June 30, 2011


Sometimes, reality composes a rich visual metaphor for you...  I left my keys and ID on my desk before I departed.  The beautiful print of poor old DesPlaces Hall, a gift from a wonderful DUQ volunteer, came home with me.    

June 29, 2011

A Proper Sendoff

Note Assistant Music Director Owen Machosky, front, center, napping.

Not long after returning from tonight's DUQ farewell party, I read Bruce Springsteen's eulogy for Clarence Clemons.  Some of those parting words seem fitting for more than one loss...

We were united, we were strong, we were righteous, we were unmovable, we were funny, we were corny as hell and as serious as death itself. And we were coming to your town to shake you and to wake you up. Together, we told an older, richer story about the possibilities of friendship that transcended those I'd written in my songs and in my music. Clarence carried it in his heart. It was a story where the Scooter and the Big Man not only busted the city in half, but we kicked ass and remade the city, shaping it into the kind of place where our friendship would not be such an anomaly. And that... that's what I'm gonna miss. The chance to renew that vow and double down on that story on a nightly basis, because that is something, that is the thing that we did together...

The Future Of Jazz On Pittsburgh's Airwaves

"There will be jazz.  It's going to be on the radio, in Pittsburgh. I can't give you the date, but I can certainly tell you that's where we're going, and not as an afterthought...

"As you know, we have one of the most important collections of jazz recordings in the world sitting over in Manchester's Craftsmen's guild, and interviews….  it is absolutely a legacy--a treasure--that needs to be shared with the public.  But we have to have a vehicle to do it.

"As the airwaves go silent with the music of Sinatra and Basie and Duke, I don't know that I would ever be able to sleep comfortably for the rest of this life.  So I intend to do something about it."

Listen to an excerpt of Bill Strickland's remarkable appearance on Tony Mowod's Monday broadcast here. More to come.

Cool Things Going On, Part 1

My actual work days at WDUQ are over.  Still technically a DUQ (and thus Duquesne University) employee through Thursday.

The spirit, the drive, the teamwork that made DUQ the success it was--and it was a success, however inconvenient some find that fact to be--will not simply dissolve.

Stay tuned, friends...  intriguing things are coming, and you'll hear about some of them in this space.  Soon.

I can say now, without delay, that there are some very positive developments coming from the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild.  As announced on Tony Mowod's show Monday night, Bill Strickland intends to start a new radio station, format: Jazz.  This won't happen overnight, but I'd lay down money that it will happen.  And I can't wait.

Nobody wants to experience a wildfire, but when you do...  pretty amazing things can pop up out of the ashes.

June 28, 2011

Everything You Never Wanted To Know About Public Radio Coffee Mugs* (*But Should Have Been Afraid To Ask)

Some names and identifying details have been changed, because it just seems wise.

There are things in life that, once contracted, are never recovered from.  Certain infectious (and often embarrassing) diseases.  Political ambition.  True love.  All of these are deeply inconvenient and not sought after by the wise.  Add to the list vendors of imprinted items.  You end up on that contact list, and you'll be getting calls about custom plastic crap well into your dotage.

GLP Promotions...  well.  They stopped calling.

Gregory Haanz, possessed of the kind of hale-how-are-you bluster that just screamed "don’t talk politics with this guy,"  was the President of GLM Promotions.  He was one of these fellows who is either 50 or 75, and either way is likely to have a coronary at any moment, as announced by his flushed red cheeks and high-volume approach to communication.  He made business calls with his trusty sidekick, a little Sairey Gamp of a woman named Doris.  Doris was, by rights, several years past retirement age, her dyed black curls pinned unconvincingly to her scalp, her smile pinned even less convincingly to her face.

They had a bit of a vaudeville routine, as do all salesmen.  We were clearly meant to be touched by the origin of the company’s name (Gregory Loves Phyllis, Phyllis being the late and indirectly-immortalized-on-a-thousand-6”-Frisbees Mrs. Haanz).  We cared mainly that their prices were good (which they were), their stuff was nice (which it was), and that they had low minimum quantities.  (Nobody said broadcasting was glamorous.)

Doris smiled worshipfully at Gregory as he spoke, the kind of really disturbing worship that is motivated not out of principle or good old honest lust but rather sheer, mere toadiness.

I don’t know whose idea it was, initially, to do a color-change mug.  I fear it was mine.       

You've seen them--you pour hot coffee in the vessel, and the Cheshire Cat disappears (save his smile), or the Bill of Rights goes away, or the world's coastline changes.  Fun, right?  I used to think so, too.

So, we dug in to the project.  Our friends at Fitting Group--which may not have been called "Fitting Group" yet--came up with a striking design focused on a radio tower.   (I don't have to change that name...  Fitting is really very good.  You should immediately cause yourself to need some graphics so that you have an excuse to hire them.)

We asked Gregory to put the designers directly in touch with the factory to make absolutely sure that the imprint area and registration were properly accounted for.  You know, cutting all potential problems off at the pass.  Right?  

The day before the mugs were supposed to be printed, the factory belatedly realized that they'd given the designers the wrong template and that the mug we wanted was discontinued anyway.

We'd already sunk something like six weeks into designing these bloody mugs.  We regrouped.  A smaller imprint area, a smaller mug....  not ideal, but OK.  In a few days, Gregory emailed the electronic proofs.

"I know the red looks a little blotchy on this," he wrote, "but I promise you the mugs themselves will be perfect."

I promise you the mugs themselves will be perfect.

As you can probably imagine, when the physical proof mug arrived, it looked exactly like the electronic proof.  Blotchy.  Smeary.  Unacceptable.

I called Gregory, who conferenced in Doris so he could berate her for not having insisted on being the intermediary between the designers and the factory.  (So we could have been working from the wrong information from a secondhand source?  Gregory suffered from what we call "logic fail.")  When I attempted to defend Doris (who might have been a toady but was in no way responsible for the mug mess), he just repeated himself more loudly.  When I pointed out the blotchy red--which I need to stress looked exactly like the proof that Gregory himself had pronounced blotchy--Gregory denied that there was anything subpar about the imprint.

"But I never did like that design, " interjected Doris.  "It looks like an oil derrick."  Toady to the end, was Doris.      

I stuck to my guns, canceled the production run, and hurriedly placed an order for some stock NPR mugs from another vendor.  We had started the design process in June; I was ordering emergency last-ditch mugs in mid-September.

Never did hear from Gregory again.  Was I a "problem" client, not worth the trouble?  Did he finally froth himself into a fatal fit of apoplexy?  Did he retire to a quiet life of screaming at Doris on a freelance basis?   

There is a reason why I'm thinking of this tonight: I claimed the proof mug from the display shelf in Marketing.

Tonight, I poured hot coffee into the infamous color change mug.

The color did not change.

Later On, I'll Go Home And Enjoy An Olde Frothingslosh

That's right, I'm cleaning out my WDUQ office with a Kaufmann's shopping bag.

I am my own Rick Sebak special.

June 27, 2011

Last Monday

My corner of the office is getting quite, quite empty now.  I have a few banker's boxes full of stuff to move...  dumb things.  The contents of my desk.  Empty jewel cases.  My paperweights.    I'll go to the business office tomorrow and get the rest of my plants (yes, that means it's THE END the end).

I'm leaving a set of keys that's been swimming around in my desk since at least my immediate predecessor's tenure.  The key tag says they fit GREEN FILE CABINET.  My green file cabinet?  Probably, but I've never actually locked the green file cabinet, since I primarily used it for blank requisitions and my tea stash.  Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I trust that my bag of loose-leaf Irish Breakfast would be uninteresting to your garden variety cat burglar.

As in any move, you hit that "screw it, it's goin' in the box" phase.  I'm pretty sure I packed a stack of Q-Card brochures, the value of which is not accruing. Editing is a luxury bought with time.  

It's funny what you feel the need to salvage.  I saved a really beat-up poster of John Coltrane from the old music library--I mean, the thing's decrepit, we only kept it so long because it covered up the beat-to-hell walls.  But Trane had presided benevolently over too many life moments to be left behind.  He's been stuck to the side of a filing cabinet for the last nine months or so.  He's now rolled up in a cardboard tube, ready to move on to the next adventure.

Happily, the practicalities are coming together.  I called TIAA-CREF and made arrangements to liberate my retirement funds--yes, yes, I know, that's bad, the tax penalties are stiff, blah blah blah.  Confirmed with HR that my COBRA letter should be coming around the 15th.  I'm loaded for unemployment bear.

It's going to be an interesting week.  Stay tuned, folks.

Completely Random Dialogue From A Completely Random Episode Of Mad Men

Roger: "Can you do that?"
Lane: "Why would I?"
Don: "Because once this sale goes through, you'll be thrown overboard and be a corpse knocking against their hull."
Lane: "Nothing good ever came from seeking revenge."
Bert: "Nonsense. We'll make you a partner."

June 24, 2011

Blue Room

I'm sitting here in my living room, listening to the cars sluice through the rain on 40th Street.  (I spent the first eighteen years of my life living a few hundred feet from the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Car noises soothe me.) 

This time next week, DUQ as we've known it will be over.  I don't care to go into the whole Thing--not right now.  I'm honoring my sadness.  I'm remembering that "nostalgia" comes from words meaning "return home."  

In conversations with my colleagues, I've found that a number of us share a very bizarre psychological reaction.  We all know that the home of the old DUQ studios is gone.  We know this.  I have bits of the building in my desk, and an embarrassing number of demolition photos on my hard drive.  

But I'm not alone in being completely convinced, in my heart, in some disconnected place in my subconscious, that the old building is still there.  That I could walk up Stevenson Street right now, and DesPlaces Hall would be there, exactly as it was before we started packing up.  (My office ceiling might even be leaking.)

Everything about that place--the maze-like halls, the cracked blue wall covering in the music library, the way the doorframe to the Membership Office door continually smacked me in the shoulder even after twelve years' worth of potentially corrective experience--is recorded faithfully in my mind.  It was a dump.  It was a very happy dump.  

I can't go back; I can't really leave.  Consciousness is just a never-ending barrel of laughs, ain't it?

When The End was clearly coming, I consoled myself with the idea that I would never have to do a pledge drive again.  But going through May without a drive was like going through a year without a winter--the natural signposts of life have been altered.  Getting up at 4:15 AM to go wrestle with an implacable spreadsheet and drink more coffee than any medical authority would ever sanction?  Yeah, I miss it.  Profoundly. 

Life's going to be interesting in the coming days and months.  Believe me, I'm ready to move on--a bit more than ready at this point.  I'm aware that I can't return home, except in my heart...  and possibly the occasional video clip.

One More Once

The President was kind enough to give me a mulligan:

A State Visit To Castle Secondmost

After standing out in the rain all morning, I got an excellent action shot of a police cruiser.  One of those two blurry limos is way Presidential.  You'll have to take my word on this one.

June 22, 2011


The POD in the parking lot was removed today.  You can't tell in this cruddy cell phone pic, but there are two full duffel bags under that piece of cardboard in the corner.  I had heard that someone was living behind the POD...  but there's his stuff.  He is no rumor. 

Later tonight, the former resident will return to his place of shelter.  They're calling for rain.


June 19, 2011

Turn It Up Turn It Up Turn It Up Turn It Up

Passing along word from Backstreets...

Jungleland. 6:00 tonight. Be there.

Turn that mother— up as loud as it can go: RollingStone.com Executive Producer (and Bruce fan) Ben French is rallying the troops for a worldwide broadcast/playing of "Jungleland" today at 6pm EST.

Thanks For The Box, Can't Wait To Open It--XOXO, Pandora

Fried, my friends, I am just fried.  I should take some time off, right?

There's a whole lot of stuff going on, much of it good, and I look forward to sharing.  In the meantime, I'm working very hard during the workdays and doing...  unspecified cool stuff by night (and a chunk of the weekend).  Ergo, fried.

About all that hard work I've been hacking through as of late...  It's incredibly strange in one sense.  I've spent thirteen years asking people for money, and now I'm quite pleased to have them stop.  But you know what?  It's a healthy, proper, democratic response.  It's the process, working.

If you feel strongly about any public asset, you should register your opinion.  Write letters and emails.  Make phone calls.  And let your dollars do the talking.  Vote in whatever way is available to you.

Any organization or movement does itself a disservice to assume that victory is a permanent state.  Someday, sometime, the people's consent (and dollars) will be called for.  It is entirely up to the public whether to answer that call.  I have my own opinion on whether a positive response is warranted; recent experience shows me that I am far, far from alone.

"Public" is something more than a synonym for "nonprofit," thanks to a powerful force called "civic engagement."  I've never feared it.  Some should.

The Adventures of Lulu and Woebegone

There's a perfectly fine article about the impending doom at DUQ on pbrtv.com.  Nothing much new in the article itself.  But friends, I believe that this day we have witnessed the finest comment ever to grace an industry blog.  From commenter "Jazz Is Pittsburgh"---who I swear is not me, dear Lord how I wish it was--there's a truly, utterly marvelous parody of "Casey at the Bat."

(But don't take the advice at the end to send your DUQ coffee mug to The Death Star.  Number one, keep it and cherish the memories...  and number two, those suckers are expensive to mail!)

June 18, 2011

Clarence Clemons, 1942-2011

 I'd say "rest in peace," but I prefer to believe he's blowin' up a storm in the hereafter, telling bullshit stories over drinks between sets.

Love ya, C.

June 15, 2011

We'll Take What We Can Carry And We'll Leave The Rest

Cleaning out my office, I've thought about what William Morris so wisely said: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Intellectually, I subscribe heartily to the wisdom of that statement.  Nevertheless, I've got piles of stuff that is useless and is ugly and which I'm loath to part with.  I'd make a lousy Pre-Raphaelite.

Do I need the wind-up luggage?  (Yes, wind-up luggage.  I got it free with an Archie McPhee order, the rest of which I'm sure was every bit as practical.)  No, I do not need the wind-up luggage.  But maybe there is room for the entertaining as well as the beautiful.  Home it goes.

Do I need the brick fragments in my desk?  They are unlovely and impractical, like the building they were part of.  I will hold on to my little relics of DesPlaces Hall, always.

Do I need the wire basket that used to contain Christmas goodies from a vendor?  Uh... no!  Finally, something to abandon!

I don't have the choice of bringing my giant old desk, a hulking green-painted steel lump of fallout-shelter chic.  They don't make 'em like this anymore, for a reason.  I'll miss it.  I'll get over it.

I find myself unable to bear the thought of bringing home my radio.  The wrong voices coming out of a familiar body...  no.  The radio will stay.


I'm valiantly trying to avoid becoming a walking stereotype, but if you wanted to see the Irish-German Taurus temperament in action...  well.  Look in the old Musician's Union.  (Sadly, the bar's gone, or I could go for the furious-stubborn-tipsy trifecta.)

Without sharing anyone else's news...  let's just say the Lusitania is even less of a party barge when guys climb out of the U-Boat to smash up lifeboats. 

I also received the most pointless letter of all time, attempted to call the appropriate party to clear up my many unanswered questions, got punted to voice mail Hell, and then spent a good 45 minutes composing a remarkably civil email in the smallest possible words.

It's a beautiful day.  I'm going home soon.  I'm drawing breath.

I keep telling myself these things.

Come Away Come Away If You're Goin'...

The strangeness continues.  (NOTE TO SELF: Examine sinking-ship metaphor of choice.  Go with Lusitania?  Given timeframe, does this technically raise all those Godwin's Law hackles?)

There's a lot of comparing notes going on today, mostly about filing for unemployment.  Eventually, we're getting an official emissary from HR to walk us through the process.  There's not a whole lot of "eventually" left, so I do wish they'd get on the stick already.

Don't get me wrong, I'm awfully grateful to have my lifeboat lined up...  but that doesn't make it easier to watch the run on life preservers.

June 14, 2011

Broke? Need A Good Laugh? (Part 2)

It's a lot of fun sharing some of my favorite music on this blog...  performances for the ages, timeless songwriting, songs that speak to the soul, works of art that spring from a sense of community.

But perhaps, in this banquet of good taste, it's time for a palate cleanser...

Broke? Need A Good Laugh?

Released today, the project Samuel L. Jackson was born to execute.  (NSFW but probably not offensive to anyone reading this blog...)

It's magnificent.  It's free, for a limited time.  It's kind of a PITA to sign into Audible.com, but it's worth it.

Pretty Sure I Heard The Strains Of "Nearer My God To Thee" Down The Hall Today...

Another weird day in a series of weird days.  The termination letters from the University were delivered today; The End is officially the 30th.

No surprise, really, in any of it.  There's been an element of unreality about the limbo phase that's gone now, shattered by those letters that say yes, you have one paycheck left.

While not quite as busy as yesterday--my voice was absolutely shot to hell by mid-afternoon on Monday--I can certainly confirm that the community has its own ideas about how it would prefer to be served.

My city, like me, is stubborn and musical and has a very long memory.

The Art Of The Steal II: Steal Harder

A little over two weeks left for DUQ as we know it.

Kindred spirit JT has some very interesting things to say.

June 13, 2011

Not Unless You Buy Me Dinner First

Anglophiles: Put down your beverages now.


You All Wanna Be Him, But You Can't... Because In All The World There Is Only One

As swamped as I am today--really swamped, since some otherwise kindred spirits threw a boycott on my day off--I absolutely have to acknowledge the sad news that SMLTS spiritual leader Clarence Clemons has suffered a stroke.  Keep the Big Man in your thoughts, gang.  (And if you haven't read his highly entertaining, puckishly fiction-studded memoir Big Man, add it to your summer reading pile forthwith.   I choose to inhabit a universe in which the Groucho Marx story is true.)

June 12, 2011

Desserts & Liquor

Gullifty's, as any Burgher worth his/her salt sticks knows, is named for a made-up word from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.  It's OK for real food, great for desserts, and soaked in atmosphere.  (Admittedly, the particular variety of atmosphere is as follows: "It's 1983, I have an MBA, and we're going to split an order of baked brie.")

It's the kind of place you go when you have a large, finicky group.  There's something on the menu for all tastes, and while most everyone will eventually decline dessert, they'll entertain themselves oooing  and aaahing over the display at the entrance.  A glass case chock full of pie and cake!  Practically a Norman Rockwell painting, if the familiar illustrator had favored mirrored walls and huge photographic renderings of garlic and asparagus.

This is where we chose to mark the retirement of my officemate of 13 years.  A celebration was called for; the key ingredients being old friends and a liquor license and ample parking.

It went very well.  Lots of people, lots of mingling, lots of good chatting.  But there's a strange sort of pastness to the present.  It already felt more like a reunion than a party.

Eighteen very odd days ahead, eighteen days of ever-cascading little losses and small goodbyes.

In Pittsburghese, That's N'at Cole.

What could make me miss the Belmont Stakes?  The opportunity to be a really inadequate disc jockey with really good taste, that's what.  I spent a delightful evening guesting on Rhythm Sweet & Hot with Tom Roberts, master of pianos acoustic, electric, and air.  In the process, I managed to pay tribute to a couple of people whom I unreservedly adore....  and also to get in a subtle but incredibly satisfying dig at some deserving parties who were doubtlessly neither listening nor bright enough to figure it out anyway.  Hee.

Anyway...  here's what I played....  YouTube clips where available, Amazon listing otherwise.
1.  "I'd Rather Call You Baby"--Fats Waller & His Rhythm
2.  "Spanish Kick"--Charlie Barnet
3.  "Harlem Speaks"--Charlie Barnet
4.  "Love You Madly"--Duke Ellington, Nat Cole, Sarah Vaughan
5.  "Heart of Mine"--Ella Fitzgerald
6.  "I Heard"--The Mills Brothers
7.  "You Rascal You"--Cab Calloway
8.  "You'll Never Know"--Nat Cole
9.  "Lover Come Back to Me"--Django Reinhardt
10.  "Blue Light Blues"--Benny Carter/Django Reinhardt
11.  "You, You Darlin'"--Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra featuring Helen O'Connell
12.  "Manhattan"--Blossom Dearie
13.  "'Deed I Do"--Lee Wiley
14.  "My Old Flame"--Duke Ellington w/ Mae West
15.  "How Deep Is the Ocean?"--Benny Goodman w/Peggy Lee
16.  "I'll Always Be In Love With You"--Bunny Berigan & The Rhythmmakers
17.  "Moonlight Serenade"--Glenn Miller

June 10, 2011

I Thought I Was Out, But They Pulled Me Back In...

Dear Reader, it's official:  I'm heading back to Pitt this fall, starting work on my Master's at GSPIA.

Have just made a couple of phone calls and performed a long-awaited, well-earned happy dance.

In conclusion: WOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 9, 2011

How Faint The Tune

Go play with the Google Doodle!  No, really...  go play.  It's a working (if eccentric) guitar, in celebration of the late Les Paul's birthday. 

You can even record your song.  Sadly, you can't do multitrack recording...  but the sheer awesomeness would cause the Universe to implode, so that's probably for the best.

Nice writeup on the project here.

June 8, 2011

Hasn't SETI Had A Rough Enough Year Already?

We're Achieving Synergy Through Digital Convergence And Sexy New Media Technologies. Or Something Like That.

SMLTS now comes in a delicious new flavor, optimized for mobile devices.  MiniSMLTS is red, which I vaguely recall being the default color scheme of the template the site is based on.  Not bad, although given the opportunity I go for blue every time.  Anyway, get down with your wireless self.

Changing Formats

We have whiz-bang window fans now, the kind that have timers and an optimistically named "temperature control."  Thanks to the LED display on said fan, I know that it was 94 degrees in my dressing room this afternoon.  (But the airflow was fab!)

I'm using up a comp day.  (Remember my sojourn to Cleveland last week?  That was a University holiday-- "Ascension Thursday," or as lapsed Presbyterians* such as myself call it, "Thursday.")

I spent most of the day neck-deep in CDs, since I'm now extremely motivated to rip my collection.  I'm over the romance of physical media.  And obviously, my jazz fix of choice is going away, and I'm really sick to death of those "Wait, how the living hell could I not have ripped The Last Waltz?" moments.  Big day!  I hit the ceiling on my 80 gig iPod.  Bought some space by not syncing photos and videos.  Still have a whole lot of stuff to add.  Like, racks of stuff.   Thank God for the digital revolution, or there would be nothing on the entire second floor of Castle Secondmost except CD racks and a really pissed-off cat.

Maybe because it's not so humid, maybe because the heat hasn't lingered more than a couple of days, I'm not wilting the way I usually do in hot weather.  In general, I'm not much good at wilting anymore.

It seems like I'm doing a lot of sorting and prioritizing and connecting lately.  You travel through life with certain companions.  Your relationships to other people change; your music collection evolves from a stack of vinyl§ to a little flat box about as big as a squashed Altoids tin.  The worthwhile connections survive, and even grow.  A great song and and old friend are no more finished yielding up their mysteries than they are at providing comfort.

Like it or not, we're all hurtling through space on a tiny ball, and that's just the start of our problems.  You can't choose to stay still--literally.  But with good company, it's one hell of a ride, isn't it?

*How do you lapse from such a low-maintenance Mainline Protestant denomination?  Easy!  All you have to do is stop showing up at the country club and start serving edible food at your parties.  (I kid because...  actually, that is more or less what happened.  Huh.)

Not generally considered a holiday in and of itself, now that Community and 30 Rock are in reruns for the summer.

As it is, there are also some bookcases.  And a pissed-off cat.  Much like Mikey of Life Cereal fame, Sophie 1) is professionally dyspeptic and 2) did NOT die from consuming Pop Rocks and Coke.  

§Also, I actually listened to 8-tracks, not in an ironic-hipster-fresh-from-the-flea-market way, but in a this-is-1978-and-yes-we-intentionally-bought-these-shirts-why-do-you-ask way. 

June 6, 2011

The Sad Waste Of This Wonderful Invention

God love him, a friend of mine just sent me a link to some job listings.  Seems there's this group looking to start a radio station next month.

I thanked my friend, and assured him that I'm well aware of--and completely uninterested in--the openings.

Barring some sort of massively unanticipated turn of events, DUQ as we know it will end with June.  (People ask me how that's possible when the FCC hasn't ruled one way or the other yet on the license transfer.  The belief is that EPM will take control under an LMA.  It is unknown whether any current staff members will be offered a position with the new organization.)

It's all about the practicalities now.  I've been taking my bric-a-brac home, bag by bag.  My wall is almost bare now.  I took down the Marx Brothers and A Great Day In Harlem today, so you know the end is near.

When I started at DUQ--thirteen years ago yesterday, in a building that doesn't exist anymore--I never could have imagined that it would end quite like this. 

Other paths will appear--oddly enough, I'm more or less back on the track I was on back in 1998, only I am now infinitely more prepared to succeed.   I'll be OK.  Come July 1, I won't be huddled under a blanket with a cat and a pint of Ben & Jerry's Maple Blondie.  (It'll be July.  No need for a blanket.)
Doesn't change the fact that I feel the sort of pain that only comes from being unable to save something you truly love.

This has never been just a job.  This has never been just a radio station.  And Pittsburgh has never been just another city.

The elite fraternity of "things that aren't there anymore" is about to grow in membership.  Somehow, though we know our history in this town, we still manage to repeat it.

June 5, 2011

He's Quite Fetching In A Rubber Ducky Inner Tube

Did you know you can make your own zombie in Plants vs. Zombies?

Guess which one's mine?

More Adventures In Contextual Advertising

Interesting article from the Huffington Post.  Really bad place for this ad.

Green And Cheap!

'Burghers rejoice!  Construction Junction is offering FREE disposal of "e-waste*."  Computers, monitors, printers, copiers, assorted small appliances...  if it cost you an arm and a leg to purchase and is now sitting around being obsolete and full of heavy metals, CJ will take it off your hands and keep it out of the landfill.

The coolest thing is that this isn't a one-off event!  So the next time you have a defunct gadget, do two things:
1). Stand over it solemnly and say "It's dead, Jim."
2). Hie thee out to East Liberty.

 *TANGENT ALERT: NYT crossword addicts...  do you EVER seen the term "etail" in the wild?  Because, frankly, it sounds less like online shopping and more like the Internet's other major revenue generator.  Just sayin'.  

June 3, 2011

Friday: No Business Like Show Business Edition

Typical lamestream media, taking Sarah Palin's latest comments out of context.  Can't a girl nourish her artistic side?  Here is a FULL TRANSCRIPT:

"Welcome to Open Mic Night!  Everybody give Sarah a big hand!  All right, show us what ya got!"

"Thank you, Garrin!  Ahem!"
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"


"Oooookay!  Thank you, Sarah!  That was...  uh...  Thank you!  All right, on to our next act!"

Elvis Costello and Muppets.  My subconscious is leaking.

PHOTO: Jason Shaltz, WSJ

June 2, 2011

Home N'at

It's REALLY HARD for a nice Pittsburgh girl to say "I just got back from Cleveland" without bagging on the place.  But I shall try:  I just got back from Cleveland.

Whew!  I did it!  No "Mistake on the Lake."  No "The Only Sign of Life in Cleveland: PITTSBURGH 143 MILES."  No "BROWNS SUCK!" No...  no...

Can't...  Stop...  Self...

WHEW!  Much better.

Anyway.  Yes.  Spent a good chunk of the day listening to a sales pitch for the following proposition (you will pardon my paraphrase):  You don't have to use this product, as long as you pay for it.

Happily, as is the case with many smoke-and-mirror pitches, I picked up a lot of information that was interesting in ways other than those intended.

And I didn't even have to stay overnight.