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Being Socially Reponsible

Posted By Ian Altenbaugh On Mar 31 2009 @ 6:29 pm In Pittsburgh Penguins | No Comments


Today we talk about some hockey, cheeseburgers, movies, a couple of jagoffs, and the hottest NHL player for the month of March.


Warning: Portions of this blog entry could offend people. Being something of a sociopath myself, I can not really. Suffice to say that if it is not offensive, it is at the very least, incredibly immature if not slightly irresponsible from a social standpoint. Enjoy!


Featured Game: The Rangers at the Penguins – Saturday, March 28th, 2009

- After struggling in Atlanta, Marc Staal started the Penguins game off kind of rough, turning the puck over several times against the Penguins fourth line. Then he punched Matt Cooke in the head during the second. John Torterella needs to sit Staal down for a shift and allow the young blue-liner to calm down. His confidence is clearly not at it’s highest right now as the young defenseman was routinely beat Saturday afternoon.

-The enigmatic Ruslan Fedotenko remains in a cold streak despite playing some strong hockey. The assist he picked up off of the Talbot goal was his second point in eleven games. His goal in the second was his first in sixteen. Still, he seems to always be around the play and has played well on the forecheck. I get the impression Shero picked up Fedotenko for the playoffs as the man known as ‘Rusty’ has a history of clutch hockey come playoff time.

- The grin on Tyler Kennedy’s face after beating up Sean Avery was a timeless moment in hockey. Avery had no idea that Kennedy was going to actually fight him and continued to taunt. Kennedy decided to try and mess up the former fashion diva’s face.

- A new wrinkle to Malkin’s game: Over the last few weeks, Malkin, when possessing the puck in flight, has been driving towards opposition wingers, forcing them back into the defensive zone. By doing so, he forces oppositions’ defense to either cover him and leave the middle of the ice exposed (giving Malkin an uncontested passing lane), or hope the forward can handle Malkin (giving Malkin an uncontested shooting lane). The way teams have dealt with this so far is by interfering and taking penalties.

- Max Talbot’s Fu-man-chu was clearly the reason why he scored his first goal in seven games. Whenever Talbot alters his facial hair, he goes on a hot streak. A modern day Samson?

- Jordan Staal was absolutely crushed by Brandon Dubinsky with a little more than a minute left in the first period. Dubinsky went on to score a goal less than a minute later. The Alaska native has to easily be one of the most underrated players on the Rangers roster. Good to see Staal back on the ice and not playing tentatively.

- The Rangers league leading PK played a good game Saturday. Although it was hard to tell whether or not it was actually the Rangers talented PK and just the Penguins obsession with creating perfect one-time plays.

- The Penguins game plan going into Saturday’s game involved playing the body on Avery at every opportunity. As long as they are hitting Avery, he remains off the score sheet.

- After several questionable hits, Colton Orr finally went too far whenever he wacked Marc Eaton from behind. The result? He got kicked out of the game. Getting kicked out had less to do with the Eaton hit and more to do with Orr’s questionable play and late hits all game long. This is the refs sending a message to the players on the ice to stop screwing around. This message was reinforced when Chris Kunitz was penalized for a hit on Marc Staal.

- Very quietly, Sidney Crosby has posted a 26 point, 15 game point streak dating back to February 16th.

- Crosby and Malkin logged 24:38 and 25:35 respectively in game minutes on Saturday after playing under 18 minutes Wednesday night against Calgary. The difference was in powerplay minutes. Crosby and Malkin logged less than three minutes against Calgary, both over ten minutes against the Rangers.

- The Penguins man-advantage has continued to struggle. Kris Letang, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Sergei Gonchar are mainstays. That can be universally agreed upon as Crosby and Malkin are two of the top players in the league and Letang and Gonchar the Penguins best puck-moving defensemen. The problems arise with the other player on the unit. Bill Guerin alternated Chris Kunitz in the final spot. Judging by the 0-9 results, there is work still need to be done.


Awesome/Bad: The New McDonalds

Okay, I will be the first to admit, I have a weakness for Micky D’s fries. I also have a weakness in my colon for this type of food so it is a rare and wonderful treat. For several weeks I thought the McDonalds by my house in Shaler Township burned down. I later on found out that a wrecking crew came in and tore the place down in an afternoon. Which led me to wonder where all of those fire trucks were headed that one evening. Another story for another time though. Judging by the idiotic commercials, I figured Micky D’s was going for another look. Sure enough, they were. The new McDonalds was a McCafe and for me, it had McLean Deluxe* written all over it.

I notice off the bat that in order to enter the premise, one has to cross two drive-through lanes. It is obvious that this building was constructed to deter walk-in patrons. As it is the people who take the orders are already outsourced to a call center in a different part of the country. The lack of walk-in patrons allows for the restaurant to hire an even smaller service staff. The lack of staff was reflective in my service as well. The place was empty. I counted two people who looked as though they could work the register. Neither was behind a register. One was a manager and was making blatantly obvious attempts at looking busy despite not having a single task on her docket to perform. The other was an overworked thirty-something who was debating with one of the cooks over who screwed up an order. I gave the manager the cold stare. She noticed me noticing her pretending to be busy and took her production to a different stage, where the audience would perhaps be more appreciative of her hammy acting. 

A woman with one kid at her side, the other on an arm, and another in the oven waits for her third happy meal. I wonder to myself why she would need three, as she physically only had two kids who needed happiness. One of the kid has some stupid toy that he is trumpeting around. I look down at him and smile then quickly look back up to see if my order is ready to be had. Mother notices me smiling at her ADD riddled child and gives me the same look that Sigourney Weaver gives the queen Alien at the end of “Aliens” right before she battles her in the industrial lifter. This I find to be offensive on several counts. First of all, I am standing with a friend of mine who is also in awe of the grand incompetency at work here. Pardon the metaphor but it seems to me most pervs lone-wolf it. Besides, I am in my mid-twenties and in good physical shape, most of the pervs you see on television are middle aged and more closely resemble the Stay Puffed Marshmallow Man. I was wearing a Superman shirt which in hindsight probably sent the wrong message. Nonetheless, where does she get the ego? Do you think a pervert, even one as swift as a cheetah would be able to contain that kid who is bouncing off walls and screaming at the top of his lungs? Well, maybe a cheetah is a bad example because they are after all the swiftest cat in the world but nonetheless, the kid has his own built in alarm system. Wait until he has a fam
ily, he’ll be churning out children like shirts in a sweatshop. Assuming that is he can find a woman who would have him. Which he probably won’t. Because his mom is overprotective. How can a woman be so protective of her child yet have so little control? Well if I had the answer of that I would only be like king psychologist or something. I don’t know. Forget it. Anyway, they seemed to take forever. I started texting this girl I know from when I was still in school. My friend continued to make comments about the women’s lack of control over her one kid.

Eventually our malaise was broken with a swift yet firm, “Hello and welcome to McDonalds, how may I take your order?”

I got a Big Mac and tasted like every other Big Mac I have ever had in my entire life. If this is what McDonalds views as a sound business model then I already understand why the American economy is in the toilet.

In Summary:

Awesome: The crazy elderly people who spend, literally, four hours drinking coffee and complaining.

Bad: The stairs those elderly people give me when I dare purchase an Egg McMuffin. Yeah, I smell like a distillery, but it’s not because I’m drunk, it is just because I haven’t showered since getting drunk last night. 

Awesome: The toys that come with the Happy Meal, especially during the late eighties.

Bad: Being a grown man asking for the toy in the Happy Meal.

Awesome: Childhood memories spent eating at McDonalds.

Bad: Childhood memories of eating at McDonalds.

Awesome: The Big Mac.

Bad: The ingredients of the Big Mac.

Awesome: The American economy, but not in a good way. More like, never underestimate the awesome winds of the hurricane.

Bad: The American entrepreneurial spirit and how instead of dying in a blaze of glory, it withered away like a washed up celebrity. Instead of carrying on like Clint Eastwood and churning out success after success the economy feels like more like Orson Wells – fat, bloated, depressed, and ready to die.  

*The McLean Deluxe was a failed experiment at McDonalds offering up something that resembled healthful eating. Keep in mind this was the early nineties, when it was still normal for most Americans to eat greasy hamburgers for lunch. They knew it was bad for them but did not care. Nowadays Americans care about how bad the food is that they eat yet continue to eat the bad food anyway.


Review of the Week:

After finishing “Eastbound and Down”, I found a void in my life that had not existed before. This void can only be filled by the tragically hilarious. What is the tragically hilarious? Well for one it is not to be confused with the hilariously tragic. The tragically hilarious is like a group of clowns, the ones with the big pants, makeup, and rubber shoes, robbing a bank. The hilariously tragic is them, in the car chase that would surely follow, wrecking their clown car into a school for the blind, spewing blood and guts everywhere. Everyone is in horror except for the students, they have no idea what everyone is making such a big fuss about. The hilariously tragic is what we see in reality television. It is the hot messes you see prancing in their cellulite stuffed pants or a man who puffs out his chest when he wants to look tougher. The hilariously tragic is something that Around the Atlantic does not endorse.

The tragically hilarious is heavily endorsed. It is irony through pain. A man tries to kill himself by jumping off a roof only to land in a truck filled with manure. Romeo and Juliet would be a tragically hilarious tale if they were BDSM. The tragically hilarious is something that teaches lessons about life while accepting that at the same time, everyone poops.

I bet nobody thought that Shakespeare and bowel movements would be mentioned in the same paragraph but there you are. It is now in the same sentence too. I really do apologize for all of this colon, fecal joke talk. I don’t know why. There will probably be more. It is easier to get it out of the way now though because ending a blog with an apology sounds too much like I did something wrong. Which if I did, I will absolutely never admit.

That void, at least for the moment, was filled by the Jody Hill/Danny McBride film “The Fist Foot Way”. Produced by Adam McKay and Will Ferrell and considered to be a cult film among those who have seen it. TFFW for short. Because I have lots of important stuff to say. Using acronyms kinda helps me say those things. Faster.

I lost my track of what I was trying to say. Oh yeah, the movie. It was good. Check it out. “The Fist Foot Way”. Or don’t check it out. I don’t care.


Profiles in Hockey: Masseur March

Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury is quickly establishing himself as one of the most clutch goaltenders in the league. Don’t believe me? As of March 28th, Fleury is 28-3-5 over the month of March, since the 2006-07 season. This is in part due to the Penguins being very well prepared for the playoffs over the past few seasons but nonetheless, those are eye-popping numbers. When your starting goaltender is getting hot right before the playoffs, your team is given a chance in every game, which is just what Fleury has provided. 

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