Category Archives: Other Blogs

The Captain’s Back.


Barnes Returns to Dormont Dogs

Barnes Returns to Dormont Dogs (Dormont-Brookline Patch)

So, you may remember my earlier blog post about Dormont Dogs, the Captain’s newsworthy actions, and the family.  If not, you may want to read that one first.  If so, you may want to check out this article from the Dormont-Brookline Patch:

It’s a great article, soiled by crude comments (as are many things found on the internet).  I’ve already shown my support by simply being a patron, been “vocal” about my support in blog form, and via comments.  I’d like to add some more thoughts here.

Captain committed some illegal acts.  He was arrested, sentenced, and served his time.  In the eyes of the law, he’s paid his due.  It should be settled there, but some of you apparently don’t agree.  You look for further condemnation for whatever reasons… a perceived higher moral standard, some internal guilt, jealousy if you felt you’ve ever been punished too harshly for something, or just plain anger.

Dormont Dogs on UrbanspoonCaptain has put it all out there.  He’s admitted guilt, apologized to his family & the community, and he’s ready to move on.  You can take the high road, and let him move past this & give him room to prove that he’s worthy of forgiveness.

Mainly, my whole message here is about forgiveness.  It’s a simple thing to think about, and to talk about…but it can be extremely difficult to ask for or to give. It doesn’t matter what the situation may be.  It doesn’t matter if it’s serious or simple.  It does no one any good to hold on to anger or any sort of grudge or agenda.

Most major religions teach forgiveness.  I believe there’s a dual purpose outside of the divine.  When you find it within yourself to drop the urge to pass judgement and forgive someone, a great weight is lifted off of you.  You can physically feel it if your anger or resentment is strong enough.  Try it.  Let go of the negative.  It doesn’t do anyone any good.  Leave judgement to the authorities and ultimately whatever higher power you subscribe to.

As for this current situation, a comment by Mike Jones sums it up nicely:

We can’t condone what he did, but it does take a lot of guts to stand up and apologize to the community for embarrassing it. Hopefully he is able to give back to Dormont in a way that would atone for his crimes more than probation or jailtime ever could.

An enlightened sentiment, eloquently stated.

To end on a light note…  Johnny Cash was all about forgiving and rehabilitation… all those prison concerts.  Who are we to argue with Johnny Cash?

Ketchup Packets & Dip & Squeeze…


I recently got this message via my contact form:

From: V Preboski <vpreboski@aol.com>
To: me@my.email.address
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Subject: W(aL)D Feedback

Name: V Preboski

Email: vpreboski@aol.com

Message / Comment: Just wanted  to address this  issue I have with all fast food chains….Why can you make dipping containers for dipping sauces  bit not for ketchup  ????

How’d you find my blog?: Snooping around

Time: Tuesday August 28, 2012

IP Address: ##.##.##.##

Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by an unverified visitor to your site.

It’s a familiar subject to me.  I have ranted on the same subject in the past, long before the Heinz dip & squeeze packets came out.  Check out my old rant:

Ketchup / Catchup / Catsup / Katsup / Ketsup

Current mood:contemplative

 

KETCHUP PACKETS ARE SO 1900'S!

KETCHUP PACKETS ARE SO 1900’S!

Yup.  You know what I’m talking about.  I like it.  However you spell it.  I like Heinz Ketchup.  I would like to know wht fast food places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, and Burger King don’t serve ketchup in the same little cups that they use to serve the dipping sauces for chicken nuggets.  WTF, fast food conglomorates?  Your packets do not help me eat french fries or waffle fries.  I usually have to make a mess on a napkin or tray paper to enjoy dipping my fries in sweet tomato and vinegar flavored heaven.  Why should I have to do this?  Get with the times!  Stop using antiquated ketchup packet technology!  It’s 2006, damnit!

I want to dip my fried salty potato product without making a mess!

Yes, I realize we still need packets for use on burgers and chicken sandwiches and what-not…  but why not design a new container that can be used to dip in… or used to squeeze the ketchup out?  Imagine if you were the fast food giant to jump on that first…  you could patent the product and dominate the ketchup distribution industry.  Other restaurants would have to bow to you once it caught on, and pay you for the right to use this space-age individual serving size ketchup containment and distribution system!

Okay.  I might seem a little extreme in my verbalization of the idea here.  But, imagine the possibilities.

How I would love to dip fries in ketchup that I did now have to squeeze out of a tube on to a piece of paper.  I mean, really?  Are you supposed to squeeze a drop out on to each fry individually, or what?

Wherever cheese is available for fries, it always comes in little dip-friendly containers.  Can you imagine cheese in packets?  The idea is just ridiculous you say?  I agree!  And, I submit to you the thought that ketchup in packets is just as ridiculous my friends.  Inside your restaurants, you even serve it out of pumps into those little paper cups.  What good do those cups do to a man on the go, or in the food court?  No, good I say.  No good indeed.

Think, my friends.  Think of ketchup.  Think of science.  Think of dining pleasure.  Think… of the future!

Here are some responses that I got from various sources

The light bulb has been turned on…

Current mood:pleased

Remember my earlier blog/rant about ketchup packets?  Well, I e-mailed it to some fast food restaurants, and I have received some responses.  I thought I’d share:

From: Gayle Goshorn
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Feb 28, 2006 4:45 AM
Subject: TCF: Ketchup Container
TO:    Eric Aixelsyd
FROM:  Gayle Goshorn

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I will pass your concerns on to our MTO Sales Manager about looking into ketchup containers.  Thank you and we do appreciate hearing from our customers.

Best Regards,
Gayle Goshorn


From: McDonaldsCorporation@mcd.com
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Mar 3, 2006 2:04 AM
Subject: Message from McDonald’s USA

Hello Eric:

Thank you for contacting McDonald’s and sharing your comments with us. We greatly appreciate this opportunity to address your concerns.

I’m sorry you were disappointed with our ketchup packets. At every McDonald’s we strive to deliver 100-percent Total Customer Satisfaction. With every customer, we’re committed to serving the highest quality products possible.

Because you are a valued customer, I have shared your comments with our Quality Assurance team. They work closely with our suppliers to ensure that all of our products are of the highest quality possible. Your complete satisfaction is our top priority.

Again, thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. We hope to have the opportunity of serving you again.

Tim
McDonald’s Customer Response Center

ref#:3441932


From: Chick-fil-A Cares

>Mailed-By: na.ko.com
Reply-To: Chick-fil-A Cares
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: 6 Mar 2006 10:05:21 -0500
Subject: RE: Chick-fil-A Web Form Message

Dear Mr. Aixelsyd:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A CARES.  Our customers are very important to us, and we appreciate their comments, questions, and suggestions.

Regarding your suggestion about offering ketchup containers, I hope you’ll find the following information helpful.

Every year we receive literally hundreds of ideas from customers regarding items they would like to see on our menu or offered at our restaurants.

We especially appreciate customers who take the time to share their thoughts and ideas with us.  Thank you for the product suggestion.  We will keep the idea of adding ketchup containers in our future product discussions.

We thank you again for your time and interest and look forward to seeing you in one of our local Chick-fil-A restaurants soon.  As a token of appreciation for your time and effort, I’ll be sending you one “Chick-fil-A CARES” guest card which should arrive at your provided address in 7 to 10 business days.  Don’t hesitate to let us at Chick-fil-A CARES know should you need our assistance again.  Have a nice day!

Sincerely,
Kim W.
Chick-fil-A CARES
Chick-fil-A…We Didn’t Invent The Chicken, Just The Chicken Sandwich.
On the Web at www.chick-fil-a.com

P.S.  Please retain your Thread ID in the message body.  This will help us locate your information should you need us again.

[THREAD ID:1-EP8FBH]

Heinz's 'Dip & Squeeze,' introduced in 2011 as a 'true packaging breakthrough.' The top portion can be torn off to apply ketchup; the bottom can be peeled back for dipping.

Heinz’s ‘Dip & Squeeze,’ introduced in 2011 as a ‘true packaging breakthrough.’ The top portion can be torn off to apply ketchup; the bottom can be peeled back for dipping.

Basically, I had the idea… as did many others, but they didn’t want to pay any of us for it.  At first, only Chick-fil-A had the new dip & squeeze packets around the ‘Burgh, but I believe the McDonald’s in Bridgeville just started using them, not sure about others.

So Mr./Ms. Pebroski, I can say the time has come… a new ketchup packet has arrived.  More people just need to start using it.

I’m not sure if I have helped, how I could possibly help, or why you wrote to me, but I’m glad you did!  I hope this answers your question(s).

Seems like I even contacted Heinz, but I can’t find the first message:

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com>
Date: Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412A HEINZ/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

February 16, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your comments about our Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup!

We understand your excitement – we can hardly wait for this breakthrough packaging to find Heinz Ketchup lovers, like yourself, so you can enjoy it even more on-the-go.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze is an exciting evolution of the ketchup packet which was introduced 42 years ago –-and a new, fun way for Americans to enjoy the ketchup they’ve loved for over a century.

Heinz Dip & Squeeze is just beginning to roll out into the marketplace with plans to have it nationwide by the end of 2010.   It is currently available at select quick service restaurants in the Midwest and Southeast, with additional markets and partners planned for the coming months.

Thanks so much for sharing your comments – we’ll certainly make sure they are passed on to our Packaging and Marketing staff.

Heinz Consumer Resource Center
Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412A

HEINZ/JNEEL

I must have submitted that via webform, so I wrote back:

From: ERiC AiXeLsyD <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 10:11 AM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412A HEINZ/JNEEL
To: Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

Dear Heinz Consumer Resource Center,

Well, thank you for the response.  I can’t help but wonder why the product wasn’t rolled out here in Pittsburgh?  I mean, Pittsburgh certainly appreciates all things, Heinz… no?  I mean, the the name brand is almost synonymous with the region.  I love the animated neon sign now visible on my way from destinations north of the city toward my home in Dormont through the Liberty Tubes.  I can’t count the times I’ve been to Heinz field for varying events.  I have ketchup bottle & pickle pins somewhere at home.  I even have a tiny Heinz ketchup bottle (“liberated” from a hotel in Knoxville, TN) in with my antique beer/pop bottle collection.

I’ve ranted at the turnpike plazas along the highway in Ohio on my way to Cleveland, because they have the audacity to serve some kind of generic “Fancy Ketchup” and not Heinz so close to the ‘Burgh.  You can hardly buy Hunt’s ketchup if you tried in local stores… and really who in their right mind would try?

Why weren’t the yinzers given first access to this new ketchup delivery technology? Heinz and ‘Yinz‘ even end in the same 3 letters!  Pittsburghers know ketchup, my friends.  Why wasn’t this rolled out on the home turf for a test run or to show some Yinzer pride and appreciation?

Thank you for your time, I look forward to your reply!

Thanks,
-Eric

Of course they wrote back again…

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 2:06 PM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412B HEINZ/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 3, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your additional comments about the new Heinz Dip n Squeeze cups.

Unfortunately we have no time table for when the product is rolling out here in Pittsburgh. We are as eager as you are to find these in our favorite restaurants. Keep watching, they should make their debut by the end of the year.

You may like to know that there is a Heinz Ketchup facebook page. There are lots of interesting facts to be found there as well as comments by Heinz Ketchup fans from all over the world.

Thanks again for contacting us.  We appreciate your interest.

Heinz Consumer Resource Center
Heinzconsumeraffairs@us.hjheinz.com

When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412B

HEINZ/cl

From: <Heinzconsumeraffairs@hjheinz.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 10:50 AM
Subject: Re: In Response to your Website Comments – Ref # 003141412C KWHITE/JNEEL
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 4, 2010

Dear Eric,

Thank you for your email to our Communications Team.  They have asked Consumer Affairs to respond.

While not currently available in Pittsburgh, yinz should know that Heinz did test the product very first with some of our loyal consumers here at home during the Fall of 2009.  People gave Dip & Squeeze a big thumbs up!  It was a big hit.

Hopefully this makes you feel better because we do appreciate the hometown crowd.

Like you, those of us in Pittsburgh are waiting with bated breath to have the chance to get Dip & Squeeze and use it while we’re on the go.  Stay tuned and thanks for being one of our loyal consumers.  Have you friended us on Facebook?  If not, please join in the fun.

Karen
Heinz Consumer Resource Center
When contacting us, please refer to the following reference number: 003141412C

KWHITE/cl

Crazy.

Changing Pickups – How-to’s I found interesting and helpful:


Tone Fiend (Joe Gore) rules.

I need to get back to work on my NY Pro.

The Tunnel Monster may have eaten me by now…


Pittsburgh tunnel

Pittsburgh tunnel (Photo credit: glowingfish)

OK, so remember my post about the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster & the artist renderings?  Well, I just got this reply.  It came a little late, and it came from someone who couldn’t pick up on the fact that I was goofing around.  I mean, I don’t even know how I should respond to this.  Should I tell them, or keep it going?  Surely a quick Google search of my email address or “Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster” would have landed you here?  I kind of feel bad that this cat didn’t “get” it.

I poked around several forums and web pages until I found email addresses or forums or anywhere where I could post my goofiness.  They mostly all fell entirely flat (Fail 1/Fail 2/Fail 3).  This email eventually found someone, I guess.

Oh well, here’s the reply:

From: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>

Date: Fri, Aug 3, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello, and thank you for emailing The Cryptid Hunters.

Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Raptorguy14, currently the only active member of this group. We used to have several people, but they’ve since become inactive. I’ve been thinking many times about reviving this group, and I may do that soon, but for now I can only investigate reports of cryptids in the Western United States.

Secondly, I, nor anyone else in this group, do not represent MonsterQuest or anything/anyone affiliated with it. I understand that the link to our email is on the History Channel website, so I apologize for any confusion. We are simply a group of amateur cryptid hunters.

Thirdly, the photos definitely appear to be fake. I know that you said they are artist renderings, but I’m certain that it’s impossible for creatures that look like those “renderings” in the photos to exist. After some preliminary research online, I can conclude that the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster is likely a hoax, an urban legend, as no solid evidence has turned up yet. As I said, I would be open to investigating, but at this time I can only investigate cryptid reports in the Western United States (specifically the Intermountain West). I will try to find somebody to investigate, but I find it unlikely that any evidence will turn up. More than likely it’s just a myth that makes drivers be more cautious in the tunnel, as tunnels can be very dangerous places if certain driving precautions are not taken.

~Raptorguy14

I guess I should write back.

Also, if I neglected to post your artist rendering, please send it again!  I was sitting on a few until I had another related post… wanna make sure I don’t miss any.  Here’s one from Valley of Steel‘s Eric Yano:

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

https://twitter.com/suburbsasquatch/status/195707700351479812?iid=am-85321533413354953266169787&nid=4+status_timestamp&uid=89820926

I haven’t forgotten about blogging.


I haven’t forgotten about blogging.  There’s just been a bunch going on lately.  The band had a few gigs back-to-back, & we’ve been trying to come up with new stuff.  The real job has been rather taxing of late, the workload and hours have increased.  The wife & I seem to have some sort of scheduled social or family function every weekend lately.  Our week at Living Waters is coming up & I’ve been preparing for that.  I started to work on my New York Pro guitar & chronicle that, but got to a stopping point & haven’t had time to get back to it.  I’ve been trying to pull together some mazes, new old, some unfinished… I want to get a bunch ready to go, then look at my best publishing options.  I’ve also been battling a nasty stuffy nose coupled with a summer cold & fatigue.

I’m certainly not complaining, there’s just a bunch of stuff going on.  I felt the need to explain the lack of posts.  I even have some drafts written on what I feel to be some entertaining subjects…  I just need the time to sit, make the graphics & write the posts that go along with them.

If you need some blog feed, check out:

Move Along, Move Along...

Move Along, Move Along…

Everything Changes but Guitars? I disagree.


I saw this graphic online through Guitar Fail the other day, & again through Guitar Squid:

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

Stratocaster Evolution / Everything Changes but Guitars (I wish I knew the original source.)

At first, it made me laugh and think “humph, yeah…” in agreement.  The more I thought about it though… it’s wrong. How is it wrong?

Well as far as concept cars go, it’s a whole different world from everyday-use practical cars.  Nothing has gone all that far from 4 wheels, 2 headlights, gasoline powered.  (Yes, there are hybrids and flex-fuel all over the market… but arguably people don’t like them unless they look like “normal” cars.)  But, this blog isn’t about cars.  I’m sure you knew I was going to talk guitars, because that’s what I do.

There are a ridiculous amounts of varying styles of guitars & guitar innovations out there.  Some of them may not be “reinventing the wheel” exactly, but there is always some great stuff happening, and there has been since the inception of the stringed instrument.  How do you think we got so many varieties?

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

Krank Amplification | Evolution Of The Electric Guitar

I agree that too many axe-slingers fall into the Stratocaster or Les Paul shape trap.  For years I held a disdain for both shapes… but I come back to them.  Why?  Perhaps they’re good designs.  Perhaps they’re iconic.  Perhaps they sound incredible.  Perhaps they work.  There are many other options out there.  If you find yourself chuckling to and agreeing with this graphic, I challenge you to help me to add to my list of innovative guitars.

Any fans of the Guitarz Blog, Tone Fiend, Guitar WTF?, or gUitarREN should be into this.  (Any cool guitar blogs I’m missing?)

Let’s talk about how the guitar is ever-evolving… Shape, materials, string count, innovation, & general insanity.

Indy Custom - Flycaster (Tele-V) Telecaster Flying V Hybrid

Indy Custom Flycaster (or Tele-V?)

There are lots of shapes out there past the Stratocaster or Les Paul, whether it’s somewhat normal or custom insanity.  There’s the SG, the Telecaster, V’s (Flying, Jackson & more), hollowbodies like the Artcore or Gretsch models, the Explorer, the Ravelle, all the crazy B.C. Rich shapes, the Airline, even the Flycaster.  Are there really not enough guitar design shapes out there to satisfy you?  The Stratocaster doesn’t need to change shape, because there are plenty of other options out there!  I’m barely hitting the tip of the iceberg here.  I didn’t even touch on my B.B. Stone, FlipOut, or Batman axes.  How many distinct guitar shapes can you name in the comments?  (Actual produced shapes, not one-offs!)  Bonus for posting or linking to photos.

There’s also material.  Certainly guitars are mostly made of all types of wood, but there’s also plastic, graphite, Res-O-Glass (fiberglass), the Lucite / plexiglass / acrylic transparent guitars, aluminum necks, and so much more.

Once we get past the plethora of guitar makes, models, & shapes available… there are so many other innovations.  Some are great, some not-so great.  Just off the top of my head I can think of:  Synthesizer & MIDI Guitars, Fretlights, 7/8/12 strings, double neck guitars, the chord buddy, the Coral Sitar, built-in-wireless, the robot guitar, 3D printed guitars, Evertune… but none of them have really busted the mold (yet).  They’re all niche stuff.  This doesn’t even get into the many styles of bridges, tuners, tremolos, locks, and other parts that have been refined… or wiring.  You can get CRAZY with wiring.

World's Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh, PA)

World’s Largest Playable Guitar being set up at the Carnegie Science Center – Pittsburgh, PA (Photo Credit: Kara / @ohidontthinkso)

The traveling guitar exhibit is at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh right now.  I can’t wait to check it out.  It’s got the world’s largest playable guitar.  I was lucky enough to get a preview the other day via Twitter.  Tell me that’s not an innovation?  It will no doubt inspire many to pick up the guitar, or dust off the one they already have.  The entire exhibit displays guitars, how they work, their history, & all kinds of fun interaction.

So, next time you think that the guitar has become stagnant, I ask you to go get your hands one one of the many non Strat options above… or even a non-standard Strat option… like a Fat Strat, hot-rodded wiring, or a backwards one.  There are plenty of different, innovative, and goofy guitars out there.  Rock out on something original!

Great Movie Villains List! (via Branded in the 80s)


You know I like to post about movies.  You know I like 80’s movies.  There’s a great list over at Branded in the 80s:

New League assignment, my Top Ten favorite movie villains…

SWEEP THE LEG!I’ve seen almost all those movies.  I agree with all of the choices that I recognize.  [LIST SPOILERSRead the other one 1st:] Man, I hated Johnny & The Cobra Kai.  Sensei John Creese was the incarnation of evil.  I dig this list because it’s not full of the obvious choices.  There’s no Darth Vader, no Joker, no Xenomorph.

I’d include (in no particular order):

Walter Peck

Dr. Peter Venkman: “This man has no dick.”

Walter Peck – He wasn’t the main villain in Ghostbusters, but he sure was more evil than Gozer or Zuul.

Monster Squad - Dracula

“Mr. Alucard Called…”

Count DraculaThe one from The Monster Squad was just scary.  He was pure evil.  He took control of all the other not-quite Universal Monsters.  He had vampire wenches.  He was a badass.

Skesis

A dying race, ruled by a dying Emperor, imprisoned within themselves in a dying land.

The Skeksis – From The Dark Crystal.  They were ridiculously creepy.  They still creep me out.  Jim Henson was a weird, wild, dark, & scary dude.  Frank Oz only served to drive the madness.

Greg - Just one of the guys

“Isn’t he great, muscles and a sense of humor. Well, let’s thank Greg for the lunch time thrills and spills he’s given us. OK, EVERYBODY GET UP! GRAB AN END OF YOUR TABLE!”

Greg Tolan – From Just One of the Guys.  Was this guy a preppy a-hole in every movie?  He had the market cornered on it in the 80’s.  And the girl did look like Daniel from the Karate Kid

Then there’s Ted McGinley‘s character Stan from Revenge of the Nerds, Scut Farkus from A Christmas Story, The dude that wasn’t quite William Zabka from One Crazy Summer, and so many more.  What’s on your not-so-obvious villains list?

Ya Jagoff!!! Parking Tickets


This Week It’s 2 “Prependicular” Peter Parkers!

This Week It’s 2 “Prependicular” Peter Parkers!

This is genius.  Tired of being able to do nothing when you see someone parked like a Jagoff?  Now you can do something about it.  Check out these perpendicular Peter Parkers as an example, and check out the printable parking “tickets”!

Just don’t damage anyone’s car (especially stickered or flagged ones), and don’t get caught and/or shot in the process.

One of these days I need to capture the people that park on the yellow-lined triangle int he middle of the lot at the Kuhn’s on Banksville.  They usually stop there to disrupt traffic when going to the ATM or Starbucks.

Printable Parking Notes | Ya Jagoff!!!

YaJagoff.com | Printable Parking Notes: Do NOT ruin anyone’s vehicle!!

Snap a photo, place the ticket, and they can watch for themselves online. I only wish there was a way to call out the Peter Parkers who can’t Parallel Park on the street in front of my house.

I might need to make a custom one that says something like this:

Hey Jagoff New People That Just Moved Here,

Why has the number of cars on our street doubled since you’ve moved in?  Please note that there’s an alley behind your house where you can park two (or at least one) of those cars.  I don’t have an alley behind my apartment, so that’s not an option for me.  Help make the neighborhood an easier place to park by not being a Jagoff.

Respectfully,
Your Grumpy Jagoff Neighbor

Or this:

Hey Jagoff That Visits Someone Here A Few Nights A Week,

Your truck is as long as a school bus, and is probably as wide.  I appreciate that your solution is to sometimes park with a tire on the sidewalk, but that’s not really cool.  It’s also not cool to take up 3 spaces by parking a half car-length (or quarter truck-length) away from the vehicle in front of and or behind you.  I appreciate that you probably can’t see from your seat that’s 2 stories high… so maybe you should just park in the lot at the bottom of the hill & walk to wherever you need to go.

Thanks,
A Jagoff that actually lives in this neighborhood

Or even this:

Dear Jagoff Neighbors,

How is it possible that you have a picnic, birthday party, barbecue, bonfire, or gathering for a sporting event every weekend?  Why is the gathering place for your entire extended family at your house?  Don’t you ever go to their houses?  Why is it that I can’t make a trip to CVS or anywhere else close by on a weekend without my space getting filled before I return?  Do you have a lookout on the porch doing some sort of jagoff valet where you move all of your cars closer?  Do you like to watch me carry 20 bags of groceries for 2 blocks?  There is a parking lot at the bottom of the hill for your family.  We occasionally like to entertain on the weekends too.  We tell people to park in the lot.

Thanks,
A Jagoff Neighbor

Okay, I need to go do something to calm down.

Zombie Apocalypse Playlist?


So Ultimate Classic Rock came up with a Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist (in “honor” of the face-eater in Florida).  Great idea.  OK list.  Granted, the name of the site is Ultimate Classic Rock, but let’s add some more zombie songs.

Their list?

Tom Petty, ‘Zombie Zoo
Alice Cooper, ‘Zombie Dance‘ and ‘I Love the Dead
The Ramones, ‘Pet Sematary
The Zombies, ‘Time of the Season
Jonathan Coulton, ‘Re: Your Brains
Rob Zombie, ‘Living Dead Girl
U2, ‘Wake Up Dead Man
The Hooters, ‘All You Zombies
Michael Jackson, ‘Thriller

Let’s expand our list to cannibalism, face-eating, and general insanity or gore.

I’m sure there are many many more.  Help me list ’em?

Shaun of the Dead Zombies

Ultimate Classic Rock | Zombie Apocalypse 2012 Playlist

The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster gets national attention?


Well, sort of.  The buzz around town on the news & radio lately has been about a survey by a GPS data company called INRIX that calls the sweet spot from Greentree to the Fort Pitt tunnels on the Parkway West here in the ‘Burgh the worst traffic outside of New York or Los Angeles.  Read the Post-Gazette article for all the juicy details.  Here’s an excerpt…

According to INRIX, it takes an average of 13 minutes — nine more than it should — to traverse that stretch. That doesn’t count the time it takes to get there, as morning backups now routinely spill well down the back side of Green Tree Hill and sometimes past Carnegie.

At a delay of nine minutes a day, for a regular commuter that works out to about 36 hours a year down the rat hole, just for the morning rush. According to INRIX, drivers on the 10 worst U.S. corridors may squander up to 60 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Those who while away their mornings in the daily tangle might be inclined to dream of a wider Parkway West or new tunnels drilled through Mount Washington, but financial and topographic realities make that a bit like yearning for world peace.

105.9 WXDX-FM

105.9 WXDX-FM

The guys on the X were talking about it yesterday morning, so I sent Bob a link to my Tunnel Monster blog.  Bob posted it on their morning show blog & I’ve been getting mad hits today because if it.  Ha ha.  Thanks guys!

I do have to say though that the Steely McBeam tunnel monster image isn’t mine.  Someone named Angry Mongo posted it first.

I have one more “artist rendering” from Eric Yano (I’d still like to see more!):

Flying Tunnel Monster

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano / Valley of Steel)

And here was the letter to MythBusters & Dirty Jobs, that didn’t get a reply from anyone…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 27, 2012
Subject: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster (Mythbusters & Dirty Jobs team-up?)
To: jamie@m5industries.com, mythbusters@m5industries.com, adam@adamsavage.com, info@mikeroweworks.com, torybelleci@gmail.com, swift@buchwald.com
Cc: info@beyondaction.com.au

Dear Duke of Dirt and Sultans of Science (or Emperors of Explosions?),

I’m a big fan of both of your shows, I believe that I have been watching since the first season of each, and have seen almost all (if not all) of the collective episodes.  My wife & I enjoy the Saturday morning/afternoon marathon runs of each, sometimes they prevent us for doing anything productive (except learning while being entertained of course) for most of the day.  My favorite Dirty Jobs moment has to be an early one… where Mike was at the charcoal factory & asking the guy how you can burn it after it has already been burned and the guy either didn’t know the answer or comprehend the question and started to get irate.  It set the tone for the rest of the series!  Of course I love all the dirty gross stuff like expressing the anal glands during pet grooming… who knew?  Having worked an assembly line myself, I really appreciate that you manage to shed light on jobs that most people never even think about (or know existed).  With Mythbusters, I don’t know how to pick a favorite… I loved the ninja & pirate myths, the ancient mirror laser thing, all of the movie scene recreations (or attempted recreations), the many abuses of Buster, and for some odd reason… the car filled entirely with A/B foam.

If I’m not watching the Discovery Network, I’m over on the History Channel.  My wife likes to remind me that we have about 200 other channels.  I don’t need them, really.

I first attempted this (intentionally humorous) pitch to the people over at history with MonsterQuest or MysteryQuest in my sights.  I had assumed I’d receive some sort of “Yeah, whatever goofball” type of reply.  Sadly I have not received any reply at all.

The more I thought about it, I feel that this is a serious subject.  It would work for Mythbusters… not sure how you could word the myth… but basically your task would be to get to the bottom of seemingly inexplicable tunnel traffic/congestion.  You could look at how people slow down when approaching, how throwing a roadside distraction (like a car accident) in there would effect things?

As for Mr. Rowe, I’m sure that working in a tunnel is a dirty job.  There are nightly cleanings/work in the Liberty tubes some times… and someone sets out traffic cones every day for the changing of a lane’s direction when going into/coming out of the tunnel.  I’m also guessing that being a Mythbuster (or one of their crew) is a dirty job.  Pittsburgh is a little Hollywood lately, why not capitalize on it by coming to check out our little town?  I know Grant & Tori were at the Zabmelli firework factory in New Castle once!

Did you see the incredibly forced Pawn Stars/American Pickers/American Restoration crossover?  You guys could do way better than that, and it would be unscripted.

Here’s the meat of my original email…

I believe that we have a monster in the Pittsburgh area that you may want to check out.  It’s affectionately referred to as the Tunnel Monster.  People in the southwestern Pennsylvania area live in a great fear of the Tunnel Monster.  Many yinzer drivers slow down as they approach any area tunnel… but most especially the Fort Pitt Tunnels, Liberty “Tubes”, and the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.  I’ve heard theories that the tunnel monster also perhaps takes shelter in one or all of the three rivers when not lurking in the tunnel.

Fear seems to increase in times of rain, snow, and (perhaps strangely) before sporting events, holiday festivities, and large concerts.  I believe we have weekday tunnel anxiety between 7:00am & 9:00am, and again from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at all tunnels.  I’ve never heard a first-hand account of an actual sighting, but it’s clear that there is something strange happening at these locations.  There are also spikes of Tunnel Monster fear when traffic accidents happen nearby.  Perhaps the tunnel monster feeds on broken down cars, flat tires, or the corpses left in the wake of fatal accidents?  Rubberneckers seem to be ripe for the picking also.

I have personally seen 18-wheelers get to the entrance of a tunnel and turn completely around, most likely out of fear of the tunnel monster perhaps lurking within the yellow-hued florescent-lit man made caverns.  Some people go through the entire length of a tunnel holding their breath so the tunnel monster doesn’t steal it, or honking their horn the entire way to scare it off.  I’ve seen motorcycles and ambulances go right down the center line at accelerated speeds, no doubt trying to avoid a tragic end.  I’ve even heard of people tapping the roof of their car when spotting a Padiddle to ward off the evil tunnel monster.  The theory perhaps being that the tunnel monster is on the hood of the other car, and its webbed fin (a paddle or “padiddle”) is blocking one headlight.

I have seen strange markings on the inside of they Liberty Tunnels, but they have since been covered-over.  They were strange numbers and hieroglyphic-like symbols that appeared right before a construction project.  Do you think the crews working in the tunnel are in any danger?  Perhaps it’s a conspiracy?  Are they in there hunting for the tunnel monster under the guise of construction efforts while they cover up the monster’s cave paintings?  Could the monster be some sort of Neanderthal, or perhaps a supernatural being, or some sort of demon?

There are countless videos on YouTube documenting fearless drives through the Fort Pitt Tunnels, but I don’t believe that any concrete video evidence has been recorded.  I have attached some artist renderings of the Tunnel Monster that I have found on the internet.  Perhaps you would like your experts to interview the area residents and come up with your own?

I really would like someone to get to the bottom of this Tunnel Monster thing, and I believe that Monster Quest is perfectly suited for the job!  Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon!

So, now you know where my thought process has gone, & how it has developed.  I’d love your consideration for this idea.  Please don’t make me turn to TV shows that I don’t watch like Billy the Exterminator or Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you!

Not afraid of the Tunnel Monster,
-Waldo Lunar

I tried message boards, email addresses, all kinds of outlets… all to no avail.  Party poopers.

Maybe this will get a reply:

Should I try PennDOT or the city of Pittburgh next?

Fort Pitt Tunnel

The Monster’s Lair | Fort Pitt Tunnel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)