2008 ends in under 6 hours and I’m ready for it. Lushie and I will be spending it at home. She has sparkling juice while I’ll be feasting on the image above. Yes, the gin is in the freezer.
Thank you everyone for your great support this past year as we get ready for the birth of our first child. It has been a bumpy year but all of us survived. Everyone have a safe evening and I’ll see you in 09. I’d sit back and reflect but wait until after I have a couple martinis tonight
The picture from our Christmas photo shoot at the Mellon Arena that the Pens held for season ticket holders.
This is our last Christmas holiday without the pitter patter of little feet. Jackson will probably be about 8 months old by this time next year. We spent last night at my brother’s house with his family and my mom. While it’s over 50F in Pittsburgh and no snow on the ground it was still a Christmas atmosphere. We ate, we drank, I rocked the ping pong table and then NHL08 with the boys. I brought over a bottle of Southern Tier Choklat which I think is the greatest chocolate beer ever brewed. You can read my review of it here.
This morning was nice and lazy for Lushie and myself. While watching A Christmas Story for the 4th time this season we opened present and munched on Chex Mix she had made earlier this week. Right now the best present of the holiday is the 1st season of Welcome Back Kotter. Quit laughing, I’m a Kotter junkie
I’d like to take a moment and thank everyone for their support this past year. I became better friends with the Yinz Team gang, found out we’re having a baby boy in the new year, watched my podcast reach many milestones, heard the news of my company announcing it’s shutting down and made new friends through social networking. Life is at an interesting crossroads right now and I thank all of you for making 2008 a fun trip.
May all of you have a joyous holiday season and enjoy fine craft beverages!
I had this ungodly long post recapping my last 10 years here but though you’d be sleeping by the second paragraph. Maybe I’ll post various stories throughout the year. Onward with the brevity version!
10 years ago today I packed up the U-haul and left Erie for the last time and made my way down I-79 in my beat up 84 Cavalier with studded snow tires to a new city and new job. Ironically both of which I’m still at… well for a few more months at least (*HA*). I was 22, making stupid choices and living carefree while drinking Franzia with Griff. Yeah, life was good. Now I’m 32, married, my first child on the way and a responsible adult. OK, I try on that last one at least.
Last weekend my mom asked me, as I was driving her home, if I would ever move back to Erie. There have been times I’ve thought about it but the job scene is non existent for my field of work. The cost of living is hella cheaper than Pittsburgh but what is there for me to do? Work retail again? Yeah idontfreakingthinksobob. I’ve had business ideas for Erie but honestly with the little guy coming in a few months entertaining such an idea is crazy insane. Looking back, moving was the best thing I could have done at that time. Sometimes you need to take time away to see how things really are.
I like the city. No, I LOVE this city. When I was moving in at 22 I was all about living in Oakland, going to the bars and house parties with my girlfriend and playing Frisbee. Now my interests are learning the history of the region, tasting the local cuisine, feeding my addiction to the hockey and involvement in the local craft beer and new/social media scene. Pittsburgh has made me who I am today and for that I’m thankful.
Here are random things I’ve learned over the last 10 years:
- How to speak Pittsburghese and what a “gumband” is.
- Fries and slaw are essential for a sandwich
- Pittsburghers may be blue collar and tough people but once there is moisture in the air they freak the hell out.
- People are terrified of driving over bridges or through tunnels unless it’s for work.
- There are still more mullets per square foot here than anywhere below the Mason Dixon line.
- The whole belt system is to screw with the newbies in the area. If you get lost look for the Cathedral of Learning.
- I think most people cheated on their driver’s exam. See this video for proof
- I can now pronounce and spell Monongahela
- WDVE = WRKT. No wonder Randy made an easy transition.
- Plenty of Erie transplants to joke around with about the snow and yinzer inability to drive in it.
- There is no East Side/West Side rivalry. Instead everyone gets along unless they have to drive on your parkway.
- Fireworks will occur on a random Tuesday because someone has a hinkerin for some BOOM BOOM… in the middle of the day.
- Yinzers tailgate EVERYTHING. No kidding, check out this lady at the hospital!
- Gas is always a couple cents more per gallon down here so please quit asking what the price is. It’s also warmer. We have an invisible wall at I-80
- The reason why we pay $5 Miller Lite whereas Erie pays $1.50 at the bar is due to the fact… people are fools. Seriously, $5 for a Miller Lite? Both of you still drink Corona with a lime so we’ll call it a draw. That’s lame, not fashionable and is worthy of a bitchslap. *sigh* tragic
- Cars randomly catch on fire every morning on any parkway.
- Pittsburgh has traffic reporters with 3D maps. Erie has “Peach street is jammed for a 10 minute wait… back to you.”
- Pittsburgh has more hi-tech weather equipment and reporters to tell you there is a quarter of a half of an eighth of rain on the ground. In Erie all we needed to do was look out the window and see if we need to shovel or get the blower. You got in your car and drove.
- Loyalty. No matter where you go, if you say you’re from Pittsburgh you will always find a friend.
Could I give all of this up? Would I?
I dont think so.
For the record I had ONE beer and that was because I had a review to write. I didn’t make the same mistake as I did in 2000 when Dan and I shared a house in Bellevue. Being the young 20 somethings of the time we decided to have fun with our friends and drink until a winner was announced. Bad idea since a winner was weeks away, though if we were unemployed I bet we could have stuck it out.
Am I thrilled with the results? Not really but I was proud as an American to see so many people taking pride in their rights. Here are my thoughts on last night.
- CNN – for the love of all that’s holy and good do NOT use that hologram bit again. FAIL!
- Fox News – Nice blunder
- All TV media – STOP predicting the winner when ZERO percent of the vote has been reported. I know you want to be first kid on the lock with the shiny new toy but for the love of God let us know our vote was worth something before jumping the gun. All of you were changing colors.
- What better way to say “your vote doesn’t count” than to announce the winner when 5 states still have yet to report. Wait until the following day to announce a winner. Idaho needs love too.
- Worst coverage goes to Fox News. From the rumored Black Panther involvement to exit poll stats that would not have shocked me to include “number of people who drink beer over wine, 90% for McCain but of those, 65% would vote for Obama if it was light beer.” It was like watching a network for people with no attention span. Your screen was hella busy with random stats and flashing nonsense. Icing on the cake was when an anchor said he could figure out digital voting and those who can’t are dopes. Stay classy Fox News!
- Best coverage goes to NBC even with their awful Romanesque 3D background which was worse than watching Krull sober. Just because you have a green screen doesn’t mean you have to use it. Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw bailed you out.
To end on a positive note, big congrats to my friend Jesse White who dominated in his race. We need more young talent in power who’s willing to fight. If you haven’t heard, he’s also a badass.
go America! go Pens!
It’s like the commercial where the mom is in the doctor’s office trying to schedule the flu for her kids. The one time I really need to be at work and the flu bug bites me in the rear. I’m on a huge project at work and as I finished yet another conference call yesterday morning I get back to my desk and feel light headed. Without missing a beat along came it’s friends sore throat, fever and sinuses. By lunch I was packing my bag and heading home.
The plus side is that I have the ability to work from home if needed. Last night after 12 hours of sleep I woke up and have been working online since in the comforts of my pj’s. I honestly think I get more work done this way but that may grow old fast. I don’t have anyone bugging me with visits because they have no work to do or feel the need for general annoyances. I wouldn’t want to do this all of the time because I need some human interaction once in awhile but it would help with that whole “green” kick everyone is one. I’m hoping my voice comes back by tomorrow since I have, that’s right more calls.
So here I am working on a presentation and spreadsheets in my PJ’s while listening to the smooth sounds of Eddie Vedder in concert from Italy. Now if I could find some decent chicken soup!
BTW, Podcamp pictures and a review will be coming shortly.
(click here for my photos of the game)
What a great day for hockey. You couldn’t have asked for better weather to watch a game indoors. My guess had it at 75F outside with a slight breeze which made it ideal for walking around to get pictures and tailgate. I usually drive myself to the games and get there early enough so I can either stop by a friend’s tailgate or meetup at a nearby bar. Since PennDOT has every possible road under construction I had to settle with skipping tradition.
The game, well they lost. Actually it was embarrassing. Third period they were out shot 20-2 and finished at a disgusting 15 shots on goal to New Jersey’s 49. Yeah, they TRIPLED the Pens on shots. Fleury was the only saving grace that kept the game from being a blowout. OK, that and the fact that the Devils suck. More than suck. They suck suck out of sucking. Seriously, they’re that bad. With under 3 minutes in the 3rd and Pens fighting to keep a 1-0 lead, Hal Gill deflected in a shot past Fleury to tie it at 1. For those of you new, Hal is on our team. To those of us in the stands it didnt shock us with as bad as the game was. Parise wailed a shot on Fleury for the win in OT which I think MAF is still looking for.
It’s the beginning of the season and as a long time Pens fan I know that Oct/Nov are traditionally horribly bad hockey. It just happens. Madden is back on the air today so I might have to stick with XM for my hockey coverage. I love Mark’s writing and he’s knows hockey but I had enough of hearing every caller being berated for having a different opinion when he was at ESPN 1250.
Pens vs Flyers tomorrow. At least i can go back to hating Philadelphia again.
Most of you know by now that the Pens lost Wednesday night 3-2 to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup finals 4 games to 2. Normally a fan would be depressed but not me. Yes, I would have liked to see my team win but when you look back over the last 5 years you can’t help but feel pride.
The franchise was on the verge of leaving Pittsburgh. A cash dump by then GM Craig Patrick left us with a team that couldn’t even beat the Johnstown Chiefs and those of us die hard hockey fans were on life support for a sport destined to leave and keep this struggling city a major league town. 5 years later the Penguins became Stanley Cup finalists and the promotional baby of the NHL which was revamping a sport considered dead from a full season lock out.
Hockey isn’t a sport that you can just jump into. You need to know the rules to fully appreciate it. It’s also not something that can go to and just drink unlike football where it’s usually one big kegger. Hockey fans are similar to baseball nuts in regards to the amount of information they can pull out of their rear at any given moment. They are a plethora of random sports knowledge. Come up to F balcony some game and you’ll see it first hand.
My point is that not only as hockey fans but citizens of Pittsburgh, we’re on the verge of something very special and rare. We are at the birth of a dynasty. Granted that the offseason could really screw that up if Shero can’t resign some guys but still we have a core group of guys and a fan base that is more passionate than any other professional sports franchise. We don’t set fires like the people in Montreal or get violent like the thugs in Philadelphia but we do bleed black and (las vegas)gold.
I’m upset that the team lost the Cup but I could never, on any level, be disappointed in the season. I’m proud of this team, the organization and I’m DAMN proud to be a season ticket holder and a fan.
From my seasonal perch in F balcony yesterday I was a part of history as the Pens destroyed (humiliated and any other word you can come up with for complete destruction) the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0 to win the series ending game of the Eastern Conference Finals and finishing with a 12-2 record thus far in the playoffs. 12 and freaking 2! It’s unheard of! those 2 losses came after going up 3 games on the Rangers and Flyers. That’s like in 3 Amigos where Ned and Lucky are parched and out of water meanwhile Dusty has a canteen filled, chugs it down and tosses what’s left aside.
I will give the Flyers fans credit, as much crying and whining they did about the refs/NHL/God/yo momma/Moses/Jesse Jackson/Hillary Clinton/all of Canada being against them, they took the defeat in great stride. Then again when you haven’t won a title since 1975 I guess you’re used to disappointment.
You can search the web all day for reviews of the game. Personally it was gratifying to see finally see this happen in person. I was still a highschool student in Erie when the last Cup finals run was here in the early 90′s so I had no idea what this would be like. 16 years later I’m finally going to see the Finals on home ice. Now I’m understanding what the hardcore yinzers went through before Super Bowl 40. Pittsburgh is regaining it’s title as City of Champions.
What would I like to see? The Detroit/Dallas series go 7 games and multiple overtimes so the Pens could have a good week off before the finals. Since that is a longshot (though I’m pulling for you Dallas) if Dallas wins I’ll be at roughly 2 games. If Detroit wins I have a ticket for one game since the Red Wings would have home ice. A fast internet connection and credit card will be on standby. Regardless, I’ll be on the edge of my seat wherever I am and in 2 weeks the cup will return to Pittsburgh.
LETS GO PENS!
I’m geekin out over here. Why? Because the ultimate series for a trip to the Stanley Cup finals is now in place. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia. But first, lets talk about the last 9 games Pittsburgh has played. Pens went 8-1, swept the Sens in 4 and beat the Rangers in 5. There are plenty of sites that will talk about the series and the record pretty much tells the story. Pens dominated.
That brings us to the wet dream of playoff possibilities. Western PA Pittsburgh VS Eastern PA Philadelphia. The thing with Philly fans is that they love to bitch. No matter how good the situation they will find a reason to be miserable. The Flyers won the season series 5-3 and were they happy? No, they claimed the Pens threw the game. They’re also the biggest advocates of Sidney Crosby committing dives but neglect the fact he’s the best player in the NHL. Philly fans could win the cup and STILL find a reason to bitch about it. I think part of it is due to being close enough to New York that the smugness is still in the water. Sorry, it’s worter there.
Let the trash talking start. I have my tickets ready and already started the phone calls with friends out east. This will be an epic battle and honestly I expect this to go 7 games.