A Very Busy Saturday

PirateFest 2008

I've never really liked the "PirateFest" event that the Pittsburgh Pirates throw every January. It costs $10 to get in, and about the only "free" events are the autograph and Q&A sessions. Everything else in the hall is a crass attempt to separate you from even more of your money, whether it's on overpriced Pirates merchandise or the same sort of carny games they have at every lame-o street festival. About the only good thing they have is the chance to have some of the gourmet concession options without having to watch the Pirates blow a late inning lead.1.

But I go anyway, because it's a good place to take photos. And they give season ticket holders free passes.2

test photo

A haunting overexposure (trying to find the right shutterspeed for the LensBaby)

More PirateFest photos after the cut...

batting practice

A guy in a hideous shirt takes batting practice

rubber ducks

Pirates-themed rubber duckies at the "Duck Pond" game

Old Man River

Afterwards, I had planned to walk right back to Steel Plaza and take the T home, but the ice floes on the Allegheny River caught my eye. So I decided to pop over and see if I could get a few quick shots of those before heading home. Long story short, I wound up spending about an hour walking along the banks of the Allegheny, snapping photos.

Every now and then, I get really annoyed by Pittsburgh. It's a city that desperately needs to change in order to survive, but the establishment spends more time trying to cling to the fleeting. The people who live here are often depressingly parochial, rarely leaving their tiny comfort zones. People tend to think that nothing goes on here, but there are always tons of things to do if you expend even the tiniest modicum of effort.

A quiet hour along the banks of the Allegheny, admiring the hidden beauty of the river and the bridges and the city, helped remind me of the hidden wonders that drew me to this town in the first place. To paraphrase Linus, it's not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.

So. Perhaps not the most fun-filled time, but good for the soul.

ice floes on river

Water under the (Rachel Carson) bridge

More river photos after the cut...


Lonely trees along the Riverwalk


Wasn't Hertabus one of the characters from Rome?

Smash the Skate

And then off to BladeRunners' in Harmarville for some roller derby!3

My buddy Sam and I went to see this inter-league clash between the Steel City Derby Demons "Steel Hurtin'" all-star team and the DC Rollergirls "Commanders in Briefs." It was a lot more fun than I'd expected, in both ironic and un-ironic ways. A lot of that was due to the highly entertaining announcing team of Tony Dormont (from Delmont) and Sharon Fluids.

The Steel Hurtin' crushed DC 156-106, but the DC gals won the most important contest — they had better names. Sure, no one would want to mess with to mess with Attaxl Rose, Scary Schiavo, 'Snot Rocket Science or Sugar Plum Scary (Pittsburgh). But those names are nothing when compared to Hellena Handbag, Condoleeza Slice, Deja Bruise, or Guantanamo Babe (DC). We even got an odd "battle of the foodstuffs" moment when Meatball (DC) was jamming against Cheeseburger (Pittsburgh).

So anway. Photos.



More roller derby photos after the cut...


The Crippler coming up on the outside


A DC Rollergirl takes stock of the situation

And after that was over, Sam and I went downtown to Pegasus and watched the goth kiddies dance until last call.

So yeah, I had a busy day. How 'bout you?

  1. No, I'm not joking. Especially on "nationality days" the gourmet food you can get at PNC Park is the best stadium food you'll ever have.
  2. Against my better judgement, I'm a season ticket holder again this year. Looking at the schedule I found six games I was definitely going to go to, and it was cheaper to get an eight game pick-a-plan than to purchase them all individually online. Damn "convenience" fees.
  3. It's funny 'cause Dane Cook dies.

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