Monthly Archives: December 2011

A new villain in town

Note to me: You spelled villain correctly this time. Have a cookie.

Other than the recent rash of home invasions, which, MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS, Pittsburgh is pretty safe and our villains would probably bore a regular superhero to tears.

Superhero: [sigh] “God, Giles! What do you mean the One-Legged Wheelchair Bandit robbed another store? Didn’t I just aggressively roll that guy away yesterday?

Well, joining the Rogue Tree Pruner, the Petunia Desperado, the Sharply-Dressed Penny Thief, the One-Legged Wheelchair Bandit, and the Egg Nog Thief, we have … drum roll …

The Soft-Spoken Robber.

This dude shows up with a semi-automatic weapon, quietly robs you, apologizing the entire time, and then thanks you before he leaves.

And you thought chivalry was dead.


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And to all …

I love you guys! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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See you next week!

(h/t Scarehouse Scott)

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Genius product placement

I tweeted this, but finally went and took a picture today.

My local Rite Aid’s baby diaper aisle:

Like selling diabetes blood testers in the candy aisle.


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Fear not the pigeon brain

For poop-flingers, monkeys are pretty smart.

That’s the best sentence I’ve ever written.

I should just stop the post right here.

But there’s this:

Pigeons may not be so bird-brained after all, as scientists have found the birds’ ability to understand numbers is on par with that of primates.

When I read this sentence, I thought to myself, “Shit.”

Oh! Before I continue, would one of you in Lukey’s office show him that previous sentence and explain to him that THAT is the correct way to use “myself” in a sentence? KTHXBAI.

The reason I thought, “Shit,” is because if the pigeons can understand complex numbers and math and algebra and parallelograms and trapezoids … if the pigeons can solve for X, we are BEYOND screwed.There will be an uprising. They’ll reprogram Beelzebub 2.0 to include the ability to shit directly into our mouths (MERRY CHRISTMAS!). They’ll build pigeon robots capable of flying through brick walls.

Pigeons are bad enough vermin, controlled by Satan, the last thing we need is for them to be smart with numbers.

Then I read on:

Scarf and his colleagues first trained three pigeons to count up to three.

Once the birds learned to count to three, the researchers began showing the pigeons images with up to nine objects. On average, without higher-number training or food rewards, the pigeons were able to correctly order the image sets over 70 percent of the time.

And then I relaxed.

The pigeons can count to three! And 70% of them can count to nine! I don’t think they’ll be building a supercomputer with a “Smite PittGirl Hard” program anytime soon.

However, this does prove one thing:

For puke-eaters, pigeons are pretty smart.

(h/t Jason)


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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.”

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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.



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