Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fair Shenanigans Announced!

Last night, I said to my brother, "Let's go see The Clarks again at the fair this year, because you know they'll be playing." Turns out that was a 100% accurate prediction.

Joining them in the festivities will be Chris Higbee (who is opening for them again), Lee Brice and Confederate Railroad, demolition derbies, Pigs Gone Wild and a carnival. Plus the usual livestock and petting zoo! I fear those animals are probably mistreated outside of operating hours. Just a fear--nothing substantial to back it up. But if I'm right, I'll probably want to liberate them.


They'll also have Fayette Idol and oldies band The Fabulous Hubcaps, who my mom and Grandma always enjoyed. They are really good and do great impersonations. I unfortunately missed their take on Buddy Holly last summer.

The fair runs from July 28 to August 6. I'll be there at least once. Probably twice. Come party with me. I'm hoping for more excitement like dirty diaper smearing.

(Eventually I'll get an iPhone and liveblog from things like this. With pictures.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Those Pesky Budget Cuts: School Districts Pt. 2: The Reckoning

Well, it's time for school districts to pass their budgets and since our wonderful governor seems to think education isn't important enough to fund, passing said budgets hasn't been an easy time. Fayette County districts are all looking at furloughs and/or tax increases to balance the budget. Let's check in and see how everyone's doing, shall we?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This Place Matters

Okay, this is pretty cool.

Uniontown's former Pechins Express is in the running for the This Place Matters Community Challenge. The page explains better than I could and even includes some neat information about the place:

"The Old Masons Building (formerly the Downtown Peachins Express) is a representation of early Uniontown and its history. It was one of the largest early buildings created during the most rapid growth period of our city. Its beautiful stonework is a testament to the wealth of our young city and it early uses, as a bank and coal offices, act as a living representation of the industries that once built our area. But, this site is not just a symbol of the past. To our organizations, it has become a symbol for hope in the revitalization of our downtown. We wish to adaptively reuse this site to open an arts component for our community. The revitalization of the site will be an inspiration to our community through the encouragement of creativity and expression, while also using the site to encourage preservation of our area's history and historical resources . We will call the center The Phoenix. The building will rise from the ashes and inspire our community to do the same; just as it was erected out of the ashes of the location's earlier inn. This place matters to us; it matters to the preservation of our past; and it matters to the future of our community."

GO VOTE! You have to be registered on the site, but it's free and takes seconds and really, what's a few seconds of your day to potentially help improve Uniontown? We need help, and the arts aren't really huge here. Help turn that around.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fine Dining: New Century Chinese Buffet

Everyone loves Chinese food. Everyone loves buffets. What happens when you combine the two? One of life's most satisfying dining experiences.

The buffet costs about $10, but it's all-you-can-eat with plenty of variety. Plenty of meat and seafood--including sushi--but also great vegetarian options. My favorite is the vegetable lo mein and vegetable rolls, plus other staples like fried or steamed rice, soup, etc.

If I'm wrong and not everyone loves Chinese food, they do have "American" food, which I pretty much skip so other than pizza, I don't know what that has. They also have salad, fruit, and a whole dessert line full of cakes and pastries.

Want to eat on your couch in your pajamas? No problem! They also do take-out, but not delivery so you'll have to send someone suitable for public to pick the food up. But it's cheap and food comes with fortune cookies and whatever sauces you want. The portions are pretty big, too--their smallest order of lo mein makes 2-3 meals for me. My family of four has eaten off of around $20 on their take-out.

So yeah, New Century Chinese Buffet. Awesome.

New Century Chinese Buffet on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 25, 2011


  1. Last week, a car blew up. Somehow, I didn't know this happened. I blame the fact that Fayette County's in a pretty active period so even huge news is getting disregarded.
  2. Something blew up near a tire place. My first thought? "Probably a meth lab."
  3. A "suspicious package" was found at a gas station. People thought it might blow up. Turned out to be a tossed science experiment.
  4. All of this led to my mom calling me and pretty much telling me not to go into town because it was being blown up.

So...we're not all going to die, I guess?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Car Kung-Fu

A man from Coal Center is facing "multiple charges" after karate chopping cars in California.

Wouldn't karate chopping cars be more dangerous to his hand than the cars?

Apparently, he was drunk. But could he be channeling the Uniontown ninja?

The ninja, by the way, now he has own label on this blog. Congratulations!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Optometrist Shot on Vacation

South Connellsville's Dr. Ellis was accidentally shot in a Wild West show in South Dakota.

The re-enactors were supposed to be using blanks. Still no word yet on exactly what went wrong.

It'll be a few weeks before he can go back to his practice, but whether or not it'll actually be closed during that time is unclear.

Ellis and his family will continue with their vacation, which is probably what I'd do. Don't let a gunshot wound get you down! Party on.

Geibel kids will know him as that eye doctor next to the school that used to, and probably still does, get cranky about kids allegedly driving on his lawn leaving school. Or maybe the message just came off cranky because it was being delivered by everyone's favorite principal, Mr. Mascia. Or maybe Geibel kids weren't at fault at all and just got the blame like we did with everything else.

P.S. Yesterday was my birthday! I've hit the ripe old age of 22.

P.P.S. Like the Facebook page since I have yet to figure out how to make the little box work with Blogger!

P.P.P.S. I've started tagging posts, so in case you've been looking for something specific, it'll gradually get easier to find. I'm slowly going through the archives. Tags are based on subject, location, and notable figures, pretty much. If it's not there, it will be eventually. If it's still not there, I haven't talked about it. If you would like me to, feel free to leave a comment or something, tell me what you want to hear about, and I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

When Ya Gotta Go, Ya Gotta Go

Oh, Fayette County, you've been so tame recently. Nothing bizarre or out of the ordinary. No crazy stories like naked men defecating in front of houses. Wait, what?

This guy asked a woman if he could use her bathroom. Whether or not he was naked at the time is unclear, but either way, she refused and I don't blame her. But nature can't be stopped, so he did the only logical thing he could--he went right in the street in front of the house, walked back to his car, put his underwear in the trunk, and left.

He told police the defecation "was due to a medical condition." But what about the nudity?

Seriously, though, mental illness could be a factor. Just a guess.

No one pressed charges and he was told not to do it again.

I wish him the best.

P.S. I have a Facebook page. Like it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rare Gems/Nice Places: Lakeside

Sometimes, forgetting that we do have pretty things is easy. So doing things like going to gorgeous, fun weddings is a nice reminder that not everything here sucks.

Anthony's Lakeside Party Center is beautiful. I've been to a few weddings there, and the food is good, the staff is excellent, and everyone always has a good time. It's a pretty place perfect for weddings, tucked away on 60 acres so it seems totally isolated, but then you leave and see farms directly across from their driveway and remember you're in the Nam and probably never more than five minutes from a farm.

Congratulations to Sarah and Mike, and party on, Fayette County!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Praise for Geibel

Someone from Geibel feels totally prepared for college.

Interesting because depending on who you talk to, where they went, and their major, others tend to disagree. I feel like I got a good education, but I just got a degree in English Writing. Those going into the sciences feel differently, but mostly because a Catholic school couldn't afford to offer as much to them.

One thing this kid points out that we can all agree on, though, is the fact that Larry Orlando is awesome.

Mr. O is on the right, by the way. The other two are Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Bell.

And people wonder how I had fun in high school...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sometimes, We Move on to Bigger and Better Things

Johnny Leonard, a graduate of Connellsville high school has been drafted into Major League Baseball by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I think I speak for all of the Nam when I say this is totally awesome!

He's also from Dawson. Also hailing from the Nam is the team's northeast scouting supervisor, who is from Connellsville.

See? We produce good, hardworking, talented people. They all make a break for it and leave, but still. We produce them.

Congratulations and best of luck, Johnny. You have the potential not just to kick ass at baseball, but to improve Fayette County's reputation. No pressure.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Good Food (and Alcohol!) on the Cheap

I know, pretty much everyone in the county at least knows where Bud Murphy's is. They seriously have the best pizza in the county, and at a great price. So this is more for the people outside of the county to see what we have going for us and for the few people say, on the Uniontown side to venture a little farther out.

You can't get much cheaper than Bud's. Seriously. Fried zucchini for $4. Fried mushrooms for $2.40. An eight-cut cheese pizza for $7.50. And none of that $4+ for a cranberry juice and vodka. At Bud Murphy's, it's like $2.50. If you're up for more specialty-type drinks that come in massive glass goblets and may or may not have gotten me drunk before I was finished, those come in all sorts of flavors at $6.95.

The fun part about Bud's is if you're there when they're busy, you'll probably run into someone you know. Oh, small town America.

Bud Murphy's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Geibel Gets a New Principal...Again

The Greensburg Diocese has announced that both Greensburg Central Catholic and Geibel will be getting new principals. Even though Geibel's current principal has only been there for something like two years and was pretty well-liked (unlike the previous principal who'd been there for a while and was much disliked).

No word on why the change was made in either school, which really goes well with Geibel tradition--make major changes without explanation.

Best of luck to new principal Don Favero, but most of all to Geibel students. May your principal be better than mine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Take a Walking Tour of the Nam!

If you've always wanted to learn about Fayette County's historic landmarks--especially churches--I've got great news for you. As part of the Fayette County Healthy Lifestyles Task Force, which I didn't know existed, will be giving a walking tour starting at 6:30 p.m. in the St. John's parking lot in Connellsville.

Sounds like they're mainly focusing on churches, and there are a ton of them, but it still sounds pretty neat. The county, especially Connellsville, actually does have a lot of great history behind it that I think is either unknown or ignored by residents, so this is pretty awesome. And it'll get people out of the house and exercising, which is always a good thing. The bike trails tend to be pretty empty and while the river is often packed, you're usually floating, drunk, or both.

But good job, Healthy Lifestyles Task Force. This is definitely a good thing in the Nam, and it's nice to report on something good and not silly.

Don't forget, like the new Musings from Fayettenam Facebook page that I keep forgetting I made.

Monday, June 13, 2011

In Search of (Comparatively) Cheap Gas

I know, the subject of gas prices has been pretty much exhausted. But the Nam is full of gas stations, and while I have no way of knowing all their prices--let alone locations since I get lost easily and know there are plenty of places I have yet to discover--I do drive around many parts of the county. While I was doing just that today, I was also on the prowl for a good place to stop for gas, and until further notice I have found a winner for the Uniontown area: Sunoco.

Your best bet is the Sunoco along West Main Street, near the new beer distributor aptly named Uniontown Beer, with $3.66 a gallon. And in a close second is the Sunoco on Connellsville St. right before you turn to go downtown on to East Main St. at $3.67 a gallon.

Know something I don't? Does anyone have cheaper gas in Uniontown? What about other areas of the county? Leave a comment.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Casino Plans Are Still On!

Some people don't want a casino in Nemacolin. Like the people who lost the bid and want one in Gettysburg, but their appeal was totally shot down and unless another appeal comes in by June 20, Lady Luck will be on her way.

I still stand by my previous statements regarding Gettysburg being a terrible place for a casino. While we have forts here in the Nam near Nemacolin, the Lady Luck location isn't anything epic, while nearly all of Gettysburg was a battlefield itself. So yeah, let's stick a casino there.

Nemacolin really is perfect for this. I'm pumped to only have to drive like 20 minutes to go gamble.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Those Pesky Budget Cuts: Furloughs

One hundred teachers in the Albert Gallatin school district were sent letters notifying them of possible furloughs. One hundred, all because of budget cuts. The district will lose over $3,000,000 if this state budget passes.

The good news is that no positions have actually been cut yet.

Meanwhile, people need to quit blaming the districts. Yeah, I'm sure money can be cut somewhere and they're not perfect, but these furlough letters wouldn't be going out if the governor wasn't trying to cut education in the state so drastically.

Summer Pizza Specials!

In addition to Vinny's ice cream, there's also a Vinny's pizza place. Like the ice cream, they can be really good but a bit pricey - until now. Because starting today, they're running summer specials.

You can get any large specialty pizza for $10.99 or pick up an extra large one-topping for $8.99.

Order by calling 724-438-2828 and make sure you get a take-out menu. I highly recommend their pastas and cheesecake.

In other news, I started a Facebook page for the blog but keep forgetting about it, so go on and Like it and hopefully I'll remember to update it. And if I do, I promise gems like ridiculous pictures.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tips for Rafting Season

People keep dying or getting arrested on the river. Just today we saw police stopping people on a bank, possibly searching their coolers, and someone was recently arrested for giving minors alcohol. So to make you summer rafting easier, I have some handy tips for you thanks to experience and plenty of stories.
  • Drinking on the Mighty Yough is okay as long as you're of age and make smart decisions. Feel free to trade your Smirnoff Ice for beer with fellow rafters.
  • People have died on the river. Some, myself included, ask, "How is this possible?" upon realizing that most of the river is ankle deep. It's possible by people not making smart decisions, including kayaking at Ohiopyle from an illegal launch site in rough water with a kayak designed for still water.
  • Please don't jump off of rocks close to rafts. I know you wanted to splash me, river rats, but that water is cold and I was trying to eat Bud Murphy's pizza.
  • Eating on the river is highly recommended. Pick up some Bud's pizza, throw some alcohol in a cooler, and for the love of the Youghness Monster, make smart decisions.
  • Beware of mine drainage. You'll recognize it by the smell of sulfur and the orange shoreline.
  • Take life jackets. You won't actually need them, but you'll be fined $80 if you're caught without them.
  • There are some patrols on the river. They do watch for shenanigans, so even though getting caught, say, without life jackets or with underage drinkers or with weed and a baby is unlikely, it is possible.
  • Don't get out in the rapids.
  • Don't go down in an inner tube because you will hit rocks and it will hurt.
  • Take water.
  • Take sunscreen.
  • Don't take anything valuable, anything you're afraid to lose, or anything you don't want to get wet.
  • Don't get in the water in Connellsville until you pass the graffiti bridge. The best swimming spots are after it, and otherwise you'll encounter jumpers.
  • Always be polite, wave to the river rats, and respect the river kings and queens.
  • Enjoy the free relaxation!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer in the Nam

There are two signs of summer in Fayette County: the opening of Comet Drive-In and the opening of Vinny's. (Bonus third sign is the perpetual smell of cigarettes hanging in the air.)

Except this year they opened early, probably to make up for last year's lost profits when the building caught on fire and was out of business for half the summer. Which means I was depressed for half the summer. Vinny's is minutes from my house. I was lost without my usual strawberry shortcake sundae (vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and whipped cream...on top of angel food cake).

But summer is never officially upon us until they stay open late. They'll start by closing at 9. As of today, we are officially at the 10 p.m. closing time. It's time to party.

They can be a bit pricey, but so worth it. I'm trying to branch out and try everything on the menu. I can say from past experience that the fried zucchini is amazing and so is the cappuccino milkshake. And their fries are served in paper bags. I've seen a group of three people fail to tackle a large order.

More incentive: double pizza burgers (my brother swears they're amazing), full meals, fries served with gravy, and every ice cream creation you can imagine. And this wonderful write-up, complete with a great picture.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Food Program for Kids

I always say what the Nam needs is help and that what the Nam never gets is help. Not this summer.

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank "will be serving free, healthy meals" for kids 18 and under.

The list of locations from the Herald-Standard:

-- Albert Gallatin Area District: A.L. Wilson Elementary School, D. Ferd Swaney Elementary School, Friendship Hill Elementary School, George J. Plava Elementary School, Masontown Elementary School and Smithfield Elementary School. Call 724-564-7185 extension 120 for dates and times.

-- Brownsville Area District: Brownsville Middle School, breakfast 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Cardale Elementary School, lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Hunter's Ridge apartments in Redstone Township, breakfast 9 to 9:30 a.m., lunch noon to 1 p.m; and Snowden Terrace, lunch noon to 1 p.m.

--Champion Christian School: Champion Christian School/South Campus, Buchanan Church of God, Church of God of the Prophecy, Critchfield Alliance Church, Holiness Tabernacle Church Camp and Indian Head Church of God. Call 724-455-2122 extension 100 for dates and times.

--Connellsville Area School District: Bullskin Elementary School, Dunbar Township Elementary School, Dunbar Food Pantry at Rendu Services, South Side Elementary School and Zachariah Connell Elementary School. Call 724-628-3300 extension 316 for dates and times.

-- Laurel Highlands School District: Laurel Highlants Junior High School, Laurel Highlands Senior High School, Marshall Elementary School, Surrey Hill, Uniontown Family Homes, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bierer Wood Acres, Laurel Estates, Searights Learning Center, Calvary United Methodist Church, Appalachian Community Center, Berean Seventh Day Adventist and Calvary Baptist Church. Call 724-437-2821 extension 1032 for dates and times.

-- Frazier School District: Frazier High School June 13 to Aug. 18, breakfast 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday, lunch 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; Marian Villa Apartments June 13 to Aug. 18, lunch 11:15 a.m. to 12 :15 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

--Liberty Baptist Church: 183 Oliver Road, Uniontown, breakfast and lunch served daily. Call 724-437-2424 for times.

Use this while you have it, Fayettenam. The children of the Nam need proper nourishment.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I've mentioned rafting before, but haven't actually gone since that post. But now, with summer and ridiculous heat upon us, rafting season has triumphantly returned and the first trip of 2011 was made on Memorial Day.

Rafting has many great advantages. For example:
  1. Cost of rafts and supplies aside, it's free, and you'll only pay for the raft once. And unless you're buying pizza from Bud Murphy's or cases of alcohol to take with you, it will never cost you anything. Public pools charge you to cool down. The Youghiogheny River is just there.
  2. It's a very intense Fayettenam experience, enjoyable by both natives and visitors. You get to see people jumping off of rocks, bridges, and rope swings. I'm pretty sure some river rats intentionally jumped off the rock near us on purpose to get us wet, which was only a problem because the water was so damn cold. And I was eating pizza. Then there are the drunks, the people smoking weed with babies, and the River Kings and Queens tan and leathery parked by the bridges with American and POW flags raised high while they grill.
  3. The Fayettenam Experience shows both the ridiculous, good, and kind of sad. The sightseeing is actually pretty great. You're out in nature and get to see how pretty the Nam really is, especially if you're rafting from Dawson to Layton. Connellsville to Dawson, however, has really neat abandoned bridges and an old abandoned distillery. Also sad.
  4. Natural tan!
  5. Great cool-off.
  6. Good exercise. You'll have to row to avoid banks, rocks, and tree branches, which works your arms. Swimming is also a great workout.
  7. Extreme bonding. You're in a raft on a river for at least three hours with other people.
  8. Relaxation. For the most part, especially if the river is high, you can lie back and enjoy the float.
  9. It's a great opportunity to get drunk.
There are some downsides and safety tips to be had, but for now, wait for another hot day and get out there and enjoy the Mighty Yough.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rogue Ice Cream Truck Driver Charged

One of the feuding ice cream truck drivers is now parked in jail.

No, it wasn't more shenanigans with a rival company. He broke into his boss' home and tried to beat him with a baseball bat over money. Because who needs to fight with a rival when you can stir things up right in your own company? I mean, what's the worst that could happen?

This reminds me of an assault on a priest last year. The cause was similar--a church employee was afraid of losing his job, so he went to scare the priest with an axe. Which doesn't make sense. If you think your job is in danger, physically attacking someone isn't going to help you. Then again, Fayette County has never been the most logical place.

Fayette County also has never been one to let their drama die. The great thing about the internet is that you can watch the eruption of crazy as it happens, like when media coverage isn't enough and you have to comment on news articles to keep the publicity alive.

Miss Polly tries to make it clear there's no rivalry between companies--the problem is one "rogue driver." And that's fine, except that other companies are kind of rivals by default and after these comments, there clearly are some problems between them. She also implies the paper got the story wrong when really, it doesn't seem like they did. Polly says there "was no argument," and that may be true, but one driver basically harassing another does qualify as a "dispute," and when that's involving location and profits it is a sort of ridiculous turf war. And no one can take this story seriously. It's not like the police completely ignored the problem, as Polly implies, or that the paper sensationalized the story. Two feuding ice cream truck drivers will always be ridiculous. The story was made outrageous by existing (although the puns from the media did help).

Then someone complains about how the paper can't get local politics right, which is impressive and unsurprising. No one ever says what exactly the problem is, except for once when someone told me the H-S is too liberal. At a community festival.

Then attacked bossman Swaney lays down the law and says, probably correctly, that neither driver was innocent and Miss Polly really is jumping on a story that doesn't involve her or her company. Swaney, who's been pretty quiet about this whole thing publicly, said he changed the driver's route and that said driver had "personal problems" recently.

In closing, this is why the terrorists hate us and I will sympathize with whichever company drives through my neighborhood and actually gives me enough time to get money without having to chase a truck down the street. Or gives my dog treats, even though that beast doesn't need any.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sometimes, We Do Cool Stuff

Like make badass animal carvings out of wood.

I wish I had that skill.

This is proof that good, neat things do happen here. It's very easy to forget that sometimes.