Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quite a Friday for the City of Pittsburgh

Do you ever read the newspaper (does anyone besides me still read the newspaper?) and see "On This Date 10 Years Ago..." (or 25 or 100 years) and it tells you what happened in the City?

It will be fun to look back on June 24, 2011 as the day when these three things all converged on Pittsburgh:
President Obama visiting the city to tout manufacturing and robotics going on here
The Anthromorphocon (otherwise known as The Furries) Annual Convention
Red Sox Nation descending on our fair city for the Sox-Pirates weekend series

I had ties to two of these events and a morbid curiosity on the third. I'll explain which is which, rather than let you guess.

President Obama came to the National Robotics Center in Lawrenceville, underneath the 40th Street Bridge, to tour the facility and meet with 3 separate companies. One of those companies, Redzone Robotics, is a firm that I work with. They build robots that autonomously inspect sanitary sewer pipes. It has greatly sped up the work flow and the quality is great. (Aside from when one gets stuck 19 feet deep and you have to dig up someone's back yard).

As an avid Pirate fan, I was lucky enough to get tickets the first day they went online (thanks to DB~ we got tickets within the first 5 minutes!) for the Saturday night Red Sox-Pirates tilt. We were in Section 116, which is directly behind home plate and just under cover in case of rain. Perfect seats. However, thanks to a friend from Only Bucs, I was able to go to the Friday night game with my dad. They were also great seats in Section 128.

The Pirates won both games, with plenty of great baseball on display. However, this time the majority of the great baseball was done by the Pirates. Joel Hanrahan is not 100% human...he is part cyborg at this point, especially his right arm. He consistently was pumping 96-98 mph fastball in to quality batters and getting outs and strikeouts. Both nights in the 9th inning, he had to face Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez (who will be the 2011 AL MVP). Last night he also faced David Ortiz. Only Pedroia got a hit, a double off the Clemente Wall. On Saturday night, with the score 6-4 and Pedroia at 2B and Gonzalez the tying run at the plate, he struck him out with a perfect slider.

The first two games were not only sellouts, but over sold with standing room only seats. Each game was 39,300+ in a 38,500 seat stadium. Last night was the largest crowd in PNC Park history.

And last but not least in this odd convergence of events is the Furrie Convention. At this point in my life, I'm pretty much at the "whatever makes you happy" stage, This is weird. For those that don't know, the annual Anthromorphocon is held in Pittsburgh because we are very tolerant of their lifestyle. Pittsburgh back in the day was really known to be tolerant of much that was different, so this is interesting in and of itself.

What is a "furrie"? It's someone that likes to dress up in an animal costume and behave as if they are that animal. They adopt different animal names and when they meet someone they are interested in they scratch them (known as "yiffing", thanks 5'ish) for approval. Typically every year, there is always one or two requests for human sized litter boxes to be placed in a hotel room adjacent to the Convention Center. That poor maid.

And this isn't 10 freakazoids's 5000 strong and growing every year. Not everyone dons a full head to toe costume either. Some just wear ears or a little tail...maybe paint some whiskers on. Some are there for the artwork. But there is that hard core sub-set that are truly bizarre.

Here's the weird part. I'm fascinated by the Pierogie Race at PNC Park. I regularly bet on with whoever I'm at the game with. I would love to do it sometime, somehow. But Pierogies aren't animals, so it's not weird that I want to dress up in a costume, right? There are furries, but there are already "foodies" what would I be if I want to dress up as a food item?


  1. What would you be if you wanted to dress up as a pierogie and run with other like-minded individuals?

    That's easy: A special sort of perv that wants to "yiff" a polish dumpling.

    (Level with us....That's you in the polar bear suit w/the vest, isn't it?)

  2. That is quite a stylish vent, isn't it?

    If I were to yiff a food, it would be the short rib stew with root vegetables I had a few months back at Mighty Oak Barrel in Oakmont. I wanted to bathe in it.