Monday, August 30, 2010

I've been avoiding getting some blood work done for months now. So, today I decided to go to the Quest Diagnostics located close to me and get it over with. But then I remembered my rule about Steeler games. Never get anything serious or important done on a Monday in Pittsburgh after a Sunday Steeler game. Even the preseason. You can't be sure when the party stopped for the person who's going to be working on your car, your teeth, or pricking you with a needle.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Baseball star Albert Pujols honored at Beck rally
Aug 28, 6:06 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tony La Russa doesn't understand the minor backlash that's been created by his participation in radio personality Glenn Beck's rally in Washington on Saturday, an event the St. Louis Cardinals manager said was more religious in tone than political. Before Saturday night's game against the Washington Nationals, La Russa said complaints had been made to the Cardinals' offices in St. Louis about his participation in what some viewed as an event with political overtones.

La Russa added that the Walnut Creek, Calif., Animal Rescue Foundation he operates had received questions about the manager's presence at the rally.

Speaking from notes scribbled on the back of a lineup card, La Russa introduced Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, who was given an award for his off-field charitable work at the rally.

Read more:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Spot on, two days in a row . . .


You need to just go with the flow, because your energy is bringing new stuff your way in torrents. Make sure your all-powerful intuition is in good working order today, because there's a heck of a lot to pick up on now. The more overt stuff -- so-called coincidences, weirdos both new to you and long-familiar, secret messages from odd sources -- is certainly coming your way too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


You can see what everyone else is missing, and it gives you a tremendous advantage for the time being. Of course, it's just your way to look at things differently and get to the murkier aspects of the situation. What are you going to do with your inside info? Letting others in on it would be tricky for anyone else, but you can most likely do it without saying a word.
City's unfunded pension liability grows
Thursday, August 26, 2010
By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pittsburgh pension fund's unfunded liability grew 2.1 percent in the last quarter, according to figures released today.

The fund's liability is $989.5 million, according to the recent actuarial report, and the value of the fund was about $272.2 million June 30. That's down from about $293 million on March 31.

The fund was 27.5 percent funded June 30, down from 29.6 percent March 31.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has proposed leasing the city's parking garages and meters and using some of the proceeds--at least $200 million--to boost the pension fund. He said the infusion would get the funding level to 50 percent and stave off a state takeover of the fund.
DAVE: Wow. The AP is really going after the Pirates this week.

I also find it interesting that the Pirates did not actually invest any of their own money in all of their new moves to improve the team at the minor league level, but rather borrowed money from MLB to sign Alvarez and build the facility in the Dominican Republic.

DAD: That probably indicates that the team is underfunded by its investors. They either do not have sufficient capital to own a major league baseball team or they do not care to invest their money in the team. Which cries out for selling the team to someone who is a major league investor in terms of both having the capital to invest and the willingness to spend what it takes to make a winner.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I must admit, my dear vast and loyal readership, that at 41 just like me, I would love to get a taste of that.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I don't think that I could have expressed it any better . . .

Obama's Cross
Written by Rob Rogers
I wonder if anyone ever accused Abe Lincoln of being a Muslim? Why is it so important for American Presidents to prove they are good Christians? It has nothing to do with their ability to govern. It certainly doesn't preclude them from scandals. A recent poll showed that 1 in 5 Americans actually thought that Obama was indeed a Muslim. Look, people ... unless the President of the United States is abusing altar boys or endorsing the stoning of eloping couples, his chosen faith is none of our business.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My father started the baseball season with two tickets to 15 Pirate games. The only person who would begrudgingly go with him was my mother. They went to 11 games, one of which got rained out. He told me today that he gave the tickets to the four remaining games to a local charity for children. Pirate season is over for my father. He recently changed his cable TV plan so that he gets the MLB Network. So, like me, when he wants to watch actual major league baseball played by actual major league players, he turns on MLB and watches their games.
JIM: So, I keep thinking that I will never forget that home run hit by Domonick Brown last night. It just went unbelievably far. And I think that my son won't forget it either.

And then today, I heard that Bobby Thompson died. So that got me to thinking about famous home runs in baseball. There are home runs I have seen that I will personally never forget because I was there in person (Jeff Bagwell hitting one well into the orange seats in the upper deck at Three Rivers comes to mind). But just take a minute to think about famous home runs in baseball:

Thompson's shot heard round the world
Babe Ruth's "called shot"
Hank Aaron's 715th home run
Kirk Gibson being injured and coming off the bench in the 9th inning to hit the game-winning home run in the first game of the World Series
Joe Carter hitting the game-ending World Series winning home run in 1993
Carlton Fisk hitting the home run where he is waving for the ball to stay fair as he runs down the first base line.

These are just ones that come to mind immediately off the top of my head. But what do you notice about this list?

There aren't any home runs on this list hit by Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, or Mark McGwire. In fact, even when I try, I can't think of one famous or memorable home run hit by any of those guys, even though I've probably seen the vast majority of all of the home runs they've hit in their careers (at least on SportsCenter highlights). Yeah, I may someday tell my grandkids that Barry Bonds was probably the best player I ever saw, but if they ask for that one memorable, career-defining home run that he hit, I got nothing.

Maybe the Baseball Gods really do make sure that everything always evens out in the end.

DAVE: I have one for Bonds. It's a highlight that gets shown here in Pittsburgh from the 1991 season. I was at Peter's Pub drinking with some friends and watching the Pirates game (because that's what you did when they were good) against the Cardinals, who were the Pirates' closest rival in the standings at that time. It was extra innings and Lee Smith (who was at the height of being unhittable as a closer) came in to face Bonds. Bonds hit a home run to right field and raised his arms in the air and then went down the first base line clapping his hands together while a stunned Lee Smith walked off the mound. The bar erupted in joy in a way that I've never experienced since regarding baseball in Pittsburgh. And the Pirates never looked back, going on from there to win the division.

But no, I agree that there are not "historical" home runs associated with those guys, if you don't count the ones where McGwire and Bonds broke records. I still remember those. I watched them, even though I didn't believe.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mission Accomplished . . .

President Obama promised to get the troops out of Iraq (Where we never should have been in the first place. Do I really even have to say that? Is there anyone out there left who actually believes that the U.S. had any legitimate reason to go to war with Iraq?), and he is fulfilling that promise. Seven lost years over there. At least 4,415 dead. That was George Bush's war. Obama is bringing it to an end. That's one of the reasons we elected him. Remember? The other guy and that woman who ran with him wanted to keep our troops over there.
DAVE: I was thinking to myself today how I probably never write to Bill [Peduto] with something good to say. So, with that as context, I would like to sincerely compliment Bill and anyone else involved with the City regarding the improvements made to the intersection of Fifth and Penn. I have driven through that intersection for most of my life, and it looks like it finally is designed to effectively deal with the traffic flow, especially after the students return, which will be the true test. Nice work.

DAN GILMAN (Bill's Chief of Staff): Funny you send on that. We have got lots and lots of complaints about how the city made it worse!!!

Thanks for the compliments though.

DAVE: It is not uncommon for me to disagree with the general consensus.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I've noticed that many parents sort of ignore their young children when they are playing with their cell phones, and that many teenagers sort of ignore their parents when they are playing with their cell phones.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I love this story because the teacher's name sounds so much like a stripper's name. Ginger D'Amico?! Come on.
Brownsville teacher settles suit over photo with stripper
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Fayette County teacher who was suspended for 30 days without pay because pictures showing her with a stripper were posted on Facebook has settled her case for $10,000.
Ginger D'Amico, who teaches high school Spanish in the Brownsville Area School District, also will have her disciplinary record cleared and be given back pay for wages lost during her suspension.

Homewood cannot catch a break . . .

Homewood youth football coach accused of drug dealing
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A youth football coach faces a preliminary hearing Thursday after state police said they seized about 300 stamp bags of heroin from his car during a sting in North Versailles.

Robert Burgess, 32, of Wilkinsburg, was charged with several drug offenses after state troopers searched his car on Aug. 13. Police had arranged to buy drugs from Vaughn Beck, who they said promised them six bricks of heroin, according to a police affidavit. They set up a meeting in the parking lot of the North Versailles Wal-Mart.

Police said Mr. Burgess drove Mr. Beck to the scene, and they found drugs in the center console. Mr. Beck later told troopers that the heroin belonged to Mr. Burgess and that he "supplied the drug deal," according to the affidavit.

Mr. Burgess is a coach of the Homewood Bulldogs, though his status with the team was unclear today.
Do you want to know how important football is in Pittsburgh? Witnesses to violence in our inner cities almost NEVER give even anonymous tips to the police. Well, this time they did.

Chief's threat draws suspects after Homewood shooting
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
By Sadie Gurman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A day after gunfire cut short a youth football game at Stargell Field in Homewood, both residents and police said they are frustrated by the violence and called on each other to bring it to and end.

Police Chief Nate Harper, surrounded by disheartened coaches, police brass and community members outside the field on Monday, said the city would consider shutting down the popular football program if witnesses didn't give up the names of at least two gunman who exchanged gunfire there Sunday afternoon, sending three people to the hospital.

Chief Harper said he wanted the names by 8 p.m., and before that deadline arrived, he got his wish.

Residents provided detectives with the names of "two prime suspects," police spokeswoman Diane Richard said, identifying them only as men ages 20 and 26 who are well-known in Homewood.

Read more:
Councilman to propose gas drilling ban in city; Ravenstahl opposes idea
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
By Joe Smydo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh City Councilman Doug Shields today plans to unveil legislation to ban natural gas drilling in the city, saying he's wants to test a municipality's right to self-government, even if that means inviting a legal challenge from the drilling industry.

"Why can't we say no? Why is it that local authorities, the local government, can't make that determination?" Mr. Shields said Monday, the same day that the University of Pittsburgh reported a surge in the number of Allegheny County property owners who have leased land for oil and gas exploration.

Read more:

Monday, August 16, 2010

On Saturday night, I ran into the East Liberty Giant Eagle (which is always an adventure) to quickly buy two boxes of Popsicles and a box of Twix mini ice cream bars. I was in the mood for some frozen treats after such a hot and humid week. I grabbed my items and headed to the self-checkout lanes (which is also always an adventure). To my great joy, one was free, and I scanned my items. Just as I was pulling my wallet out of my pocket to pay the $12 total, a man came out of nowhere and approached me with his Access card extended and asked me if he could pay for my total with his card and then I would give him the cash. I said no. He stepped closer to me and said, "Why not? It's the same thing." To which I said, "It is NOT the same thing." And then I asked him to step back. And he disappeared back into the store. That's the first time that's ever happened to me.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I have recently learned that the pollen found in lilies is toxic to cats. I had never heard that before, but I'm not a cat person. So, I guess the lesson is don't bring home lilies if you have a cat, and if you know someone with a cat, don't send them lilies.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

In the middle of a horrible, lengthy recession (at times seemingly teetering on the verge of a depression), Duquesne Light wants to raise electricity rates. They are proposing the following increases:

Monthly bill for an average commercial customer: 6.14%
Monthly bill for an average industrial customer: 2.98%
And, of course, the average residential customer gets screwed on the monthly bill: 9.38%

This is how America does business.
Judge orders identities of commenters be revealed
Thursday, August 12, 2010
By Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Anonymous bloggers beware. You may not be as anonymous as you think.

Forward Township Supervisor Thomas DeRosa has won a court victory in the action that he filed in November to uncover the identities of people who posted comments on an online bulletin board that he said defamed him.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Iowa restaurant ticketed for toad-licking chef
Aug 11, 7:03 PM EDT

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- An Iowa restaurant owner said he'll pay a fine after his head chef was videotaped kissing and licking toads in the kitchen. The Scott County Health Department reviewed the video Wednesday and called in the chef and owner of Osaka in Davenport to issue a $335 ticket. Food inspector Lindsay Gorishek said several violations were committed during the video.

On the tape, chef Christopher Turla is seen with two small toads on the prep table. He kisses the toads a few times, licks them, then stuffs them in his mouth.

Turla said it was meant as a joke. His brother videotaped the kitchen antics and posted them on YouTube.

Restaurant owner Yidi When said Turla is just a funny guy who needs some more training about restaurant sanitation.
Written by Rob Rogers

Tom Ridge once had a job where he had to put a good face on the Bush Administration's civil liberties crackdown. Now he has a job where he has to put a good face on the gas drilling industry's environmental frackdown. He is the new spokesman for Marcellus shale drilling interests. The controversial hydraulic drilling procedure (called fracking) has been said to contaminate underground water. They are paying him a $900, 000 salary. Heck, for that much money ... even I would say it is perfectly safe!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Written by Rob Rogers

Just because we are pulling out of Iraq doesn't mean our soldiers are out of harm's way. Reports are showing a rise in the suicide rate among soldiers fighting in Iraq. Combine that with post-traumatic stress, violent behavior, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and we have a national epidemic on our hands. These heroes need serious help. They need treatment and counseling. Let's make sure they get it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Woman wipes dirty diaper on car during traffic dispute
Monday, August 09, 2010
The Associated Press

CONNELLSVILLE -- State police say a woman wiped a dirty diaper on the window of another woman's vehicle during a dispute in a traffic jam as both were leaving the Fayette County Fair.

Twenty-three-year-old Jessica Hollis, of Mount Pleasant, has been charged with harassment in the incident, which state police in Uniontown say happened about 10:50 p.m. Saturday.

Police say Ms. Hollis smeared the diaper on the rear window of a vehicle driven by 36-year-old Melanie Campbell, of Hopwood.

Police say the women began arguing while they were stuck in traffic leaving the fairgrounds in Dunbar Township.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I think that if you live in Pittsburgh, you need to have a friend or relative with a boat. I have neither.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New Rule: If you're going to use the self-checkout lane at a grocery store, then you either have to know how to use it already, or you have to be able to figure it out in five minutes.

Friday, August 6, 2010

I was wondering when this would come up . . .

BP says it might drill again in spill reservoir
Associated Press Writers
Aug 6, 2:16 PM EDT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- BP PLC said Friday it might someday drill again into the same lucrative undersea pocket of oil that spilled millions of gallons of crude, wrecked livelihoods and fouled beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.

"There's lots of oil and gas here," Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles said at a news briefing. "We're going to have to think about what to do with that at some point."

The vast oil reservoir beneath the blown well is still believed to hold nearly $4 billion worth of crude. With the company and its partners facing tens of billions of dollars in liabilities, the incentive to exploit the wells and the reservoir could grow.

Caption inspired by FF . . .

"Okay, Ben, just smile and pretend we're talking about something serious. Now tell me, how tight was that 20-year-old pussy?"

Thursday, August 5, 2010

It's just my opinion, but I don't think we are helping obese people when we give them handicapped or disabled parking placards.
Police arrest four after drugs found in toddler's diaper
Thursday, August 05, 2010
By Jim McKinnon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A 2-year-old child was removed from her mother's custody overnight after police, in a raid, found the toddler's diaper full of illegal drugs and urine.

Read more:

If for no other reason, you should open up the story to see the photos of these chuckleheads.

Too good not to post . . .

On Facebook, wife learns of husband's 2nd wedding
By MEGHAN BARR Associated Press Writer
AP Photo
Aug 5, 5:56 AM EDT
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

It's a nice photo. But Dan Rooney is definitely shrinking.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What's up with the patches on the training camp practice jerseys? Are the Steelers having some trouble meeting payroll this month? I saw that the Dallas Cowboys have patches for the University of Phoenix on their practice jerseys. But not every team has them. Jerry Jones, I can understand. But the Rooneys?

It's progress . . .

State's taking applications for high-risk health insurance
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The state's new high-risk health insurance plan, PA Fair Care, is accepting applications from Pennsylvanians starting this morning.

The program is meant provide health coverage for Pennsylvanians who have been unable to obtain insurance because of preexisting medical conditions. Up to 3,500 Pennsylvanians will receive coverage initially on a first-come-first-serve basis. Policies will cost about $283 a month.

You can apply online at Those without immediate access are encouraged to visit a local library, community center or county assistance office for free public access to the Internet, because applications will be processed more quickly online. If your computer has a pop-up advertisement blocker, you'll need to temporarily disable that as well.

The application can be completed in under 15 minutes.

A toll-free help line (1-888-767-7015) is also available for those with questions, but it is not meant to handle those applying for coverage.
Sometimes it's hard to believe that President Obama is only eight years older than I am. I have a lot of work to do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

National report cites local subway extension as stimulus waste
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
By Jon Schmitz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Tunnel to Nowhere news is always fun. This story puts a political spin on the project, with an almost surprise ending.
Just Sidney being Sidney.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Drill, baby, drill is now Pennsylvania's slogan. Gas companies have been scrambling to take advantage of the Marcellus shale natural gas deposits. While all of this could mean new energy sources, tax revenue and jobs, environmentalists are worried about the impact. Toxic chemicals used in the hydraulic "fracking" process have been known to contaminate underground water. The drillers claim these are isolated incidents, but some of us are not convinced.