Archive

Archive for the ‘Article/Blog’ Category

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 ….

Hearing Voices

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

In A quote (we cropped the it for our use) from WPXI onTwitter, the following was said:

“Monaca To Test Voice Warning System: Monaca residents will be hearing voices around noon…”

OK, ummmm ……..

Maybe Dr Phil can help?

…. oops, sorry – wrong network.

-SWB

The Weiner Effect – and the lacking of spines in the world

June 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Well, this was a hard one (no pun intended ….. and if you thought it was, get your head out of the gutter!).  We had a difficult (better choice of word here) time figuring where to put this.  Should it be under Rants?  Should it be under Clueless Awards? Not sure …. hmmmm.  Finally we decided on “So Stupid it could happen”.

Are we going to get on Mr. Weiner (click here to read the related USA Today article if you are clueless on Mr. W) on his apparent bad choices in lack of appropriate coverage?  Nope …… got enough tabloids doing that (and they’re all thanking Anthony for providing the photos they don’t have to take hours photo-shopping).  So what are we going to do, you ask with a confused smirk on your face?

Get to the root cause, as SWB loves to do (we said we were going to clean up the blog a bit when Sophisticated Pittsburgh took it over, but we didn’t agree to look the other way when someone places a six-foot diameter lit up neon bulls eye on their own head).

The polititio’s (new word created by SWB this second … we’ll trade you for a BMW for the rights to the word once it gets popular), have been quiet around the world except for standard stuff … so we’ve been quiet. But …………. courtesy of Mr. Weiner (my wife giggles every time she’s hears his name …), we now have a reason to write.

Well, Mr. W (or whatever you are calling him now) made a mistake many are making.  That’s right, he’s human and made a mistake.  Unfortunately he didn’t have the common sense to realize that he’s under the view of a 3000 watt spot light at all times.  See …. we’re getting to a root cause of the problem, or at least a secondary root cause at this point … common sense.

Why is common sense only the secondary root cause to the problem of Mr. W having none of it to use while texting semi birthday suit pics on himself to someone other than his wife? Weight … lots of it.  The problem with weight is its controlled by gravity.  The only thing that keeps the weight of common sense from crashing to the ground and turning into a pool of single-celled useless sludge is a spine (of as us Americans like to call it … backbone).

A spine …. it’s that thing that keeps your body from collapsing to the ground.  Backbone … it’s that thing that keeps you life from crashing to the ground due to mistakes you make in life because they are corrected or contained by the common sense that the backbone holds up.

Where is one place we get that backbone?  School.  Yup. Early on in life many things started to build up our backbone, and one of then was our experiences in school. You made mistakes in school, whether it be to slander another and have to pay for it later.  You may have been made fun of and reacted in a bad way.  You may have done something inappropriate (which is the PC word for “you did something some parent of some kid didn’t like and complained about).  But …… you handled it, you learned from it, you build up a backbone from it, because those adults in charge around you guided you – but didn’t handle it for you.  You learned how to treat those around you with respect and courtesy and began to learn what was right to do and what was wrong to do by trial and error. That’s how a backbone gets built.  Nobody can build it for you … it has to be left to form by itself with guidance.  Forming a good solid backbone is not always meant to feel good.

So where is this going?

We may be wrong, but we’re going to say that Mr W is the product of one of those schools where students are meant to “feel good about themselves all the time” and every issue is handled by the adults in charge to make sure that the students know how to act appropriately and not make and other student not feel bad.  Yep … the “if Johnny goes home crying for one day, he’s going to be scared for life” attitude.

Great idea, but when a backbone is not allowed to develop because any learning via the normal “pain, hurt, and general unpleasentries of the world” is removed, a backbone will not be built, and if by chance it does get built, it will have so many holes in it the result will be eventual collapse. The collapse of a backbone leads to the definite collapse of a spine.

Where is this going? Well, if Mr. W had built up a better backbone early on in life, maybe he wouldn’t be bringing such shame to his family, spouse, political party, and adding to the shame of the country he is representing.

Our country a great one, not just because of the freedom, but because of the unique peoples it creates via the being the melting pot of the world. You get the development of top-notch technology, top-notch health care and more because of this.  Unfortunately many are beginning to see low-life politicians leading to the view of this country by others are a land now void of backbone … what people know and recognize as what built America, and one of the few things that can sustain it.

“So Stupid It Could Happen” is not the fact that Mr Weiner was dumb enough to do what he did, but the fact that people like him with a lacking of common sense to correct or contain the mistakes they make (in his case, the lack of ability to “Man Up” and deal with your mistakes before getting pushed into the corner and forced to do it).

Do we thinks that Mr. W is correct is apologizing and staying in his position so he can now try to build up a backbone?  Yes … second chances are necessary to build up character and even a backbone.  We’ll see where it goes.

Take a look at Mr. Weiner and you get an in your face welcome to the what is most likely the product of the now in fruition product of America’s new “feel good” education.

‘Nuff Said

-SWB