It’s still the holiday season, so I don’t feel too bad posting this so late, but check out a fantastic poem over at The Pensblog.
And then cry because we still don’t have hockey.
It’s usually not a good thing when Pittsburgh makes Yahoo’s Oddly Enough. Here we are again:
Some residents of a Pittsburgh suburb have gift-wrapped something they hope will be gone by Christmas: a charred and abandoned house that burned nine months ago.
Amy Davis tells WPXI-TV that residents put a big red bow on the house next door to hers, so Penn Hills officials will get moving on tearing it down. The house burned in March.
Part of me wants to go see the gift-wrapped house. All of me hopes it is torn down before I have the chance to.
“Good People,” a comedy by David Lindsey Abaire, runs through the end of the week at the O’Reilly theater. And on Friday, there will be a special night featuring the beer of Great Lakes Brewing, and food from some big names: Cookies & Critters, On Nom Bake Studio and the south side Pretzel Shop.
Tickets are $25 ahead of time, or $30 at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. for beer and food and the curtain rises at 8 p.m.
I’m not sure what beers they’ll have from Great Lakes, but I like pretty much everything they make (plus winter beers are my favorite, so it’s a good time to drink), so I’m excited.
I found this story on Slog:
Schools must hit certain targets at every tested grade level to make AYP. But for a district to meet the benchmark, it needs only to hit targets in one of three grade spans: grades 3-5, 4-6 or 9-12.
Under Pennsylvania law, every charter school is considered its own district. So by using the grade span methodology, about 59 percent of charters made AYP — a figure that supporters touted, comparing it with the 50 percent of traditional schools that hit the target.
Yet only 37 percent of charters would have made AYP under the individual school method.
I’ve never been a fan of charter schools, they tend to wreck the financial system of public schools, bringing everyone down. But I don’t know enough about the system to really be able to debate more than that.
Leave your thoughts in the comments.
The Internet kind of blew up yesterday and today. Zagat released its list of the top five Pittsburgh restaurants. Without ever being here.
They instead, took the five highest rated national chains that have restaurants here. Which led to the Cheesecake Factory as being ranked one of the best Pittsburgh restaurants.
Justifiably, the Internet went apeshit.
They have since promised to come to Pittsburgh and actually eat at the amazing restaurants that we have, so hopefully we’ll get a new ranking soon. This will also mean that Pittsburgh will be pinging on the radar of foodies around the country.
The PG’s City Walkabout covers it here:
The take-away is that Zagat’s, if it ever was credible, is absolutely not now. This is corporate chamber of commerce drivel, like the tourist magazines in hotels that tell people about Pittsburgh attractions that you wouldn’t take even your least cool friends to in a million years.
If Zagats were staffed by reporters, they’d be fired for that failure.
Our annual Thanksgiving tradition includes listening to DVE at noon when they play “Alice’s Restaurant,” but for all the ‘Burghers, here and exiled, happy Thanksgiving to you and your families:
Last week, Uniontown held an anti-equality parade. The kicker: the mental gymnastics they put themselves through to try to convince themselves that they’re the victims and that they really love everybody.
You can read the entire story here (although I think you can only read 10 articles a month from the Herald Standard before you have to pay), but I’m going to pull out a lot of quotes and respond directly to them below.
I”m also confused as to why now. There is no real movement for marriage equality in Pennsylvania. Maybe they’re just afraid because of the historic gains in Maryland, Maine, Washington and Minnesota.
The parade was put on by a church, and I would just remind everyone that not all church’s are anti-equality (the Episcopal church has a ceremony for same-sex couples joining together in matrimony). Read that aside again. Notice how I used the word ‘church’ and ‘matrimony.’ Marriage is a civil contract, and the definition has changed quite a bit over the years (see the graphic to the left), not to mention what the Bible itself lists as acceptable (or sometimes forced) marriages.
It’s a bit long, so I’ll put it after the jump, please take a minute and have a read. I swear a bit. But we’re talking about civil rights here. I’m surprised I didn’t swear more.
It was posted elsewhere, but I wanted to make sure to pay tribute to Adam Paul Causgrove, the newly crowned “Mustached American of the Year”
Once again, I’m joining the ranks of amateur novelists, participating in NaNoWriMo.
And once again, I’m reminded how awesome Pittsburgh is: at last count we have over 30 writing events in November, so if you see a group of people frantically typing (and possibly wearing silly hats), stop over and ask how their word count is doing.
I’ll be back later this week with some more posts, but I just wanted to drop in quickly. If you’re interested in writing, it’s never to late to start, and we’re a great group to have fun with. And besides, there’s always good food where we write/meet!
The next big storm is coming, a great mix of Hurricane Sandy, a northern gale and another storm, combining at just the right moment.
The states around Pa, including us of course, are being warned that they will probably lose power for a portion of time, and the state is working on emergency plans already.
This image has been floating around Facebook, so if you need an emergency plan, this is good for you to use:
Please be safe out there, have a decent plan in place (first aid kit, flashlights, medications, water and food that doesn’t need heat or electricity) and make sure to stay away from roads that have standing water.
I was out with Venture Outdoors this weekend on an art and wine walk, and we stopped at Fraley’s Robot Repair, one of Pop-Up Pittsburgh’s projects.
If you have a chance, head down to the cultural district and check out the shop, and to see what the robot is up to, he’s a busy guy. We had a chance to talk with the artist (and even pose for a picture as satisfied customers). We had an awkward moment when we realized some kids were checking it out, and we all hoped they hadn’t realized we were talking about it as if it wasn’t real.
If you want to check out my other photos from the event, you can see them here.
A window washer.
Children’s Hospital is amazing. Case in point, take a look at what they posted today on their Facebook page:
Good job, CH.
BuzzFeed highlights this awesome wash your hands sign. Anyone know where these are located:
I’m late to the game on this one, and there isn’t much time left, but I’m hoping that there will be some sort of last-minute push to put this over the edge: a Kickstarter project to support the all-volunteer Steelers Drum Line.
While it’s not official (yet), you’ve probably seen them on the North Shore before home games.
If you have some money you can throw in, it would be appreciated. Besides, we can’t let Baltimore have something that we don’t!
Maybe it’s not being described exactly right, maybe I’m not understanding it correctly (and slogging through the comments hasn’t helped much either), but I have to agree with Ginny over at That’s Church about the ridiculous way Pittsburgh handles emergencies.
Go over and read the whole thing, here’s a favorite quote:
If there are people trapped in cars, aren’t the firefighters already going to the scene along with the EMTs? So why not let them do the rescue and let the EMTs worry about the medical side of things? Doesn’t that just make sense?
Maybe I’m a bit biased, having worked at a camp for 11 years, and being a first aider for many of those years, but when we responded to something, whoever got there first jumped in until the full-time medics came along to help out. Also, more often than not, someone would come to the office for help, and I’d be there assisting until the medic drove out to our sub-camp.
But again, I’m sure I’m not understanding the whole arrangement in the city, just still seems not as useful to the victims.