Thursday, October 25, 2012

Random Acts and Senior Night

Earlier this evening I was looking over my script (can't call it my onesheet, like the band scripts) and thinking wow, this season has been amazing. And in my eyes it has been. Who would've thought two or three months ago that I'd become the go-to guy for announcing stuffs, including this senior night script. I'd talk about that, but there's a better story to be told this week.

So I was walking around the neighborhood on this unseasonably warm day, and decided to make a stop over by what I call 'the overlook' of the neighborhood. I made my way past that and up the hill, and saw a guy I recognized from this past summer walking with a leash---but no dog.

He approaches me and says "hey, you know anyone missing a young male greyhound?" I know very few dog owners, however I do own Rotor the Killer Wiener Dog. I decide to help him out, though... trying to find someone who would know.

My first stop is with the McClains' down the street from the spot I met him. On my way across the street, this greyhound comes out of nowhere, and starts following me over to the McClains'. Mr. McClain is able to get the dog into his hands, and we are able to get a temporary leash on this dog. The search, however, continued for the owner.

My next thought was the guy who I saw outside, Greg from down the street. He too, owns a killer wiener dog named Tank. However, he didn't know of anyone missing a greyhound. I left the original dude with the dog over at Greg's and attempted to talk to our neighborhood humane society expert.

{{{Backstory}}} I've known this lady for years. She used to go to our bus stop back when the 38C still ran to downtown. She worked for the Post-Gazette and is a HUGE advocate for animals.

Anyway, so we get in touch with her, and she says that she may know someone who owns a greyhound, but in the meantime we should try and get in contact with either the Police Dept, the Humane Society, or this groups called "Going Home Greyhounds" a group which helps find homes for greyhounds.

After repeated calls, we get nowhere. Meanwhile, the first dude goes back to put his own dog, a boxer, into his house. Turning around to come back to the base of ops, he comes across two girls. They ask "you didn't happen to see---"

He cut them off "I know what you're looking for. A beige, young male greyhound?"


So the dude hops on his bike and leads them over to the base of ops, and the dog is reunited with his owners. Mind you, I first met this guy over the summer when he was fixing up bikes.

I don't know this guy's name, nor the dog's. This isn't that important to know either, though. I could trust him, and he could trust me.

So what's the moral here? I'm not the best at themes, but I would have to say that there are a few very evident ones. The first is that we're not in control. There's something bigger than Phil working above us, watching out for us. On that same thought, at least in my Pittsburgh Suburb, people look out for one another in the neighborhood. There are still good people in the world, and there are people willing to work together to get something---or some dog---safe and done.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

JOTA, Scouting, and the Sort

So this weekend marks an annual event internationally... Jamboree on the Air, or JOTA. I had been receiving a bunch of emails in recent weeks about this, and thought it was "kinda cool" but in reality had no clue what it was.

Enter today, Saturday the 20th, and I find myself in a flag ceremony taking pictures for the mayor, and then at breakfast, and then on the second highest point in Allegheny County. I was visiting the Steel City Amateur Radio Club  who hosted a station for scouts interested in participating in the international event. The idea? Scouts from all over the world could talk to each other on two specified days using HAM radios and at the same time learned about Amateur Radio-ing.

The members of the club that were there were EXTREMELY NICE. We arrived like ten minutes earlier than the beginning of the window (SCARC allotted us use from noon-5 eastern) and still the gentleman gave us a tour of the grounds, including the ham and low-frequency towers, and then took us into the clubhouse.

There, after a brief explanation of this gentleman's history of being in the scouts and hosting a JOTA at the then newly-built Heritage Reservation in 1983, they led us into the studio. Now, I've been in the studios of WYEP, KDKA, and practically live in the studio of WCHS (Morning Announcements), and I was about to add another callsign to that list.

I utilized a ham radio station using the club's callsign W3KWH, and connected to Kissimee Florida and talked to some scouts a few miles from Disney World. They said it was 'nice' being 73 degrees(F) we said it was nice, overcast, and 53 in Pittsburgh. We also connected to Birmingham, Alabama, as well as another station in Florida (Fort Meyers), and then finally contacted a guy on a county line in Iowa (Jefferson, I think) working out of his car in an Iowan contest to see who could contact the most people. This guy was from Minnesota.

I learned a few things today. I learned just how small the world was, and how friendly people are in amateur radio, and above all, I am falling in love with this Radio thing. I almost walked out with a membership application, but I want to get qualified by the FCC first. (Hear that FCC?)

If I met you (Alex Popichak, Life Scout with Troop 831, Right Outside Of Pittsburgh) it was awesome to do so =73=. I remember there was a guy named Isaac, and I think a Connor there too. So many others, and I plan on getting into this a tad further, and maybe meeting some other new people.

This coming Friday (10/26) marks the Fall Sports senior night, and the last time I'm lending my voice to the Cougar Marching band and Carlynton's football field this year. It's been fantastic, and I plan on doing it again soon. Come on out, game starts at 7pm, and senior night stuff starts at like 6:45...

With that means that I will attempt to get back to Friday Evening posts come this November... Fingers Crossed!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Occupy: One Year Later

So those of you that followed my adventure to downtown Pittsburgh last December may remember that I visited with members of the Occupy Movement. I'll tell you what I saw.

The following is from my post "Visiting the Occupiers..."

After wandering around the encampment around this large bulletin-board style fence around a fountain, it was quite clear that this group was angry with what was happening with America, and were willing to stay indefinitely. It kind of reminded me of a boy scout tenting excursion. So we decided to walk up to a guy and identify ourselves as media people from WYEP. He had a lot to talk about. He was a man who had taken odd jobs: moving boxes, a registered massage therapist, before joining this movement.
When asked if he thought that this movement would help any job prospects when I (or in this case, the girl asking the questions) graduate college, he laughed. He said that he wished that he could say so, but he was being a realist. He thinks that change will come out of this, but nothing immediate.
We also asked what the reactions the encampment had gotten. He said it was mainly positive. He mentioned a time (as did two other protesters) where there had been a few people about four weeks ago that had screamed "GET A JOB" out the window by passing at a high rate of speed, to suggest that they might have been drunk. Others said that they'd join, but they had to work. To be honest, some of the protesters do have jobs (See Below).
Two other protesters talked to us about their thoughts. The one man described himself as "Underemployed." They mainly shared the same views as the first man, but had an interesting perspective coming back and forth from a job (I think the one said he was laid off, but I am not sure).
So the movement celebrated one year. Granted, those of you that know the history of the Pittsburgh movement know that later on they were kicked out of Mellon Green and essentially disbanded.

I asked point-blank what their plan for if they do get kicked out, what would they do. They answered that they would maybe move and Occupy the Point. He joked that if you controlled the point (speaking historically) you can be more successful. They never moved to the point.

A year later, I am able to step back and realize a few things: As Alex Zukoff said, this was one of the first major movements toward socialism. Upon further research, I saw it could be, but I saw that it might have been doomed from the start by being just protesters  They were protesting a system that failed them, but could cite nothing but
Okay, that's concentration of wealth. It's been an issue since currency was invented, really.

If we wanted to kickstart a real revolution, or another Occupy, someone would need to step up with a platform of somesort. If it really is a move for social reform, someone should have the foresight to put that as their mission.

I'm not saying Occupy is dead, because in essence, Occupy is an idea. I'm just saying that if the gentleman's idea of "eventual results" is going to happen, there needs to be some form of organization in ways of platform, and exactly who/what they are fighting. You just can't redistribute wealth, you have to work out a plan of a system.

The Declaration of Independence details that if a government isn't properly working for the people, they need to have the right to fix it... Occupy was an attempt, it just wasn't that great of an attempt.

So on this anniversary of the Pittsburgh movement, I have to wonder: what have we learned, and what is there to work on at this point?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Brilliance, Both Literally and Figuratively.

Brilliant is also apparently a town in Ohio...

So, by definition means "having or showing great intelligence, talent, quality, etc.". So, in essence, when I called Lana Meyer's play brilliant I was justified, because it had all of the elements of a talented production. I mention this for two reasons... to give a shoutout to her, and to make light of the fact she signed my playbill during a second period study hall in an art room. Granted, she only did the writing and dialogue and that end, but I got to thinking... what does it mean to create something?

About three years ago, I created a website and called it "the 2015 blogger" and now, this being the 150th post, an award nomination, and over 6 thousand hits later, it's still here.

I have done countless projects, and have helped in projects where I've seen something go from just a sticky note or note into something real---something tangible, something other people can see, and it's crazy satisfying.

Brilliant brings up the connotation of either enlightenment or something else involving light. Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you are familiar lyrics to the Coldplay song "Yellow". It kind of seems that when you do something, you take pride in it.

Take for example, the town where you live... I take major pride in being from Pittsburgh, because I feel as a person living in the metro area that I have helped build it (not literally).

So where am I going with this? If you work hard enough at something, and you build it up, you want to see it shine. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing something you've had a hand in creating finally coming together and shining with brilliance.

On a final note, I took a picture of when the Carlynton School District had their anti-bullying kickoff. The whole district came together on the track and had a parade of anti-bullying banners.

But in my mind, this holds a much larger significance in that the whole district became one that day. The teachers talked with colleagues from the Elementary schools et cetera, as well as the students coming together---Crafton, Carnegie, and Rosslyn Farms---as one district for the first time, ever.

I leave you on my 150th post with that picture I took:
Click For Larger.