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Archive for February, 2009

The Corporate Jet

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

Sitting in the dealership waiting for my car to be inspected, I have a view of the County Airport where most of the corporate jets for Pittsburgh CEOs are kept.  At this point in the economy, you almost expect it to resemble a used car lot with signs hanging off of Lear Jets like “great deal …. only flown above 30,000 feet twice” or “owned by an old executive and garage kept”.  Actually the airport is expanding, and when I’ve been over my father’s house (which is directly under the landing path of the jets) I’ve actually noticed an increase in landings.  Seems odd for a time when CEOs are supposedly selling off all of their corporate luxury assets.

Hmmmmm ……. either things aren’t as bad as they seem, or the CEOs aren’t being completely honest with us – but that would never happen, right?

The funny thing is, when you look at the corporate jet, it’s where many people dream to be … a place and position where ethics, morals, and laws are perceived to not apply.  It has actually become part of the American Dream. Now, I don’t know where or when that dream switched from getting married, buying a house, and having children to making your way up the corporate ladder, making over six digits in pay, and having your own corporate jet – but it needs to revert back to the basics.

Now, I’m one all for change, bettering oneself, and getting or doing things different than the previous generation – but doing those things to the point where the only way to accomplish your them is to live in extreme excess, scam people, and commit fraud is just plain wrong no matter where you come from or what religion you base your beliefs on.

America ….. it’s time to reset our values back to what they once were.

Maybe paying for things in cash and living within our mean like our grandparents was not such a bad thing.

Maybe a 50 inch TV is really overkill in a 10×10 room ….. even if your best friend Jack has one.

Maybe we really don’t have to be and look better than the neighbors.

Maybe America just needs to go back to working hard, living well, and being the nation that people dream about living in.

-SWB

A Common Fear

February 27, 2009 Leave a comment

caronstreet

I’m headed for a common fear amongst many today.

Is it the fear of losing a job? ….. No

Is it the fear of your child being hurt? ….. No

Is it the fear of losing a loved one? ….. No

Is is the fear of dying of cancer? ….. No

Is it the fear of taking your car in for state emissions and inspection? ….. Yep, that’s it. The mercilessness of the Pittsburgh streets don’t help the matter.

Wish me luck …. if you see a man weeping in the middle of the road next to a silver Honda, that would be me.

-SWB

My Wayward Ways

February 26, 2009 Leave a comment

I was just blasted by what I now consider a “once friend” that I have veered from my writings of meaningless whining about Pittsburgh and it’s surrounding areas and gone to writing something meaningful.

My apologies to all … I have an abundance of work lined up in the next few months that should cause me to kill enough cereberal material to revert back to complete brainlessness by mid-summer at the latest … providing ample babblings instead of the writings with substance I am doing now.

-SWB

A New Coffee Town Named Pittsburgh

February 26, 2009 Leave a comment

expressowindow

One industry is really picking up in Pittsburgh. Coffee.

Now, I should really pick on these people, because in my day you just poured it. You might have also been able to get a donut in a coffee house, or coffee in a donut shop. Things have changed.

Today, coffee and things related have really grown into an art form. Everything from the selection of beans to a roasting style. The final brewed product has arrived at a level that parallels much gourmet food production. We’ve hosted the best ever attended regional Barista competition, and considering that coffee is an international attraction itself adds to the tourist pull for Pittsburgh. The coffee houses have gone from the hole-in-the-wall coffee shop that my father once owned in the South Hills Junction to ones comparable to four and five star restaurants.

One of the amazing things to change is that no longer is the Mr Coffee machine the only way people are brewing coffee, many are going back to the proper and/or traditional way of using a French Press and the like. People are actually buying locally roasted Pittsburgh Coffee and not just the warehouse stocked major brands. Although this doesn’t seem much to many ….. it can be a huge industry for the local region. It can also spawn multiple sub-industries in the areas of entertainment, service, etc.

My favorite sites to visit in Pittsburgh are Kiva Han and Crazy Mocha – both Pittsburgh venues that I prefer to support. 21st Street Coffee is also a wonderful establishment to visit in the trendy Strip District of Pittsburgh. A very recent article in The Post-Gazette really shows and highlights how the coffee industry has grown in Pittsburgh to the point where someday we will probably claim leadership in that industry. China Millman will also add to his dining column in the Post-Gazette in print and The Buzz on the the PG’s website online.

No longer is the coffee house a place for just old people to gather, or a place for teenagers to make minimum wage, or a hole-in-the-wall in a community – it is now a place of talent, friendship, skill, culinary aromas, family, and careers.

The fast growing coffee industry in Pittsburgh is proof that this city will re-invent itself in ways we have never thought of nor expected.

-SWB

P.S. Don’t be cheap …. tip your Barista.

…. AGAIN … don’t be cheap …. tip your Barista.

Links

Coffee Tree – Pittsburgh Coffee Roasters with multiple locations.

Kiva Han – Pittsburgh Coffee House and Roaster in Oakland.

Crazy Mocha – Pittsburgh Coffee House with multiple locations.

Voluto Coffee – Coffee House on Penn Avenue in Garfield.

La Prima – Coffee Roasters and Coffee House with multiple locations in Pittsburgh.

Looks Good Under A Sunset

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

pghsunset

City Of Pittsburgh Sunset

Dazed and confused about what to do with your city and how to clean it up? Here is a tidbit of SWB viewpoint.

Did you ever notice that any city, large or small looks great with a sunrise or sunset? Shots like the one above always gets used for opening city shots, and shots just before a major gang killing outburst. Kind of interesting and a little bit of a contrast between natural and violent beauty.

Look at it this way: The beauty of a sunrise pretty much gets shot down once you get to the next scene in a movie where you get to see the environment us people have created. Now this doesn’t mean that all things people have done are bad, or all cities have volatile gang violence, etc … but maybe it’s a way of highlighting that just because the sun shines on something, that doesn’t mean that once you get there it’s going to look like The Garden of Eden – there is a good chance it might resemble your kid’s bedroom.

So it’s green garbage bag and mop and bucket time.

What do you do from here? Here is my suggestion:

If your kid has a messy room …. don’t punish them by making them clean it. They should have done it anyway, and basically you are going to end up doing it. Instead, hand them a bottle of cleaner, a bucket, a mop and stick them on a bus to the city nearest you that needs cleaning. Tell them when their portion of the city they decide to clean “looks good under a sunset” they can come home – then go clean their room.

A few things will happen: You kid’s room will remain eternally clean, because they will never be able to finish the task you have given them, thus never returning home. They will probably become more educated communicating with the people watching them try to clean their section of the city – because those people probably hold more knowledge than the universities and colleges surrounding them. You will also end up spend a whole lot less money – you might actually be able to retire.

Any takers on the idea?

-SWB

P.S. This is another one of those articles where if it makes sense to you we suggest you seek out professional help.

Nothing to write about

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment

I have nothing to write about …. but I’ll post something anyway.  Maybe I could just mention that I had problems finding my socks today, my wife was sick, my dog head butted me in the face. Naaa .. I’d rather talk about the fact that I wasn’t invited to any Oscar’s parties this year.

Now, I know the economy sucks … but as humans are we truly sensible enough to cut out things as vane and perceivably useless as Oscar Parties?  No – we are not ….. so where the ^&$%&^ were my invitations?  You’d think the Pittsburgh film guru’s would swing me a ticket to Lights! Glamour! Action! so I’d give them a good write-up. Nooooooooo …. didn’t get that in the mail.

You’d think some friends would invite me over for one, but nooooooooo.

Oh wait …… was this my year to host?

Oops.

-SWB

P.S.  If this made absolutely no sense to you …. kudos.   If it made a ton of sense to you – please seek professional help.

Luke Meets With President Obama

February 20, 2009 Leave a comment

… along with other mayors, of course,

the only question is …

—> Will Snoop Dogg tag along?

– Sorry couldn’t resist, anyway for y’all interested, here is the KDKA Article

…… wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee and wooohooooooo

-SWB