Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shooting guard commits to Pitt

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon received his first verbal commitment for the 2009 recruiting class today when 6-foot-4 shooting guard Lamar Patterson committed to the Panthers. Patterson has reportedly beat every level of Marine Sharpshooter 3.

Patterson, an AK-47 specialist from Lancaster, Pa., was also considering Duquesne, Army, VMI, and the Dick Cheney hunting academy, among others.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Non-Customer Service at JCPenney

So I'm looking for a kitchen knife set for Christmas, right? But I don't want to spend an arm and a leg. I don't need professional knives. I'm not a professional cook, and despite living in an affluent area, I'm not consumed by the desire to have the best of everything. Especially in the area of knifedom. I just need a set of serviceable knives.

First, I went to Macy's. Lots of budget busting cutlery there. Then to Le Gourmet Chef. They didn't have the kind of set I wanted. Then to Williams-Sonoma - Yike$!. And then, JC Penney. You can always find something to buy at Penney's, right? Well, they certainly had a decent selection of knife sets at Penney's. But there was just
one thing wrong - no prices! There must've been 20 different sets, but no marked prices anywhere. I looked for a salesperson. But Penney's doesn't have any of them. So I found a stockgoon and asked him if there was anyone available to get me a price on one of the knife sets. He said that there was nobody who could help me and that I should go and stand in the checkout line (which had about a dozen people in it) and that I could find out the price at the checkout. I thanked him very much and told him that I would be happy to shop elsewhere. I ended up getting a knife set at Sears, where not only was the price marked, but there were those price check scanners that you could use to check the price of your item.


Penney's is apparently staffed by people who bought stuff, pictured below, from their 1975 catalog.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What Has To Be Done To Keep Bush In Check

In a sad commentary on American political life, CNN reported today on what the U.S. Senate has had to do to control President Bush. The Senate is being kept open through mid-January using a series of "pro forma" sessions. These sessions last about a minute, and involve a senate member opening a Senate session and then immediately closing it.

Sound like a waste? It certainly does to me. But it's what is necessary in order to prevent the President from making "recess appointments" - a constitutional mechanism allowing the president, during congragational recesses, to fill top appointments for up to one year and to avoid a Senate confirmation.

And wouldn't you know it, the real issue is about the President's support of torture. The Senate would have allowed the President to make dozens of recess appointments, but the President indicated that he would appoint Steven Bradbury to be the permanent head of the Office of legal Counsel at the Justice Department. Mr. Bradbury has been involved in crafting legal opinions on the use of torture in interrogating terrorism suspects.

Similar sessions were conducted over the Thanksgiving recess for the same reason.

Kudos to Senator Harry Reid for keeping the Senate open. The last thing we need is another John Bolton type appointment.

Friday, December 21, 2007

This Dress Was Made For Flushing

The Wedding Dress. A lot of money is spent on it. You wear it for a few hours. And then it's gone - seldom, if ever, to be seen again. We haven't seen my wife's dress in decades, other than in wedding photos.

Which makes you wonder about that dress. Should you have dropped all that cash on it? Should you have done something interesting with it, like trash it? But what if you have second thoughts about how you decided to trash it. You'd be out the dress and one very expensive photography session.

Well, there's a solution for you. It involves time, work, and a chance at some prize money. Sound interesting? Then head for Sam's Club and get a case of Scott's Toilet Tissue. That's right - you're going to be crafting your wedding dress out of toilet paper!

Sound outlandish? Then start by reading about it here. The dress is made out of toilet paper, glue, and tape. Then, to see it in action, check out this video. And the contest money? It comes from

Now, you'll want to know what to do with it after the wedding. Sure you could save it, but it hardly seems worth it. And, with the glue and tape, it's probably not safe for the septic tank. We checked with our janitor, who also cleans the john at Emily Post Institute. The verdict? You're saving that dress for exactly one year, after which it will be used to start the fire for that first anniversary weenie roast.

Save a marshmallow for me!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Spying on Your Fellow Man, er, Human at Christmas, er, Winter Holiday

Christmas Winter Holiday is coming. (Hint, it's that one with the baby in the manger and the big fat man that we're not permitted to mention in stores and business greeting cards.)

That means it's time for the local KGB to ramp up its level of Grinchiness and turn our kids into Young Pioneers. Don't drive, take pictures, or look suspicious using your cell phones or you'll be getting a one way ticket to Guantanamo.

You'll need to watch your behind on both sides of the pond, in London and Chicago.

Here's the London sign:

And here's how to turn in your fellow Chicagoans:

Bureau of Strategic Deployment

Winter Holiday Public Awareness Bulletin

Each year, the Winter Holiday Season tends to spur larger crowds and increased traffic throughout the City. As it pertains to shopping districts, public transportation routes, and all other places of public assembly, the increased crowds become a matter of Homeland Security concern. During this holiday period, as a matter of public safety, we ask that all members of the general public heighten their awareness regarding any and all suspicious activity that may be an indicator of a threat to public safety. It is important to immediately report any or all of the below suspect activities.

  • Physical Surveillance (note taking, binocular use, cameras, video, maps)
  • Attempts to gain sensitive information regarding key facilities
  • Attempts to penetrate or test physical security / response procedures
  • Attempts to improperly acquire explosives, weapons, ammunition, dangerous chemicals, etc.
  • Suspicious or improper attempts to acquire official vehicles, uniforms, badges or access devices
  • Presence of individuals who do not appear to belong in workplaces, business establishments, or near key facilities
  • Mapping out routes, playing out scenarios, monitoring key facilities, timing traffic lights
  • Stockpiling suspicious materials or abandoning potential containers for explosives (e.g., vehicles, suitcases, etc)
  • Suspicious reporting of lost or stolen identification

See Something, Say Something
CALL 911

West Virginia to Begin Table Games

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, One of America's Great Newspapers, reports that West Virginia racetracks are set to begin table games.

The first potential table game we could think of was Twister. But that could
get a little dangerous on a table. So why not just cut to the chase and play on the bed.

Or, perhaps you're into wrestling. Here's a wrestling match that I could place a small bet on.

Sofa burning is also a viable option. But interest in that appears to be confined to the immediate Morgantown area.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute and Pennsylvanians Against Gambling Expansion are already organizing to keep burning sofa-top twister wrestling south of the border.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Garcia Added to Staff of Pittsburgh Pirates

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, one of America's Great Newspapers, The Pittsburgh Pirates today named four new minor-league coordinators, including former Grateful Dead singer and guitarist Jerry Garcia Garcia, to complete their roving development team.

Garcia joins the staff as infield coordinator. Garcia, now deceased, the best part of the last 40 years touring with the Grateful Dead. He replaces Tony Beasley, now the Pirates' third base coach.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When the Damsels Streak

I certainly like it when Damsels streak. Probably because they do it so infrequently.

I don't like it when people use apostrophes incorrectly or omit them altogether. I feared the worst after the title, but it could have been worse...This is straight from today's Clarion News.

Bobcats end Damsels streak
By Ryan S. Pugh, Clarion News Sports Editor

RIMERSBURG - In the sport of basketball, when a player makes a shot at a crucial time in the game, that player is known as a clutch player.

It’s possible Clarion found a player it can count on in the clutch.

The Bobcat’s [sic] Chrissy Kriebel nailed a lay-up as time expired to defeat Union 44-42 in overtime on Monday night.

“The last 10 minutes of the game was just fun,” said Clarion coach Roger Walter. “I told the girls ‘enjoy this, this is why we play’.”

The game started quite differently than it ended as neither team scored a point in the first 2:50 of the contest.

However, that dry spell didn’t last long, as Union caught fire and grabbed a 9-3 lead at the end of the first period behind the play of of Tina Lipps and Melissa Shook.

Lipps finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds. Shook added six points and six rebounds in the losing cause.

Clarion was able to climb back into the game by going on an 8-0 run to end the first half. The Bobcat offensive explosion was punctuated by Kaitlin Roth, who nailed a 3-pointer as the half expired to make the score 18-16 in favor of the Damsels.

Roth came off the bench and scored 10 points for the Bobcats.

With :58 seconds left in the third quarter, Union looked as if it might pull away from the Bobcats as Courtney Frederick drained a 3-pointer to give the Damsels an eight-point lead.

But Roth struck again for Clarion burying a 3-point bucket on the Bobcat’s [sic] next possession to keep Clarion within five.

“We couldn’t get back in it,” said Walter. “We’d dig and they would pull out seven or eight more points.”

Clarion did manage to take the lead with 5:25 left in the contest when Kriebel hit a 3-pointer.

The long-distance bucket made the score 32-30 in favor of the Bobcats.

The long-distance score also came immediately after senior Erin Bean fouled out.

Bean, one of the team’s emotional leaders, struggled from the floor all night, and finished with just one point.

Both teams went back and forth right up until the final buzzer.

With :08 seconds left, Kriebel nailed a lay-up to give Clarion 38-36 lead, but Union answered right back when Frederick went end-to-end and nailed a five-foot jumper as the clock struck zeroes to send the game to overtime.

In the overtime period, Kriebel really took off by scoring eight of her team-high 13 points, including the game-winning bucket.

Union ’s Torri Smith tied up the game at 42 with: 14 seconds left by hitting one of two free-throws.

Smith had a game-high 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

“They did a great job defensively on (Smith),” said Union coach Josh Meeker. “They play a sagging defense, and her game is driving to the hoop, so their defense was really effective.”

The win by Clarion snapped a 42-game home winning streak for the Damsels.

“We started off slow in our first three games,” said Walter. “We got a good win against Redbank (Valley), but we knew this could be the game.

“It’s not just beating this team; it’s beating this team in this building, which hasn’t been done in a long time.”

This was also the first loss for Union this year.

“I told my players, ‘now you know how Ford City , Brookville and Karns City players feel,’ ” said Meeker. “Those were all teams that lost to us in the final moments.

“I told them ‘go home and sulk about this game tonight, get mad or whatever, but be back ready to work tomorrow.”

Clarion travels to East Forest , and Union will face North Clarion at home on Friday.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Real Reason for the Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch Delay

Commander Stephen Frick is known to be afraid of spiders, and he was freaked by this pre-launch view...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Winter Weather is Here - Stock up on Bottled Water and Toilet Paper!

We got a little bit of snow this afternoon. I was out running some errands, one of which was to pick up the dry cleaning at the Giant Eagle supermarket. Well, I couldn't get a parking space, and was lucky to escape the traffic jam in the parking lot. Everyone was stocking up on bottled water and toilet paper in anticipation of being stuck in the house for 3 hours.

The line at the liquor store was substantially shorter.

As a public service reminder, we ask you to never drink and drive during a snow emergency. Think of your safety - staying home and drinking is the only sure way to weather the crisis.

Be sure to stock up for the next winter weather event.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cellar Dweller Status of the Pittsburgh Pirates - Explained!

Pittsburgh Pirates fans have been lamenting the team's sorry performance for years. At times, the team shows promise, but they never come through.

But now we know why. The answer is in the pages of the Steroid Report by former Senator George Mitchell.

According to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, One of America's Great Newspapers, there are no current Pirates players using steroids! Crimony! If you're going to make it in Major League Baseball, you've got to use steroids, human growth hormone, or other performance enhancing drugs! The Pirates just aren't showing the dedication of winning teams such as the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, and they're certainly not showing the dedication of the Pirates of old such as Barry Bonds, Kevin Young, and Denny Neagle.

At least new Pirates manager John Russell should provide some caffeinated coffee in the dugout next year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Getting Off Your Dead Ass In Fayette County, Pennsylvania

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review (which, to its credit, doesn't claim to be One of America's Great Newspapers), recently reported on the shooting of a donkey near Blue Rock Road in Nicholson Township, near Uniontown, PA.

The Pennsylvania State Police are on the case. No speed traps in Fayette County this week. All of the Trib's paparazzi have been pulled from the "Which Barely Legal Female Does 84 Lumber Founder Joe Hardy Have the Hots for Now" storyline and are camped along Blue Rock Road. Cyril Wecht called a news conference and proposed a single bullet theory, which has been discounted by many in the media, including filmmaker Kevin Costner.

There are no suspects at this time. Police are asking anyone with information to contact them immediately.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Pirates Name Frazier First Base Coach

The Pittsburgh Pirates today named boxing legend Joe Frazier as their new first base coach. Smokin' Joe promised to knockout opposing first basemen and uncooperative umpires.

Frazier became an immediate fan favorite by promising to knock out Pittsburgh Steelers mascot Steely McBeam during the seventh inning stretch on opening day at PNC Park.