Sunday, December 30, 2012

Steamroller Art

PITTSBURGH -- According to the website "The Steamrolled Pittsburgh project is a collaboration between Construction Junction and the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh thanks to funding from the Sprout fund. Steamrolled Pittsburgh will use a construction grade steamroller to print large 2′x2′wood-cut prints of 8 Pittsburgh neighborhoods."

The resulting prints are on display at the Oakland branch of the Carnegie Library.
Downtown (The Point)


Carving used for Homewood print

Close-up of Homewood carving

Squirrel Hill

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fishing for Christmas

PITTSBURGH -- The Feast of the Seven Fishes is celebrated by a lot of Italian-American Pittsburghers on Christmas Eve. That meant that yesterday, a lot of folks were picking up fish from our favorite local fish market, Penn Avenue Fish Company. We only needed salmon for today's dinner, but we had to pick it up yesterday, too. I dropped Hannah in front of the store and circled the block, lucky enough to find a parking spot down the street. The place looked rather placid from outside:

Apparently it was so crowded inside that if someone had fainted, the shear volume of bodies would have kept them on their feet. One of the fish mongers said, to nobody in particular, "I'm going on 36 straight hours here." The owner, with a phone to his ear, cut the heads off fish while explaining to the person on the line that he would add a little saffron to whatever recipe he had just given out. 

We look forward to salmon on the grill today.

Also yesterday, as per the Pileggi family tradition, we went shopping. Christmas Eve shopping is almost always less stressful than any other pre-Christmas mall trip. Lots of parking, lots of sales, and yesterday was great. Santa was there, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Beam Me Up, Scottish-infused University

PITTSBURGH -- CMU was founded by Andrew Carnegie, Scottsman, businessman, industrialist, philanthropist, and go ahead and add a few descriptions of your own, good or bad. Whatever you think of Andrew Carnegie nearly 100 years after his death, Carnegie Mellon University retains some of his Scottish heritage.

CMU's mascot is "Scotty," a real Scottish terrier, seen here with his brothers Chase and Murray: Too bad  I couldn't find a picture of them dressed in their Tartan plaid.

CMU has bagpipers (see my post from November 16, 2012).

The reason I felt like I was being beamed up from campus is this monitor that makes video look like it's being shaken in a snow globe. The molecules on the right are me walking down the hall:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Done in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY -- Enough. The over-50 tournament will continue until someone wins. That could be 3 a.m., or later (or earlier, depending on how you look at it). Larry pushed before the dinner break and he busted out and we had a nice dinner. We're going to head out tomorrow, having lunch near the Boardwalk on our way out of town.

Third Time's a Charm?

ATLANTIC CITY -- So the noon tournament didn't work out either, even though Larry won one hand with a 3 high. He busted out with a pair of Aces to a guy who rivered a third King.

Then he signed up for the Over-50 tournament. It started at 3:00 and he bought in at around 3:45. That's what he's doing now.

WSOP 2-day tournament/Playing in the sand

ATLANTIC CITY -- Larry started at noon in a smaller tournament, a $365 buy-in. It's about 150 players and is scheduled for two days. No pressure. He put too much pressure on himself yesterday. Whatever happens.

We saw a guy who was last year's point leader for the WPT. Don't know his name. So there are some pros.

After play started, I heard "Floor." Someone who was scheduled for the 3 p.m. over-50 tournament was playing at noon by mistake. An ultimate senior moment. A couple of other guys were playing at the wrong tables.

Harrah's is preparing for Christmas. That includes sand sculpture inside. No sand castles outside. Rain has caused flooding this week, and the fog is as thick as any fog I've ever seen. I know the ocean is out there, but we haven't really seen it yet.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

WSOP -- Maybe Tomorrow

ATLANTIC CITY -- Larry's out. Couldn't catch a break. A guy rivered a straight. Some players played crazy and got lucky.

Tomorrow at noon a 2-day event starts, so he's going to give that one a try.

It's hard to shake the bad luck. He says he wouldn't have played any differently, but gosh it's frustrating.

In our hotel, Viking (maker of uber ovens) has a cooking school. This time of year, they were making gingerbread houses.

A photo in the conference center that might have been the basis for the series Boardwalk Empire:

WSOP mini Main Event, Day One

ATLANTIC CITY -- Play started at 11 a.m. for the A Group (Larry's group). They will play until 5:30 (roughly). The B Group starts at 7 p.m. The A Group started with approximately 333 entrants. They start with 20,000 chips.

At the first break at 1 p.m., Larry had about 17,500. Still in it, doing okay. He plays well when he's getting short, so he'll keep going. It's now almost 3 p.m. (another break coming up).

Major fog here in Atlantic City. Apparently there was so much rain earlier yesterday that there was some road flooding. Haven't had a chance to look around the area to see how the Sandy clean-up is coming along.

More later.

WSOP mini Main Event

ATLANTIC CITY -- Larry starts play at 11 a.m. here at Harrah's in Atlantic City in what we hope will be 3 days of play (until he wins!). More details throughout the day.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My First Front-Page Story

PITTSBURGH -- This week's edition of Carnegie Mellon's newspaper, The Tartan, includes a piece I wrote about foreign language study trends. The title of the article is "Foreign languages speak to students."  The Tartan is still published on paper, in addition to residing on-line, and it was pretty exciting for me to see my first piece of real journalism on the front page.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

WSOP Atlantic City

PITTSBURGH -- Larry will be playing in a WSOP circuit event next week at Harrah's in Atlantic City. This series of events (at least 13 tournaments) started on November 29th and will run through December 10th. The event he's planning to enter is the No-Limit Hold 'em Main Event on Saturday and Sunday, December 8 and 9. If, by some chance, he busts out before 3 p.m. on Sunday, there is a 50-and-over Texas Hold 'em event. He would have to prove that he's over 50!

I plan to roam around the Atlantic City boardwalk area. I've never been there before. I never saw the real thing before it was so damaged. Maybe I can lend a hand. I'll see what I can find.