Category Archives: The Damn Pigeons

Sally Wiggin and the Pigeons

I’m sad about the Pens loss. So sad, in fact, that I ate for two straight hours after the final second ticked off the game clock. Half a jar of cookie butter. Cheese and crackers and processed meat slices. And then I eyed the cereal boxes. It wasn’t pretty. I woke up with a weird marriage of Cocoa Krispies and cracker dust in my hair.


So I’m going to ignore the loss and Bylsma’s likely departure (sob) and instead talk about pigeons. EFFING PIGEONS. MOTHERBLEEPING JERKASSWAD PIGEONS.

First, yesterday late morning in Market Square, it was a beautiful steamy sunny August day that happened to get lost and wind up in May all, “WHERE THE HELL AM I?! I think I took a wrong turn at July or something. I tried circling back but some yinzer told me to turn where Rax used to be.”

There I sat in the sun with Sally Wiggin, not far from a table full of beard-wearing Rangers. Sally and I were chatting about life while her cameraman set up for an interview, when a pigeon sauntered up to her, about a foot from her chair, probably wanting to tell her, “Hey, why are you hanging out with our Antichrist? Aren’t you better than that?”

Sally Wiggin spied the pigeon, and Sally Wiggin talked to the pigeon. She bent down and gave it baby talk.

And then she remembered who she was sitting with.

And  she looked up at me.

And I was all …


And then she was like …



I’m getting that on a shirt, a pillow, AND my gravestone.


Also, this happened:



And while we’re talking about pigeons, here’s the closing line of this hilarious letter to the editor at the Post-Gazette yesterday:

Perhaps the first place we can stop “feeding the pigeons” is with ourselves.

I will pay you the sum of ONE MILLION DOLLARS if you can explain what that means.

I think she was going for a “Be the change you want to see in the world” type of thing, but instead veered toward a “There are a lot of weeds in the garden of my mind” thing.

I hope Anna Smith of the North Side emails me so that I can email her back a link to the story of how PIGEON POOP BROUGHT DOWN THE BRIDGE IN MINNEAPOLIS.

Get at me.

P.S. Cocoa Krispie Hangover would be a great band name.



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Random n’at


1. If you haven’t yet, please scroll down or click here to see pictures of the $20,000 in technology upgrades we dropped off and installed at The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh this week.

2. Reader Kathleen is running the Pittsburgh 1/2 Marathon for Genre’s Kids With Cancer Fund.

If you’re looking for a charitable place to spread some good karma today, go throw in a few dollars for her? She only needs about $240 more to reach her goal!

For sick kids!

3. The Bucs are in second place. Half game out of first. They’ve won 12 of their last 16, I think. The best team in baseball, Atlanta, has only lost 6 games all season, and three of those were to the Pirates.


4.  Did you know you can buy Yinzer Bingo at Wildcard and another store that sells them, but I lost the name? There’s a K in the name? Anyone? Anyone? Zober?

Regardless, LOOK!



These are created by John the Craftist, who is actually a woman. Look at some of the other amazing stuff she creates, many of which are greeting cards:






I’m kind of in love with all of this and I wonder if there’s a Gemini one that says, “Witty. Passionate. Batshit Crazy.”

Anyway, I’ll be in Wildcard very soon to buy all the things.

5. Pigeons are assholes. And they smoke too. Look at this news photo from a 1989 edition of the Post-Gazette.

Click to embiggen and then read the caption.

The Pittsburgh Press   Google News Archive Search

Unreal. If today’s pigeons get wind of this, it is going to RAIN FIRE.

(h/t Jerry)

6. If you’re around Market Square next Friday morning …

Light of Life Rescue Mission is presenting former MLB player Sean Casey with the 3rd annual Locker Room Leadership Award at 9:30 a.m.  Sean is a former all-star baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians. Dennis Bowman will emcee, introducing former Steelers Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley who will present Sean with the award.

I’ll be there hanging out for sure. Sean does amazing things for the homeless via Light of Life.

7. This is old, but shut up.

Pittsburgh leads the nation in people moving in.

Suck it, Portland.

8. Giant Eagle is grocery store Big Brother?

Also, people are STILL commenting on my pharmacy rant. My God.

9. Lukey went AWOL, said he never left the city, but apparently his press secretary thought he went to Bradenton at one point. 

That sounds right.

10. Pretty sure the P-G is going to endorse Wagner after reading this article. Why? Just scroll down and read the comment left by Matt Barron. The P-G very conveniently left out some HUGE names that endorsed Bill Peduto yesterday. 

[golf clap]

11. Headline: “Penguins Drop Second Straight.”


Seriously. Two losses in a row. NBD.

12. The fountain is almost ready to go!

Here’s an image from today via Point Park TV’s twitter account:


Cannot wait until I can take my kids for a stroll around the fountain again.


Also unreal? That WTAE used FOUR anchors to intro it. Hah!

But seriously … amazing video.

14. Mother’s Day!

I wrote about Pittsburgh Moms for the May magazine edition. A snippet:

Our conversations about the latest episode of “Greatest American Hero” turned to hushed whispers. There was no whining about elbows in ribs or bothersome jelly-shoe blisters. While we painfully swallowed our sneezes, our mom drove with her chin hovering 3 inches above the steering wheel and her hands locked in a death-grip. She’d hold this position until the wagon was safely parked — which is when she’d exhale and revoke the sacred Writ of Silentium Absolutus.

I didn’t appreciate it then, but I can see it now for what it was: My mother was doing something far outside of her comfort zone so that her girls could have nice clothes (that didn’t scream, “Five kids. One job. Hills is where the toys are.”).

And I also put together a Burghy Mother’s Day gift guide for you. Everything from Burgh-made jewelry, to an awesome Pirates iPhone case, to BYOB painting classes where Mom can paint her own Pittsburgh skyline, and LOTS more.

I mean, the Confluence necklace pictured up top of this post? Holy moly.

Check all the gift suggestions out here.

15. Finally, your amazing tweets:



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Random n’at


1. First, a giant thank you to every single one of you who donated, tweeted, retweeted, Facebooked, or in any way helped with the Make Room for Kids fundraising effort this year.

The Amazon wish list is empty, which helped close the funding gap we were dealing with. The kids at The Children’s Home will get their computers and XBOXes and movies and games and printers and TVs, while the kids in the units we’ve already outfitted at Children’s Hospital will get the extra games they requested as well as the extra XBOX controllers.

Everyone will be happy!

Look for the install day post in late April and you’ll be able to see exactly what your donated dollars were spent on, and you’ll see the smiles they will bring to the sick kids.

2. The next mayor of Pittsburgh is not Bill Peduto or Michael Lamb … It’s Rebecca De Mornay.

Rebecca De Mornay and Nick Westrate have been cast as leads in NBC’s hourlong pilot Hatfields & McCoys, a take on the infamous feud set in present-day Pittsburgh. The startling death of the McCoy patriarch re-ignites the feud between the two legendary families, unleashing decades of resentment. De Mornay will play the central character of Mary Hatfield, the Mayor of Pittsburgh and matriarch of the powerful Hatfields, who basically run the city through their development company and political connections.

I like it.

Also, I’d like to volunteer my services to the writers to help them instill some true Pittsburgh flavor into the dialogue.

Mayor De Mornay: [slams hands on desk] If this gets out, things get ugly. Put a lid on it. I don’t need every yinzer from here to Aliquippa showing up and demanding we [finger quotes] “warsh the corruption out, n’at.” 

Email me, yo.

3. Pittsburgh Minecraft map.  There should be a Flyers skin for all the creepers.

I know way too much about Minecraft thanks to my kids.

4. This picture. Pittsburgh at dusk. MAN.

From wmellott on Reddit.

5. The Steelers have lost James Harrison, Mike Wallace, Willie Colon, Rashard Mendenhall.

They signed Matt Spaeth and William Gay, both former Steelers.

So basically our new strategy is “out with the old; in with the old.”


6. Pittsburgh’s Miss Smiling Irish Eyes 2013 is deaf. 

7. The teenaged founder and CEO of local company Simple Sugars will appear on Shark Tank on March 29. Set your DVRs.

8. The Knitting Lady sent me this pic of Geno holding her sock.



His face confuses me so much. For instance, here he is so attractive. Other times, it’s like WHOA, UGLY STICK!


9. “A very important in-depth analysis of early-90s style, featuring Jaromir Swagr” is the best thing you’ll read today.

I especially appreciate the scientific analysis of the ratio of the torso region to the leg region while he is wearing mom-jeans.

(h/t J)

10. Amazing pictures of Pittsburgh’s skyline taken this winter by Matt Robinson.

Couldn’t pick my favorite if there was an angry pigeon to my eyeball.

(h/t my dad)

11. Chatham University is holding a FREE fun-filled family-friendly Spring carnival complete with egg hunts, Easter Bunny photos, raffles, Haitian snacks, and more! And any proceeds or donations made are going to Haitian Families First!


See you there? I’ll be the one with the little girl who is begging the balloon artist to make her a pigeon.


[awkward kung fu moves]

12. And let’s end this post with some of my favorite tweets from awesome Burghers:

I don’t understand how I am the only person who starred that tweet. COME ON.

Thai McBistro would also be a great rapper name.

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Two stories, an appeal, and a pizza place.

Without the pizza place.

1. Story

Yesterday I took my kids to the Science Center and then on to Las Velas for dinner. While sitting near the windows above Market Square, my six-year-old daughter looked down to the sidewalk below and saw two pigeons pecking at probable puke.

Me: “Look at those pigeons! They’re fat as cats!”

Her: “Mom. [folds her hands in the begging gesture] Can I PLEEEEEEEZE have a pet pigeon? Please? [doe eyes]”

Satan in Hell: [falls down laughing]

For weeks now, every time she sees a pigeon, my daughter insists she’d like one for a pet. A pigeon.

I say “kick it!” and she hears “love it!”

She yearns for a pet parrot, but I’ve told her no in the most honest way I could … “No. They poop, they’re loud, and they live forever.”

That’s right. I don’t permit non-canine pets in my house that I’ll still have to take care of after my children go to college. This is why I said no to the bearded dragon. Because with my luck, it would be as big as a baby alligator the day I sent my boy off to school. I’m hopeful Dennis the tarantula’s funeral will happen sometime before 2021.

Also, have you ever seen a tarantula’s molt?


Now you have. You’re so very welcome.

Since I’ve told her she can’t have a parrot, she thinks a pigeon is the next best thing. That’s like thinking, “Well, if I can’t have a steak, I’ll have tuberculosis.”

I think I’ve come up with a way to put the whole matter to rest. I told her she can have a pet pigeon if she can catch one.

This oughta be good.

2. Story

Also yesterday at Las Velas, my son and I were talking about Minecraft because that’s what ten-year-old boys like to talk about. He was explaining to me a problem he was having, but that he found a forum that helped him solve it.

Him: “And some guy I know commented on that forum too. Guess who it was!”

Me: “Who?”

Him: “Psy!”

Me: [spews margarita all over the place]

Guess I should have that “not everything on the Internet is true” talk with him.

3. An appeal  Virginia Montanez  MR4K Wish List

The Make Room for Kids Amazon wish list is up! You’ll notice this list is heavy in DVD movies and that’s because The Children’s Home doesn’t have many at all. In fact, most of their movies are on VHS. Titles start at less than $5.

Also on the list, you’ll see we’re asking for donations of XBOX Live points, as this is how we’ll be purchasing the games for The Children’s Home, rather than using physical disk copies. We’d appreciate if you could help us out with that.

And finally, you’ll see a few actual hard copies of XBOX games on the list. Those are games requested by the kids at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh who are patients in the units we’ve outfitted in years past. It’s important that we maintain an updated supply of games to keep the kids there occupied. The extra controllers are for Children’s Hospital too.

Shipping defaults to go directly to The Lemieux Foundation.

If you haven’t chipped in yet — maybe PayPal isn’t your thing — this is a great way to do it. Takes just a few minutes of your time and scores you major good karma points. Plus, Mario will walk into the office, see all the piles of boxes of stuff you donated and he’ll be all [THUMBS UP!].

FOR OUR SICK KIDS, you guys!

If you donate, I promise to never post another picture of a tarantula molt again.

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Hey Girl, great ball of fire.

Ramsey ditch fire blamed on pigeon fireball   Latest News   Hunts Post


I … I just … I don’t even know where to begin.

OVERHEAD cables touched under the weight of perched pigeons causing an explosion which sent them hurtling to their death in a giant fireball and set fire to the ditch below.

Do I start with the fact that I found that sentence more arousing than anything Ryan Gosling ever Hey Girl-ed to me?



Mr Laverick, of Benwick Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, said: “Sparks went everywhere, some pigeons were incinerated, others dropped into the ditch and the fire raged.”

Do I start with the fact that this is an efficient new way to kill pigeons that I never considered until now? Baiting the higher of two live wires (carefully) with week-old vomited french fries and letting electricity do the job of killing many birds with one glorious kablooey?

Do I start with the fact that, as the reader who tweeted me the link (can’t find his name) said, Pigeon Fireball is a FANTASTIC band name? They could totally open for the Suspicious Packages.

The top wire was sinking lower and lower because of the weight of the pigeons but still more came, until unlucky pigeon 615 landed, the wires touched and there was a massive explosion.

Do I start with the fact that this story easily allows us to replace the tired “straw that broke the camel’s back” idiom with “the obese pigeon that made two live wires touch?” In case you were wondering, they counted, and the answer is 614 … 614 is how many pigeons can safely rest on a wire. 615 pigeons is when the bough breaks and the cradle falls in a ball of pigeon flambe.

Do I start with the fact that Pigeon Flambe is also a pretty decent band name? They could open for Violent Rhino Sex (tm Pittsburgh Zoo).

I don’t know where to start.

So I’ll just end with this:



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