Random n’at

1. Shout out to the black Toyota Rav 4 who was doing a good 50 mph before slamming on his brakes the moment his front bumper entered the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.

You ARE the tunnel monster.

Oh, that’s gonna be a shirt.

2. I forgot to mention my latest post up at Pittsburgh Magazine, this one revealing where Pittsburgh ranks on the top ten worst cities for disaster response. I have come up with some contingency plans, since clearly the city isn’t going to take care of us when those islands in the Pacific fall into the ocean creating a tsunami that wipes out NYC before heading to Pittsburgh.

I might watch too much SyFy for my own good.

A snippet:

1. Run for the Hills
As reader Lucy, who sent me the link to the story, wrote, “Maybe the kind folks who conducted the survey didn’t consider the Mayor’s plan to run for the hills (literally – hello Seven Springs!) an effective disaster preparedness method.” I think we can all agree that planning to simply run for the Laurel Mountains or even the top of Mt. Washington is poor planning and preparedness and only brings you closer to the enemy if the disaster is an alien invasion.
Score: 20.

Go read the rest of the contingency plans and pick one. It might save your life. And your brains.

3. Penguin Strangers, not “Perfect Strangers.”

YouTube Preview Image

Let’s do the Dance of Joy, cousin!

Gonna be singing that song all damn day now.

(h/t Lynnetta)

4. Highmark and UPMC have been fighting forever it seems now, with UPMC insisting that it cannot negotiate with Highmark because Highmark dared to become a direct provider of health services with its purchase of West Penn/Allegheny. This is cute because UPMC is conveniently ignoring the fact that they DARED to become a direct competitor of Highmark’s by starting their own health insurance plan and round and round we go and who can I punch? Nobody knows.

At least this is a small glimmer of good news:

UPMC hospitals and physicians will be available to Highmark Inc. insurance customers at in-network rates through June 30, 2013, under a new agreement the warring companies announced this morning.

Just the other day I saw a UPMC commercial where the announcer was all, “UPMC and Highmark will be parting ways in 2012. THAT’S A FACT. A COLD HARD FACT. LET IT SINK IN. NOW WEEP. AND PANIC. NOW WATCH US TAKE OUR BALL AND GO HOME.”

I’ve paraphrased. But the whole thing still pisses me off to no end. A nonprofit fighting over profits should make us all super stabby.

5. Headline: “Roethlisberger expects to play Saturday.”

Me: [facepalm]

6. Aspinwall Police Officer David Nemec started this awesome drive to provide toy gifts to the children who will be spending Christmas in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Check out Presents from Police!

What an awesome Burgher.

(h/t Hannah)

7. Oh, hell:

Police said a Christmas shopper was attacked by two robbers while walking out of the Mall at Robinson late Wednesday night.  Channel 4 Action News’ Amber Nicotra reported that the victim was approached by two men, one of whom was wearing a monkey mask, outside the Macy’s just before 11 p.m.

I can handle the Scream masks or the dead presidents masks or ski masks, but my God, you come at me with a MONKEY MASK?!



I will either run away screaming so fast the robber would think I had super powers, or the fear-induced adrenaline rush would cause me to kill the robber. With fire.




  1. Butcher's Dog
    December 22, 2011 1:44 pm

    When both UPMC and Highmark qualify as “non-profit”, that has to be one of the signs of the pending apocalypse. Just sayin’.

    If you can watch that Pens video and not tear up a little, move back to Philly. Just my two cents worth.

  2. JustCele
    December 22, 2011 2:04 pm

    One small objection, please!! Those of us who love and live in the Laurel Mountains (Somerset) did not invite Lukey to visit and did not appreciate his presence! However, since we had no advance notice (and no opportunity to change his mind by whatever methods necessary), I would like to remind everyone that we have fumigated the area thoroughly and no Lukey stench remains. The Laurel Mountains are open to you and should not be considered to still possess “Lukey cooties”!!

  3. Jayne
    December 22, 2011 2:16 pm

    Tunnel Monster = Another great band name!

  4. Christina
    December 22, 2011 2:23 pm

    I want exactly this Pens pic with Sid, Geno and the back of Kris Letang who is spreading his wings like an eagle as a poster for Christmas. Pleaseeee, Santa.

    As for Ben: This is not heroic – it’s plain stupid. Rest your leg. We need a QB and not a Minister of Silly Walks.

  5. DG
    December 22, 2011 2:45 pm

    It’s funny, I used the term “Meposian dance of joy” just the other day. I can always tell how old someone is if they don’t get it.

  6. Different Brian
    December 22, 2011 2:57 pm

    UPMC wins for me because they didn’t make commercials where they play that obnoxious song 800,000 times a day. The newest radio version just is like daggers in my ears.

    I jump for the radio to turn the channel whenever it comes on. Makes for a great exercise program if anyone is looking to start.

  7. Steverino
    December 22, 2011 3:20 pm

    I guess Patrice King Brown will have to record new commericals for UPMC now. Funny, I was listening to the radio in the car today and just after the news that Highmark and UPMC had made a deal through 2013, her commercial came on that UPMC and Highmark were splitsville in June 2012.

    Between this and her infomercials for her husband’s youth elixir, shows how far she has fallen.

  8. Ginny's Dad
    December 22, 2011 6:29 pm

    We may be the 4th worst but that photo of the city was outstanding. Frame it and it would look great in a den or office.

  9. Aileen
    December 22, 2011 9:04 pm

    I’m with Butcher’s Dog – the only accurate part of the word non-profit with those entities is the second half. (Didn’t UPMC just give a whopper of a donation to the Heinz History Center?)

    Patrice King Brown’s infomercial with her husband creeps me out.

    As for the monkey mask criminals, clearly someone had issues after watching the Wizard of Oz.

  10. Dan (Not Onorato)
    December 23, 2011 7:53 am

    Tunnel Monster isnt some kind of kinky euphemism is it?

  11. Joe K.
    December 23, 2011 8:28 am

    I understand Ben wanting to play but if he’s too injured it’s on the coaches to hold him out.

  12. JennyMoon
    December 23, 2011 9:38 am

    Hello!!?! UPMC also made a commercial with a horrible song that played over and over. For the record n’at.

  13. bluzdude
    December 23, 2011 10:18 am

    I’m not completely sure that people don’t think the tunnel is actually one of those fake holes that Wile E. Coyote uses.