Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Shop on Black Friday

Kudos to for its commitment to no longer sell products that contain animal fur, as of July 2008. It's the first purely online retailer to commit to a fur-free policy. Please support them--not only do they have a great selection and cheap shipping, but they're distinguishing themselves as a compassionate and socially responsible company.

Patrick M. Byrne, chairman and chief executive officer of said, “The Humane Society of the United States brought to our attention its issues about the fur industry. They did so in a thoughtful, measured way. We listened, and decided that they are right. So we are going fur-free.”

The Humane Society of the United States urges all designers and retailers to adopt fur-free policies to protect the more than 75 million animals worldwide who suffer and die annually for their pelts. Only by refusing to sell any animal fur products can these merchandisers protect themselves and their customers from the false advertising and labeling that currently plagues the industry.

Read the complete press release.

Tootsie finds her home

Who knows what Tootsie was doing in the five years she was missing, but hurray for happy endings! And hurray to the Animal Rescue League!

Tootsie, the adventuresome dachshund who went missing more than five years ago, is back home in Pleasantville, N.J.

Tootsie was found two weeks ago wandering around Wilkinsburg, 350 miles away from where he went missing in 2003. He was taken to the Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania and was traced back to his owners using information on a microchip implanted under the skin on the back of his neck.

Toot-toot Tootsie, don't cry: Dog found after 5 years, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More coverage:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Say it isn't so!

Seriously? Can this really happen? I don't want to see my favorite neighbor go, even if it means finding parking on our street once again during Oktoberfest.

Increased rent forcing beer maker, restaurant to leave North Side spot.

Penn Brewery needs new home, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dave!

Today is Dave's 36th birthday! It's also my sister Chris' birthday. Here's Dave at Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park...always with his camera. Here's his shot.

One of the things Dave wanted was shoes or slippers to wear around the house. I headed to the Crocs stand at Ross Park Mall and found this cross between shoes and slippers--perfect!

Of course, while I was there, I also found a really cute pair for me. Kate T. clued me in to Crocs this summer when she let me borrow hers after my heels were eating up my feet while walking around Penn Avenue examining possible parking solutions. So comfortable! So cute!

Friday, November 21, 2008

New shoe source

Pam D. shared this new source for shoes, the sister to Zappos where they offload their sale stuff. Gotta love that!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nothing to be thankful for

I know no one wants to hear about animal abuses. I mean, I don’t! But when I do hear about it, it eats at me, making me sick to my stomach that these terrible things happen so frequently. When I ask myself how this can happen, I realize it’s because no one knows about it. Everyone wants to believe that turkeys live their happy little lives until they are humanely killed. OR, no one wants to connect their Thanksgiving meal to an industry that is unbelievably cruel to animals. PETA just documented the following.

While working at a series of Aviagen factory farms in West Virginia, PETA's investigator documented that workers tortured, mutilated, and maliciously killed turkeys. The following are just a few of the documented offenses:

  • Employees stomped on turkeys' heads, punched turkeys, hit them on the head with a can of spray paint and pliers, and struck turkeys' heads against metal scaffolding.
  • Men shoved feces and feed into turkeys' mouths and held turkeys' heads under water. Another bragged about jamming a broom stick 2 feet down a turkey's throat.
  • A supervisor said he saw workers kill 450 turkeys with 2-by-4s.
  • One man said he saw a coworker fatally inject turkey semen and sulfuric acid into turkeys' heads.

The good news is, we can all do our part to help stop this. If you don’t want to sacrifice your Thanksgiving meal, please visit this website to learn how to write to our legislators to stop these horrific practices.

Think turkeys don’t care about all this? Here are some interesting facts about turkeys from PETA’s website:

Many people think of turkeys as little more than a holiday centerpiece, but turkeys are social, playful birds who enjoy the company of others. They relish having their feathers stroked and like to chirp, cluck, and gobble along to their favorite tunes. Anyone who spends time with them on farm sanctuaries quickly learns that turkeys are as varied in personality as dogs and cats.

Many respected researchers have spoken out on behalf of this intelligent, social bird. Oregon State University poultry scientist Tom Savage says, “I've always viewed turkeys as smart animals with personality and character, and keen awareness of their surroundings. The ‘dumb’ tag simply doesn’t fit.”

Friday, November 14, 2008

You made your bed...

What about NOT getting pregnant to begin with? Not dropping them off in Nebraska like a bag of trash.

Tysheema Brown drove from Georgia to leave her teenage son at an Omaha hospital. "Do not judge me as a parent. I love my son and my son knows that," Brown said. "There is just no help. There hasn't been any help."

Nebraska fears rush to drop off kids before haven law change, CNN

Dreaming of the White House

Ever since I read Hillary Clinton’s Living History, I’ve thought working in the White House would be pretty cool. I think I’d be awesome at managing the whole White House, or, to start lower, maybe the Special Assistant to the President of White House Management, as noted in the Plum Book of 7,000 open positions in Obama’s administration. It would be a hell of a commute though since I’m sure Dave would rather stick a needle in his eye than move to DC.

Want a job with Obama? 7,000 listings in ‘Plum Book’

Compelling and necessary

Hmm. I guess I thought the three pairs of shoes and really sleek, grey satchel from and all the scarves and jewelry I just bought from H&M were super-compelling and really necessary!

“It’s just brutal,” said Eric Beder, retail analyst at Brean Murray and Company. “It’s a very bleak time for the consumer. Unless it’s something super-compelling or really necessary, they’re not going to the mall, they’re not spending.”

A Record Decline in October’s Retail Sales, New York Times

The Long Tail

When I wondered who on Twitter is talking (sorry, can't bring myself to say "tweeting") about software engineering, a colleague referred me to Chris Anderson’s theory about the long tail—here’s the original article as it applies to the digital entertainment economy. He also has a blog.

…meet Robbie Vann-Adib, the CEO of Ecast, a digital jukebox company whose barroom players offer more than 150,000 tracks - and some surprising usage statistics. He hints at them with a question that visitors invariably get wrong: "What percentage of the top 10,000 titles in any online media store (Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, or any other) will rent or sell at least once a month?"… But the right answer, says Vann-Adib, is 99 percent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lawrenceville for only $35!

Okay, who wants me to walk them through Lawrenceville this weekend to show you those really hard to miss buildings and street-level businesses? It will only cost you $35!

So far, Ms. Moreira-Byers offers three tours that also include a small business-inspired walk through Lower Lawrenceville and a saunter through Ellsworth Avenue shops in Shadyside. She sprinkles her narrative with history and trivia, taking clients in to meet business owners.

She charges $35 per person but is offering holiday specials of $15 through the end of the year.

"I traveled abroad with Sherris once," said Ms. Doerschner, who works on the South Side. "And even though she didn't know the city, she was a great tour guide. I did her Lawrenceville tour a few weeks ago and thought it was neat that someone can point out things you don't even notice."

Source: Quirky tours are attracting visitors to the city's unsung sights, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bush on word choice

Love that Mrs. Bush had to tell him he was being an idiot.

"I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said," Bush told CNN's Heidi Collins when asked to reflect on his regrets over his two terms as president. "Like 'dead or alive' and 'bring 'em on.' My wife reminded me that, hey, as president of the United States, be careful what you say."

Source: Bush: 'I regret saying some things I shouldn't have said', CNN

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Palin on bloggers

I think there will never be an end to good quotes from Sarah Palin.

From the New York Times Politics Blog: Palin Defends Herself in Fox Interview

Ms. Palin directed most of her media criticism at liberal bloggers, whom she twice called, "those bloggers in their parents’ basement just talkin’ garbage.”

Religious forgiveness...for NOT being racist???

With so many good quotes in the news these days, I find myself constantly sending emails to friends linking to the best of them. I think they're getting fed up with me. So here's a blog devoted to stuff in the media that makes me shake my head, laugh, and ask why anyone would agree to have their name associated with such a quote. Oh, and the "'N At" part is Pittsburghese for "and whatever else I want to blog about."

First quote!

For South, a Waning Hold on Politics, November 11, 2008, The New York Times
Background: Southerners aren't happy about Obama winning the election.

Don Dollar, the administrative assistant at City Hall, said bitterly that anyone not upset with Mr. Obama’s victory should seek religious forgiveness.

“This is a community that’s supposed to be filled with a bunch of Christian folks,” he said. “If they’re not disappointed, they need to be at the altar.”