Sunday, December 31, 2006

Today's Oneword - Thistle

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Thistle. It rhymes with whistle, but it hurts more when you touch it. As prickly as thistles are, we don't cut them when they appear in our yard. Their seeds attract goldfinches, and we also buy thistle seeds to feed to the goldfinches in the winter.

Chinese Year of the Fluorescent Pig Begins

China celebrates the start of the Year of the Pig in February. But Chinese scientists have gotten an early start by successfully breeding partially green fluorescent pigs which they hope will boost stem cell research, Xinhua news agency said.

A research team at the Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin managed to breed three transgenic pigs by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs, Xinhua quoted Professor Liu Zhonghua as saying.

"The mouth, trotters and tongue of the pigs are green under ultraviolet light," said Liu.

2007 Ghoul Pool - Hoping for Heaven in 2007

Once again I have written a “ghoul pool.” This one is different from many, where everyone makes their picks and puts their money into a pot. Mine is just for fun and I try to create a humorous entry about each one. All of my 2006 entries are still alive. I’m only making a few changes in this year’s pool, “Hopin’ for Heaven in 2007.”

By the way, in case you're interested in checking the vital signs of your favorite celebrity, I highly recommend the Dead People Server site.

And now, for this year's entries...
  1. Ross Perot – After death, he has a change of heart and attempts to negotiate a free trade agreement between Heaven and Earth.
  2. Tammy Faye Bakker, aka Tammy Faye Messner – Finds out whether mascara is allowed on the other side.
  3. Billy Graham – His family is fussing about where he’s going to be buried, but Billy’s not going to care.
  4. Henry Kissinger – He’s as dead as the Mideast Peace Process.
  5. Karl Malden – He’s going to find out if St. Peter accepts American Express.
  6. Paul Harvey – “And now you know…the REAL rest of the story!”
  7. Dick Clark – It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the last of Times Square for Dick Clark.
  8. Monty Hall – Finds out how hard it is to make a deal on the other side…
  9. Andy Griffith – Relocates to Heaven, R.F.D.
  10. Sir Edmund Hillary – He was the first man to stand at both the North and South Poles, as well as the summit of Mount Everest. Not only that, he received the Noble Order of the Garter from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. He wants to add the Pearly Gates to his list of conquests.
And now, for this year’s wild card entry…Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. Even if he doesn’t really die, he’s going to do his best to look dead, and we like that kind of effort.

Today's Oneword - Whistle

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

Some people whistle while doing work or other things. It usually annoys me when they do that, so I don't do it either. I hum to myself sometimes, though.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Today's Oneword - Rusted

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

His truck was rusted. Of course, it was beginning to rust even before he bought it used 5 years ago. But now it was really bad.

Christmas Gift Returns - It's the Thought That Counts

Paul and Lori Friday, of Dormont, check their bags as they return some Christmas gifts at Ross Park Mall last night. The Fridays waited until late in the day to head to the mall, trying to avoid the traditional day-after shopping rush.

The main mission of the Fridays' trip was to return Paul's purchase of a see-through green thong with red tassels from Victoria's Secret. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, One of America's Great Newspapers, got it mostly right. See the picture below for the rest of the story.

A Christmas Tradition That Should be Extinguished

Imagine it. You own a 3600-square-foot luxury home in Newport Beach, California, south of Los Angeles. But, truth be told, you can't bear to have the neighbors over for dinner, because the place really looks like a dump compared to the other homes in the neighborhood. So you remodel. Finally, your house is a home!

You'll be enjoying your home for years to come, right? Well, not for one Newport Beach family. It seems that they decided to decorate their Christmas tree with candles, which ignited the tree. The resulting blaze caused 2.3 million dollars in damage to the home.

The family was following a Scandinavian tradition by placing lighted candles on the tree, said Newport Beach fire chief Paul Matheis. This is one of those traditions that's not worth preserving. Look at the following video to see how quickly a Christmas tree fire can destroy your home.

Today's Oneword - Ear

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He held the telephone to his ear. He kept it there. It seemed like it was there for hours every day. Then he went home from work.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Bird Flu - The Pandemic is Here!

It's now an established fact. Avian Flu, also known as Bird Flu or Deadly Bird Flu, has reached the pandemic phase. An Egyptian woman as died of the disease. Cynics like me can now rest at ease, knowing that money has been well spent in the US and elsewhere, where governments are publishing critical information about when to panic and how to develop your personal strategy for hoarding water and toilet paper.

Yikes! My stomach doesn't feel so great. Do I have bird flu, or am I just feeling a little sick from overeating my Christmas turkey dinner?

Today's Oneword - Gloves

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I didn't give gloves to anyone for Christmas this year. I didn't receive gloves from anybody, either. This is a good thing, as gloves are something that I like to select for myself, and I assume that others like to pick their own as well.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends - Alternate Edition

Welcome to the Christmas edition of getting to know your friends. Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy this entire post and paste into your own blog. Change all the answers so that they apply to you. 'Tis the Season to be NICE!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or artificial? Real. You did say “tree,” right?

3. When do you put up the tree? Trra-dition!!! Christmas Eve.

4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime in January. It’s something of a family tradition to wait until most of the needles fall onto the floor. The rest can be easily dislodged and deposited onto the floor when taking the ex-tree out of the house.

5. Do you like eggnog? Hic! I’m gonna get me smor gnog. Wuntsum?

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Although I'm not really big on money for gifts, there were 2 Christmases where I saved my Christmas and birthday money to get a bike and a running suit.

7. Do you have a nativity scene? Several. We never know which one will turn up in any given year, though.

8. Hardest person to buy for? The person whose name I draw in the extended family gift exchange drawing!

9. Easiest person to buy for? My wife.

10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? A wooden trivet that required assembly.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Judging by the lack of responses, I’m never sure who actually reads my emails.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with the voice of Boris Karloff as the Grinch.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Customarily (other than this year, which required that I begin shopping December 18), I do all of my shopping (wife, a goodly number of the kids’ presents, parents, nieces and nephews, family grab-bag and family adult gift exchange) in a one-day marathon shopping session which is generally December 22 or 23.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I have recycled presents for other occasions, but I don’t recall having done so for Christmas.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Russian Teacakes.

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? This is a trick question. Assuming that “clear” means white or uncolored, my answer is colored, although we have both frosted and clear colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? One I seldom hear: Angels From the Realms of Glory.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Go to church Chistmas morning, then go home and stay there.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? Of course. And in fact now I know them better because their names are in a song called Christmas Chopstix that I sang in a Barbershop quartet this year!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? We had 2 paper angels, one that my wife made, and one with an icon of an angel. But last year we got a funky topper that looks a little like a Russian onion dome. So, currently…neither!

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Stockings Christmas morning before church. Everything else after church.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Daily news reports about whether this year’s retail shopping results are on track to be a record.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Santa Pulled Over For Speeding

There's little respect for tradition in Clarion County, PA. The photo below shows Santa Claus being pulled over for speeding near Knox.

If you're a kid from that area, I'd sleep in on Christmas morning. Santa's coming to you last. If he makes it at all, that is...

Today's Oneword - Abundant

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He had an abundant supply of all the things he needed. But that didn't satisfy him. There was still a void, but he couldn't identify what it was...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Indian Dogs Forced to Live in Sin

A Hindu wedding ceremony of 18 dogs has been called off in India on the grounds of mockery to religion and cruelty to animals.

The wedding, based on Hindu rituals, was to have involved the canines sitting in front of a sacred fire and exchanging flower garlands. The marriage was also to have included a procession and a huge feast with a special dance party. Event management company B Positive and the Pink City Canine Club were organizing the spectacle, which was to have taken place on Sunday in the northwestern town of Jaipur.

"In my opinion, marriage of dogs is cruelty on animals," said Naresh Kadyan, chairman of the People for Animals (PFA). "People hold the front legs of the dogs against their will and force them to dance, which is cruel."


The organizers said they were sorry for hurting people's sentiments but added they still planned to go ahead with the other events, including a beauty pageant for "unmarried dogs."

Mr. Spock Attempts First Mind Meld

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk, Spock, and the crew of the Enterprise travel back in time to 1986, and visit San Francisco in search of a humpback whale.

And, now, in Star Trek XI: The Search for Intelligent Life, Spock travels back in time and returns to Earth again in 2006, this time posing as a 7-foot-9-inch Mongolian herdsman
Bao Xishun. Spock attempts a mind-meld with a dolphin, but it skin is so slippery that he can't touch it long enough to make the mind meld work. In the picture below, you can see Spock's solution - he sticks his arm down the dolphin's throat.

The mind meld wasn't successful, but Spock did succeed in pulling out some undigestible chunks of plastic from the dolphin's stomach.

Today's Oneword - Icicle

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He looked forward to each year's first icicle, and this one tasted great.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I Have Been Named Time's Person of the Year

I have been named Time person of the year. Actually, I'm a man, not a genderless person, but I'll accept the award anyway because of the endorsement deals that must surely follow such a distinction.

Thank you very much.

Exclusive Photo from Knicks-Nuggets Brawl

That's Nate Robinson in the blue corner and Carmello Anthony in the red corner. Rumor has it that they will both be stripped of their New York boxing licenses.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today's Oneword - Give

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

She had nothing left to give. She had been working over 80 hours per week. Her personal life was in shambles. And more was expected each day.

Today's Oneword - Homeless

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He was homeless. Somehow, he had lost track of the thing. It remained in his memory, but not in any actual place. It was nobody's fault, really. But it was gone.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Today's Oneword - Panic

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He was in a state of panic. It turned out that the data on his project had been wrong, most of the work he had done was not needed, and he was back at square one.

A Roadway or Sidewalk by Day - A Urinal by Night

It's happened to everyone. You've been out for a night on the town, you're out walking around, and then, all of a sudden, you really have to go! What's a guy to do? Trees are few and far between. There's really no place to go.

Enter the Urilift. Urilift is a urinal that rises out of the ground at night.

It's purpose is to stop people from peeing on the street. A pipe dream? No way! They're being installed in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

They cost $75,000. But when you've gotta go it's worth every penny!

If you've got some time to burn (and no place to go - ha ha), the following video shows why the Urilift is such a necessity.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Oneword - Belief

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I had a belief that there would be a good word to write about today. But there are no good words on Oneword. Once the clock starts ticking they're all hard words to write about.

Today's Oneword - Exit

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

There was no exit. He looked and looked. Doors were opened. But they led to dead ends. Windows were nailed shut. Even the toilets were stopped up. He was stuck.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Surf's Up On Lake Erie in Cleveland

You've probably heard of the Dirty Brown Towel. It's dirty. It's brown. It's ugly. It's from Cleveland. OK, you have the picture. Cleveland Browns fans are supposed to wave the things when the Browns do something special, like not fumble.

But now there's a good use for the Dirty Brown Towel. You can use it to dry off after you've been surfing on Lake Erie off the coast of Cleveland!

Surf? Lake Erie? Cleveland? Yes, you're reading right and I'm not making it up. According to the New York Times, which has all the news that's fit to print (and then some), winter's winds provide prime surfing conditions on Lake Erie.

The strongest winds and waves come in winter, just before Lake Erie freezes. Waves up to 10 feet have been surfed, but the largest swells are usually chest-high. Surfers learn to avoid ice chunks the size of bowling balls. Some wear goggles to surf through freezing rain, which can sting their eyes like needles. This can be a bad idea, though, because the goggles freeze to the surfers' faces.

Surfers watch their friends for signs of hypothermia, urging them to leave the water when their eyes glaze over and their words slur. Ear infections are a common affliction.

“Surfing Lake Erie is basically disgusting,” said Bill Weeber, known as Mongo, 44. “But then I catch that wave and I forget about it, and I feel high all day.”

Scott Ditzenberger hoped to experience the same feeling when he heard that the first blizzard of the winter was pounding across the Midwest.

“I was so excited I could barely sleep last night,” said Mr. Ditzenberger, 35, who quit his job as a lawyer in August to spend more time surfing and to film a documentary about Cleveland’s surf community.

The most popular surf spot is Edgewater State Park. It is nicknamed Sewer Pipe because, after heavy rains, a nearby water treatment plant regularly discharges untreated waste into Lake Erie.

This, I tell you, is Dirty Brown Towel country.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

Highlight, copy, and paste (not forward or reply) and change my answers to your answers, make sure you send it back to the person who sent it to you Enjoy!! Everyone has time for a few moments of fun!

Don't be a scrooge!!!

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg Nog. Light on the egg. Bring on the nog. Enough so that I don't care about the 3 million calories.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? "Sit them under the tree?" Since it is impossible to "sit them under the tree" I'm left with little choice - He wraps 'em!

Colored or white lights on tree/house? Colored lights on the tree, some of which must be blinkers. Putting lights on the house involves ladders, cold fingers, and potential ambulance lights.

Do you hang mistletoe? I never required that excuse.

When do you put your decorations up? Trrra-Dition! Up on Christmas Eve.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Russian Teacakes.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child: Getting finger puppets and little flashlights and doing the Bill Cosby "Noah" skit with them in the dark.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? When I became the one who ate his cookies.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Open a gift!!?? I don't even get them wrapped by Christmas Eve!

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Bring in the tree. Put the tree in the stand. Fill the stand with water. Move the tree into place. Add water to replace the spillage. Rotate the tree to hide the holey spots. Wish we had gotten a tree with fewer holey spots. Straighten the tree. Wish we had gotten a straighter tree. Vacuum. Lay out all the ornaments. Pull out the tree. Put the lights on. Push the tree back into place. Vacuum again. Assess the current age of the cats and kids to see how high we need to put the delicate ornaments. Put on the delicate ornaments according to said assessment. Kids put on the rest. Determine which homemade angel will top the tree. Oh, wait, I think we got some other funky tree topper on sale at Wal-Mart last year.

Snow! Love it or Dread it? Snow. Lots of Snow. Not to worry - we're stocked up on toilet paper, water, and other holiday potables.

Can you ice skate? Yes, very smoothly. Most people don't do it on their butts like me, though.

Do you remember your favorite gift? None are standing out in my memory. Although I'm not really big on money for gifts, there were 2 Christmases where I saved my Christmas and birthday money to get a bike and a running suit.

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? I certainly like making time to visit with our families, but we attend all the church services to make sure we don't lose sight of the real meaning of Christmas.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? The aforementioned Russian Teacakes. Even though they're called Teacakes, I have them with coffee.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Using the To: and From: on gift tags to provide obscure, sometimes extremely obscure, hints about the gifts. My wife and kids have now started this as well.

What tops your tree? We had 2 paper angels, one that my wife made and one with an icon of an angel. But last year we got a funky topper that looks a little like a Russian onion dome.

Which do you prefer giving or Receiving? I prefer to give. I really don't need anything.

What is your favorite Christmas song? One I seldom hear: Angels From the Realms of Glory.

Candy Canes? Who knows. They don't last long enough on the tree for me to get any.

Fave Christmas Movie? Original "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" with the voice of Boris Karloff as the Grinch.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Today's Oneword - Whisp

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

I know the words whisper and wisp. But I don't know whisp. I looked on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary which indicated that "whisp" is only in the unabridged version, which you have to pay for. I already own the Merriam-Webster Third New International unabridged dictionary so I'm not going to pay for it online.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today's Oneword - Alternate

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He had an alternate plan. Unfortunately, his boss was the one responsible for the plan, so the alternate was never seriously considered. And he went home that night and returned in the morning for another day of it.

The Real Reason Behind Robert Kelly's Sellout of Mellon and Pittsburgh

In Curious George books you have 2 main characters - Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat. In Pittsburgh, we had, or had, The Man in the Orange Polka Dot Tie, aka Robert Kelly, who until yesterday was CEO of Mellon Financial. In less then one short year, Kelly took the 137-year-old Mellon, one of Pittsburgh's most revered financial institutions, and sold it to the Bank of New York.

Why would Kelly do that to Mellon and Pittsburgh? We can only speculate, of course, but the Scott's Spot fashion department, a wholly owned subsidia
ry of Kaufmann'sHornesLazarusMayMacy's, is speculating that Kelly just couldn't find a decent place to buy a tie in Pittsburgh.

Here's the evidence: The photo at the left was taken at this past year's shareholder's meeting of Mellon Financial. The photo at the right was taken yesterday, when Kelly sold out Mellon and Pittsburgh.

There can only be one conclusion: Kelly wants to move to New York to buy a new tie, and who can blame him.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Today's Oneword - Fluent

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He was fluent in French. But it wasn't the right kind of French, because he was in Quebec and the French he had learned was French from France.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Today's Oneword - Reverse

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He reversed direction. He always did that after he got the facts. The problem is that he usually acted first before getting the facts. If he had just done a little investigation first, he could have done the right thing and avoided the need to reverse his direction.

Today's Oneword - Clay

Go to the OneWord website and write about today's word.

He worked with the clay to form his work of art. But it didn't come out right, so he reshaped it. And again. But he could never form the shape he wanted. Until he decided to form a lump of clay.

Penguins Staying In Pittsburgh, But Mellon Arena CEO Robert Kelly Moving to New York

Way back in April, Scott's Spot called on Mellon Financial's King of the Money Bags Robert Kelly to outsource his job to India for the sake of Mellon's shareholders.

But I forgot one important part of the equation. What is good for Mellon's shareholders pales in comparison to what is good for Mellon's primary shareholder, namely, Mr. Kelly. You see, Mr. Kelly has agreed to sell Mellon to Bank of New York to create a company whose creativity is reflected in its bold new name: The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. Kelly will be CEO of this new entity and will become Chairman of the Board in 18 months.

Mr. Kelly did succeed in his fight to make Pittsburgh an important part of the company. Specifically, Kelly said he will keep an office in Pittsburgh and remain a member of the Duquesne Club and the Allegheny Country Club. He'll probably get to enjoy them, too, when he makes his quarterly visits from his new home in New York.

As for the Mellon Financial workers from Pittsburgh, well, Kelly was unsuccessful in getting many of them outsourced to India, so he's going to lay off 10% of them (up to 610) as a result of the merger.

I have another proposal for Mr. Kelly: Your leaving Pittsburgh is taking the salaries of about 610 ordinary jobs to New York. So why not juggle the numbers to reflect that and let the ordinary people's jobs alone?

The Cat Problem in Avalon, PA

The Pittsburgh suburb of Avalon has a cat problem. There are too many loose and feral cats. So many that there have been numerous complaints from residents about the feral cats, as well as about pet owners who allow their cats to roam and damage property. These are wild, delinquent beasts, and something must be done about them.

But Avalon also has a people problem. Illogical people in government, that is. Avalon officials want to do something about their cat problem, and that means a borough ordinance. The problem is that the ordinance they’re discussing is one that would require all cats to have identifying microchip implants. Residents who fail to comply could face a $600 fine.

There’s nothing wrong with microchip implants. They can be very helpful in identifying your cat if it runs away. But we’re having a problem understanding how the microchip requirement will reduce the stray and feral cat problem. The people who take care of their cats would have another requirement and expense thrust upon them, and we’d still have our wild and feral cats.

We ran this by the Scott’s Spot Bureau of Animal Control, and they came up with the following plan, which would be the only way to make this microchip thing work:
  1. Give a drop-dead date on the microchip requirement.
  2. The day after the drop-dead date, schedule an old-fashioned roundup. This would entail a sweep of the entire borough of Avalon to gather up all the non-microchipped cats.
  3. Do something with the 2 cats you manage to catch. Scott’s Spot wouldn’t presume to suggest what that something might be, other than that it involve some sort of a one-way trip. Unless the beasts can immediately pay the $600 fine, of course.
Personally, I think the whole thing falls apart at step 2. Everyone knows that you can’t herd cats. And you can never find them when you're looking for them.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Quiz Fer How Ta Tell Where Yinz are From N'at

Here is an interesting quiz to help you identify your American regional accent. I call it interesting because I think the questions on the quiz were interesting. I don't think that there are enough questions, though, because the results are a bit strange. The only way most people would characterize my accent as "Western" would be if you change it to "Western Pennsylvanian." Here, we speak with a distinctive accent and use a number of colloquial terms that people call "Pittsburghese."

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland


North Central


The Northeast

The South

The Inland North

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

By the way, the graphic displays properly in Internet Explorer but not in Firefox. If you're using IE, you can see that my next highest result was for "The Midland" which I think includes Pennsylvania. But again, I don't think that the quiz has enough questions, because Western Pennsylvanians don't speak anything like Central Ohioans. And we certainly don't speak like Clevelanders, who wave their dirty brown towels n'at.

It's an interesting and short quiz to take, anyway.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Big Ben Roethlisberger Buys Police Dog

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger plans to donate money help his hometown of Findlay, Ohio, replace a police dog shot and killed when it wandered away from its handler's home. "This seems like the right thing to do," Roethlisberger said. "We've been playing like dogs since our Super Bowl XL victory, so I thought this would be a good way to stick with that theme.

Having a Ball in Pittsburgh

You know the New Year's Eve celebration at New York City's Times Square? The one with the giant crystal ball that falls as everyone counts down? I've never understood that. Either wanting to go to Times Square for New Year's Eve or the meaning of the crystal ball.

I've never wanted to go to Downtown Pittsburgh to celebrate New Year's Eve, either. And that's not going to change, even though Pittsburgh is - are you ready for this - going to get a New Year's Eve ball of its own. That's right - Pittsburgh's First Night celebration this year will feature a giant, glowing blue ball. And it's going to rise, not fall.

  1. The ball has a name. "The Future of Pittsburgh," to be exact. Blue balls should remain nameless.
  2. The ball is going to rise to the top of a 74-foot flagpole. That's symbolic of 1974, the last year before Pittsburgh's population began to plummet.
  3. The ball is blue, the official color of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the "not for profit" health care giant that made $341.6 million in 2005. Appropriately, blue is what most people feel when they see how much they'll have to pay for next year's Highmark coverage.
  4. The 1000 pound ball is more than 61/2 feet in diameter and is festooned with 48 surface strobe lights, 72 internal halogen bulbs and 1,100 light emitting diodes, which require more than 6,000 watts to illuminate. Festooned? I had to look that up!

First Night Pittsburgh Got a Big Ball
The Powers decreed that it rise and not fall
All of Luke's efforts to move it ahead
Still couldn't bring Pittsburgh back from the dead.