Random n’at

1. How do you know when it’s time you need new hearing aids? When this conversation happens:

Me: The kiddo wants to put song #19 from that 80’s CD you have in the car onto his Kindle Fire. Who sings that? It sounds like they’re saying “more than a feeling?”

Him: Huh?

Me: Yeah.

Him: That would be a song by Boston, but that’s not on that CD.

Me: Hmm. It sounds like maybe U2 is singing it?

Him: HUH?!

[I stick the CD in the computer and we listen to #19. Ten seconds after the music starts up …:]

Him: [falls down laughing]


Him: That’s “Maria” by BLONDIE.

True. Story.

2. The tour guide may have mentioned this on my tour of Clayton, but on account of I thought Blondie was U2, I may have not heard it.

Henry Clay Frick and Adelaide Childs Frick were supposed to be on the Titanic!

Thank goodness for them, a sprained ankle used to require hospitalization.

(h/t @Verbz)

3. During WWII, Americans attempted pigeon-guided missiles.


(h/t @jmarinara)

4. The greatest stress ball in the history of stress balls.

At least I think it’s a stress ball.

We won’t know until I beat the crap out of it.

Someone buy that for me.

(h/t StacyfrPgh)

5. Great picture showing what Pittsburgh really is.

“Where the world thinks I live. Where my parents think I live. Where suburbanites think I live. Where I live.”

(h/t GaScubaBum)

6.  If you haven’t yet bought your Monster Haiku book benefiting the March of Dimes, please do so!

It is illustrated by the beautiful Rachel Sager (who designed my logo and web banner AND the Make Room for Kids logo). The haikus (hiaki? haikues? cyoo-pons?) were written by the brilliant Will Rutherford, who you remember I guest-haikued for once. Yes, I suck at haikuing.

Buy a book! You have five days left! DO IT FOR THE BABIES!

There are also posters, cards, and original art up for grabs!

I can’t wait to read the book to my kids. I’ll be all, “An owl will never stop … trying to end you. [blink] MWAH-HAHAH!”

Best mom ever.

7. There will be 47 new pictures tomorrow. Just preparing you.

8. Further proof that Pittsburgh is the new Hollywood.

Suck it, Portland.


9. Once a week the Post-Gazette sends me an email reminding me of my PG+ (pronounced BeeeeooooBOOOP in R2-D2ish) subscription.

“Don’t forget about your PG+ subscription!” the email says.

“Don’t forget I cancelled that two years ago!” I say.


  1. Chris
    February 27, 2012 3:16 pm

    Love, Love, Love #5!

  2. Cbus Yinzer
    February 27, 2012 3:18 pm

    That pigeon costs $64!! I don’t even know where to begin with how incomprehensible that is.

    • Virginia
      February 27, 2012 3:19 pm

      Which is why I said someone needs to buy it for me. NO WAY am I paying $64 for a freaking stuffed pigeon! It’d be cheaper just to kill one and have it taxidermied.

      • Butcher's Dog
        February 27, 2012 3:39 pm

        Taxidermy would cover a hard plastic shell of a pigeon with feathers ‘n skin ‘n ‘at. Wouldn’t feel good to squeeze or kick the crap out of. And $64 is far too much. Let’s think of a way to con some PETA-types into making foam rubber pigeons. We could call them pigey-wigeys or something. Pretend they’re children’s toys to encourage respect for the animal life on the planet. Or something. Piggly Wiggly down here in SC does that with pigs. They’re adorable. Then we could all buy cheap foam rubber pigeons and squeeze them ferociously. Just a thought.

      • gunnlino
        February 27, 2012 7:22 pm

        Call the kintting lady , she’ll knit one out in half and hour .
        Most likely between goal horns .

  3. bucdaddy
    February 27, 2012 3:31 pm

    @5 SHHHHHHHH. You’ll ruin it for everybody if they all find out.

  4. Cassie
    February 27, 2012 3:36 pm

    I had a patient on Saturday who actually raised Pigeons. And during the ’50s he would race them. RACE PIGEONS.

    For the record, he won 90% of the time.

    • gunnlino
      February 27, 2012 7:28 pm

      @Cassie , When I was a kid ( too long ago to date ) my Uncle raised and raced pigeons , he started me and I did it for years before college and career called . Racing birds are different from the red eyed devils on the street that plot to take over the world .

      • Cassie
        February 28, 2012 11:31 am

        I thought it was fascinating! He said it took a lot of skill and patience. I can only imagine. He said he’d be out at 4 AM scaring them into flying away so that they could race in the dark!

  5. AngryMongo
    February 28, 2012 7:36 am

    #1 My wife can’t discern between RUSH and pre self titled album Heart. She can’t stand either but she always asks, “Is that the girl or the guy singing?”

    Side note. Isn’t it odd that Heart really went super popular after they released a self titled album, ten years into their career?

    • bucdaddy
      February 28, 2012 10:59 am

      ??? “Dreamboat Annie,” their debut, went platinum and the follow-up, “Little Queen,” was triple platinum. It might have had something to do with the fact the Wilson sisters were both pretty smokin’. I attribute at least part of their success to the dog-walking-on-its-hind-legs syndrome: It doesn’t have to do it well, it’s just amazing it can do it at all.

      So … “Look! Hot chicks! AND they rock!”*

      The bar is set pretty low there.

      *–I am NOT disparaging Heart at all. Lots of good songs there. I’m more inclined to disparage, say, the likes of Pat Benatar along those lines.

      • unsatisfied
        February 28, 2012 4:18 pm

        but, they were RAWK back then, bucdaddy.

        with that monstrosity that angrymongo mentions above, they became POP.


  6. Gina
    February 28, 2012 8:24 am

    Back when I worked in pigeon lab, I learned lots of cool things about them. like how they were used to locate soldiers lost at seas. My favorite part was carrying them around in oatmeal containers, though.