Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Love for a child ....

"There's a picture on my kitchen wallLooks like Jesus and His friends involvedThere's a party getting started in the yardAnd there's a couple getting steamy in the car, parked in the driveWas I too young to see this with my eyes?
And by the pool that night, apparentlyThe chemicals weren't mixed properlyYou hit your head and then forgot your nameThen you woke up at the bottom by the drainAnd now your altitude and memory's a shame
What about taking this empty cup and filling it upWith a little bit more of innocence, I haven't had enoughIt's probably because when you're youngIt's okay to be easily ignoredI'd like to believe it was all about love for a child +
When the house was left in shamblesWho was there to handle all the broken bits of glassWas it mom who put my dad out on his ass or the other way around?Well, I'm far too old to care about that now
What about taking this empty cup and filling it upWith a little bit more of innocence, I haven't had enoughIt's probably because when you're youngIt's okay to be easily ignoredI'd like to believe it was all about love for a child
It's kinda nice to work the floor since the divorceI've been enjoying both my Christmases and my birthday cakesAnd taking drugs and making love at far too young an ageAnd they never checked to see my gradesWhat a fool I'd be to start complaining now
What about taking this empty cup and filling it upWith a little bit more of innocence, I haven't had enoughIt's probably because when you're youngIt's okay to be easily ignoredI'd love to believe it was all about love for a childIt was all about love"

Monday, July 1, 2013

... about Pittsburgh's diverse neighborhoods!

I don't know about the rest of the country, but the attempt to point out the importance of preserving culture to people from the Greater Pittsburgh Area is laughable. Probably due mostly to the roots of the steel industry in the area, immigrants of all sorts have come at various times in large numbers in search of the jobs steel had made possible. (Original iron furnaces from 1815 can be found in the area.)  Along with those immigrants came their various cultures that reflected their native countries, social practices, and religions.

Pittsburgh had many diverse neighborhoods which retain an identification with the nationalities that brought them into being – the Hill district, Polish Hill, Dutchtown (Deutschtown), the Strip District, Old Allegheny, etc. - and at the same time reflect the merging and integration of the many pockets of immigrants that make up the area. Pittsburgh was a major 'stop' on the Underground Railroad located not too far from Avery College established in 1849 to provide Classical education to Negroes. The entire area looks forward every year to the many Arts Festivals, International Villages, Food Festivals, and so forth where the particulars of each nationality are celebrated in food, dance, music, art, costume, and custom – did I mention food? Of course, food is the one area where we can meet no matter what our ancestral background, and delight over the diversity of the culinary preferences of other people.

Most Pittsburghers in the area know when and where to show up for these diverse dietary delights. The Rib festival, the Arts Festival – both downtown and Shadyside, International Village in McKeesport, and a myriad of celebrations by the various churches in the area. (We all have our favorite church where we pick up a lenten meal of Fish or Fish Sandwich, Haluski, Halupki, cole slaw, etc., or our favorite Greek church for grilled lamb, Spanakorizo, moussaka, Souvlaki, gyros, baklava, etc.)

In addition, the contribution of Pittsburgh Musicians to jazz is second to none - if you wanted to hear good jazz you couldn't miss the lower hill. There's the 28 Nationality rooms in the University of Pittsburgh”s Cathedral of Learning – 26 in constant everyday use – which reflect the cultural diversity of the area. Don't forget the Duquesne University Tamburitzans, America's longest-running multicultural song and dance company, a unique ensemble of talented young folk artists dedicated to the performance and preservation of the music, songs, and dances of Eastern Europe and neighboring folk cultures.

Of course, there's a lot more if you're interested, and I suspect everyone in every corner of the nation has similar aspects of community which they celebrate if you take the time to look. (Heck, it wasn't until I visited Dallas at New Years that I discovered the whole world doesn't celebrate the New Year with pork, kielbasa, and sauerkraut as we do in Pittsburgh. But I learned to love me some Black Bean Soup!)   

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Ranked Smartest City in America

Per Pittsburgh Magazine: Pittsburgh Ranked Smartest City in America

According to data on the 100 most populous cities in the U.S., Pittsburgh is the brainiest of the bunch.



Henry Ford once said that failure is simply the opportunity to begin again — this time more intelligently. That observation seems particularly relevant to Pittsburgh’s remarkable post-industrial transformation. For decades after the steel industry’s collapse, Pittsburgh was the butt of jokes (heck, even the rebooted “Arrested Development” hit the ’Burgh with a low blow recently).

While the rest of the world slept on our city, we rebuilt — this time more intelligently.

Now we’re the pound-for-pound smartest city in America, according to data compiled by Motovito. The prolific real-estate website mined data from the following criteria to formulate its rankings:
  • Universities and colleges per person
  • Libraries per person
  • Education level
  • Media per person (newspapers, TV, radio, magazines)
  • Museums per person
  • Public school rank

Pittsburgh topped the list of brainy cities, followed by Orlando; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Honolulu.

You may also find it relevant that Baltimore was 38th on the list. Cleveland? 47th.

We’re an enlightened bunch, but we put in the perspiration, too. Two weeks ago, research firm Scarborough revealed that Pittsburgh has the highest newspaper readership rate in the nation. So take your outdated Pittsburgh jokes and stuff ’em, Ron Howard.

For the full rankings, including the methodology, head to Motovito.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


I'm not exactly clear why you would become a part of a group on Facebook where absolutely everyone thinks the same way you do - a group where the slightest deviation is cause for a verbal attack and verbal abuse.  Recently, I found myself in a political group to which I had become a member by being placed there by the founder of the group without asking,  [Note:  I'm not complaining about that, Although an invitation would have been preferred, I always had the option to leave.] I posted a suggestion that Hilary Clinton was now available on twitter and for those who were interested they could now follow her if they desired.  My suggestion was essentially that this was an option for anyone who hadn't as yet abdicated political responsibility - although my original wording was somewhat less of an indictment. Understand, I don't care whether you support her of not, I was simply suggesting that for those who need more contact and more information, this was a viable option - IMHO!  (...and yes I did say that!)  Don't you know I got a response as if I had attacked someone with a vaginal ultrasound!  It's always interesting when you make a comment directed at no one person in particular, and someone picks that shoe up and tries it on ... and it fits! 
With all due respect to complete disclosure, I do belong to some groups where like minds get together, but it is for the purpose of broadening one's understanding of the central political focus ... and yes, sometimes strong arguments do arise. However, up front we have all agreed that there are areas where we'll have to agree to disagree.  Just for the record, the last post by someone else was a personal attack to which I decided I was not going to respond.  I removed my posts, blocked the attackers and then went to leave the group.  It was at that moment I discovered that I had already been booted - an action which when preceded by a personal attack that you are prevented from answering clearly indicates that kindergarten is in session and you have been kicked out of the school yard by the other children.