Friday, September 30, 2011

Brewed On Grant: I Know You Are
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 09:01
Written by Rob Rogers

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has announced his plan to run for another term as mayor. Yay!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tom Cruise in Pittsburgh for 'One Shot'
Star brings along family for movie shoot
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PG reader and freelance photographer Chris Payer was at Soergel Orchards and Family Farm in Wexford with wife Erin and 18-month-old daughter Livi "when we randomly ran into Tom Cruise, his wife Katie and daughter Suri!" More of Chris' images at

The manager where I presently work was telling me on Monday about how he, his wife, and his young daughter were at Soergels on Saturday when they, too, ran into Tom Cruise and his family. Brad said that they were very nice, taking Suri around to participate in the many attractions there for kids. They were traveling with two bodyguards, and the only thing that the bodyguards were not allowing was filming of the family. Photos, obviously, were allowed. Brad said that they looked like a normal family just out for a fall afternoon at Soergels in Wexford. I think that Tom Cruise gets an undeservedly hard time from the unsavory aspect of the entertainment industry. Yes, he IS the king of Scientology, which clearly makes him look like a dope. But aside from that, I don't think that he's really that bad. And Brad confirmed what I had already suspected, which is that Katie Holmes is a beautiful woman.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One of the characters on my building's condo board is the president, Mel. Mel is an older gentleman who has been the board's only president since the building went condos in 1987. He and I haven't always gotten along so well. But last year, I called a truce, meaning that now I just THINK about what a goof he is, rather than actually WRITING it in board emails. Anyway, he writes these emails and sends them to all of the residents of the building. For example . . .


MEL: Dear neighbor:

Sharon and I just noticed that someone tried to open our front door by shoving what appears to be something like a screwdriver between the door and the doorframe. There is a groove near the lock on our door evidencing this.

This could only have happened by someone gaining unauthorized entry to our building.

Please do not leave any of the doors to our building open or ajar unless you are near that door. Tom B.-please advise your tenant about this as we do not have an email address for him.

Please let me know if your front door has a groove like I've described above. Also, please let me know if any of you have lost your keys to our front and back door, or if you have any specific reason like losing your keys why we should change our building's common door locks.

This is not the first time that I've heard of anything like this in all the many years we've been living here. Please stay vigilant.

I plan to call a locksmith and have a steel plate or something like that installed on my door as a precaution. Let me know if you want the same.

Thank you,


JANE (lives above Mel): Thanks, Mel. Glad you both, and your place, are OK.

What a welcome home! I may be interested in a steel plate – let me know what this might cost.

Thanks !
- jane

MEL: There is now a question as to whether there was an attempted breakin, Jane. It's possible my door chain caused the indentation.

I decided to forego the steel plate.


Monday, September 26, 2011

The only thing I hate more than the fall rainy season in Pittsburgh is the winter rainy season in Pittsburgh. And I'm not really a fan of the spring rainy season in Pittsburgh, either. I have it on good authority that it rains more in Portland, Oregon than it does in Pittsburgh. But they don't have to deal with snow. I couldn't live way out there, though. Too far away from the action. It's so important to me to be close to the action. That is a complete lie. I could move to Hawaii and never look back. Never. Look. Back.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I have never liked cropped pants on women. Just never have. And I like them even less on men.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I've been having problems with my back for much of the summer. It's actually STILL summer. Supposedly. Anyway, I don't really know what the problem is, other than, well, maybe aging. Playing the frisbee toss game with Sidney actually is a pretty active game of play. I spend most of the day on my feet, rarely sitting, because it's hard for me to sit for very long these days. Medication, most likely. I also never get tired. I sleep at night, sometimes even dozing off on the couch. But I don't actually feel tired. It's a bloody mess. But that's not the point. My back is causing me so much pain, and the only thing that works is 1600 mg or more a day of Advil. Is that a lot? I mean, according to the package, that might be a lot. But what about for a hurting back on a 180-pound man? But to have to take that much on a regular basis does not make me happy. And me being happy remains to this day the number one goal for my life.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Pet Points: No bones about it: Keep dogs away
Saturday, September 17, 2011
By Lawrence Gerson, V.M.D.

Every veterinarian has clients that he or she enjoys seeing every year. They become old friends with whom we catch up during yearly appointments.

I always was happy to see Mr. J. and his dog Teddy. We have been seeing his pets for decades. He always took good care of his dogs. However, I knew the instant I walked into the office and saw him pacing that something was seriously wrong. His pet was being radiographed. When I asked him why, he admitted that his dog had been given a pork bone by a family member.

Bones can cause serious problems. I have surgically cut marrow bones from the lower jaw. Bones also can become lodged between teeth. Bones can crack teeth and cause a major extraction of the main chewing tooth.

Once swallowed, bones can puncture an intestine and cause a fatal infection or become impacted in the lower bowel.

When owners visit with their new puppies and kittens, we explain in writing at their first visit: No real bones -- ever.

One look at Teddy and it was clear he was in big trouble as he gasped for air in respiratory distress. The radiograph showed large irregular and sharp bone fragments stuck in his esophagus. Options included an attempt to push the bones into the stomach and remove the pieces with surgery, but this was risky because of the sharp points. An attempt to retrieve the bone from the esophagus might fail and open chest surgery might be needed.

We decided in seconds that a trip to the emergency hospital was needed for an endoscopic retrieval, if possible, with surgical back-up if necessary.

Teddy was one lucky dog, as the internal medicine specialist was able to grab and remove the bone quickly under anesthesia. When I called the emergency room to find out if surgery was needed I was shocked to find out Teddy was already released and sent home with a good prognosis. After eating soft canned food for a few days he was as good as new.

This story has a happy ending, but the take-home message is quite clear.

Never feed dogs or cats bones, and always be careful that they do not find them in the trash. Carefully dispose of the bones and save a life. I hope Teddy enjoyed his last bone.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Over the weekend, I saw a commercial for Nyquil. Bloody Nyquil. Before the middle of September. Come on. We can put off the dreaded cold and flu season for at least a couple more weeks. Just like the house I saw today in my neighborhood with Halloween decorations up already. Seriously? Why not just put the inflatable snowman out already and get it over with?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

First Responder
Sunday, 11 September 2011 09:15
Written by Rob Rogers

As we all reflect on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, let us not forget the lives lost, the heroism displayed, and/or the shameful politics that followed. Despite all of the patriotic bravado that came from politicians in the months and years to follow 9/11, the real heroes of 9/11, the first responders, were left to fend for themselves when they developed life-threatening health issues as a result of their rescue efforts.

To even get a bill before congress took way too many years. Finally in 2010 they drafted a bill. This should have been a non-partisan no-brainer, but instead, the republicans decided to hold up the bill until a promise that the tax cuts for the wealthy would not be touched. To make matters worse, the bill that finally DID pass doesn't cover lung cancer. Way to remember 9/11, fellas!

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's time for my annual prediction of what the Steelers' final regular season record will be. 10-6.

The Ravens looked pretty freaking good yesterday. Yikes.

Friday, September 9, 2011

DAVE: The Phillies are so good. And the addition of Pence has made them virtually unbeatable. You're so lucky to see such good baseball. So lucky.

JIM: I was thinking earlier today: when was the last time a team, in any sport, went into a season with so much hype, and then actually lived up to that hype? I know the Phillies haven't won anything yet, but their regular season has been pretty impressive. I agree. I am lucky. I was trying to explain that to my kids over the holiday weekend. I'm not sure if they were getting it or not.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How did the economy get to this point . . . ?

1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget.

1981 - 1989:
With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.

1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan that lowers deficit, gets zero votes from congressional Republicans.

1998: U.S. deficit disappears for the first time in three decades. Debt clock is unplugged.

2000: George W. Bush runs for president, promising to maintain a balanced budget.

2001: Congressional Budget Office shows the United States is on track to pay off the entirety of its national debt within a decade.

2001 - 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt.

2002: Dick Cheney declares, "Deficits don't matter."

2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush; Republicans immediately condemn Obama's fiscal irresponsibility.

2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives - including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act - which would lower the deficit. GOP opposes all of them, while continuing to push for deficit reduction.

September 2010:
In Obama's first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion. Republicans again condemn Obama's fiscal irresponsibility.

October 2010: S&P endorses the nation's AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying the United States looks to be in solid fiscal shape for the foreseeable future.

November 2010:
Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility.

December 2010: Congressional Republicans demand extension of Bush tax cuts, relying entirely on deficit financing. GOP continues to accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.

March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States hostage - a move without precedent in American history - until massive debt-reduction plan is approved.

July 2011: Obama offers Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction deal. GOP refuses, pushes debt-ceiling standoff until the last possible day, rattling international markets.

August 2011: S&P downgrades U.S. debt, citing GOP refusal to consider new revenues. Republicans rejoice and blame Obama for fiscal irresponsibility.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Amen to that . . .

Evil Government
Friday, 02 September 2011 09:50
Written by Rob Rogers

I have some questions for all you people who say we need less government. Are you willing to fix our roads and bridges? Are you willing to do garbage pickup? Are you willing to personally fund Social Security or Medicare? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Monday, September 5, 2011

It appears as though the rainy season has begun in Pittsburgh.

Friday, September 2, 2011

God's Idiots
Thursday, 01 September 2011 09:53
Written by Rob Rogers

Pat Robertson and Michele Bachmann have both invoked the Lord's name to endorse their own insane world views. The only thing missing in this most recent episode of crazy talk was an inflammatory comment from Rush Limbaugh.