Archive for May, 2009

Windmills a Turnin’ and Innovation a Burnin’

May 27, 2009 4 comments

coolstuffDefinitely cool stuff here.

In a contest funded by The Heinz Endowment and sponsored by Pitt, a student from the university created what you could consider a portable wind turbine generator. Not complex, but simple. The cost to build – anywhere from $60 to $300.

He is planning on selling the plans for others to build their own.

The unit creates enough power to run a about 300 watts of lights or a small appliance. Couple that with energy storage from batteries – you could easliy find a fairly inexpensive way to get off the grid.

swbkudosClick Here for the article ….. it’s really is one of those really cool things you probably won’t have to wait years for. So, if you see Micah Toll – thank him for making your life allot easier in the future. A full “KuDoS!!” to Micah for keeping innovation simple.



PS – I have a feeling Micah was probably that kid that the “in” kids made fun of if high school for playing with science projects. While Micah will probably raking in millions in the future – those “in” kids most likely will enjoy their careers at a high class establishment like Wendy’s.


Home Predator Scams on the rise

May 27, 2009 Leave a comment

sbwfyiseriousAs far as we know, 2009 is almost officially “The Year Of The Scammer”.

Quick “FYI – watch out for yourself” post here.

With all of the stimulus rescues, and bailout plans – the scammers are leaching on, well, you know … like leaches. Right now, the most popular scams are dealing with real estate, foreclosures, etc.  They range in creativity from scams that will ruin your credit to scams that will trick you into signing over your house..

The Today Show did an excellent highlight on the issue this morning on TV.  Click Here to view the online article featuring Barbara Corcoran.


PS – If it looks like a used car salesman, smells like a used car salesman, and is trying to sell a foreclosure recovery service – watch out!

Only In Pittsburgh – the sad side

May 27, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtherantfiles“Only In Pittsburgh” is a statement we usually say here when taking pride in something (well, maybe except the potholes). Occasionally, though, it’s said when something happens that is so stupid that it’s sad.

Click Here for one of those situations reported by WPXI Pittsburgh yesterday.

cluelesstrophyNow, maybe I am thinking wrong these days … but when I was young beating your girlfriend’s cat and threatening to burn it alive was an extreme act of cowardice, not control. This guy, Christopher Bialecki did it to the point where the cat’s tail had cartilage showing and the girl had to get a PFA out on him. I think we need to send these types of men for a full year of Marine boot camp to set them straight. Yep, you guessed it – Chris gets a clueless trophy to cherish for being an idiot (at least until he is proven not guilty).

As reported by WPXI, the girl turned the cat over to Animal Friends, so would you consider Clicking Here and making a donation to them? After that, if you see Mr. Chris walking on the street, please nicely explain to him how Pittsburgh men are supposed to treat their women and the pets they own – the rest of us would like to not be disgraced by one single person of the male gender.


PS – Even weasels have more common sense than Mr. Bialecki …. that’s sad.

Bicycle Cafes have hit Pittsburgh with the OTB Bicycle Cafe

May 26, 2009 Leave a comment

coolstuffThis is one of those FYI / Cool Stuff posts about a concept that has been around in other bike-friendly cities for a while – but has only arrived in Pittsburgh recently, so it will be a quick post with a highlight link.

Pittsburgh is getting more bike friendly by the minute, but of of the problems with riding is sometimes finding a place to safely and event securely park your bike.  It’s not a crime problem, it’s simple fact that most restaurants cater to cars, not pedal energy vehicles.  Well, the OTB Bicycle Cafe at 2518 East Casron Street in Pittsburgh’s SouthSide is changing that, along with adding to Pittsburgh’s bicycle friendliness with a bike-friendly bar and restaurant.

Click Here to check out the article by Michael Machosky of The Tribune-Review.

The food and drink are reportedly good, and SWB will make an effort to visit and review the newly arrived establishment.


PS – OTB stands for “flying over the handle bars” …. we’re hoping that does not the customary way to enter the bar 🙂

Review: Pamela’s P&G Diner – Lincoln Diner Millvale

May 26, 2009 Leave a comment

PGBigI’m sure you have all heard of Pamela’s Diner or the P&G diner lately due to all the news about the owners cooking for President Obama. Click Here for a Post-Gazette article by Moriah Belingit.

Another thing you may not be familiar with it that Pamela’s has multiple locations. The one heard about is on the news is in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. Some of the others are Millvale, Oakland, etc. Our favorite is Millvale.


The main thing, actually is the service – you can’t beat it. You don’t wait, there is no attitude. I have never once been at Pamela’s (or otherwise known as the Lincoln Diner) where the service hasn’t gone completely smooth. The food always comes out steaming hot, and not greasy at all by diner standards.

The Lincoln Diner is a little different, in that you also walk into a 50s style Pharmacy. Do you remember walking in and seeing a little candy sections, along with kids toys in the neighborhood pharmacy when you were younger? All of that is a Pamela’s Lincoln Diner. If you want to take a step back in time, go there.

All of the other Pamela’s locations provide great service and food, SWB just finds the Millvale location to be the most unique. BTW … if you are looking for a unique furniture store, Jerry Kitman’s is right next to The Lincoln Diner. There is a great hobby shop across the street for the kids. And, of course, for the vinyl record lover – one block down from The Lincoln Diner is Attic Records.

Pamela’s P&G Lincoln Diner is now listed in SWB Recommends.

If you get a chance, also check out the town of Millvale, PA.


PS – Yes, the hotcakes really are to die for – this is the first time we had them, because we ordered everything else but that when we visited 🙂

BTW – Millvale is slightly up from The Strip District on the bike trails, if you don’t want to wait in line fore on the weekends at the Strip District location.

CP’s Mon-Monkeys – Pittsburgh’s Water Fun

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

pondpic1You gotta love when you post a worthless blog article like we did this morning with A Song Of Days. We have so much more faith in the intelligence of our readers when they don”t read those articles … or at least not right away.  Curiosity, unfortunately, yields a great deal of mind-control power.

OK, on to the article we discovered in The Pittsburgh City Paper. It’s titled “Enter The Wonderful World of Amazing Live Mon-Monkeys“.  In the printed version, it’s actually a pull-out section summer guide which includes the article “Taking A Dive” linked above.  The cover reminds me of the sea monkeys we used to grow as kids, and the article reminds Pittsburghers of the many water based activities and sights available.  Check it out.  Considering Pittsburgh is one of the few places you can Kayak down the river to take a tour of the sewage plant, makes us kind of cool.  Smelly, but cool.

People forget we have great things in the surrounding areas like Raccoon Park, the Downtown fountains, Kayaking in the rivers, the pond at Schenley, and of course our favorite – Alcosan. The article does a great job of going over the features of each, so read it when you get a chance – then go visit.  You can vacation, keep your money local, and keep your travel bill down.  So, skim the Mon and have some water-fun in Pittsburgh.


PS – Weasels hang out at the river – if you want to be cool, you should too.

A Song Of Days – SWB Style

May 22, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtwitterOn days SWB has no ambition or content with any sign of intelligence to write, we try to make up something that looks like we actually tried, when in actuality we didn’t even bother … so here it goes:


A Song of Days

It’s Monday early in the day,

and my cinnamon flavored dog ate half my car.


It’s Tuesday late,

and my dinner looks like it’s found it’s own fate



Yeah, Yeah,

It’s a bad day every day ….. wooooo hoooooo hoooooo


It’s Wednesday and my hump broke,


See, told ya … no effort at all


PS – Blog writers have absolutely no right to even attempt to write lyrics to songs. We think we have effectively proven that here ….

Update (1 minute after post): {{groan}} SWB was wrong again … immediately upon posting this brainless attempt at writing a song, Britney Spears bought the rights to it for her next comeback album. We honestly feel sorry for those that love pop music.