Thursday, January 28, 2016

B365V3.5 - Reboots on the ground

     So I am at work today, just minding my business, pulling numbers off of reports on the computer when I see the windows update icon on the bottom.  Not the switch to Windows 10 nonsense, just the icon that lest you know if updates are pending.  Given we hadn't done updates in a few months (I shut off automatic updates because updating and rebooting closes out are ability to do debit and credit transactions unless someone is right at the computer when it reboots).  I click on the icon and we are 35 updates behind, but I am there and since it needs done I decide to gt the updates.  It takes about 10 or 15 minutes and then it asks if I want to reboot.  Of course, might as well get the updates up and running, so I select the restart (all the while avoiding the Windows 10 nonsense, they can't give that shit away to me).  I just want the updates for Windows 7 Professional, nothing else.  Windows 10 is best described as the possibility of having really freaky sex with someone.  She starts talking about handcuffs and nipple wax and blindfolds but when the sex actually happens it is just as vanilla as all of the other sex you ever had.  And that is supposing the sex even happens.  Windows 10 can also be a cock tease. 

     So I reboot the back office computer, which shuts down the registers on the floor for a few minutes as well, but the computer perks right back to life, save for the credit and debit processing, but since I am there I start up the one program and get it running, then open the service manager to restart the other two programs that are needed, except the service manager doesn't open, it keeps coming up with an error code.  Now I am no techie savant, when shit goes bad I go to people who are paid more than me to fix such things, so I call our register people at Roth Cash register, I get Arthur on the phone, explain the issue and he logs in remotely from his location,, does some hocus pocus jazz and when he is done my desktop looks neater (few icons abound all willy nilly) and I have credit and debit abilities on my sales floor.  All hail technology.  Taa daa and all that jazz. 

     I finish with my sales numbers and balancing the books and go to the bank, do my deposits and make my way back to work.  I still have two reports I have to print and then fax to Ed, our shift breakdowns for sales and a report covering the individual packs of cigarettes we have sold over the last 24 hours, what we call a movement report.  So I get back to work and pull the movement report for cigarettes, it pops up and nice and cool like, I hit print on the report and nothing happens.  I check the printer queue, there is an error printing the report.  I do my checks, is there paper in the printer (yes), is brian's computer on, while we are on the same network the printer is plugged into his com puter, so if it is off no one has access to the printer (it is on), I troubleshoot the printer at my desk, it says any existing errors are fixed so I try again, still nothing, just the error message in the queue.  Looks like I will have to call Arthur again at Roth and see if there is a problem since the reboot earlier.  Arthur is busy on the phone with another client, so I get the second in command in the techie department.  I explain what is happening, he goes in remotely and tries a few things, no luck.  I go back to Brian's computer, which while on the network, does not have any of the register software installed on it, so I couldn't just go to his desk and pull the reports.  I try printing something at his desk, the printer does indeed work.  Meanwhile Commander Riker is having no luck on the back office computer, he eve tries opening the network and selecting the computer I am on, but is says my computer (Brian's) is no longer part of the network or some such nonsense.  His final conclusion is I need to buy a new printer for  the back office computer, which while a possible solution doesn't solve my problem with getting Ed his reports today.  And given Ed's utter disdain for computers, I can't email him the reports, I have to get them and then fax them to him.    So I fish a flash drive out of my desk, copy the reports to the flash drive and then take the drive back to Brian's computer so I can print them up and then fax them. 

     With that out of the way, I go back to the back office computer and start poking around, before finally giving up and just deciding to reboot that back office computer again.  It take a long time before getting back to a place where it can be online again, once again shutting down the computer upstairs and even when they come back the credit and debit are both down.  It takes about 10 minutes before I get internet access again, so on a hunch I try using the printer again, still nothing.  I go into the network again, I see Brian's computer (called Johns-PC for network purposes, I replaced John almost two years ago, and then Dee about a year ago so I am 3, 3, 3 employees rolled into one) on the network, I click on it and there is the printer, so I click on it and add it to the network.  I try printing again and hocus pocus, it works.  I let out a really loud primal scream type thing in the office, like a animal that has been let out of a trap on one of those nature shows on PBS, the I escaped work, only about 3 hours behind schedule. 

B365V3.4 - Stack'd

So I went to Pamela's this morning for breakfast.  Nothing unusual about that, I have been known to frequent their Oakland and Strip District locations from time to time.  Usually I will go when I have time to wait, but a combination of the inclement weather and me getting up earlier than usual.  But this isn't about me going to a place I have talked about before, instead it is about me going to a place I have never been before, Stack'd.

Stack'd is one of those pseudo gourmet burger places that have popped up throughout the region over the last couple of years.  Places like Burgatory and BRGR would also fall into this genre.  I call them pseudo gourmet because they try to take something simple, a burger and make it seem like it is more than it is.  Not that there isn't something to be said for a really good burger, there is most certainly is, but at the end of the day it is still a burger.

Well Stack'd opened a location here in Oakland about a month ago, in the location that used to be Joe Mama's and Bobby O's and Roy Rogers.  I guess you could say the location hasn't been great for restaurants in the past, but after my underwhelming experience at 5 Guys a couple of weeks back I wanted to see if this place was worth dumping a few extra bucks on a burger.

I am happy to report that indeed it was.  When seated you are handed a menu that is more along the lines of a mini golf scorecard, complete with the extremely short pencils.  You sign the card at the top and check the boxes for the items you want, from type of sandwich to type of bun, appetizers, milkshakes, everything they serve is on that card.  After a quick examination, I picked out a burger with mayo, mustard, and pepper jack cheese as well as lettuce, pickles, fried onions and mushrooms.  I got a side order of Cajun fries and for my appetizer I selected the buffalo potato skins because it has been a minute since I had good potato skins and hearing they were buffalo just added to an already tempting selling point for me.

The potato skins came out first and they resembled typical potato skins, topped with melted cheddar cheese and bacon but when I bit into one it exploded hot sauce all over my hand.  Which is fine, I well into full blown house pet mode and began licking the sauce off of my hand.  The potato skins were good, not quite as crispy as I like mine, but the taste made up for that.  Served with a side of sour cream they were muy delicioso.

Next came the burger and let me say it was a glorious sight, an eyeball and tastebud pleasing monument to burgerdom.  Rarely have I had a burger and afterward felt like I ate too much, but that was the case here.  The Cajun fries were very good, spicy but very good.  It took quite a few iced teas to keep my tongue from burning up.  The waitresses were wearing you standard college attire, black t shirt, tight black stretchy pants ( the big bad wolf in me would like to add "all the better to see their asses with", but we don't need to ruin a perfectly good meal with sex now do we?  Besides, in my life sex is like Bigfoot, I have heard rumors of it but never seen it up close and personal.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Canucks @ Penguins 1/23/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Vancouver 4

Evgeni Malkin - Hat trick (3 G)

Sidney Crosby has 21 points in his last 16 games

Flyers @ Penguins 1/21/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Philadelphia 3

Phil Kessel - 2 G

Pittsburgh has won just 3 times in their last 8 games.

Penguins @ Blues 1/18/2016

St Louis 5  Pittsburgh 2 

Kris Letang - 2 A

St Louis scored 3 unanswered goals in the third period.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

B365V3.3 - Stymied

     So I have been slowly working toward this vacation thing I so desperately need at this point, I have saved up all of the necessary vacation time to pay for the trip, which for those not i the know will hopefully be to Vancouver, BC.  Why Vancouver you ask?  How the fuck should I know, I just know it has always been oe of those places I wanted to visit before I die.  It would be like trying to explain why I like a certain food or movie, I just do in my ow limited mental capacity.

     Thing was, I had been looking at a trip to Canada since way back during the crazy Canadian days, enough so that I had done the preliminary research on what was needed to make such a trip post 9/11, which includes the paperwork and id stuff needed to get a passport.  back in those glorious days I had asked my mom for my birth certificate and other paperwork, which she provided me as a Christmas present (or so I thought at the time, more on that in a moment) during one of the last celebrated Christmases before her stroke and subsequent memory loss.  In retrospect it is a trip I am glad I didn't take, because given the number of times the crazy Canadian lied to me, I would have shown up at her place only to find she was a crazy Canadian cat lady  with a husband who answers the door asking what all of this is aboot anyway, while thousands of cats hung from the screen door.  Breathe a sigh of relief for dodging that bullet right there.

     But I still had the paperwork secured away in my apartment and once I realized I had saved enough paid vacation time to pay for my trip, I set the ball in motion to get my still needed passport.  I went to Kinkos and had them do the photos for it, I went online and filled out the application and printed it up, I located the proper ID in my wallet (which was problematic because when I got my ID renewed the state of PA issued a bunch of defective ones, I was fortunate enough to get a defective one and have the state send me a corrected one, I had both still in my wallet) , grabbed the informatio my mom gave me for Christmas and made my way to the City County building court records office with the needed moneies ($110 for the passport, $25 for them to process the paperwork) where I got to sit ad wait. And wait.  And wait.  Apparently passports are slow government work, it was like postal speed all over again.

     Finally my name gets called ad I make my way into the office, all proud of myself and how prepared I am.  I pull out the application which is fine, I pull out the birth certificate my mom gave me, except it was a birth certificate at all, but rather just a hospital record certificate ad if I at a birth certificate I need to go to Vital Records in another building blocks away, send in another $20 and wait while more people move at postal speed to get my shit right.  When I finally get this shit squared I am going to spend more time on it than the actual vacation itself.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Hurricanes @ Penguins 1/17/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Carolina 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 22 SV

Pittsburgh has recorded a point in 9 straight games (5-0-4)

Penguins @ Lightning 1/15/2016

Tampa Bay 5  Pittsburgh 4  OT

Patric Hornqvist - G, 2 A

Evgeni Malkin had 2 assists, giving him 42 points (19 G, 23 A) in 31 career games against Tampa Bay

Penguins @ Hurricanes 1/12/2016

Carolina 3  Pittsburgh 2  OT

Sidney Crosby - 2 A

Pittsburgh has at least 1 point in their last 4 games

Penguins @ Canadiens 1/9/2016

Pittsburgh 3  Montreal 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 33 SV

Bryan Rust scored his first goal of the season in the win

Penguins @ Blackhawks 1/6/2015

Chicago 3  Pittsburgh 1

Evgeni Malkin- G

Pittsburgh was outshot 37-18

Blackhawks @ Penguins 1/5/2016

Chicago 3  Pittsburgh 2  OT

Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby - G, A each

Crosby has 6 goals in his last 6 games

Islanders @ Penguins 1/2/2016

Pittsburgh 5  NY Islanders 2

Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin - 3 A

Pittsburgh is now 4-6 since making a coaching change

Sunday, January 10, 2016

B365V3.2 - Liar, Liar, apartment's on fire

So, did I mention how this is going to be my year?  Well the mojo keeps flowing as it were, I went into work on Saturday as I am prone to do,also to make more paper for vacation, and the hing about Saturday's is while I do not have a set schedule to be there, no in or out time, those days tend to be my most productive of the week.  Our accountant comes in Monday morning, so I break down all of the invoices to be processed, I go back into the deli and make chicken salad,tuna salad and egg salad for the coming week, and I do the Sledd order for Monday and the GFS order for Tuesday, plus I will do little odds and ends around the store, like pull more stuff from the basement to be put on the floor, or as was the case this past Saturday, fix all of the snuff pricing since there was a price increase across the board on all snuff products.  So again, while I do not have a scheduled time on Saturday, he'll if I did my orders Friday and my deli work I could have the whole weekend off.  But that would make for an extremely long Friday.

Anyway, through the course of my shift I will step outside and have a cigarette, usually at one of those between points, as in between projects.  Some times I will even buy a couple of scratch off tickets and take them outside with me, just to break up the monotony.  That too was the case on Saturday, I had extra money in my wallet from my $500 winner on Friday, and buy a couple of $10 tickets to scratch while I smoked my cigarette.  They were both losers, so later on I go and have another cigarette and buy two more of the same, figuring if one hits it will be for the minimum amount ($10 on a $10 ticket), cut my losses and call it a day, except one did hit for $50, so now I am up $10.  I should have walked away at that point, but rare is the time I do what I should do and often is the time I do shit just to entertain myself.

So I decide to by a $20 ticket instead, loser.  Now I am thinking, fuck, I was going to spend 40 bucks originally, so I buy a second $20 ticket, it hits for the minimum ($20).  I could stop here, be down ten and happy that I entertained myself, but why would I do that.  Instead I buy 2 $10 tickets with it ( different $10 game though), one a loser, one hits for $10.  Technically I am now down $20, but I figure what the fuck and buy 2 $5 tickets with the ten, one ticket hits for $10, so I am still down $20.  Then I see the Pittsburgh Steeler game is about to start, and I say fuck it, put the $10 back in and buy 2 $5 Steeler tickets.  The tickets have nothing to do with the game about to be played, in my warped logic the timing just seemed right, there is a game on tv and there is a ticket in the machine.  So I buy two and the Sr. One one hits for $100.  That is a roundabout way of saying I made $80 at work by not doing work.

Today however is Sunday, and I need to get out of mi casa, so I am making a trip to Waterworks Mall.  I found a a Barnes and Noble gift card in my wallet last night, it still has $7.01 on it, and I decided to spend it today.  Plus they have a $5 an under store and last time I was there I saw some things that I would call relative bargains. Trust me, I am sure you would disagree with my assessment, but then I put groceries on my Christmas list every year so.......

Typing is a good way to kill the time on the bus ride too, almost as good as reading, which I really need to start doing more of. My brain feels like it is turning to mush.

You may be thinking, come on Matt, you can't be that dumb.  Any more that might be a challenge.  It seem s the other day I went to CVS and was pawing through the Christmas stuff, which was 75% off and I saw they had these really think scented Christmas candles.  I figure I will get one, it can't anymore than help with the fart smells I regularly produce at home.  One of the advantages of being single, farting whenever you want.  So I get home and make myself comfortable on my floor, laptop in front of me, iPad to my left and I set the candle up besides the laptop.  I take the top off the candle and find a empty can of fruit cocktail which fits the can almost perfectly, I wonder if they would make more money by selling them together as a package deal, lol.  Anyway I am laying on my floor, I fire up the laptop and start watching "Powers" on Crackle, it is one of those shows that moves incredibly slowly at first, but picks up by the last episode of the first season, so it isn't for the non patient types.  I pull a comforter onto the floor and climb under it, I light ye olde candle and set about watching my show.  At some point I dozed off (told you it was slow moving) when I snap back awake my candle is on fire, I forgot to unwrap it from its plastic before lighting it and now it is on fire.  So I grab the first thing my sleep addled mind can think of to put out the flames, I use my comforter to beat the flames out, except I am now catching the comforter on fire as well and given its proximity to the unfolding events, I am now burning my iPad cover as well.  I managed to get my fire under control and put out before professionals needed to be called to the scene, but this is more proof that I can be a fucking idiot at times.

Having lunch at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries right now.  It isn't bad but 11 bucks for a cheeseburger and regular fry?  And I get my burger wrapped in aluminum foil and my food in a brown bag?  Fuck, McDonalds does a better job on packaging and presenting than that.  The burger is good, but nothing to write home about, especially with gourmet burger places popping up everywhere ( Burgatory, BRGR, Stackd to name three locals), why shouldn't I spend my money where they actually use plates and things.  Sorry but free peanuts are not enough of a draw for me.

Okay, I made it back home after my shopping excursion, I bought me two t shirts, a pair of pants, a pack of styluses for the iPad (scientific plural would be styli), a book and some speakers for the computer that I use at work, so I don't have to suffer the mind numbing droning of Fox News all day.  I got Sammy a Scooby Doo T shirt since he collects Scooby Doo things, got a desk calendar and rubber bands for the office, Nd I got a couple of things for Kat and Rocko.  Trying to put something Easter related for them, but no one has Easter shit out yet.  Bastards need to get on my schedule already since this is my year after all.  Now just lounging around watching women's volleyball, European Olympic qualifying no less.  All I know is that it isn't that hard on the eyes.

Penguins @ Red Wings 12/31/2015

Pittsburgh 5  Detroit 2 

Kris Letang - 2 G, A

Three Penguins had 3 points in the game (Letang, Evgeni Malkin, Patric Hornqvist)

Maple Leafs @ Penguins 12/30/2015

Toronto 3  Pittsburgh 2  SO

Sidney Crosby - G, A

Pittsburgh has lost 7 of its last 9 games

Penguins at Jets 12/27/2015

Winnipeg 1  Pittsburgh 0 

Jeff Zatkoff - 27 SV

Penguins have been shut out 4 times in first 35 games

Friday, January 8, 2016

B365V3.1 - My time

So, rumor has it it is 2016. I am hoping this year is far better than the way I closed out the last one, getting called into work on Christmas night, Getting invited to diner by the parental units only to find they don't have any money and I end up pitching in on a diner I was invited too. It got worse though, as Kat had suggested we go to diner. Perhaps it was because I got her son and her some Christmas presents. What can I say, I am a sucker for a pretty face, plus she used to be one of our employees and I know she is a single mom trying to get by and what not. In any event, she said we should go out to dinner some time. I was cool with the idea, I even picked a date we agreed on, Dec 30th, a Wednesday. Her so was going to be staying with his dad that day, so the scheduling thing was going to work out. I hopped on OpenTable and got us a reservation for NOLA on the Square, a New Orleans themed restaurant I downtown Pittsburgh, Neither of us had ever been there, so that was cool. Hell I had never made a dinner reservation before, so it was virgin territory across the board for me. Kat referred to my behavior as “adultimg” which seems about right, I went into it with the mentality of what do grow ups do (I never view myself mentally as a grown up in case you were wondering).

The day before our diner I get a message from Kat, she is starting a new job Wednesday night and can we reschedule for Thursday. I said there is no way I am getting a reservation that late for New Years Eve anywhere, though I did check OpenTable just to be sure. So if we are going to have dinner it has been put on hiatus for the time being. Of course with how everything went over Christmas, the cancellation just futhered the funk I was already in. It was a shitty end to a shitty year to be honest, even though I know deep down her getting a job is a good thing overall.

Thankfully 2015 is in the rearview mirror now though, 2016 is off to a good start. I got a free gift I the mail the other day, a smart phone movie projector. Apparently you plug your phone into it and it blows up video footage on a wall or something. Me being the last of the cell phone hold outs does not have a smart phone (I guess I have a dumb phone in that regard) I just have a old school flip phone good for calls and texts and not much else. I also picked up another $3 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks. No they didn't decrease the amount of the cards (I used to get $5 cards), they simply have a cheaper option ad given how little I use Swagbucks these days, cheaper is definitely better. Then today at work I bought a couple of $5 scratch off tickets, the first one was a loser, the second one hit for $500. And rather than go blow it on alcohol, I did the adulting thing again and came home from work and ate my leftovers and spent very little of it. I have been putting a refocus on my vacation the last couple of weeks, my boss owes me like $1300 in paid days at work, which should be enough to pay for my trip, $500 is definitely going to help square away my passport for said trip. If 2016 is going to be a good year then it is going to be all about me. An actual vacation would be a good way to start.

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