Back to Back Stanley Cup Finals Game 6

Tonight the Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to win the Stanley Cup against the Nashville Predators (I know, weird right?) and repeat as champions of the NHL for the second straight year.  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact I’m cheering my beloved Pens through their 4th Stanley Cup Finals since I moved to Pittsburgh and 6th of my lifetime.

Last year the Pens won Game 6 on the road in San Jose and with the same scenario repeating itself in Nashville I was thinking back to that night. The Pens hosted a viewing party which allowed Teaspoon and I to be at the arena and cheer along as Pittsburgh won the Cup but it wasn’t just that which made the night memorable. Here’s a video from last year I can chalk up to posts I wanted to make but never did and one of the best nights we’ve ever had.

 Watch on YouTube


My 40th trip around the sun is on – Part 1

Bob, Doug and Drew

When last we chatted about my 40th birthday I was crawling out of bed on the South Side waiting to see what was coming next. What happened was one of the best 24 hours I’ve had.

Bob, Doug and Drew

Pens vs Tampa Bay

First part of the surprise weekend was my brother showing up to the hotel at 11:30am with tickets for for the 12:30 Pens faceoff with the Lightning. While the Pens got a royal screw job by the officiating, the D failed them in the 4-2 loss. Plus side were the sweet seats by Fleury in section 116 and you realize how small that ice really is when you’re close. It was great to have legroom, which we don’t have in the 200 level, and the chance to shoot the breeze with my brother. It’s hard for us to get time away from the kids to hang out so this was a seriously needed event. After a few beers and a pic with the Mario statue, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

Can someone please pick us up?

The Holiday Inn Express on the South Side continued with their epic weekend of mismanagement. I stayed at this hotel previously and loved it so much it was my main recommendation to folks coming in for beer fests and conventions but now, not so much. First they oversold the hotel and gave away our room so 2 single beds turned into king size bed and a pullout couch. The night manager promised us it would be fixed the next day so what do we get, the day manager saying “well he lied to you. I don’t have anything.”.

Nice eh? Oh it gets better.

As we’re trying to find a solution since our friend Christine will be staying with us also, a group of guys come up to the counter and tell the manager they went into their room and found a woman laying on their bed! Another guy who just checked in also shows up and says he walked into his room and a guy was on the toilet doing his business! They were giving out rooms that were already occupied. Realizing the debacle unfolding, a room opened for us.

Part of staying here is you get a free shuttle that travels 3 miles. Perfect! We wanted to head to the casino across the river. “He’s at Duquesne, he’ll be here in 15 minutes. You have time to switch rooms.” is what we were told. We switch rooms in 5 minutes and get back to the lobby where we find out “Oh it’ll be another 15-30 minutes. He kinda does what he wants.” Now we’re irritated as the window for casino time is shrinking before dinner.

I do a mad install of Uber, Lyft and Ztrip. Lyft is booked, Ztrip wont have a ride for an hour and Uber, well Uber is insane. While they had drivers available the trip to go 2 miles would cost us $22 because of that surge pricing. UUUGGGGGHHH! We were ready to hoof it to the subway.

As if the gambling gods knew we were in need, a Yellow Cab pulls up with a hardcore gritty yinzer who LOVES his casinos at the wheel. We hop in and spend the next 10 minutes getting lessons on what to play, who has the best buffets and what you need to do to hit big. If there’s an ambassador for Pittsburgh, it needs to be this guy! Totally awesome!

HEY HEY We’re the Monkees!

We have an hour before dinner so how can we maximize our casino time? Slots! Actually that’s the worst way to do it but all of the Black Jack tables were full and I have no idea how to play the other games. I need a sign though, what slots do I play? This is when a theme song from my childhood rang loud… “DAYDREAM BELIEVER!”. That’s right, they have Monkees slots machines! Only thing that can make this better would be a Back to the Future game.  In fact, Rivers Casino, get on that!

Drew and I had no idea what was going on but every roll played the song and I was geeking about it. 20 minutes later I finally caved and cashed out my big $.15. What did I tell ya, big winner!

We head to the bar and await our friend Christine who will be driving us to dinner. 2 Manhattans for me and a few Jack n Cokes for Drew and we’re ready to go.

This is where the night gets interesting. More tomorrow!

This is post 7 in the “100 Days of Blogging” with the Pittsburgh bloggers. If you’d like to find out more about the group, join us on Facebook.

The Ghost of Mellon Arena

Mellon Arena

I forgot I made this video until I read a post from That’s Church today about playing with Google Maps at Market Square.

I don’t know why I was checking out the new arena one day but I spun the view around of CONSOL Energy Center and discovered the Mellon Arena was still standing… and then vanished.

Seriously, check it aht!

(View on YouTube)

There is also a view in Erie on W.38th street where you go from summer to winter depending on which direction you’re looking. It keeps the running joke of “its always snowing in Erie” alive.

2012 Year In Review

I wasn’t going to write one of these until a few people asked where my yearly recap was so what the heck. Its 8 a.m. on 1/1/13 so better late than never right?

2012 was an interesting for me in terms of realizing what was really important for a happy life and that researching the past generations can put today into perspective.

This is probably the shortest one I’ve ever written since 2012 was not the year of blogging for me. Family and work were in overdrive this year so all of my online writings took a hit. Let’s get to it.

January – I decided it was time to start streamlining everything I do online and phase out those negative people in my life that thrive on bringing you down. This was a success and life has been much better after cutting those ties. My youngest started teething and we saw an incredible heatwave I’d love to kick back in again.

February – Groundhog obsession. Cleaned out my closet of over 25 tshirts and still had way too many clothes left. Teaspoon saw his first hockey game (RMU Women) and first basketball game (RMU Men). Birthdays of myself (36) and Teaspoon (3).

March – Bachelor week with delicious craft beers and steaks. Celebrated ST Patrick’s day with a Beer-Braised Corned Beef I made with Troegenator. Finally ate at an iHop. Lushie burned her hand really bad and Roberto Clemente made me drink cheap whiskey.

April – Pirates opened what would be another losing season. Pens scored 10 goals in 1 game against the Flyers which I called the Pearl Jam Goal. The 1st annual Pittsburgh Craft Beer Week happened.

May – Took a much needed break and spent time in Baltimore for my cousin’s wedding where we had blue crab for the first time. QR codes are not difficult to use and, while some think are hideous, can be very beneficial.

June – Arby’s 5-Strip Ultimate BLT was an insult to bacon and sandwiches. 9 years and 150,838 miles later I finally bought a new car. Teaspoon gave Father’s day a new meeting when we visited my dad’s grave site.  One of my beer articles was featured on Examiner.

July – Church festival season and a 1.5 yr old’s addiction to Jeopardy

August – My streak of 573 days for not drinking a macro beer ended and realized how much I had a dislike for craft beer snobbery. Hot water tank blew in my basement and made one heck of a mess. My beautiful face graced the pages of Zymurgy magazine for homebrewing.

September – President announced he was home brewing and a lot of us were anxious to try the recipe. Finding a decent pizza joint we can all agree on finally happened as we fell in love with Antonio’s in Brookline. My kid loves his GameBoy  more than anything. Needing a mancation and dealing with a sick kid.

October – Ate taco soup which broke a tooth and finally got the crown. Brewing a pumpkin porter and pumpkin carving.

November – I shaved off my goatee for the first time in 8 years and grew a mustache for charity. Had our 7th anniversary dinner at P.F. Changs. Trying to understand the Voter I.D. debacle. Twitter name calling reaches new low and Teaspoon thinks he’s Picasso.

December – We started using DVD players for trips. Remembering dad. Google+ releases “communities” and I LOVE it. That 12-12-12 thing happened. No, we don’t have polio. My alma mater, Erie Cathedral Prep, won the PIAA AAA football title. End of the world comes and goes. Remembering Roberto.

There you have it, 2012 year in review. Many cool things happened that I didn’t blog about so I need to be more diligent about that in 2013. The family just got back from the in-laws so I’ll have a Christmas recap coming.

Thanks to all for a fun 2012 and cheers to everyone! Hope you have a safe & happy new year!


When you score 7 it’s a chili goal. When you score 10 it’s a…

Pittsburgh may be down 3-1 in the 2012 NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals to Philadelphia but one thing is for sure, they put a humiliating beating on the Flyers on their ice last night.

Odds aren’t in their favor to win the series because overcoming 3-0 in best of 7 is almost impossible. That’s what most people would say about scoring 10 in Philly during the playoffs.

Pens win 10-3.

Game 5 in Pittsburgh tomorrow night.