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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

B365V4.1 - Paint by numbers

676.69.  Now why would I start a blog entry with a number you may ask?  Well, because that is the brand new change meter total.  And since you have to start somewhere, why not there.  In fact, this blogs feels kind of number-y, so let's go with that for the time being.

6/18-6/23  I have officially put in for my vacation.  To anyone who pays attention around here, 6/18 may look a little familiar, given it is my birthday, this year I plan on celebrating it on an airplane on my way  to Vancouver, life permitting of course.  Who the hell are we kidding, I will be celebrating on my way there, when I get ther and for the entire week I am spending there.  Life goal while in Vancouver is to stand on Jericho beach and yell "Drink it in , man."

2  As luck would have it, I finished 2nd on this year's Pittsburgh Bloggers Fantasy Football League.  I had the best record in the league at the completion of the regular season (11-3) and won my first playoff game before losing in the championship game.  Congrats again Sean on the win, as for me, I don't hang regular season banners in my apartment and second place is the first loser, so hopefully next year I can do a little bit better.

0  The number of Russian hookers I have had piss on me.  Yes, I am finding this Trump reporting stuff very funny.  Not because i believe all of it, the reports have some inaccuracies in them, nor have they been confirmed by any intelligence agency, but so what if they are false?  Trump spent the better part of the last 8 years questioning the sitting president's residency and loyalty, so I don't really give a shit if someone is peddling muck about Trump now.  Welcome to Karma, bitch, may I take your order?

1  Number of movies I have taken in so far in 2017 after going to see Fences at the Waterfront.  Highly recommend it, and if you are going to the Coke blending station I also recommend mixing the Mello Yelloo with cherry.  That, my friends, is good shit.

148  The number of blogs posts this past year.  Mind you there will probably be more in 2017 if for no other reason than I fell behind in my hockey videos.  I don't have to do them, but since I started doing them the Penguins have won two Stanley Cups and made the playoffs every year, so why mess with a good thing, right?

27,022  Unique visits to my blog since I slapped a tracker on it years ago.  Some of those are also from when this blog was hosted on Multiply and I never had a tracker during my Yahoo 360 days so that is of course, inaccurate. 

3rd  The place that Canada resides on my list of all time visits to my blogger page.  I am slowly distancing myself from my crazy Canadian days as France is looking to overtake Canada next.  In order of hierarchy, the list reads 1) USA (of course) 2) Russia, 3) Canada, 4) France 5) Australia, 6) Germany 7) Ukraine 8) Portugal 9) Poland, 10) United Kingdom.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

NY Rangers @ Penguins 12/20/2016

Pittsburgh 7  NY Rangers 2

Evgeni Malkin - G, 2 A

Sidney Crosby now leads the NHL with 22 goals

Penguins @ Maple Leafs 12/17/2016

Toronto 2  Pittsburgh 1  OT

Marc-Andre Fleury - 41 SV

Pittsburgh has recorded a point in their last 9 games (7-0-2)

Kings @ Penguins 12/16/2016

Los Angeles 1  Pittsburgh 0

Matt Murray - 27 SV

Loss ends Pittsburgh's 7 game winning streak

Bruins @ Penguns 12/14/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Boston 3  OT

Connor Sheary - G, A

Matt Murray is 10-0-1in his last 11 home starts

Coyotes @ Penguins 12/12/2016

Pittsburgh 7  Arizona 0

Matt Murray - 32 SV

Pittsburgh has outscored their opponents 36-14 during their current 6 game winning streak

Penguins @ Lightning 12/10/2016

Pittsburgh 4  Tampa Bay 3

Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin - 2 G each

Phil Kessel and Kris Letang with 3 assists each in the win

Monday, January 9, 2017

Penguins @ Panthers 12/08/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Florida 1

Sidney Crosby, Connor Sheary - G, A each

Crosby is tied for the NHL lead in goals (18)

Senators @ Penguins 12/05/2016

Pittsburgh 8  Ottawa 5

Bryan Rust 3 G (hat trick), A

5 different players recorded at least two points (Rust, Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Ian Cole, Justin Schultz)

Red Wings @ Penguins 12/03/2016

Pittsburgh 5  Detroit 3

Phil Kessel - 2 G

Pittsburgh scored 4 goals in the third period after trailing 3-1

Stars @ Penguins 12/01/2016

Pittsburgh 6  Dallas 2

Sidney Crosby - G, 2 A

Eric Fehr scored the 100th goal of his NHL career

Our inspiration (the title for this blog)

Picture Window theme. Powered by Blogger.

Where we've been