Archive for February, 2010

The irony of Flag Plaza

Flying above Flag Plaza on Thursday (the morning after Canada beat Russia), the flag in the monthly rotation was Russian American Company.  Oh the irony.  Also it’s taken me about 10 minutes to add this sentence.  The WiFi here at Barnes and Noble is soooooo slow.  Probably going home to work, which is the opposite of what I wanted to do.  Oh well.

Inside Penn Station

Pittsburgh International After Hours

It’s been floating around the web for a bit now, yesterday was featured on PG+ and today is featured on The Consumerist:


Required Reading

I don’t live in the city limits, I don’t get to vote for the mayor, but for many in the same situation, his (and city council’s) actions affect me.  I work in the city, I love this city, if I could spend more time in it (current road/sidewalk conditions notwithstanding) I would.  And I have generally supported the Mayor, probably from my empowerment of youth philosophy, he may be 30, but that’s still young, if not a youth per se.

I can look past some of this flaws, attribute them to his youth, as well as (from an outsider who doesn’t pay as much attention as I should) the inability for City Council to work with the Mayor on just about anything (hello, microcosm!).

However, recent shenanigans anger me.  And there are many, and many obvious ones, although I am more prone to look at the two broken promises, that sadly, should not have had to be promised.

  1. That the snow removal that was promised to be overhauled, in 2008 (h/t to PG+).  Full disclosure, I really haven’t had any problems on my short commute/walk, but I gather I’m pretty much the exception.
  2. An overhaul of the 911 system, which from what we can gather, Luke was working on today, even though it failed the city once again.

But even more than any of that, the lack of transparency is what bugs me.  Yes, Luke is oftentimes immature, and yes, City Council will sometimes egg him on, and not help the situation.  But honest communication and transparency would do a world of good.  For everybody.

So in the meantime, I’ll direct you to the actual required reading (I have no affront to think that I am in any way required, respected or regularly read as a writer about Pittsburgh, let alone a writer about Pittsburgh politics), over at That’s Church.  Check out the comments as well, where I felt some were spookily like my own sentiments.  Here’s a taste of what you’ll find:

You had that power.  The power was in YOUR hands this entire time to put a stop to the questions of your whereabouts.  It is because of YOUR actions that it got as bad as it did.  It was your decisions.  Your silence. You. All you.

PATransit Tuesday: Victory!

The title of this blog post was going to be very, very different.  Here’s what happened.  I caught a different bus since mine was a bit late, and I didn’t feel like waiting outside any longer.  I transferred at the Park ‘n Ride, my bus was right behind us by the time we got there, so it was pretty awesome.

However, as I got on the bus, the driver said he wasn’t going into our plan, instead he was going to drop us all off (I think six of us by the time we got to our neighborhood) at he gas station about a mile away from the Park ‘n Ride in our neighborhood, where (I think) most people get on the bus.  Well, that was pretty crappy, but it was better than being at a further lot, and I had my boots on and even a pair of Yax Trax I could lend out.

To be fair, the roads through Wilkinsburg were pretty awful, and so was most of 22 through Wilkins and Monroeville, but as we got into Monroeville, the roads improved, a lot.  And thankfully, as we drove past the gas station (Sunoco, fyi, although as I found out, people from out of state sometimes pronounce it “Son-a-ca”), the driver announced he was going to try our road!

The road was just wet, much, much better than it was today, when our normal driver, fearless as always, drove us home.  So thanks to the drivers, regular, or the never-ended cast of subs we have every Monday, for letting me nap while you navigate the (sometimes awful) roads.

Olympocalypse coverage starts at Vancouver Metblogs

Hey look, there’s a giant, international event going on and I don’t have to cover it!  It’s like some weird kind of G-20 withdrawal….just kidding.

Anyway, the crew over at Vancouver Metblogs is covering the 2010 Olympic games (as I watch it on TV obsessively).  Check it out, and good luck to everyone in Vancouver!

And by the way, does anyone have a good schedule I could print out showing what is when on TV?  I can’t find a good one online, and the official site only shows one day at a time, and really isn’t very useful.

Here is a look at my sidewalk

Isn’t it great in the winter!  Truth be told, I expected it to be worse, so I guess there’s that…

VGL Show cancelled on Thursday, Friday show still has tickets left

Video Games Live is returning to Heinz Hall, for their Bonus Round concert (due to demand, they were asked to return less than nine months after their last show).  This time, the set list includes Final Fantasy VIII, Sonic, Assassin’s Creed II, Shadow of the Colossus, BioShock, Mass Effect, StarCraft II, Mega Man, an interactive Frogger segment as well as the world premier of a new Guitar Hero segment.

Thursday’s show has been cancelled, but ticket holders can call the PSO to get a refund or move the tickets to the Friday performance:

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause people.  This is the first time in our 5 years of touring that anything like this has happened but unfortunately it is something completely out of everyone’s control.

I highly recommend the concert, if you want more information, check out their website here.

PATransit Tuesday: snOMG

Chris Potter over at Pittsburgh City Paper has a great article about how the Port Authority is communicating during the the snow storms:

Over the weekend, I found myself hooked on the Port Authority’s Twitter account, which I’ve never really noticed before.

Potter brings ups a lot of points I’ve thought about, but never really found myself articulate to put down on the screen (page?), including the idea bouncing around my head about a giant LED screen at Penn Station telling me which bus is about to come around the corner, and how that idea is almost possible!  It’s a great read just for that!

But, the main focus is about PAT’s use of twitter and their (I think even more under-promoted) blog.  It boggles my mind to realize that the Twitter account is staffed by only two persons.  And for that, I have to hand it to PAT, that has been the most reliable way to get in touch with them, and the interactions have always been awesome, if not completely transparent, but really, hats off to PAT!

Check out the latest route updates on their twitter feed, scheduled (awesome by the way) updates on their blog and through their continuously updated press release.

Stay safe out there, be warm!


If you’re stuck at home (and I hope you are, or at least someplace warm and safe), check out Mike Woycheck’s Twitter feed as he live blogs the Snowmaggedon in truly Carbolic Smoke Ball fashion.  Some gems include:

To avert Pittsburgh drivers from using major roadways, PennDOT erecting banners from recent Pittsburgh Pirates mktg. campaigns at roadside.

TERROR IN SHADYSIDE: Women are forced to shield their bronzed skin and styled hair from falling snow using Louis Vuitton handbags.

You can also watch the real Liveblogging, going on at WTAE (a combination of twitter feeds and user and reporter comments), but it is not nearly as entertaining.  Except in some kind of Schadenfreude way.

Stay warm and stay safe!  I can’t wait to see all the pictures tomorrow!

Update to add this thought: I typically hit the publish button, swear, then go back and spell check.  After the obligatory cursing, I went back to see what I misspelled, and had put a double ‘e’ instead of a double ‘g’ in ‘snowmaggedon.’  I’m going to assume that since it’s the title, that is why, but the correct spelling came up in spell check.  Awesome!

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