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December 13, 2014

Quick Decorum Reminder

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 10:21 am

Folks, I know that there are a lot of comments flying with the football stuff. Emotions are tending to rise and fall — mostly rising at this point. I also know there are a lot of new people trying to comment.

With that in mind…

1. Don’t be an ass. You are not speaking truth to power. You are not the only one who sees things clearly and the rest are idiots and blind sheep. I have to be honest. It’s been a long season, and I’ve tried to let things go, but several people are coming up to the line where I have had enough of it and will start banning people to bring things under control.

2. If you are new and you don’t see your comments showing up in discussion it is because I missed them or haven’t approved them. New comments are held for review to make sure that they aren’t spam, from previously banned commenters trying to slip in under a different email, and just for appropriate content. Drop me an e-mail if you are concerned: pitblather-at-gmail-dot-com

3. In that vein, insulting me or any of the other writers, slash complaining in the comments that you are being banned or censored won’t help you in getting the comments approved. I’m more than happy to let you believe you are a victim.

4. Sock-puppetry will almost certainly result in being called out and immediately banned.

Hopefully that will cover it.

February 28, 2014

Brief Comment Username Reminder

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:26 am

As long-timer readers should remember, I’m not very tolerant of sock puppetry in the comments.

Consequently the filters  toss comments into a general queue for review if the username or e-mail don’t match-up to your previously approved comments under a different username/e-mail. And given the volume in the queue I may not get to them all, since that means I have to search through old comments and confirm its the same person. And make sure they aren’t playing games.

You can drop me a line if you feel that there is a problem, but be sure to let me know what username you are/have been using. It would also help if you could explain why you felt the need to change the name.

October 31, 2012

We Get Letters — Sort Of

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:06 am

We lost power for a near 24-hour period thanks to high winds and rain. Somehow our block had minimal tree damage. The block east of us, however, got slammed. Some 8 or 9 trees knocked over on that block. Including one that took out a transformer (and a car and part of a house). So the 3 inches of water in the basement because the sump pump wasn’t on seems relatively minor. A good part of my day will be bleach washing the basement surface and getting rid of a bunch of kids toys (not exactly the plan I had to get rid of a lot of old toys, but I’m going with it).

In the meantime I figure on sharing this e-mail that got forwarded to me from a reader. It came to me from Yardbarker’s managing editor, who received it — and was quite confused as to why it came to him. This really is an actual e-mail from an actual person.

I was given your name by Jerry Micco, Sports Editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  I wrote to him expressing concern about the Pitt Blather column which is published in the Post-Gazette.  He responded by saying that the column is a publication of FOXSports.com so I am forwarding my concern to you.

I like the content of Pitt Blather very much, but I don’t like the name “Pitt Blather”.  According to the dictionary, blather means non-sensical talk.  What kind of a name is this to assign to a serious blog about Pitt football?  The names of the blogs for Penn State (Black Shoe Diaries) and WVU (The Mountaintop), which also appear in the Post-Gazette, are dignified and pertinent, but Pitt Blather is not only off-target but also demeaning.  I am hoping that you will find a way to have the name of this column changed to something that is more appropriate.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request.

Sincerely,

[Name redacted]

If you ever wanted to know why corporations were wary/parnoid for so long about including hyperlinks and sidebars to outside content, meet Exhibit A.

I’m mostly amused, but for the suggestion that this is a “serious blog about Pitt football.” That kind of depresses me.

When I was trying to decide on the name of this blog the runner-up to “Pitt Sports Blather” was “The Babble Pitt.” To this day I still second-guess the decision.

October 10, 2012

Unexplained Absence

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 12:31 pm

No, losing to Syracuse did not break my spirit and send me into a week-long bender.

My father-in-law was hospitalized over the weekend. He’s still there, while more tests and observations are made. He’s at that age, where any trip to the hospital holds that dire potential that they find something really bad. Or worse, simply that he never leaves under his own power. My wife has been with him all week. While I handle work, the kids and everything else.

Needless to say, I have not been on the computer very frequently this week.  I’ll try to post soon.

September 11, 2012

Time for Some Commenting Reminders

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 12:08 am

Stress does funny things to people. This Pitt season has already added plenty of it to what has built up over the last couple of years. I’m seeing it showing up in the comments in various ways.

So, I think some reminders about how things work are in order.

There is no formal registration to comment on this blog at this point. I don’t do it, mainly because I don’t like to bother when I go to other sites. Also, because I don’t want the added responsibility of safeguarding other people’s personal information. The reality is that the site is getting bigger and more popular so eventually I probably will have to.

In the meantime, there is still something of a controlled honor system.

(more…)

August 29, 2012

Expansiopoclypse Strikes Pitt Blather

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 5:49 am

Yes, even this site is not immune to the changing forces that have swirled around college athletics.

Okay, so it’s really just some new contributors on the site. Still, with the loss of Pitt Script Blog to the SBN borg outpost, Cardiac Hill. It could be viewed — with enough to drink — as the Pitt Blog Expansion Wars of 2012. Or something else.

Chris Gates is a Pittsburgh native, loves Pitt athletics, and has spent the past year working at 93.7 The Fan. Among the things he did there was blogging. He’s just moved across the country to work at Oregon State as the Web/Interactive Media Coordinator for RecSports, but he still wants to write and talk Pitt. Happily he took me up on an offer to continue doing so here. You can also follow Chris on Twitter. Oh, and he just loves to here Kent State jokes. Can’t get enough of them.

Once upon a time, there was a blogspot blog that focused on Pitt recruiting. Then it got deleted by the person who had it. So others, slightly less serious, brought the place back and opted to have some fun. For a while all was well. But then the incident. A trauma that changed things.

They were never quite the same after the horrible incident known as the 2008 Sun Bowl. Even after the rehab from the mental trauma, the strain proved too much for them. They could never quite recover and generate content with any consistency. Which was a shame since they had some good stuff. A few of them want to try again, but without the pressure of needing to do it on a regular basis. So, now they will try to bring the funny here when so motivated. You can find at least one of them skulking about on twitter as well.

Finally, the mystery* known only as Dan. He’s the new guy. He’s a student at Pitt. Lifelong fan. He’s been in contact with me over the summer and wants to give the blogging thing a go.

*”Mystery” being a relative term. I’ve vetted him to my satisfaction that this won’t be a Sarah Phillips thing. As I’m not sure how much of his actual background he wants to share, however, there’s not much more to tell you about him.

Just one more reason to make sure to glance at the byline under the post title before you angrily complain about (or even compliment) the person who wrote something.

August 14, 2012

Family First

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 9:59 am

Sorry to abruptly disappear for nearly a week. Lot of off-line activity that kept me from finding any time to give the blog some time. Family stuff — nothing bad — that just took all the significant spare time available. It’s done, so all should be back on a normal schedule.

I’m sure many of you have read the post from Paul Zeize that he is leaving the Pitt football beat for a while, as his son now holds an offer from the school and will be going through recruiting. Zeise is the only one who regularly wrote on Pitt football longer than this blog, so this is a significant change. I’ve enjoyed his work over the years. He has been fair in his coverage of Pitt.

Still he had no choice. There would be an appearance and/or perception of bias with his son holding a scholarship offer from Pitt. Heck, whether his son chooses Pitt or elsewhere there will still be someone ready to use it against him the minute he writes or comments on Pitt now and in the future.

Hoping he gets back to the Pitt beat soon, though. (No offense to the new guy, Sam Werner.)

April 9, 2012

Final Day to Bleg

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 10:07 am

Good Friday, Passover, Easter, the Masters. It is one active holiday weekend. Thank you everyone who made a pledge or paypal donation over the weekend. Eleven PayPal hits and six check pledges was better than I expected for this kind of weekend. Some of the checks arrived over the weekend, so thanks again.

Hope everyone enjoyed the weekend. The Pennsylvania and Ohio Turnpikes were wonderfully empty yesterday. We went and retrieved our daughter from the grandparents, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen both highways that empty — of cars, trucks and cops. If the roads were like that during football season, I believe the 140 mile trip from my house to Heinz Field could be done in under 2 hours.

This should be the final day of asking for help. One more good day and posts asking for money disappear for 2 more years.

April 6, 2012

Nearing the Blegging End

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 9:08 am

Yesterday was a great rebound. Not sure if it was guilt or the hope that this will end soon. I kid, I kid. We all know it’s the hope that the daily pledge drive posts will end soon. There were 13 paypal donations and 11 check pledges over the last 24 hours.

Sorry for the quiet most of yesterday. I had to take a quick drive to Donegal, PA yesterday. We were meeting my mom to do a prisoner drop  my daughter off so she could spend part of her spring break with her grandparents — the BP/McDonald’s off the turnpike is just lovely this time of year. Donegal happens to be halfway between us and them. Then with a rejiggered schedule I had to work in the evening.

Hopefully this will be another strong day and this can be finished by Monday for another two years. You can donate two ways. If you want to send a check, e-mail me at PittBlather-at-gmail-dot-com and I will respond with my address. The other way is to simply click the PayPal button on the right (and yes, that e-mail that comes up is correct).

April 5, 2012

The Slowdown in Donations

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:04 am

Not unexpectedly, yesterday saw the pledges slow a bit. There were eleven PayPal contributions, but only two pledges for checks.

The drop-off wasn’t steep, but noticeable. It’s why there is a post each day to beg. To remind those that haven’t donated that I’m still asking for help.

You can contribute by check or PayPal. Either click the PayPal button on the right link column (yes, the Hotmail e-mail account listed is correct). For sending a check, just send an e-mail to PittBlather-at-gmail-dot-com indicating that is what you would like to do and I’ll send you my home address.

If the number of pledges can stay in the double figures through Friday, I will be able to end the annoying blegging posts after Monday (the weekend will be bleg free, regardless).

April 4, 2012

The Blegging Continues a Steady Pace

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:56 am

Another steady day of contributions and pledges. Eight PayPal contributions and nine check pledges. That puts the two-day total at 20 PayPal donations and 15 check pledges. Consistency like this is encouraging that the pledge drive can end in under two weeks.

You can help by donating one of two ways. One is to shoot me an e-mail at PittBlather-at-gmail-dot-com and I can give you my mailing address. I’m not going to post it on the site, because that is just plain stupid. The other is clicking PayPal on the right sidebar. Yes, the e-mail address listed on the account when you click is correct — my PayPal account predates PittBlather.

On a nuts-and-bolts issue. I will need to hire someone to help with some of the upgrades and improvements to the site. I know some people, but keeping it in the Pitt family, so to speak, would be good. So if you or someone you know has experience with website design, computer graphics and/or wordpress send me an e-mail to discuss it.

April 3, 2012

Only You Can Keep the Begging Brief

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 8:52 am

Decent start to pledge/begging week. 12 donations via PayPal and 6 check pledges. Hopefully there can be a steady flow like this all week.

There was a question why I do the pledge drive in April rather than sometime in the beginning of training camp or basically any other point when traffic is going to be noticeably higher,  people (hopefully) are more excited about Pitt athletics and by extension this site, and thus more eager to contribute. Obviously, I have given this some thought.

There are a few reasons. The first goes to my own distaste for having to do this. Writing posts to justify giving me money to operate something I love, necessarily descends in to a bit of self-promotion and self-importance. I’m perfectly willing to have others speak highly of me and talk about how great I am, but I remain uncomfortable doing it for myself. Now that I think about it, this might be why some people speak of themselves in the 3d person when they get self-aggrandizing. Gives them a sense of detachment from the obvious arrogance. But I digress.

Another reason is time. When August rolls around, and pretty much through the end of March, there is usually plenty to post. And there’s a good chance I’m going to fall behind at points. Writing extra posts that don’t hit on actual Pitt athletics is one more thing to put me behind. And then I’m trying to convince people to give when I can’t even keep up with the news. Just doesn’t look good.

The final reason is that I hate pledge drives. I hate hearing them on the radio or on TV. I get the necessity (obviously), but they still annoy me. And I imagine plenty of you don’t like them. The constant interruptions and disruptions to the routine. Delaying news or entertainment. Ugh. So I’d rather just do it during a period that is relatively calmer and less intrusive.

April 2, 2012

Time to Bleg

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 9:52 am

If you have been reading this site for more than two years, then you may know what time of the year it is. It is time for me to ask for financial help.

This site is a joyous time suck for me. My wife is remarkably understanding about the time and obsession I spend on the site and following Pitt athletics. The one rule is that while it can suck time, it can’t suck the money. Therefore, every two years in April I do a week or two of asking for contributions to keep the site going.

The costs are primarily devoted to site upkeep, server costs and updating/upgrading the computer I use. There has been some discussion of trying to set aside a home football game as a PittBlather tailgating event this year. A chance for many of us to meet. That would be great, and some of the donations would go towards the cost of that.

There are two ways to contribute. You can click the PayPal icon on the right sidebar. The other way is e-mail me at PittBlather-at-gmail-dot-com for my address, and send a check.

There is no set amount to send. It is whatever you feel comfortable .

I’ll be running a reminder post each day this week. Hopefully the need to beg uncomfortably will only have to go for one week.

February 21, 2012

Just Disrupted

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 10:39 am

No the basketball season has not beaten me down so far I stopped posting. The offline world has conspired against me. Some family stuff. Kids being sick –which of course led to me getting taken down as well.

Then the topped being my car abruptly giving up the ghost. So I am trying to work quickly to replace my car without being reckless and stupid.

Hopefully I will resume consistent posting soon.

January 24, 2012

Quick Word About Comment System

Filed under: Admin — Chas @ 1:12 pm

As you probably know, the comment system went ka-blooey last week. I’ve since made some alterations to fix and address a lot lot comment spam that was worming its way into posts.

The new system seems to be working well, but there is one significant change. If you are new to commenting or use more than one computer to post comments, then there may be a delay on seeing your comment posted. The first comment will be sent to “pending” for approval. Once I approve that first comment, your comments will start posting immediately.

Obviously the one flaw is that I have to be on the site to approve, and there will be some time gaps depending on when the comment was made and when I get on the computer. It isn’t that you did something wrong (unless you did, and I previously banned you). It is that I can be lazy.

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