Pittsburgh to me; “Slow down.”


So this morning when trying to get to church, we had an adventure.  We cross the city to go there, because it feels like home when we do make it, and it is where I grew up going.  Generally, it’s not a bad drive on a Sunday morning.

This morning, we left a little later than we like to because… we have two small children.

I knew that there was some sort of work in the Fort Pitt Tunnel this weekend, so I decided to take the Liberty Tubes instead.  Why?  No respectful yinzer takes the posted detour, and it was going west when I wanted to go east.

No work in the tubes, or even on the Liberty Bridge… except when we got to the ramp for the Blvd. of the Allies and we couldn’t go towards Monroeville.

Up Bigelow Blvd. to Craig St. through Oakland to try to get to Forbes Ave. and get on the Parkway in Squirrel Hill, and we ran into this along the way:

Lady Pittsburgh

Lady Pittsburgh

I have no idea what this was.  She was oblivious to the world around her, happily rolling down the middle of the street on her scooter with absolutely no regard for safety or traffic laws.  She eventually got on to the sidewalk, but she was rolling along at about a ½ mile per hour when I pulled up behind her.  All I could do was start a “What the…” phrase that I couldn’t finish with children in the car and laugh.  We laughed for the rest of the ride to church, and we weren’t done with the obstacles.

Apparently, Forbes was closed off right after the CMU campus for a race today.  Out & around to the Edgewood/Swissvale on-ramp to the parkway it was.

Seriously though, I know I’m not a resident of Pittsburgh proper, but I am a resident of Allegheny County.  Can we pass some sort of local ordinance that you can’t work on or around two major through-ways to the city at the same damn time?

We got there, and were only a little bit late.  The universe was testing my patience today.  I hope I passed.

 

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!

Decoding the car horn honk. (So, can you help this PA n00b out?) #beep ⚠


Recently, I was contacted by a non-native PA resident as a sort of last ditch effort in providing an answer behind the reason to the local-ish custom of horn honking.  I believe a Google led to my blog on horn honking traffic trolls (or maybe one of many road rage posts).  As much as I’d like to proclaim myself an authority on all things ridiculous in Southwestern & Central PA, I must confess that I’d only be guessing here.  So, I’d like to ask you to help this southern transplant understand the ways of us nothern-ish-ers here in Pennsyltucky.

Here’s the email:

Name: Victoria

Email: XXXX####@gmail.com

Website: http://victoriasviewpoint.wordpress.com

Message / Comment:

Hi,

I really hope you can help me, and answer my question before I either lose my mind, or go running out into the street to flag down a driver and ask him/her.

A bit of background: I moved to Central PA 5 years ago from Memphis, TN.  It’s a very long and stupid story but, suffice to say, I am stuck in Hollidaysburg for now.  It’s not a bad little town.  And, compared to Memphis, it’s safety personified.

Anyway, I have noticed over the years that people honk their horns here.  A lot.  And not (seemingly) to acknowledge a friend they see on the street, as I have noticed this happen when there is NO one on the street (my street, in particular).

It always bugged me, and no one seemed to know why people do this (or it’s a stupid reason and they are ashamed to tell me), but today I really got in a snit.

From around 2:30 this afternoon for a good 5 minutes, people were honking their horns.  A lot of people, honking a lot of horns.  It annoyed me.

I looked on the internet, which is where I found your blog about horn-honking, and since you are in Pittsburgh, I thought you might be able to explain to me what in hell is with all this honking!  I didn’t see anything on the internet that it’s, say, “Hollidaysburg Annual Honk-Your-Horn Day” at 2:30 PM or anything.

It’s snowing a bit, the first time this season.  Is this some kind of weird weather ritual I never noticed until today?  “Honk if you like snow”?

To me, it just seemed like an exaggerated example of something I hear on an all-too-often basis.  And it’s, as we say in Memphis, getting on my last nerve!

Do you know what’s going on with this behavior??

Thank you in advance,
Victoria

How’d you find my blog?: searching for “Pennsylvania horn honking”

Time: November 13, 2014 at 2:50 pm
IP Address: ##.###.###.#
Contact Form URL: https://aixelsyd13.wordpress.com/contact/

Sent by a verified WordPress.com user.

And here are my thoughts:

Other than that, I’m stuck.  What say you, people of Pennsylvania?  Please comment below.  Victoria and I would appreciate it!

DON'T HONK | $350 PENALTY 🚌🚍🚙🚘🚗🚕🚖🚛🚚🚓🚔🚒🚑🚐

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.

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)

Jagoff Super Hero In Action! (from YaJagoff.com)


I didn’t blog this, but it could easily be one of my road rage rants.  People are ridiculous, especially this blue truck driving Jagoff Yinzer:

Some people just need a swift kick in the ass, even if it’s only figurative.  So, please, read the post, enjoy, & add YaJagoff.com to your reader or follow them on Facebook or Twitter something.  You won’t be disappointed!

YaJagoff.com | Jagoff Super Hero In Action!

YaJagoff.com | Jagoff Super Hero In Action!

Stuck in the middle with you…


Make sure you can get the whole way through an intersection before you actually go through it.  I see these dingleberries every weekday morning.  I use the word dignleberry because they cling to automobile in front of them.  Please, study the illustration of the offending intersection by Bing Maps & mad paint.NET skills:

Don't be a dingleberry.

Don't be a dingleberry.

To drive the point home, what you’re seeing is my path (the green arrow) and the wrong path (the red arrow).  The yellow outline is the zone where you should not be when my light turns green.  Let’s call that zone the clean wipe zone.  There are two lanes headed in my direction.  The left lane is where I need to be, the right lane is where most of the red path dingleberries are going, so they can get up on the major highway close by.

One major dingleberry always ends up straddling the inside lane, clearly inside the clean wipe zone.  Sometimes the dingleberry has a friend that sneaks behind, straddling the lanes coming towards me.  That’s super dingleberryish.  Don’t be a dingleberry!

(Dingleberries in the clean wipe zone cause incredible discomfort, and sometimes bring out horn-honking traffic trolls.)

If you end up in the clean wipe zone when my light is green, you are a dingleberry.  There may be several reasons for the offending action…

  1. You’re an idiot and you weren’t paying attention.
  2. You think you can squeeze through.
  3. You’ll do anything to get through your light, not caring if you’re blocking traffic going the other direction.

I have solutions for all of these problems…

  1. Pay attention, idiot.
  2. You obviously can’t, judge better next time.  When it doubt, don’t.
  3. You are not more important than the throngs of others on their way to work.  Why block a whole bunch of them?

Are we clear?

It’s called “right of way”, you anuses.


People consistently drive incorrectly, illegally, and dangerously at more than a few intersections that I travel through on a somewhat regular basis.  I’d like to deal with them all eventually, but let’s just start with one at a time.  I’ve talked about this kind of stuff before, and I’m not saying that I’m the perfect driver or never do anything wrong with my vehicles… but this kind of stuff is covered in the PA driver’s manual, isn’t it?

The first intersection that I’d like to deal with has a clearly marked right-of-way, but it’s apparently not clear to all drivers licensed by the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  First a description of the intersection in question thanks to Google Maps & my mad paint.NET skills:

Can you find all of the STOP signs?

Can you find all of the STOP signs? ( Hint: There's just 1.)

Does this really need any explanation?  Of course it does, or I wouldn’t be here ranting about it.  The green arrows are the path I usually take.  I chose green for my arrows, because I’m obviously always right.

Red arrow path people… I’m talkin’ to you.  I’ve seen you all try to pull out in front of me, no matter which green-arrowed path I’m taking.  You sit there, eking forward as if to tell me you’re interested in playing intersection chicken, or simply that you don’t quite comprehend that I don’t also have a stop sign.  To channel Dr. Seuss;

I don’t have a stop sign going up the hill,
I don’t have a stop sign going down the hill.
I can spot stop signs with such skill,
It must make you very ill.
I don’t have a stop sign going around the bend,
I don’t have a stop sign like you, my friend.

In case it’s unclear, the stop on the sign indicates that you are to sit there until all others in the intersection (with the right-of way) have gone though.  Which unfortunately for you, in this instance, is everyone except you.

CROSS TRAFFIC ⇆ DOES NOT STOP

...but YOU do.

Maybe they need an “opposing traffic does not stop” sign or something to the same effect there (if there isn’t one already).  Maybe we need someone to stand there, and hand out printed copies of instructions on how to navigate the intersection successfully …or even just a copy of this blog post.

Please, stop crowding forward when the tiny section of road gets backed up at that light in the morning.  Please, stop making faces at me and throwing your hands wildly into the air like I have wronged you in some way as I come up the hill around the bend to the left.  Please don’t cut me off as I’m waiting in the backed-up traffic to get to the light.  I don’t have a stop sign.  You do.  I didn’t cut you off.  I’m driving correctly, you’re an anus.

(We don’t use that word nearly enough.)

Yinz still ain’t drivin’ right.


Last night, it took me two hours to get home… it’s normally a 35 minute drive.  The industrial park in which I work was in chaos.  The roads weren’t that bad, but tires were spinning because of people flooring the gas… and the local cops stopped a bunch of cars… close together… on a slush-covered hill.

Local Police "helping"...Yinz still ain't driovin' right...

I took these photos while sitting still for quite some time, not while moving.  Yinz are ridiculous.