music and settled on some Gene Loves Jezebel. Now where was I?

So I sit down to eat,, and for food from work the pot roast was pretty damn tasty. Thumbs up to that, but after filling my belly and working 15 days in a row I just wanted to lay down, so I grabbed m tablet and played a little MPQ until my eyes got heavy, then I set it down and closed my eyes. That was until someone knocked on my door. Mind you, being the anti social butterfly that I am I get maybe a visitor a year, tops. If I want to get away from everyone I can just come home, nobody else comes here.

Anyway, I am curious as to who is at my door, so I throw on a pair of shorts and answer it. Perhaps one of the reasons no one visits is that as soon as I get home the clothes come off. I am much more comfortable meandering around in my boxers than with clothes on, but if there is someone at the door then yes, I will put clothes on. I get to the door and it is one of the electric utility salespeople. Mind you, they just set someone here last Thursday and apparently my saying no that time wasn't enough for them, so I was somewhat curt with my responses to this gentleman. I mentioned that they were just here last week and he tried to tell me no, they weren't. I kindly replied I think I know who comes to my door when I fucking answer it. Then he started his spiel about rates going up and he could lock me in at a certain price and blah, blah freaking blah, and I replied I heard this all before and my answer hasn't changed it is still no. He said well people are going to keep coming and I said let the, they will get the same treatment you are getting now. If they think they can ear down my anger, they don't know me well at all.

The only plus from that interaction was that I felt like I was starting off in what felt like it was going to be a bad dream. The details are sketchy, but I just know that the person I was dreaming about and I were not getting along. Why can't I dream happy thoughts, like about the barista and Crazy Mocha. My interactions with her have become the highlight of my day. Of course I am now going to make a game of this and see how long we can go before actually introducing ourselves to each other. Yes, the stupid things I do to amuse myself.

Anyway, I should get to bed and try to catch up on some of that sleep that was denied me earlier. And only 10 hours or so until I find out if I can keep my name a secret from the Crazy Mocha barista for another day.

B365V2.120 - Karaoke Friday - The feels

So I have been listening to a lot of Affordable Floors music recently, falling back into a simpler time in my life where I would eagerly wait to see which local club they would be playing and then try to find my way to see them.  AS it turns out they are playing a  gig as part of the WXXP reunion show coming up.  For those not in the know, WXXP was an alternative station here in Pittsburgh before it was hip to be alternative.  Now for teh same type of feel they gave me back in the day I listen to The Spy out of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner baby!) 

Anyway, I ran into this song, compliments of Spotify, and it sounds a lot like the Floors did back in the day.  So it make the list of Karaoke Friday submissions around these parts.




You stand here in my place
Feel the warmth upon your face
Stand back and start to smile
You now have time, you now have will

I would never want to leave this country
Where rules are fast and knowledge easy
I would never want to take you with me
Unless you're open and trust my hand

I would never wish this much on you
When what you have might be enough
I would never want to drive that fast
Unless you're ready, willing, happy

Take me away from these simple feelings
I know there's places on the other sides of here
Take me away from these simple feelings
I know I'll take that car and drive there faster

I would never wish this much on you
Until you like to live that fast

I would never want to do that to you
To take you far and leave you stranded
I have never gone quite far enough
But you can get off whenever you like

Take me away from these simple feelings
I know there's places on the other sides of here
Take me away from these simple feelings
I know I'll take that car and drive there faster

I would never want to do that to you
I would never want to drive that fast
I would never want to do that to you
I would never want to drive that fast

B365V2.119 - I always feel like somebody is watching me

So I am checking my IP tracker the other day, which I do just to see whereabouts visitors are coming from, and I see I have a hit from Hawaii...At first my heart skips a beat, I start thinking impossible things or nearly impossible things. My mind dashed back to Buffalo, NY in 1987 when I met Diane Lee, who as soon as I saw her I developed a crush on her. Not that that means anything, hell I don't even know if she liked me, though I would guess probably not. Besides we literally did live an entire country apart. I stayed in touch with her, this is back in the day before internet kids, technically I am sure it was available, but it was way in its infancy, not yet ready for public consumption, so our keeping in touch consisted of letters (remember those?) and phone calls, which made my mom ever so happy to see calls to Hawaii on the phone bill. And we all know how much I talk, so once I start you can imagine how long they would go on before they ended.

My hopes were quickly dashed when I saw the IP provider, NNIC, or Navy Network Information Center for those not in the know, I will save you a Google trip. Now the conspiracy side of me kicks in, much like I attributed my last PAT bus crash on competitors in my fantasy football league, there had to be an extraordinary reason for this. It could be because of my 9/11 post a few days back, when I said I didn't feel safer now than I did 14 years ago. I also in that post suggested why I shouldn't be trusted with a firearm, the compulsion to shoot stupid people would be too great. Perhaps words such as those triggered an alarm bell someplace and now I am residing on a No Fly list, which would be surprising because I have never been on a plane to begin with, My life has been a No Fly list to this point.

Or perhaps the Crazy Canadian has duped some poor military dude with her package of lies. It's possible, I know I wasn't the only guy she lied to, there were at least two others and probably more, I think she was addicted to the attention to be honest. If that was the case I pity him. Good luck with that bundle of nonsense.

The only other explanation is that someone I do not know stumbled across this page and found something they liked, but really, what is there to like about this page? That would be the least likely of all possibilities. Far better to go the crazy conspiracy route, after all, look how well it works for Alex Jones.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

B365V2.118 - Acquisition problems

So I am reading a blog entry the other day and not one of my own and it involved one of those internal struggle type things, a basic should I or shouldn't I question was being asked by the author. After deciding to forgo principle for personal benefit the first thought I had (and don't pretend you understand how I think, you don't) was this was a clearly stated in the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, rule 98 to be precise, “Every man has his price.”

It got me to thinking what would the price tag on my principles be, if I have any principles to begin with. If I believed in the devil, I could see me making a deal with him for say, my mother's mind to be back to a fully functioning thing. For me, no principle would be worth more than that. But I don't believe in higher or lower powers, which is why I never tell anyone I will be praying for them, I will say they are in my thoughts, but I never use the word pray, because I don't and I fail to see how my lying is somehow comforting. Anyone who knows me, besides the way I think, knows that I find religion to be a farce, a tool to subjugate the masses and that is it. I share Christopher Hitchens philosophy that heaven would be like a celestial North Korea, that entrance is only granted based on sworn allegiance to its leader.

But I would like to think that what few principles I do have I tend to stand by pretty firmly. After all, I haven't spoken to my father in something like a quarter of a century. It sounds more impressive that way than if I say 25 years, and it is a situation which I do not see changing any time in the near future. And it would have been to my fiscal benefit at least to keep in touch with him, he was always better off than my mom in that regard. I would have lived in a house as opposed to a trailer with a leak in the bedroom ceiling for starters.

That doesn't answer the question of whether or not I have a price though, I guess I would like to think I don't, but I am not awash in temptation either. Besides, Rule of Acquisition 109 clearly states, “Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.”

Thursday, September 17, 2015

B365V2.117 - A walkthrough

8:58 am  I made it to the bus stop stop on time today, meaning I do not have to walk across Oakland to catch my bus.  There is an attractive blond at the bus stop, which means I went into full blown Matt mode and did absolutely nothing.  Thankfully my bus arrived just a minute or two after I did, otherwise there would have been periods of awkward silences, broken up by each of us checking our phones.

While I did get to the bus stop almost too late, I have been up for almost two hours now.  Grinding away on the most recent MPQ event, trying to get my first legendary token since the game released them a week or so ago.  For those not in the MPQ know, legendary tokens are guaranteed to be either 4 or 5 star cards and given how hard those are to come by in the game, if they are going to offer one as a prize then I am going to bust my ass get it, including waking up early to play some more.   All of you non MPQ players and adults don't get it, I know, but I am a MPQ player and as far from being or acting like an adult as a 46 year old can be.

9:13 am The bus deposits me downtown, not before I almost took a nap on it though.  Walking to Crazy Mocha then work, because nothing starts a day quite like admiring a barista from a far, or from a near as the case may be.

9:18 am Got my coffee, my barista chick (I still have not gotten up the required courage to ask for her name yet) let me know she was paying special attention to my coffee today.  Mind you twice I have gone in and emptied the pot on them, only to top off my regular coffee with dark roast and I think I snagged the last one out of the pot yesterday.  But there was enough there for my cup, it turned into a water into wine moment, or water into coffee moment.  Sadly they don't have bread, otherwise I would have asked her to turn the loaves into fishes.

9:56 am  Stepped out for my first cigarette of the day. Well the first one at work anyway.  Already pulled the lottery and western union reports, ran the sales report, settled the credit cards and fielded one of those melodramatic phone calls from my mom's husband.  Apparently he is is the hospital and has been since Tuesday (so telling me on Thursday makes a damn bit of sense, correct?).  Something about bleeding out of his ass or something, I don't know, he starts talking anymore and it all sounds like Charlie Brown's teacher to me.  Of course my mom is in no position to take care of herself, so I am supposed to drop everything I am doing because Mike might have hemorrhoids.   Time to drag my ass back inside, I have two Sledd orders to place.  That and they are using a jackhammer across the street.

11:36  Another cigarette please.  Got most of my ordering done, waiting on our deli to get me a list of what they need then I can finish up on that front.  Another order was dropped on my desk, which I placed with cat like quickness (Meow!).  Balanced the western union and the lottery, next stop is sales numbers.  Thank god Pandora kicked up some Coheed and Cambria to deal with this.  Sammy asked me if I got digits from the Crazy Mocha girl, I said I fail to see how chopping off her fingers helps me in the long run.

1:30   Outside for another cigarette, simply because I farted in the office I felt a need to escape my own personal gas chamber.  Got the sales numbers done and Brian is gone for the day.  Dare I say everything is going off like clockwork right now.  I may get home on time today.  Woohoo!

2:09   Off to do my bank run.  Just ran into an old friend on my way out the door.  He works like 3 blocks from me and we haven't hung out or anything in years.  I have a streak going at the bank where I haven't fucked up any of my deposits in two weeks now.  Based on the numbers on my paperwork, today should be on point as well.  I do not have this typing and walking thing down yet.  Time to hang the turn and walk past my downtown blogging spot.

3:58  About things going smoothly, cancel that.  I got a text while I was at the bank, the Health Department stopped by for their annual inspection.  Nothing major was wrong, though if I were to be punished, I could only hope Elizabeth (our inspectors name) dresses up in leather to do it. I would sign up for that kind of punishment.  There were a few things we need to fix, we have two weeks to get our shit together, then she is coming back.  Is it to much for me to hope she brings a whip and riding crop with her.  Okay, I'll behave now.  Just waiting for my bus to arrive, yesterday it was 30 minutes late.  Not that that should surprise anyone, me with my luck with buses this summer.  Two of them have been involved in accidents while I was on board.

I almost watched someone lose a game of Crackhead Frogger here.  For those not in the know, we have an inordinate number of people that come by here that are all kinds of whacked out on drugs, many of whom feel it is there right to cross the street against the light, so the game commences when they try to dodge oncoming traffic.  I have seen one person lose so far in my 5 + years here, though there have been plenty of near misses, one of which I just saw.

4:17  On the bus headed home. It was on time for a change.

4:22  I have one of the easiest commutes, already walking down my street to my apartment.  Time to get back to grinding on MPQ.  My fantasy football lineups are set, so no need to tinker with those.  We are good to go for Thursday night football.

5:54  Started making dinner, nothing to extravagant for my bachelor lifestyle.  Opting for meatloaf sandwiches with gravy and French fries.  Been thinking of what the title of this blog entry should be, but then titles are always the last thing I think about.  Some obviously write themselves, like the Karaoke Friday entries, and usually on fantasy sports entries I can come up with something off of the top of my head pretty easily, but entries like this are tougher.  On one hand you want the title to confer something within the entry itself, but also make the reader ask themselves just what the hell it is I am talking about.  I think I have something in mind, but not sure everyone will get it.  Perhaps later I will explain it, after I eat or something.

9:15  I finished my grind on MPQ to get the legendary character in the Hulk event.  Sadly it was just an Elektra card, I only had one cover of her, a second really doesn't make her any more useful to me yet.  But now that I have that done I can finish up this entry, the sandwiches and fries were what they were, bachelor cooking.  Not a good Cajun chicken sandwich like I am craving right now from the Squirrel Cage.  But I am still trying to not blow money here, so no splurge of any sort until after payday, if then.  Rent is due and all that jazz and while my apartment is small, it keeps a roof over my head for the time being, which is all I could hope for. Just checked my bank account, definitely no splurges for me.  I still have to get a bus pass for next week so I can be involved in another crash or three, and pay my phone bill.  I should take my cell phone bill to work tomorrow and get that off of my list of things to do, since work pays that bill.  Anyway, I am calling it a night here, so nite everyone, wherever you are.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

B365V2.116 - Life is just a fantasy (Week 1 edition)

It's that time of year again, so for those who want to tune me out, by all meas go ahead. Football season has started which means fantasy football season has also started. As I have mentioned previously in the blog, I am again in two leagues this year, one that is work related and one with a group of bloggers on Facebook. Truth be told going into the season I was happier with my draft in the work league than I was in the one for blogging, in part because I picked 8th in the work league in a 10 team league, the blogging league I picked 10th in a 16 team league, which made for an incredibly long draft. The draft was so long and boring that by the end of it I was drafting guys like Boobie Dixon, for no other reason that I can post #boobies whenever he scores.

Anyway, we have one week in the books, time to see how my teams actually did.

Work league – (L) 105.42 to 83.22 I thought I had a steal in the draft getting Tom Brady in the 9th round, but that was before his suspension was lifted and people were scared to draft him. He had a good first week too, 27.62 points which was the highest score on my roster, but my 2nd round pick, Dez Bryant is out 4 to 6 weeks with a broken foot. Ouch. No need to Panic at the Disco just yet, but I start the year playing catch up.

Bloggers league – (W) 104-51 No fractional points in this league, but my 104 points were the highest score of any of the 16 teams. I don't expect that to continue throughout the year, but it is a nice result for week one. Matt Forte was my leading scorer with 22 points, but I also picked up 22 points out of my tight end which almost never happens, Travis Kelce, come on down. And yes, even though I didn't play him, Boobie Dixon did score a touchdown. #boobies I noticed that 6 teams make the playoffs in this league, and we are broken into 4 4 team divisions, so I don't know if the playoffs are the best 6b teams overall or the 4 division winners and the next two teams with best records. Must investigate this further if I continue to stay competitive.

B365V2.115 - Karaoke Friday - Into the dark

Yes this is another one of those songs that popped up on my weekly list for Spotify, more proof that I am getting old.  This is a little darker of a tune, but it does bring back memories of drinking to much and busting out my lacking white man dance moves at Metropol back in the day.   So, if you need a couple, grab some Rolling Rocks (they were the special during Panic Bar Friday nights) and by all means, sing along



In the jungle of the senses
Tinker Bell and Jack The Ripper
Love has no meaning not where they come from
But we know pleasure is not that simple

Very little, fruit is forbidden
Sometimes we wobble, sometimes we're strong
But you know evil is an exact science
Being carefully, correctly, wrong

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

We feel like Greeks we feel like Romans
Centaurs and monkeys just cluster round us
We drink elixirs that we refine
From the juices of the dying

We are not monsters, we're moral people
And yet we have the strength to do this
This is the splendor of our achievement
Call in the air strike with a poison kiss

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

How bad it gets, you can't imagine
The burning wax, the breath of reptiles
God is not mocked, He knows His business
Karma could take us at any moment

Cover Him up, I think we're finished
You know it's never been so exotic
But I don't know, my dreams are visions
We could still end up with the great big fishes

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy as the dead come home
Big black nemesis, parthenogenesis
No one move a muscle as the dead come home

Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody's happy
Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/shriekback/nemesis-lyrics/#gV9hQDS7kUCxODkv.99

Monday, September 14, 2015

B365V2.114 - Vice versa

So I am making my way to the bus stop this morning and I see two pigeons out in the street, eating what appeared to be dried vomit.  And so the circle of life in Oakland continues for another week.  There has to be a National Geographic special in there some place.

But I get to the bus stop and look to my right toward downtown and what should I see on the billboards but the Uncle Charlie's billboard is gone.  Maybe the Uncle Charlie's people only paid for a couple of months, maybe it was blowback from the whole Jared / Subway fiasco, but any billboard that tells the customer to get there buns over there so that Uncle Charlie's sausage may be inserted comes across as ad incest porn, or what they call Wednesday in West Virginia. The billboard reminded me of an episode of Star Trek TNG, where Captain Picard is captured by the Cardassians and as part of his torture they tell him to "prepare for the insertion of the instrument of obedience".  I am not sure where they got that line, though it sounds like it came   from gay bondage porn.

Okay, work is over and a really cool thing happened to me last night, besides having spaghetti and meatballs w/ garlic bread and Dutch Apple pie for dessert.  I was sitting around monitoring my fantasy football teams (I won one game and lost one, more on those results in a future post. I know, I am keeping you in suspense.) and I happened over to Facebook to monitor the comings and goings of people, when I see I have a friend request from Kelly Wishart.  Now us Elderton peeps circa 1987 would know her as Kelly Williamson.  She was one of the two black students at my high school while I was there, how she ended up in our fair town I have no idea. There is an old political saying that Pennsylvania is Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and Alabama in the middle and my hometown certainly qualifies on the Alabama part.  I am sure there are still people in that town who think Barack Obama is a Muslim, or he is only doing stuff for blacks.  So how Kelly ended up in our fair town is beyond me, I know her family was in the military and she traveled quite a bit as a result.  So she would be at our school for a while, then leave, then come back.  It really was the other side of the coin to what I was saying the other day about people who you think about who don't think about you and vice versa.  This would be the vice versa.  Obviously I remember Kelly, I still have pictures of her in my photo album at home, but I hadn't thought a lot about her in years (cut me open and count the rings).  So last night once I heard from her I went about being the anti Yoko Ono and trying to inform people of what happened in hopes of getting the merry band back together, at least in a talking to each other kind of way.  But it was late and most normal people were already in bed at that hour (I am never mistaken for normal in case you were wondering.)

Work is what work is, which means nothing all that exciting happened. We had some one no call no show.  Ed is threatening to fire people, my attitude is shit or get off the pot on anythat issue.  But then when I was first promoted I asked if I could fire everyone and start from scratch.  So I have no attachments there that go beyond "Does this person help or hurt the company's bottom line?"  That would be a Ferengi Rule of Acquisition, "Employees are the rungs on the ladder to success, don't be afraid to step on them."

Now I am waiting for my bus, regretting two things, one being I went to the park to type some of this because I am at the bum pee bus stop.  Two because I grabbed my leather jacket this morning, thinking it would be chilly today, like it has been for a couple of days now.  The coat is at least one layer too many.

So I saw in the paper the other day that the Mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman, is running for U S Senate as a Democrat.  This is going to end very badly for him.  He has novelty look and approach about him, he is trying to save a town that was crushed when the steel industry died in the region and he looks more the front man of a punk band than as a mayor of a semi small town.  The things working against him are 1) In the Democratic primary race he has two challengers, one ran in the last election for the seat 6 years ago, thereby he has some name recognition state wide and is a former admiral, which will pull some military votes, the other has the backing of the former governor, one Ed Rendell.  2). Even if he were somehow to overcome those obstacles, I could design the campaign to beat him, that is how easy it would be.  All you would need for your campaign ad would be a camera on a truck dolley, roll it down the heart of Braddock (Braddock Avenue for those not in the know), past all of the abandoned businesses, boarded up buildings and pawn shops that line both sides of the street and say "Is this what you want for Pennsylvania?"  Something like that and his tattooed appearance guarantee the mid state Alabamans to vote Republican, which they are inclined to do anyway.  It is just a matter of scaring the voters into going to the voting booth.  Not to put the kibosh on his campaign, but this thing is over before it begins.

Enough with the political chatter, I am home now and looking to grind on MPQ.  Laters

Sunday, September 13, 2015

B365V2.113 - Sunday

Well, the day started off nice enough anyway.  I woke up around 9 ish, played a little puzzle quest, then I decided to be functional enough to walk to Merante's for some goodies I spotted there yesterday.  See, I stopped in on Saturday and bought some celery and lemons for making my chicken and tuna salad at work and while I was there I spied in the dessert freezer some Dutch Apple pies.  Now usually when I look in the freezer I see stuff like cheesecake or canolis that are sold by the slice or pieces and while not overly expensive, I would consider them indulgences more than necessities.  But these weren't slices, these were whole pies, and as a bonus they were only 4.99.  I made a mental note of it and filed it away in the back of my cranium as a pick up for Sunday, because I didn't want to lug it to work only to bring it home on Saturday.

At work on Saturday I just didn't have the requisite energy to do everything I needed to get done, so I tabled making the salads for Sunday, since we don't use them until Monday anyway, and I put off doing price changes and shelf tags in favor of getting my orders done and breaking down invoices for the accountant.   So I first went and got a pie this morning as well as some meatballs for dinner, spaghetti is on the menu at the Matt household this evening, and pie for dessert.  Then I came home, grabbed a shower and headed off to work.

Because Crazy Mocha is not open on weekends, I usually grab my ore work coffee from the gas station up the street.  So I walk up there and the was a slight nip in the air, not cold or even chilly, but a harbinger of the fall season to soon come, but as I opened the door to go inside and get my coffee, it was homey warm.  The feeling was like my grandmother's house during the holidays, when the oven is all fired up with holiday goodies, and she has the thermostat set way too high but I don't care because I am with family.  I am not sure why stepping in there felt like that, but it gave me a momentary pause for sure.  But I grabbed my coffee and headed off to work (Six was not working, which made the trip not as enjoyable for me as it could have been but, oh well.).  I made my way to the bus stop where a woman was hounding people for money to get something to eat.  Then she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a handful of one dollar bills.  Now I don't want to say she was running a scam, those may have been the only dollars she had to her name, but they were more than what I had on me at the time.  And trusting people is not something I do.

So my bus arrives and she tries to get on it before me.  Not that there was a rush to the door or anything, I gladly let her take the lead, but she started this I am poor, woe is me thing with the bus driver, hoping to get out of paying a fare I guess.  He kicked her off of the bus, but I hate getting stuck behind people who have no money (which she had, but didn't want to spend) or people who are using cash for the bus but don't have their money ready prior to boarding.  I really don't have patience for people who are busy fishing around in their pockets or purse for money while keeping me from tapping my pass and grabbing a seat.  I mean, you knew you were going to get on a bus, is it really to much to ask that you are prepared for its arrival?

Anyway, I grab my seat and do the ride into work with no other issues, major or minor.  I get downtown and walk in to work,  I set up my stuff in the deli, I put the eggs and the chicken on to cook, I get the tuna out and then I see that one of the instant ticket machines is down.  This sucks because it isn't what I wanted to do today but is also good because it means had I not come in it would have went unaddressed until Monday.   So I fixed it and added two books of tickets that we sold out of, then went about making the tuna salad.   Got it done, then the chicken salad and lastly the egg salad, simply because boiling the eggs takes the longest of the three.

As it turns out I am glad I did all of the invoices yesterday because our accountant came in today, she usually doesn't come in until Monday.  That mountain of paperwork is off my desk and filed away now, whew.

After finishing the egg salad I decided to work on some price changes that came in, ever the diligent one, I need to keep us on point when it comes to our margins.  That is if the store wants to be able to afford to pay its employees.  So I go through two packets of new shelf tags and a booklet of price changes, meanwhile one of the employees that was supposed to be there for the 3 pm shift change is a half hour late.  This wouldn't be an issue except the same employee keeps doing it all the time.  I have had to call Ed about this, which is something I am sure he doesn't want to be bothered with in Florida, but I know better to make any calls on what to do with employees, I will just get superseded by Ed or Brian and will look weaker for my effort.  So I have dropped this particular problem squarely in Ed's lap, because Ed makes the schedule and it is an honor system of sorts, we don't have a time clock, so you are expected to be there when your scheduled and mark the schedule yourself when you are late, which this employee does not do and I will not have anyone stealing hours from us when I am trying to keep the lights on and pay bills.  Especially when the same employee is always crying that Ed got his hours wrong.

After work I decided to step outside, fire off ye olde camera for a few random pics, wasn't trying to be a photographer or anything, but like I said the other day, I get more hits with sexually related material and/or with pictures. Not sure if that says something about me as a writer or something about my readership.  Anyway, here are some pictures.

      Why I don't do Pamela's for breakfast on weekends during the school year very much.  Soviet style bread lines waiting to get in the door isn't my thing.

     Smithfield Street on a Sunday morning.


     Hey, I work there.  Imagine that.

     PPG Place, from way down at the bottom.

     Musical entertainment for Market Square today consisted of just this gentleman.

     The window at SW Randall, my favoritest toy store in downtown Pittsburgh.  The fact it is the only one diminishes that title a little bit.  Still the window display looked a little barren, I hope they aren't going the way of Macy's.


     The new PNC Tower nearing completion.  Your TARP dollars, bank bailout money hard at work here, PNC needs another building downtown, considering they only have like, 3 others.


     The steps up to my blogging temple, or my blogging spot when I write downtown.

     The view of my blogging spot from someplace besides my traditional seat.

     Sometimes I like to play in traffic, from the middle of Grant Street.

Going all Rick Sebak and things that aren't there anymore, this used to be the movie theater downtown, now I think there is a welfare office inside.









Saturday, September 12, 2015

B365V2.112 - The bionic penis

If there is one thing I have learned during this blogging process, it is that the easiest way to garner page views is to do one of two things; 1) Post pictures, because getting people to read is hard or 2) Use sexual innuendo, so that way any time some one does a search for something perverted there is a chance that my blog will pop up.  Today we are going with the second method.

Our story, and it is a story, begins at a time in my life when I was in radio for about a year.   I was still working at The Attic as well, running the kitchen for the dinner crowd.  By running the kitchen I mean cooking all of the food, there was no second cook to help our, he'll I was lucky that I had someone there to wash dishes for me.  And of course I was working two jobs because radio paid shit, it probably still does given the number of people being laid off in that field.

Anyway, there was a girl that was frequenting the bar for a time, Persephanie Silverthorn (before you ask, no, I am not making that name up) and I had taken a liking to her. Which means at some point I garnered up the courage to ask her out, to our company Christmas party at the radio station no less.  I wanted to be the cool guy there, with a pretty girl on his arm.  She said yes, so we made the requisite plans on where and when to meet.

The Christmas party was held at the Winchester Room on Rte 30, a steakhouse type restaurant.   I can't remember what we had for dinner, knowing me I probably had a filet migon and back in those days the owner of the station would do something that I thought was cool on his part, he would buy everyone a Christmas present.  There were usually a couple of big presents, lots of intermediately priced presents and the gag gifts ended up being the centerpieces on the tables.  Everybody who attended, even the guests, got a present.  To determine who got what, everyone's name was placed on a card and dropped in a fish bowl, Alan would announce what the next gift was from the table of gifts, then pull a card and that was your Christmas present.  I did not get one of the big prizes, I got a Christmasy type snow globe, my date however got a $50 gift card to return to the Winchester room.  She said since I brought her it was only fair that she and I go back together to redeem it.

Our opportunity to redeem it came soon enough, one of my coworkers at the bar moonlighted as a DJ and was going to be spinning some vinyl at Seven Springs.  She and I figured this would be a good chance to go back, the Winchester Room is along the way to Seven Springs anyhow, so we made plans and decided to go.  I wish I could say the date was eventful, but I can't recall it being so.  I think I tore a contact lens and spent the whole time, including the drive up and back, trying to get my one good eye to stay focused because me without corrective eyewear is like Corn Flakes without the milk (circa OJ Jones, "Walking in the Rain").

There was no spark between us, and I don't recall us having anything in common save that she hung out at the bar where I worked, but ever the guy who try's to plug a square peg into a round whole, I got her to agree to go out with me again.  This time we were going to a hockey game.  Now the radio station I worked for was an all sports station at the time, I had press credentials and the station had two passes for the press box.  Usually we were only allowed one seat, so one person would go cover the game for us, getting coaches comments, player interviews and what not, but I had become a decent acquaintance of the Penguins ( or I would like to think so) in my previous year going to games, so I called Steve Bovino who ran the media relations department at that time and requested two press passes for a game, one for me and one for someone I was "training", which as you can figure out by reading this far, was a complete and utter lie.  I was taking a female simply to impress her, I figure we will watch the game and then meander down to lockerroom afterward for me to get my requisite audio and I would be the coolest thing since sliced bread.  Oh, I was cool alright, but for all the wrong reasons.

The game ended, I don't recall if we win or lost, and I guided Persephanie down to the lockerroom, I probably added some tips like "Don't ask for autographs" or "Act like you have been in this situation before", because after a game the players don't wanted to be hounded by fans while in varying states of undress.  And that was the part of the master plan that I hadn't figured in to my coolness factor.  We are walking around the locker room, I got audio from a few players and the head coach, Jaromir Jagr had a tendency to hide in the shower to avoid interviews so he wasn't in the room as I am doing my job with my "trainee" in tow. When I turned around to go get another interview or sound bite and what to my eyes should appear but a fully naked Petr Nedved.  He and his 5 million dollar a year penis flapping about, and while I am Mr. Cool for setting up this whole thing, I am not so cool that I have a $5 million penis.  Talk about a kick in the ego, that would be it.

Persephanie and I didn't go out again after that, I don't know if she went out with Petr Nedved either in case you are wondering.

B365V2.111 - Safety nets

11:14 pm and I am back on my outdoor bench again.  It been a few days since I have frequented either of my blogging spots, simply because I had no desire to lug my laptop with me, even though my +1 bag of wholesome goodness has a laptop a lot in it.  But the mouse level was starting to increase around my apartment, college kids and their parties again.  When I stepped outside to come over here though there were lots of groups of 8 to 10 people milling about, looking for an apartment party that would have them.  It is fun to watch these newbies try to figure out where they are and where the house party is at that they were told about.   There are no drug truck out here tonight, though there is a car way down at the end of the road, down by the turn around, but that is it.

Once again we have a Friday night in Oakland that would be a target rich environment for Bill Cosby, all he would need is a tray of quaalude loaded Jell-O shots and he would be in business.

I was tagged in a 9/11 remembrance today by Jerry Bowyer, who I was working with at the time, when everything happened.  I have covered that ground thoroughly in previous blog entries though I don't need to spend time out here repeating myself.  I am a more about where I am going person than about where I have been anyway, so I will not spend time reflecting on what happened that day, but more about where that day has taken us.

I done feel any more secure, or perhaps I should say I don't feel any less secure than I did prior to 9/11.  But I think of everything we gave up to maintain a status quo and it is somewhat mind numbing.  Any sense of privacy is all but gone, not that I am a private person to begin with, I have been blogging for 10 years now, but the implied privacy that we all think we should have is gone.  And why?  Because I may be the next sleeper Muslim secret agent?

Did you know that when I was promoted at work I had to show ID at the bank to put money into the company account?  Mind you I wasn't trying to take money out of the bank, in which case I can see where it may be appropriate that I am listed as someone who has access to the account, but putting money in?  When I questioned the people at PNC (our bank at the time) they told me it was a regulation passed after 9/11.  Yes, because a downtown business with Jewish ownership is secretly funding al Qaeda.  Don't tell anyone but we are secretly making exploding dreidel sin the basement at work.

As a nation we went from extraordinary to ordinary.  We readily admit to torturing people, all for the safety of the homeland.  Really, how Nazi Germanish does that sound when you say it out loud?

Two cops just went by with their lights flashing, should I be paranoid that they are monitoring what I am typing right now.  I hope not though it sounded like they continued deep into the heart of Oakland.  Mind you there used to be a police station in Oakland, but don't get me started on that.  They moved it to a wealthier part of town (Squirrell Hill) where there is an abundance of tax paying citizens as opposed to the transients that make up college apartment living.  We shall fend for ourselves, thank you very much.  See, I feel much safer already.

Prior to 9/11, perhaps I bought into the rhetorical nonsense a little bit too much.  The whole "shining city on a hill" and beacon for freedom jingoistic noise that was used to describe America.  Not anymore though, not when I see people trying to replace the laws of the land with their own version of Christian Sharia law, when I see places that we used to mock for their human rights abuses have fewer citizen per capita incarcerated than we do, when I see people who struggle to get here, risking their very lives in the process and work their fingers to the bone and we call them criminals and rapists because after all, if you not a God fearing American, then you just ain't human, now pass me some more freedom fries please.

Two cars have went down the drug trail since I have been here, both only to turn around and leave again.  Nice to see that some things have not changed in my near weeks a sense from my writing bench.  No sign of any tanukis either.  I wonder if that is the proper plural of that word, it could be all scientific and be something like tanukae.  Just saying.

Anyway, since 9/11 I do not feel safer.  Now I have to assume everyone has a gun, and knowing the people I know, that isn't a comforting thought.  And I know the NRA style logical leap I am supposed to make, well then Matt, go buy a gun and you will be safer.  No, then I will feel tempted to shoot stupid people.  Then a bunch of people with guns will come looking for me, how does that make me any safer?

Anyone wonder why I don't have a kid now?  Two people possessing similar thought processes to my own, yikes indeed.

Okay, I better get up off this bench now and meander my way back home.  Toodles.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

B365v2.110 - Muse-ical chairs

It feels like I lost my muse. That is not to be mistaken with my mojo, the two are completely different. My muse is my ability to write cleverly (at least in my opinion), and at it's best it is me taking something that I view as absurd and treating it like silly putty, bending and shaping it in varied ways to see if my words can't act as a prism, creating different offshoots of even more absurdishness, preferably magnifying the original content.

My mojo is just another term for luck, though it must be an extended period of luck. If I go to work and find $20 on the ground but the rest of the day sucks, then I wouldn't use mojo to describe it. Now if I were to go to work and find $20 and along the way home find say a dozen Coke points, go to the corner store and have Numan give me a free coffee, or to the gas station and get extra punches on my coffee card, then see someone who I haven't seen in ages, that would be mojo. And when the mojo is in full effect I can be unbearable, because I start thinking I can do anything (within reason).

Usually mojo ends up being a by product of lots of hard work. Not that the two are directly related, but in my own experience, my mojo tends to kick in when I am busting my ass on everything else.

The muse portion of the equation hasn't been there recently though. I can come on here and bang out a blog entry or two but I find my words to be quite tiring more than anything else. Probably because I didn't find anything absurd to write about and rewriting and in essence reliving a day on the page that wasn't all that enjoyable to begin with becomes more of a chore than an entertaining exercise. Now I am hoping that part of my missing muse is just a temporary thing, that the suckage that life has fired my way recently has tamped down my spirit a little bit.

Not that my mojo has stepped in to fill any of the gaps either, perhaps some good results from my fantasy football teams tonight will help in that regard. I know, I am supposed to be all rah rah, Stillers are awesome and some such parochial bullshit but anyone who knows me the only teams I root for are my fantasy football teams. If the Steelers win and my teams do well, then it is an added bonus, but I do not sit on the phone waiting to call in to the postgame show till 1am, I have better things to do with my time. Nor is my mood dictated to me by how the local team does. I save that for something that matters, like hockey.

I didn't get any winning entries on the Spotify contest so I gave it away to a friend. I think I should stop with trying to give away stop with trying to give away stuff on here, I ended up begging for people to do it and it isn't worth the level of aggravation I put myself through. Far better I just share the wealth with people I like and have that be the end of it. It is much easier that way. Besides I end up feeling a little bit better when I do give things away, so why put that feeling off by waiting around for people, just do it.

Well I best get back to setting up the new Ipad. I hate reloading all of the apps I found useful, but somebody has to do it, might as well be me.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

B365V2.109 - Random thoughts and things

I know I didn't blog yesterday, but I warned about that way back at the beginning of the year, I would only blog went the spirit moved me and not try subjecting myself to some sort of schedule. Not that I was away from the page, I did answer a comment as well as repost a couple of entries for Throwback Tuesday over on Facebook. I know it is supposed to be Throwback Thursday, but I play by my own rules here.

Still no winner on the blog contest, only one guess so far and it did not get 6 of the ten countries, however 5 of the guesses were correct so if anyone needs hints there may be some in the first guess. Knowing me like I do, two countries should be obvious, so that would only leave 4 to guess at.

I am sitting here at home watching DOOL on my laptop between spats of typing. Why oh why did they kill off Serena Mason? Admittedly she wasn't the most beloved character on the show, but she was the hottest. Red hair (bonus on charisma checks) and actual curves as opposed to most of the stick figure like females that make up the rest of the cast.

So I failed to mention that my scam artist was back the other day asking for more money. This time she was claiming that she was her own mom using her account and could I send money to help get her out of jail. Boy, if there is one thing people do not need to be doing these days is poking me over nonsense. Far better for people who only want things from me to keep their distance these days, I don't have the patience for it.

Nobody asked me (but nobody asks me anything these days) but Mike Huckabee being on stage with Kim Davis is really no better than those religious hucksters on Sunday morning TV that beg you to send them money for their private jets and crystal cathedrals, because God loves bling. The only reason Huckabee was on that stage (and Ted Cruz was prowling in the background, was to cash the check of bigots who think it is okay to ignore the law.

So, I was just checking my newsfeed on Facebook, which is an exercise in brain cell killing if ever there was one, and I saw an article that there are financial issues with some of the restaurants in the chain started by Toby Keith. Apparently telling people how much he wants to put a boot in the ass of a terrorist, which may be a noble endeavor, doesn't pay the bills.

My Ipad replacement should be here tomorrow. I say here like I live here or something, I am having is shipped to work, which is where I do most of my living anyway. Sadly I have all of my major stuff delivered to work, my Amazon orders (unless I have bought a gift for someone, then it goes right to them,)this will be a Walmart order. Little did I realize when I first placed it, I still have one of the company credit cards linked to my Walmart account. I am pretty sure that card has been shut off now, there was an issue with fraud and the card. But had I know I could have been having goodies sent to me all of the time. It would have been Christmas at Matt's house, ordering so many packages that I don't know what is in each one. I realize that by failing here I have violated a few Ferengi Rules of Acquisition. Some day I will learn.

Possible violations include;
Once you have their money ... never give it back.
Never pay more for an acquisition than you have to.
Opportunity plus instinct equals profit.
Greed is eternal.
There is no honour in poverty
Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack.
Just to name a few. I would have sucked at being a Ferengi.

So we had an issue at work today, one of our people on the second shift was going to be late, she was having a roofer over to her house to fix something, and trying to get people to cover was like pulling teeth. That's okay though, because I get plenty of free stuff that comes across my desk, most of which I give to employees and I have a pretty good memory for such things. The people that help me out are more likely to get stuff than those that don't. I am not Ed, I am not trying to be everyone's friend, those people that go out of their way for me I will do the same for them.

Anyway, I am going to wrap this up, sans the bow and shit. If you have ever seen me wrap gifts you would know why (I am terrible at it).

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

B365V2.108 - Getting some shit off my chest

Not sure what I will write tonight, I had the wisp of a blogging idea on the bus on the way home from work, but it was sad, introspective nonsense. Just one of those moments where I was looking back at my life choices and wondering where I made the wrong turn at Albuquerque, so to speak.

I think it this was all brought on with my uncle's passing and the service this weekend. A moment where you reflect and take stock of where you are in life. After all, the uncles on my mothers side of the family were more along the lines of father type role models than my father ever could have hoped to be. After all, Bud, my uncle who passed away, was married to the same woman for 42 years. Not that long marriages aren't the norm in my family, they most certainly are but I think to myself that if I were to get married tomorrow, which isn't going to happen, I have to work after all, and it isn't like I have a list of female prospects out there, to log 42 years would put me at 88 years old. And as much as I joke about not having a heart, thereby being immune to heart attacks, it was a heart issue that felled my uncle as well. He had a slight tear in his aorta, but much like all of the men in my family, he didn't complain when he didn't feel well, he was still up doing things. He helped a couple of his sons with their tree stands for hunting season earlier in the week, and when he felt something was amiss, he simply went in his house and laid down on the bed, only to not awaken the next morning.

And Bud is one of the reasons there are so many historical books on the bookshelf on this page. When I was in something like 8th or 9th grade, my mom and I took a vacation with Bud and his family. We went to Williamsburg, I don't know who paid for what, but given my mom's lack of money at the time, I am betting Bud paid for most of it. And we did Busch Gardens while we were there, back in the day when I let my fear of heights keep me off of roller coasters, but I got so wrapped up in the history of the trip. We spent a little time in Colonial Willaimsburg, but spent a good chunk of time touring plantations and Civil War sights on the way back, which I just took to. Now don't get me wrong, I am not a Civil War buff, I have no desire to partake in reenactments or to debate how a battle could have been changed in General such and such did this as opposed to that, bu it became a period of time that really interests me.

And now that Bud is gone it is almost too hard to process. I have heard that people who have lost limbs sometimes have phantom pains, as if the limb is still there, their brain hasn't processed it is gone yet, it is so used to being there, and I feel like that is what I am going through now, I am just so used to Bud being there that it is hard to accept he isn't. All I know is the is that the last time I saw Bud, at my cousin's graduation party, I hugged him goodbye, as I do with most of my relatives. Yes I am a hugger as most everyone in my family can attest.

So getting back to that bus ride, I am thinking what have I done wrong. There are no wife prospects, there are no kids on the horizon and I have come to the conclusion that I am attracted to people that are completely wrong for me. Not that I come off as prime husband material to begin with, I live in an efficiency apartment, I don't drive and I manage a convenience store. I am not GQ type material, so there is no bail out coming from the looks department and as evidenced this past weekend, chances are very good at some point I will be felled by a heart related issue of some sort. Either something that will take me quickly, like my uncle or my grandfather, or something that will leave me like my mother, and incoherent mess with little to no mental recall of things that have happened. There ain't many women who are signing on for that tour of duty, even if I might be able to make them laugh occasionally. And the ones that have an interest in me are completely wrong for me, yet I glom onto the attention and try to shelve the rational thoughts in my head and get so enamored with the attention that I end up trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. Whether it is right or wrong doesn't filter into the equation until it is much too late. I reposted the Crazy Canadian incident today on Facebook because it is a prime example of this. I can't stand people who lie to me, yet here I was making excuses for it for two fucking years simply because I had convinced myself I couldn't do better than that. I was so hooked on the attention that common sense got shelved because someone said they loved me. I am an idiot.

And everything I do recently comes with a tinge of anger, so so much for the laughing portion of the equation. Even my jokes come off as more cruel than funny. Today during the Labor Day parade, when A baton troupe marched past the front of the store, I looked a a coworker and said, “Look, it's Jerod Fogle's wet dream.” And my anger has spilled into a couple of blogs recently as well, not that I regret anything I wrote, one of the first rules I gave myself when I started blogging 10 years ago was if I haven't pissed you off at least once, then I wasn't doing my job. I don't need my own cult of personality surrounding me, if I am being an ass I expect people to call me on it.

I mentioned the other day that I was still having issues with my Ipad, the touch sensor wasn't working in spots. Well I was using it last night and I started having issues again and I was just so sick of things not working in my life that I slammed it to the ground and finished the job, so tonight I am sitting outside my apartment blogging on my laptop. I could have taken the laptop to the park, but by sitting outside my apartment I can still tap into my wifi and listen to Pandora while I type.

God knows this in probably coming off as an incoherent paragraph or three of complete and utter jibberish, I don't care, it needs to be off of my chest. If is splashes onto the page as an incoherent mess so be it.

Guess I am not a fun person to be around these days huh? But I will do what I always do in such situations, just keep moving, keeping myself busy, because this is the result when I stop.

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