Friday, July 7, 2017

B365V4.14 - Whose life is it anyway?

Two things about me and alcohol; when sufficiently lubricated I am much more sexually inadequate than my normal state of inadequacy and truth starts spilling from my mouth like a fountain.  With that being said, allow me to tell a story.

About a week before I ventured off on vacation I had the fortune of commenting on a friend's blog post, mind you this is a friend whom I been interested in pursuing something more with for quite some time.  It dealt with how to get over breakups so I regaled the audience of this particular thread with some stories from the Crazy Canadian Incident.  Long time readers know what I am talking about, short time readers need to keep up.  Not rehashing that story here.

Anyway I hear back about how I am such a nice guy who deserves better, which is all well and good but a pre vacation trip for some libations and Facebook made for an interesting commentary from me, as I sent her a personal message saying how I was previously interested in her, but then things got in the way and I had accepted how that was how things were going to be now.  Then I ventured forth on my Vancouver vacation.

Vancouver is awesome for me, it is like the girl that can't take a bad selfie in it's beauty.  Nature and civilization intersect there in such a manner that I have taken to calling it my Pittsburgh detox.  Anyway, I wake up in my hotel in Vancouver one morning, put on my hotel slippers and robe and grab a shower, when I come out I fire up the laptop and I see a personal message from this person, so I check it out and it says "Can we talk?"  I replied perhaps when I am not 4000 miles away that could be arranged and I continued with my vacationing, but that message was stuck in the back of my mind.  Did my drunken scribblings offend?  I read them and reread them, until I had convinced myself that they might have or they might not have.  It was a mental tug of war with neither side winning, so I contented myself with the fact that at least what I wrote was honest.  The truth will set you free and all that jazz.

I went back to my vacationing, dreading coming home, not because of the potential outcome of the talk, but because I was so happy in Vancouver.  I feel like a better person each time I come back, as if their kindness and hospitality rubs off on me somewhat.  It hurts to leave,   Plus the flight back is not that much fun either, leaving Vancouver at 6:30 am their time (9:30 am Pittsburgh Standard Time) and not being back on home soil until 10:30 pm, but make it back I did and set about the business of finding out how much work would be left for me after not being in the office for a week.  Surprises abound, everything was done and the office was cleaned in my absence.  It made me wonder why I evere came back in the first place, I had become obsolete during my vacation.  Nonetheless, I fell back into my routine, as opposed to some poutine had I stayed in Vancouver.

I went ahead and notified my friend I was back, and we set up our meeting for what for how will be called "The Talk" for a week later on Monday, as she had errands downtown anyway.  So we picked up some food and headed to Point State Park (which has nothing on Stanley Park, for the record) on an almost picnic like excursion.  "The Talk" was one of those nice, heartfelt one on one things, where we did not so much talk about us as a unit, but us as people and what we wanted.  And maybe that is where things started to gel between us, a mutual understanding if how much more we wanted out if life than what we have gotten thus far.  Or maybe it was my remaining Canadian charm rubbing off on her.  I know better than to chalk it up to good looks, I see myself in the mirror every morning and you dont get to be 48 and single while being typically handsome.

But perhaps there was magic in that old silk hat they found, as what started as a message about what I had hoped for previously and a sit down heart to heart chat seems to be turning into something more. Then I started thinking about the last month, a month that kicked off with a killer show at Stage AE (Coheed & Cambria, holla), a nice birthday sendoff for vacation at work, complete with Prantl's cake, landing in Vancouver on my birthday and doing things that I could never do here, like going to the tops of mountains (Mount Washington doesn't count), catching a sunset on the beach, riding a seaplane over the city, and then coming home to being involved in something that I had considered off of the table for me just a few months ago.

It sounds sad, but I was resigned to geing alone as a permanent sort of thing, I even had math to back me up, figuring if I were to meet someone on say, my birthday, we were to get married and have a kid that very same day, I am 64 teaching that kid to drive, probably 67 when that kid starts college, 71 if they graduate on time and for me the numbers didn't add up.  Now I am not thinking about numbers as much, I am thinking about what tomorrow brings.  Pinch me, because this isn't the life I had when I left here on vacation a couple of weeks ago.  It is something new and different and dare I say hopeful, which coming from a person who often says "Expect nothing and you will never be disappointed." is quite a change in temperment.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

B365V4.13 - Vacation

    Well, what's new kids?  This may be my first Canadian blog entry, which makes me a foreign correspondent to my own page.  But it has been a hectic month. 
     I got to attend my first ever Stanley Cup Final game. I actually had two tickets, but the minute I had an extra ticket and posted as such on Facebook I knew it wouldn't last long.   The game, which was game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, was pretty much a snooze fest, Nashville dominated play most of the night, holding Pittsburgh without a shot for a span of over 39 minutes.  Had it been a regular season game, it would have been one I would have considered walking out of to beat the traffic, but it was the SCF after all (plus 7 Up was springing for the refreshments, free eats and drinks are always a plus when trying to lure me in).

     As evidenced by my first sentence, I am currently on vacation and once again I opted to vacation in Vancouver.  After my trip last year I realized there were lots of things I wanted to do but did not get the chance, so I spent some time looking for other sights and sounds I missed out on during my first visit, then I hit my big scratch off ticket (well, big for me anyway) of $5000 and set about the business of booking everything, I snagged a trip to Squamish as well as a a Seaplane ride over the city and tickets to a CFL game.  That being said, the trip has not been all wine and roses this time around.  Last year when I came, there was a $100 charge to my debit card, a deposit on the room I was staying in.  So I figured that would be the case this year as well, and since I was using the same everything in my booking, I made sure I left over $100 in my account before flying out.  So I get on my first flight, no issues whatsoever, same with the second flight.  I managed the subway ride into town from the airport with no problems as well, everything is going swimmingly, I get to the hotel, the same one I stayed at last year, presented my id, they had my booking, they needed my debit card, which I gave them and they couldn't get it to work.  The only thing that might be different is switching me for the old card to the chip card, not sure when that happened, but it may have been between my last booking and my current booking but because it did not work, and even though that card paid for the current booking (through Expedia, not directly through the hotel), my deposit this time was $500 in cash.  So yes it pisses me off, but it is not a fight I want to have while staying in the hotel that is pissing me off, but should I come back again in a year or so, which is possible, I do love it up here, i will not be staying at the same hotel.  There are plenty to choose from, and i know my way about town now pretty well, at least Vancouver proper, when you get out in the neighboring communities like Burnaby and Metrotown, not so much.

     Thankfully I had most of the events I wanted to do planned and paid for in advance.  I still did not kick everything off of my bucket list of things to do here, and I added some new things for the next trip, like taking BC Ferries out to Vancouver Island to spend a day checking out Victoria, but I did okay on this trip with a trip to Squamish, which has to be seen to be believed, it was that beautiful, a sea plane ride over the city, which not only was it awesome in it's own right, but the girl who sat it the back of the plane with me, all I can say is wow.  She was Chinese, not that that matters one way or another, but she was all kinds of sexy punk, with the black t shirt, leather shorts, leather studded bracelets, fish net stockings, all of my guy weaknesses rolled into one.  Also, while waiting for my tour bus to Squamish, I learned that there are free shuttles to both Capilano and Grouse Mountain, which made them way more accessible from the city.  I also learned there are $35 day trips to Whistler, but I had too much planned to spend a day in Whistler this trip.  Tomorrow i will be attending my first CFL football game, just to close out the vacation festivities.  Well that and I ant to make another trip around what I call the neighborhood, which is pretty much everything within walking distance. 

     Since last time i was here I blogged about how much better the transit system was, only to have Pittsburgh switch to a one fare system a couple of months after I returned (and blogged about it) so I will pass along another cool idea that I ran into here (feel free to implement it at your leisure Pittsburgh).  The have a program called tickets tonight in Vancouver, where you can go to a Vancouver tourism office and they have tickets to any show that night that went unsold, and you can buy them at half off.  Perhaps Pittsburgh does have such a program, I don't know, I  have never dealt with our tourism office, and see no need to now. 

     I am not looking forward to coming back, i know there will be at least a week's worth of work piled up, plus anything that got screwed up while I was away, plus I was offered a new job before I left and I am unsure of whether or not I want to take it.  If I do, I will need to know a few more things there are still too many unanswered questions before making career adjustments.  Rather than ramble on about things I know little about yet, how about a couple of vacation pics instead?

                                                                        Shannen Falls
                                                  Some of the mountains in Squamish
                                                                     Howe Sound
                                               Vancouver Skyline from Granville Bridge
                                                               Queen Elizabeth Park
                                                                    Olympic Cauldron
                                                        Vancouver from the seaplane
                                                           Sunset over English Bay

                                                           Capilano suspension bridge
                                           Mt Baker (Washington) from Grouse Mountain
                                                   Vancouver from Grouse Mountain

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

SCF Penguins @ Predators 6/11/2017

Pittsburgh 2  Nashville 0

Patric Hornqvist - GWG

Matt Murray - 27 SV

Murray posted shutouts in the last two games of the series, Pittsbrgh becomes the first team to win back to back Stanley Cups in the salary cap era

Pittsburgh wins best of seven series 4-2

Sunday, June 11, 2017

SCF Predators @ Penguins 6/8/2017

Pittsburgh 6  Nashville 0

Phil Kessel - G, 2 A

Sidney Crosby - 3 A

With an assist, Jake Guentzel tied the rookie record for playoff scoring with 21 points

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-2

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

SCF Penguins @ Predators 6/5/2017

Nashville 4  Pittsburgh 1

Sidney Crosby - G

Brian Dumolin - A

Crosby's goal was his first in a Stanley Cup Final game since June 4th, 2009

Best of seven series is tied 2-2

Monday, June 5, 2017

SCF Penguins @ Predators 6/3/2017

Nashville 5  Pittsburgh 1

Jake Guentzel - G

Ian Cole, Sidney Crosby - A each

Guentzel continues to lead all post season goal scorers with 13

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 2-1

Thursday, June 1, 2017

SCF Predators @ Penguins 05/31/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Nashville 1

Jake Guentzel - 2 G

Chris Kunitz - 2 A

Guentzel now has a rookie record 5 game winning goals in the playoffs

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 2-0

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

SCF Predators @ Penguins 05/29/2017

Pittsburgh 5  Nashville 3

Nick Bonino - 2 G

Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz - 2 A each

Pittsburgh managed just 12 shots on goal and went for over 37 minutes at one point without a shot

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 1-0

Monday, May 29, 2017

B365V4.12 - Job losses

     So I guess our saga begins two Mondays ago.  I was sitting in the office, sorting weekend monies and paperwork and what not.  That us a process where I have to match the dropped amounts of money with what is listed on the cashiers sheet at the end of the shift, first I have to match the numbers and drops, then I have to sort the food stamps, the credit and debit cards and the overrings.  Overrings are when a cashier mistakenly hits the wrong key or a customer decides they don't want something that has already been scanned in, then the transaction has to be cashed out and labeled as an overring and dropped with their paperwork, then I get to go in on Monday and void out all of the overrings to get to our true sales number.  I imagine some people think I don't pay attention to such things, but in my stack of overrings was one for 8 Wicked male enhancement pills.  I could see maybe one, but in order to have 8 you either have to scan the same item 8 times or select 8 as the quantity before scanning and because it is a pill, it isn't an item we would take back after it left the store.  So I went all CSI Pittsburgh and took the time from the receipt and cross referenced it with our camera system.  Sure enough, someone did come in and purchase 8 pills (retail value of approx. $85), but the cashier took the money and the customer left.  This is why we do not let cashiers do voids on their own, theft is always a potential problem.  So I show the receipt to Brian as well as the camera footage showing the transaction did take place unlike what the overring stated, because my authority does not allow me to fire people, even over the obvious.  Hell an employee could shoot someone in our store and I still would need approval before anything could be done.  After seeing the case I had laid out, Brian called said employee in to explain himself.  The first excuse was that the customers credit or debit card didn't work.  That is funny simply because it shows on camera the customer handing over cash for payment, then he couldn't remember why he turned it in, so he leaves and calls Brian and says well Matt has it in for me, as if that explains anything we saw, then a few hours later he decides to remember that the customer brought them right back, which I watched the tapes for almost an hour afterward and he did not in fact come back, so with my detective sleuthing skills I managed to catch another thief and got him fired to boot.

      If that were the only job loss I were responsible for, it would have been an okay last couple of weeks, but I screwed up.  As you all know by now, I post little game recaps of all of the Pens hockey games, complete with the video  recap.  I have tried to stay more on point during the playoffs, just because the Penguins luck seems to be better when I am on point (6 years doing this, 6 playoff appearances, 2 Stanley Cups, don't fuck with what seemingly works), then came the Pens - Sens series.  After Pittsburgh lost game 1, I got the recap up the very next day, after game 2 the series was tied and I got a little too comfortable, game 3 saw the Pens lose again and Marc-Andre Fleury get pulled.  Of course I scrambled to get the next two recaps up, but by then the damage was done.  If game 3 was the last MAF plays in a Penguins uniform, you all can blame me for not doing my due diligence.  That is a distinct possibility with the Penguins going on to win the series and the expansion draft looming.

     I should explain why I am doing a Friday blog on a Sunday night, that would be in part because until today, I have worked 13 straight days and 20 of the last 21.  I did sneak a concert in during that time frame, Coheed and Cambria at Stage AE.  It was my first outdoor show there and I like their outdoor venue more than inside which is colorless and boxy.  They put on a killer show, better than the 2016 show at the same venue, and while I never heard of the opening act before, The Dear Hunter, they played a pretty killer opening set as well.  C&C played some stuff off of their new album/CD/mp3 or whatever the kids call it these days, but they played enough of their older stuff that those of us closing in on SSI could appreciate it.  Being outside meant I wasn't cramped in the inside venue with a bunch of drunks, last show I was at I saw two people vomiting on the floor.  I've never understood the need to drink so much at a show that you cant remember it the next morning.  Sounds like a waste of money to me, but what do I know.

      There was some good news to cone out of my run of work days, I like to use them as bargaining chips when so needed, so as I was talking to Ed the other day on the phone, after game 5 of Pens - Sens to be precise, I asked him if he could check with 7 Up to see if they had any Stanley Cup Final tickets left.  I know, putting the cart before the horse, but the alternative was to leave time and potential tickets slip away.   Ed talks to the regional manager at 7 Up, they have the beverage contract at PPG Paints Arena, and we are one of their larger customers for an independent store, lo and behold they do have tickets left, two for game 1 and 4 for game 2, I said listen, I am not trying to be greedy, the two would work just fine.  And that, my friends is how I am getting into my first Stanley Cup Final game Monday night.  Truth be told, anyone could have went with me, usually I will post on Facebook that iIneed a "Partner in Crime", which means I have an extra ticket(s) to a sporting event.  Luckily someone responded, I hate eating tickets that I have finagled my way into.  Plus these are in the 7 Up  box, I cant just scalp and extra ticket on the street, 7 Up management will be there, last thing they need is some unknown stragglers meandering into their seating area and me trying to explain how they got a ticket in the first place.

      Well my laundry is just about done, I am multi tasking here, so I guess this entry is just about done as well.  Toodles.

Friday, May 26, 2017

ECF Senators @ Penguins 5/25/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Ottawa 2  2OT

Chris Kunitz - 2 G, A

Justin Schultz - G, A

Pittsburgh is now 13-2 after a playoff loss under Mike Sullivan

Pittsburgh wins best of seven series 4-3

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ECF Penguins @ Senators 5/23/2017

Ottawa 2  Pittsburgh 1

Evgeni Malkin - G

Matt Murray - 28 SV

Pittsburgh lost despite out shooting Ottawa 46-30

Best of seven series is tied 3-3

Monday, May 22, 2017

ECF Senators @ Penguins 5/21/2017

Pittsburgh 7  Ottawa 0

Carter Rowney - 3 A

Matt Murray - 25 SV

Pittsburgh has held Ottawa to 0 for 29 on the power play so far this series

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-2

Saturday, May 20, 2017

ECF - Penguins @ Senators 5/19/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Ottawa 2

Sidney Crosby - G, A

Jake Guentzel - 2 A

First game in the series where Pittsburgh has scored more than one goal

Best of seven series tied 2-2

Friday, May 19, 2017

ECF Penguins @ Senators 5/17/2017

Ottawa 5  Pittsburgh 1

Sidney Crosby - G

Matt Murray - 19 SV

Marc-Andre Fleury pulled after allowing 4 1st period goals

Ottawa leads best of seven series 2-1

ECF Senators @ Penguins 5/15/2017

Pittsburgh 1  Ottawa 0

Phil Kessel - G

Marc-Andre Fleury - 23 SV

Fleury now has 62 playoff wins, most among active goaltenders

Best of seven series tied 1-1

Sunday, May 14, 2017

ECF - Senators @ Penguins 5/13/2017

Ottawa 2  Pittsburgh 1  OT

Evgeni Malkin - G

Marc-Andre Fleury - 33 SV

This is the first time this post season Pittsburgh has trailed in a series

Ottawa leads best of seven series 1-0

Friday, May 12, 2017

B365V4.11 - Peeling back the layers

      Is it just me or do we all have places where we just put shit?  Nothing important mind you, not talking bank books or passports r anything that some day might be important, but just knick knacks and what not and god forbid the day you need them, you know exactly where they are, the place where you just dump shit.  For me, one of those spots is on top of my refrigerator.  I have a box on top with a bunch of old tax forms and what not, I have a few boxes of Christmas cards, should I feel the need to do Christmas cards again I know where to find some without going shopping, I think there was a couple of candy canes up there at one point, like I said, a place to dump shit.

Anyway, I come home from work today (today being Thursday) and settle in, crack open the laptop and was watching the most recent episode of "Arrow" on the CW page, when I start hearing faint jingling music.  At first I thought maybe there was an ice cream truck coming up my street.    Why an ice cream truck?  Because I was trained in Elderton, PA and one of the things about growing up there was once in a while, though never on a regular schedule, an ice cream truck would cruise through the town.  That music led kids to racing back to their homes for whatever money they could get, in order to buy frozen treats from said ice cream guy.  Because he had no regular schedule, spotting him was like a Bigfoot sighting, the only evidence one could obtain was a frozen treat that would melt pretty quickly, thus eliminating any evidence of his existence whatsoever. 

Honest to god, this shit does all go together.  So I am sitting in my apartment and I start hearing these musical chimes.  I don't know where they are coming from, but it would seem to be my apartment.  I am not playing music, so I know it s not me.  I meander my way to the kitchen, the music is louder there, though it is not coming from outside, so I can rule out a ice cream truck guy sighting (as well as a Bigfoot sighting), so I am left with the fact that there is music coming out of my kitchen and I don't now why.  So I powered up my Chris Hansen investigate skills to solve the mystery of the musical kitchen and after some searching I found out what happened.  I had went shopping the other day at Scratch N Dent (Grocery Liquidators in the Strip if you really need to know) and one of the things I bought was a box of Tiny Toast cereal ($1.99 a box, holla!).  Of course when I came home I put the cereal on top of the refrigerator, with all of the other useless shit.  I had taken it down a few times and feasted on the deliciousness of cereal and at one point I put the box back on top of the fridge, and I also knocked of a little stuffed animal that was up there, a stocking stuffer type thing my mom gave me a couple o years ago, one where you squeeze it's tail or something and it plays a Christmas carol.  By knocking it off of the fridge it fell right into the garbage can next to the fridge, so my garbage was now playing music.  Hopefully Tuesday I can now freak out the garbage man, much like I was freaked out this evening, because I was not fishing out the stuffed animal, covered with food and other garbage like materials, from the trash can, I simply filled up the bag with more trash and tok it outside.

I trust most readers of this blog (all two of you, by the way, hello and all that jazz) I am taking full credit for the Penguins game 7 win.  As you know by hanging out here, I post videos and updates of all Penguin games and as you also know I got way behind before the playoffs, in fact I was two moths behind, but because since I have started doing this on my blog, the Penguins have won two Stanley Cups and have yet to miss the playoffs.  Leading into game 7, I was still most of the Pens - Caps series behind, so Inthrew together a few more entries and got the blog up to date in regards to hockey prior to faceoff of game 7, which of course the Pens won (i have since added game 7, you don't fuck with something that works after all) in part because I had the blog caught up to date.  So yes, I am taking credit for the win.

One thing that is rare these days is a Pittsburgh Pirates win, but I can top that.  I had tickets for the Sunday game a couple of weeks ago, against the NY Yankees.  Not only did I get to see a Pirates win, but I also got a sun tan/ sun burn in the process and am now in the midst of peeling already this year and it is still May. 

I have taken to having my Amazon deliveries shipped to work.  Since I am there more often than not, it just makes sense to me, plus it removes the possibility of someone stealing packages off of the front porch before I get home, (again, given how much I am at work, that is a distinct possibility).  Plus there is the added bonus of breaking up a routine work day with presents, at least i my feeble mind that is the case.  Twice this week i got to disrupt my week with presents.  One was the newest Robert Parker/Ace Atkins Spencer novel, which I had preordered on Amazon before it was released.  As an added bonus I got $2 back on the book as it decreased in price from the time I ordered it and it became available, which Amazon does on preordered items, you get them at the cost of when they actually go on sale if it is lower, if it is higher you still pay the price you bought it at.  That arrived on Wednesday.  Then I went and ordered shoes, in part because my current ones are falling apart, and I have worn down the tread on them to the point where walking in the rain is much like walking on ice, plus they are killing my feet.  Thanks to some saved up points on Swagbucks, I cashed in for a $5 Amazon gift card, so I managed to get a new pair of Fila running shoes for $24.99.  Those arrived at work today (Friday, yes it is taking me two days to write a blog, what of it?)  I jokingly call them my vacation shoes, hopefully they hold up for the month and change until vacation actually happens. 

Well, this was a disjointed, convoluted mess.  Good thing #cheetotwatwaffle didn't release it in tweets then.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ECSF - Penguins @ Capitals 5/10/2017

Pittsburgh 2  Capitals 0

Marc-Andre Fleury - 29 SV

Bran Rust - GWG

Pittsburgh was out shot 29-28, meaning they were out shot every game in the series

Pittsburgh wins best of seven series 4-3

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

ECSF - Capitals @ Penguins 5/8/2017

Washington 5  Pittsburgh 2

Jake Guentzel - G

Evgeni Malkin - G

Guentzel leads the NHL in playoff goals with 9

Best of seven series tied 3-3

ECSF Penguins @ Capitals 5/6/2017

Washington 4  Pittsburgh 2

Carl Hagelin - G

Phil Kessel - G

Pittsburgh surrendered a 2-1 lead after two periods

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-2

ECSF Capitals @ Penguins 5/3/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Washington 2

Jake Guentzel - G, A

Marc-Andre Fleury - 36 SV

Pittsburgh wins despite being out shot 38-19

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-1

ECSF Capitals @ Penguins 5/1/2017

Washington 3  Pittsburgh 2  OT

Evgeni Malkin - G, A

Justin Schultz - G, A

Pittsburgh scored twice in the final 1:53 to force overtime

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 2-1

ECSF Penguins @ Capitals 4/29/2017

Pittsburgh 6  Washington 2

Phil Kessel - 2 G, A

Marc-Andre Fleury - 34 SV

Fluery has stopped 67 of 71 shots through the first two games of this series

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 2-0

Monday, May 8, 2017

ECSF - Penguins @ Capitals 4/27/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Washington 2

Sidney Crosby - 2 G

Marc-Andre Fleury - 34 SV

Pittsburgh was outshot 35-21 in the win

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 1-0

ECQF - Blue Jackets @ Penguins 4/20/2017

Pittsburgh 5  Columbus 2

Marc-Andre Fleury - 49 SV

Phil Kessel - G, 2 A

Fluery has set a team record with 57 career playoff wins

Pittsburgh wins best of seven series 4-1

ECQF Penguins @ Blue Jackets 4/18/2017

Columbus 5  Pittsburgh 4

Phil Kessel - 3 A

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Second straight game where Pittsburgh spotted Columbus a two goal lead after one period of play

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-1

ECQF - Penguins @ Blue Jackets 4/16/2017

Pittsburgh 5  Columbus 4  OT

Jake Guentzel  - Hat Trick (3 G)

Bryan Rust - 2 G

Pittsburgh came back from a 3-1 deficit in the win

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 3-0

Thursday, May 4, 2017

ECQF - Blue Jackets @ Penguins 4/14/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Columbus 1

Marc-Andre Fleury - 39 SV

Sidney Crosby - G, 2A

Crosby's goal was his 50th playoff goal

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 2-0

ECQF - Blue Jackets @ Penguins 4/12/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Columbus 1 

Marc-Andre Fleury - 31 SV

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Fluery got the emergency start for Matt Murray in goal, due to an undisclosed injury

Pittsburgh leads best of seven series 1-0

Thursday, April 27, 2017

B365V4.10 - Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue

Where to start a blog entry with a title such as this?  Perhaps we will do the borrowed thing to start, as many moons ago on this here page I would do something called Karaoke Friday, and pull a music video from Youtube, then throw the lyrics on the page and invite the reader to sing along.  As luck would have it, I had my headphones on listening to Spotify on ye olde tablet on the way to work, and a song came up from 1987.  Not that 1987 was important to the story, (though it was the year I graduated high school, so no need to cut me open and count the rings in order to guess my age now), but the year popped up at the beginning of the video.  What struck me, besides I hadn't heard the song in ages, was ho well I thought it held up to the passage of time.  It still sounds, at least to me, somewhat modern.  And since as I am typing this we are approaching 3 and 1/2 hours until it officially being Friday, why not get a head start on the Karaoke-ness.  Ladies and gentlemen (or whoever actually showed up to read this) a little Lloyd Cole and the Commotions if you please;

 Hey I was walking my bag
Through a 20 storey non-stop snow storm
Pirrelli calender girls westling in body lotion
My head's swimming with poetry and prose
Excuse me one moment whilst I powder my nose
Me and my good thing are just about as close as can be
We gave up sleep at the age of 17
My world's getting bigger as my eyesight gets worse
I can't see the lines on my idiot board
What above love?
I don't let that stuff in my house
This is the glamorous life there's no time for fooling around

Lord have mercy I know what I'm doing
I don't need an alibi I need a fire escape and an open window
It's my problem it's nothing I can't deal with
I'm not chasing anything just jogging baby
What's your bag?

Hundred million dollar jam
Got some traffic yessir in my nose
Motorcycle speed cops burning up my dust roads
My baby left me heck ain't that a shame
She's over in the corner with my new best friend
I'm doing fine with my whisky and wine
And meet me in the john, John, meet me in the john, John

Lord have mercy I know what I'm doing
I don't need an alibi I need a fire escape and an open window
It's my problem it's nothing I can't deal with
I'm not chasing anything just jogging baby
What's your bag?

Spin spin whisky and gin I suffer for my art
Bartender I got wild mushrooms growing in my yard
Fix me a quart of petrol clams on the half shell
Feels like prohibition baby give me the hard sell
More give me more give me more more more
I'm your yes man yes ma'am I'm your yes man

Lord have mercy I know what I'm doing
I don't need an alibi I need a fire escape and an open window
It's my problem it's nothing I can't deal with
I'm not chasing anything just jogging baby
What's your bag?

Lord have mercy I know what I'm doing
I don't need an alibi I need a fire escape and an open window
It's my problem it's nothing I can't deal with
I'm not chasing anything just jogging baby
What's your bag?

And that kids, was how karaoke Friday was done back in the day.  Anyway onwards to bigger and better things.  After all, I still have three more things to cover in order to make the title complete.

I think I will do the blue thing next, well the sky is blue and technically the water is too, though not from this angle, but it is a shot of the Vancouver skyline, yes in NFL draft speak, Vancouver is on the clock,  as vacation is now just 52 days away.  I confirm my seaplane reservation last week, as well, so my city flyover and flight into the North Shore mountains is taken care of.  I am so ready to leave Pittsburgh it isn't even funny at this point.  I am stuck at the end of another of those ruts where I am working 14 days in a row, I am happy that I will be at a place where my cell phone doesn't work.  As an added bonus, Brian hasn't attempted to learn anything I do yet when I am away, Ed said he will come back for that week just to make Brian's life miserable if he doesn't learn it.  I find this delightfully funny for some reason.

Something new, let's see, I am officially a protestor to the new regime.  Sure, anyone who sees my Facebook newsfeed knows what kind of shit show #cheetotwatwaffle et al. are doing.  He is surprisingly easy to figure out, just stand up to him and he backs down.  He thrives on being the bully and getting the results he wants from using that type of behavior, so simply put, just don't let him get the satisfaction.  With that in mind, I participated in the March for Science with my aunt Amy and my cousin Christopher and his son on Saturday.  With a surprisingly good turnout of around 5000 people or so, it was nice to see so many like minded people in what wasn't the main march (that would have been in DC folks), who have adopted a course of logic and reason as opposed to what the administration would want, like minded sheeple who would rather lick salt off of a stick in the woods and be led along by the nose.  As an added bonus, I got to rock one of the cooler shirts at the rally,

I say cooler shirts because I was stopped on three different occasions for people to take my picture.  I almost felt like a GQ model but then afterwards I went home and looked in the mirror and no, Virginia, I am not a GQ model.

Lastly for something old, I finally managed to get all of the hockey games from this past season posted to the page (save for playoff games thus far), which felt like more of a grind than it probably was.  I should learn from this and never let myself fall three months behind again, but I never learn.  I will be scrambling again at the end of next season trying to catch up come playoff time.  It is just my nature that way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Penguins @ Stars 02/28/2017

Dallas 3  Pittsburgh 2

Evgeni Malkin, Jake Guentzel - G each

First loss of the season for Pittsburgh when leading after 2 periods

Penguins @ Blackhawks 03/01/2017

Chicago 4  Pittsburgh 1

Scott Wilson - G

Pittsburgh outshot Chicago 37-29

Lightning @ Penguins 03/03/2017

Pittsburgh 5  Tampa Bay 2

Evgeni Malkin - 2 G, A

Pittsburgh is 19-2-2 in their last 23 home games

Sabres @ Penguins 03/05/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Buffalo 3

Justin Schultz - G, 2 A

Marc-Andre Fleury came in the game in the second period and stopped all 28 shots he faced

Penguins @ Jets 03/08/2017

Pittsburgh 7  Winnipeg 4

Nick Bonino - Hat Trick (3 G)

Matt Murray set the team record for wins in goal by a rookie with 25

Penguins @ Oilers 03/10/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Edmonton 2  SO

Marc-Andre Fleury - 40 SV

Pittsburgh has won 4 games in a row

Penguins @ Canucks 03/11/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Vancouver 0

Sidney Crosby - 2 A

Pittsburgh outshot Vancouver  48-27

B365V4.9 - Zombie Jesus Day edition of the blog

Happy Zombie Jesus Day everyone.  Yes, I have been on hiatus from the blog again, though it would be hard to tell if someone were a frequent visitor to this page, not that any of those exist, but still.  I have been off and on the page somewhat regularly recently, posting hockey videos, which I know are everybody's favorite.  But they are a regular round these parts an since I have started posting them the Penguins have won two Stanley Cups and while I am not the superstitious sort, you don't mess with success.  Of course I got like two months behind and have been trying to catch up since the Stanley Cup playoffs have begun.  The process would have been easier had been a little more cooperative.  The plan was to go back to where I left off in videos and start posting them again in chronological order, but that was not to be.  I would go an find a game, try scrolling to the next one and it wouldn't be available.  Not sure what the glitch was but it became such a tedious problem that I decide to go to the end of the season and work my way forward to the point I had left off.  So far the process has gone smoother that previously, occasionally I have an issue with the imbed codes on blogger, but it is far less troublesome than entire videos disappearing on

I think it was in my last entry where I mentioned I may have met someone,  Always leery of anything online since the Crazy Canadian Incident, I was not putting much hope on this either.  I installed a dating app on my tablet, figure worst case scenario I might find someone to grab a coffee with some day and hey, the app is free, so no harm no foul, right?  Right?  I get a message from someone, she is supposedly from Harrisburg, at least that is what her profile says.  We exchange a a few emails, she says she is working with UNICEF, in Africa right now, I ask where she went to school, and she emails me back that she lives in Baltimore.  After the Crazy Canadian Incident, lying to me is like making yourself dead to me, so whether the lie is on the profile or in the email doesn't matter, you're just dead.  Then I get the gimmick, I get an email, she is on a mission and she is sick, can I send money until she gets home.  Yeah, like that is going to happen.  I think I compared online dating to religion in the last entry, simply because it is just basically a bunch of lies written by man, and it requires a level of faith to wade through the bullshit to get anything from it, rest assured boys and girls, I don't have that level of faith in me. 

Sorry, fell asleep during my Zombie Jesus day typing, woke up and did another work day, and came home and did my me thing, now back at typing this.  I made a mistake last night,  while some people go to bed with a fan or, or listening to the radio, I tend to listen  to podcasts or a few different Youtube channels, and nod off, hoping some of what is being said might be retained.  Not that that form of information osmosis actually work, but I have noticed that in does infiltrate my dreams from time to time.  Like one of the Youtube Channels I will put on auto play, ComicsExplained, I will start listening to, next thing you know I am dreaming in cartoons or other such nonsense.    I will never get smarter this way.  Anyway, I should put a lid on this, only have a couple of weeks of hockey videos to go before I can get about doing playoff posts next.    Figure I will save them until Tuesday, since the Pens haven't lost yet when I have gone on one of my posting binges.  So it's not a playoff beard, it still works for me.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Penguins @ Flames 03/13/2017

Calgary 4  Pittsburgh 3  SO

Jake Guentzel - 2 A

Crosby moved within 1 assist for second place all time for the Pittsburgh Penguins

Penguins @ Flyers 03/15/2017

Philadelphia 4  Pittsburgh 0

Matt Murray - 24 SV

This was the last game in a 8 day, 5 game road trip for Pittsburgh

Devils @ Penguins 03/17/2017

Pittsburgh 6  Ne Jersey 4

Sidney Crosby - 2 G, A

Pittsburgh has yet to lose to New Jersey this season, going 4-0

Panthers @ Penguins 03/19/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Florida 0

Sidney Crosby - Hat Trick (3 G)

2nd time in Crosby's career he has scored 40 goals in a season

Penguins @ Sabres 03/21/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Buffalo 1

Connor Sheary - G, A

Sidney Crosby has 51 points (16 G, 35 A) in 34 career games against Buffalo

Penguins @ Senators 03/23/2017

Ottawa 2  Pittsburgh 1 SO

Nick Bonino - G

The loss snaps a 3 game winning streak

NY Islanders @ Penguins 03/24/2017

NY Islanders 4  Pittsburgh 3 SO

Phil Kessel - 2 A

Pittsburgh was outshot 43-34 in the loss

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Flyers @ Penguins 03/26/2017

Philadelphia 6  Pittsburgh 2

Patric Hornqvist - G, A

Pittsburgh allowed 4 goals in the third period

Blackhawks @ Penguins 03/29/2017

Chicago 5  Pittsburgh 1

Bryan Rust - G

The last time the Penguins lost consecutive games by 4 or more goals was Jan 3/Jan5 of 2009

Penguins @ NY Rangers 03/31/2017

Pittsburgh 4  NY Rangers 3

Sidney Crosby - G, A

Pittsburgh has a winning record in road games for the 11th straight season

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hurricanes @ Penguins 04/02/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Carolina 2

Connor Sheary, Jake Guentzel - PP goal each

Pittsburgh went 2 for 2 on the power play for the game

Blue Jackets @ Penguins 04/04/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Columbus 1

Sidney Crosby - 2 A

Brian Dumolin scored his first goal in more than 2 years

Penguins @ Devils 04/06/2017

Pittsburgh 7  New Jersey 4

Nick Bonino - G, 2 A

With the win Pittsburgh clinched home ice in the firsts round of the playoffs

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Penguins @ Maple Leafs 04/08/2017

Toronto 5  Pittsburgh 3 

Jake Guentzel - G, A

The result clinched a playoff spot for Toronto

Penguins @ NY Rangers 04/09/2017

NY Rangers 3  Pittsburgh 2

Nick Bonino, Carter Rowney - G each

Tristan Jarry got his first start of the season in goal for Pittsburgh

Flyers @ Penguins 02/25/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Philadelphia 2

Jake Guentzel - 2 A

The game was played at Heinz Field as part of the Stadium Series of games

Penguins @ Hurricanes 02/21/2017

Pittsburgh 3  Carolina 1

Matt Murray - 29 SVs

Pittsburgh scored 3 goals on just 22 shots

Red Wings @ Penguins 02/19/2017

Detroit 5  Pittsburgh 2

Sidney Crosby, Tom Kuhnhackl - G each

Loss ends Pittsburgh's points streak at 9 games

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Penguins @ Blue Jackets 02/17/2017

Columbus 2  Pittsburgh 1  OT

Matt Murray - 37 SV

Pittsburgh's point streak reached 9 straight games

Jets @ Penguins 02/16/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Winnipeg 3  OT

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Crosby reached the 1000 point plateau in his career

Penguins @ Coyotes 02/11/2017

Arizona 4  Pittsburgh 3  OT

Josh Archibald - 2 G

Pittsburgh has recorded a point in 6 straight games

Penguins @ Avalanche 02/09/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Colorado 1

Patric Hornqvist - 2 G

Pittsburgh has earned a point in every game in Feb. thus far  (3-0-1)

Flames @ Penguins 02/07/2017

Calgary 3  Pittsburgh 2  SO

Chris Kunitz, Jake Guentzel - G each

Pittsburgh rallied back from a 2 goal deficit in the third period to earn a point

Monday, April 10, 2017

Canucks @ Penguins 02/14/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Vancouver 0

Evgeni Malkin - G, A

Pittsburgh outshot Vancouver 42-29

Penguins @ Blues 02/04/2017

Pittsburgh 4  St. Louis 1

Sidney Crosby - 2 G, A

Pittsburgh is 21-0-0 when leading after two periods

Blue Jackets @ Penguins 02/03/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Columbus 3  OT

Phil Kessel - 2 G, A

Patric Hornqvist has 5 goals in the last 5 games

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Predators @ Penguins 1/31/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Nashville 2

Patric Hornqvist - 2 G

Win ends Pittsburgh's brief 2 game losing streak

Penguins @ Bruins 1/26/2017

Boston 4  Pittsburgh 3

Justin Schultz - G, A

Schultz now has a career high 35 points this season

Blues @ Penguins 1/24/2017

St. Louis 3  Pittsburgh 0

Matt Murray - 24 SV

Pittsburgh's first home loss in regulation since Nov. 21st

Bruins @ Penguins 1/22/2017

Pittsburgh 5  Boston 1

Connor Sheary - 2 G, A

Matt Murray has made 90 saves in the last 93 shots he has faced

Sunday, April 2, 2017

B365V4.8 - Losing my religion

     So, I guess it has been a while hasn't it?  Not that things haven't been happening on this end of things, quite the opposite actually, but time and an overwhelming desire to  put blogging about what is actually happening on the back burner has led to me only posting hockey recaps for the most part.  Worse still, for some reason the site I get the NHL video recaps from ( seems to be missing the recap videos when I need them.  I will post one game only to get to the next game and find the video isn't there.  I don't know if it is a glitch in or perhaps some wayward malfunction of my browser (I am not that tech savvy after all) but it usually keeps my recaps to one or two at a time, meanwhile I am only a few months behind at this point. 

     I am blogging today from the laundry mat, yes, I am multitasking by washing clothes and blogging at the same time.  I am a bit nervous about it too, not that I am nervous about writing, but because there are kids in here right now and running around, and I am just waiting for one of them to run into me and knock my laptop off of my lap.  It will be at that point that they will regret the repeal of Obamacare.

     As for what has been happening recently, at work I have been put on a budget when it comes to grocery orders.  Not that I enjoy wasting money, but I would like enough money on those occasions to keep the doors open.  When stuck with picking and choosing what to buy, to I buy the tobacco products we sell more of, they account for roughly 35% of my sales at a lower margin, or the snacks and candy which are a higher margin, but make up only maybe 15% of sales.  And now with The Art Institute of Pittsburgh relocating to the Strip District, there goes a sizeable portion of our clientele.  Of course I am hoping we will get some new customers when the hotel opens in what used to be the Salvation Army building, it is supposed to happen some time this year, but they are going awfully slowly with it.  And of course I am putting undue pressure on myself, I don't want to see anyone lose hours (or shifts or a job for that matter) and while I have a certain amount of job security, no one else can do my job after all,   Brian has been lackadaisical in either learning what i do or training someone to learn what I do, because vacation is coming up in a couple of months and everything is booked at this point, so i am not cancelling.  Got my flight and hotel booked, same place as last year, but this time I am supposed to have a balcony with my hotel room.  The view will be dependent on which side of the building I am on, seeing as how last year my room had a view of the side of the CBC Vancouver building.  I also have my day trip to Squamish booked to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola, as well at my ticket purchased for the CFL home opener of the BC Lions.  So people better get about the business of learning things pretty quick.

     And there is the other thing that has been going on recently, that being I may or may not have met someone.  I was sitting around the homestead the other evening, there was no hockey on Yahoo, I had already streamed the episodes of Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow for the week so I decided to download one of those dating app type things onto my tablet.  Wouldn't you know, little old me got a hit or two?  Yes, I know, I am shocked myself.  Anyway, I have been corresponding with someone for about a week now, but because of the Crazy Canadian Incident, the only thing I trust less than online dalliances would be Donald Trump.

     Online dating to me is alot like religion, it relies on faith more than tangible evidence.  Of course when shit seems fake online, it almost always is, just wish the religious folks grasped onto logic and reason so easily.   Ultimately online you can go through some checks and balances to see if what is happening is real, religion wise you have to buy into shit like virgin births and other such utter nonsense.   I am sure this will be updated as frequently as my change meter is, so stay tuned. 

     I think my laundry is about done so I should shutter this entry for the time being.  Toodles.

Penguins @ Hurricanes 01/20/2017

Penguins 7  Carolina 1

Connor Sheary - 2 G

Pittsburgh has scored 19 goals in their last 3 games

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Penguins @ Canadiens 01/18/2017

Pittsburgh 4  Montreal  1

Patric Hornqvist - 2 A

Cameron Gaunce scored his first point as a Penguin with an assist

Capitals @ Penguins 01/16/2017

Pittsburgh 8  Washington 7

Sidney Crosby - G, 3 A

Evgeni Malkin had a hat trick in the win

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Penguins @ Red Wings 01/14/2017

Detroit 6  Pittsburgh 3

Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Matt Cullen - G each

Pittsburgh blew an early 2-0 lead in the loss

Sunday, March 5, 2017

B365V4.7 - The making of the plans are complete

     I should apologize for not being around the blog all that much recently, but really blogging falls far down the list of priorities in my life. It is more along the lines of one of those "I'll get to it when I get to it" things.  That doesn't mean things didn't happen in my absence, they certainly did and I will probably spend an inordinate number of paragraphs typing about them here.  Our story begins last Tuesday......

     I got into work and Tuesdays are usually the day when our 7 Up rep comes in to get his order for the week.  This time was a little different though, as with him he brought an envelope with hockey tickets in it.    These were my replacement tickets for the Feb 14th Vancouver game, the one I was originally supposed to go to.  Apparently my request got lost in the shuffle, I picked the game back in August as Ed told me I could pick a game when we signed our new contract with 7 Up.  As part of our contract we get like $1000 in seats at PPG Paints Arena so Ed told me to pick a game.  I picked Vancouver because, hello, it's Vancouver (I should work for their tourist bureau or something).  But as we neared Feb 14th, I still hadn't heard anything about the game, I asked our rep a couple different times to check on them for me.  Still nothing so finally the Friday before game day, after I mentally prepared myself for the game, even referring to it as my anti Valentine's Day celebration, because there is no one i think of in that manner and anyone who went with me would not be my Valentine, I got the number from Ed of the regional manager at 7 Up.  It was late, like 6pm or so so I guess I should say it was late for working folks, I figured the number Ed gave me would be the office number and instead it was the regional manager's personal cell phone.  I ended up interrupting him at home, so I explained my dilemma, he got back to me pretty quickly saying those tickets were gone, but I could pick another game if I chose to do so.  Please, hockey and it is free, of course I want to go, so I hopped on my computer and picked a few dates that would work for me (really any date would have worked because, hello, hockey).  I ended up getting March 3rd against Tampa bay, which is kind of funny since the last game I went to was also against Tampa Bay in the playoffs last year (the game Sidney Crosby scored the OT winner to be precise).

As it turns out, Tuesday was also payday at work and with the hours I have been putting in recently, I expected to have a decent check and on that front I was not disappointed with meant i could celebrate my new hockey ticketedness with some adult beverages, which I did.  I was feeling no pain by the time I left, I got home and checked ye olde mailbox and what should be inside but my check from the PA lottery for $5000.  Of course that meant I had to get up early Wednesday morning so I could stop by the bank before work and scare the tellers there by actually having money in my account.
So I put the money in my account and was hoping Wednesday could fly by super fast so I could go home and check my account balance as the sooner my check cleared the sooner I could set about booking my vacation.  My wishes were not immediately granted though, when I got home my check was still a pending transaction, I had to wait until the wee hours of Thursday morning for my check to clear, at which point I went on a spending spree of sorts.  First was booking a hotel for 6 day plus airfare to Vancouver, I followed that up by booking a Seaplane ride over the city and the North Shore Mountains, and a day trip to Squamish to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola.  I thought about booking a full day trip to Whistler, but it is going to be summer and I don't ski.  So it would be basically a picture taking venture for me and I have plenty of pictures that I already want to take without taking a full day out of my vacation to just take more pictures.  I should mention that when booking I extended my vacation by one day, I had planned on going Sunday thru Friday, flying back on Saturday and having a day to deal with jet lag before returning to work, but as I was poking around on the web and was looking for things to do, as if I do not have enough on my mental checklist already.  But while looking at a calendar of Vancouver events, I saw that he BC Lions of the CFL were playing their home and season opener on the day I was scheduled to leave, so I decided, fuck it, I will go to the game and deal with jet lag like I deal with everything else, just plow through it.

Friday rolls around, I am doing the work thing like I always do, get all of the back office stuff done and make sure things are okay on the floor, so I proceed to take the daily deposits to the bank, which also involves picking up weekend change, which almost alwasy includes a box of pennies ($25) and a box of quarters ($500) plus I had to get some extra $1 and $5 bills, plus get some $20s for the ATM.  I roll down the street with my backpack over my shoulder, do the banking and what not, come back to the store and see that my backpack is actually open.  Thaankfully nothing fell out, but it turns out the zipper had broke, so I had to go buy another +1 bag of wholesome goodness (my D&D name for all of my backpacks), the closest store for such a purchase would be Burlington Coat facatory about 5 blocks down the street fom where I work.  So on my way out the door to mae this unexpected purchase I garb a instant ticket from the lottery machine.  Lo and behold it is a $100 winner, so now I am happy again because I am going to get my backpack and have some extra money to celebrate the end of the week at the bar.

Before anyone gets the crazy idea that I am an alcoholic or something, I have been out three times in the past two weeks, since I got my lottery winnings.  If I wanted to drink myself under a table, there would have been plenty more that three opportunities after winning $5000.  Just felt a need to clear that up is all.

So I get my new +1 bag of wholesome goodness, made by the same people that make Swiss army knives (which by the way, explains why the Swiss are so often nuetral in wars, how the fuck are you going to fight if you are issued a knife with so many gadgets on it, it would be nigh impossible to pull out the right utensil to defend oneself at a moment's notice?).  The new bag is nice, it survived the first bank run with the two boxes of change and nothing ripped or tore or snapped, so so far so good on that investment.  I go back to work, empty what few personal effects out of the old bag and into the new one, then I headed home for a couple of those end of the week beers I had previously mentioned.  While at the bar I stick a $20 in the poker machine and Boom Crash Opera (kudos to anyone who got that, which will be none of you I'm sure) I won another $100.

So that provided me a weekend of having breakfast in the Strip and a foray into the world of grocery shopping.  Of course me being the cheap person I am, grocery shopping consisted of a trip to Grocery Liquidators (which I call Scratch N Dent because the knock off mrchandise is almost always damaged in some way) in the Strip and an Aldi run on the South Side.

Also during the week, before i forget to mention it, I was selected by Campos Research to help with a lotteery focus group they were having.  It was easy just sit around for a couple of hours and answer questions about the lottery.  My reward for my time 9all of two hours) was a $125 Visa gift card, which I spent on Amazon getting the new Ace Atkins book that will be released in May and a camcorder for vacation.  So those of you who are friends on facebook will see some of the visual goodies from Vancouver, provided I learn how to operate the camera properly.

Anyway, that is what has been going on on this end of things.  And why I haven't been around the blog nearly as much, but now I am turning in for the night, looks like I will be working something close to a double tomorrow.  I say close to, because it will not be an actual double, I hope to leave before that happens, but I will be doing two people's jobs for most of it.

Monday, February 20, 2017

B365V4.6 - Go go Gadget Fudge

     So this is one of those blogs where I am not going to change the names to protect the innocent (or guilty) but I will be compelled to hide a few details in case someone does a google search someday.  Don't get me wrong I like blog traffic, for the right reasons, not sure this is a right reason though.

     Anyway, I got a call at work today from Damian (that name alone should lead one to think evil) from such and such company.  It was a small company, you probably hadn't heard of it, it even took a while for the company name to ring a bell in my head, but anyway, we carried their product (fudge) many moons ago.  They had some killer fudge too, it was way tasty, they even had this mint fudge that was to die for.  Well, maybe not that extreme, guess it depends on how much you value your life and all that jazz.  Anyway we had gotten a few deliveries from them, it was a higher quality fudge, (which means it costs more to you the customer) and we had a little success in selling it, though it certainly didn't blow the doors off or anything. 

      The thing was, the next time I would see the fudge guy wasn't during a delivery, but in the pages of Mugshot Mania, a local who's who of the incarcerated or soon to be incarcerated set.  Our delivery guy was wanted for something involved with sexual contact with a minor or something like that.  Of course I chimed in and said, I wondered if he lured  kids to the van with fudge, and thus a new Smithfield character was born, Fondling Fudge Guy.  Fondling Fudge Guy joins the Smithfield pantheon of Fucking Chicken Lady and Jesus on a Stick Guy, though I have never seen the last two in Mugshot Mania. 

     Apparently they are restarting the fudge business and wanted to garner our interest in carrying the product.  I finished the phone call in as noncommittal fashion as I could and  quizzed Sammy (who has helped with the naming of the pantheon, he coined Crazy Canadian for the ex, whose distance from Smithfield keeps her out of the pantheon, but not from being the subject of one of those crazy Lifetime movies some day) asking him to guess who I just talked to.  Of course he had no clue, I would have never planned on that phone call myself, but I almost too excitedly shouted out, "the Fondling Fudge Guy".  Then we started singing the Inspector Gadget theme song, because we always do that when talking about sexual predators and who is a bigger creeper than Inspector Gadget.  He had the white van to toss kids in, and always wore that creepy trench coat with the crazy gadgets in it to impress the kids.  I wonder if he had fudge in the coat pockets.

Friday, February 17, 2017

B365V4.5 - "Bae"-watch

     Apparently some, if not all, of us have a a word or two in the English language that feels odd when we say it, almost cringe worthy.  I know plenty of people who have issues with the word moist, I am not one of them but I have talked to many people who have problems with that word.  Likewise I have a friend who has an issue with Isaly's using the word hammier, and if there are degrees of haminess (I would say there are and Isaly's is the hammiest).  But I wouldn't be typing this unless there was a word which fit that buzzword void for me and there is, it's bae.

     Doing a quick google inspired search led me to three possible origins for this collection of letters, the first being an shorthand for "before anyone else" which would be great if one was referring to themselves, but I have rarely seen someone say they were their own bae.  Being a proponent of the philosophy of you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, it would make sense to me if someone called them self their own bae.  Beyond this potential meaning though, the wheels start to fall of the wagon for relative usefulness.

      As I was searching, I read it could also be an affectionate term for baby, at which point I would say then just type baby.  I mean are we so fucking illiterate that we can't be bothered to type one more god damned letter.  Really, if you are that lazy might I just suggest you kill yourself now and save the rest of the world the troubles of your laziness.  What sort of mathematical calculations are going through your mind at that point, "you know I could type baby, but that extra letter, it might take a whole extra 3 tenths of second to type and I don't have that kind of time."  If you can't invest the fractions of a second in your relationship to use something approaching English by typing one extra letter, then your relationship has far bigger issues than trying to be cutesy in a text message.

     The third thing I ran into made this all kinds of entertaining though, as bae is apparently Danish for poop.  Talk about terms of endearment, I can't recall at any time during my 47+ years on this planet where I felt compelled to call someone I was romantically involved with my little shit nugget.  Or worse, as I am sure we have all had those days where we ate something that did not agree with us and perhaps Pepto Bismol was involved, but you went to the bathroom and did your business and then went to wipe and the best way to describe the process was finger painting with your ass.  You're hoping against hope that the toilet paper has enough integrity that your fingers don't come plowing through it like a PAT bus on the busway and you get fingers full of liquid bae.  Get me Shirley McClaine on the phone, we have a winner.

     Oh well, I could spend all night here complaining about poop but I have brownies to bake and I hear they are really moist.

Friday, February 10, 2017

B365V4.4 - I got two

     I would like to say that not posting anything last week was simply an oversight on my part, but in truth I have been lazy.  Just can't see to find a writing voice.  But my writing voice goes hand in hand with reading and I haven't done much of that recently either.  The best I can say is that my life is in a holding pattern, still waiting on my $5000 check from the lottery (we are on week #3 now, the lottery claims it takes 4-6 weeks), it isn't late, but I am still already spending it in my mind.  There are only so many times I can go on Expedia and look at travel packages before I just want the check and book the thing already. 

    But since I can't do that, I might as well say that I have also found a new website I have been playing with in my free time.  Called Radio Garden, it pops up an almost Google earth like globe with a bunch of green dots on it.  Each dot represents a place where there is a radio stream, you can either click on the dots and go right to a market or uses you mouse as almost a radio tuner and who doesn't remember hiding an AM radio under your blankets at night, trying to tune in obscure sound bubbles from everywhere?  If you don't, you are probably too young for this blog and should have heeded the content warning before making it this far.  I hate Pittsburgh radio with a passion, even the alternative rock station is basically a classic station, with music that is 20+ years old.  I realize Pittsburgh is an older market, but when shit that is 40 yeasr old is still played like it is a current, then you lose this listener pretty quickly.  So I have been checking out stations in Canada, I ran across a metal station along the St Lawrence Seaway that was kind of cool, and I listened to the Calgary play by play the other night when the Flames were playing the Penguins.  I will say that it doesn't have every stream out of every city, but it is enough of a radio clearing house that I am cool with it.

As for work these days, it sucks.  Not the job or the people, but I used to be able to go upstairs and just order things we needed, now I am on a budget, so ordering has become almost like putting a finger into a dike in hopes of stopping the oncoming flood, what do I buy first, what do we need the most.  Honestly, it would probably take about $20,000 to get us back to here we need to be on inventory, but like today i was told not to go over $3000.  So if I buy the things that are going to sell, I will be out of them by the time of my next order, if I buy things to make the shelves look fuller I will be buying things that don't sell as quickly, leaving people to go someplace else for those things that do sell.

I am still waiting on my hockey tickets, I m actually starting to get nervous at this point.  When we signed our newest 7 Up contract I was told to pick a game, I chose Feb 14th because it is Vancouver (hello?) as an added bonus it is Valentines Day and what better non romantic thing to do than go to a hockey game.  But here it is  5 days before the game and I still don't have the duckets in my grubby little paws.  I would like to take someone but I am wary of asking without having the tickets ahead of time because I would feel like the ultimate douchebag to ask someone, have them say yes (which is problematic at best) and then come game day not have tickets.

 Not sure why people look forward to Friday so much.  I still hadn't heard from 7 Up yet, so I called Ed to get Brian McGee's number and see what the deal was with the hockey tickets for Tuesday night.  Turns out he had given them out, i was asked if there was another game I wanted, I pulled a few other options after consulting the schedule, but it really but a kibosh on the unValentine's Day feel watching hockey on that Hallmark holiday would have created.  It was the first time in a long time I was looking forward to it.  Just not for romantic reasons.

Instead I ended up having dinner at the Squirrel Cage tonight, which will have to be treat enough until a game becomes available.While I was typing this my phone just ran, it was Brian a@ & up, he said he could do March 3rd (Tampa Bay) which is neither Valentine's Day nor is it Vancouver, but he said he had 4 tickets, I said I only needed two if that was okay, no sense in eating up the store's allotment of tickets in one game (we get roughly $1000 in seats per year, part of out contract), but knowig what hockey tickets run 4 would be too big a splurge.  I would lie to think I have earned them though, after all I am there 6 or 7 days a week, every week, haven't called in sick in probably 3 years now, the only time I took off was for my vacation last year, I have worked every holiday for the last two years plus, so if I get a little present once in a while, I am not going to act like  I don't deserve it.

On that note I think I will close up now, listening to a station in Panama City on Radio Garden, after listening to a station out of Estonia last night, now if only I could understand the commercials.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Penguins @ Senators 01/12/2017

Ottawa 4  Pittsburgh 1

Connor Sheary - G

First time Pittsburgh has lost consecutive losses in regulation since December of 2015

Penguins @ Capitals 01/11/2017

Washington 5  Pittsburgh 2

Phil Kessel - 2 A

Only the second time in Pittsburgh's last 15 games they failed to record a point (11-2-2)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lightning @ Penguins 01/08/2017

Pittsburgh 6  Tampa Bay 2

Matt Cullen, Sidney Crosby - 2 A each

Marc-Andre Fleury is 7-0-1 in his last 8 starts

Canadiens @ Penguins 12/31/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Montreal 3  OT

Evgeni Malkin - G, A

Malkin passed Sidney Crosby for first in the NHL in points (43-42)

Hurricanes @ Penguins 12/28/2016

Pittsburgh 3  Carolina 2

Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Carl Hagelin - G each

Pittsburgh scored twice in the third period to overcome a 2-1 deficit

Penguins @ Devils 12/27/2016

Pittsburgh 5  New Jersey 2

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Crosby has a goal in 4 straight games

Devils @ Penguins 12/23/2016

Pittsburgh 4  New Jersey 1

Evgeni Malkin - 2 A

Pittsburgh had their 450th consecutive sellout

Penguins @ Blue Jackets 12/22/2016

Columbus 7  Pittsburgh 1

Sidney  Crosby - G

Crosby leads the NHL with 23 goals

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

B365V4.3 - Of Mice and (almost) Men

     Once again I guess I should regale you all with a story.  Well, maybe I should and maybe I shouldn't but it's my keyboard so I call the shots here.

     I should start by saying apparently we have mice at work.  Not for sale or anything, but mice nonetheless.  Upon spotting one of the nasty critters, we called our exterminator to come in and do a once over on the place.  He did his poking and prodding, couldn't find a nest or anything (yay to that) and suggested that they are probably coming in from outside to where it is warm.  So he did a couple of the trap things and what not and within a couple of days we had caught two of them.  apparently he must think like a mouse or something. to nab two of them that quickly.  Truth be told, rpior to the exterimator's visit we had seen two, so part of me was thinking, hey, problem solved.

       So I am sitting at my desk Thursday, Brian is walking an insurance adjustor around the building, I am busy doing my thing in my half of the office.  If work was like one of those 70s comedy episodes where the roommates don't get along and split the apartment in half, the divining line would not be down the middle of the office but would be front half and back half as Brian works (if you can call it that) at his desk in the back of the office, my desk as well as the back office computer are in the front half of the office, the only time I use the back of the office is when I am working alone and feeling all Godfather-y, forcing people to walk the length of the office to beseech me for favors and what not.

      My desk sits against one wall, the back office computer sits all catawampus from my desk, on a desk against the opposite wall.  Since my desk chair ahs wheels on it, I usually just roll back and forth between the two.  So as I am at the computer desk, I look over toward my desk and I see something under it.  At first I can't quite make it out, but as my eyes begin to focus on the shape I realize that it is a mouse.  A pretty ballsy one two, sitting there on all fours, not moving, almost like he is watching me work. 

     While this mosue is looking pretty brave, I am not.  I don't like mice or rats, and while i am sure there are brave people out there who would have just went over and caught it, or stomped on its head and killed it, I am not one of those people.  So I take a small piece of cardboard near me and throw it under my desk to scare him off.  He just sits there, almost taunting me, but does not move at all.  My next attempt to get him to move, I shoot a rubber band under my desk.   The rubber band zips over his head, hits a shopping basket behind him that is also under my desk and bounces off, landing right beside him.   He still doen't move.

     At this point I get up out of my chair and start to approach him.  I stomp my foot beside my desk, he still doesn't move.  The Dr McCoy in my mind starts saying "I think he's dead Jim", but I still don't want to touch him, so I go looking for a broom, and a small box or something to put him in.   I find the needed tools and sweep him into a a soda case box, then drop him in a bag and exit the office.  Suddenly the mouse's plan came to mind, how I can get away from my desk and get out of the office, all I have to do is die.

Monday, January 23, 2017

B365V4.2 - Sieg Heil, Herr Trumpenfuhrer

     So, how is everyone faring in Trump's America so far?  Not too bad here, two big things have happened, one as an indirect result of der Trumpenfurher and one that has nothing to do with him. 

      First let's deal with Trumpenfurher shall we.  I was reading through my Facebook newsfeed the other day, when I saw a post from someone who at best would be called an acquaintance, truth be told he probably has no idea who I am, which given the set of circumstances of our paths crossing, might be a good thing.  Back in my radio days one of the problems I had to deal with was getting guest hosts on days where the host needed off.  Either that or putting together a "Best of" show, which I could do but often the material would sound dated on the air.  Of course I also had a budget of $0 to get guest hosts, so anyone I got was literally volunteering their time.  On one of the occasions in which Lynn needed a day off, I asked the general manager if I could sit in.  I pretty much expected a no answer and was surprised when the answer was yes, so my problems were simply getting a producer to sit in my chair, then finding guests and piecing together what would be my show for the day.  I pulled some topics to talk about, and found a couple of guests I wanted to talk to.  I am pretty sure I got Jon Delano from KDKA, he and I always had a gotten along well enough, I even got him a regular segment on Fridays, "The Political Grapevine", which lasted through most of my career producing talk radio, whether the host was Lynn Cullen, Doug Hoerth or Jerry Bowyer that segment stayed in it's Friday slot, so I am pretty sure I called in a favor with Jon to have him on for 30 or so minutes that day.  I also booked an author who wrote what I thought was an amazing book, and I wanted to dig into the material with more detail.  The author was Luis Alberto Urrea and the book was "The Devil's Highway".  It detailed the largest known border crossing disaster between people coming from Mexico and dying in the desert southwest of the United States.  It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read, those I have my doubts it was Luis's favorite book to write.  It detailed the hazards of crossing, from families saving money to send someone over, to trusting their lives to "coyotes" or border guides who are supposed to aid in the crossing, but often just take the money and leave their passengers in the desert to fend for themselves.  Not that it was a pro crossing book, it also covered the problems the border patrol had in policing the region, pulling hundreds of bodies out of the desert of those that didn't make it, the economic damage done to hospitals for those that survived the crossing but were injured or near death for their efforts.  Also were tricks some people used to survive the desert, including drinking their own piss until it became undrinkable, what would be coming out would have no nutritional or hydrating value left. 
Anyway  I had booked Luis for that particular show, I called him at the requisite time to go on the air and he had just had a death in the family.  The radio guy in me said, I am going to have to fake my way through an hour but then the oddest thing, Luis agreed to go ahead with the interview regardless of the tragedy that was unfolding in his personal life.  It was a gesture I have never forgotten and one of the people I continue to follow on Facebook is Luis.  If he wanted nothing to do with me, that would have been fine.  We opened the phones during the interview, in case anyone wanted to ask a question and what came forth was some of the ugliest rhetoric I have ever been party too.  Just hateful anti immigrant bullshit, I was embarrassed for the city, for the radio show, and felt incredibly bad given Luis had given up time he should have been spending with his family to be subjected to this crap. 

Getting back to his Facebook feed, he posted something about his personal page, where his friends could see something, I think it was a poetry reading or a stop on one of his book tours he was promoting, so I searched around and found his personal page and sent a friend request, which was quickly accepted on his part. what was even more shocking was I posted something about one of those Christian preacher suck ups to Trump and he replied.  I am still embarrassed to tell him how I know him, he probably just thinks I am a reader of his books and a fan or something, not sure I have the courage to say, "Hey, remember that shitty interview from a Pittsburgh radio station years ago that you endured while dealing with a family tragedy, that was me."  Maybe someday, but not today.

The other thing, the one that had nothing to do with Trump happened the other day.   As most of you know, I am looking to go back to Vancouver this summer, I like it 1000 times more there than here, none of the anti immigrant bullshit, everyone is just accepting and most everyone seems to get along there.  It is kind of like a Toby Keith tailgate, minus the trash and the "America is going to put its boot in someone's ass" sloganeering.  Still said trip has to be paid for, ideally I would like that done in advance of the trip.  I had talked to my boss about advancing my vacation pay early so I could book the trip and then just not get paid when I actually do take said vacation.   While he hadn't given me an answer yet, I am pretty sure he would have done it.  Notice how I put all of that in the past tense.  Seems I walked to the corner store the other night, I was sans beverage in my house and wanted to get some iced tea.  So I go in, grab the gallon of tea, talk to Numan for a minute or two and on my way out I put ten dollars into the instant ticket machine and bought two $5 scratchies.  The game, for those of you hung up on details, was 5 Times Lucky (currently available at most lottery retailers now), the scratchie portion is pretty simple, if you scratch off a number 5, you win the prize underneath it, if you scratch off a 5X you win 5 times the prize underneath it and if you scratch off a lucky symbol, you win all 15 prizes on the card.  So I am scratching on the way home, the first ticket is a loser, I toss it is someone's garbage can along my route, the second ticket I scratch off the first line, nothing, I scratch off the second line and the last one is the lucky symbol.  I never scratch off the prize values before scratching the numbers or whatever it is the game calls for.  Anyway, I scratch off the bottom row of numbers, then I reread the botton of the ticket to make sure I understand the rules.  I read those right, so I am thinking it will probably be $10 or something for all of the prize values, not that I am spitting on winning $150, I just had low expectations.  I scratch off the first of 15 prize amounts, it's $1000.  Scratched off the other 14 amounts the ticket was a $5000 winner ($1000 x3, $500 x2, $100 x10).

I took it to work the next day, doubled check it in the ticket scanner in part because I still couldn't believe it and in part because in order for a ticket to be redeemed the issuing retailer has to activate the book of tickets from which the ticket was in.  No problems on either of those fronts, so I did the claim form and paperwork, and am now banking on my check being here before the Vancouver trip in June (according to the lottery, it will be four to six weeks.  I called my boss and told him to ignore the request for the early vacation pay, I will just take it in it's due time.  Now I am already mentally spending it, thinking of what all I want to do on my return trip.  the Seaplane ride over the city is sounding really appealing, think I might try a whale watching trip as well.  I know some places I want to visit, like the Aquarium in Stanley Park (largest Aquarium in Canada), Eye of the Wind atop Grouse Mountain.  Yes I am spending money mentally that I don't even have yet.  Mind you last time I went I budgeted things out, I took about $900 but the exchange rate was so good (1.35 Canadian for every $1 American) plus I ate in my hotel room a couple of times and was out so often taking pictures and soaking it all in that I didn't even have time to spend all that much money.  I came back with almost $200 remaining in Canadian money and not because things were cheap there, they weren't, but because I Just knew the things I wanted to spend money on first and foremost and found plenty of cheap things (and I always say I am cheap) that I wanted to do, like walk the Seawall, which is free.  And I was still non stop going the entire time.  This trip will be longer (by two days) so more money will be called for, so the extra $5000 is going to come in handy.

And that, my friends, is how I am getting along so far in der Trumpenfuhrer's Amerika thus far.

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