Random n’at

1. Happy Friday! It’s a beautiful day here in sunny Pittsburgh.

So, here’s a parenting tip (some of you might want to bloop-bloop-bloop), don’t ever give your three-year-old a princess dry-erase board with a dry-erase marker as a “potty prize” because if you think your little Princess of Terror will ONLY draw on the dry-erase board … SHE WON’T, I TELL YOU.

She will scribble thick black lines all over your pale yellow living room wall, your off-white baseboards and yes, her own little terrorist body, in the ten minutes you try to write a post thinking the silence is good news.

Which, second lesson learned. Silence is never good news when it’s coming from the Princess of Terror.  Treat silence like an air raid siren.

2. There is a $15,000 diamond hidden somewhere in downtown and Henne Jewelers is having a text-hint scavenger hunt in order for one lucky Burgher to find it.

I bet a pigeon ate it already.  So while the rest of the city follows the clues, I’m just going to keep my eyes out for a pigeon screeching in pain while trying to poop out a ten-carat diamond.

(h/t Chris)

3. Brilliant headline from the P-G

Oh, what the heck ever.

The NFL and the Steelers and Benny’s supporters can try to place the blame for Ben’s recent behavior on addiction or a disorder or a disease, but I’m going to stick the blame squarely where it belongs. On Ben. Douchebaggery is NOT a disorder. It’s a choice.

4.  Ouch.

Some of the Brewers apparently discussed how they could keep the game from getting further out of hand, and steps were taken. Manager Ken Macha replaced his entire heart of the order late in the game, and third base coach Brad Fischer had the stop sign up at every turn.

I mean, OUCH.

5. My latest post is up over at the magazine site, “I don’t drive on diaper-wearing bridges.” Which I find is a good rule of thumb when deciding which bridges are safe to drive over.

Next week, the curling column will be posted and also some more amazing curling pictures of me flat on the ice and even some VIDEO of me falling on my butt. Prepare to point and laugh.

6.  I am ashamed to admit that I somehow fell asleep early in the third overtime of the Pens game last night. I know. I’m ashamed to be seen with me, too.  I don’t care if the next game goes eight overtimes. I will prop my eyelids open with toothpicks if I have to.

Let’s go Pens!

7.  I have a few awesome giveaways being lined up for you guys. More on that hopefully next week.

8. Here’s a site I’ve just started visiting, Living Pittsburgh, whose goal it is to make living and playing here in Pittsburgh affordable.  I particularly like how they provide an evening’s itinerary for you and a date for certain days of the week.  Check out Terrific Tuesday in the Cultural District for an idea.

9. Reader Zack shared with me this email he received from a vendor after placing an order with said vendor on the day Ben’s suspension was announced.  The vendor took notice of the “Ship to” city.

Here you go! Based on what happened today we will offer a “Big Ben” Special, free shipping on this order to your location! Hope your QB gets it together, he is a great athlete. We would love to help you out here, please let me know if there is anything else we can do.

I bet that’s not what Ben Roethlisberger means when he refers to a “Big Ben Special.”

10. Let’s end this week on a fantastically positive note. Four baby peregrine falcons hatched atop the Cathedral of Learning and this is important to note because falcons eat pigeons.

I decided to check out the Aviary’s live Cathedral Falcon Cam to see the baby pigeon-destroyers for myself, but all I saw was the Mommy falcon or maybe it was the Daddy falcon, sitting in the box and occasionally frantically shifting his/her weight around to scoot the babies back under her belly all, “If you do not stop that bickering I will turn this thing around and show you what a cloaca can do, AND IS THAT DRY ERASE MARKER ON MY BELLY?!”

It was like that for HOURS every time I checked the camera, which I kept up live on the MacBook.  Then I was in my kitchen trying to convince the Princess of Terror that children do not pee on floors when I heard birds screeching and I realized it was coming from my computer and [gasp!] BABY FALCONS!

I got there in time to watch the babies eat what I assume was a pigeon that their mommy/daddy tore limb from limb.

It was the most beautiful, spiritual thing I’ve seen since that dead pigeon in front of Las Velas.

I took some screen caps for you!

I raise my Zima to the four newest members of my army.


(h/t Randy)


  1. laurenhbg
    April 23, 2010 3:22 pm

    Those peregrines are NASTY when you mess with their young – I work for one of the state-outdoorsy-agencies, and got to go with some of the biologists when they do their annual banding of them in Harrisburg.

    They dangle themselves out a 15th story window (or something really high up) and grab all the baby ones out of the little nest thing, all the while, the mommy peregrine is dive-bombing their heads at a bajillion MPH.

    Their weapon to defend themselves? A broomstick, to swing at said angry mommy peregrine.

    It was quite something!

  2. bluzdude
    April 23, 2010 3:31 pm

    To quote the great Gary Larson, “Birds of prey know they’re cool.”

  3. red pen mama
    April 23, 2010 3:34 pm

    1. Golden rule of motherhood: Silence is BAD. Stop what you are doing and check to make sure your children are not a) destroying something you love or b) killing each other.

    3. I am worse. I fell asleep with two minutes left in the tied game. I figured they would pull it out. Whoops.

    5. That bridge and driving under is terrify me. My brother & SIL (and their four boys) live in Squirrel Hill, and it scares me to visit them sometimes.

    6. I felt exactly the same way when I read that story. I didn’t know “assholery” was diagnosable. Must check with my husband to see what the DSM-V has to say.

  4. red pen mama
    April 23, 2010 3:35 pm

    5. correction: “driving under it”

  5. oldgraymare
    April 23, 2010 3:52 pm

    That explains why the Pens lost! LOL

  6. Pensgirl
    April 23, 2010 4:19 pm

    1. I learned early into my babysitting years that silence is the worst “sound” a child can make.

    3. Actually, my grandma said immediately after the story originally broke that her impression has been that his personality changed dramatically for the worse since the motorcycle accident and that she wondered if he didn’t suffer frontal lobe damage (which, among other things, can affect impulse control). Couple that with a my mom’s friend describing her grandson’s almost identical personality transformation after being in a similarly bad accident and it doesn’t seem that farfetched to me. (Not saying he should be absolved of his behavior though.)

    6. Tomorrow is another day. They didn’t win a single series at home last year…not a fan preference but as long as the Pens DO win the series, it can happen at the North Pole for all I care.

    And my own random note, because I can’t think of anyone who will appreciate this more than you. A college friend of mine moved to Pgh about two seconds ago, and his Facebook status update is “I think I’m in love with Pittsburgh already.”

  7. SpudMom
    April 23, 2010 4:24 pm

    Just a thought re: the Bridge article – how about we just set Priester to endlessly crossing that bridge – when it crumbles underneath him we’ll be rid of one problem and know for sure that the bridge is unstable. ;)

  8. Magnus Patris
    April 23, 2010 4:28 pm

    The Brewers tried to let the game not get out of hand and the STILL scored 20 frakin’ runs. What would have happened if they’d been pissed at us? If Ryan Braun was one of the ones who tried to get the team to hold back, I never again yell “Hey Braun! That’s a nice uniform you got there! Do they make that in men’s sizes?!?” at him ever again.

  9. Jann
    April 23, 2010 4:38 pm

    #10 Your “mommy falcon” talk made me laugh out loud!

  10. unsatisfied
    April 23, 2010 4:54 pm

    re: #5 — what exactly needs to be studied about whether or not that bridge is deficient?

    if you have netting underneath the bridge — and, if you have another f-ing bridge underneath the bridge with the sole purpose of catching shit that falls off of the bridge — then, yes, sherlock, you have a deficient bridge.

    and, if they think that they can repair that bridge, then, well, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell ’em….

    wasn’t part of the so-called stimulus package supposed to be spent on improving/replacing bridges of this sort?

    whoever has responsibility for this bridge — penndot? — should be as embarrassed as a steelers fan having to explain why the hell our QB can’t keep his schlong in his pants.

  11. lo-ren
    April 23, 2010 5:04 pm

    About a month ago I was lucky enough to witness, in my neighbors front walk, a falcon taking off with a pigeon in its claws. I wasn’t sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me, but after seeing the little pool of blood at the crime scene, and feathers everywhere, I realized what I thought I saw was real and right off of the discovery channel. It was cool, especially when rooting for the falcon. I, too, hate pigeons.

  12. Politicalpartypooper
    April 23, 2010 5:31 pm

    4. See Ginny? Don’t you just want to love the Brewers? See how nice we are? And, as an added bonus to Magnus Patris, Ryan Braun’s nickname is the Hammerin’ Hebrew. I’m thinking Triple Crown this year.

    Tonight, we bitchslap the Cubs, and there will be no mercy.

  13. cmd_45
    April 23, 2010 5:36 pm

    Had to smile at the dry erase marker comment…my 18 month old got hold of a red sharpie last year. That was ugly. It comes out with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and lots of Comet cleanser. Good luck.

  14. Sooska
    April 23, 2010 5:50 pm

    1. My daughter was about 3-1/2 when she took a black crayon and colored a solid rectangle on our dining room wall that never completely came off. When asked why she did it (and also after cutting a big hole in her little brother’s tee shirt) spread her hands out and shrugged saying “Because I HAD to.” [Duke should try that.]

    3. The impulse control center thing is interesting from a “horns-of-a-dilemma” POV. He is nothing if not the Comte du Lack of Impulse Control. If they cure him with counseling, medication, shock therapy, lobotomy or whatever, will he still be the same QB? His lack of impulse control is what defines his play. If not, then, what?

    10. I imagine Ginny you are all for bringing in a pair of pergrines for every building over 5 stories in the county? For free to nice Falcon couple: 1 RM, gravel floors, plenty of squab and nice river views. (some waterfront properties)

  15. Pa-pop
    April 23, 2010 5:52 pm

    Re #3, after the nearly year-long public tour of Little Ben & The Roethlisberries, I’ve been wondering if the ’06 cycle accident and subsequent concussions have prevented a few sparks in his head from jumping the gap. Just sayin’…

  16. Heather
    April 23, 2010 6:02 pm

    Gah. We’re a whole country full of people looking for someone else to blame. It must be a disease that makes Big Ben attack women. It couldn’t possibly be that he has a black hole where a soul/conscience/morality should be. He’s not responsible. Has to be something else.

  17. Pa-pop
    April 23, 2010 6:20 pm

    BTW, maybe there was a miscommunication at PennDOT on the bridge-diaper thing. Someone asked a supervisor, “What should we do?” And the answer was: “Depends.”

    And the netting on the bridge underside reminds me too much of my great-grandmother’s sagging nylons…

  18. Karen
    April 23, 2010 7:00 pm

    Dry erase marker… ouch. Try a paste of baking soda and water?

  19. lee
    April 23, 2010 7:27 pm

    Like a lot of people, I’m having trouble finding someone I can pay to take the #7 jersey I bought his second year off my hands. But if the man has an honest-to-god neurological disorder or some kind of brain lesion, everyone standing around with their hands on their hips being all morally superior is not going to protect future women that might get assaulted. If he’s actually sick and it can be treated, that might keep him out of trouble and prevent women from the trauma of an assault or worse.

    Castration might work too.

  20. Angry Mongo
    April 23, 2010 7:40 pm

    Yes silence is a bad thing. Recently, my almost three year old was supposed to be taking a nap. She was starting to stir and then stopped. After a few minutes of silence we walked in and found her in possesion of a tube of Desitin that she nicked off her changing table through some feat of thievery and proceeded to paint her crib, her animals in the crib, and herself all over with the tube’s contents.

    She pretty much waterproofed herself because that stuff doesn’t clean off very well.

  21. facie
    April 23, 2010 9:52 pm

    When my kid was five, she said to me she was trying to figure out how to make a hammock. I was taking a shower at the time and ignored said comment. An hour later we were at Children’s getting a couple of staples in her head.

    I have actually heard a couple of people mention that maybe Ben does have some brain issue thanks to the motorcycle accident and concussions. It is possible. Unlikely, but possible.

    That is sad about the Buccos. But Pens fans can at least rest assured that b/c I will not be wearing my blue Pens t-shirt (which I wore for both losses), the Pens should win tomorrow.

  22. MM
    April 23, 2010 10:29 pm

    Re: #3: I think they are creating disorders for everything now. I don’t think he assaulted her and honestly feel like the media is running certain tainted info for headline purposes but give me a break. He has long been known for being a jerk and obviously makes horrible choices. I honestly think fame, money, etc. got to him. Keep saying this, but hopefully he had to hit rock bottom to remember who he was and how his parents raised him. Based on interviews, etc. he appears to be a different person.

    re: 6: Couldn’t fall asleep-especially after the Pens lost and I watched the OV video from yesterdays post:(

  23. Amy L.
    April 23, 2010 10:43 pm

    My *bus* traverses that bridge. Well, it actually sits on the bridge because the light at the end isn’t really programmed to let traffic turn left easily on to Beechwood. Every once in a while (but not that often, because I am not that morbid), I imagine us trying to lumber from one side to the other before the bridge crumbles out from under us, and we drop like an anvil on to the commuters below.

  24. SpudMom
    April 24, 2010 8:13 am

    @MM – I think part of Ben’s problem is that he didn’t have two parents – his Mom died when he was 8. I think losing her somehow feeds into his attitudes toward women.

  25. one-eyed dick
    April 24, 2010 9:48 am

    Came home from work many years ago and opened the garage door to find my two sons engaged in a charcoal briquet war, throwing them at the walls and each other. They–and the garage–looked like the inside of the #2 Rape of the Mountain coal mine.

    My wife thought they were just playing.

    Could have been worse. At least they didn’t light them on fire before flinging them around the garage…..

  26. ManInBlack
    April 24, 2010 10:16 am

    You get too much joy out of dead pigeons. Its starting to be disturbing.

    Go Pens.

  27. peajay
    April 24, 2010 6:16 pm

    We had just moved into our new house and painted my daughter’s bedroom pink. New comforter and wall hangings to pull it all together and a dry erase/magnet board. One week later marker all over wall and comforter. She was 8!!!!! Still on comforter but mostly off walls. She is buying the next one!

  28. Elle C.
    April 25, 2010 10:08 pm

    dry-erase activity books for kids…worst.idea.ever. my daughter drew not only in the book, but all over the couch and also thought it was ok to draw with marker in books that are not dry-erase. gah!

    my hope is that one day, a falcon will swoop down and carry off one of the pigeons in front of me on the street downtown, along with the crazy bird lady who, EVERYDAY, insists on feeding them from her ziploc full of birdseed pulled from her purse. that would be beautiful and spiritual to me.

  29. DG
    April 26, 2010 9:18 am

    @one-eyed dick:

    “Could have been worse. At least they didn’t light them on fire before flinging them around the garage…..”

    Coffee through the nose funny. I’ve got two boys, and now must go home and hide the briquetes.

  30. KateStJ
    May 13, 2010 2:47 pm

    Knowing how much you love pigeons I thought you’d enjoy(?) some archived video from the Pitt streaming falconcam. It’s called “Live prey – not for the squeamish” and in it Dorothy arrives with a live pigeon and kills it in front of the “kids.” This was probably a lesson in how to dispatch a pigeon. All five of them watched, wide-eyed.

    To get to the hotspots, start the streaming on the Pittcam page, below the streaming video click on the dark icon that looks like a list of 3 things, then click on the tab called “hotspots” and look for the title.

    Indeed, it is not for the squeamish. Nature, red in tooth and claw.
    Kate StJ, http://www.wqed.org/birdblog