“We can do it, this year!”

Grand Canyon website: “250 people are rescued from the canyon each year.”

I’d like to thank you all for being here. We are laughed at, we’re scorned, mocked … sometimes by the very people sent out to rescue us. But we are not – I repeat, not – quitters! And so, as I stand before this huge, immense, intimidating wonder-of-the-world, as I begin yet another precarious plunge, I do so knowing that I am not alone.  Indeed, I don’t think I would attempt this, year after year, without you, my 249 closest friends.

I know we had a rough 2015, and 2014 wasn’t very good, let alone 2013 and 2012…

But this year, we will not – I repeat, NOT – need to be rescued! I know it’s getting dark, but let’s get going. Anyone remember water, this time? … Oh well, no worries, I’m sure we’ll find some, along the way.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Yo, Rocky! (no, not that one …)

Tribune Review review, Sept. 16, 2015:
By Tom Scanlon

The Steelers dynasty may have found its Homer.

Unlike his famous teammates, Rocky Bleier was never an All Pro. Yet he may be a Hall of Fame storyteller, judging by the debut of Rocky the Raconteur.

The official title is “The Play: With Rocky Bleier” — and the title was the only slightly clunky thing about a polished one-man show.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/theaterarts/9102449-74/bleier-rocky-steelers#ixzz3pDh6Xdqi

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“Controversial” (or was it pedestrian?) story on the dangers of walking in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette essay on “R.I.P in Pittsburgh” and comments:

By Tom Scanlon

By the time you read this, I will probably be dead.

No worries, it’s completely my fault, as I engage in extremely risky behavior. I’m not a sky diver, drug taker, mountain climber, train hopper or mixed martial arts fighter, and I don’t participate in the Running of the Bulls.

My hobby is far more hazardous than all those and more, as I am a Pittsburgh pedestrian.

I know I should stop, but I can’t.

How did I start? Probably when I lived in pedestrian-friendly cities, like San Francisco and Seattle. In San Francisco, I remember walking from one end of the city — the Financial District — to the far end — the aptly-named Sunset District — pausing only for refreshments at neighborhood bars, often walking down the middle of streets. It should be noted that this was in the 1990s, before Facebook, Yahoo and hundreds of start-ups landed and took over the city, like techie Martians.

Later, I roamed up to the Northwest, to what was a sort of pedestrian Mecca; I imagine thousands of faithful walking for miles to Seattle, in order to … walk some more.

In Seattle, drivers hold crosswalks as sacred as hunters cherish the Second Amendment; instead of the Right to Bear Arms, in Starbucksville they celebrate the Right to Cross Streets.

Let’s say you are walking up Pike Street through the drizzle and are about 10 paces from a mid-block crosswalk. A Seattle driver coming ripping through the rain will brake hard, waiting for you to catch up — IN CASE you want to cross the street. And if you get to the crosswalk but have no intention to cross, waving the car on to signal you’re continuing on this side of the street, the driver will continue, but with a frown of disappointment.

Different story, here — but you know that, as you’re a Pittsburgh driver.

When you are driving and you see a pedestrian up ahead tentatively leaning into a crosswalk, you lift your right foot off the gas pedal — only to give you some momentum before stomping it down. You’re being courteous: The sound of your revving engine will serve as a warning to the walker, who, in most cases, will be me.

Being slow to react, I will leap back to the relative safety of the sidewalk (assuming it isn’t blocked by parked cars) as you speed by, screaming out your window, “Get a car, loser!”

Thinking about it, it seems to me that Pittsburgh drivers aren’t any more aggressive and unforgiving than, say, New York City drivers. But in Manhattan, herds of pedestrians cross streets; New York drivers would love to rip through crosswalks and send walkers scurrying, but they would be attacked by hundreds of angry foot soldiers.

Rather than platoons of pedestrians, here, it seems, it’s just pretty much me, an unarmed army of one ambling along in an enemy uniform (San Francisco Giants cap, Seattle flannel jacket). Perhaps the crosswalks on my South Side path should have crosshairs?

Please don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating for Pittsburgh drivers to be more wary of and/​or courteous to pedestrians. I understand deeply in-bred cultural mores and merely think some warning signs might be wise, to protect those new to town.

At a busy intersection, when the traffic light turns green for cars and the pedestrian sign shifts from a red hand to a white man (racist/​sexist?), it might be good to add a subtitle, stating “AT YOUR OWN RISK!” Or, “IF NO CARS ARE COMING AND BE SNAPPY ABOUT IT!” Or, for a more subtle touch, a soundtrack of mocking laughter.

Better yet, so as not to disturb you hurrying drivers in the least, how about having elevated zip lines at each intersection? Pedestrians would climb up to a platform elevated a good 15 feet off the ground, then just zip over to the other side — as cars and trucks rumble by underneath.

You’re right, Pittsburgh’s probably not quite ready for that. Maybe when the Lawrencevillers start to get some political traction …

As for me, I’ll be long gone, as I have accepted my fate. On a gray, drizzly day, I’ll have a flashback to being in Seattle, come to a crosswalk and, with that Northwestern pedestrian confidence, stride across without hesitation.

I apologize in advance to the driver who, scrolling through his phone app to find the least-trafficked way home, hears a strange “THUNK” as he runs over me. After the briefest of pauses, he will shrug his shoulders and stomp on the gas pedal, muttering, “These potholes! What’s that app to report them?”

Tom Scanlon is a freelance journalist/​social services worker living on the South Side, where he is likely to meet his end (tomscanlonsblog@gmail.com).

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mexican prison officials: “We had no idea it was a tunnel …

…Shorty told us he was putting in a hot tub.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“London is to the billionaire…

…as the jungles of Sumatra are to the orangutan.” Boris (!) Johnson, mayor of London, radio interview.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

It was a very good year – for local real estate

Home sale prices up in all four quad cities – and Obama plan may fuel sales. Story

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar series: Savings through the roof

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The crowdfunding revolution

No money? No business plan? No problem!

Daily Courier story

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Prescott: Home of the Friendly Ghosts

No “Amityville Horror” terrorizing or “The Shining” bloodbaths in Prescott, where lodging ghosts seem more ready to charm than harm.

Daily Courier story

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oil prices falling like drunken ice skater

“Vladimir Putin doesn’t like this trend – not one bit.

But Jackie Cole thinks it’s great”

Daily Courier storyEmbedded image permalink

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obama: “If Republicans won’t try to impeach me … I’ll impeach myself!”

Threatens executive order. Republicans decry “publicity stunt.” Ted Cruz: “Who does he think he is – Cleavon Little?”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please join me in my drive to stamp out the whistling cell phone ring

Your contribution of as low as $1 and as high as infinity will help me make society a less annoying place to live.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please join me in my fight to outlaw “Selfies”

We must stop this, NOW, before it’s too late!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obama: “You CAN keep your doctor. As a friend.”

White House insider says Prez’s “you can keep your doctor under the new plan” quote was “taken out of context. He meant you can always stay on close terms with your doctor — there’s absolutely nothing in the Affordable Care Act that says you can’t be friends with your old doctor on Facebook. You can go golfing together, catch a movie — whatever! And, even if your doctor isn’t covered by your ACA plan, there’s nothing that says your doc can’t treat you on a pro bono level.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snowden: NSA hacking Netflix accounts! (White House denies “any and all knowledge of this or anything else bad”)

German Chancelor Merkel: “I thought something was funny, when I got a documentary on J. Edgar Hoover, instead of ‘The Obama Deception.'” White House denies “any and all knowledge of this or anything else bad.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NFL’s MVP (Most Valuable Punk) is . . .

Richie Incomprehensible! (Who else?!) He wins a bag of flies . . . and tearing the wings of them will give him hours of fun!

. . . More on the “All-Punk Team” later.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Watch this clip . . . and then buy an “I Heart Antonio Smith” T-shirt


Proceeds of sales for research on a cure for meatheaditis.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hollywood producer offers “role of lifetime” to Incognito: “Dumb and Homophobicer”

Pouncey to co-star . . . if he can stay out of jail.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Precedents Day! Vote on your favorite Precedent:

a) Extended Happy Hour

b) Casual Friday

c) “Twates” (Twitter Dating)

d) Medical Marijuana To Treat Colds (“Stone a Cold, Tweak a Fever”)

e) Unattended Kids Running and Screaming Through Stores

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Report: NFL lockerrooms will have “Towel Marshals”

Federal agents, similar to Air Marshals, to enforce new anti-bullying, sexual harassment etc. regulations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Putin wears Pussy Riot T-shirt, but experts say “his smile is obviously fake”

Pussy Riot in turn stages protest concerts, pledging “we won’t stop playing in churches until he takes off our T-shirt!”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tea Party Celebrates Cold Snap!

Outdoor rallies across Midwest, claiming “extreme cold temperatures disprove — again — the Global Warming Obamamyth!” Rallies deemed a success, though dozens of Tea Partiers taken to ER’s for pneumonia and flu-like syndromes.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Obamacare “Black Friday Specials”

Presidential announcement coming soon: “Anyone who makes a Black Friday purchase of insurance on the ACA exchange will receive, in addition to deep discounts on excellent plans, two free co-pays.” 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Found Stuff: “My Favoritest Movies, Ever”

Found a couple creepy, hand-written lists (I’ll save the “Best Scarey Movies” for Halloween) on an empty table at Scottsdale’s Mustang Library:

My Favoritest Movies, Ever

1) The Psycho.

“The Shower Scene” has to be the sexiest, ever! This is the best Albert Hitchcock movie (except maybe “The Halloween.”) He is, truly, an ingenious.

2) My Dog Skipped.

For those who havent’ seen it, I wont’ give away the ending. But I cried like a baby when the kid died.

3) Harold & Mod.

The old lady is hilarious! I love it when she swears! Very sexy. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“Obamacardiac Arrest” epidemic?

According to unconfirmed reports, dozens — and possibly scores — of applicants for the so-called “Obamacare” health-care reform are becoming so frustrated by applications that suddenly delete, options that take forever to show up and other problems with crashing Affordable Health Care websites that they are suffering heart attacks at their computers. Tea Party officials are pointing to the “Obamacardiac Arrest” epidemic as another reason to crash the entire system.

Meantime, administration officials remain skeptical of these unconfirmed reports, suggesting Tea Party propaganda. One official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told a reporter that he had heard the Tea Party was setting up ailing, elderly folks in front of computers, clicking on healthcare.gov and “just waiting for them to die. This is the most heartless, cynical strategy the world has ever seen. Ever.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment