One more year. Still no Pulitzers.
One more year. Still no Pulitzers.
Bringing home a new roommate is going to mean there will be adjustments for everyone involved.
Charlie is working on that from his end. But he’s also found ways to assert himself; that’s presented Mrs. Crappy and me with the challenge of making adjustments of our own.
In the time between when we adopted Charlie and when we returned to the shelter to bring him home, we did the best we could to kitten-proof the house.
Note: The term “kitten-proof” is something of an oxymoron. Especially if the kitten is determined to do whatever he wants to do.
Example: If the kitten determines that the window sill that had been home to some meditation tools should be free of such items, that’s what is going to happen. And if one of those items is a small Buddha figurine whose head could break off when he is knocked to the living room floor, that’s probably what is going to happen as well.
We’ve since reached the framework of an understanding of a few of these challenges, and the aforementioned window sill has since been left undisturbed. As far as we know.
And don’t be too upset for Buddha. He would probably say that even in knocking his fragile likeness to the floor, Charlie was simply being who Charlie is … and that’s all we can really ask of him, right?
Besides, with the help of some Gorilla Glue, Buddha has since been repaired and has a new home that’s less slightly fraught with danger: on my desk at work, with some great company. That’s Buddha with Budai (the one we usually know as the Laughing Buddha), the Pope and the dancing hula girl that has graced my desk since Mrs. Crappy and I returned from our honeymoon in Hawaii 16 years ago.
He looks happy there, doesn’t he?
My former colleagues know me so well.
When it came time for my going-away party, I suspected there was a decent chance that I might take home a bottle of beer or two. And my friends at The Times didn’t let me down.
Because I am the beer nerd that I am, I promised that I would give each of these classics the full Beer Guy treatment. A couple Fridays ago, I broke ’em all out, taking notes on each one. Here you go, boys and girls, in order of appearance:
Were there winners in this experiment? I’ll count myself among the winners, because it was legitimately fun getting back in touch with some of these beers. And if we’re talking about the beers, let’s go with Rolling Rock, because it may have actually improved when it was taken over by our A-B InBev overlords, and IC Light, because it sort of tastes like beer and not so much like bowl of corn flakes soaked in honey.
And I should point out one additional thing: my friends also came through with a very generous Bocktown gift card, so I was able to buy a few more six packs with beer that’ll prompt many fewer complaints.
Thanks again, guys. You couldn’t have done it any better if I had picked them out myself.
Things are about to change.
After more than 14 years with my current employer — I don’t think I’ve ever named it here, but that’s the Beaver County Times — I’m about to start a new gig. On June 30, I’ll move to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as part of their digital team.
The new job? I can’t wait to get started. I long ago found an enthusiasm for the digital side of my business, and being able to take on similar challenges at a paper like the P-G is the kind of thing that makes me wake up happy every day. And if that kind of tinkering isn’t enough, I hope to be able to continue some beer-related video work there as well. It’s a great opportunity; it’ll give Mrs. Crappy and me the chance to make some positive changes and it will keep me challenged and happy professionally.
Having said that, I’m in no real hurry to leave The Times, even though my final day is approaching rapidly. To put it simply: I would be in a much less solid position professionally were it not for the chances I’ve had there. And I’ve had chances at The Times that I wouldn’t have had anywhere else. I started tinkering with the web sites here when I worked on Sunday nights and no one else wanted to mess with those chores. I gingerly — at first, anyway — stepped into doing Newsbreak just because the regular hosts were on vacation. I wrote quirky centerpiece stories because they were occasionally funny. And over the years, this became a lot less like work and a lot more like fun.
And when you can have fun at work, you’ve pretty much got it made, right? I’m grateful I can say that’s been the case for me for nearly all of the last 14 years.