Sunday, May 29, 2016

Sabres @ Penguins 03/29/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Buffalo 4  SO

Tom Kuhnhackl - G, A

Pittsburgh went 11-4 in March

Friday, May 27, 2016

B365V3.20 - My Verizon-like body

So, a couple of weeks back I self diagnosed myself with a case of strep throat.  I did this without the advice or approval of a medical professional, but with experience of having strep throat in the past.  I had all of the symptoms, sore throat, check, achiness and soreness, check.  The problem being I am the only person that can do my job at work, so I soldiered on, logging 20 work days in a 21 day span.

When the sore throat subsided, compliments of steady diet of aspirin and cough/sore throat syrup, I figured the worst of it was over, but then I woke up one day and my calf muscles ( yes, my pillsbury dough boy like frame has some muscles underneath ) felt like a Charlie horse was forming underneath each of them.  This was followed by my hip getting sore enough that I would hobble around my apartment like an old man. Follow that up with about a week of chest pain and a week of stomach pain and aspirin has become my new best friend.  I am all about pain management these days, as even rest doesn't seem to help all that much. Remember that 20 out of 21 day work stretch, day 21 was spent not moving as much as possible.  I literally laid in bed all day, not that it helped all that much.

My body has literally become the embodiment of our Verizon service at work.  We use them for our phone and Internet service.  Last Thursday morning for some unknown reason, our internet service quit working, so I placed a service call Thursday to try and get someone out to fix it.  I also called our "in" with Verizon, a technician we know who is familiar with our set up ( which is a convoluted mess to be sure) but I believe he is one of the workers that was on strike.  So Brian called Verizon in hopes of getting a service call to our location, they said they would be out some time Friday.  Friday comes and no one shows up, I call them again on Saturday, they put in a new service ticket ( for some reason they had closed the one from Thursday).  They sent a copy of the service ticket to the company email, which does me no good since I have no internet access at work.  Brian checks the email from home, they put the service request in for May 31 st.   Yes they planned on getting around to us 12 days after the original phone call.  This, of course, pissed Brian off and given he can make threats I can't like pulling our service and what not best to let him rail away on the phone.  His efforts on Saturday were more productive than mine, he got an agreement for someone to come out on Monday and he got them to send what they call a jet pack, which is a device that allows you wireless access, free of charge, until the problem was resolved.  Monday a technician shows up, he installs a new  router but we still have no internet.  He said he would be back on Tuesday to finish up.  Tuesday comes, turns out their technician called off, so no one was coming out, but what did happen was after they had installed the new router they had knocked off our in house network, meaning our registers were no longer able to communicate with each other or the back office, so I couldn't even run a simple sales report.

Bad enough our register software has automatic updates built into it, as long as it can access the updates it keeps the software license updated as well, without Internet access you get put on a 7 day temporary license, so each day this problem wasn't fixed we were ticking another day off of the temporary license.   I put in a call to our register people, Roth, who were able to fix the license problem on the last day that our temporary lincense would work, and they rebuilt the in house network Verizon fucked up during their lone visit.  I could run reports again, yay!  Meanwhile Verizon had yet to show up to finish what they started, Monday's visit was followed my a call off in Tuesday and no one showing up on Wednesday.  Brian was hoping this jet pack thing they were going to send him would help, I was less optimistic, our registers are not wireless, so sending us wireless access is like putting spinny rims on a Yugo.  One of his complaints when he called today was that nobody had shown up yet to fix our problem (8 days after the problem was reported) and this promised jet pack hadn't arrived.  Verizon assured us that it had, Alex had signed for it.  That would be fine except we have no one employed by us at this time with the name Alex.  Turns out they shipped it to our old store, Gus Millers, so Brian had to run over there and fetch it.

He brought it back to the store and after some personal training, I figured out how to set it up ( in the land of the technologically blind, I am the one eyed man, so I am king) and the jetpack did exactly what I thought it would do, it gives us wireless in the office as does nothing to fixing our existing internet problem, which currently inhibits our ability to take credit cards.  But at least I can play on my tablet now at work without walking down the street to steal wifi from Starbucks.

I read online this evening that the Verizon strike appears to be over.  Given how inadequate their service was during the strike, I can imagine the employees are able to write their own ticket, though God knows what kind of clusterfuck they will be walking into when they get back on the job, with projects like ours already 8 days behind schedule.

I would like to say tonight has been the most pain free I have been in a couple of weeks.  Perhaps I was suffering from Verizon sympathy pains, or perhaps the 6 aspiring I took at work and the two I took at home after work are doing their pain management best, but it is nice to not feel like you are being stabbed in the stomach all day long ( my most recent malady, which has been the case for the past week now).  I couldn't even sleep without taking aspirin beforehand, at least without waking up a dozen times through the night in agonizing stomach pain.  It would be enough to almost swear off of my #itsmyyear hashtag, but over the past couple of weeks I did get a couple of free hockey tickets to the Eastern Conference Final  ( Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay, Game 2) and I did hit a scratch off ticket for $400 last Saturday, so life hasn't been completely shitty.

Anyway this should make up for not writing in a while.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Penguins @ NY Rangers 03/27/2016

Pittsburgh 3  NY Rangers 2  OT

Phil Kessel - G, A

Pittsburgh has won 8 of their last 9 games

Penguins @ Red Wings 03/26/2016

Pittsburgh 7  Detroit 2

Nick Bonino, Phil Kessel - G, 4 A each

Pittsburgh swept the season series with Detroit 3-0

Devils @ Penguins 03/24/2016

New Jersey 3  Pittsburgh 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 21 SV

Pittsburgh outshot New Jersey 39 - 24

Capitals @ Penguins 03/20/2016

Pittsburgh 6  Washington 2

Thomas Kuhnhackl, Trevor Daley - G, 2 A  each

Sidney Crosby has a point in 12 straight games

Saturday, May 14, 2016

B365V3.19 - Accidents will happen

So, I am running a little late on my way to work this morning, so I have to head into Oakland and catch a bus on 5th avenue.  Beside the bus stop was one of the paper bins for the Pittsburgh City Paper, which I figured I would grab a copy to help pass the time on the way to work.

Toward the back of the paper, amidst the massage ads and 976 phone numbers is where one can find the Savage Love column, a sex/love advice column written by Dan Savage.  What was quirky about today's reading though was there was a letter about previous advice Dan had given out.  Apparently a girl wrote in to say her boyfriend had "accidental anal sex" with her on 4 separate occasions.

As Elvis Costello once sang, "Accidents Will Happen", though usually of the anal variety they are when you go to fart and poop a little instead.  As far as sex goes, I am not sure there is a such thing as "Accidental Anal", though that would be the coolest punk band name ever.

Rather if you are the guy back there, you seem to know which hole you are shooting for, unless you suffer from Ray Charles like blindness.  Similarly I would like to think women are sensitive enough that they can tell when a guy is entering their poop chute long before he has the chance to bust a nut, let alone to have it happen 4 times.  At some point you have to put the whole kibosh on that position and say, "Listen fucktard, you have no idea what you are doing back there and my sphincter is not your proving ground until you get things right."

But then I am just an uncultured sort, growing up in the sticks north of the big city.  Perhaps "accidental anal" happens all the time and I am just oblivious to its occurrence.   In which case I will say ignorance is indeed bliss, unless you are on the receiving end of it.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Penguins @ Flyers 03/19/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Philadelphia 1

Chris Kunitz - G, A

Pittsburgh is 4-0 without Evgeni Malkin in the lineup

Hurricanes @ Penguins 03/17/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Carolina 2

Carl Hagelin - 3 A

Pittsburgh is 12-3-1 in their last 16 division games

B365V3.18 - Bus bash

So an interesting thing happened on Saturday night when I was coming home from work, my bus was attacked.  Yes, you are reading that right and no I am not making things up here, my bus was indeed attacked.

It would seem after my brief foray into Mellon Square after work, where I stopped to play some MPQ by stealing Starbuck's wifi (they have to be good for something because their coffee sucks), I walked over to my bus stop and caught the first 61 ish  bus back for Oakland.  No problems there, I think I waited all if 5 minutes for my bus, but the next stop proved to be a little more interesting.  The bus driver slows down as if to see if anyone at that stop wanted the bus (and really who doesn't want a bus with me on it, cue up "On The Bus" by The Replacements kids) and no one at the stop makes a move like they are going to get on the bus so she drives right through.  After passing the stop two guys get up like this is the bus they were waiting for and start to walk in the direction of the front of the bus.  Rarely will PAT bus drivers stop at places that are not stops, so she didn't stop even as these two gentlemen were approaching the front of the bus.  The traffic light turns green, the bus rolls forward about half a block until the next traffic light when one of the guys runs out into the middle of traffic right in front of the bus, nearly getting himself killed in the process.

At work I call the game where people run out into traffic "Crackhead Frogger", but rarely am I in a vehicle that is partaking in the game. Now the guy is out n front of the bus, flailing his arms wildly because the bus didn't stop for him, the bus driver refuses to open the doors in the middle of traffic and the test of wills is on.  The guy blinks first, moving out of the middle of traffic to the side of the bus, where he takes his backpack and throws it against the side of the bus.  Still no blinking from the bus driver, she of the one of iron will.  Now the guy is really pissed, he goes over to the sidewalk and runs out through a lane of traffic to get a running start at kicking the side of the bus.  Had this been Mortal Combat it would have been a good finishing move, given it is real life though all he did was bounce of the side of the bus.  Now there are maybe three guys on the bus that want to go outside and get into a physical altercation with this guy, me I am a lover, not a fighter and there was no one on the bus I wanted to mate with, so I stayed in my seat, recording this moment in my mind for posterity.

The bus driver did not open the door for any of the passengers to go out and commence with the ass kicking either.  Her iron will on keeping that door closed would have made her a great Russian prison guard in a Steven Segal movie.  About 5 minutes later the bus is back in Oakland, where thankfully the doors did open at my stop and I was allowed to escape.

Friday, May 6, 2016

B365V3.18 - Theatrical economics

An interesting thing ties my most recent vacation to Vancouver and last night's trip to go see the Captain America movie together, that being the "fight for $15" minimum wage thing that has been bandied about.

I know what you are thinking, how can Matt's epically cool vacation and a movie that will crush at the box office be tied into the minimum wage?  Allow me to elaborate.

While I was staying in Vancouver, there was a McDonald's about a block from my hotel.  Now I never went in, after all if I want McDonald's slop I need not go to a foreign country for it.  But the minimum wage in British Columbia is approach $11 an hour right now.  And what should one see when looking in the window at McDonald's on Robson Street.  A touch screen menu.  That's right, businesses are busy figuring ways around the new/higher minimum wages, they are replacing workers at the point of sale.

I saw this last night at the theater too, I had Fandangoed my ticket so I knew I would have a seat opening night (I remembered the debacle I had trying to get reserved seating for Deadpool, which was sold out the first day until the 11 pm showing.  Now I am not an experienced Fandangoer, I had only used the service once previously, but I remembered the terminals were along the wall to the left of the ticket window/counter.   So I enter the theater and make the abrupt left turn and the terminals were gone.  Panic (at the disco) sets in, I am thinking how am I going to get my ticket now, if I bought it online from a online retailer that is no longer here.

Still I was there to see a movie, so I went back out to the ticket counter and that is when I saw it, all of the ticket sellers have been replaced with automation.  My Fandango fears were unfounded, I simply slid my credit card into the machine and the new tangled terminals had a record of my purchase and priced to print out my pre bought ticket.  Others would presumably have to go through touch screen menus and do the picking and choosing before swiping their cards, but the human element has been removed.  More of those $15/hour jobs that will not exist when the cost $15/hour.

See, even a trip to the movies can be a learning experience.

B365V3.17 - Date night

This is what I had planned on being what I would call a date night.  Of course when you are single a date night just means you are going to take yourself out.  Still I had a plan going into today, go to work, bang out my stuff relatively quickly and then head out for a movie night since tonight was the first night for the new Captain America movie.  If I got things done fast enough, I should have time to grab dinner first, and hey, if it is a good dinner and a movie night, maybe I can take myself home afterward.  Hubba, hubba.

That plan got shot somewhat to shit pretty early.  I get into work only to find out the person opening the deli called off.  I am at a point where I am ready to fire the entire fucking crew and start from scratch.  The second person to come in decided to try a pull a stunt by bringing her kids to work with her, as if we are running a fucking day care as opposed to a convenience store.  So now out of the two people I have scheduled to work in our deli today I have exactly zero.

Shift change comes at 3 o'clock, except the person who is scheduled to come in at three doesn't show up, he is still home sleeping at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.  Again, I want to fire everyone and start from scratch.  Till he shows up and I get to the Waterfront to see the movie it is 6pm, my ticket is for 7pm (I preordered) but I don't have confidence that any place serving decent food can get me in and out in an hour, so I just go grab a coffee and sit for a bit at Starbucks, the dinner portion of the evening is blown.

The movie was pretty good, one of the better ones in the Marvel movie pantheon, but it was somewhat tempered by a jackass sitting two rows behind me who had to add his commentary to everything on the screen.  By this point in my day I was tempted to just turn around and throat punch him.

That dinner I was so looking forward to ended up being cold pizza and a Primanti's sandwich and now I am ready for bed.  Let's hope I don't kill any employees in the morning.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

B365V3.16 - The most wonderful time of the year

This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. No, I am not talking Christmas, rather the time of year where the weather breaks, the drunken asshole contingent of Oakland gets diminished with the college students going home and with leases end, it's the season for dumpster diving, if that's your thing. We have the Stanley Cup playoffs taking place, a new Captain America movie is out. And here I am laid up with strep throat.

For four days now I am fighting this illness. Days of not being able to swallow without a medicinal cocktail of cough syrup and aspirin to numb the pain, otherwise swallowing anything is almost immediately followed with a gag reflex. Insert your own spit/swallow joke here. I thought I had beaten back the worst of it this evening, after work I came home and climbed into bed with a bowl of stuffed pepper soup. I was having no issues, my throat was okay, no pain in swallowing. But resting is a funny thing, it is like adding a new coat of paint to a used car, it may look better but it is the same car. I got up to walk to the corner store to get some iced tea for the apartment. As soon as I got outside and started walking I could feel the raspiness returning to my throat. At least I could cough with much less pain. So perhaps there has been some improvement.

The thing is the 4 days I have been sick have been 4 work days. I thought I was going to get a respite on Sunday, until I looked at the calendar at work Saturday and saw that Saturday was the last day of April. Because our financial paperwork has to be filed by month, I had to go in on Sunday, May 1st and close out the sales for April. It is much harder to convince yourself that extra hours for next years vacation are a good thing when you don't even feel like climbing out of bed.

I am just hoping I have this thing kicked by Thursday, I Fandangoed a ticket for the new Captain America movie, so I could guarantee myself one before trekking over to The Waterfront after work. I just don't want to be sitting there all miserable and stuff, just want to have a nice dinner and movie. #itsmyyear after all, can't be having strep throat wreck it.

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