Bringing home the silver

It was just announced that I, along with a co-worker, won a Silver Accolade Award from Council for the Advancement & Support of Education (CASE), District II. The award is for the work we did on the Walking Tour of Downtown Pittsburgh which is available for download in 10 different languages and featured on VisitPittsburgh.com.

I’ve won awards in the past but this is the first for work that wasn’t given from the place I’ve been employed from or from a charity so needless to say I’m pretty stoked.

The tours were the first assignment I had when I was hired so I have a soft spot for them. They are downloadable as mp3’s and, having tested myself, go along great with the walk. I’d like to think of what we could do next with them though.

This is another one of those things on my “ok, what can we do next with it” list.

thoughts from the crazy faux beard guy at 2am


I don’t go back to work for 10 days still and to say I’m going stir crazy is putting it mildly. While I’m sitting in my chair in the wee hours of the morning rocking back and forth mumbling to myself, I have had a lot of time to think about what to do next.

I haven’t shaved since I went on holiday break. I haven’t been able to grow one for more than a month without something coming up so I have to get it ready for the NHL playoffs.

I’m anxious to work on the basement still. Currently its occupied with too much Christmas throw up that needs to be boxed up. Then there is all of the crap Capt. Obvious left behind when we bought the house from him. I can’t wait to see my floor again.

Sickpuppy bought me a homebrewing kit as a housewarming gift last year. Its still sitting in the box since I don’t have room to use it yet. This spring I’m putting it to use.

The other night I came up with ideas for 2 web series I’d like to get started and a mini documentary that I’ve been floating around for awhile. I’m not sure how much podcasting in 2011 will be done with all I have going on so hey why not add on more to that load.

I need sleep. Teaspoon will be up in a few hours and we get to start everything all over again.

Thank you 2010! pt 2


July

We did that moving thing which pretty much consumed our entire month and turned in our keys to the skid row of Cranberry. The sky was more blue that day and birds chirp was sweeter. SIDT was featured as a “What’s Hot” on iTunes. I think the summer heat made people delusional 🙂

August
I had my first tour of the Pens new home, Consol Energy Center. This was big for me because, well hockey is life.

September
Its official, baby 2 is on the way. We had known for a few months but finally made it public. Steel City Big Pour 4 was a huge event for SIDT. Our second booth allowed us to play more with the live podcast plan. Well recorded live but it was still cool to have beer runners and brewers coming up asking to talk to us. All of this was made possible from our live debut at the Big Tap In back in April which we’ll be doing again in 2011. I did my first solo session at Podcamp Pittsburgh. It was a blast because for once I wasn’t talking about SIDT but social media in higher ed. I love social media. I love to talk about it and I love help people understand it. I should probably be charging for it but honestly with my schedule its more of a hassle to figure out a rate structure. Though, that was 2010 thinking, we’ll see about 2011. Daddy has some diapers to pay for 🙂

October
Fun thing about being a dad, taking the kid to the pumpkin farm. Pens open their new barn and while I loved the place there was a lot to work on. I found my first grey hair. *UGH* 5 year wedding anniversary proved that we just lost track of time making babies. I found something in my basement while cleaning that was totally badass. A rather preggers Lushie chased kids down the street for smashing our pumpkin and made one wet his pants.

November
Lushie and Jackson went away for one last weekend so I lived it up and had some of the best Pho in the area after a night at the BEV Lounge. Teaspoon microwaved his sneakers and I haven’t stopped laughing since. Lushie was told to take it easy so I cooked the entire Thanksgiving meal. Everyone survived. SIDT was named a finalist in the Podcast Awards for the 3rd time.

December
Lushie and I took an afternoon to ourselves and visited the Vatican Splendors. Most people don’t think of me as the religious type but hey, you learn something new about me. We took our former landlord to court and won our security deposit back. Funny that we had to “win” back our own money rightfully owed to us. It also taught me about how dishonest and shady people can be even when they swear they’re honest. This Christmas holiday I also got the greatest gift of all, my son Owen. With that I published a log of everything I was thinking from conception to birth. Final cap of the year was getting tickets to the Winter Classic Alumni Game and Winter Classic.

2010 was an incredibly busy year. More than we ever anticipated and I’ve never been so overwhelmed in my life. Its because of everything I have learned this past year that in 2011 I’m going to shift gears and focus more on my family, the house and my career. I graduate in June so that will be one burden off my shoulders. School, work, buying a house, moving, trying to get it organized, having a baby, trying to get SIDT to the next level and getting a side writing job off the ground was intense and I realized I need more balance.

We’ll see what 2011 has in store.

Thank you 2010! pt 1

I never thought about it until a few people asked me if I was going to do a recap of 2010 as I did 2009. What the hell why not! Lord knows it was a batshit crazy year!  I’ll break this up into 2 parts so you don’t fall asleep.

January 2010
Still early into my new job and fighting the first of 2 major blizzards I saw RMU pull off one of the biggest upsets in college hockey for last year as they defeated #1 Miami. Even with the storm we had a bigger crowd than previous and I handled the pr/socialmedia for the event. Pho-down, Tweet-up was one of the great times in early 2010. I’m a Pho addict (I get cravings like crack addicts) and this night I went for the kingpin of dishes at my favorite Pho place where I finally had tripe and it was amazingly good. We also started the search for our first house knowing that the incompetence of our landlord was detrimental to our family.

February
Thanks to an article in the Post Gazette I made a $400 craft beer road trip to Boardman to the “#1 Beer Store in the World” Vintage Estate. A trip that would turn into a friendship with owner Phill, the most kickass man in Boardman 🙂 It is my beer heaven when I need to get away. Snowmageddon brought us Betty White’s Vagina and a certain little Teaspoon turned 1.

March
Holy publicity! First there was the write up in Pittsburgh Magazine and also an interview with the Wench. The highlight though came from an interview I got to do with craft beer icon Lew Bryson about the beer raids in Philly.

April
I ate the Burger King Bacon Cheese Whopper and KFC Double Down without dying, saw the last regular season game at Mellon Arena and had a run-in with some freak ass potential neighbor we called The Sarge.

May
SIDT turned 4, got approved for a house and we had a walk for Teaspoon. Since his bro is a preemie now also the 2011 walk  should be a big one.

June
Highlight of podcasting to date was VIP interview and hanging out backstage with Zane Lamprey. His people came to us 🙂 Finally became a homeowner when I closed on my first house. Teaspoon whizzed on the floor in a fitting display of how our landlord treated us. Started writing for examiner.com as the Pittsburgh Craft Beer Examiner which couldn’t have came at a more hectic time of my life. I’m not happy with the amount of content that has been posted but that will change in 2011. There is a lot planned for it and I hope yinz check it out.

Tomorrow – July thru December

2011 Winter Classic recap

Winter Classic Game album | Alumni Game album

The Winter Classic is quickly becoming the Super Bowl of the hockey world. I couldn’t make it to Buffalo for the first Classic game and the last couple years I would watch the game but I was never “into” it. This year with Pittsburgh hosting all of that changed. I’ve been to a lot of high profile hockey events in my days and will say that this was the most incredible ever.

I walked over from town on a night filled with a mystifying fog lingering over the rivers. With the lights of the bridges and city glowing it was a scene reminding me of a Crow movie. As I passed PNC Park the tailgating began and what a party these people were having! The amount of hockey love was amazing! Still the vibe didn’t hit me until I reached Heinz Field and walked through Spectator Plaza. Knowing this is a growing event I appreciated what was there but could see how the NHL could have dominated a lot more floor space.

Signature Sandwich Face-off
In a first for the Classic, Aramark pitted the signature sandwiches from the Washington Capitals (The Fury) against the Pittsburgh Penguins (Kielbasa Grinder). Its no secret that I am obsessed with the sandwich but I was severely disappointed with the offering at the Classic. The meat was dry, the cheese was hard and there was barely any sauce. Somehow it won though so kudos for that.

The Game


I went to the game with my nephew Ben. We have started making it a tradition going to important Pens games together and this was another one to chalk up. Our seats were in 147 which if you go there for any other event don’t exist. If you’re watching the Steelers game its the open end section of the south end zone. Seats were incredibly tight (dude next to me was 180lbs and barely fit) but the view was absolutely amazing.

Besides the Caps winning 3-1 the game was hard hitting and amazingly fast given the poor ice conditions. Officiating was mediocre which we’re use to and probably to the disappointment of HBO/NBC you didn’t see much from Crosby or Ovechkin. At the end of the game neither team shook hands, they just left the ice. I have a severe hatred for the Philadelphia Flyers but the joy I see in defeating the Caps grows every game. Pens fans hate Philly because that’s history. Its just what you do. Caps players and their fan base hate anything Pittsburgh and I LOVE it. It makes for a healthy obsession with my team.

In between periods were short sets performed by Hinder, The Clarks and Styx. Styx? yeah I guess they thought it was a Steelers game. The bands sounded great but that happens when everyone does the lip sync.

What I wasn’t crazy about
You take the good, you take the bad and… that song is now in your head. You’re welcome.

  1. Heinz Field needs upgraded. It was great 10 years ago but I’m still pissing in a trough, your concession stands don’t take credit/debit cards and your Nacho Grande is 2 cups of cheese? Your sound system crackles and the video was 3-5 seconds off of the audio. It was worse than watching TV and listening to the radio. Lame.
  2. Alyonka Larionov – who hired this girl? The most basic video segments and she fumbled over all of them. You called the band “The Styx”? Were the cards in Pittsburghese and you couldn’t read them? You’re not that cute. What a joke
  3. The Franco Harris/Jerome Bettis shootout – Who’s idea was THAT debacle?
  4. rain – mother nature you were a pain in the 3rd.
  5. Cell coverage – my phone showed 4 bars and 3G coverage but I couldn’t upload anything and twitter was impossible. Its worse than Consol Energy Center. Verizon should spend more money on coverage than on advertising being a top sponsor.

The weekend was absolutely amazing and I will never forget the hockey love that took over the north shore.