Thursday, December 29, 2016
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Monday, December 26, 2016
Sitting at the counter at my diner in Tampa, and this moron a couple stools down is going on and on to his hipster buddy about his aversion to capital punishment and how Trump is going to swing all states back to pro-death-penalty status.
Not that this is a bad thing, but his explanation on WHY he is opposed to it just torqued me a bit...
He cited his religious objections as grounds for opposition.
"The 10 commandments, Dude. Number 6- Thou shalt not kill. That's why it's wrong."Jeebus spare me from ignorant bible thumpers...
Step away from your KJV, asshat, and find a more accurate translation.
Murder is the term used in the Hebrew is lo tirtsah- definitely murder.
There is no biblical prohibition on killing- as a matter of fact, the Bible, especially the old testament- that thing is just dripping with justified homicide...
So shut up, moron.
Find a different way to justify your precious snowflake feelings that doesn't involve a poor translation of the Pentateuch...
And there is a good chance Trump is going to step on his dick, but refrain from speculating on extreme impossibilities...
The universal death penalty for minor infractions, starting a global thermonuclear war, shit like that...
The stuff keeping 13-year-old progressives (or the progressive parents of impressionable teenagers) up at night...
Gosh, if we only had a system of checks and balances to keep a out of control despot from blowing up the Earth...
Oh, wait a sec...
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
Sunday, December 25, 2016
In the past 20 years I've spent about 2/3rds of them somewhere other than my home.
Early years at IDS/SMT I was almost always at the NBA Christmas Day games... Occasionally I would be home for Christmas eve and morning, but catching a flight to setup for other events like Winter Classic or on the way to Oz, or like the last 4 years actually IN Oz for the holidays.
Now I'm in Tampa for a majority of my time, but I did make it back home for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day but I’m heading back to Cigar City on Monday...
One thing about being responsible for all the IT/technical elements of the arena (as opposed to only for one event in the building) is that on most issues USED to be what we referred to (ironically) as TAMPA- 'That Ain't My Problem, Asshole'...
Now, it's my building, it's *all* my problem.
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
Friday, December 23, 2016
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Game night... Suits required.
Gotta make another run to Shanghai for more suits.
Mine are suitable for bodyguard duty or funerals, as a rule.
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
We were discussing how it really was not a hard decision in the end for me to cast my vote...
And in reflection, it never has been, at least for me.
But... Shouldn't the decision be close?
Shouldn't it be the best of the best of both sides?
I mean, let's look at the choices I have faced when I went to vote:
1980 Reagan / Carter - Easy decision - Carter was a horrible failure as President. FTMF
1984 Reagan / Mondale - No problem - No reason to think about changing the administration.
1988 Bush / Dukakis - Easy - Dukakis couldn't compete with GHWB's election machine.
1992 Clinton / Bush - Never even thought about voting for Clinton.
1996 Clinton / Dole - Dole was not my first choice, but he didn't make my skin crawl like it did when I heard Clinton (either one) speak.
2000 Bush / Gore - Easy choice, after listening to the man-bear-pig speak.
2004 Bush / Kerry - No problem pulling the lever for Bush.
2008 McCain / Obama - I saw through the smoke and mirrors early. No thought of voting Obama.
2012 Romney / Obama - Even more resolute about the choices.
2016 Trump / Clinton - Not even a tiny thought of giving her a chance to carry out her grand plan of fucking up the country even more than Obama already has.
Seriously- shouldn't we expect better candidates? Shouldn't it be difficult to choose because both should have great potential to do good for the WHOLE country, not just special interests?
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
Monday, December 19, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Monday, December 12, 2016
I've been busy as the proverbial paper hanger since I arrived here in Tampa...
Folks in the arena have been very welcoming, and I'm doing my best not to scare anyone unnecessarily. At least not my co-workers. My vendors are a different story.
I've had a come-to-Jeebus meeting or two with Brighthouse and another vendor who think that it's a good idea to come to the Arena on a game night under the pretense of "preventative maintenance" or to be on hand "just in case" and hang out in the suite level or the club level and watch the game.
They could get away with that shit under the previous regime- but no more.
So... Last week was the company Holiday party-
The Woman Who Knows Most Things came down for the festivities- as always, she was a delight, and her very presence increased my social standing at the company through her charm and personality.
Interesting to note- We were sitting with my boss & his wife, our in-house network engineer (stag), our marketing Exec VP & his wife.
There were 3 or 4 empty chairs at the table when we went up to the buffet, and when we came back the CEO (Mr. Griggs) and VP of Corporate and Community Affairs - Dave Andreychuk followed us to the table and sad down with us to eat. Dave was the team captain when the Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004.
This is Dave...
Seems he spent some time down in Marathon during the beginning of lobster season this year-
He, Mr. Griggs and I talked Keys fishing & diving, and we all talked about kids, our own and others...
During the party I opined that in my former position I didn't lack for fresh air and (occasionally) sunshine as many of my events were golf or tennis tournaments, and thus outdoor work kept me in Vitamin D and that now I would need to guard against the standard IT Manager's pallor by making sure I got outside - preferably near the beach, as often as our schedule would permit.
The day AFTER the holiday party I made the trip back to Jacksonville with The Woman to pick up my motorcycle, or as she calls it - my Japanese girlfriend, and bring it back to Tampa.
Now, suitably equipped for getting outside and into touring mode I headed out on Sunday morning...
No sense in overdoing it, I headed just a few blocks, over to the Blind Tiger in Ybor for a cortadito and to read the local fish wrapper.
After the tiny glass of carbon con Leche, I headed west eventually hitting Clearwater Beach, then turned south.
As I headed down the Beaches I made note of several likely spots that held the promise of adult beverages, served in questionable conditions, probably by some nefarious people, for exorbitant prices. Just my kind of places.
After a long midday ride I crossed back from the Beaches into the lovely community of Pasadena, and finally stopped at Ted Peters Smoked Fish restaurant- famed in several Food TV mentions as a foodie destination.
AND they weren't kidding- if you like smoked fish, you'd love this place...
I had a lovely dish of smoked fish dip... Ambrosia.
Folks sitting near me indulged in smoked salmon, smoked mullet, smoked mackerel, and one Airedale had a tasty-looking (not smoked) burger.
My server Chris tempted me with a taste of their hot German potato salad. I was, however, able to maintain my will power and didn't put in for a side order of it- trying to conserve caloric intake as much as possible.
I was back on two wheels shortly thereafter- it looked like some ominous weather approaching from the South so I eschewed the scenic route and took I-275 back to Downtown Tampa, arriving back a my humble abode just before the rain began to fall...
A little 100 mile jaunt around the Tampa- Clearwater- St. Pete communities...
Not a bad way to spend a Sunday...
TBG - - Livin' the Dream
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Just my humble opinion on packing up and getting out...
Not doing it...
I just wrote a rambling screed about people fleeing so-called tyrrany; Moronic celebs talking big and then not following through, then countering with my oh-so-brief thoughts in 2008 of living on a sailboat off the coast of South America to escape Obama's Folly...
And any discussion of refugees needs to touch on the Great Middle East Diaspora and the backdoor invasion or Europe.
The whole thing went from a 2-paragraph opinion piece to a 4 page lecture on refugees, Emigration, sleeper agents, patriotism and history if Sandbox Countries.
When my thumbs started cramming from writing I saved the draft and did a wikiwander on Syria, Lebanon and other garden spots in the ME...
I came up for air 30 minutes later....
Listen to Uncle Jay... if you haven't done any recent serious reading on the history and situations in the ME, and are relying on the Rand McNally maps from your junior high school years, go do some research. Especially on the historical aspects...
I deleted several pages of foolscap that no one (not even me) would have enjoyed reading.
Instead of wasting time here, go edumacate yo'sef.
Start with Wikipedia, and if you read the US news sites take them with a grain if salt. Don't shun BBC and some of the Aussie stuff. And some of the smaller blog that try to provide "Understanding the Syrian Civil War for Dummies" actually have some interesting points to make.
Someday I'll write a coherent screed about it, and try to keep it under 2000 words.
TBG - moving out
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Sitting in 'upscale' diner in Hyde Park, waiting to go look at a shoebox in a retention pond at 10am.
A well-dressed woman is picking up a togo order at the counter...
Looking at her ticket she has a hissy fit that her 2 eggs and turkey sausage to go is $11.
WDW: "When I eat here Delores (another waitress I guess) always rings them up separately so its only $4.00."
Manager explains that although the other waitress was violating restaurant policy, he would make an exeception and ring her up that way, but moving forward they would have to go by SOP.
Woman continues to have a meltdown, customer is always right, such poor customer service, how can you possibly expect to stay in business...yadda yadda yadda.
The dude is a testament to diplomacy and tact- took the entire tirade in stride. Sorry you feel that way, and we do appreciate your business, have a nice day.
I'm wondering if Delores will be getting a talking-to... I know places where she'd be getting her walking papers.
I like to think I'd have voided her charge, grabbed her Styrofoam box and pitched it in the trash and bade her Good Day, Madam. I said Good Day!
But probably not...
Monday, November 14, 2016
Been out of the market for 20+ years.
I didnt realize how bad getting reasonably priced accommodations was getting...
Places in my price range are either geographically undesirable (too far of a commute for my blood pressure) or are just a shithole in general...
And if it is somewhat close to Downtown, and it isn't insanely overpriced, the neighborhood is bad.
Like really bad.
Like I'd walk down dark streets in NYC with $20 bills hanging out of my pockets just for excitement, and in these places I would need to be fully-armed - defcon 1 - condition red locked and loaded just to walk to (whats left of) my car every morning.
TBG - Apartment Hunter
Thursday, November 10, 2016
From my AMF letter to the other employees at my (former) employer.
Yes- I Am Moving On…
(Stick with me here… It’s long but it should be worth it.)
As (the big boss) said, it is with mixed emotions that I am leaving…
The 20 years I spent here at the company were amazing- Working here taught me a nearly infinite number of lessons:
Many technical skills, project management, problem solving, diplomacy, how to get an alligator out of a hotel bathtub and many more life skills.
I have a section in the old company policy handbook dedicated just to me… Talk about a legacy.
I have gone to interesting places and events and been called upon to fill many roles over my tenure...
Golf events like the Masters, PGA Champs, USGA Events, CPC and many more;
Tennis such as the US Open, China Open, the French Open- where I nearly destroyed a pair of servers singlehandedly, Kazan Russia, Miami Open/Lipton and Sydney, but never Wimbledon or Indian Wells, thank Ghod.
Countless NBA Events from All Star ’97 in Cleveland to the Finals to Global Games in Guangzhou China…
NHL Events like the Winter Classic in 2008- an outdoor game in Buffalo NY, All Star games, Stanley Cup Finals over several years. Also a 6 month on-site contract that grew into a 13-month slog through every arena in the country several times installing waves of new equipment.
Multisport Events like the Olympics (Salt Lake, Athens, Torino, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio all left some scars; Goodwill Games were also a specialty- New York in ’98 was…interesting, as was Brisbane Australia in 2001- Especially since the games ended on September 10th, and the next day The World Changed courtesy of al-Queda.
I’ve wedged my size-13 ass into size-10 seats on airplanes for countless flights…
I’ve been on a flight with only 3 other people on a United 757-200, and I’ve been shoe-horned into a middle seat in the back of a fully-packed Japan Air Lines 747- a plane designed around the average Japanese passenger- not a 6’5” 300lb Ogre… Not a pretty sight.
When it comes to hotel rooms I’ve been in all manner of rooms at every major chain from Marriot to Starwood/Sheratons, to Comfort Inns and LaQuinta Inns – and as Rallis would tell you, “La Quinta” translates to “Next to Dennys”…
I’ve been quartered in a Russian bordello, a Chinese Jìyuan, a by-the-hour capsule hotel in Saitama Japan after missing the last train to Tokyo, but I’ve also stayed in luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and at the Four Seasons in Tokyo- where the bathroom was the size of the average Marriott hotel room.
I’ve driven forklifts, lulls, cars, pick-ups, and a rowboat while on the job. I went cross-country in the old company #2 box truck – where the sound level inside the cab was 90+ decibels and it would only go 62 miles per hour. Downhill. With the wind.
And the capper- in October 2001, while on a site survey for the nascent NBA Development League, I was on a trip from Jax, to Mobile AL, to Columbus GA, Charleston, Greenville SC, Ashville, Fayetteville NC, Roanoke VA and up to the NBA offices in New Jersey. While on this trip (on my motorcycle) I wound up behind a pig truck in southern Georgia, and in order to provide service to our client and enhance value by going above-and-beyond, I was required to be covered in a shower of pig snot, pig slobber, pig earwax, pig shit, pig semen and pig urine, essentially causing me to throw away half of my wardrobe that I had on the 8-day trip.
This, as they say, is Taking One For The Team…a/k/a The Pig Truck Story
I’ve endured a lot over my tenure with The Company, and conversely, the company has endured a lot from me.
(See comment regarding the TBG section of the company policy manual.)
Over my tenure I have traveled, worked, drank, dined and broken laws with countless other company staff members;
Working with other staff at events was always one of the best parts of the job, especially the new, young impressionable idealists that want to set the event world on fire. (Figuratively speaking of course…).
It’s always nice to be an influence on our new staff- it’s not necessarily always being a ‘good influence’… Sometimes all you can do is be a cautionary tale, or at worst, a horrible warning to others…
And it’s not all work…
Probably some of my favorite (and most painful) memories are the “Career Development seminars” that we held down in the Dry Tortugas…
Great food, sunburns, fishing, adult beverages… and…uh… Well... the Law Enforcement Ranger that visited our campsite at 1:00am starting his lecture with the words-“We’ve had some complaints…” would be a good indicator of the Inebriation Quotient.
You know what they say- Work hard, Play Hard.
Let me try one last time to be a good influence-
Listen to your Uncle Jay:
· Communicate with your project manager promptly and clearly.
· Label everything.
· If you’re done with something, put it away.
· Put the damn cart on charge at the end of the day.
· Never let a laptop, piece of electronic equipment or software program know you are in a hurry.
· If it’s broken, either label it, fix it or throw it away.
· Don’t run with scissors.
· If you arrive early enough parking isn’t a problem.
· Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
· Leave early for the airport.
· Use the right tool for the job.
· Don’t piss off Susan.
· Do your expense report on time.
· Carry the message to Garcia.
· Take the time during your event travel to enjoy the city you are working in. (I suggest going early, rather than staying after the event is over.)
· You can never put too much butter and garlic on escargot.
· If everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something critical.
· Put your name tag on your luggage.
· There is a time to be looking at your smartphone. Use good sense while on the job regarding this topic.
· If you wouldn’t say it to your Grandmother or clergy, don’t say it on the radio.
· Never mix plaids with stripes.
· A dead cart battery is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.
· You are not Superman. Go find someone to help you with that box, cable, rack or angry bartender.
· Always store beer in a dark place.
· If a cable has one end, it has another.
· The man who knows “how” will always have a job. The man who knows “why” will always be his boss.
I’m heading to Tampa FL and a new job.
I can be reached at my old mobile number and at (email) beginning next Wednesday 11/16.
And of course http://www.listen2unclejay.com/ will continue to be updated at odd intervals.
Take care of business, and take care of each other.
With my kindest and most heartfelt regards-
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
Monday, October 31, 2016
tell us something about that latest trip to Shanghai."
Jeebus, where to begin.
Well, this year the cameraman that covered the player walkouts for the broadcaster is a slight Spaniard named Juan.
We usually stand together for about five minutes waiting for the players and the ATP Tournament Managers to arrive, then we walk out for introductions before start of play.
I'm usually there because we transition a semi-public area where high-end sponsors can stand and watch the behind-the-curtain pre-match ritual.
Part of the percs of being a title sponsor at a 1000-series ATP event...
It would be bad for some crazed fan to rush a player to get an autograph/selfie when the players have their war faces on...
So... while we wait, I usually shoot the breeze with CameraDude.
Except this year the usual CameraDude (Skippy) isn't there. Juan is the videojockey.
He is on headset with the Director in the TV Truck...
As we chat, he gets the thousand-yard stare then he points the camera at my face.
He keeps the camera on me as he relays the conversation.
Juan CameraDude: "uh...From the director I have a message."This exchange escalated daily... Always started by Director via JCD.
Yours Truly: *raised eyebrow stare*
JCD: "He says that you are the big man but he can...-his words- kick your ass."
YT: "(scoff) I'm sure."
JCD: "He is saying this. Not me."
YT: "Players coming. We'll pick this up another time." I give the camera the forked-fingers to the eyes 'I'm watching you' gesture and we walk the players out to the floor.
JCD: "The Director...I'm sorry, he says to tell you he will be...opening the can of Whip Ass? on you.."
Points camera at me to get reaction.
YT: "Really. Well... tell him his won't be the first snot-nosed TV-dweeb ass I have kicked, but he can be the next."
JCD: "Director- he wants to know if you are ready for your ass kicking."
YT: "This is getting tiresome... Tell him to bring a sandwich, a cold drink and a band-aid 'cause I'm going to be hungry and thirsty after I'm done whipping his ass."
JCD: "Director would like to know what kind of flowers your widow would like."
YT: "Tell him when we tangle, I'm gonna knock one of his lungs loose... I'll be on him like rust on a pump handle."
JCD: "Uh, Sir. The Director. He says you are obviously the little girl, and he has won the war with you. He has lost all respect as he can insult you and you will not face him."
YT: "Hm." I address the camera directly- "Hey Director Man- I hope you wore your pretty pink panties today... After I do this walk-out, I'm coming out to the truck and I'm going to bitch-slap you silly, then knee-walk you to the middle of the broadcast compound, bend you over and have my way with you, and I'll sell your ass to any takers for 5 kuai a pop. You're going to fly back to Australia with a size 14 poop-chute and knot on your head so big it's gonna need it's own postal code."
JCD: "*speechless*" then "In the truck, they are all laughing."
YT: "Laugh it up, ladies. I'm gonna tear into him like a stray dog into a restaurant dumpster."
YT: "Where is that piss-ant motherfucker who needs a mudhole stomped into his ass?"
One of the Back Benchers: "Oh shit... Someone better call 999."
I stomp past them up to the front.
Front Bench Guys: "He's the one who thinks he can kick your ass..."
YT: (*loudly cracks knuckles*) "I've been waiting all week for this... Are you ready, Little Man?"
A long moment passes. The truck is deadly silent.
Finally we both break into a laugh and have a firm and hearty handshake and bro hug-
YT: "Dude! Good to see you... Sorry I couldn't make it our earlier."
Director: "Absolutely... Glad you could make it out. Drinks tonight after we get back to the hotel?"
YT: "Absolutely... See you tonight."
We all played it perfectly.
TBG - - ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE
Monday, October 24, 2016
Monday, October 10, 2016
Thursday, October 06, 2016
Sunday, September 04, 2016
I almost had a Lochte moment at about 4 this morning...
I pulled into a gas-food-ice-24hours to fuel up and (more urgently) get rid of some processed coffee.
I fueled, then tried to hit the head-
I went to the security window to speak to the service attendant- a young man of ethnic origin- pointed in the vague direction of the bathroom and pantomimed unlocking & opening the door...
He shrugs his shoulders and yells through the money slot...
YMEO: "IS OUT SER-BISS"
YMEO: "OUT SER-BISS. BROKE."
The initial urge to urinate into the money slot/speaking tube was nigh overwhelming...
I did, however, remember the Lochte Lesson and did not vandalize the Gas&Go...
But there is a very upset ficus tree suffering from ammonia, sodium, caffine and trace elements between there and I-95...
TBG - (Relieved without criminal indictment)