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Screaming Weasel

May 9, 2018 Leave a comment
cluelessandconfusedbw

Yep … that’s us!

A bit about “us” – since many have only been introduced to us recently, and nobody ever reads the “about” tab – and honestly, some time we just put things in it to be goofballs.

Most of the time it’s me, the author, Lawrence Capozzolo (signed SWB). An American, or Italian/German American, or mutt, or one of the people that’s paying a mortgage to house my step-daughter’s four furry critters (two dogs, a cat, and a rat). We’re pretty sure the animals had their lawyer get their names on the deed for the house too. They may have taken ours off at this point.

SWB started originally started in 2006 when I purchased my G4 iBook and it had iWeb on it. I made my first posting after I noticed a blog called That’s Church (I’m pretty sure that was still its title back then – but I’m getting old, and memories fade fast now … so I could be incorrect.) The person writing “That’s Church” eventually went on to write for Pittsburgh Magazine.  Although my blog become popular in about fifteen countries doing about 1.2 million hits a year, I chose getting back into I.T. work (I could have been smarter and went back to school for carpentry or plumbing or HVAC …. but NO, I stuck with I.T.) therefore still writing but not keeping it up eventually doing it professionally.

The blog was started, like others at the time as a rant blog (humorous rant). I figured people would find humor in the annoying blabberings of us tech types, and I was right. Now that I’m close to 50 (ok …. REALLY close) I’m getting back into writing for it and doing photography for it again (unless otherwise stated – those photos are really mine) basically because of ageism (tech is becoming like the NFL … if you didn’t get your first Ferrari right in the beginning, the youngin’s aren’t going to give you a chance to get one now … you’re too old to work in tech) I’m back to writing. I like doing it anyway.

I don’t know if I’ll get my numbers back up or if I’ll ever get a donation (but although I’m not a non-profit, please keep in mind I have to replace two cars, a furnace, and put a kid through university – so have a heart, consider donating).  Right now I do a little sound engineering work, etc – waiting to get back into tech if I ever do.  If I just end up writing, better yet.

Back to SWB. It will continue to be a showcase for humorous rant, really bad poetry, attempts at legitimate poetry, and whatever gets thrown into it. Some others may write for it (if they do you will know). If you like the writing, please like the posts or blog – if you really like it – follow, if you think I should put it into a book – donate. Remember, books still do things like enabling me to generate enough money to donate to others that love to do what writers love to do.

The photography is also part of the showcasing in SWB, I’ve been doing this since the age of 13 …. so 36 years. You’ll notice various formats (slide, digital, modified, etc). The other site I write for Pittsburgh By Mini Cam is designed to be for low-res photography.

Yes … we do on purpose write badly, strangely, and horrendously (this is different from “badly” as it indicates a “graduate” level of “bad”). We try to make you think by readings that make you feel that Scotty forgot to but a few brain atoms back into you after beaming you up.

We just have fun.

… and we do consider padded rooms to be ultra comfy posh places. The straight jackets are slightly annoying though – especially when you have to type with your teeth.

We are the late show, art gallery, literary short, stand up comedian, sitcom, political humorist, poetm, life loving, opinionated schmucked (buggered for the British folks) up oxygen breathing carbon based units that you will hopefully learn to as least like. If not, click the “like” button anyway – people lie all the time.

-Lawrence A Capozzolo

SWB – “making legimate writer groan in agony”

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Giving it some gas

May 2, 2018 Leave a comment
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“The Pump” (c)Lawrence A Capozzolo

… actually more like filling up the tank.

BTW … this is a keyhain camera (Vivitar Digital Mini Camera) pic of the Citgo in Sewickley, PA – which I believe may possibly be the very last full service station in the country. I think we need to get it put on the national list of historic sites (and immediately after install a row of Tesla charging stations next to the gas pumps just to see the confused looks).

… so, getting on with it.

Since SWB is sort of revived (actually it’s becoming more of the defunct Confused Words poetry blog than Confused Words was … although I think someone took over that blog name on WordPress), we are going to try to revive a unique photo blog we started specifically for Art All Nigh in 2010 (if I remember correctly) – Pittsburgh By Mini Cam. The photo blog was specifically for images taken with those Digital Mini Cameras found in most Pharmacy stores for about $10 each. You know, the little cameras with imagers worse than a 1990s $5 web camera? Yep … those little things on the end of a keychain that make you wonder if you accidentally ate a handful of magic mushrooms after looking at the images.

Those cameras, albeit with their horrible images, are just plain fun …. because you have no idea what you took until you download them …. sort of like using a GoPro with really really really (x50 here) bad quality.

Many equate them to the cheap plastic cameras of the 50s and 60s or the discount single use cameras of the 80s. They take crap, but it’s just plain fun.

Anywayz … watch the site Pittsburgh By Mini Cam for new entries.

The first image series kicking the site back off will be from Sewickley and War Memorial Park near Pittsburgh PA.

-SWB

 

What to do about all that food (from our friends at Marty’s)

September 21, 2012 Leave a comment

From home kitchens to industrial-sized farms, food waste is a constant challenge, too often ignored or unseen.  The horror of food waste can only be truly measured in response to those people throughout the world (and in the U.S.) who are categorized as food insecure.

The problem with the problem of food waste (still following?) is that we tend to compartmentalize the issues.  Food security and access are often tackled as a distinct issues.  The labor, energy, fertilizers, nutrients and compost needed to grow food that is never harvested, never brought to market or brought home are losses absorbed by farmers, and that’s ….. click here to read the article.

It’s Monday, and there’s no mourning.

September 17, 2012 1 comment

They won …. which makes for a happy Monday.  Pic by Matt Freed/Post-Gazette.

Click Here for the PG Article.

The Steelers are off to a good start, which makes SWB happy.  When they lose, we have to suffer through the Monday morning mourning. You know, after a Steeler’s loss the traffic is slower, the coffee shop patrons take longer to pay for their drinks, road-rage is times ten, etc.

Everything changes when the Steelers win in Pittsburgh.

Now, if the the Steelers could rub off on the Pirates just a tad more.

Anyway … thanks Steelers … your win means less headaches for this weasel one this beautiful Monday mourning-less morning.

-SWB

Out Of A Coma

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

We’re back …. or at least out of a coma.

Slightly after our little stint of “help” from the folks at Sophisticated Pittsburgh on upping our number of blog writers, they in fact lost many of theirs.  In other words people got real jobs, go married, or just disappeared of the face of the earth at SP.  As a result, we are coming back to our original self.

So, about our original self. The blog experimentally started in 2005, and was moved to .mac via the Apple iWeb.  We started writing around the time that PittGirl, CafeWitness, and others started and gained one of the top growing blog rankings ending up with 2000 readers per day, across 15 countries while on the .mac site.

That actually scared us, considering the amount of vomit we spewed out in those days along with the other rant blogs.  I’m not sure we’ll be as harsh these days, but we’ll try.

BTW – while we were hosting on .mac, Apple kindly asked us to move our site due to their product not being originally made for the amount of throughput we were getting.

So, around Spring of 2008 we moved to WordPress.

The Weasel is back, and we will be blowing word chunks as far as possible.

Cheers

-SWB

PowerUp Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh Jobs

October 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Here we go again …. another program destined to make Pittsburgh great.

PowerUp Pittsburgh (click here to learn more from the Post-Gazette article), will supposedly spider out the successes of the technology and health industries in Oakland.  Some of that has already happened, but PowerUp is supposed to help fill in dying area (where businesses have moved out, etc).  We encourage you to really read the article as it explains the project much better than SWB possibly could.

We are not going to bash the program at all, but in fact we are going to thank Mayor Luke and all involved to get this ball rolling.

Why are we thanking them?  Well, it’s because they aren’t starting with a completely written-in-stone plan.

Why is this good? Because Pittsburgh residents and workers (or more likely ex-workers) still have the time to try and influence it.

So why should ‘Burghers think about trying to influence the program and why did we initially say “Here We Go Again” like we were going to blast the program? One simple reason … we’ve done this before and by the definition of those programs they’ve been wildly successful.

For example, programs to bring industries into Pittsburgh have brought companies like Google, Seagate (now gone, but they came), and other prestigious names into the area … but there is one problem with the available jobs from those companies – they require a Masters or Phd.  So basically the people in the that have lost jobs in Pittsburgh cannot re-acquire employment with the education and skills that they already have because they don’t have that new shiny piece of paper.  Keep in mind many of these people are like me and have 25 years of tech experience with up to date technologies and have massive management and professional skills gained over 25 years of employment.  What people like me don’t have is another $100k to land an entry level position for about $40k.  If you want a decent job today, you are looking at $120k to possibly $250k by the graduation time.  Do the math on that one.  If you gain a decent job (even $50k/yr starting) once you subtract your financial aid payments, you are lucky to make rent payments in a low income housing project (but you aren’t allowed to live there because you now have a good job making $50k/yr).  The chances you have of making a life event remotely close to the quality of the one your parents had is slim and next to nil. Even with the great education … that is until your schooling is paid off, around the age of 65.  So what’s left if you can’t affored the re-ed? … the $8 to $12/hr jobs that still leave you homeless, but with enough money to at least buy clothes so you don’t get arrested for lewdness when you are dumpster-diving at your local McD’s because you can’t even afford to eat there.  So let’s get to your children’s education … it ain’t gonna happen.  Even if you wanted them to go to college you’ve already blown their higher education savings for yourself so you can get back to work.  Nothing left …. sorry kid.

So why do we rant about the above …. isn’t any jobs coming in good jobs?  Yes, and don’t stop supporting the programs that get in place and attract jobs, everything helps.  What people do need to do though is remind those doing the programs that they need to remember those skills already in the area (not the skills they want to attract to the area) so that the people already losing homes, families, and hope can get back to work and recover.  It’s great when new things appear (I lived in SouthSide Words when it was being built, and then the Cork Factory) and that was a wonderful experience.  but now, like many others in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas we watch program after program that helps people come into the city, gain skills, and take them back out … but programs continually totally forget those skills already in place.

I no longer live in the new places because we all forgot to fight to keep our jobs here, and allowed greed to move them out. There is this new re-outsourcing thing.  India, Russia, and others are so overloaded with tech jobs that they no longer have enough skilled persons to do them that they are bringing the jobs back to the US … at their pay levels.  So that job you were paid $30/hr for is not at a rate of about $11 to $13 per hour.  Most of those jobs were illegal to obtain by foreigners that moved to the US, unless there were no US citizens to do them.  So we forgot about our own, and never did any of these new programs address that.

The one key thing that all these wonderful programs forget is that this city at one time was made into and international wonder simply because everyone here supported each other and didn’t forget where we came from.

We’re forgetting … and we are allowing those running programs to forget also.

Don’t let them forget why Pittsburgh was what it was and could be greater if we once again rely on that key thing … building each other up.

Why was Steve Jobs so revered?  He never forgot, and he never stopped pushing those below him to be as passionate as he was.  We need to relearn that.

-SWB

New Blog – Confused Words

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Screaming Weasel would like to invite you to check out a new blog by one of our former listing author’s.  Please Click Here or on the image to read on ….