Archive for July, 2009

The Strand is back

July 29, 2009 Leave a comment

strandcaptureCapture from the Strand’s site – click it to go there. Occasionally we try to highlight a part of a community of cultural area that needs supported. The Strand Theatre in Zelienople Pa is on of them.

There are many ways you can do this for The Strand:

  1. Go there. Along with the grand opening featuring Debbie Reynolds, there s now a summer classic film series.
  2. Donate … Click Here for the link to do that.
  3. Buy some memorabilia … Click Here for that.
  4. Volunteer …. Click Here for that info.

Wouldn’t you want someone to help restore something in your neighborhood so that your children can enjoy it in their community. Help do that for The Strand, and maybe someday those people will help you do that for something in your community.

Kudos to Ron Carter for getting The Strand back up on it’s feet.


PS – Any place that shows the original Superman movie again just has to be cool!

A Strange Light

July 23, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtwitterAnother poetic creation from SWB:

A Strange Light


A strange light did flash in front of my eyes,

I had cut with my shovel into an electric line of quite some size.


A blue glow embraced my vibrating head,

Making me yearn for a few aspirin and my bed.


The sky started spinning with all it’s might,

Obviously controlled by that amazingly strange light.


I started to fly at an amazing rate,

My friends running behind me as if for a meeting they were late.


Looking forward, I came crashing into moving colors of orange, red, and yellow,

And from deep inside me a scream that seemed more like a bellow.


The EMT looked at me and muttered, “what and idiotic little ditz”,

“For a while his brain will be on the fritz.”


My trusty shovel thrown on he ground now melted and burnt to crisp,

My mind tossed and feeling now lighter than a little wisp.


PS – Another useless poem with absolutely no meaning brought to you by Screaming Weasel. If you have wasted 3 minutes or more reading this, we thank you. If you spent any time actually pondering it ….. that just scares us.

Making the country look unfashionable

July 22, 2009 1 comment

swbtherantfiles… How dare he???

The President, I mean.

Does he realize he is destroying to confidence that other countries have in us be being unfashionable at a baseball game???

We’re hurting enough self esteem wise from the Bushies ….. can’t he just give us a break???

Click Here for the article on our rant about Obama’s mis-fashion from Yahoo! and Mike Krumboltz.

From reading our posts you probably figured out (with a raised eyebrow), we’re being a slight bit sarcastic … even though this issues deserves are greater amount of blunt sarcasm.

For those a little dean in the head – “yo …. people …. his pants don’t matter!”

Are people serious??? … we have an economy going south (maybe coming back slightly north), countries that want to nuke each other, crops being destroyed by fungus, and other slightly more major issues going in on the planet – and the only thing people can notice is that the President is wearing a pair of jeans the HE likes, and he really doesn’t care if anyone else likes them.

Ummmm ….. anyone out there actually want to come back into reality??? (without tuning into a major TV network Tuesday night t 8pm??)


PS – I hope he wears a tutu to the next press conference … just to tick off the fashion police.

Geez … he’s got country to run (and rescue at this point), folks.

Rendell’s approval at lowest ever ….

July 21, 2009 1 comment

swbtherantfilesClick Here for the article from The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the issue.

As far as SWB’s opinion – all we have to say about the issue is: “ummm ….. duhhhhhh”.


PS – We’re trying to give a new meaning to “short and informative articles”.

The Earth as part of our infrastructure

July 21, 2009 Leave a comment

sbwnewsitemQuoting from The Pittsburgh City Paper:

“…. Millennials don’t necessarily view the environment as a partisan or idealogical issue. To them it’s an infrastructure problem, like wanting the New Orleans levees fixed.”

Click Here to check out the article by David S Bernstein of The Pittsburgh City Paper.

The article is actually about how the Republican party is shooting themselves in the foot (and head, and chest, and knee caps …. you get the idea) by ignoring the environmental issues, thus removing them from the Millennial’s radar. Bingo …. and as usual with the RNC, they don’t really care.

OK, on to the real issue. The Millennials are right. The environment is a huge infrastructure issue – the air we breath is slightly important, and is the planet gets up to baking temps, we have a much bigger issue. The environment feeds every aspect of life. Being honest, some environmentalists without good scientific skills did do some damage to the legitimate groups by “freaking out” and over-stating things. That doesn’t nix that fact that we have a growing issue. Granted, some of it is cyclical and natural, but man is starting to kick start non-natural issues into gear. We need to stop or reverse that.

Here is my view: If we can make a rover to last 90 days on Mars and it ends up lasting over 4 years functioning well ….. we definitely have the technology for fully solar and electric cars to go mainstream – we just don’t want to kill the oil industry in a night. Look at diesel-electric trains – how long have they been around? Look at houses in California and Nevada that are completely off the grid. We have the technology.

Unfortunately we also have the politics.

At some point, the politics and other agendas will have to be put side – or we won’t be alive on this earth to have anything to be political about.


PS – Plant a tree and breath. Use a CFL bulb and breath better.

Kudos to The City Paper for a great article on how a political party can get clueless to the point that when the are standing on ground that melts their shoes … they still don’t get it.

Hating God – Doing It The Right Way

July 20, 2009 3 comments

swbtherantfilesCatchy title, right?

Well, this is a rant file, but a discussion also (feel free to weigh in with comments … appropriate comments only, please – anything against WordPress TOS will be immediately deleted). This blog is based on a true recent situation, so names, ages, times, places will be changed as one person involved is a minor, etc. Detailed descriptions of the situation will also not be given.

I’m a decent person (not perfect), I believe in God (probably not as strongly as I need to), I do my best to respect other’s beliefs (even if I do not agree with them – but that doesn’t mean I accept their beliefs), and I also do my best to not shove my beliefs down other people’s throats (which in the end makes people hate what you believe in). Unfortunately those are not standards others hold themselves too. Here is the story:

In the church I occasionally attend one of the music team’s band members brought a child from their family to church (mainly because he had to play – no other motives). Even if you don’t believe in God, churches are generally safe places for children to be. The child was close to the age of 8, and actually enjoyed the service with the family. She had heard about God previously -it’s hard not to, and due to the service that she enjoyed which included her dancing, actually listening to the whole service (kid’s that age just don’t do that) she decided she wanted to be baptized, and take communion, etc. She had experienced God’s love and decided she wanted to love Him back. She also wanted to take a mug home from the church because she wanted her parents to believe in God too. They are atheists. They don’t believe a God exists. It is a free country, and everyone is free to believe how they wish.

When it comes down to it, the child was simply treated in the church as a child should be – with respect and caring. If you are treated nicely like that how would you not want to be part of an organization like a church and want to to believe in God. Nobody coerced her or even told her that her parents were wrong in what they believe.

Here is the sad part. When the child went home, he father gave her (from what I understand) a very abusive tongue lashing about believing in God to the point where she was crying at the end of the conversation and saying something close to “I’m sorry Daddy for believing in God, but I can’t help it.” Thus comes the title “Hating God – Doing It The Right Way”. Personally, to me there is no way to “Hate God the right way” … but abusing your child because you hate anything is extreme and unacceptable.

Now, as I said, everyone has freedom of religion – or freedom on non-religion which allows you to teach your children the way you want and let them make their own decisions based on your teachings when they are adults. Unfortunately, the father of the child mentioned here doesn’t understand that the the freedom he has does not also give him the right to be verbally and mentally abusive to his child due to something you hate or not believe in. That is no different than any other form of child abuse.

Normally I do not ask for people to pray in my blog – but this time I am asking you to do that (or as least keep the child in your thoughts). If the father is willing to be that abusive to the child because she simply went to a church with family member – he will probably be willing to be much more abusive to the child through out her lifetime.

One pastor said something to me one time that made much sense – Atheists are the strongest believers in God, simply because how can you hate something so much that you believe doesn’t exist or you believe can’t exist? If it doesn’t exist, it’s of absolutely of no threat to you.

cluelesstrophyTherefore, we award the lastest “Clueless” Trophy to the father of the child mentioned in this blog posting. It’s sad that a father has to unleash his anger on a child because he is too much of a coward to unleash it on an adult that could actually fight back.


PS – No matter what a human believes in, they deserve respect from others (granted there are some majorly extreme cases that are exceptions to that rule).

Parental Capability Testing

July 9, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtherantfilesAlright … at this point I think we need to seriously consider doing some type of “Parental Capability Testing” before we allow certain human being to procreate or even handle children.

Click Here to read an article on The Pittsburgh Channel’s website as reported by Janelle Hall.

I’m not saying that we should do like some other countries and limit the amount or sex of the children being born, but merely test the want to be parents to make sure they are going to treat their future children to a complete life of hell.

This parent left her young child, supposedly alone with her 15 y.o. brother (who wasn’t there either) in a house with no utilities, etc and completely uninhabitable. The child was so scared at one point she was screaming out the window for help.  A neighbor stepped in an called the police.  Considering we are hearing about stories like this in a regular basis … some action needs taken.  Obviously families have stopped teaching the basics and common sense of humane treatment of children to their children.



Time for some complete incoherent babble

July 9, 2009 1 comment

coolstuff“Complete and incoherent babble” is cool stuff???


And very useful on top of that.

Think about it.

Here are some situations to enlighten y’all ….

  1. You are sitting in a local coffee shop, when a neighbor walks in and automatically sits down without asking (this is annoying, considering you probably went to the coffee shop to get away from them), and starts a continuous babble about her “cute” kids. Now, I have nothing against kids … but I have enough sense to know when people want quiet time. This is where complete and incoherent babble comes in. Learn a little bit about electronic, graphics, etc and then start explaining in detail how her cute kids pictures flow through a multi-layer computer processor. Your neighbor will grab an extra muffin just as an excuse to get away from you and immediately leave the coffee shop. You now have your quiet time back. See … cool stuff.
  2. Now for the second situation, you have to be a little more on the truly incoherent side. We’ll use a non commissioned electronics store as an example. We won’t mention names (B.B.) … but I’m sure that little hint will help. You go into these stores just to get the new Britney Spears cd (we are assuming you are about 14), and get continually hounded in each department for someone to help you – making the trip to the new Britney cd take four times longer than necessary. If you are near a convenient department like the plasma or lcd TVs, you could say something like “Flag burnings would look really cool on that fifty inch widescreen” to the salesman as he proceeds to get closer to you. Now, you don’t have anything against flag burnings, but most people try to stay away from conspiracy theory nuts … and mentioning flag burning is an indication you may be one of those nuts. Mention some other babble about still loving Sesame Street too. At that point, the plasma TV salesman will alert all other salespeople to watch you and just let you proceed on quietly until you leave … getting you to your new Britney CD much faster. Nothing sounds more like incoherent babble than a 14 to 25 year old talking about flag burning and Sesame Street in the same verbal paragraph.

Those are just two simple examples … but dream some up on your own (keep away from mentioning terrorists and bombs – they aren’t funny anymore), and you too will see how “complete and incoherent babble” can truly be “cool stuff”.


PS – If you lack the common sense to not know we were kidding about mentioning flag burning in a B.B. store … please seek professional help.

The Michael Jackson Effect

July 8, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtwitterBefore you going on thinking this is a tribute article, and that I’m a sobbing MJ fan … it’s not, and I’m not.

I do recognize MJ as one of the few artists that had enough true talent (not “Amercan Idol” talent) to really change an industry. There is much we can learn from MJ’s situation, as here are many not famous that experience the same.

  • MJ’s parents never really allowed him to be a child, and the music industry did not either. If you ever see a child experiencing life like that, treat that child and their parents to a day at an amusement park … you may change all their lives just by letting them see the lighter side of things.
  • He also got everything he wanted, just because of who he was. Sometimes “no” is the best thing a person can hear – especially if “yes” can potentially involve loss of life.
  • Trust and respect out of direct family and with the general masses is something MJ may have been at a loss on also. Although he had the respect of many, he probably could not trust many to like him for who he was inside, not who he was as n entertainer. He may have only been respected when he was who people wanted him to be. Be the person that likes a person for who they are, you may be just what they need to have a little faith in themselves.
  • MJ may have had everyone saying what he wanted to hear. Be the person that knows how to give people a chance to talking about their issues, but sensitively be able to give your opinion so they can have some valid information to make life decisions from.

Simply … be a friend that someone can trust and talk to. Yes, occasionally you will get burnt, but more so, you will see results that will make you smile.


PS – learn from the good points the MJ had, not the spin that everyone puts on an entertainer. learn about your neighbors from what you discover, not from the gossip around town.

Categories: columns, FYI, opinion, Random

Cat’s Call … he needs to think

July 7, 2009 1 comment

swbtherantfiles… and SWB’s Call is that maybe Cat needs to read her own stuff.

Click Here to read the article we are speaking of.

SB thinks Cat’s response to the article s that of a typical man hater.  Sorry Cat, but we call it as it is.

In the article the man speaks about thinking of cheating because the sex has fizzled in his marriage.  He has obviously tried a little and obviously discussed things with his wife (more then most men have the sense to do), but Cat, in her response, accused him of doing nothing.

Now I’m taking a wild guess that if it was the woman complaining, Cat would gladly respond by telling the reader to get a new guy that will complete her needs.

Cat also mentioned that the wedding vows didn’t include a sex pact …..not legally, but, when you get married you become one and your duties include meeting each other’s needs within reason.  If sex is part of that need, it is not to be ignored, not even for children.  Sex is part of a healthy marriage, just as much as the mental, emotional, and spiritual parts.  If the marriage is not healthy, neither will be the children.

To the guy thinking about cheating ….. if you are thinking about anyone else other than your wife you are cheating already.  Cheating is not an answer, and never should be in a marriage.  To the wife ….. if you are ignoring your husband, eventually he will ignore you, and your marriage will be no more – and you both will probably destroy your children mentally.

Cat … your advice on cheating is correct, but going at it from the aspect that only the guy needs to do something is incorrect, as both parties need to deal with their issues equally.

To the guy in the article again ….. if you married your wife because of great sex, you need a serious attitude change.  That’s not what marriage was made for.

Unbiased advice, please Cat … if not, you will destroy more marriages than cheating husbands possibly can.


Gamers Get Cultural

July 7, 2009 2 comments

coolstuffHow do you get gamers off the couch and into Heinz Hall?

You bring “Video Games Live” to Pittsburgh and add the PSO and Mendelssohn Choir to it.

It would be nice to say this is a first, especially with the PSO involved, but it isn’t. This show has already taken place in multiple countries (which many subsidize the show to help get a younger generation involved with culture).

Considering that many games soundtracks are not rock oriented (and even if they are, many of the producers are classically trained anyway), the mix of culture and gaming has a chance to gel well. Shelly Fuerte of the PSO has experienced the show prior to coming to Pittsburgh, and the success was mentioned to PSO president Larry Tamburri.

Click Here for info on the event this weekend, or Click Here to read the article by Sharon Eberson of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

swbkudos2A definite Kudos from SWB to the best symphony in the world (and it’s staff) for breaking generational walls to bring culture into everyone’s lives.

Continue on … we need more of this in Pittsburgh.



PS – hmmmm ….. I wonder if you get a free Mario Bros. bobble head if you are one of the first 300 or so? …. 🙂

The PSO will be listed in SWB Recommends

Review: Lakemont Park in Altoona PA

July 6, 2009 1 comment

lakemontparkcaptureCapture from Lakemont Park’s website – click it to go there. Going through bad economic times, like everyone else SWB was looking for a great place to take his family for the 4th Of July.

We had know about Lakemont Park for a while, but never visited. This year we went. The 4th Of July deal is $5 ride-all-day. It was well worth it.

If you are not familiar, or never noticed Lakemont on one of WQED’s specials, it is a traditional family picnic park. Don’t go running there thinking you are getting a miniature Kennywood – your aren’t. Think over-sized carnival. It does hold one of the original and longest running wooden roller coasters in the world (click here for the park’s history), and a nice traditional wooden roller coaster – along with a great collection of rides the whole family can enjoy. The promotions in the park are truly amazing.

Although small, Lakemont is really worth the drive due to the perks below:

  • It’s Clean ….. it’s REALLY clean. I would eat off their sidewalks, even at the end of the day.
  • It’s extremely family oriented – there are even several model railway train displays to view.
  • People bring in their own chairs, tents, and grills (I even spotted a few people bringing in smokers) – no kidding.
  • Paddle Boats are included in the ride-all-day ticket. You have to wait a long while, but then again you don’t have to pay an hourly fee.
  • Everything is very accessible in the park for large, small, and handicapped.
  • The promotions and pricing and geared to bringing you back more than once per summer.
  • You can easily enjoy this park for under $50 for a family of four.

In our opinion, Lakemont Park made our 4th Of July, and we will keep supporting them so others can experience the same.

Lakemont will be listed on SWB Recommends.


PS – you gotta get the jumbo corn dogs … really!

Pittsburgh 4th Of July Fireworks 2009

July 6, 2009 Leave a comment

swbtherantfilesVery simple post here.

Notice to Mayor and EQT …

Pittsburgh does the Pittsburgh 4th Of July *Zambelli* Fireworks show, a tradition we are internationally known for and the residents of Pittsburgh Expect.

Thanks for ruining one of the biggest traditions in Pittsburgh.


PS – We used to support Mayor Opie … no more.

BTW – we usually like to add a little quick witted humor, but that’s not possible here.

Review: The 4th and Family Fun – Four Great Parks

July 1, 2009 1 comment

fireworksIt’s that time of the year for the summer memories to start – and that may be a little harder this year. It’s getting closer to the 4th weekend and with the economy, everyone is going back to the family parks and avoiding the big-box parks like Disney. even Kennywood is going past the ticket price for most Pittsburghers.

There are a few cool parks out there, three in PA (one struggling and could use the business) and one up in New York that I’d like to mention.

  • The first one is Waldameer Park in Erie, PA – There are many perks to this park: Free Parking, Free Entry, Very Reasonable ride all day tickets, separate ride tickets, good prices on food …. and it’s right next to the Lake Erie beaches and Sarah’s and Sally’s. It’s a very cool, traditional, family picnic park with a great new wooden rollercoaster.
  • The second one is Lakemont Park (where I’ll probably end up for the 4th of July). Lakemont is another park opened in 1894 with a a great trolley park history. The deals here are amazing ($9.95 ride and slide all day ticket), on the 4th, I believe is $5 all day, etc. The other promotions they do make it well worth the 2.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh.
  • The third one in PA is Conneaut Lake Park – Conneaut was once the place I spend every weekend at. Now, and since 1992 it has been struggling hard. That doesn’t mean don’t go there – but go there, volunteer to get some work done, and tell the management you want it the way it was. You can be park of reviving a park that can give families years of great vacations. The town of Conneaut is a wonderful visit also with a well established winery, great antiques store (say ‘Hi” to Bernie if you go there), and of course food and and abundance of weekend yard sales.
  • The last one, not in PA, but in Grand Island, NY is Martin’s Fantasy Island. Martin’s isn’t the only attraction. If you don’t know, Grand Island, NY sits right in the middle of the Niagara river … 15 minutes from the American side of Niagara falls. You are on an island with some very scenic bike trails, boating, fishing spots, riverside hotels (many pet friendly), and a short distance from the falls. It’s easy to make a week vacation on Grand Island. The four hour drive is well worth it. You’ll spend half the price here for a week family vacation, and still be able to make everyone in the family happy.


PS – Big box is great ….. but ma and pa have the hot sausage sandwiches everyone loves (along with grandmas sitting on benchs with extra ride tickets).