Archive for January, 2011

PATransit Tuesday: More cuts, more versions of the story

More cuts are coming, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the chart.  No specific details yet, so we’re left to wonder what “Service Reduced” means for each of the 50 or so routes.  And to be fair, some will actually see “Service Increased,” so there is still reworking of the TDP going on (which from my perspective can only be a good thing).

We were told before, and I wrote about the fact (and at the time, I was optimistic that these cuts would not happen), that PAT loves to play the victim: but who they point the finger at has changed.  It used to be the State.  PAT wrote on their blog:

It is the most responsible option available at this time — short of resolving the statewide gap in transportation funding.Port Authority, along with other stakeholders in the Commonwealth’s road, bridge, mass transportation and overall transportation network, continues to seek a meaningful discussion with the new State Administration and Legislature starting in January about long-term transportation funding.

But if you read the FAQs about these cuts, we get a different version of the story:

The State Legislature took a bold step in 2007 by creating a dedicated transportation funding source in Act 44. Unfortunately, the federal government denied the state’s plan to toll Interstate 80, which has created this statewide shortfall.

I guess at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter which government you blame, as long as you blame government.

But I think what saddens me the most, is this overlooked (and in my opinion, buried: it wasn’t even mentioned in their blog post) fact:

The buses I usually take come from Harmar Garage, and except for two, all the drivers I’ve met are awesome, kind and go out of their way for the riders.  There will be many that I will miss, not to mention the mechanics, traffic coordinators and office staff at Harmar.  I think this is the biggest shame of the whole situation.

More information will be released here as PAT makes it available.

Hey, Conflict Kitchen:

Remember when I posted about Conflict Kitchen and how they needed our help on Kickstarter?  I like to think I really helped.  That story got passed around by a bunch of people, even Bill Peduto (Thanks, Bill!), and they made their goal.

Now here’s the deal.  I gave money because it’s a really awesome project that I wanted to support.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful, that’s what charity is for, to help others.  However, I gave a specific amount because of what the backer gifts were.  I love music, and am interested as to what contemporary Iranian music is.  I also really wanted to read the facts and see the layout of the food wrappers, since I wasn’t able to get down during Kubideh Kitchen.

But still, I have not seen any of those.  I’ve tried contacting both Conflict Kitchen and Waffle Shop, but to no avail.  Maybe they’ll read this and maybe I’ll get my stuff.  I sure do hope this is resolved.

Confidential to Panera Bread

The new manager (at least I think she’s a manger) working here tonight is really, really loud.  She’s at the far end and I can hear her around the corner and through my headphones.  Also, four of the five of you wearing jerseys are wearing 43, and that’s pretty awesome!

Awesome Pittsburgh App developer

What you’re looking at is the screen that greets the user when you open up iBurgh.  I’ve tried to use it before, but without success, however this morning, I successfully submitted unsafe sidewalk conditions.

It’s an extension of the city’s 311 service,  I’ve called that before to report a nasty pothole, and to their credit, a few days later, it was taken care of, so I’m hoping this has the same affect, although with the coming snow, I’m not sure.

Like I said, I’ve tried to use this app once before, but it seems to take the GPS a long while to find itself, so I hope that in a future release that gets worked out, or better yet, users are able to add pictures from their album.  Right now, you have to take a live picture and then upload it, or lose the picture.  That could potentially be unsafe.

The developer, YinzCam, also has apps for Heinz Field (you have to be inside to use it on game day) and the Penguins (news, videos and extra cameras if you’re inside the Consol Center).  They do really awesome work, make sure to check them out in the Android Marketplace or the iTunes App Store.

Deadspin takes on SI

Dan Shaughnessy from Sports Illustrated wrote an article, complaining about Pittsburgh being the host city for the 2011 Winter Classic.  Deadspin is all over it, make sure to read the whole thing:

It’s not that Pittsburgh is not a metropolis WE associate with hockey. It’s that Pittsburgh is not a metropolis YOU associate with hockey. Because you are from Boston, and Boston is the metropolis people from Boston associate with fucking EVERYTHING.

Please help: missing man

Michael Andres

This is Michael Andres, missing since Thursday night from his home in Beaver.

I worked with his brother, Alex, who Michael lives with.  Police have not had any luck finding him in Beaver or any of the surrounding areas.

Come on Pittsburgh, don’t fail me now.

Description: White male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 215 pounds, dark hair. Last seen wearing a green military parka, blue shorts and athletic shoes.

If seen: Contact Beaver police on (724) 775-1550.

My Winter Classic Story

So, the idea was to watch the Winter Classic.

Four of the bartenders where I’m a regular had tickets, but the manager and others were going to be there, so I had made plans to watch it with them, even bust out my Letang Winter Classic jersey (which I also wore to the Baby Pens/Bears game, so I’m figuring my jersey is cursed).  The game got moved to 8 p.m. and I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, since it was the holiday, the bar closed early.  I didn’t even think about that, figuring it would be open for the game and since it was a Saturday.

So a buddy and I pull into the parking lot to see the building dark and empty.  We swear and try to figure out where else to go.  We decide on Dingbats, which just opened a new location at Monroeville Mall, where Houlighan’s used to be.

We head there and to the bar, and there are maybe ten people in the whole place, if that.  Having never been inside, I didn’t know what to expect.  Aside from no customers, the place is barren.  Maybe it’s just a shock from Houlighan’s, but there is nothing on the walls, everything is stark.  There are some very nice leather chairs and couches, had we not been at the bar, I probably would have headed there.  And let me note, I had the mushrooms from the appetizer menu, and they are absolutely amazing.

Since they were so slow, the manager closed after the first period.  So once again, we had to figure out where to go.

Primanti’s!  It was packed, filled with Pens fans (and some very oblivious customers as well) and a great atmosphere.  As the end of the second period approached, most of the televisions were switched to the UFC fight, which they had purchased (I’ve been there before when they buy the fights, must be their thing).  But thankfully, once the intermission was complete, the sound switched back over the the last of the Winter Classic, else we would have gone for the hat trick and found a third place to go.

A few comments about the game:

  • Pensblog has, as always, an awesome write up, so make sure to check it out
  • Ummm, NBC?  Why did you go to the blimp cam during play?  Was someone asleep at the switcher?  Aerial shots are awesome while things get set up, going to commercial, etc.  Not during play.
  • The cameras were pretty crappy, but then again, Heinz Field is not set up for hockey.  That being said, from the second period on, it was better.
  • Disco Dan’s hat is awesome.
  • Yeah, the loss sucks, we’ll see how everything gets edited together for the last episode on Penguins Capitals 24/7.  I might pick up the series if they offer it as a DVD set.
  • The weather kind of sucked, but as Pensblog pointed out of course, it sucked for everyone, not just one team.  And I realize that meterology is not an exact science.  However, I’m pretty good at reading a radar map.  Not for hours and hours in the future, but for at least the next four hours, I can read a radar map and tell you what’s going to happen, usually within about five minutes (it’s kind of scary).  So when you’re standing outside and it’s raining, don’t tell us that it’s going to rain.  Tell us that it’s raining.
  • Most importantly, I hope this brought some more fans to the game.  I find football boring, so I don’t watch the Steelers (but will route for them), and baseball is boring as it is (unless you’re at a game with friends, then it’s fun).  Hockey is what I really like to watch, so if this gets more people energized about the sport, then good on the NHL.

Update: Added my comments about the whether, which I forgot to add earlier.

Road to the Winter Classic

HBO has been running “Penguins Capitals 24/7” and the three episodes have all been amazing.  I’m going to attempt to embed the third episode below (Yeah that didn’t work), if it doesn’t work, check it out here.  The music and editing throughout the series has been nothing short of amazing, and the last five minutes of this episode in particular features an awesome rendition of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade.”  Before you judge, it’s instrumental, and works very, very well.

Make sure to check it out, just not at work, as there is a lot of swearing.  The whole series has given a great look not only into the professional lives of the athletes and coaches, but also how they relax, and a fleeting glimpse into their personal lives as well.  It has been really nice to see both head coaches with their families, and members of both teams give back to the cities they live in.  Check it out, and enjoy the game tonight!

Update: The whole clip is good (it’s the last part of the third and latest episode), but skip ahead to 8:46 to catch the last segment that I referenced above, or in the youtube clip below, jump to 8:42


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