Archive for Pittsburgh

Feb
04

Wow, an Entire Week!

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Really? Has it been an entire week since I posted? Amazing. Time flies when this is the true math equation in your life:

time it takes to do stuff is less than or equal to the time you have

Anyway, we had a great time before the Super Bowl. The kids went sled riding at our neighbor’s house. I ate entirely too much, and even had an adult beverage. The game itself was difficult to watch at times. The kids actually fell asleep sometime during the second half, even though Tony was yelling obscenities at the tv. Oh well, the outcome was good, and that made me happy. Here are some pics from that day:

Quickie post for now, but I have more to come. Maybe even today!!!

Categories : Pittsburgh, steelers
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Jan
18

My Craptacular Maronda Home

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If you read my previous post, you saw that I had some frozen pipes in this sub-zero Pittsburgh weather. Which leads me to discuss my house.

We bought our house from Maronda Builders a little over five years ago. We bought it for a number of reasons. We had just had a baby, and our current home’s location wasn’t exactly perfect for raising children. The plan that we looked at was in the general location of where we ‘always wanted to live.’ We bought our first house at a decent price, and knew we’d be able to make some money from it. So, we signed the papers. Now, the builder was definitely NOT the reason that we decided to purchase our home. We knew of problems with Maronda, but we liked the floorplan, it had a fantastic yard, and we could afford it.

We checked on the house’s progress every weekend. Luckily, there was a person who just got a promotion – and he was in charge of the activities in our plan. Our home was the first that was ‘his.’ So he did pay attention to a bit of detail. Honestly, we haven’t had any MAJOR problems. They DID forget to install one of our central cold air returns. When you would come up the basement stairs, it was just a huge wind tunnel. Now, for the pipes: Our pipe going to the kitchen sink did freeze one other time. I guess the problem is that this particular pipe must go through the garage a bit, and on the outer wall. Last time, my Brother In Law came over with a little torpedo heater, ran it in the garage, and all was good. This time, the sun helped. Plus, I ran the washer and dryer (I now have lots of clean clothes) and they eventually started running.

No wall or ceiling in my home is exactly straight. My neighbors have had worse problems. Very leaky roofs (because they didn’t seal around the flashing correctly). Extremely squeaky floors. I have one neighbor who, after their yard was graded, ended up with a complete swamp. The light switch in my upstairs bathroom is backwards (the first switch should be the light – but it’s the fan), my master bathroom sink had a leak from day one.

Even though there are all of these problems, I love my house. I love the size, the layout. I love the location. I love our yard. I wish I had more money to spend on it. I’d love hard wood floors, granite countertops and nothing bought at Ikea or Target. But I DO love it. And I truly love my neighborhood. There are about 74 homes in our neighborhood – it consists of four streets. Some of our best friends live here. And they were our best friends BEFORE we moved in. I’m so glad they followed! In fact, when we signed the papers to purchase our home, my husband called our very good friends and left a message on their machine. It was the classic song from Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” We moved to the neighborhood in November, and they joined us in February. Our other friends lived in a townhouse for a few years, but were always looking to buy. They looked at private builders, land, and other communities. But I am SO happy that they ended up here in our neighborhood. They just had twins (this week!), and it will be great to watch them grow up.

So, I’m all about the silver lining when it comes to my house. And when I really think about it, I now live in one of those houses that I wanted when I was little. I remember passing homes in plans and thinking ‘I wonder what it would be like to live there.’ Well, now I know. It rocks.

Categories : life, Pittsburgh, suburban
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Jan
17

I <3 you, Pittsburgh

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Well, here I am in Pittsburgh, dealing with less-than-zero degrees.  It hasn’t been this cold in fifteen years.  Yuck.  I absolutely love, love, love Pittsburgh.  There’s something here that’s cozy and familiar.  The people here are (generally) awesome.  There are great hearts, fantastic senses of humor and a sense of commitment.  When I visit my folks in Florida, it just feels….so…..bare.  I think it’s the lack of hills.  The hills give me comfort, a sense of coziness.  It’s like being in a bed with lots of pillows and a fluffy comforter.  Florida is flat.  Just flat.

Pittsburgh has character.  It has history.  Now, I’m no history buff (that’s my sister in law’s department), but it’s nice to see things that have lasted for hundreds of years.  Now I live in a newly constructed home (with a frozen pipe – but that’s another story).  But I appreciate the beauty of an older home.  The carved staircases, the classic hard wood floors. 
And the people.  They just rock.  After working at the airport for seven years, I’ve spoken to many people who were just visiting Pittsburgh for the first time.  And the majority of them commented on the people.  Really.  Now don’t get me wrong, every city has its share of @ssholes.  But the visitors that I spoke with were surprised that when driving, people were courteous.  Pittsburghers are more than willing to give you directions (even if this city is one of the most difficult to navigate for visitors!).  And we’re committed.  The Pirates have sucked eggs for a very long time.  But there are still SOME dedicated fans.  As for the fans that have given up?  It took them a very long time to dish out that tough love.
If I could pick up Pittsburgh and move it somewhere just a BIT warmer, I would.  Then it would be perfect.  Now yes, we have some issues with local government.  But I could only imagine that every city has issues with local government.  But the one flaw that sticks out for me is this darn weather.  Damn this weather.  
Oh well, I guess nobody’s perfect.  And no city is perfect, either.
Categories : Pittsburgh, weather
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Jan
09

I Was Craving Some Brain Candy!

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Well, I feel a little better now. Last night (after falling asleep with Becca in her room) I watched a new episode of 30 Rock that got DVR-ed (OK, I’m not sure if that’s a word, but I’m going with it). It’s been a few weeks since I watched some new television. I’m surprised how much I missed the little escape it brings me from the millions of thoughts bouncing around in my head.

I really don’t watch too much tv. I’ll watch True Blood when it comes back (I think in the Summer). I watch How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory on Monday nights and The Office and 30 Rock on Thursdays. If I happen to watch live, I’ll get up and clean while the commercials are on. And I’m usually doing something on the laptop at the same time.

On to other things, Becca is going to a little cheer leading camp tomorrow. It’s a fundraiser for the High School cheerleaders. They take kids K-5 (K and First in the A.M. and 2-5 in the afternoon) teach them a cheer and give them a t shirt. Then they get to perform their cheer all together at a basketball game this week. For $30, I thought she would have some fun. I’m interested to see how it all goes.

Oh, and to get back to some boring, serious, political stuff…I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that a judge told Dan Onorato that he couldn’t use the money from the drink tax for anything other than mass transit. Finally, Score one for the restaurant owners! Of course, he’s going to be a big ol’ weenie about lowering it down below 7%. Which irks me. He just can’t seem to be a big enough person to just admit that he screwed up and fix it. In fact, if he did just admit to his screw up and fix it, he may win back some votes later on down the road. But because of his pride (or male ego, or stubbornness…whatever) he won’t. So now his budget is screwed, and it looks something like this:

ROCK DAN ONORATO HARD PLACE


Well, enjoy the snow that they’re calling for this weekend! If you live in Pittsburgh, I’m sure you already made your mad dash for your milk and bread ‘cuz you’ll be stuck in your house for a whole whopping 24 hours.

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Dec
10

My thoughts on the changing drink tax

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Well, Dan Onorato and Allegheny County Council decided to lower the Allegheny County Drink Tax to 7%. Many thoughts enter my head. One is that it’s about time they lowered it. The drink tax has raised over 30 million dollars for a failing Port Authority. (Whose drivers, by the way, just got a raise.) However, the Port Authority hasn’t even gotten this money yet. Danny Onorato basically told them that they need to shape up before they get an money. What I’m wondering (and maybe somebody can answer this for me) is where is all the interest going that the county is making on those millions of dollars?

Now, as for the lowering of this asinine tax, 7% is better than 10%, but it’s still too much. And council even said that it was too much (basically). They said that it would be easier to lower it again if it was too much. Later. Probably another year. So, this is what I’ve decided. There’s really not too much I can do about the drink tax specifically (and there are plenty of other people trying damn hard to get it lowered even more). But I CAN try to get people not to vote for Dan when his term is up. Now, I understand that’s quite a while away. He’s only a year into his second term. And you know, I’m not normally one to hold a grudge. But I can take a few years to point out every time he screws up (and there will be many, I’m sure). I’ll make some anti-Dan t shirts, start talking politics and what not. It’s not exactly what I enjoy doing. But really, he’s ticked me off that much.

Oh, and to top it all off, he’s a bad tipper.

So, please send me any links you might have about Dan and his screw ups. I may start a whole new site.

OK, my rant is over. I’m going to finish out my night working here on the laptop while lying in bed. The lack of sleep compounded with the energy I spent writing the schedule, giving extra attention to a sick and boogery Chloe, and writing/printing a new drink menu means that I may work for an hour. Or less. 6:30 comes pretty damn quickly.

Categories : drink, onorato, Pittsburgh, tax
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