Archive for July, 2006

The Pirates, PNC Park, and the All-Star Game

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Well I must admit that I was one of the 100K+ people that attended the “Fan Fest” and I will say that it was definitely a nice time for the kids, but for the adults, it may as well have been truthfully advertised as a “health fair” or “trade show” – when I wasn’t being pitched with credit card applications and offers to try out “xm satellite radio” and buying a chevy (which I explained to the young gent attempting to sell me a cobalt-that I didn’t bring that kind of money with me :p), I was being scared to death about the dangers of DVT (Deep Venuous Thrombosis) – it was more geared towards the kids and for them, it was fantastic….

(sidenote) The folks that hired trade show representatives for MasterCard SpeedPass and Comcast – YOUR REPRESENTATIVES were truly AWFUL – the SpeedPass ladies were more interested in painting their fingernails than they were at engaging any potential customers – BTW, DO NOT EVER EVER USE SPEEDPASS IF YOU VALUE YOUR IDENTITY AND INFORMATION, as IT security folks, we could easily demonstrate how easily your SPEEDPASS information can be hijacked without you even knowing..all for under $200 at a local radio shak. I actually approached a Comcast representative to let them know that I am currently trying out the Verizon FIOS network and that I am considering dropping my Comcast Broadband alltogether and asked her for a reason why I should keep my Comcast account – she had NO response – TBH, I am not even sure she knew what FIOS was – FYI, nothing wrong with hiring a pretty face to do a trade show for your company, but at least attempt to train them on the basics of sales.

I was truly impressed and awe-struck by Pittsburgh’s showing in this truly magical event that is the all-star game and festivities. The homerun derby was quite a show and I was thoroughly surprised by that David Wright from the “Fets” (true pirate fans will remember this reference) and was simply left speechless as I watched over a dozen balls hit the river from Ryan Howard and Big Papi and when Howard hit the 500 free flights sign – (dick vitale quote) “Are you kidding me?!” All told, Century 21 donated over $550,000 ($300K to baseball charities + $250K towards the purchase of a home) and MasterCard (yes, the same SpeedPass folks) donated nearly $500,000 in the estimated value of those free flights – whoever those folks were that won those flights, please contact me on this blog ;) If only that kid that hit the balls at the beginning of the AS game could have hit one of those tarps out in the outfield for a cool $1M from Taco Bell – I wonder if he had to hit them on a fly or could he have hit it on the ground, if so, i would have hit very hard grounders out there.

While many of you out there were surprised by the outcome of the All-Star Game, I was not…not because the dreaded American League had like a 10 game winning streak going into last nights game, nope, for me the game was decided the minute that Phil Garner chose Jim Tracy to be on his Coaching staff – that’ll learn him :p

Seriously though, you almost have to smile between the tears of being a Pirate fan, the National League lost another 1 run decision – how appropriate :p

Pittsburgh Mayor Bob O’Connor talking more, walking in UPMC Shadyside hospital

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

While I may not always agree with some of his decision making, I do truly respect and admire Bob O’Connor……he is a man of honesty and integrity and this city needs more of his type…I really hope and pray that he is able to beat this insidious disease and those out there that know the man personally, know that even if that disease had a 99.9% mortality rate, Bob would be in that .1% that would persevere – our prayers are with him and his family :)

Pittsburgh Port Authority approves twin subway “T” tunnels under Allegheny river

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Many of you out there that read my posts probably think that I am just a negative nilly, well, stand back, I am about to actually say something positive….I think this is a good idear! THIS is an improvement to the city’s infrastructure – I personally love the “T” and only wish that it continues to be expanded into the east (Oakland – boy would those slum lords have a tizzy about that…no more $850+/month rentals :p) and maybe expand it out to the west a bit as well…someday maybe even hitting the airport. This type of expansion would bring even more people to the region – far more than casinos ever would.

All casino bidders pledge funds for Pittsburgh Penguins arena

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

How about that? The lowly Penguins of the lowlier NHL are promised to get an arena by three more casino and gaming bidders for the highly coveted “slots license”. What a sport this “hockey” must be to DEPEND on professional gambling companies to ensure their survival….great sport :p Seriously though, anybody who has even given an inkling to what I preach here, TRUE sports teams should not:

1. Receive any government or public funds PERIOD!

2. Receive any monies that have any tie to gambling of ANY sort!

Violating both of these rules ensures enshrinement into my “Phony Sport Hall of Shame”. What a joke!

Here’s an idear, how about one of these gaming industries promising to put money into a “senior healthcare fund” (since many area seniors will be plucking down their Lasix and Coumadin money into the dollar slots) or “homeless support fund” (since this is where many of our area gamblers will end up). This whole slots/gambling thing makes me personally ill and for those of you out there that actually think the city or state will benefit from these funds – eau contrere mon frere – gambling only brings four things to a region >

1. Pawn Shops

2. Car Dealers

3. Liquor Stores

4. Gun Dealers

Just look at Atlantic City if you need a reference point or nore to the point a “reality check” about gambling….have those casinos really improved the livelihoods of people in that region? NO! Will it “revitalize” the uptown neighborhood there? LOLOL –  ABSOLUTELY NOT! Casinos will end up costing the city more (in areas of increased crime and the resulting need for much larger police and public safety personnel) than any small gain that could possibly be achieved. Further the “more jobs for lower income people” will never materialize either…most “living wage” jobs in casinos will be given to people in the suburbs – hell, if a casino really is such a great thing, let’s put one in Upper St. Clair – i’m sure the residents won’t object once they know all of the “facts (LOL)” about how much the casino will improve the region :p That should really be the barometer for future city planning, lets call it WWSD (What Would Suburbanites Do) - Oddly, most Pens fans do not hail from the “Uptown”/Hill District area which is strange since many of those folks are within walking distance of the arena….so, since, the real benefactors to any sort of “Save the Pens” plan are mostly South Hills Suburbanites, put that casino there instead! WWSD

In closing, I say goodbye and good riddance to the Pens and hopefully to any Casino plans as well…