Monday, December 31, 2007
I'm telling you, if yesterday's game had really meant something to the Steelers, I would have been right on the money. Oh, well.
No predictions for the playoffs from me, I'm afraid. I don't know what the heck this team is going to do. Special teams, a porous defense, and no Willie Parker are likely to put much of the burden on the shoulders of Ben Roethlisberger. I think he is capable of leading them to victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars next week. Whether or not it will happen, however, I really don't know. I expect a good game. Hopefully, the Steelers will find a way to win it.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Dave: I'm pretty bored myself. Other than Christmas, this has got to be the biggest week of nothing of the year. The time leading up to Christmas is always frenetic, Christmas comes and goes so quickly, and then blam! Nothing. And we're too old to get all tweaked up about New Year's Eve. Plus, you have kids, so no late night fun for you. And then January comes and it's dark and dreary until hints of spring start showing up in March. Life in our part of the country, I guess. It's freaking beautiful in Florida. Maybe I should move there.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Meanwhile, back here at home, the "Little Dig" is underway to bore the first of two holes below the Allegheny River between downtown and the North Shore at a projected cost of $435 million.
The meter's running.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
It's as if they're not even trying.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
After long and heated debate, Allegheny County Council yesterday adopted a $727.5 million county budget for next year that includes a new 10 percent tax on poured alcoholic drinks and a new $2-a-day levy on car rentals.
Revenue from the new taxes is earmarked for public transit.
County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, who included the new taxes in his budget proposal to council, had vowed to veto any budget with a property tax increase.
Mr. Onorato last night called the budget "a victory for all property owners in Allegheny County," noting that it was the fourth consecutive year without an increase in the . . . property tax rate.
Well, it's a gamble for the County Chief Executive. He raised the price of poured drinks (which Pittsburghers love) in a continuing effort to not raise property taxes (taxes which Pittsburghers don't love). So, the question is, is all of this enough to pave the road to the governor's mansion for Danny Boy? And will he take public transportation there or rent a car?
Monday, December 3, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Jim: I guess Andy Reid is a good coach to have won as many games as he has, but he is so frustrating because at the worst possible times he will do something that is so boneheaded and completely defies any kind of rational explanation. Honestly, I don't care how many times he's been to the NFC championship. If I was the owner, I would have fired his fat idiot ass on the spot last night. I wouldn't even have let him leave the field and go back into the locker room with the team.
Dave: I see. Coaches make moves like that all of the time. If they work, they're lauded. If not, they're roasted on radio talk shows for the next week. Cowher had his share of those moments, and Tomlin will, too. However, as an observer from afar, Reid does seem to have more than his share of them. Ultimately, I think, Feeley threw the interception, so it's on him. Come on, Jim, give Reid a break. He lives in a drug emporium.
Jim: He acts like he lives in a drug emporium.
I think I have to disagree when it comes to last night. How can you do a great job of putting your players in a position where they have a chance to win for 99% of the game, only to pull the rug out from under them at the very end and almost deliberately put them in a position to fail right at the exact moment where all of their hard work is about to pay off? I am a patient man, but that is not only inexcusable, it's inhumane. Michael Vick and Pacman Jones got suspended from the NFL for less.
Dave: Wow. Strong words. I hope I'm not as angry tomorrow as you are now.
I wish I lived in a drug emporium.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The 500-ton cylindrical drill that will carve its way from the North Shore to the new Gateway Station, Downtown, and back began its journey slowly yesterday.
The massive machine, strapped into a red gantry crane, was lifted up, then carried forward as the crane inched its way along a red steel track into the starting pit opposite PNC Park.
Construction workers snapped photos with cameras and cell phones, but to uninitiated observers, it was almost impossible to tell it was moving.
So . . . now we know that this is definitely a Port Authority project.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I like him. Even though he is a Republican. But what does that even mean in Pittsburgh?! Sometimes the Democrats are more conservative than the Republicans. I'm told that the Lukester is pro-life and that DeSantis is pro-choice. In my opinion, they should both be pro-choice. But my guess is that despite the political label, DeSantis is more of a Democrat than the Lukester is.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Last night when Sidney and I were coming to the end of a little stroll around the block, we came across a car parked in a place where it should not have been parked. To my surprise, Sidney stopped and growled at it. He kept growling at it as we walked by, looking back over his shoulder with contempt.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Oil company executives in Houston had to be talked down from the window ledges outside of their ridiculously opulent offices. President Bush is expected to visit the region to determine whether it can be declared a national disaster area.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Lukester: Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. My wife the beautician says it makes me look more mature.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Or, maybe to his home if he loses the election.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
ATC: Sidney is adorable. The End. Simply adorable. I suppose you now belong to that secret club of people who have to tolerate all the ignorami who insist on saying "dash-hund" rather than "doxen."
There is no better vocation than to be responsible for a dog. Even if I'm cursed with children someday, I will still believe that.
I think you are certainly looking well and very "academia." I hope your gross underemployment is at least still within education or counseling. Or sarcasm. You are gifted in all those areas.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Paul Kengor is an American conservative author and academic. A professor at Grove City College and the executive director of the College's The Center for Vision & Values, Kengor is widely popular with students and conservative readers.
Kengor is a frequent television political commentator and opinion page contributor, but is most known for his best selling books. He is the author of God and Ronald Reagan, God and George W. Bush and co-editor with Peter Schweizer of Assessing the Reagan Presidency. He is currently finishing a major work on Ronald Reagan’s role in his administration’s effort to undermine the Soviet Union, and is also writing an authorized biography of former Reagan confidant and National Security Advisor William P. Clark, Jr..
Kengor earned his Bachelor and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and his Masters from American University. In private life, he is married to Susan Kengor and has four children. He is a practicing Roman Catholic and avid Pittsburgh sports fan.
Paul was a Republican in college when it still sort of cool to be a Republican. But what's happened to him since then is somewhat startling (at least to me) because he is a very intelligent person. But apparently, in that time he also became a very devout Roman Catholic. And his faith has obviously had a profound effect on his life and his work.
Jim: Got email from Kengor today. He and Susan just had their 5th kid. He was responding to an email I sent him a few weeks ago. He used the opportunity to send me a press release promoting his new book about God and Hillary Clinton.
Dave: Paul has gotten a lot of money and fame from God and the Bushes, and God and the Clintons. Mostly God.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Halloween must be around the corner . . . even though the leaves haven't fallen from the trees, yet . . .
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The Associated Press
A 77-year-old Beaver County man has been rescued after falling head first into a septic tank at his son's business.
Paul Davidson says he arrived at his pizza shop in Frankfort Springs about 12:30 p.m. yesterday to find his father, Tom, had fallen into the tank. Mr. Davidson says his father was reaching to fix a pipe when he fell through a 2-foot-wide opening and went down about eight feet.
The tank contained only six inches of sewage. Emergency crews used a harness to get Mr. Davidson out about 2?? hours after he fell in.
A spokesman at UPMC Presbyterian hospital in Pittsburgh says Mr. Davidson is in serious condition.
Uh, yeah. That sounds pretty serious to me.
I hate when that happens.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
FF: You account for 85% of the laughter in my life.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
My father is in the demographic that Bob appealed to the most (i.e., senior citizens). They like to vote (it's often the most important thing that they do on that particular Tuesday in May and November, other than play bridge at the local senior center with their senior buddies). They get up early, get dressed in nice clothes, and go to their local polling places to "do their duty as American citizens." My father is no different. He is a diligent voter. And despite the fact that he and my mother now spend half of the year in Florida (like many other folks his age), he requests absentee ballots when necessary.
What's the point of all of this talk about my father and older voters. Well, the Lukester pissed him off. So, now rather than just vote for him or not vote at all, my father and many other pissed off voters have another option. Mark DeSantis. Now, he's technically running as a Republican against the Lukester. But he's just doing that out of convenience, not out of any genuine party loyalty. And people like my father (who would never vote for a Republican other than, say, John Heinz) has requested an absentee ballot just so that he can vote for DeSantis in November when he is in Florida (Where, by the way, the recent temperatures have been lower than they've been here. Al Gore is right.).
The bottom line is that the Lukester really screwed the pooch on this one. He got an unearned and undeserved gift in the form of the mayor's office, and he's been pissing it away (usually when someone else is picking up the tab) ever since it looked like it was going to be clear sailing for him through November and for the next two years until the next mayoral election. But not so fast there, trigger. You have upset your older voters with your childish behavior and lack of maturity. And they just may ground you and take away your Homeland Security Yukon privileges next month.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Does this "strapless" bra (bras? bra set?) really work? It can't possibly be very comfortable. I suppose it's pretty easy to take off.
For the women, too.
Luke Ravenstahl: If you think being smarter than me with far more political experience is enough to beat this wonderboy who inherited his position from the beloved Bob O'Connor, then you've got another thing coming. The people like me more than Peduto and they will like me more than . . . Hey, is that free food over there?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Meanwhile, back home in the States:
No health care for all.
Social service agencies experiencing major funding cuts.
Our infrastructure crumbling.
The housing market stumbling.
Of course, the stock market continues to rise, making the wealthy more wealthy.
Bush's family friend Osama bin Laden? Still out there somewhere. But we did capture and cause the beheading of the crazy Middle East leader who had nothing to do with 9-11.
Good work, George. How's your stock portfolio doing these days?
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
For the most part, I'm pretty pleased with my new MARBL (it even has a cool name), although I've always preferred the one-piece phones that don't flip, so that's going to take some getting used to.
The friendly sales associate in the technology department at Target was very helpful in my decision to buy this phone over some of the other models. However, I must tell you that he did not smell good. Not at all. He was dirty and smelly. He had obviously not showered in a couple of days, and his deodorant had given out on him sometime on Sunday, I would guess. He had long fingernails with dirt under them. He was a swell fellow, but I could smell him coming and going, and when I stood next to him, it was downright oppressive.
When I left the store and drove away, I sat at a light with the smell still swirling around my olfactory cavities, so I cranked the AC in an effort to get the stench out of my system. That seemed to work, but I couldn't help thinking to myself, how does a person get to be so stinky at a nice, clean store like Target without their co-workers and managers saying something to them? It's not like the deodorant aisle is that far from the technology department. He even could have bought a little sample-sized Speed Stick for under a dollar and slapped some of that (maybe all of that) under those puppies. Wow.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Dave: Actually, I think they may have some of the same bartenders.
So, margaritas, huh? Very macho.
Jim: On the rocks. Not the frozen kind. The kind real men drink.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Attorneys for Tribune-Review publisher Richard M. Scaife have filed court papers demanding the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette return documents related to Mr. Scaife's divorce proceedings from his wife, Margaret Ritchie Battle Scaife. In response, the Post-Gazette, arguing that no court has the right to force a newspaper to surrender documents lawfully in its possession, has posted those documents online.
Even my father has been beaten down by that team.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
While I was finishing it off and watching the closed captioned version of Larry King on the TV mounted above the bar, I couldn't help but hear the three guys perched next to me at the bar. They had been there for a while, and were plenty lubed up, much like myself. However, they were talking loudly among themselves, and one of the topics was the large table of young Asian women apparently celebrating someone's birthday. Dear readers, I must tell you that I could not believe my ears as I listened to them make derogatory remark after derogatory remark about "Chinese" people. I don't even know if these women were Chinese, but it doesn't matter. These guys were unbelievably obnoxious and offensive. I just hoped that the birthday party gathering couldn't hear them, although I suspect that they could.
I was embarrassed. Embarrassed for the assholes next to me, embarrassed for the young women, and embarrassed for myself that I had to be there. It practically undid all of the good fellowship that I had just spent with my new friend. It reminded me of one of the reasons why I don't go out drinking much anymore: people. Take what appear to me perfectly normal people and add a bit of alcohol, and presto, you've got assholes. Loud, obnoxious assholes.
The apparent ringleader of the threesome, who didn't seem to be able to separate himself from his Blackberry, never seemed to stop talking. He took shots at the women, he made unpleasant remarks about a "black woman that he once dated," and he just continued to spew venomous words of small-mindedness. I hated him. If my co-drinker had not left, I most surely would have said something to him. But I was clearly outnumbered, and the threesome seemed to be regulars who knew the bartenders. So, I was not in a very good position to interject with my opinions about what a bunch of fucking douchebags they were. But I sure did want to.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I want to punch Steeler baby.
Who is that guy on your blog anyway? Should I know him?
He's the CMU professor who claims to have invented the emoticon 25 years ago yesterday.
Then I hate that guy too.
If you didn't know, today was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. I'd like to know which day is National Dave Gets Asked Out on a Date by Jennifer Aniston Day.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Not this time, dear readers. I have learned my lesson. The last time the Pirates were a respectable, no, a great baseball team, it all ended with a photo-finish slide, orchestrated on the reconstructed knees of one of my old favorites in Sid Bream. With that fortuitous slide, the Pirates were thereby cursed. The Pirates (and I) have never been the same.
(Comic credit: The very appropriate comic above was brought to my attention by FF.)
Friday, September 14, 2007
Honestly, you don't have to go to so much trouble, dude. I get it. You've got money. Congrats. Really. I'm happy for you.
But Apple still isn't going to give you $200 back for the iPhone that you probably made your assistant wait in line to buy you.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Dave: Do you see much of that hair style in your part of the Commonwealth?
Jim: You will never see as many goofy hair styles for women as you do in Pittsburgh.
He's right, you know. Unless you're watching old episodes of "Cops" on Court TV. Now, those hair styles are scary.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
At the beginning of last season, amidst all of the hype surrounding the Steelers' Super Bowl defense and then Ben's motorcycle accident, I predicted that the team would finish 8-8. Those with whom I shared my prediction were not convinced. That is, until the end of the season.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
A guy returned a book at the library yesterday about Cannabis and inside the book was a subpoena for him to attend a trial regarding drug possession.
Another guy returned 15 books with musical orchestrations in them from classical pieces and so I asked him if he was a musician.
"What do you play?"
"I played that in middle school."
"Well, you know, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
He didn't find that as amusing as I did.
We have a harmless but always drunken older black man who comes into the library to listen to the Temptations on the computer. He goes by the name Brother George. We call him Temptations Man. He tends to become rather passionate while listening to the Temptations and frequently gets up from his seat and while connected to the computer by his earphones begins to dance in place and sing the lyrics to the songs. He was kicked out on Wednesday while singing "My Girl". He's not allowed to come back for a month. When he was told this while we escorted him out of the building he began crying in slurred speech, "You're taking my Temptations away from me."
Friday, September 7, 2007
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Do you think the Boy Mayor is trying to score some primo seats, compliments of the new head coach?
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
And it had to be in the fall.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Saturday, September 1, 2007
As glorious as the weather is, today marks the beginning of fall for me. I can feel it. So, while I relish the perfection of the day, deep down inside of me somewhere, there will be a little itch of discomfort that knows summer is over. It abandons me every year. But I always forgive it.
Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
He was rather deflated by his discovery.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
I open one of the pamphlets and see that there is a chart that shows the income guidelines for a household of one person through eight people. The cut-off for an eight-person household was $61,100. I'm not going to tell you the cut-off for a one-person household because I qualified. And by a comfortable margin. So, I'm thinking to myself about how I'd really like a peephole for the front door of my condo. I don't have one, and I think that they are an excellent security measure. For anyone. I don't want to spend the money to have one installed by a professional peephole installer. But I can't possibly apply to get one for free because of my income level. I work there, after all.
I sure would like a peephole.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Even with a backdrop of psychological-grade abandonment issues, I have been placed in situations throughout my life thus far where I have had to say good-bye to people who were once members of that inner circle. You have to say good-bye for any number of reasons, but the underlying theme is always the same: they are leaving. Leaving for another high school. Leaving for another country. Leaving for college. Leaving for the Army. Leaving to return to their home from college. Leaving you for somewhere else. Or someone else. Leaving because they died. Leaving because they've met their future spouse. Leaving because their spouse is now their new best friend. Leaving because they want a spouse and a new best friend. All leaving.
And by now, I'm well-versed in the routine. I see the signs of a future leaving well in advance of its actual occurrence. But inevitably it happens. And I have to find a way to channel that energy, that emotion, that time, that commitment into something else. And the periods between those outlets can be a very difficult time. Depressing. Lonely. Boring. Drunk. But you find a way, and life goes on. You don't envy the happiness (sometimes not so happy) that others have found in their committed relationships and eventual marriages. You may envy that they have dogs. Or maybe a very special cat who could do commercials and who reminds you a little bit of your last dog. Who also left. And who may be the hardest leaving of them all, when it's all said and done. And may be proven by the fact that the first tear just appeared as I was composing that last sentence. What can I say? Dogs get me every time. And the friends, both the now and the then, know just how much that's true.
So, I just keep going, doing my best to adjust as my life and my relationships shift every now and then, and I remain what some have even called "the constant." I'll be here. I'll be in Pittsburgh. I'll be teaching someone something, and I'll be learning something myself. I'll be having fun, and I'll be regretting a thing or two along the way. I may get into a little trouble every now and then, but never anything serious. And I'll be sitting quietly somewhere, having a cocktail or just driving around, and I'll be observing. Because that's what I do.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
So, I guess I should probably go to Home Depot today.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
So, to Twanda Carlisle and Michael Vick: enjoy your remaining days of freedom. You probably won't end up in a high security prison, but it's still gonna suck. And you both deserve it.
But, on a positive note, I will leave you with some words of wisdom from Walt Disney himself, who said, "You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Speaking of animals as metaphors, I certainly hope that the government hasn't been monitoring me while I've been ordering monkeys from internet companies in Great Britain and Amsterdam. That would certainly suck. Oh, hold on. Someone's at the door. I'll be right back . . . .
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Nice story about Bonds in today's paper. I've been watching and listening to Bob Pompeani, Bob Smizik, and yourself talking about Bonds and the early 90s Pirates over the last couple of weeks, and it has honestly given me chills to see the way your faces light up when you watch clips of that team and talk about them. I feel the same way, and it just makes what's happened since then all the more painful to endure.
As Bonds's comments indicate, the ownership of the team was no better then than it has been under McClatchy/Nutting. The difference was that Sid Thrift knew how to draft, trade for, and develop talent. Once the CEO ownership group drove him out of town, it was the beginning of the end. We just had the pleasure/pain of watching the players finish their contracts and then leave, one by one.
As I like to say about all of the ridiculous, unwarranted criticism of Bonds's final play as a Pirate, if it had been Jason Bay out there in left, he would have just lobbed the ball into second. At least Bonds tried for home.
Monday, August 13, 2007
After he made the announcement, he was said to have disappeared in a puff of sulfur-laced smoke and a trailing laugh that sounded remarkably like Vincent Price.
Can we leave Iraq now, George? Please?
Another clear indication that summer is coming to an end is the annual ritual that is the return of the college students. With two fine universities (one a little finer than the other) in close proximity to me, I can see the shift in the local population as more young people are flitting about. Plus, there are all those U-Haul trucks parked up and down the streets. But I knew for certain that the college students were returning on Friday night when I was awakened by the sound of a beer bottle being dropped out of a car driving by and onto the street outside my window. Those crazy kids and their fun.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I have recently come to believe that while it may be easy to get really mad at someone about whom you care very much (friends and lovers), it seems to be hard to stay really mad at them.
Call it the effect of history together or the weight of the investment that you've both put into cultivating those relationships. But whatever it is, I hope that it's more common than I might have thought.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
The Pirates have to play the Giants for the next four games in a row, although Bonds is not expected to play in all of them, perhaps even including the double-header here in Pittsburgh on Monday. Still, I wonder how many more bombs he's going to accumulate at the expense of the beleaguered Buccos.
Oh. The Pirates actually won the game. But, really, does anyone, anywhere even care anymore? Not me, that's for sure. I didn't even watch the game. Moments ago, I caught the highlights (read: the Bonds homerun) on ESPN.
Friday, August 10, 2007
I'm not making this up, folks. I read the papers and watch the news about as much as an average person, and I actually read what these people say. And they always warn us. And now we're seeing the direct result of all of this development. We've messed with our topography in every direction, and now the earth can't handle the damage that we've done. This was bound to happen. It's sort of a microcosm of the effects that global warming is having on the entire planet.
Now, I live in the city, and the worst thing that happened to me yesterday was that my power went out for about an hour and a half in the late afternoon. Even with the two monsoons that blew through here yesterday morning and afternoon, there wasn't even water coming into my basement from the overrun sewer system. And if you know anything about Pittsburgh's sewer system, then you realize that that's a pretty impressive feat. So, why none of the hardcore problems in the city that they had outside of it? Well, that's an easy one. Because there's no significant "development" in the city. And, despite what the politicians might say, maybe it's actually better that way.
Wait a second. Wait just one second. Does the Tunnel of Love count as development? Well, let's see. We're going to dig under the Allegheny River (lots of water there) and build two channels big enough for a lame subway to run to and from the North Shore. That won't affect our city's ecosystem, will it? No, no. I'm sure somebody did extensive studies on that before they ordered the big hole-digging machine from Germany. Right?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I imagine that this fellow will last around here about as long as a starting quarterback who throws three interceptions in two straight losses.
Art Rooney II looks like he's choking back a little vomit in this photo, don't you think?