Framing the Dialogue

Posts Tagged ‘pittsburgh’

Wishes and Glitches and Healthcare Oh My

imageHealth and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stormed the Burgh yesterday to plug the Affordable Care Act snarkily referred to as Obamacare. With a big ASSist by Pittsburgh Steeler owner Dan Rooney. Rooney has not been shy about prostituting his football team to ASSist Obama in all things liberal. It did pay off as Rooney is coming off of his Obama-sponsored stint as Ambassador to Ireland. This latest gig has raised the ire of many conservatives as he used the publically-funded Heinz Field for the show. I don’t get the dismay or surprise. This Rooney and his Steeler empire have been feeding off of the public trough for a long time. They are a privately owned company until they need a new field, additions to the field, more seats in the field, the property around the field to name a few.

Last Food and Fuel

I once heard Pennsylvania politics described as the “red T” where there is a corridor north-south in the center of the state and an east-west corridor on the upper part of the state that is generally red or republican. The state, however, is generally dominated by the two large urban areas around Pittsburgh and Philadelphia where blue is predominant. I really cannot speak to local Philadelphia politics, but the Republican Party is, if I am being very generous, extremely weak to non-existent in the ‘Burgh.

Looking Forward to Lite Summer Blends

I’ll bet this image caught your eye!

No I am no talking about fashion.  If you ever saw me dress you’d know that I do not follow current trends.  The blends that I am talking about are “designer” gasoline blends that are required depending on where you live.  First some background from the General Accounting Office,

“The Clean Air Act, as amended, requires some areas with especially poor air quality to use a “special gasoline blend” designed to reduce emissions”

“when different octane grades and other factors are considered, there were at least 45 different kinds of gasoline produced in the United States during all of 2004.”

As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us

Sometimes I need help explaining what appears to be inexplicable…

Our local chapter of the “Occupy” movement (though they really don’t move all that much) has been occupying a local, privately owned park in the downtown area of Pittsburgh.  The owner, BNY New York, had been allowing the occupation, but recently figured out that placating stooges who hate you won’t make them like you.  In fact they lose respect for you, feel like they can push you around, and seek more.  That’s the whole “Occupy” movement.

The Elephants Duel

When elephants duel the only ones who really get hurt are those poor souls unlucky enough to be between them.  Locally we have a somewhat nasty fuel between two health care behemoths.  The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC) has not so quietly been gobbling up hospital after hospital after hospital.  They have built an impressive array of first-class medical facilities and propelled the Pittsburgh Region to the forefront of quality health care centers.  Highmark is is behemoth 2 and has been the local service for Blue Cross/Blue Shield and one of the larger insurance providers in the area.  UPMC go irked recently when Highmark took steps to purchase UPMC’s largest (actually quite smaller) competitor, West Penn Allegheny who have severe financial problems.

Update 6 (and final) – A Rough Pitch

This will be the last installment of this series which morphed from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ arbitration results for pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, hence its inclusion in the Money Speaks category. Ohlendorf was the beneficiary of a significant salary increase through arbitration despite being oft injured and possessing a woeful pitching record in 2010. Arbiters determined and the Pirates accepted and paid Mr. Ohlendorf over $2 million dollars for his services in 2011. As the Pirates head home for their last home stand of the season this sticky note was attached to my morning paper.

Detours

I walked Colorado Street twice a day every day to/from school for eight years. This was the site of many snowball fights and an occasional monkey ball fight.

It’s A Burgh Thing

If you are not a Pittsburgher you’ll still find this funny, but not as much.  You may recognize a little Dennis Miller to the comedy.  It is best enjoyed by someone that grew up in the city and even more if you have a few decades under your belt.  Pittsburgh’s Jim Krenn…

There are more videos at JimKrennRaw.

Nature’s A Mother

Last Friday there were four tragic deaths in the City of Pittsburgh due to a flash flooding incident.  A mother, her two young daughters were killed when trapped in their van and another woman is believed to have been swept away as she fled her vehicle.  Everyone empathizes with their families and our hearts go out to them as these stories bring back tragic thoughts of loved ones that we have lost. 

Image and data from USGS StreamStats

Update 1 – Fat, Drunk, and Stupid

This is the second year in a row that my wife convinced me to go somewhere that I really didn’t want to go and it again involved the group Train.  This time instead of the opening act for John Mayer, Train played after a Pittsburgh Pirate home game against the San Diego Padres.  The Pirates had been fairly hot and recently even had first place in the division.  I have never really been a big baseball fan, but I do enjoy going to the ballpark.  I should say used to as it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a game.  It may stem, at least partially, from the fact that I had a brief stint as one of poor souls who cleaned up after ball games.  I was in high school and I think I lasted two or three home stands.  If I close my eyes I can still conjure up the odor of stale beer, peanut shells, and damp popcorn.  Brrrrrrrr.