Archive for February, 2011

Blog to read: 101 Achievements

I’ve mentioned before on here about my involvement with National Novel Writing Month.  One of the cool things about it, is how writers across Pittsburgh get together for write-ins.  These, along with our kick-off and Thank God It’s Over parties are put together by our Municipal Liaison, Jenn.

She has an awesome blog which I wanted to spotlight, called 101 Achievements.  The idea is her and her husband working on accomplishing 101 different tasks, many of which revolve around cultural and food events in Pittsburgh.  Be sure to check out, and you can track their progress by seeing which achievements have been linked on the sidebar.

My favorite achievement they’ve done?  Number 86: Celebrate something imaginary in a nice restaurant.  They get tons of points for the props they used:

Locks of Love

What are you doing on Thursday?  Why don’t you head over to Diesel (East Carson Street) to watch as Brett Keisel is shaved, in an event being promoted as “Shear the Beard.”

Importantly, proceeds are going to support the cancer programs at Children’s Hospital.  There will be merchandise, including the opportunity to own your very own piece of the beard.

$25 gets you your first drink, appetizers, door prizes and musical entertainment before the main event at 7 p.m.  Doors open at 6.  Buy tickets here and help out the kids at Children’s.

Crowdsourcing a new write-in location

As you’ve probably heard, Borders will be closing three local locations, including Monroeville.  That is where the National Novel Writing Month east write-ins have been held.  We would gather in the cafe, people watch, be amazed at the random electrical outlet up at the ceiling (we called it the spiderman plug) and work on crafting great novels.

Now however, we’re going to need someplace new, so I’d like to ask for some suggestions.  Barring in mind that I’m not actually in charge, I’m just trying to help out our Municipal Liason (who is awesome by the way, I’ll be writing about her awesome blog probably next week).  Here’s what we need in a location:

  • Ability to seat about 10 people (we usually get about that many on the weekend write-ins, and about half that during the week).  We’re not the biggest write-in location, but we’re dependable six or seven write-ins a month
  • Two electrical sockets.  We bring our own surge protectors/power strips.  We’ve learned that lesson from experience.
  • Wi-Fi.  You know, for research… And I wrote my book in Google Docs last year, so it was nice to just write in the cloud.
  • Caffeine.  Totally optional, but we’ll buy food and drink from the location we’re in, and probably whatever else is for sale (I usually left Borders with new books to read)
  • A fondness for strangeness.  We wear funny hats when we write, it helps with the creative process, and allows us to find each other easier.  So when you see me come in wearing a Viking helmet, Mad Hatter hat, or something else equally odd, you’ll know we’re there.

Barnes and Noble is an option, although they have a smaller seating area, and the last few times I was there, their Wi-Fi was pitiful.  We’ve used the Panera in Penn Center in Wilkins, and that was a good spot (plus, unlike the Panera in Monroeville, the staff is friendly and gets my orders correct).

But I guess I’m kind of interested to see if there is some place off the beaten path, I know we had tried to set up some write-ins in Oakmont last year, but I don’t think that ever got off the ground.  We’re generally fairly quiet, bring in business (as well as publishing the fact that we’re at your location a lot), and I can even get you a cool “Write Your Novel Here” window cling to hang up.

So, any ideas?

Rally to Stop the Port Authority Cuts Tuesday at 4

There will be a rally on Tuesday, beginning at 4 p.m. at the County Courthouse (Grant and Forbes, downtown).  The evening will continue with the 5 p.m. county council meeting.  Everyone is welcome to attend.

There should be an e-mail list going up over at the Transit Union’s website, but right now, it’s a bit of a mess, I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, and additionally, everyone is encouraged to contact their elected official:

State Rep. Frank Dermody (724) 274-4770

State Rep. Joe Markosek (412) 856-8284

State Senator Jay Costa (412) 241-6690

State Senator James Brewster (412) 380-2242

County Council Member Rich Fitzgerald (412) 350-6575

Governor Corbett (717) 787-2500

Please remember these cuts will affect all of us: roadways will be much more congested (drivers on the Parkway East and Route 28, good luck), parking will be harder to find downtown and jobs will be lost with the closing of the Harmar Garage, which Port Authority has mentioned once and kept silent about.

Happy Single-Person Awareness Day

Today’s post is sponsored by Giant Eagle, who I know what they were going for, but it really came off as creepy:

Penguins Reactions

Mario has made a statement in response to the Islanders game shitshow.  Here is a small portion:

“Hockey is a tough, physical game, and it always should be. But what happened Friday night on Long Island wasn’t hockey. It was a travesty. It was painful to watch the game I love turn into a sideshow like that.

“The NHL had a chance to send a clear and strong message that those kinds of actions are unacceptable and embarrassing to the sport. It failed.

From what I just saw, “Mario Lemieux” is trending worldwide on twitter, which is pretty awesome, so this is getting lots of coverage.

Bylsma will not be suspended, although, with enough of the team gone, this graphic by The Pensblog is still fitting (and awesome):

#Pgh Shorty Awards

Congratulations to this year’s #PGH shorty awards, including second place Linsday of I heart Pittsburgh!  Also up there, Sally Wiggin’s Hair and Ginny from That’s Church.

Congratulations to everyone, and thanks to Lindsay and I heart Pittsburgh for spearheading the push for a Pittsburgh category!


What a weekend.  Here is the list of Pittsburgh Fail:

  • Pens lose 3-0 to the Caps
  • Christina Aguilera botched the National Anthem
  • Steelers lost to Green Bay

But we move on, as we must, and as we always have.  It was a fantastic season and we still have a lot more of the NHL season to go.  The weekend could have been better, but I hope you at least got to spend it with family and friends, like I did.

Steelers Update

Okay, I’m not a huge football fan.  Don’t get me wrong, I will only root for the Steelers, but as a general rule, I don’t like football, I’d rather watch hockey (or soccer, or the Olympics).  I’ve watched very few minutes of football this season, but of course, I’ll be watching this Sunday.

So I decided that this year, even if I didn’t watch the games (and since they were winning, I’m going to assume that me not watching is what propelled them to victory), I would still try to be more involved somehow.  Really, my goal was to be able to have a conversation at work about the games.  You know, instead of my deer in the headlights stare.

It was suggested that I check out ‘Yinz luv da Stillers’ on Youtube, and it’s amazing.  Also, I’m probably the last one to realize this, but Jim Shearer is on VH1, so that was cool to see him this morning while I made a sandwich.

Here is their latest episode:


I apologize for the lack of embedding, still getting all the dust settled…

Next up, is Coke Cheers.  Coke is going to donate a whole bunch of money to the local Boy and Girls Club, but right now, Green Bay is way out in front of us.  Go check it out and add your cheers and support a great cause.  Beating Green Bay.  Oh yeah, and the children.

And lastly, Twerrible Towel.  With a little bit of magic (that I will let Ginny explain through her interview here), anytime the hashtag #steelersnation is used on twitter, a real-life Terrible Towel is waved automatically.  It’s been fun to watch, which you can do here.  No go to twitter and get cracking!

I’ll be back next week with Pens news, a lot going on between goalie fights, the upcoming trade deadline and Malkin’s injury, there is a lot to cover.  But for now, we all bleed black and gold for the Steelers.

Another note on Metblogs

Just a quick note to everyone: we’re back!

Something went kaplooie with the Metblogs database and we were down for about a week and a half.  We’re back up though, and I’m very glad to be back.  Five stories were lost, but I had saved copies of them elsewhere, so they now appear below (although one is missing a graphic I deleted, and another is missing the links to two videos).  Some things are still being worked out, videos that were embedded I don’t think are working at the moment, so I’ll adjust accordingly.  The comments from those posts are gone (at least I think), which is a shame, there were some nice conversations going on in the YinzCam and Conflict Kitchen posts.  But, we live to blog another day, so I couldn’t be happier.  Once again, I would like to make mention of my post, “A note on Metblogs.”

Also, in case you hadn’t noticed, the Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl this weekend.  I had a bunch of things to post about that, I’ll try to get a Steelers recap post up later today.

As always, thanks for reading.

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