Thursday, May 28, 2009

G-20... Bingo!

I don't think you can overstate the importance of the G-20 summit coming to Pittsburgh. I mean, I suppose you could light yourself on fire and run through the streets of the City yelling "THE G-20 IS COMING! THE G-20 is COMING!", but, frankly, that's overkill and rather tacky. I believe that this violates some international protocol or something.

Anywho, here's the funny thing...

Well, let me step back a second. A friend/colleague of mine once remarked that "Pittsburgh doesn't have an identity problem; it has an image problem." Pittsburgh is, well, Pittsburgh, and any Pittsburgher can tell you exactly what that means to them. However, when you ask people outside Pittsburgh what their impression of the City is (if they haven't visited), you'll probably hear the words "steel" or "smokey" pop up at least once... as opposed to the more appropriate "Steelers" and "gray enough to slit your wrists." To too many people in the Country, Pittsburgh is less an educational and medical epicenter, and more a punchline.

Basically, Pittsburgh has a chance with one week of activities to present the world the face that all of us know and love. With one swift stroke, the White House has done more for Pittsburgh's image than dozens of PRA trips to China, Russia, Japan, Zanzibar, and whatnot have done. This is bigger than Pittsburgh 250 or even Pittsburgh Roars!

Of course, there's a good chance that the City could also be invaded by giant protest paper maché puppets. And I'm not talking about the Allegheny Conference.

A Bureaucrat's Aside - 2009 Primary Postscript

Since Ravenstahl received more write in votes for the nomination, should we start referring to him as "The Republican Candidate for Mayor"?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

None of Us is as Dumb as All of Us

There's a saying, well, maybe I have a saying, or perhaps it's one of my rules, but if it isn't, it probably should be.... any way, the saying goes like this: When you don't know what to do or what you're doing, you can always form a committee. Case in point:

City Councilman Bill Peduto is calling for a citizen commission to guide the city in spending its share of the federal stimulus funds.

Called the Stimulus Oversight and Reinvestment in New Growth (SOARING) Commission, the body would oversee the city’s stimulus tracker Web site, adopt a priority list of all city projects and evaluate and recommend projects to city council and the mayor...

Peduto said he envisions a five-member body of citizen experts in new economy, technology, public infrastructure and energy policy.

Each member of city council would make a recommendation and the mayor would select five of the nine nominated to serve on the volunteer board. All this should happen before the end of June, Peduto added, to comply with the Recovery Act’s speedy deadlines for moving money...

The stimulus oversight board would function like the city’s planning commission, which reviews proposed projects and gives recommendations to elected officials who have the ultimate say, Peduto noted.
'Cause, you know how effective the Planning Commission has been recently.

Anyway, while I'm usually all for unnecessary levels of bureaucracy, oversight, and general mucking around, this is kinda silly. My understanding of the stimulus funding is that (1) most of it is already committed, (2) despite claims by the Obama administration, it is filtering out slowly, (3) the funding has to be spent quickly, and (4) there are a whole lot of governmental and quasi-governmental organizations that are eligible for funding. You have a new, complicated Federal program, already loaded with oversight, that a City Councilperson wants to laden with more bureaucracy and oversight.

That sounds like a good use of time.

So, my guess here is that either Peduto had an acronym in search of a project or that he's trying to insert himself into the stimulus projects in order to either claim credit for something or thwart the mayor.

But, what makes all this even sillier is that, unless I'm mistaken, as head of the Finance Committee on City Council, Peduto can already call for public meetings and hearings on these financial matters. Why wouldn't he use that power? Has he run out of ideas? Is he waffling? Is he grandstanding? Who knows.

Seriously, what's the friggin' point?

And on a completely, totally unrelated matter: what's the City of Pittsburgh Youth Commission been up to recently? How's that thing working out?

Oh, and "SOARING"? Terrible acronym. "Pittsburgh Economic and Neighborhood Improvement Subcommittee," however, is an awesome acronym. Too bad so many people in this city Can't Understand New Terms.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Bureaucrat's Aside - Prince of Wales Trophy Edition

You know, as much as I loved seeing a four game sweep, I can't help but think that secretly Dan Onorato is weeping over the loss of the drink tax revenue that the county will not receive from a prolonged series.

(And just imagine the capital outlay that would have to happen for a victory parade! Two in one year? We could break the region's coffers!)

I'm sure there are very intelligent people out there that can do this kind of math on revenue lost, but frankly I'm still trying to explain the concept of "icing" to the youngins.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Team 4 Investigates

"Team 4" (which is like the Superfriends, only made up entirely of Wendy Harris and Gleek) is reporting that there are convicted felons (*gasp*) on the public payroll (*horror*).

Investigative reporter Jim Parsons has been sifting through hundreds of government records to get this story...

Team 4 ran criminal background checks on more than 1,300 city employees. Eighteen of them, it turns out, are convicted felons. So, we requested the job applications for those 18 people...
But let's be fair, Jim Motznik is a judge now.

I kid, your honor.

18 out of 1,300? That's like 1.3%, right? Proportionately, I have more felons in my immediate family.

Of course, then there's this:
Grguras... says he doesn't want to see anyone else get in the same trouble he did for lying. He just wants to get back the heavy equipment operator job he loved for more than 20 years.

"You get up in the morning and you have a thrill to go to work. You got the best job in the world. When you're a little kid, you dream of running the big machines, and I had the big toys."
Unless you can show me a kid that dreams of being on a Public Works crew, that sounds like perjury right there.

Unless you're just using DPW to get to a council seat.

I kid, your honor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A note to the County Board of Elections

Two significant digits are more than enough. I know it's mathematically correct, but it's a bit silly to say that 82.9207920792079% of the precincts are reporting.

82.92% or even 83% works just as well.

2009 Election - Lightning Round (pt. 2)

And with mere hours minutes to go...

City of Pittsburgh Division

Council District 2 Bracket: Theresa Smith,Georgia Blotzer, Robert Frank

Loser: After reviewing so many of these stupid sites, I wonder if there's some sort of underground industry in bad political photography. Each candidate here has chosen at least one exceptionally poor, fast food themed picture: Blotzer looks like Ronald McDonald, Smith looks like an out of focus Grimace, and Frank looks like an Arby's day shift manager. Blotzer's site is, by far, the most high tech of the three, although the continual blinking and flashing on the main page is surely going to cost her votes from the powerful Epileptic Lobby. I'm not quite sure what the Drug Addict in Vancouver BC under Frank's other YouTube videos have to do with his campaign. Will he be promoting Canadian bike theft if elected and, if so, why can't we get some of those bike theft jobs here in Pittsburgh. But, because the white and red on black theme is so awful and I know I've seen it somewhere else before, this round goes to Theresa Smith.

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Council District 4 Bracket: Anthony Coghill, Patrick Reilly, Natalia Rudiack

Loser: The best site in this race is clearly Rudiack, who presents a very good multi-media experience, including video, RSS feed, tweets, and a laser spectacular set to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Obviously, Ms. Rudiack is counting on the techno-stoner vote to come out for her. I really didn't think any of that was possible using simple html and css style sheets, but there you go. Coghill and Reilly, with their lack of agenda details, poor site design, and creepy photos, are running neck and neck for last place here. However, because Coghill didn't show you his crotch this time, Patrick Reilly loses in District 4 by a gnat's ass.

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Council District 6 Bracket: Robert Daniel Lavelle

Loser: Despite being up against two other candidates (incumbent Tonya Payne and School Board Member Mark Brentley Sr.), Robert Lavelle is the only candidate in District 6 with an actual website. The absence of a website from Ms. Payne should not be a surprise to anyone who's followed her attendance (or lack thereof) at any public meeting, but it is for Mr. Brentley, who, one would have though, would have wanted to get his message out to as many people as he could. This may say something about the state of computer literacy in Council District 6, but I think it has more to say about the other candidates. Reluctantly and by default, Robert Daniel Lavelle is the loser on this one. Damn shame too, because even with the picture of a 1,000 foot Lavelle poised to either eat or strangle the district, it's a pretty good site.

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Council District 8 Bracket:

Bill Peduto's the only one running here, but I'm automatically adding him as the loser for this Bracket, mostly because I'm tired of getting spammed by him on seven different email accounts. And he refuses to be my friend on Facebook.

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Magisterial District Judge Bracket: Michael Diven versus Jim Motznik

Loser: If either of their sites are any indication, the real losers here are Brookline, Beechview, Mt. Washington, and Duquesne Heights. While I don't believe that a candidate's web presence and appearance has a causal relationship with how effective the candidate will be in office, I do believe that candidates who take time to hone a finely crafted internet message will probably be more likely to understand issues that I'm concerned with. I also don't believe that if this was printed material, a candidate would ever allow either of these promotional abortions to be handed out.

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Seriously guys: fire your webmasters.

Diven & Motznik: you both lose, I award you both no points and may God have mercy on your souls.

And there we are folks. With less than 2 hours to go, I hope this didn't unduly affect your votes. If it did, however, you may want to reconsider which websites you visit in the future or maybe selectively removing yourself from the gene pool.

A Bureaucrat's Aside - James Harrison Edition

Irrespective of whether your team won the Superbowl or what your personal feelings are, if your boss was recently appointed the Ambasador to Ireland and the President invites you all to the White House, you go.

It's one of those Emily Post rules somewhere in the back.

Vote, Dammit

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Anyone from the Commonwealth caught not voting will be beaten with sharp sticks or clubs.

And with the economic condition the way it is, we have had 1,000 applicants for the position of "Delinquent Voter Beater Upper," so don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

2009 Election - Lightning Round (pt. 1)

We can't just dwell on the mayor's race, but in the interest of time...


Pennsylvania Supreme Court Bracket: Judge Cheryl Allen, Joan Orie Melvin, Paul P. Panepinto

Loser: Despite Judge Allen's stellar attempt at the Owen Mills Portrait maneuver and Judge Orie Melvin's familiy's elbow fascination, I'm giving this one to Judge Panepinto who looks like either a comic book villain or a child molester.

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Pennsylvania Superior Court Bracket: Judge Anne E. Lazarus, Judge Robert J. Colville, Kevin Francis McCarthy, Judge Paula Patrick, Judge John Younge

Loser: For a Superior Court race, Judge John Younge really went all out in web design including videos, countdown tickers, and various expensive (looking) stock photos. Such websites make his opponents' sites look like vomit on a cracker. The absolutely bottom of the barrel, however, has to be either Kevin Francis McCarthy, who looks kinda like Odo from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - and with a website that is also vaguely late 90s in form and substance, or Judge Paula Patrick who doesn't show you a picture of her, but bombards you with a giant American flag background, as if you question her patriotism. Because I'm a fan of DS9, I'm picking Judge Paula Patrick.

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Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Bracket: Kevin Brobson, Al Frioni, Dan Bricmont, Linda Judson, Michael D. Sherman, Barbara Behrend Ernsberger, Judge Jimmy Lynn, Steve Pollock

Loser: This is a large bracket with a lot of bad things to choose from: Brobson's vaguely bishop-like portrait and his "sexual predator" teaser issue, Frioni's giant floating head of the late Senator John Heinz and his own constipated portrait, Bricmont's canned webpage and disturbing comb over, Sherman's outright theft of the "Bank of America logo", Ernsberger's facination with ani-gifs, or Lynn's potrait that looks like a cross between Bill Clinton and a recently made up corpse. Still, as we have to choose someone, the bracket goes to Michael D. Sherman for (1) looking like my high school science teacher and (2) not renaming his home page with anything more descriptive than "Home Page."

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Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Bracket: Alex Bicket, Susan Evashavik DiLucente, Jeffrey K. Eisenberg, Phil Ignelzi, Arnie Klein, Joseph V. Luvara, Michael F. Marmo , Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough, Michael S. Sherman, Don Walko, Joe Williams, Leah Williams-Duncan

Loser: Another exceptionally large bracket here and, by default, I should really give it to either Don Walko who, apparently, is using his State House website as his campaign website, or Joseph Luvara who seems to be using his private practice site as his de facto website. However, the prevalence of the use of the number "4" instead of "for" in many of these campaign websites has me irked -- and frankly having no website is better than a bad website in this case. Really, this is a four-way race between DiLucente for her insufferable "Choosin' Judge Susan" slogan, Marmo who seems to have morphed from 1970s computer programmer to Hutt in his campaign commercials, Michael S. Sherman who has graced us with *one* black and gold webpage, and Judge Joe Williams who, I thought, already had his own TV show anyway. The Loser, however, has to be Judge Joe Williams who has incorporated not only the ridiculous American flag motif, but also needless ani-gifs, frames, and plug-ins that don't seem to work (or work all too well when you have the volume turned up at work).

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More in part two... if we get around to it.

Ravenstahl, Reilly, and Smith Each Claim Credit for Destruction of Penn Circle High Rise

Each claims their individual focused mental energies released the psychic forms within the building, inverting its chi, ridding it of toxins, allowing it to disassemble and move Pittsburgh forward.

Contractors claim it was explosives and gravity.

Victims 2009 - Part 3

The problem with campaign silly season for me is that everyone running for office calls you up to find out how many Xs of Ys have been done in their district/city since their last election. In true Montgomery Scot fashion, however, I've managed to reduce the time it takes me to process this information while keeping the declared time it takes me the same.

It's great to be a miracle worker, but, between that, the Pens games and general bloggers-block, I've been a bit behind. Way behind.

Let's correct this:

Victim #3: Carmen Robinson

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The writer Terry Pratchett once wrote, "Five exclamation points [is] the sign of an insane mind." If that is true, Carmen needs to be locked away at Western Psych permanently before she starts pretending her cats are her children, her children are aliens, and aliens have replaced Folgers Crystals with methamphetamines, which is why she needs to kill Darius Rucker of Hootie and Blowfish.

I'm trying to say that from her website it seems that Carmen is a tad bit too excited, about endorsements, about gentrification, about black men, about TIFs, about everything, really. Honestly, if you're at that level all the time, how are we supposed to know when you're really, REALLY, excited unless, say, your head explodes.

However, I'm more worried about Ms. Robinson's posture. Every picture of her is one where she's leaning forward, backwards, sideways. I think that there was even one picture of her in the "Flying Lotus with the Racketball" yoga position, which is incredibly difficult for people born with spines. I would suggest that Ms. Robinson get checked out for scoliosis.

And then, of course, there's a picture of her with the Pope. Well, *a* Pope... an "ex"-Pope, if you will.* And it's not necessarily a picture of her with the ex-Pope, more a picture of a group of people (including her) with the ex-Pope. I don't know what exactly she's trying to convey here... I mean, I have a picture of me with Michael Dukakis, but I'm not going to whip that out unless I'm running for President of the Greek Eyebrow Aficionado Society. Of course, the Mayor's Office may have some sort of struggle with Bishop Zuber, of which I was unaware, which may lead him (or her) to walk barefoot through the snow wearing only a hairshirt in a manner that is only amusing to students of 11th century religio-political history.

(Read a book people! It's the only way you'll get these jokes.)

Anyway, the media page is pretty sparse at this late hour. I would have thought that something, ANYTHING would have happened worth media attention between now and June 26, 2008 when Ravenstahl walked out on (then candidate) Barack Obama. Apparently I was wrong.

I'm not a big fan of the WALL OF TEXT approach to the the Politics 101 page, with the random capitalizations, shouting, and topics, meandering through what, on the surface seems to be some sort of "argument," but basically boils down to talking points with no real substance. Actually, if you included "how a bill becomes a law" I guess that pretty much sums up any Politics 101 class I've ever sat in on.

If I had an ideology page, it would consist of three points: (1) the thorough destruction of the Borough of Mount Oliver, (2) stopping the Mon-Fayette expressway, (3) Free Beer Fridays, (4) elimination of jargon words like "implement," "endeavor," "strategies," "proactive," and "Band-Aid approach," all of which indicate to me that the author is trying to fill a word quota. I can see that Ms. Robinson and I do not see eye-to-eye on this last point, and we would probably come to blows after one of my Free Beer Fridays.

Personally, every time I read one of those jargon words, in my mind I shout "HONNNNNNK!!!" to myself. Most political speeches have a high "HONNNNNNNK!!!" value. Go ahead and try it some time; you may be surprised... or driven insane.

So, in conclusion while Ms. Robinson seems to have a fairly decent site, it is "best viewed with Microsoft Internet Explorer," with is the technological equivalent of "this book is best read in semaphore."

Final score: one thumb up, one thumb down. With an exclamation point!!!!!

* "Ceci n'est pas un Papa"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

For Immediate Release

Got this in our email box mere moments ago:


Wishes to clear the air on other matters

Councilwoman Theresa Smith would like to apologize to all of her constituents and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for an ad that some have misconstrued as inferring that the Post-Gazette had endorsed her for the upcoming primary.

"I wish to run a campaign of honesty and integrity against the remnants of human refuse that are my opponents."

Councilwoman Smith wishes to clarify the following items, which have been questionable veracity:

* Funding for the Mount Washington CDC was provided in part by Councilman Bruce Kraus, not, as earlier indicated, by Councilwoman Smith alone.

* Funding for the Westwood Athletic Association had been introduced to council, not formally approved.

* The Councilwoman was endorsed by the Allegheny County Democratic Committee, not the band ACDC, as some literature had indicated.

* Ms. Smith did not repave Chartiers Boulevard by herself, but was assisted by the road crew at Department of Public Works.

* Ms. Smith did not steal the Mares of Diomedes or the Apples of the Hesperides. These are part of the twelve labors of Hercules.

* The Councilwoman was not, as previously indicated on her website, the starting forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

* The Councilwoman does not know the Pope or Ronald McDonald personally.

* Ms. Smith was never a man named "Larry."

* Despite having only served only a few weeks in Council, the Councilwoman does have a record to stand on, but certain mailing may have incorrectly indicated that all legislation passed by council was as the result of her actions.

* Ms. Smith has never eaten the hearts of her enemies.
"I hope these clarifications will set the record straight for the voters of Council District 2."


Monday, May 11, 2009

A Bureaucrat's Aside - Mayoral Elections

Bram said the secret word, and now the duck will come down from the ceiling and give us this thought experiment:

Let's suppose that there was a guy who had become really pissed off at the mayor because of something the Mayor (or his staff) had allegedly done. This guy alleged that there were shady goings on in the Mayor's office (and there have certainly been rumors and circumstantial evidence to coroborate such charges), but because he wouldn't play ball with these guys, he was subsequently fired from his government job. Let's also assume that this guy is legally obliged to keep his mouth shut and has since moved on to another town.

Now, if such a person was bitter and vindictive (and there were no negative consequences), you would think that such a guy would figure out a way to leak information which would be detrimental to the mayor's campaign. And, of course, in order to be most effective, one would think that such information would be leaked with only a few days left in the campaign leaving the mayor with little or no time to respond.

Again, just a thought experiment.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Brief Aside - Reassessments

Briefly, as I'm busily working on deconstructing the underlying meta-narrative that is in order to prove that I'm not some misanthropic shill for any particular campaign, I just wanted to point out that Danny O seems to be a bit craven and cowardly when it comes to this whole Assessments brouhaha.

Now, remember, Danny wants to be governor, and the worst thing any politician could ever, EVER do is make the citizenry pay for services that they receive... I mean, raise taxes. The County, if my estimation is correct, needs to both have sufficient revenue and have consistent revenue in order to make its yearly budget. Assessments, as they currently stand, are providing neither. Rather than manning up and tackling the insane position amongst some residents that the value of their property could never go up from what they bought it for in 1954 (even during one of the biggest real estate bubbles in modern history), Danny opted to waffle, imposing an obviously unconstitutional base-year system.

Now that the PA Supreme Court has laughed the base year system right out of the docket, Onorato's elected for two different routes: first, trying to make a Federal case out of it and, second, trying to screw around with *everybody's* taxes in the Commonwealth. But, this isn't a real solution either and it's not like he's taking real leadership on the matter; he's just trying to pass and spread out blame.

Of course, if, by some strange turn of events, either of these paths actually lead somewhere, Danny-boy might have inadvertently be responsible for raising taxes on everyone in the Commonwealth. Now, obviously he's betting that by the time this case makes it through to the SCOTUS or through the State Legislature, he'll already be in the Governor's chair.

So, in my not so humble opinion, if this 3rd rate CPA wanted to commit political sepuku, he'd actually take a solid position on the assessment, even if that meant that County taxes may, eventually, go up. It may not be politically expedient, but at least it would show some real cajones.

So well done with the political limp-dickedness.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Victims 2009 - Part 2

And in this corner, weighing in at 450Kbs...

Victim #2: Patrick Dowd

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The one thing that I appreciate about Dowd's website is that he's upfront about what he wants: your name, your body, and your money, even before you read any of his policies and positions. It's like he's selling Amway or Tupperware, only you don't get those little cocktail wieners on cucumber sandwiches until you buy 500 units.

Patrick looks like he's cold in this picture. Cold and looking at a giant, while a midget takes his picture. His hair looks good though. Maybe too good...

Now, before I go on, let me say that I wasn't quite sure what a "Dowd" actually was at first. I had always assumed that it was an immortal being of disguises and false surroundings who destroyed the Husnock race and was named "Kevin".

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Pictured: Kevin the Dowd (not a candidate for Mayor)*

Apparently, this Dowd is a former member of the Pittsburgh City School Board, a current member of City Council, and sits on the board of the Water and Sewer Authority, so I'm not that far off on the disguises and false surroundings thing, I suppose. No word, however, if he destroyed an entire race of aliens.

The "Blog" is OK, although like Luke's site, this isn't a "blog", but instead a random grouping of text and pictures. If it only included some sort of insufferable meme or purloined videos of old Looney Tunes cartoons from YouTube, *then* I think I would consider it a blog, although the latter may invite comparisons to City Council Meetings.

Currently, there's a plea in the blog for donations in order to keep the campaign's only TV spot on the air, almost as if Patrick is doing a Public Television pledge drive.

On the endorsement pages, it seems like any random schlub can leave their "mad props" for Patrick, or something. I didn't see Billy Mays or Ron Popeil or the ShamWOW! guy who got his tongue bitten off by a prostitute, so I find a lot of these endorsements questionable. I mean, how do we know that "Natalie Campbell" of "Squirrel Hill" (if that really is her real name and neighborhood) really did meet Dowd at a house meeting and how do we know that she could not have been more impressed? Perhaps "Natalie" is one of those people that is impressed by bands like Nickleback. How can we trust an anonymous person on the internet for political insights and commentary?

The Issues (New) page also leaves me suspicious - why exactly are these issues "new"? I mean, "Let Our Beauty Shine" is kind of original, and I'm sure it beat the hell out of "Please, folks, stop urinating on everything!" Still, I was looking for some "new" issues: anti-wicker policies, a "Say no to Dougs" campaign, or even a "For the Love of God! Please don't kill your neighbors if you think they're Zombies - for there are no such things... yet" policy. Frankly, these kinds of policies are the kinds of bold and decisive action steps that are needed to move the City of Pittsburgh something-something.


I'm not a Twitter person, but if you were such a person, you could follow Patrick's goings on, Council Meetings, and other bowel movements. I can barely follow my own goings on, so I don't think I can shoulder the responsibility of looking after Patrick too. Plus, he's like 40, so I think I can safely leave him to poop by himself.

The Resources Page was as misleading as the "Issues" page. I was expecting oil, gas, and coal... but instead, I get biographies and posters. How am I supposed to run my SUV on those?

In all, the site was clean and devoid of clutter, but it lacked real "oomph" (despite the presence of a "oomph" CSS tag).

Overall rating: 9/10


* Somebody got this joke, yes? Yes?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Victims 2009 - Part 1

With less than (mumble mumble) days to go before the 2009 Primary Election, we figured we should dust off this old chestnut...

Victim #1: Luke Ravenstahl

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First thing I noticed about Luke's page was that it was gray, with mixtures of grey, and a little smattering of grey gray. It's like winter in Pittsburgh threw up on his web page designer. There's also this happy Web 2.0 theme melding with a hint of funky industrialism thing going on... or maybe that was just a hallucination brought on by the gray.

I also appreciate his the "Getting it Done" theme, which is vaguely reminiscent of Larry the Cable Guy's catch phrase of "Get 'er Done."

Fun Fact: Daniel Lawrence "Larry the Cable Guy" Whitney is originally from Nebraska, but made his comedic start in heart of middle America - West Palm Beach Florida.

I'm not sure what exactly the "it" is in the Mayor's campaign slogan, except that I'm glad it's not "her" "him" or "monkeys"... at least not explicitly.

Luke has chosen to use a cropped photo of the same picture that graces billboards, City webpages, trash collection schedules, and 3-1-1 flyers. At least I'm assuming that it's the same picture. Luke may only have one "Get 'er Done" facial expression as a result of a deal for power made with Satan so long ago.

Fun Fact: The same deal was made by Satan with Clint Eastwood.

You'll notice that there's a large block of missing stuff on the above picture. Well, that's because (and I'll tell a family secret here), I use the NoScript extension with my Firebox web browser. So, for all I know, Luke's trying to infect my computer with porn or ads to reduce my mortgage rate. Shame on you Luke.

The most current news headline "Luke Ravenstahl: A mayor whose work is in progress" isn't exactly inspiring, except when compared to Emile Zola's draft "Attendez un instant, s'il vous plaît" headline for the Dreyfus affair, which was later amended to the punchier "J'accuse!". It almost scans as if the Post-Gazette was reluctant to run with the headline "Luke Ravenstahl: Meh!"

I'm not so big on mini-biographies, so I'll summarize:
* Luke was a kicker and a Business Administration major at W&J college, which means he probably graduated with a .30 BAC.
* He took over his family's political shoppe, and was elected president of City Council because everyone else was an insufferable prick.
* Bob O'Connor died.
* Stuff has happened while he was mayor.
* I have articles of clothing that are older than him.
Fun Fact: No one really wants to be a kicker.

There's an "Issues" page, but it's not really an "Issues" page, it's a "Series of Interrelated Words and Statements" page. At least, he doesn't use the words "synergize" or "proactive" or "paradigm," although the phrase "Mayor is leveraging the stability of these sectors [Education and Medicine] to encourage more growth" makes me want to vomit... or perhaps, following the theme, *learn* about vomiting.

As a side point, if you are trying to say that you're listening to small business owners, don't use a picture that makes it look like you're trying to divide 3,584 by 13 in your head.

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Also, why is it that the "Diversity" page is lacking pictures?

Fun Fact: Luke Ravenstahl knows Black People, trust me.

Anyway, there's a lot of pictures on the "Blog" Page of Luke with one hand in his pocket and another one singing an Alanis Morrisette song.

Actually, if I remember correctly from "Pop Up Videos," keeping one's hands in one's pockets is a sign of a lack of self confidence. This is why I always load my pockets with scorpions before public meetings.

It's not really a blog, though... more a series of photos interspersed with semi-related text.

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Quick note to the page administrator: if you don't have your online contribution stuff together by now, just let it go 'cause it ain't gonna happen.

I also decided to "Take Action," but they caught me and I had to give it back.

Fun Fact: I did not take action.

Overall rating: B+

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sneak Peak at Web-based Permiting

The P-G Reported last week that city residents and businesses would be able to get zoning permits and other government approvals over the Web under a new proposal from the Ravenstahl administration.

Our spies in the Zoning Department and City CIS managed to steal a quick, administration approved mock up for the proposed site:

Click for Full Sized Image

Click to embiggen

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Business Casual Saturday

A little self-depreciating humor from Cleveland.

The Cleveland Tourism Board gave me 14 million dollars about 8 months ago to make a promotional video to bring people to Cleveland. As usual, I waited till the last minute and I ended up having to shoot and edit it in about an hour yesterday afternoon. I probably should have invested more time.

And the inevitable Part II:

Friday, May 01, 2009

Business Casual Friday

And because Nazis are always funny when mocked by cartoon rabbits...