Today's Mighty Oak


Thank you to the woman who fought for love and brought down DOMA.  She leaves a giant legacy behind, and we keep fighting in her memory.



Alright, let’s see what we have today.  First up, Prince has his own Pantone color!  Of course it’s purple!

If you haven’t been convinced that ‘gay conversion’ torture is real, or harmful, new, horrific recordings have surfaced thanks to investigative journalism.

A new reality show is coming to (British) TV, and I certainly want to watch it: Bromans:

The mayor of Hell (Michigan) has banned straight people.

My new favorite thing on the Internet: Dungeons and Drag Queens!

A gay porn star calls out Colby Kellar for his privilege.  It’s beautiful.

And finally, the trailer for the new Netflix documentary about Lady Gaga:

That’s it for today, have a great one!



If you’re stuck at home (and I hope you are, or at least someplace warm and safe), check out Mike Woycheck’s Twitter feed as he live blogs the Snowmaggedon in truly Carbolic Smoke Ball fashion.  Some gems include:

To avert Pittsburgh drivers from using major roadways, PennDOT erecting banners from recent Pittsburgh Pirates mktg. campaigns at roadside.

TERROR IN SHADYSIDE: Women are forced to shield their bronzed skin and styled hair from falling snow using Louis Vuitton handbags.

You can also watch the real Liveblogging, going on at WTAE (a combination of twitter feeds and user and reporter comments), but it is not nearly as entertaining.  Except in some kind of Schadenfreude way.

Stay warm and stay safe!  I can’t wait to see all the pictures tomorrow!

Update to add this thought: I typically hit the publish button, swear, then go back and spell check.  After the obligatory cursing, I went back to see what I misspelled, and had put a double ‘e’ instead of a double ‘g’ in ’snowmaggedon.’  I’m going to assume that since it’s the title, that is why, but the correct spelling came up in spell check.  Awesome!



Chris Potter over at Pittsburgh City Paper has a great article about how the Port Authority is communicating during the the snow storms:

Over the weekend, I found myself hooked on the Port Authority’s Twitter account, which I’ve never really noticed before.

Potter brings ups a lot of points I’ve thought about, but never really found myself articulate to put down on the screen (page?), including the idea bouncing around my head about a giant LED screen at Penn Station telling me which bus is about to come around the corner, and how that idea is almost possible!  It’s a great read just for that!

But, the main focus is about PAT’s use of twitter and their (I think even more under-promoted) blog.  It boggles my mind to realize that the Twitter account is staffed by only two persons.  And for that, I have to hand it to PAT, that has been the most reliable way to get in touch with them, and the interactions have always been awesome, if not completely transparent, but really, hats off to PAT!

Check out the latest route updates on their twitter feed, scheduled (awesome by the way) updates on their blog and through their continuously updated press release.

Stay safe out there, be warm!



Video Games Live is returning to Heinz Hall, for their Bonus Round concert (due to demand, they were asked to return less than nine months after their last show).  This time, the set list includes Final Fantasy VIII, Sonic, Assassin’s Creed II, Shadow of the Colossus, BioShock, Mass Effect, StarCraft II, Mega Man, an interactive Frogger segment as well as the world premier of a new Guitar Hero segment.

Thursday’s show has been cancelled, but ticket holders can call the PSO to get a refund or move the tickets to the Friday performance:

We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause people.  This is the first time in our 5 years of touring that anything like this has happened but unfortunately it is something completely out of everyone’s control.

I highly recommend the concert, if you want more information, check out their website here.



Isn’t it great in the winter!  Truth be told, I expected it to be worse, so I guess there’s that…



Conflict Kitchen, the discussion-starting cafe run by The Waffle Shop is working to open their next incarnation, Bolani Pazi, featuring Afghan take out.  I love the Waffle Shop, and love the premise of Conflict Kitchen:

It is easy to forget that behind all of the government conflicts there are people and a culture. When this personal connection is lost, things become dangerous. Conflict Kitchen creates a public forum and space for discussions that might not normally take place, mediated by food.

And previously-unknown to me, Conflict Kitchen ran some awesome programs, just like Waffle Shop does:

Conflict Kitchen also programs public events to more directly connect everyday Americans with everyday people from the country of focus. For example, Kubideh Kitchen brought together members of the public for a live Skype meal between Tehran and Pittsburgh, during which groups in both countries shared the same meal on a virtually connected table: an inter-continental dinner party.

That Skype meal with a citizen of the country Conflict Kitchen is featuring sounds really cool, right?  Well, now’s your chance.  Conflict Kitchen has a campaign going on on Kickstarter, and depending on how much you give, you could have your very own Skype meal.  Even if you can’t give at that level, every little bit helps.

Please consider giving to Conflict Kitchen, and don’t forget to stop by!



Franktuary is unveiling a new dog this week, the G-20 Plummet:

In honor of this debacle, Franktuary has created the G-20 Plummet.  During the Plummet the restaurant will offer its Pittsburgh frank, buried under 20 additional condiments.  Franktuary publicist Frida Marquetza states, “The extra condiments represent the insensitive visitors who disrupted Pittsburgh’s tranquil and prosperous everyday life.  The suffocated pierogie symbolizes our city’s immobilized economy.”

I have a hard time thinking of 20 appropriate condiments to go on one hot dog, let alone how I would even eat it.  However, everything that I’ve ever tasted from Franktuary has been amazing, so I’m sure if anyone can pull it off, they can.

They are doing an online scavenger hunt all this week to commemorate the launch.  Check out their blog and twitter feed for more info and for more clues.



Just a quick programming note for everyone, I will be helping to run an event for 10,000 people this weekend, so I’ll be on location most of this week and part of next week (that is the current thinking at least).

I have a few posts that are scheduled to appear as the week goes on.  If something major happens in town, it’s not that I don’t want to cover it, it’s that I can’t (even though it appears I’ll still be writing).  This will be the last huge event for me for a while and I get back to a normal schedule.

Have a great one, and I’ll catch you soon!



I’m calling this The Wedding edition, make sure to read while listening to Pachelbel’s cannon.  The TDP changes finally his my routes, and all kinds of upheaval followed.

  • Something Old

Old buses!  The changes may have happened, but we have the same buses we always have.  It does seem though, that with this round of changes, the signs have been up to date.  When the first two rounds of bus changes went through, it was more common to see the old route names than the new, so it is nice to see this working in the rider’s favors.

  • Something New

The routes of course.  I’ve lost service to my neighborhood, but I’m adjusting to the Park ‘n Ride live (more on that in the next section as well).  Part of me likes it, I have more options to get home (now that the buses are showing up when they are supposed to, thanks @PGHtransit) and if I need to run out after work, I’m more prone to get things done since I’m at my car already.

The new routes however, came at a time which has really messed some things up downtown.  With the construction at Penn Station, riders who normally use those stops are now crowded onto Grant Street.  This minor change has created some big problems.  I don’t know if it is a combination of the displaced riders, or a change in the EBO/EBA/EBS schedule, but I feel for those riders.  They need more buses, badly.  We’ll watch three buses in a row go past on their way out of town, filled to the brim and unable to pick anyone else up.  And just in case PAT is reading, from my unscientific observations, we need more G buses as well.

  • Something Borrowed

Information.  Not was I was expecting to write for this section at all.  Before my bus route disappeared I tried to find out about the Park ‘n Ride I would be using.  It was already pretty full to begin with, and then with the consolidation of three routes, including one very popular, but very unofficial Park ‘N Ride, I knew we would be spilling out of the spaces marked for us.

I tried contacting PAT, which offered up no response, although one of my drivers said to park wherever, it didn’t really matter (he was fairly accurate).  So instead, I called the mall, where, completely unexpected, I received a call back from the General Manager.  He was curious about the changes and I explained what was going to happen, and he very calmly suggested that we use the rows nearby, stating the only time we should have a problem was Christmas.  Having worked at Monroeville Mall through 7 years (and Christmas seasons) in high school and college breaks, I knew to expect that though.

So a huge thank you to the staff and management of Monroeville Mall, you came through when PAT didn’t!

  • Something Blue

Stranded riders.  The first couple days, driving back from the Park ‘n Ride, seeing passengers waiting at bus stop signs for buses that will never come, it was sad.  The only phrase I could think of is “The bus doesn’t come here any more.”  I guess I never realized how many stops people used.

I’ve seen some of the people from my old route on the bus now, some I know take a different route altogether.  It’s nice to see a familiar face, and we can smile knowingly at each other, understanding that this isn’t the best outcome, but at least it’s something.  It’s nice that the “Survivors” can still find each other.

Two Park ‘n Rides closed in Monroeville, and that is sad as well.  I don’t have much to add, but felt it should be mentioned.

Have the changes been all bad?  No, but they have been far from perfect.  I still find it hard to believe that the company that did the research for the new routes really did much work.  The outcry from the lack of service on the West Busway turned out to be a foreshadow to what would happen to the East Busway.  My route is overflowing, I normally stand on my way home now.  Whoever PAT hired, they spent too much money, guess that doesn’t help their current financial situation either.

Social Links

Archives

How I’m Resisting

What I’m fighting for

What I’m running from

What I’m reading

What I’m drinking