Archive for December, 2007

Winter Funnies
December 31, 2007

Star-Gazing with a Geek ; )
December 30, 2007

Remember the huge stargazing debacle I told you about during the meteor shower? We stayed out for hours in the middle of the night as the dew fell on us…. and only saw a couple of flashes of light in the night sky.
Well, somehow it didn’t stop some of my family members from continuing to be excited about the stars.
My brother has turned into a celestial-geek….. he’s a lawyer-geek by day ; )
He and my mother and I all went in together on a giant telescope. And most nights of my Christmas break were spent outside all bundled up looking at the stars with David teaching me and Zach and Ally about what we could see. My cousin Lisa (from the Great Drive- Through Safari Incident of ‘ 07) also came over to check it out. I knew David was serious about it when he arrived dressed in Seven Springs attire.
Below is the constellation Orion.
I always thought this was part of the Big Dipper. For those of you new to this sort of thing…. see the three bright stars together? That’s his belt. Some other stars line up to form his legs.

Somehow some very creative minds turned the constellation into this:

The star in the upper left which is supposed to be his right shoulder is the red supergiant Betelgeuse… (which I always thought was spelled Beatlejuice). Orion’s faithful dog Sirius is down beside him on the left beside his right foot. It is my favorite star because it appears to twinkle more than the others.
I took some pictures of him learning how to use the telescope…. I think the thumbs-up means he realizes I’m making fun of him.

We could also see Cassiopeia. I like it because the stars form the letter “M” or a “W” depending on which way you’re looking at it…. which of course, are my initials… so I’m a big fan.
We also zoomed in on Mars (which really does look red) and the moon which is always amazing but with the telescope we could see the giant craters. The kids loved it…. including the biggest kid of all: Uncle David.
After standing out in the cold for 30 minutes… I had to come inside and get warm with hot chocolate… so I volunteered to take my kids and David’s daughter Megan inside to get warm!

If any of you hear of a big event in the night sky… please let me know… so we(and by “we” I mean David) can have an excuse to use our new telescope.

Styles from the past
December 27, 2007

One of my friends was cleaning her grandmother’s house and found an old JC Penney catalog.
I thought as you were searching for after-Christmas sales… …. you’d enjoy thinking what you would have been shopping for …. some 30 plus years ago. ; )

Christmas Smiles
December 27, 2007

Holiday Ha ha ha ha
December 27, 2007

Christmas Friends
December 20, 2007

I wanted you to see what a wonderful family made for us.
Theresa and Diane are sisters who spend a lot of time on us.
They are special and have big hearts.
They live with their mother and another sister and they struggle to make ends meet. For various reasons they are not able to work but we consider them our most active volunteers.
They call us daily with “news tips” to make sure we know what’s happening. Sometimes they’ve called me a dozen times in the same day. They never forget any of our birthdays and most of the time they also remember our children’s birthdays. One year for my birthday they performed a puppet show to help me celebrate.
They’ve made us crafts and cookies and eggplant parmesan.
This is their latest creation: a gingerbread house made with love for Wendy’s and my children.

They also gave many of us these mugs filled with homemade chocolates.

We gave them a small gift too.
I’ve worked here going on 14 years and rarely a day has gone by that they haven’t called to check in.
It’s hard to imagine more faithful viewers and friends than these two!
Merry Christmas Theresa and Diane! May God bless you this holiday.

Help the Hungry
December 20, 2007

Today we are counting on your support to help the hungry in our area.
We’re hosting a telethon with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
The Food Bank’s first TV telethon is today in our studios.
Short segments will be shown between regular programming from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. During that time, Food Bank staff and volunteers will answer phones at WTAE’s studio to take donations, give volunteer information, steer people who need food assistance to food pantries, and to answer general questions.
The telethon phone number is 412-243-6000.
Supporters who may not want to call in can visit to make a donation or find e-mail addresses for other services.

Pittsburgh slideshow
December 19, 2007

Thanks to Cindy for sending me this link.
It’s a beautiful slideshow featuring photos of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny River.
I think we should all send it out as Christmas greetings to people who live out of town and don’t realize how beautiful it is here.
Click here to watch.

Cookies for Santa
December 17, 2007

If you’re looking for a new cookie to leave for Santa…. my friend sent me this link which includes just about any cookie recipe imaginable.
Click here to get to the cookie website.
Another friend made me **THE BEST** oatmeal raisin cookies ever… but refuses to share the “secret family recipe”. 😦
I’ll have to try out this website’s recipe and see how it compares.

Carnegie Field Trip
December 17, 2007

Thanks to the Boy Scout Troop 628 from Cheswick PA, (West Deer Township) for these photos from their Carnegie Science Center tour.

Troop leader, Mark, and his son Corey along with Josh L, Walker, Devin,
and Josh P, sent these in for me to pass along.
The train display at the Science Center is a seasonal favorite.
If you’ve never been, it’s cool. My favorite part is when the room darkens as if the sun is setting and all the lights come on in the display.

Mark wrote me “it’s something very nice for the whole Family to go see during the Christmas Season, many nice scenes of Pittsburgh, and they have even added old Forbes
Field to the display. The display even goes from Morning to Night.”

For more information about what’s going on at the Science Center click here.

The troop also went through The Bodies Exhibit at the Sportsworks facility but were not allowed to take any photos. Here is a description of their experience:

” The exhibits, displays and specimens are in most cases beyond words, you
have to at times remind yourself that at one time this was a real living
breathing human being and not something created or made for this show.

The displays cover every facet of the human being from skeletal to fetal,
and when you reach the fetal display you are given a warning note that if
your uncomfortable you can by pass that section of the display

Most of our Scouts breezed through the display without really giving it the
attention it deserved or needed, to fully taken in each display you need to
allow yourself an hour to an hour an half. It is very quiet, and tranquil
as you walk through each section, and each one brings new wonders and you
just stand there in awe.

Michelle not sure if you are a spiritual person, but to me it just added
more fuel to the fire of what an amazing and wonderful God we have, We are
God’s greatest creation. To see what some people destroy with senseless violence, and what we also destroy and damage by not taking care of our health and what God has provided us.

Really it is a must see.

One side note, depending on the age of the child, the exhibit does show alot of the male and female anatomy, and if you have not had that talk with your children yet and if they have not been exposed to the reproductive organs in health-class at
school, you might want to refrain from taking them, it may raise questions and or comments. – Mark”

Mark, thanks for writing in and thanks for the pictures!

Framed Pittsburgh Watercolor
December 14, 2007

Here the finished product.
I told you I was having that beautiful watercolor of Pittsburgh at night framed… and I just got it back.
I love it. It’s in my family room.
It is by Russel Snyder who lived in Pittsburgh until his death in 1994.
He attended Carnegie Mellon and also served in World War II in the Army Air Force.
Check out more of his work by clicking here.

I think it’s a great time to get some cool Pittsburgh stuff since we’re getting ready to celebrate our 250th anniversary.

Holiday Temptations/More Music
December 13, 2007

Ah my…. just a typical holiday day in our newsroom.
I’m not sure from where all of this chocolate comes…. but this was our spread Wednesday (yes…. the school visit cake arrived shortly after I snapped this shot).
If you have any tips on how to resist such temptations…. I beg you to let me know.
Also thanks for all the holiday music feedback. By far your top choice of a holiday cd…. is Josh Groban’s Noel .
.. and coming in second is Sarah McLachlan’s Wintersong.

There were many other great suggestions that I’m going to listen to over the weekend.
As always, thanks for writing in!

Holiday Music
December 12, 2007

I’ve been looking for some good Christmas music… and I downloaded this last night.

It’s Mindy Smith’s My Holiday.
She’s wonderful. I have her first cd as well. She reminds me of a young Alison Kraus.
I also bought this: It’s Not Like Christmas from a bunch of different artists I’ve never heard of. It’s also very good.

After listening to the same holiday music cds for the past 10 years….. it’s going to be nice to play something new. If you have any good suggestions on music… let me know.

Make-Up Room Surprise
December 11, 2007

What a surprise I got in the makeup room this morning.
I was half way done putting on my makeup (so I won’t scare you enough to flip the channel) and in walks Carlos Watson.
He needed a place to put on his makeup… (which he said after all these years he’s still not used to).
He’s in town doing some promotional events with our station.
He was so nice. He said he loves Pittsburgh, his former girlfriend lived here and he’s been here to visit several times.
We are interviewing him live on our news tonight…. so stay tuned.

Great New Water
December 11, 2007

Here is a look at my new favorite thing.
Water by O Beverage.
Problem is.. I can’t find it anywhere.

Someone brought it for us to drink during Project Bundle Up last Friday night.
I grabbed a lemon-lime.
Normally I can’t drink flavored water because those artificial sweeteners make my head feel like it’s going to explode. Maybe I’m allergic (I have major trouble with shellfish, mushrooms, and perfume).
Anyway, this water is flavored but unsweetened. Very refreshing.
I was so excited… and I saved the bottle so I could look up where to buy it. But I can’t find it anywhere around here.
So….. if any of you find a place around here that sells it please let me know.