Archive for November, 2010

Tweet of the day

I got updates about the game via Twitter and Facebook as I was in Panera.  This was by far, my favorite tweet, after we had just won the game.

PATransit Wednesday: Massive service cuts

The Port Authority approved the cuts to routes, taking affect March 13.  The only word I can come up with is devastating.  The sheer amount of red on that document is astounding.

And speaking of, the document is so freaking hard to read.  The layout itself is goofy, but nothing that I can’t work with, and besides, I’ve seen worse before.  My big problem is the fact that you have to find your old route.  Or in my case, after being reminded once again that my old route no longer exists, find the old version of the current bus I ride and then see the cuts being made to it.

And of course, we have no specifics, so it’s more rampant speculation about what exactly the phrase “service reduced” means, and what it specifically means on over 90 routes (hopefully I counted correctly).  I’m guessing that “service reduced” means lots of different things to lots of different routes.

And don’t forget, this is not PAT’s fault.  Oh no, it’s the State’s fault.  While I certainly think they should shoulder some responsibility (everyone involved should, riders too), I’m so sick of hearing the same shuffling of blame every time a service cut is even mentioned.  We get it, you don’t want to take any responsibility for this.  But can we at least move on?

I’m venting, I realize that.  I’m frustrated.  Riders are frustrated, the city is frustrated.  I would even bet that PAT executives and state legislators are frustrated.  I’m sure I’ll discuss this some more in the future, we’ll see how things are once they settle down.

For now, just be thankful you have a Bus or T Line to get home.  You probably won’t be able to say that for much longer.

The lights at the Waterfront

Lettuce wraps (and a drink) at the bar at P F Changs, creamy tomato soup at Panera, Harry Potter and Christmas lights.  Awesome evening!

Picture to come later, my phone lost it…

Well, we could be Seattle

I read a lot of blogs.  One that I read regularly is Slog, The Stranger‘s blog, based in Seattle.  I usually skip over their local politics, but every now and then something just keeps coming up.  And in this case, it reminds me of Pittsburgh (I may get some facts wrong here, even though I do follow this story more than their other local news, it’s still a bit foreign for me).

Bear with me, a bit of background, then the Pittsburgh connection.  There is a political debate going on (mostly about usefulness and cost, so a typical one I suppose), about the “Deep Bore Tunnel,” a proposed tunnel that would be an underpass for the entire downtown area.  It’s projected to run over budget (wouldn’t that mean they should change the budget?), and some people think it’s not necessary.  See where I’m going with this yet?

It’s like their very own Northshore Connector!  Over budget.  Not necessary: we’re really, really good at bridges.  Tunnels, not so much (see: any tunnel at rush hour).

The entrance and exit, to an outside observer are oddly placed.  I don’t think they’re really in the best places, they seem kind of cramped, thrown in.  Here’s one of the latest Slog posts about it.  And here’s the video (which is so strange without any sound) they included.  I’d like to draw your attention to the 2:00 mark.  The animation is pretty cool, you’re driving, you’re driving into the tunnel, you’re driving, OH MY GOD A MERGE INSIDE THE TUNNEL:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwSPmJw8JxY[/youtube]

I like to imagine the explosions we would have on a daily basis if we tried to merge inside the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

100th anniversary chocolate

At the 61st annual Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner last night, Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Admiral Jay Cohen spoke to a crowd of over 600, including the 344 Eagle Scouts of the 2010 class.

Also, we got cake and chocolate that celebrated Scouting’s 100th anniversary.  Pretty cool (and tasty).

The real sign of the start of the Holidays

It’s not Light Up Night (don’t sue me!), it’s not the sales, it’s not even the ridiculous lead up to ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas (now we’re counting down until they awkwardly try to justify non-holiday movies in their lineup).

You know the holidays are staring when you see this on tv (and there have been sightings already, as reported to me by my Facebook Feed):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W2IP-BTu30[/youtube]

Urbanophile, Waffle Shop and NaNoWriMo

Couple items for everyone today.  Urbanophile profiled Pittsburgh.  We’ve heard it all before (the Steel bust, our revival, rest of the country claims we don’t matter that much, check the comments for that one), so it’s becoming a bit cliche.  I was alerted to it from The Daily Dish (a British blog that mostly talks about American politics), so it’s getting some traction.  Anyway, take a look, and make sure to check out the comments.

Waffle Shop is looking for a manager.  If you have experience in restaurant management and want to work in one of the most unique restaurants in the country, check it out.

And finally today, writing has been a bit slow on the site due to my annual, crazy dive into National Novel Writing Month.  Pittsburgh has an awesome group writing this year, and you’re more than welcome to join in.  If you’re not up for writing the book that’s been bouncing around you head this year, you can still help out. 

We’re collecting books (new or used) in support of creative writing programs that The Office of Letters and Light (NaNoWriMo’s parent organization) offers free in schools around the world.  You can drop off books at any of the events listed on our forum (or just see what we’re talking about), and learn more about the book drive here.

Leave a comment if you need help finding a time/place to donate books, I’ll make sure you get hooked up with someone in your area.

I think I have some awesome posts in the works, and maybe even a give-away, so stay tuned!

Building the creche this morning

My civic duty…

Did not include a bake sale, for the first time I can remember (in response to the comment thread yesterday).

Instead, there was a gift basket auction.

 

Vote early, vote often, buy pastries

Just a friendly reminder that today is election day.  Make sure to stop by your polling location to vote, as well as (hopefully) pick up some awesome baked goods at a sale.  It’s your civic duty.  You know, the eating.

  • Need some help with election day, Lifehacker has you covered
  • Here is a handy guide to candidates (just put in your address), although I think it only does national candiates, I even found out about a third party candidate who I really like! 
  • It apparantly is getting hit with a lot of traffic, but this site is saying it will pull you up a sample ballot ahead of time.  Which is nice, I usually do the interactive one from the Post-Gazette, but they didn’t do it this year (at least, not the one that lets you see the issue of each candidate, then choose one, then at the end print out a ballot to take with you a reference). 
  • Need to find out where to vote?  Click here
  • And find out if you’re registered here
  • And finally, check out voting machine demos and other information from the State here.

Update: Adding another link and made it a bullet list.

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