Wednesday, August 31, 2016

B365V3.48 - Parting is such sweet sorrow unless.....

Well, it looks like I finally have to pay to play.  For those who follow along and for those who don't a little recapping is in order.  A few months back we had an issue with our credit cards at work, well not so much with the cards as it was with our internet access, and given we process our credit cards online, having no access meant credit and debit cards became useless for us, we became a cash only business.  It was hurting us to the tune of about a grand a day.  Naturally we placed calls to our register company and to Verizon, who does our internet.  As the fates would decree, it was at the time Verizon workers went on strike.   Verizon tried farming out some if their work to contractors who were overburdened and under qualified for the tasks they were being asked to do.  It took them four days to get someone to our location, he showed up one day, said he would be back the following day and never showed up again, he just up and quit.  So we were left with trying to come up with work arounds and what not.  Verizon sent us a device, a Ellipsis Jetpack, which is just basically a wifi hotspot.  It did little to solve our problems though, because our registers and back office are not wifi capable.  Another call to our register people came up with a temporary solution, he got a wifi receiver for the back office and that got us a patchwork solution until the underlying problem was resolved, that being we had no internet access from our Verizon landline.

Eventually the Verizon strike ended, our contact at Verizon, Russell, came and looked at our problem and resolved the issue in about a half hour's time.  But Verizon left the Jetpack behind, which allowed me and it to become best friends over summer.  Cue up the montage music with me taking the Jetpack on the bus, to the Waterfront, to the little kiddie pee pond, to Point State Park.  We were inseparable.  I still used it at work, with both my laptop and my tablet, so I can't say it was all fun and games, it had practical work applications as well.   So I go to log on yesterday, establish my network and i am getting a sign in notice, my days of free wifi had apparently come to an end.

As it turns out though, I was able to attach the Jetpack to my existing cell phone account (which the company pays) so if I can justify the cost with work product getting accomplished due in part to having the Jetpack, chances are the company will pick up the tab for it.  For now me and the Jetpack are on borrowed time, and I am hoping that we will not be bidding a tearful farewell.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

B365V3.47 - Working lunches

So Friday at work I got to pull off one of those business lunches.  They are such a rarity for me, that when they do happen I kind of enjoy them.  Now this isn't a traditional business lunch where you go sit down with professional people and haggle, barter, negotiate over minutiae, rather it was just me eating a sandwich outside of work and getting paid for it.  Perhaps I might explain.
Ed made it back from his Florida hiatus about two weeks ago (he has already left again,so I must be doing something right) and over the course of those two weeks I only got yelled at once.  Not that Ed yells a lot, but usually when he reappears he comes up with back checklist of things not done to his standard, then I get a lecture on it.  This time what set him off was something I warned my crew about repeatedly, which is if Ed stops in on the weekend, the first thing he is going to check is the Little Debbie snack cakes, next he will get a french vanilla cappuccino so make sure those areas are always neat in case he stops in, which he usually does before or after a trip to the casino.  Sure enough, his first Sunday back he stops in on his way to the casino and where does he go first but the Little Debbie cakes, which were not straightened up.  That sets him off in a tizzy, the next day I get a lecture on everything not done right.  If people would just listen to me once in a while, I think I know what the fuck I am talking about.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

B365V3.46 - Rio

Since tonight is the closing ceremonies on Rio, might as well did into ye olde cranium and come up with some thoughts.

First, Rio was a pretty serviceable Duran Duran song.  Not their best, but not their worst either.

I was watching some coverage the other day and i saw a guy shit himself while walking.  Is that an event?  Because if they make shit walking an event,  I can think of plenty of Depends wearing elderly who stroll around the mall early in the morning who should try out.  If we can get full contact bingo into the Olympics too, maybe we will have some use for older folks after all, besides getting all the good seats on the bus and being rewarded with senior citizen discounts simply for breathing longer than others.  Heck, if you live past normal life expectancy, you should be taxed on the oxygen you breathe because you are gobbling up air that could be used by a productive member of society.  You could get a tax credit if you are a shit walker though, so go for the gold grandma.

There was a point just before the games started when the story was how unprepared for the Olympics Rio was.  This was sound and fury signifying nothing.  Of course the media were going to write horror stories, anything that might affect or inconvenience them is a crime against humanity.  The same bullshit stories run before every Olympic games, London wasn't ready, Sochi wasn't ready, yet for the most part the games go off without a hitch.  People were not dropping like flies because of Zika, , nor were people dying after swimming in oceans of garbage or diving into a green pool.  At least they didn't have to cancel any events, unlike Pittsburgh, where a third of the Pittsburgh Triathlon had to be cancelled, when sewage run off into the river eliminated the swimming portion of the event.

If Pittsburgh were to ever host the Summer Olympics, Ryan Lochte should feel right at home with all of the drunk jagoffs who go to the South Side on weekends.  Over there vandalism and public urination might as well be Olympic events.

While I liked most of the sports I got to see (a somewhat limited selection due to not having cable) the amount of events that were not on the NBC flagship so they could show stuff on tape delay was horrible.  Rio is one hour ahead of us, not half a world away, i would prefer live events as opposed to shit where i already know the outcome (NBC, most of your audience has internet access and already knows the results of events that have happen, if they were that attached to those events to begin with).  This goes doubly for the local NBC affiliate, Channel 11, who used time during their evening newscasts to tell us that they had the result of such and such event, and you can stay tuned to find out the results later in primetime, or you can go to our webpage.  What a dangerous practice that is, delaying actual news coverage to serve ones advertisers.  How far does that practice go at Channel 11 anyway?  Do they not cover stories that make advertisers or employees look bad?  Because they have set the bar now that the advertising dollar is more important than actual reporting, just wonder how ingrained that practice is over at Television Hill.

I did find a new crush while watching the Olympics though.  I guess there are some couples out there that have cheat lists, people they get a pass on sleeping with should the opportunity ever arise (my father's cheat list had two criteria, 1) are they female and 2) are they breathing).  Since I have no need of a cheat list (no one to cheat on) I am going to add to my imaginary non needed list Mariafe Artacho del Solar.  But then I have two weaknesses when it comes to women, redheads and volleyball players).  So my cheat list now has three names, the aforementioned Mariafe, Marta Menegatti, and Harriet Wheeler.

That was all I got out of Rio, and I didn't even get a lousy t shirt.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

B365V3.45 - I don't get it

First things first around these parts, some congratulations are in order.  It would appear that Goodstuff ( has reached 1,000,000 hits.  I came across Allen's blog back in back in my Multiply days and it is good to see a fellow blogger that I have known for years hit such a milestone.  Perhaps that will be me someday, though  think I will die first.  I don't grind out content nearly quickly enough, nor write interestingly enough entries for me to hit such a milestone. 

But then I don't write for the some reason other(s) write.  I ran into an instance this week, where a blog was posted (no I am not naming names) but the poster then got pissed with some of the response and proceeded to turn the responses int a level of entertainment/drama all its own, simply because the respondents did not share the same opinion.  I have always considered my blog a free speech zone, not that I get many comments but rest assured should you feel the urge to comment I am not going to turn it into some self serving drama for entertainment purposes of my acquaintances.

Another thing I don't get but have been seeing a lot of of Facebook these days is people celebrating being clean and sober.  Perhaps I should associate with a better quality friends but I have been clean and sober for 47 years now (save for the occasional night out) and I am not expecting anyone to throw me a fucking parade for making responsible life choices. 

Oh well, I better put a wrap on this before I put myself in a bad frame of mind.  I am off tomorrow, no sense going into the day by being pissy.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

B365V3.44 - Tainted

There comes a point in time where you need to repeat things, because as they taught me in radio many moons ago, the audience is always changing, which is probably why i can't stand listening to the radio anymore and hearing the same clap trap ad infinitum.  Well there is that and the fact that no one likes to see the sausage being made and I made that sausage for 12+ years.  Not that I hate it, but it comes with a certain amount of predictability for me.  When you life becomes thinking in what would make a good bit, as opposed to what is actually good, then your soul has forever been tainted.

But alas, that is not what we are going to revisit today, no old radio war stories, but instead a near long dead blog feature, the change meter.  For you old schoolers you can move on past this blog entry to the next one, whenever that comes, for you new schoolers an explanation is in order.  Back in the Yahoo 360 days (by the way, if you want to start a failing internet start up, Verizon will buy it from you, they are now the proud owners of AOL and Yahoo), but back in the wee days of my blogging career (I use career loosely considering I don't consider blogging work, but rather an escape from doing actual work) I was looking for something to do that was unique to my blog (thinking in bits again, I admit my soul is tainted) and thus birthed the change meter.  What it is in a nutshell is simply a collection of monies that I find on the ground through the course of my travails.  Of course not all of it has to be actual currency, a couple of examples if I may.  One day I found, tucked into the back of an empty pack of cigarettes, a monthly bus pass.  As luck would have it, I found it on the first day of the month and at the time a monthly bus pass retailed for $60, so $60 got added to the total.  Similarly at work one day I found a winning lottery ticket in the trash can.  I plucked it out originally so I could get the chances on it in a second chance drawing the state was having with that particular game.  I went to enter the code online and the code couldn't be accepted for second chancedom.  Which usually means the code has already been entered or the ticket was a winner.  So I checked and sure enough one of the numbers matched and the prize was $100.  because the lottery now has touch screen machines which issue credits and vouchers, finding a winning ticket isn't much of a big thing, unless you fins a winning ticket that hasn't been redeemed yet, which it turns out I had.  So that $100 got added to the change meter. 

     There are limits to what can be added though, anything that was possibly in my possession previously does not get added, so if I am at the laundromat and as I am taking my clothes out of the washer or dryer and I find a $20 bill laying in the washer, chances are it was in my pocket when I began the washing process so it can't be found.  My misplacing of things has no place in change meter metrics. 

Since my last change meter entry, Google seems to think it was Christmas time of last year, I probably should be adding to that though I didn't realize that much time had passed.  Anyway, the previous total was $660.98 and I am going to add some more to that amount, like 27.14 more.  Yes, I treat money on the ground much like some people walk around trying to capture Pokemon.  With me it is change and Coke caps.  Gotta catch em all, lol.  So our new change meter total is $688.12.  Don't knw why, but when I do change meter updates I get visions in my head of Bill Cardille going to the tote board for the local chapter of the Jerry Lewis/MDA telethon.  Like I said, my soul is tainted.

Friday, August 5, 2016

B365V3.43 - At least someone reads this

Well it would seem that even if almost nobody reads my blog, (unless I use the word vagina someplace) apparently someone does.  I had a small rant in my post vacation blog about how superior I found the public transportation in Vancouver to Pittsburgh, it was, like our system, card based.  But everything falls under one fare, the subway, buses and seabus, where as here if you go too far you have to pay more for crossing an arbitrary border, there are different fees for the subway depending on when you ride, the subway doesn't go anywhere near the airport unlike Vancouver where you can take the subway and be downtown in 20 minutes.  Another neat feature was that at the bus stops they had the arrival times of each bus posted right at the stops.

So excuse me if I take credit for the events that are taking place at the Port Authority these days, (last I checked you didn't blog about how inferior our transit system was) but we are transitioning to a one fare system, mostly card based (cash payers will pay an extra .25 per ride) which if it keeps one person from getting on the bus in front of me and then fumbling around in their purse for correct hange, then I can live with this change as well.  Also popping up dowtown were bus stops with arrival times (and maps which Vancouver does not have). 

Who knows, maybe in another 50 or 100 years we will have the subway going all the way to the airport as well.  Or maybe sooner now that I mentioned in in my blog.

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