PATransit Tuesday: Testing, testing

PAT is looking for participants for two pilot programs.

First up, they are finally opening up the ConnectCard program to allow online payment management.  Check out the routes and if you ride one (or more) of them regularly, sign up here.  Also, I’m a bit confused as to why they’re looking for riders only on certain routes, probably just to centralize help if there are any problems I suppose, but still seems a bit odd for an online pilot.

And secondly, PAT is looking to test a new automated phone service, allowing you to find out information and bypassing hold times.  Hopefully it is in real time and somehow hooked up with dispatch, but we’ll see.  To find out more or sign up, check it out here.

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PATransit Tuesday:BRT and Transit cuts, elsewhere

A couple links to pass along about transit cuts and bus rapid transit.

First up, the public transportation in Tacoma is making dramatic cuts, very much like we could have seen here.

And Seattle is finding out, that without committing to rapid transit, it won’t work.

I know PAT is still looking to expand into BRT, but I just don’t think we’re dedicated enough to really embrace it and make it work.  At least not now.

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E-Waste recycling

Calvary Church in Shadyside has an e-waste recycling event on Saturday, January 19, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

You can no longer throw out electronics with the trash, so this is a great chance to get those pieces recycled at no cost.

Additionally, if you need a hard drive destroyed, they will have a service available for $10 each

You can find out more at Calvary’s website.

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Pants on fire

Listen, Mattress Discounters, enough with the lying.

We don’t need to be told every three months that “never before has Mattress Discounters closed early” to get ready for a sale.

You do it all the time.

Stop it.  It’s insulting, and quite frankly, very lazy advertising.


Everyone with ears.


P.S. No seriously, knock it the F off.

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The newest Pittsburgh pro sports team

LaMarr Woodley is the new owner of the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, our PBA team which will be competing against, among others, Jerome Bettis’ Motown Muscle.

The announcement of the logos can be found here, although I may also be rooting for Chris Hardwick’s Atom Splitters, as I’m a huge fan of the Nerdist industries.

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Drink with The Chief

The Chief, returns for its 10th anniversary production for a short run at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

And in conjunction, at a special show on Sunday, January 6 there will be a beer and food tasting after the show.

The show starts at 7 p.m. and the tasting will begin around 8:30.

I went to the last special event the PPT did with Good People, and it was a lot of fun, if you can make it, call the theater to reserve your tickets.

Find out more here.

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A holiday poem

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.

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A present of sorts

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.

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“Good People,” good beer

“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.

Purchase tickets here (use code “LASTCALL”), and read City Paper’s review here.

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Cheating for the charter schools

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.

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Zagat rates Pittsburgh, without ever being here

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.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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:

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Da faq, Uniontown?

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.

Read more

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Pittsburgh wins again

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”

Congratulations, Adam!

Read more at ManMade

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A note on November

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!

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