Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I was just strolling home from a doctor's appointment when a young man jogged by me, wearing all of the requisite, contemporary, jogging gear including the iPod strapped to his sweaty arm. But I noticed that his footfalls sounded like bare feet hitting concrete. And sure enough, he was not wearing any shoes.

Monday, March 29, 2010

DAVE: Rather than trade McNabb to the Raiders or the Bills, I think the classy thing for the Eagles to do is to let him finish out the one year left on his contract and then let him leave as a free agent next season.

JIM: Don't they owe it to their fans (and season ticket holders) to do what is best for the team?

DAVE: I hear they're only asking for a second-round pick. I don't like McNabb as a quarterback. Never have. But he's been a classy quarterback under the potentially suspect coaching philosophies of Andy Reid. I'd let him finish out his contact. It's not like he's over-the-hill and can't play. To trade him to the Raiders or Bills is . . . well, it's Philadelphia.

JIM: If it's time to move on, it's time to move on. I'm not saying that I know if it's time to move on or not. Just saying. McNabb has always been pretty good, and is a tough player who plays hurt. But if the Eagles think it is time to move on, then that's what they should do.

DAVE: It's not like McNabb has as many sexual assault accusations as Super Bowl titles. Okay, maybe a bad example.

JIM: Believe me, I remember well the long (losing) seasons of having quarterbacks like Rodney Peete, Bobby Hoying, Doug Pedersen, the Detmers...the list goes on and on.

But you can't be afraid to move forward into the future just because of what's happened in the past. If it is time for the Eagles to move on, then it is time to move on.

DAVE: I think the Eagles should at least trade him to a decent team: Arizona, Minnesota. But the Raiders?! Or the Bills?! Come on. That's just plain mean.

JIM: Well, the Steelers look like they are going to need a quarterback...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Because, apparently, up until now, you have foolishly been using "2D" whitening products.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today's horoscope . . .

Pisces: For the next few weeks, you're going to be quite aggressive, especially when it comes to going after what (or whom) you want. Be warned, though: No matter where you are or who you happen to be chatting with, if someone you're attracted to walks by, you'll just have to excuse yourself and follow. No, this isn't your usual M.O., but that's okay. Every now and then you get to pretend you're someone else.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

JIM: So...I went to a Bon Jovi concert last night.

DAVE: Kathy's Christmas gift. How was it? Old man.

JIM: Well, there were A LOT of 41-year-old women there, most of them wearing jeans that I can only assume were what one would call "destructed".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

DAVE: So, how are you feeling now that the health care bill was passed?

DAD: I am very pleased that the health care bill was passed and signed. I am not 100% happy with that bill, but it is better than not having a bill. I would have preferred Medicare for everyone, or at least the current bill with a public option. But it is good that the Democrats could pass something in the face of the crazy opposition from the Republicans and the tea party nuts. I believe that the Republicans should not be so smug about saying that this will destroy Obama and the Democrats in the mid-term elections. A lot can happen between now and November. The President will have time to explain the bill to the people and perhaps convince them that it is for their benefit. In November jobs and the employment situation will be more important than health care. If employment numbers improve, people will forget about health care; if they don't, the Democrats will be in trouble. Newt Gingrich said sometime ago that the health care bill will have the same effect as Johnson's passage of the Civil Rights Act: it will give the Republicans an electoral advantage for decades. The two pieces of legislation are not comparable. Health care will benefit more people than even the Civil Rights Act has. Furthermore, can anyone really say that passing the Civil Rights Act was not the right thing to do even given the strong opposition by the bigots? Sometimes you have to do what is right for the country even though it may not be the most popular thing at the time. A side note: Jason Altmire looks pretty stupid now. He will look even worse if he loses his election and many of those who voted for health care win.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Change. A President who follows through with a campaign promise. Is it perfect? No. Is it flawed? Yes. Is it a step in the right direction? Yes. Is it the right thing to do, when that is so often a distant concern? Yes. He's my hero right now. He's the wind beneath my wings.

Busy morning . . .

I have been reluctant to talk much about my "relationship" with Cindy. Despite expressing brutal, often painful honesty in past posts, I have wanted to keep this as sort of something that can be just for me, you know, without having to decide what details to write about and what not to. Which isn't to say that there's been anything to write about. So far. But in the last 24 hours, I asked Cindy if she wanted to have dinner with me, and she said yes. Baby steps.
DAVE: Has Pitt's loss got you down?

JIM: Nah. I've always said that one of the most important things for colleges, and especially college athletics, is tradition. So I feel all warm and fuzzy today.

You see, Mark Nordenberg and Steve Pedersen completely destroyed every single tradition associated with Pitt football. But if there is one tradition still going strong, it's Pitt basketball, always and forever, losing to clearly inferior teams during the NCAA tournament. Doesn't matter whether it's Vanderbilt or Ball State or Utah or Pacific or Oklahoma State or Xavier get the idea. I take comfort in the fact that there is still one long-standing tradition left in Pitt athletics that I can count on.

Except for last year, when they lost to Villanova.

DAVE: Good to hear. Good to hear.

JIM: What's so damn good about it?

DAVE: I can clearly see that you are handling the loss well.

At least Pitt always plays these games close, right down to the buzzer. Or, is that bad, because it breaks your heart?

JIM: Good, bad. Doesn't matter. You just have to accept it. It's tradition.
I'm a 41-year-old man. I want a pair of jeans. But I don't want them "destructed." And I don't want them to have "crotch whiskers."

What the fuck happened to The Gap?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, the House passed the health care reform bill without your vote, Mr. Altmire. And now both your Republican and your Democratic constituents all hate you and are protesting outside your office and your house. Sucks to be you. And have fun come re-election time. Asshole.

Friday, March 19, 2010

DAVE: After being subjected to weeks of TV advertising both for and against health care reform and aimed at constituents of Jason Altmire, who apparently is a swing vote in the House, he announced today that he is voting "No" on health care reform. Fucking Democrats have no balls.

DAD: You are right. With the way Altmire has behaved, his district might as well have returned Melissa Hart to the House. They get the same result no matter what. Altmire said on CNN that he had to listen to his constituents. What about voting for what is right for the country and then trying to persuade your constituents that you did the right thing? But that would take balls.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

North Shore Connector gets back on track
$10 million cut out of budget; project 70 percent complete
Thursday, March 18, 2010
By Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A year after facing a $117.8 million shortfall and possible shutdown, the North Shore Connector project is alive and well.

Port Authority project director Keith Wargo told a board committee Wednesday that another $10 million has been trimmed from the project, largely through management efficiencies.

Since May, the estimated cost has fallen by $24 million, to $528.8 million, also due in part to lower-than-expected construction bids in the more recent stages of work.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I received my Census form this afternoon, and I filled it out using the Waterman fountain pen that Cindy gave me in college. In her own words in a recent email, "You can't argue. That's a kickass pen." And it is.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I am ASTOUNDED at the number of people who do not make use of the handy-dandy vibrate feature on their cell phones when they are out in public. Although, I guess those are the same people who are going to answer their phone and have a very public, often loud conversation anyway.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Milquetoast . . .

Like a lot of people, when I come across a word that I don't know, I want to know what it means. Being a lifelong educator, I always turned to the dictionary for my definitions. And I still do, although I will admit to having turned more and more to the technology of the Internet that effortlessly brings me things like I mean, how easy is that. I happen to be in a phase where I'm not reading any books, so I do most of my reading these days on the computer, and the computer seems like a pretty logical place to get a quick definition. But that doesn't mean that I still don't sometimes walk across the room, get the same red Webster's New World Dictionary Third College Edition Updated 1994 Edition and look up a word with the dictionary opened up on the floor or on the edge of my bed.

Regardless of where I get my definitions, it's always so cool to me to learn a new word. And invariably, as soon as I learn it, I seem to encounter it in the next week or so. I always joke that I will hear the word three times right after I learn it, but that doesn't seem to happen as often as I think it will. But in the interest of entertaining, informing, and educating my vast and loyal readership, I will share with you that my newest word is milquetoast. It's pronounced "milk toast," rather that "milky toast" which is how I pronounced it in my head the first time I came across it. I don't remember the online article it came from, but I did look in up and found that a milquetoast is a meek, timid man. Just like toast soaked in milk would be pretty soppy. And the word has a crazy history of having its origin be an unassertive comic strip character named Caspar Milquetoast who was first introduced in 1924 in "The Timid Soul" by American cartoonist H. T. Webster. And I learned all of this from So cool.

Now, I know that the Kindle and similar book-machines have a dictionary built right in that you can use to look up any word in any book that you read. And I can recognize that that, too, is very cool. However, to this point in my life, I have decided to stick with actual books over the electronic versions out there. I don't know how long I will maintain that position, but for now, it's how I roll.

Shortly after I learned my new word, I heard Hannah Storm use it on ESPN. That's been the only time I've heard it. It's such an obscure word, that I don't really expect to encounter it two more times. But now that you know it, maybe you will.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My boss Andy and I were talking today about how good the Arizona Cardinals are going to be next season with Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

JIM: Corey Haim died.

DAVE: Corey Haim was a tortured soul. His friend Corey Feldman wept when he heard of his death.

JIM: They are (or were) definitely two Lost Boys.

DAVE: Indeed, they were. Remember when Corey Feldman was all into being like Michael Jackson? Hollywood really fucks some people up.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

When Cindy and I were in college, shortly after we broke up, she gave me a very nice Waterman fountain pen for Christmas. It was, one could argue, the perfect gift for a budding writer at the time. It may well be the best gift I have ever received. In the words of John Cusack in 1989's movie "Say Anything," I gave her my heart. She gave me a pen.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Antwaan Randle El is coming back to the Steelers. It's a good thing. We may need a quarterback.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Speaking of movies, on Oscar Sunday . . .

Today I finally reached a point in my life. I am ready to go to an afternoon movie by myself. And I was so excited that I was going to be able to go to a movie of my choosing on Oscar Sunday. But when I went to check the local theater listings, I found that there are NO MOVIES that I want to see. These are my choices:

Shutter Island (too scary)
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland: in Disney Digital 3D
The Last Station
Crazy Heart
The Crazies
Brooklyn's Finest (possibly, but I don't like to go to a movie on its opening weekend in case it bombs)
Cop Out
Dear John
Valentine's Day

I guess all the good movies have moved on already. So, no movie for me today. But I'm ready. I just need a movie that I actually want to see.

Shortly after I wrote this post, I finally became the last person in America to join Netflix. The movies that I want to see are on their way right to my home. So much for a weekend afternoon at the movie theater.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Squirrel Hill movie theater closes
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
By Barbara Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

After more than seven decades, the Squirrel Hill Theater on Forward Avenue has closed. The decision will have no effect, owners say, on the nearby Manor Theater which will continue to operate.

"It is with deep regret that I am faced with the decision to close the Squirrel Hill Theater," owner Richard Stern said in a statement today. "It is no longer an economically viable operation and we can no longer sustain the losses which we have experienced over the past two years."

Mr. Stern added that the Manor remains profitable and is not in jeopardy of going dark. "It remains the premier specialized film venue in Pittsburgh. We will explore other alternatives and opportunities to fill the void in the market caused by closing the six screens at the Squirrel Hill Theater."

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Look what I found among my collection of cassette tapes. Now, what the heck am I going to do with this?

Monday, March 1, 2010


JIM: Dude, you're an American.

DAVE: Oh, Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

JIM: America. Love it or leave it.

You pinko commie.

DAVE: You're the second person to call me that in the last month.

JIM: You called yourself that.

DAVE: I said that if I started wearing wool socks in the summer, then that would make me a communist. Ian called me a "pinko commie" just a couple of weeks ago. It's nice to know how my friends view me.