Let’s start some #AxlRumors:


So, Axl is everywhere in the rock media world again and 15 year old me reads every stupid article like those it’s those goofy gossip columns in Rip or Metal Edge that used to be one sentence stories with bold rock star names jammed into one long nonsensical paragraph.  I’m actually excited to maybe try & see whatever version of Guns N’ Roses eventually ends up in Pittsburgh (if it makes it that long).

#AxlRumors

#AxlRumors

I even made a parody news article with my last post that fell super flat with no reads or comments.  Oh well, my bad.

I know I broke the one rule of blogging by never having regular steady content any more, but work with me here.  I want some interaction.  Maybe no one cares.  I guess we’ll see.

Let’s start some Axl Rose rumors.  Use the hashtag #AxlRumors on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or newer cooler social media platforms that I am wholly unaware of but still use hashtags.

You can post the url to your rumor(s) here in the comments, and we’ll see if it gets beyond this little corner of the internet, and if anyone finds their way back here.

Kapish?

I’ll start:

Now you.

⚠ Go! ⚠

(Don’t forget the #AxlRumors hashtag!)

I have another idea for a TV show… #YouDriveLikeAnAss!


OK, so TLC never got back to me about Missionaries Impossible (where Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses try to convert each other), but I will not let complete and total failure or lack of any interest in actually following up on these sorts of things keep me from writing a blog about my newest idea.

It’s called: You Drive Like an Ass!

(Hey, Shit My Dad Says made it to TV.)

All I’d need would be a car with cameras all over it.  I could drive it around for a week and have enough footage for an entire season of shows.  All I would have to do is drive the speed limit, and obey all traffic laws… then watch everyone around be driven completely insane by that type of apparently abnormal behavior.

I see things several times a day where people are breaking traffic laws that we all read in the book from driver’s ed, things that are unsafe, or just plain aggravating; Like flags on cars, or even worse… eyelashes-on-healights aggravating.  Don’t even get me started on bicycles.

Get some people to edit it, you have a super low-cost hit.  You wouldn’t even need a narrator.  Just get some clips of Samuel L. Jackson swearing & we can edit them all in.

If we were in the movie Idiocracy (and don’t think we aren’treally.), this would rival Ow My Balls!

Someone get on this, and send me the car and a royalty check.

#YouDriveLikeAnAss!

#YouDriveLikeAnAss!

So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

A CONTEST FOR YOU! Gimme a recipe, win some Bronco Berry Sauce.


240 Packs of Bronco Berry Sauce!

Want 13 of these?

OK.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have an entire  case (& a little more) of Arby’s delicious Bronco Berry Sauce just taking up space in my dining room.  I would eat it all if I could, but it’s probably not an achievable (or wise) goal.  Sadly, my Bronco Berry Sauce will have to go without its perfect partner Arby’s delicious Jalapeño Bites… as they have not yet returned to the menu here in Pittsburgh.  Perhaps there is still reason to Occupy Arby’s even if Hala asked me nicely not to?

I’m left with a few tasks… figuring out what to do with the sauce besides dunking Tyson’s chicken tenders in it, and trying to pawn some off on friends, family, and maybe even a busker.  It expires in June, and I’d hate for any (more) to go to waste.

I was thinking it may make an excellent glaze for meatloaf, or even as an internal ingredient.  It would also probably be good as a glaze on grilled or baked chicken, but I’m guessing the high sugar content would make it blacken quite quickly.  I wonder if it will freeze?  A Bronco Berry Popsicle could be either incredible or disastrous.  Would there be a way to work it into an icing (or again as an ingredient) in a chocolate cupcake?

My readers and commenters are obviously the most enlightened and intelligent group of people I know, so I’m turning to you for ideas.

I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby's if I need to mail it to you.

I promise to wrap it better than my last gift from Arby's if I need to mail it to you.

Here’s where the contest comes in.  Give me your recipe for something including Arby’s Bronco Berry Sauce as an ingredient.  You may want to familiarize yourself with it if you’ve never tried it.  The name is misleading, it contains no berries or horses.  It’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s awesome.  This will be like Chopped or Iron Chef, except instead of TV fame and butt-loads of money the prize is… Let’s say 13 packs of Bronco Berry Sauce, because I like the number 13.  Also, I’m not Alton Brown or Ted Allen.  If it’s really good, we’ll maybe eventually have to make copycat recipes to continue making the prize winner.

You have until Friday May 4th to get your recipes to me.  I’ll post them in a blog, put up a poll, and have the readers vote.  We’ll close the poll & pick a winner on May 13th.  You can enter multiple times within reason.  Voting will happen with the little poll widget here, so encourage your friends, neighbors, family, and even enemies to vote for you.

The only way to enter: You can email your fantastically delicious recipe to world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com with the subject containing the hashtag “#Bronco13” & the name of your recipe.  We’ll annoy people with it on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, & wherever else hashtags work.

In the event of a tie, both of you will get 13 packets of Bronco Berry Sauce.

What are you waiting for?  Get to work!

The #FoodAllergyMomArmy


So, if you follow me on twitter, you may have seen me use an odd hashtag; #FoodAllergyMomArmy

“What’s a Food Allergy Mom Army“, you ask?  It’s what happens when you ask your twitter friends about air travel and Epi Pens.  I was served with an onslaught of what would later become known as nagtweets, demanding that I get a 2nd Epi Pen, and that I carry it on the plane, not in my luggage.  Most all of my replies were from moms of kids with food allergies, some with food allergies themselves.  Even though I bet we’re around the same age, I had an instant army of adopted moms looking out for my well-being.

I’ve received advice  & support on food allergies from other sources on the web, but they’ve increased exponentially since I’ve joined Twitter.  Now, I use twitter to keep in contact with other friends, and to follow fun stuff like music, Star Wars, Fringe, & local Pittsburgh stuff… but it’s definitely my go-to resource for Food Allergy support.  That’s support on many levels… whether it’s information, advice, or sympathy.

So, if you’re on Twitter, and you have food allergies, check out my allergies list, and the #FoodallergyMomArmy will eventually make themselves known.   (Maybe the’ll even comment here.)

Parking …what?


Some people will do anything to save a parking space…

Move this!

The Parking Walker in Morningside


So, the parking walker has taken root in other neighborhoods. Perhaps this will one day replace that parking chair. I certainly would have an easier time moving a chair than a walker if it came down to it. This was sent to me by my friend Jason that lives over in Morningside, it was around the corner from his place.

By the way, I did see the parking chair pile as was threatened to happen by the Dormont police. We drove by too fast to snap a photo… but I’ll try to get back there before it’s gone. No word if any walkers made it into the pile.

Dormont cracks down on the parking chair


I don’t know why, but I find these stories highly amusing.

From: http://www.wpxi.com/news/22718732/detail.html

WPXI.com wrote:

Dormont Police Tagging, Seizing Parking Spot Holders

Posted: 3:31 pm EST March 2,2010Updated: 8:31 am EST March 3,2010

DORMONT, Pa. — Using chairs to save parking spots on streets might be a Pittsburgh-area tradition, but one municipality has had enough.

Dormont police will no longer tolerate chairs on streets.

The police department on Tuesday began tagging chairs residents left to save parking spaces. Chairs that remain on the streets will be removed Wednesday and taken to the Dumpster at Banksville Plaza, police said.

Because of the recent heavy snow, the borough had tolerated residents using chairs to save parking spots, police Chief Phil Ross said.

However, when officers recently went around and put the chairs on the sidewalks, residents promptly put the furniture back on the streets, he said.

From: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/pittsburgh/s_669619.html?source=rss&feed=7

PittsburghLive.com wrote:

Dormont begins campaign against chairs for parking spaces

FOR THE PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dormont’s police department has declared war on chairs.

Dormont residents who are leaving chairs to ensure parking spaces are saved will find their chairs tagged today and picked up Wednesday, Police Chief Phil Ross said.

“I understand if you spent four hours digging yourself out you tend to get a little possessive,” said Ross, appearing at Monday’s council meeting. He said the department has been tolerant during the past three weeks due to the severe weather conditions. Recently, however, when officers put the chairs on the sidewalk, the residents later stuck the chairs back in the parking spaces.

“Maybe they thought kids were doing it,” Ross said. “The parking spaces belong to everybody and nobody.”

After the pick-up, the chairs will be left near the Dumpster by the salt pile at Banksville Plaza.

The parking chair saga continues, despite the guilt put forth by the parking walker.

The venerated Yinzer parking chair.


If you live or work in the ‘Burgh, I’m sure you’ve seen it; The lonely lawn chair sitting in the middle of a parking space.  I always thought this was a phenomenon used most heavily on the South Side… but as time goes on, I realize that it’s all over the city… Especially when we have ridiculously snowy weather.  I’m sure other cities have this phenomenon… but I’m just talking about Pittsburgh.

Looks like they even have a Wikipedia entry, and a Google search pulls up a lot of seemingly relevant links.

As you can see from andybotpgh on Twitter, the “parking chair” can be anything that takes up a space that you labored to liberate from piles of snow.  By the way, the #parkingchair hashtag is genius.

While the parking chair is certainly visible throughout the year, my focus will be in the winter months, and well, really during the last couple of days… during the Snowpocalypse 2010 storm.

Like most of you, my wife & I labored for many hours on Saturday & Sunday to clear our sidewalk, steps, and to dig out our cars from the mess that is on-street parking in Dormont.  We cleared the sidewalk, only to have a place to put the snow from on top of & around our cars, then to shovel the sidewalk again… lifting snow on to the now approximately six foot high pile of frozen white pain in the ass from above in our tiny front yard.

To appreciate the insanity that surrounded or cars…

Snowpocalypse 2010 Car Un-Burial

It was chaos.  If you’re interested, check out the more photos of the surrounding neighborhood & nearby park here.

To put the ensuing rant in perspective… I fully realize that this is not a life-threatening problem, and that I’m not the only one with storm related issues.  There were and are a bunch of people in Southwestern PA without power for extended amounts of time.  They have problems.  This is just a slightly more than mild annoyance.

It was about three hours of work shoveling the cars out on Sunday.  It was quite labor intensive… but if it wasn’t done, the cars were obviously not going anywhere.  Well, mine might have broken out thanks to the AWD… but I risked damaging those around me, so I decided to shovel.

Of course, work was to be attended on Monday.  I had stuff that needed to leave that day, so I needed to be there.  I drove Bethany to work, & then went on to my job.  After normal working hours, I drove to pick up Bethany who had made it to the nearby Giant Eagle to do some grocery shopping.  After we rounded out the last few items, checked out, and headed home… we arrived to find a white Toyota SUV parked in the spot that took about an hour and a half of hard manual labor to clear.

As you can imagine, I was angry.  I don’t get angry all that often.  I’m generally a pretty mellow guy.  I was quiet angry.  Quiet angry isn’t good… just ask my wife.

After circling the block, it was evident that there was nowhere else safe to park.  Of the spots that had been shoveled-out, they were all filled.  Some spots hadn’t been shoveled, but they were filled with about 3 feet of snow, in a pile about as big as a small car… or with the car still under the pile.  Apparently not everyone had to be somewhere yesterday.

There were some other factors that added to my anger.  If the Toyota who had parked in my space backed up about 3 feet (which there was plenty of room to do), we could have pulled Bethany’s car up, and had plenty of room to park my car.  In my house, we call this (excuse the language) “asshole-parking”.  Really, there is no more apt a description.  There are no lines on the road, so your only hope is to park relative to the other vehicles.  Some people ignore this, and park with a half a space in front of and behind their vehicle.  Perhaps this is because they’re not good at parallel parking, or perhaps it’s becuase they don’t want anyone bumping into their precious automobile.  Either way, they’re still an asshole.  A typical conversation would go like this… after I walk in the door visibly winded…

Bethany, “Wow, were you running?  Do you have to pee or something?”

Me: “No, they’re all asshole-parked out there.  I had to go to the bottom of the hill & park.”

The bottom of the hill?  What’s this, you ask?  Well, there’s a little parking lot on the cross street at the bottom of our block that belongs to the park.  People use it for overflow parking in the neighborhood… because there never seems to be enough space to park.

Why not just park there last night?  Well, for one, it wasn’t plowed out properly… and by “not … properly”, I mean not at all.  It wasn’t even attempted.  The people parked there are in their own separate snow bunkers, not near any of the other cars at all, and one winner even parked in the entrance lane to the parking lot… effectively stranding everyone in the second row of the normally 3-row lot.

I dropped Bethany & the groceries off at the house, then circled the block a few more times… fuming the entire time.  I finally settled into a space on the cross-street at the bottom of the hill that no one had bothered to shovel.  There was about a car-length of snow about a foot high, so I went for it.  The Subaru handled it without a problem, and I got a little rush from driving in the snow.

I didn’t like parking where I finally ended up, because I was the first object on the side of the road road after coming down a poorly plowed and salted hill.  I might as well have painted a bulls-eye on the back & side of the wagon.

But, my thoughts were focused on that damn white Toyota SUV that was asshole-parked in the spot in which I spent hours clearing.  I wanted to write a passive aggressive note.  Something to the effect of…  “I’m glad you were able to use the space that it took three hours of shoveling to clear”.  I even thought of typing it, and including a photo above.  Seriously.  These thoughts went through my head.  I thought of piling snow on the car, buckets of water… all the tricks.  Bethany posted her frustrations on Facebook, and it was instantly echoed by many sharing in our anger and frustration, suggesting what we ought to do to the offender… and even to the extent of  my friend Dave saying he’d come over and take care of the problem.

I noticed a bunch of parking chairs stools, and even a saw-horse on the next street over as I circled the block.  Why hadn’t I thought of that?  Again, Facebook being a great tool for the need at hand, I asked for some thoughts.

The problem is that we don’t own the street in front of the house (and neither does the landlord).  I understand this.  It’s public on-street parking, and even we need a permit to park there during certain hours, and we have a visitor’s parking pass.  This is the other problem… the Toyota had said pass for our zone, so technically, they had just as much right to that space as I do… even if it is directly in front of my residence, and we spent time maintaining it due to weather issues.

Still, on a karma level, it’s a bitch.  The general consensus is that it’s not a nice thing to do… but still, it happens.  Some people out there are only concerned with themselves.  They needed a spot, they took it… end of thought process.  Perhaps they didn’t consider that it was hand-shoveled and that I was coming home from a long day with a car full of groceries?  Perhaps they did, and still didn’t care.

Here’s where the “what about me” kicks in…  Why didn’t I put out a parking chair?  Other people do it.  It’s a known and oddly respected practice in neighborhoods all around the ‘Burgh, and apparently even on the next street over.  Or is it respected?  I don’t think I’d park in a chaired space… simply for fear of what may happen to my vehicle.  Surely though, if a situation escalated to the point where a chair was removed, the space occupied, and there was some sort of retaliation… the chair placing retaliator would surely be at fault.

Do you respect the chair?  Do you use one?  Do you move them and park in the space knowing the law is on your side?