Archive for August, 2010

Confusion at Rivers

Some friends and I went to Rivers Casino last night (I ended up in the black for the night…less than a dollar in the black, but a win is a win!) and I was confused.

First of all, I could not find the Star Wars slots, which made me really sad.  I did however, find the Survivor slot machines, which were a lot of fun, and I tended to win a lot on them!

My confusion however, came when we first stepped off the elevator.  We were greeted by employees checking IDs.  Hadn’t done that before, but I can certainly understand it.  I was given a purple bracelet, as were two of my friends, the third was not.  When asked what they were for, we were greeted with blank stares.  The only discernible pattern was that the one friend who didn’t get a band is a woman.  Two that got bands were players club members, as well as one who wasn’t.  Anyone have any ideas?

Slate covers The Pirates

New York, D.C. and New Haven-based Slate magazine is covering The Pirates this morning.  Some favorite quotes:

The Pirates’ operating income in 2008 was $22 million. If they had spent that entire amount on free-agent players in 2009, they’d have added about four wins for the season—ending up 66-95 instead of 62-99. That is, they still would have been terrible—not exactly what the fans have in mind when they ask the owner to empty his wallet.

So, which is it? If we assume that Pirates ownership is at least somewhat rational in trying to maximize its profits, we have to conclude that each extra win brings in less than the $5 million it costs—otherwise, it would have already spent the extra money. But how much less?

It would be nice for the fans if the Pirates were willing to lose millions of dollars in order to bring a competitive team to their loyal supporters. But even superrich owners are looking for some kind of return on their investment. In the end, the Pirates can spend a lot of money on player salaries, or they can turn a profit. They can’t do both.

The article mainly looks at the detailed finanical documents obtained by Deadspin, and compares Pittsburgh with Tampa Bay.  The article is a great read, and even better when paired with That’s Church’s demise of the Pirate’s Bandwagon.

Conflict Kitchen needs workers

Waffle Shop’s Conflict Kitchen is looking for some people to work Monday-Friday, 10-3.  Currently, Conflict Kitchen is serving the Iranian kubideh.

More information here.

Steelers remember Br. Pat

I’m a graduate of Saint Vincent College, so I’m used to training camp and all the excitement (read: litter) that comes with it.  Going to such a small school, everyone gets to know everyone else, including the staff and the monks.  Sadly, one of the kindest men there on campus, Br. Pat passed away this week.

I did not have as much interaction with Br. Pat as some others did, but every time I passed him, he always stopped to chat, and was genuinely interested in how I was, and how things were going.  He was that kind to everybody.  I often found him in the student center, while on my way to class, but I made sure to take a few minutes to chat with him.

Br. Pat founded the SVC fire department, which not only serves Saint Vincent, but also the local communities surrounding campus.  I knew he was the bowling coach when there was a team (the old alleys had been made into tables outside of the cafeteria, but those tables are no longer there), but he also worked in the sheet metal and plumbing shop.

Br. Pat is remembered by the Steelers as taking care of the fields, even though it was in an unofficial capacity.  I was touched that the Steelers were kind enough to put up an article on their official site, which also has a nice view of campus.  Br. Pat will certainly be missed.

Follow the testimony @PGHtransit

Public hearings are going on until 8 p.m. tonight at the convention center.  If you can’t make it, PAT’s twitter feed is doing an amazing job and worth a read:

Ken notes Port Authority was only agency that saw funding decrease under Act 44.

Right now there’s about a 2-hr wait for walk-ins to testify. We have a court stenographer taking testimony for those who are unable to wait.

Testifier Lawrence M describes his experience as a blind transit rider, difficulties he would have if cuts happen.

Follow along here and submit your own testimony by 4 p.m. August 31 here.

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