Random n’at.

1.  As I’ve been tweeting (as I twote? PUTTYTAT!) my butler Mike hooked me up with a MacBook because he’s been listening to me whine about Vista for more than a year now.  “Vista sucks.  Vista is evil.  Vista causes cancer.  Vista was created by Satan.  Vista ate my son’s homework.  Vista makes the baby Jesus cry.” and on and on and on.  So to shut me up, he presented me with a MacBook to use as long as I want.  He even said I could paint it any color I want.

So now, instead of hearing me whine all, “Vista causes bad hair days,” he now gets to hear me whine, “Where’s the Print Screen key?  How do I delete forwards instead of backwards?  How do I install a program?  Where’s the right clicker thingy?  What’s this?  I think this computer just laughed at me. How do you get paint out of the keyboard?”

He’s so long suffering.

2.  Mario skated with a Make-a-Wish kid. Sniffle.  Hugs.

(h/t @rlenzi)

3.  Remember I told you about our local cutie Amy who was a finalist to win a recording contract via Miley Cyrus?  She won! Woo!

4.  Dennis Roddy is in Haiti, doing what he does — making you feel his words.

5.  My February column is up over at the magazine and it is about the Pittsburgh Potty, something I learned about on twitter.  Soon, I’ll post a picture of my very own super scary-looking Pittsburgh Potty.  I think a demon might live in it, it’s so weird looking.

Also, over at the Magazine’s site, tomorrow you’ll find my second post on my new blog.  It’s all about a certain famous traffic-directing cop who recently passed away, Vic Cianca.  Station wagons are also discussed.  I’ll link you to it once it’s up.

6.  Berger and Green, those choppy-sounding DID YOU CUT YOUR FINGER ON A TOO-SHARP KNIFE?!  WE WILL GET YOU THE MILLIONS YOU DESERVE AND MAYBE SOME HEADS ON SOME STICKS lawyers made it on to Boing Boing.  Represent!

(h/t Charles)

7.  Via Deadspin, you could, for the low low low price of $1,000 own the purple leather couch that once belonged for former Pittsburgh Penguin Darius Kasparaitis.

Which is stupid and ridiculous to buy a couch just because it was once owned by a professional athlete.

Now ask me if I’d like to buy Daniel Sepulveda’s old bathroom mirror and tell me where to mail the check.

(h/t Charles again!  Charles likes to send me fun stuff.)

8.  Ever wondered what ARE the 57 Varieties that Heinz boasts about?  Here you go!

Chow chow pickle?  Really?  What about Meow Meow Mustard?

(h/t CHARLES!)

9.  Friday, February 5 is the next Mariachi Night at Las Velas, meaning real live Mariachis will be there from 6 to 9 p.m. to play wonderful music for you while you eat and drink.  I will be there.  I have asked my husband if I can tend bar for a bit during the night.  I have some Tom Cruise Cocktail moves I’m dying to try out.  Just don’t order anything but beer, soda, or margaritas from me.  If you ask for something super complex like a White Russian? [blank stare]

10.  Finally, this is something I was supposed to do on January 18, but as you know, BRESMA happened.  So, better late than never.  To my reader Linda O’Brien of Marietta, Ohio, who I’m told is all about taking care of everyone but herself, at the request of your loving husband Gary, who I hope came through surgery with flying colors, HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY!

So sorry I’m late with that.


  1. butcher's dog
    January 28, 2010 4:23 pm

    OK, we’re probably all in trouble when this makes sense, but thank goodness we’re back to normalcy. (cue facial tics while typing)

  2. Carpetbagger
    January 28, 2010 4:29 pm

    I got me some Heinz Evaporated Horseradish (No. 48). Mmmmm… Wait, where’d it go?

  3. Sooska
    January 28, 2010 5:08 pm

    1. I guarantee in a short time (and people telling you “this isn’t a PC, it’s A MAC so it’s not that complicated,” you will smack yourself in the head and cry to the universe “WHY didn’t you tell me??? WHY didn’t I do this years ago!!!”

    2. At the Heinz History Museum exhibit on the company they have umpteen (> 57) Heinz products from around the world. One is a pizza from England that has-ready??-BAKED BEANS on it. Remind me to never eat in England. Oh Heinz, how could you?

  4. mike
    January 28, 2010 5:18 pm

    I loved the potty article!! I feel so proud to live in Pittsburgh where we take the most ordinary item and make it a source of pride. Like chipped ham and gum bands, now we have the potty!!

  5. Bojack
    January 28, 2010 5:46 pm

    To forward delete press fn key (lowest, leftest) and delete key (upper right.)

  6. SpudMom
    January 28, 2010 5:47 pm

    hee! One of my friends tweeted this week about how to delete forwards on her new MacBook, too.

    I’m in love with my MacBook. I will never look back.

  7. CarolineFB
    January 28, 2010 5:50 pm

    Each of the houses I’ve owned in Jeannette have had the lone basement toilet. My first house had a showerhead beside it, so not only could you do your business, but you could shower without getting up. I never thought much about it until today.

  8. Jen
    January 28, 2010 5:57 pm

    I first became acquainted with the Pittsburgh Potty at my friend’s house in Lima, Ohio. Her mom’s house has one, too. They don’t call them Pittsburgh Potties out there…. I don’t think there are enough of them around there to have a name… but I think I’ll forward her your article and let her know she is not alone ;)

  9. beaner
    January 28, 2010 6:30 pm

    #9–I am there! Can’t wait to meet you!

  10. AtlPitt
    January 28, 2010 6:44 pm

    Oh my gosh! We had a toilet slap in the middle of our basement as a kid and I thought nothing of it until I read this article. I didn’t like using it, but never realized that other regions didn’t have one. Too funny!

  11. bluzdude
    January 28, 2010 6:52 pm

    I remember the Pittsburgh Potty… I didn’t know they had a name either… At the time (when I was very young and lived in Pittsburgh) I just accepted that some basements have potties.

    Geez, I haven’t thought about those since, well, I last used one. (quickly)

  12. Monty
    January 28, 2010 7:53 pm

    Definitely have to use them quickly given the potential of visitors. Everytime you sit down, it’s like playing Russian Poopette.

  13. Bethany
    January 28, 2010 8:47 pm

    I’m highbrow…my Pittsburgh potty has a curtain around it!

  14. Tara
    January 28, 2010 9:01 pm

    #11 – WTF happened to Randy Baumann??? Dude.

  15. Alethea
    January 28, 2010 9:19 pm

    Two things:

    1. A white Russian is not complicated, it’s delicious. Vodka, Kahlua and milk.

    2. We always called it a Pittsburgh John & I loved ours. It was a huge help when my husband & I bought our first house & there was only one bathroom + the toilet in the basement. :-)

  16. spoon
    January 28, 2010 9:49 pm

    ya know when we were hangin out last time you could have said “hey spoon, I’m using your crapper story in the PM.”

    I am flattered though that my adventures through the Pittsburgh plumbing history was print worthy. Just an FYI, when I close on the house I’m naming the Potty in your honor.

    I may even invite @unsatisfied over to break it in.

  17. Pensgirl
    January 28, 2010 10:09 pm

    1. I agree you’ll learn “Mac” in no time. It took me less than a week. Basically, you spend a few days confused because it’s actually easy and intuitive and you’re so used to complex and ridiculous with Windows. It will pass, promise!!

    6. Here in Baltimore, there’s this sad-sack plaintiff’s lawyer named Barry Glazer whose tag line is “Insurance companies, don’t urinate on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” He makes Edgar Snyder seem like Atticus Finch.

  18. Delilah
    January 28, 2010 10:36 pm

    Found you because of Bresma, still could not tell you how since I did not know about Bresma before I knew about you. Staying because of your integrity and passion for what you do and you seem like a Yankee I might could like and it takes a lot for me to like a Yank!!! Greetings from the South!!

  19. Bram R
    January 28, 2010 10:54 pm

    @bojack: Wow, I just totally realized I have an “fn” key. It’s so shiny and white, having never been pressed.

    Save you some time, Ginny: Apple + Shift + 4 will call up a cross-hairs one can click and drag to take screen caps. Talk about intuitive!

    What I like best about Macs over Windows is at least Macs never cra

  20. Still A, Fan
    January 28, 2010 11:13 pm

    growing up 30-40 miles outside of pittsburgh i never thought much about my grandmother’s basement or my great aunt’s basement having full kitchens and tables. 2 kitchens? when i stayed over as a kid in the summer, we ate down there when it was hot outside. both of those homes were most likely built in the early 60’s.

  21. Bojack
    January 29, 2010 12:16 am


    Actually, truth is tho I’ve had Macs for 22 years, I’ve NEVER, EVER
    used the fn key, OR knew it was there either!!! LMAO

    I’d always highlight-delete. or go past and delete back!!!

    I looked it up just now!! :-)

  22. matflec
    January 29, 2010 12:47 am

    Virginia — @Woycheck will be bringing you a half dozen copies of Win 7 to get you out of the mess you’ve gotten yourself into.

    Tim — Thanks for remindng me of that great Mac video. Send me mail — matflecATliveDOTcom if you want a free copy of Win 7 as well.

  23. bucdaddy
    January 29, 2010 12:50 am

    Amy: “I’ve watched ‘Hannah Montana’ since I was in 7th grade, so I’ve been a fan of hers for five years now.”

    I’m sorry, good on ya, Amy, but there’s something very very wrong with a high school junior/senior who’s a Hannah Montana fan.

    I miss the old Berger & Green commercials where Cindy looked like a dead-eyed fish, staring unblinking at the TelePrompTer and reading with no human emotion whatsoever. They’ve softened her up in this latest round of ads to where she looks … almost … attractive.

    Can’t believe I wrote that.

  24. Horseshoebend
    January 29, 2010 4:51 am

    I was fortunate to be a guest bartender once. Only once. I only accepted payment for drinks – well let’s just say the til was a little light. What a fun night had by all – Capt Jack will get you high tonight.

  25. Karen
    January 29, 2010 7:40 am

    I’m with you on the Mac thing. They continue to baffle me and I’ve given it over to the kids while continuing to love my PC. Me = old school.

    And Chow Chow is actually a food. My in-laws eat it. http://teriskitchen.com/padutch/chow.html

  26. Karyn
    January 29, 2010 7:50 am

    love the pittsburgh potty article! When i bought my house in May we saw quite a few! The house i ended up purchasing has one, but the previous owners had enough sense to enclose it!
    But, have you ever noticed how they usually sit up a good two inches higher (by way of a little cement slab usually)? you need to make a site where everyone can post thier pittsburgh potty. Kinda like people of walmart, but with potties.

  27. Traveller
    January 29, 2010 8:31 am

    FYI: The 57 in Heinz 57 Varieties is just a number. It never represented the varieties Heinz had. As a matter of fact, Heinz had 63 different products when good Ol’ H.J. pulled the number 57 out of his butt. He liked the way it sounded.
    He was good at marketing.
    How do I know this? I can’t say right now, I’m posting this from work.
    Also, those Brits LOVE Heinz Beans. But then, they also like Heinz Spotted Dick. (It’s a sponge pudding you pervs)

  28. HdoubleA
    January 29, 2010 8:52 am

    I’m not sure the toilet in the basement is unique to Pittsburgh. My grandparents in WV have one and when we were looking at houses in Baltimore most of the houses here had one too. Maybe just a blue-collar town thing?

  29. red pen mama
    January 29, 2010 8:59 am

    Loved the potty article. Dan and I had one in the South Side home we rented. i didn’t think twice about using it (occasionally). I especially love your description of using it as a child, too — “[darn] walls” — and I’m marveling a little that a lot of Pittsburghers I know, along with having Pittsburgh potties, also have “pap-paps”. I had one (my dad’s father) and now my father is one.

  30. Magnus Patris
    January 29, 2010 10:05 am

    It helps if you wear a black turtleneck and jeans when using your Mac.

    I used to call the toilet in the basement of Baba and Dyido’s basement (that’s Granma and Grampa to you non-hunkies out there) the SCARY toilet. I had a splintery wooden seat, a wood pallet for your feet, and it usually had a dead or dying spider or fly in it. I would never sit on the SCARY toilet. Strictly #1.

  31. TripleC
    January 29, 2010 10:12 am

    The Penguins organization never ceases to amaze me – these guys seem to do more for the community and their fans than any other professional sports team I have ever heard of (Make-a-Wish, visiting Childrens Hospital, honoring returning military folks – which they did last night to a local soldier that was injured in Afghanistan, etc etc). And the kicker is that you can tell how sincere they are when doing it. Great group of guys and organization overall. Now go win another Stanley Cup – damnit!

    And yes, feel free to insert token Pirate joke here.

  32. Dana
    January 29, 2010 10:23 am

    My 90-year-old neighbor growing up had a potty in the middle of his living room. Yes. His living room. it did have a curtain around it, which obviously made it acceptable. I’ve seen other Pittsburgh Potties, but I always assumed they were in older houses that were built without indoor plumbing and were placed in the basements because it was easier.

  33. Amy
    January 29, 2010 10:47 am

    You know, I never thought the basement potty was unique to Pittsburgh, but now it all makes sense! I grew up in Buckhannon, WV and both my Nana’s house and my Great Aunt’s house(now my parents’ home) had potties in the garage(it was a one-floor ranch)and basement. However, my Nana’s family was originally from Pgh, so it appears that they both brought the Pittsburgh Potty with them to WV. Spreading the wall-less bathroom experience to other parts of the country.

  34. Johnny
    January 29, 2010 11:21 am

    @Still A, Fan, are you Italian?
    Until I was in my 20’s I never realized that it was unusual to have a full kitchen in your basement. I also didn’t realize it was unusual NOT to ever use the kitchen upstairs. My wife tells me this is attributable to being an Italian kitchen. Then it dawned on me that, yes, all the kitchens in basements were in Italian homes. Growing up, we would never be in the upstairs of any house, we always were in the downstairs kitchen and the living room was covered in plastic.

  35. unsatisfied
    January 29, 2010 11:30 am

    @spoon — if you so desire, it would be an honor and a privilege to break in your brand-spankin’ new “official virginia montanez pittsburgh potty”.

    but, it would only be right to do it after some margaritas and a burrito or two at las velas. ;-)

  36. Jim Paek is my hero
    January 29, 2010 11:48 am

    My Pittsburgh Potty is located directly underneath the basement stairs, so not only do you have to worry about smacking your head every time you get up, you have to worry about debris falling on you from the open back stairs.

  37. Cnik
    January 29, 2010 12:52 pm


    I’m just happy that mine was removed before I bought my house. All that remains is a metal plug where the toilet used to sit.

  38. Dan (Not Onarato)
    January 29, 2010 1:12 pm

    Great article Ginny!

  39. Carol
    January 29, 2010 1:29 pm

    My grandparents didn’t have indoor plumbing in their house until after WWII.
    Yep, that toilet found a spot in the basement not 3′ away from the door to the mysterious, dark, scary hole known as the root cellar.
    On the other side was the fire-belching monster of a coal furnace. We lived with my grandparents until I was about four. I’m told potty-training was…difficult.

  40. Bojack
    January 29, 2010 2:16 pm


    We STILL haven’t been paid back the $16 million (familiar figure?)
    for the G20 that brought soo much economic windfall to out-of-state cops and local limo companies!!

    So HERE”S a great idea Lukey & Danny:

    Why don’t you volunteer us to host THIS FIASCO???

    Put us a 1/2 $billion in the hole??


  41. plexxer
    January 29, 2010 2:40 pm

    Berger and Green? Pwshh. Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman is where it’s at. I know what you’re thinking – sibling lawyers? Yes, but it’s way better than that…


  42. Kevin in ABQ
    January 29, 2010 5:40 pm

    The basement of the house I grew up in had the trifecta: A Pittsburgh Toilet, tucked back from the stairs and windows; a ‘shower’, actually a shower fitting on a pair of lines feeding the washing machine, placed over a drain that was originally designed to capture outflow from a manual washing machine and from winter storm leeching through the walls (though it did have a nice curtain); and stationary tubs (read: double cast-iron sink) against same wall as the PT.

    My memory of hot summer days is mostly in this space, having acrtion figure battles in the stationary tubs and taking a cool shower on a 90 degree day.

    That, and the smell of the PT.

  43. Emily
    January 30, 2010 12:24 am

    The downstairs kitchen/plastic on the furniture is definitely an Italian thing…I’m not Italian but I have seen it firsthand.

    I don’t have a Pittsburgh potty, but I do have a scary “Pittsburgh shower” in my basement…the handles and showerhead are mounted on individual boards (directly off the water line, hanging off the block wall) and it is in direct line of sight of two (uncovered) basement windows.

  44. bucdaddy
    January 30, 2010 12:52 am

    We didn’t live in Pittsburgh, we lived in a suburb, so we (my dad and I) were reduced to tossing a garden hose over a pipe in the garage and taking showers there, like after doing really grubby things, mowing the lawn and whatnot.