Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Pirates are really just the opening act . . .

The Pirates sold out the truly meaningless next to last game of the season tonight, which features a performance by local favorite The Clarks after the Pirates lose, err, I mean, after the game. I'm telling you, PNC Park is a great place to see fireworks and musical concerts. It's a shame that they have to waste that beautiful venue with 81 baseball games every summer.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thanks for your support . . .

I have chosen not to post on my blog gratuitous photos of women in various states of undress, but I couldn't resist this one, only because it begs this very important question:

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.

What they were REALLY thinking . . .

Mark DeSantis: Your ass is mine, you dimwitted little punk who did nothing to deserve being mayor of Pittsburgh. And nice eye contact, O'Connor-wannabe.

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

Just stating the obvious . . .

The war in Iraq is costing America about 50 million dollars per month.

Meanwhile, back home in the States:

No health care for all.
Social service agencies experiencing major funding cuts.
People starving.
People homeless.
People unemployed.
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

I smell progress . . .

Last night I officially joined the 21st century when I bought my first flip phone. Yes, yes, I know how incredibly behind the times I am. I'm like that. Slow and steady, dear readers. But the phone that I've had for several months was beginning to show signs of fatigue in the form of minor malfunctions, so I decided to embrace technology (although it's certainly not an iPhone) and this is my new phone. And I'm still well off the pace of most phones, since I opted to go with one that doesn't even have a camera, but it's still quite an upgrade from my previous phones. And it was only 30 bucks. I do like a bargain.

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

Jim and Dave emailing about the Elbow Room . . .

Jim: I'm not a mixed drink person (but I think you knew that), but I used to love their margaritas. Not frozen, on the rocks. That was a long time ago though and I'm sure they've had a few different bartenders since then. I still recommend trying one next time though.

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

I love it when the boys play . . .

From today's

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.

Sunday afternoon with the folks . . .

I was over at my parents' house today watching the second half of the Steelers game. (My prediction of an 11-5 season is looking very good so far.) While my mother and I watched the game in one room, my father was watching the Pirates game in the other. He may well be the biggest Pirates fan there is, but I was surprised that he was watching the game because, like me, he has lost interest in the team as their miserable season has worn on. I heard him clapping from the other room, and assumed that the Pirates were doing well. When I went in to see what was going on, I came in just in time to see Aramis Ramirez hit yet another home run against his former team, making the score 6-0 in favor of the Cubs. (The final score was 8-0.) I asked him when he had become a Cubs fan. He said, "I'm a fan of whoever is playing the Pirates at this point. I hope they lose every game for the rest of the season." Well, they've now lost nine in a row, with six games to play, so that just might happen.

Even my father has been beaten down by that team.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Snakes in the grass . . .

I don't go out drinking much anymore. But since yesterday was my last day working with my co-worker, I agreed to meet him at the Elbow Room at five for drinks. We had a very nice time, drinking, talking, getting to really know each other, ironically on the last day of our working relationship. After some time, he decided to head for home, and I stayed behind for one last beer.

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

I bet he's faster than a dog without wheels . . .

To me, this little fellow is far more precious than he is sad. It's truly amazing how dogs learn to adapt as if there's nothing wrong with them at all. If only we humans were so flexible.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jim and Dave emailing about my blog . . .

I want to punch Steeler baby.

Who is that guy on your blog anyway? Should I know him?

Not Steelerbaby!

He's the CMU professor who claims to have invented the emoticon 25 years ago yesterday.

Then I hate that guy too.

Arrr, matey.

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.

Cooler than Steely McBeam . . .

Two wins into the season and the Steelers are looking good. And without the help of videotape from Bill Belichick's vast personal video library. So, that can only mean one thing . . . It's time to bring out Steelerbaby.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I can see the resemblance . . .

I hate this guy.

The Curse of Sid Bream . . .

As the 15th straight losing season draws to a merciful close for my hometown Pirates, I exit the season with absolutely no hopeful expectations for next year. I got suckered in at the end of last season, and it ended up causing me to make one of the most failed predictions of my prognosticating history. Not to mention resulting in my personal boycott of the Pirates that began June 11, after the embarrassingly lopsided, three-game weekend sweep of the Buccos by the Yankees in New York.

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

Don't they sell products for that on the internet?

I drove behind a Hummer H3 today. It was shiny and black. It had a sign for "Heard's Tree Service" on either side of it. And the license plate (which was not personalized, to my surprise) was in a frame that said "Harvard Business School."

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

iPhucked . . .

I just heard yesterday that Apple has lowered the price of its iPhone by $200. That seems a bit soon after its much-hyped, initial release just a couple of months ago. These companies usually wait at least a year before they lower the cost of a new and exciting product like this amazing, life-changing little gadget. What are they thinking? Apple users are some of the most fiercely loyal consumers out there, and Apple just thumbed their noses at them. Especially the ones who waited in line all day and night to be one of the first to pay the full $600 price for one. It doesn't seem like good business to me, but what do I know? My cell phone only cost $9.99, and should the company decide to lower that price by one-third, I will be just fine with that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I wouldn't call it road rage, but . . .

Great googalee moogalee. Does anyone in this town use their turn signals anymore?! And I don't mean those folks who sit at a red light and then suddenly put on their left turn signal just as the light turns green. That so doesn't count.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Speaking of that hair style . . .

Email between me and my friend Jim, who lives outside of Philadelphia:

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

Stories from the Hill . . .

My co-worker and I were working with our young people today and talking about how best to market themselves in their resumes for jobs that they might like to do. It was a lively discussion at the end of the day filled with much good humor. One young woman said to a young man, "You could be a street pharmacist." Now, how do you phrase that on a resume?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The word from Delphi is . . .

With the first Sunday of the new football season drawing to a close, I realized that I had failed to make a prediction about the Steelers regular season record. So, with one win already, my prediction is 11-5.

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.

Does this hair style have a name?

Dark hair underneath and platinum blonde on the outside. Whose brilliant idea was this?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Stories from the Hill District . . .

Two of the young men with whom I work at my new job were telling me last week that after they smoke, they like to eat Cheetos and drink Gatorade.

Personally, I prefer Doritos and cold green tea.

In today's email inbox . . .

From a friend who works at the library:

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?"
"The violin."

"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

It's about bloody time . . .

Bye, Dave. The airport is that way.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Can he even vote for Luke in November?

It's kind of late in what city government folk call the "street repaving season," but guess which relatively new resident of Pittsburgh is getting a brand new paving job done on the street right outside of his brand new house? I'm not saying that it's Mike Tomlin. But it's Mike Tomlin.

Do you think the Boy Mayor is trying to score some primo seats, compliments of the new head coach?

And speaking of dogs . . .

When did really small white dogs become a women's accessory? I don't get it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

About best friends . . .

I've been thinking about Fritz. A lot. Fritz was my dog during the "most important years of my life." My "transitional years." And after I finally moved into my first apartment in college, Fritz came to live with me. We lived together for a couple of years while he grew very old, and deaf, and blind, and finally he just couldn't keep defying death just to be there for me. So, I still think about him. Sometimes more than others. Lately, a lot. I've started looking at dogs online for the first time since Fritz (although in his day, you didn't look at dogs "online"). When I was looking earlier tonight, the tears were just rolling down my face and dripping onto my shirt. It's so transparent. I'm losing someone, something very important to me (even though it's the natural order of things, to be sure, and I know that). But here I am looking at online dogs and getting weepy over the ones that look like Fritz.

And it had to be in the fall.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Does Brooklyn have another tree that we can borrow?

My new job is in the Hill District. People my age and older may know about the great TV show in the 80s called "Hill Street Blues." The "NYPD Blue" of its time, if you will. Like NYPD Blue, it was created by Steven Bochco, who attended Carnegie Mellon and who based Hill Street Blues on the Hill District, presumably the Pittsburgh Police Zone 2 Station, which I drive by everyday. If you remember the show, and even if you don't, let me tell you that the Hill District is depressing. Boarded-up houses and storefronts everywhere. And no trees. Seriously, it's so sunny in the Hill because there are no big, leafy trees lining the street or scattered about in people's yards. There are no trees. When I'm driving to work, I pass through Oakland and all of its trees and vitality, and then as I pull up to work, I can see some of the taller buildings beaming ahead in nearby downtown. But in the Hill . . . there's just sun, and heat, and there are no trees. When I'm there, I really have no idea where I am. I'm not even sure that I know what I'm doing there.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

End of summertime blues

It is September first, and it is an absolutely perfect, beautiful day in Pittsburgh. I'm told by people who know weather that this weekend, we are expected to have some of the best weather in the country. Despite what everyone thinks or says, we do get some of the good stuff here nestled among the hills and the river valleys of Southwestern Pennsylvania, in the gateway between the East Coast and the Midwest.

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.