One-Liner Wednesday – Just Like a Train

As you might have guessed from Monday’s post, Faith and I like to walk. My wife likes to walk too. Oddly enough, my wife and I would both like to walk farther than Maddie will agree to, but I digress.

When we were in Pittsburgh, we were surprised to learn that the Pittsburgh Steelers were holding their first ever Family Fan Fest at Heinz Field on Sunday. We decided to go, but with a baseball game at PNC Park (next to Heinz Field) and the Pittsburgh Regatta still underway, we weren’t sure where to park. We decided to park at Station Square and walk over.

A little more context


Station Square is on the west side of the Monongahela River. Heinz Field is on the North Shore of the Allegheny River. Our walk involved crossing the Monongahela via the Smithfield St. Bridge and the Allegheny via the Roberto Clemente Bridge (on the way over).

We chose the Clemente Bridge because there are more restaurants at that part of the North Shore. On the way back, we could cross the Allegheny via the Ft. Duquesne Bridge. It’s part of the Interstate highway system that goes through downtown Pittsburgh, but it has a very wide sidewalk on the west side.

End-to-end, we clocked in at just under 4 mi (6.4 km), but, as you will see in the gallery, I was able to get a bunch of night shots over the river on our way home. I’m saving the Family Fan Fest photos (I love alliteration) for another day.

Yes, I know, it’s One-Liner Wednesday, I’m over 250 words into this post and I haven’t even mentioned the one line. I had to set the stage, establish the context…I know, I’m still talking and I’m no closer to the one line. Actually, it’s three lines – please don’t groan – if I don’t make it three lines, I’ll have to set a second, perhaps a third stage and establish even more context.

As we were leaving Station Square, Greta (my GPS) pointed us north, as expected. I assumed we would be retracing the route by which we came, which was the way we went home the night before. However, (sorry, a little more context) the night before, we parked at the Gateway Clipper dock which is at the other end of Station Square. You wouldn’t think it would make much difference, but (here comes the one-liner…finally):

“In one quarter mile, turn left into the Wabash Tunnel.”

“What the…Greta!!! We’re not driving a freaking locomotive.”

The Wabash Tunnel is a former railway tunnel that opened in 1903 for passenger and freight service into Pittsburgh via the Wabash Bridge. The bridge was torn down in the late 1940s (the piers remain standing) and the tunnel sat unused for decades. It served as a bus garage for a while and was later converted to an HOV lane into Pittsburgh. The minimum number of passengers requirement has now been permanently waived, and the tunnel was indeed available for the ride back to our hotel.”

“Oh cool, we get to drive through the Wabash Tunnel!”

Imagine that final one-liner spoken in Dan’s little boy voice.

Some of the still images in the gallery are taken from Greta’s dashcam video. The entire video is available for viewing at the end. If you’re at all claustrophobic, you may want to skip the video, and you definitely want to avoid this tunnel. If you click on the upper left photo, the slide show will be in the order of our walk.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants.


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Panther Hollow – Urban Hike

Under Panther Hollow bridge

It’s summer and I’m enjoying a few weekends without a lot of writing. This week, I’m going to take advantage of photos and stories collected during Faith’s and my visit to Pittsburgh last weekend.

Last Sunday, Faith and I spent about an hour and a half hiking through Panther Hollow in Oakland, Pennsylvania. Oakland is home to The University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, the Carnegie Museums and Schendley Park. Although we were less than a mile from an Interstate highway, the hike had a strong wilderness feel. The trail winds alongside Panther Hollow Run (a small stream) which feeds the man-made Panther Hollow Lake.

Our hike started behind the Schendley Park welcome center, and took us 120′ (36.5m) below the Panther Hollow Bridge. The trail ranged from a wide footpath to a narrow muddy ledge. We crossed the run numerous times, on stone bridges built as a project of the Work Projects Administration (WPA) in 1938 and 1939. We also hiked through several underpasses running under those same bridges.

At the end of the hike, we climbed back up to the welcome center via a series of stairs and walked back to our car which was parked near a monument to George Westinghouse.

Yes, I’ve dropped more than a few clues to the many photos in today’s gallery (you can click on any photo to start a slideshow). For the sports fans in the audience, The University of Pittsburgh chose the Panther as a mascot due to the proximity to Panther Hollow. Panther Hollow was named for the Panther, because it was the most formidable creature indigenous to the Pittsburgh region. Also, an ironic and not entirely relevant fact: while there is a neighborhood named Panther Hollow, it isn’t located in Panther Hollow, it’s in Junction Hollow just to the east.

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Shredded Wheat

The perfect place and beverage to share some casual conversation.

If we were having a beer, you’d be in a foul mood.

“I have a bone to pick with you.”

“Great. Save it for a while, we’ll order some wings later.”

“No, this is personal.”

“Oh geeze, before you guys get into it, could I interest you in an adult beverage. I hear it’s ok to have one every day.”



“Well, there’s a surprise. Who’s got the tab?”

“It’s going to be the man who tried to embarrass me on the Internet.”


“Hold off on assigning that tab until I have a chance to defend myself. I’m not even sure what I did.”

“There’s no defense. Maybe you aren’t aware, but I read Ellen’s blog.

“I wasn’t aware. I’ve never seen you comment.”

“I don’t comment on blogs, I just read.”

“Lurking in the shadows, huh? Here’s your beer, and your wine.”

“Thanks Cheryl.”

“Did you want to order those wings?”

“Not yet Cheryl, we’re still waiting for him to realize that he’s paying.”

“Paying? I still don’t see what this has to do with me.”

“You read Ellen’s blog, and you do comment. I read your comment and I wasn’t impressed.”

“Are we talking about the same Ellen? Notes from the UK? Her latest post was about Weetabix.”

“Yeah, and you replied by raggin on Shredded Wheat.”

“So what?”

“You know that’s my go-to breakfast. Why are you hatin on my cereal?

“Vanity, thy name is jackass, and this beer’s on you.”

“Butchering Shakespeare, who never even wrote that vanity thing, isn’t going to help.”

“My point is that just because something I say resembles you, it doesn’t mean I’m talking about you.”

“What could you possibly have against Shredded Wheat?”

“It’s an old story.”

“How old? We talking years?”

“Yes, about 55.”

“55 years? Must be a seriously sad story.”

“Look, it’s a sad story, but it’s not like that stuff is actually good.”

“It’s good for you, something you wouldn’t understand, Mr. ‘I’ll have a beer and an order of wings’ – Good for you.”

“So is exercise, but you’re not getting much on that stool.”

“Ok, what’s this story?”

“My grandmother used to serve Shredded Wheat for breakfast.”

“Is this the same one who fed you chick peas? I thought you liked that woman.”

“I loved that woman. I’m talking about my mother’s mother. She wasn’t much of a cook.”

“What’s to cook? Shredded Wheat comes in a box, ready to eat. Soften it up, add some milk if you like. You can’t mess that up. I’m sure she let you put sugar on it.”

“She did, but it couldn’t help. The damage had already been done.”


“She served soft-boiled eggs for breakfast. After the eggs were done, she poured a little of the egg water on the Shredded Wheat and then made a cup of tea with the rest.”

“The rest…of the egg water?”

“Yes. To this day, I won’t eat Shredded Wheat or soft-boiled eggs. I would rather eat grits than Shredded Wheat.”

“Whoa, whoa, hold it right there. Don’t be dissin’ on grits. If you boys want the benefits of cereal, I suggest you take your grain in liquid form. You ready for another round?”

“Sorry Cheryl. I forgot you are from the south. We’ll have another round, but he’s paying.”

“I guess he’s right. His 55-year-old grudge beats my bad assumption.”

“Cheryl, since he’s paying, and since we’re eating healthy, a double-order of wings.”

“Parm pep for you. Blue Cheese for Daddy Warbucks?”

“Yes and yes, and that time the reference was aimed at me.”

“Yeah, but you’re a good sport, and I’m cute as a bug’s ear, so we’ll let it slide.”

Cheryl’s also a great photographer. Check out her latest Wordless Wednesday post.

It’s been pointed out that in my recent sharing of all things Pittsburgh, I left out the dog I left behind. Today’s gallery is mostly from walking and sitting with our crazy pup. Also, the song you might be thinking about is below the gallery.


Posted in Family, Humor, If having a beer | Tagged , , , , | 75 Comments

Thursday Doors – PA Trolley Doors

I really like this trolley entrance.

On our recent visit to Pittsburgh, we made a last-minute diversion to the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum near Washington, PA. Truth be told, we always referred to Washington as “Little Washington” so as not to confuse it with Washington, D.C. I guess we weren’t concerned about Washington state. Anyway, we had a few extra hours, so a ride, a tour and a lot of trollies.

So many trollies, that I have more door photos than will fit today. I’ll do my best to describe them in the gallery (click to start a slide show and see the captions). I’ll finish-up on a future Thursday when I have time to toss in a little information about the museum. I’m still playing catch-up with this week.

Thursday Doors is product of Canada where doors are imported from around the world by Norm Frampton, Limited. If you want to view the current inventory, head to Norm’s showroom. Look at the doors on the main floor, then click on the blue frog for access to the warehouse. If you have doors to share, the frog will hook you up.

Posted in Family, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 81 Comments

One-Liner Wednesday – Where?

Part of our birthday present to Faith was a weekend road-trip to Pittsburgh for a Pirates baseball game and some other ‘burgh stuff. For the ballgame, we parked on the west side of the Monongahela River and took the Gateway Clipper to PNC Park.

This was also the weekend of the Pittsburgh Regatta. When we bought our Clipper Shuttle tickets they told us that, in order to avoid the regatta boats, the shuttle would dock at Heinz Field instead of PNC Park (about ½ mile walk). When we turned around the Point and headed up the Allegheny, the boat kept going and docked at PNC Park.

As we disembarked, I asked the deckhand if they would be picking us up at PNC, or Heinz. His response was comforting:

“When the game is over, if we’re not here, check up there.”

We got lucky, traffic on the river let them bring our ride home right to the PNC dock. I used to work on those boats and we love riding on them. It’s the best way to get to a ball game.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. You can follow this link to see the one-liners from the other participants. The gallery is mostly photos from the boat. You can click on any of them to start a slide show.

Posted in Family, One Line Wed, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 61 Comments

Serendipity #CFFC

During a recent trip to Pittsburgh, we stopped to visit my mother’s grave. We were driving out of the cemetery when I spied this. I had to back up and snag a picture. I thought I’d have to hang onto it for a long time before finding a use, but Cee changed my plans. Her Fun Photo Challenge this week is “Tombstones or Cemeteries” – I couldn’t resist posting on a Tuesday – Thanks Cee!

I guess this guy was a tree lover.

Posted in Cee's Fun Foto, Humor, Photography | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

I Guess My Technology Was Homesick

Another clue about this weekend’s activity

If I’ve been slow to press the ‘Like’ button on your blog or if you’re saying “hmmm, I didn’t see a comment from Dan, he usually leaves a comment…” – well, I’m here to tell you it’s not my fault. My editor would say that it is my fault, because I’m a technology worker, the kind of guy who automates stuff that worked fine manually, the guy who replaces perfectly fine analog devices with digital crap that is bound to fail.

Yep, that’s me. And yes, I’ve written programs, and developed systems that have worked well, saved money, made people redundant (I like the British way of saying laid-off) and, of course failed when most needed. But it still stinks when it happens to me. It’s not some “just desserts” either. I should be treated better by technology than people who hate technology! I’m an advocate, a supporter, I’m part of the deal. It’s like the people who contribute to politicians, I mean they always get better treatment…don’t they? I wouldn’t know. I have never given money to a politician/political party.

Anyway, back to my problem. In a word, WordPress. However, in fairness, maybe Apple was involved. It’s like WordPress was robbing a bank and Apple was driving the get-away car, and the get-away car was a Prius.

I was on the road the last few days (more about that later), but being on the road isn’t supposed to be a problem. In the industry that has fed my family for 40 years (I toss that in to remind the editor that technology isn’t all bad) we talk about doing “what you want to do – when you want to do it – wherever you are, and on the device you happen to have with you.” Seriously, we say stuff like that, ‘cuz nerds.

My technology, specifically the device I happened to have with me, wouldn’t let me do the things I wanted to do from where I was.

I didn’t have a lot of sit-in-front-of-the-laptop time, but I had a lot of sit-while-Faith-drives time and I had a lot of stand-in-line time and a little I-could-read-a-few-blogs-before-falling-asleep time – although far less of that than I imagined. I was counting on my phone. I read blogs on my iPhone all the time, and liking and commenting is easy as pie, except for the typos and suggested corrections – but not this weekend.

This weekend – it – was – awful!

The gallery sequence below illustrates the problem I was having. This was happening with every blog, this is just an example. I was trying to ‘Like’ and leave a comment on John Howell’s blog. I like to leave a comment on John’s blog because I’d like to stay on good terms with Tiny, the former WWE star. Despite the fact that the WordPress app was running. I could switch to it. I was already logged-in and I was still me; as soon as I pressed ‘Like’, I was forced to login to WordPress.

After I logged in, I could like the blog. But, if I wanted to leave a comment, I had to login again. AND, on some fancy-schmancy blogs like John’s I had to log in a THIRD time in order to post the comment!

I’m not sure if the problem is solely related to the WordPress app, or if my iPhone was uncomfortable with the connections various connections we had. In any case, I will be back to normal by the time a lot of you read this. I’m not sure when the WordPress app will be back to normal.

We had a great weekend. I hope you did too. I’ll be sharing photos, stories and doors later this week/month. Right now, I think it’s my turn to drive.

Posted in Family, Humor, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 82 Comments