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When squash attack!

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog spaghetti squashThe spaghetti squash that ate the garden!

It was one little spaghetti squash plant which ran wild in Olivia Walker's Finleyville garden. Her daughter Madison had planted it innocently enough, just hoping to see what this unique vegetable was all about. Peppers, cucumbers and onions were overrun by the vines as they conquered the garden. Olivia said, "It has TAKEN OVER. Is there ANY way we can prune this and not kill it, HELP!!!"

Anyone who has ever planted a vine crop like spaghetti squash knows how quickly they can carpet the garden, cover fences, homes and in rare cases the neighborhood children too.

Experienced squash growers have learned to be vine wranglers, training vines each day into paths and away from other plants. That was my advice to Olivia and Madison whose vines are filled with blossoms and fruit.

I also told them if the plant was just too much for the garden that the ends of each plant could be pruned without really negatively affecting the vine as a whole, but eventually the vines would continue to grow.

Beware the squash plant! It can devour the garden. A good lesson for planning next year's garden.

 

 

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Vacation post - 08-08-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

-Happy 64th birthday to former Penguins all-star forward Greg Polis (right). A first-round pick in 1970, Polis spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1970-71, Polis appeared in 61 games and scored 33 points. In 1971-72, Polis led the team with 30 goals,  recorded 49 points and was selected to his second all-star game. Polis' third season in 1972-73 once again saw him score 49 points and once again get selected to the all-star game. He would score two goals in that contest and become the first player in Penguins history to win an all-star game MVP award. After 41 games and 27 points in 1973-74, Polis was traded to the rival Blues along with Bryan Watson and a draft pick in exchange for Steve Durbano, Ab DeMarco Jr. and Bob Kelly. In 256 games with the Penguins, Polis scored 158 points, 53rd-most in franchise history.

Happy 58th birthday to former Penguins forward Gary Rissling. Acquired midway through the 1980-81 season in a deal which sent a draft pick to the Capitals, Rissling, one of the top antagonists in team history, spent parts of five seasons in Pittsburgh. Rissling appeared in 25 games in 1980-81 and recorded one assist as well as 143 penalty minutes. In just 16 games in 1981-82, Rissling failed to record a point but did amass 55 penalty minutes. The 1982-83 season saw Rissling dress for 40 games, score nine points and record 128 penalty minutes. During the dreadful 1983-84 season, Rissling played in 47 games, scored 17 points and led the team with 297 penalty minutes, a mark which is the fourth-most in franchise history. His final season in the NHL was 1984-85. He set a career high in games (56) and points (19) while recording 209 penalty minutes. After spending two more seasons with the Baltimore Skipjacks, the Penguins' AHL affiliate, Rissling was released in the 1987 offseason. In 184 games with the Penguins, Rissling scored 46 points and compiled 832 penalty minutes, seventh-most in franchise history.

-Happy 34th birthday to former Penguins forward Steve MacIntyre. A free agent signing in 2011, MacIntyre has spent parts of the past two seasons with the Penguins. MacIntyre appeared in 12 games during the 2011-12 campaign and recorded no points. In 2012-13, he played in one game and did not record a point. He was claimed off waivers by the Oilers during the 2013-14 preseason. In 13 career games with the Penguins, MacIntyre had no points.

(Photo: Penguins Hockey Cards)

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Biohazard

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The partisan toxicity of the republicans in Congress has destroyed any hope of passing legislation that would actually help the people they represent. They are too busy trying to bring down Obama to be concerned with the needs of average citizens. 

080814 Biohazard

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Training Camp Tchotchkes

Written by Dan Gigler on .

Bunch of odds & ends from around the Steelersphere ... 

******PG reporter Robert Zullo writes today on Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto's decision to loan the Heinz History Center a $40,000 crystal football, donated to the city by Kaufmann's to commemorate the Steelers Super Bowl XL win. But before handing over the piece Peduto, did his best Immaculate Reception impersonation for WDVE's "Francoing for Steelers tickets" contest which ends tomorrow. 

Needless to say, Hizzoner owned it. 

peduto franco

******Pittsburgh Dad makes his annual visit to Steelers camp ... worth watching for the number retiring joke at the end ... 

******If you're headed to Steelers camp, here's a new place nearby to try for a bite to eat before or after.

******Although they've easily been one of the most successful teams of the last decade, at the same time Steelers losses can be particularly hard to take and Football Outsiders explains that there is definitely a reason for this:  

Pittsburgh fans have probably been saying “if only” a lot over the past few years. The Steelers have had an opportunity for a game-winning drive in 14 of their last 16 losses. Over the past decade, no team has been as likely to lose close as the Steelers. Nearly 80 percent of their losses since 2004 featured a fourth-quarter comeback and/or game-winning drive opportunity ... The league average is 57.7 percent.

******One of the best original Steelers humor blogs, One for the Other Thumb, has reinvented itself in Tumblr format with some excellent photoshop pics, among other content:

OFTOT photoshop  

******Speaking of pictures, here are a bunch of Steeler-related pics of snapped with my over the past year-plus, but could never find a way to work them into this blog, starting with a Tattoo of the Zombie Apocolypse Myron Cope, belonging to Adam Piscatelli of Dive Bar Lawrenceville

zombie myron

Bunch of Steelers license plates ... 

plate six4

plate still

plate lers

plate vi

And finally a few vintage T-shirts (the second one in particular is excellent) ... 

shirt XXX

shirt 70s

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Talkin' Bout Practice: August 7

Written by Sam Werner on .

IMG 4179Sorry for the slight delay today, but we're back with a rundown of Pitt's fourth practice of 2014 today. In case you missed it, here's my story from today's PG on freshman running back Chris James, who is hoping to make an impact for the Panthers this season. As for today's session, the team were back outside this morning, and here's a rundown of what we saw...

- First, a couple of wide receiver notes. Freshman Adonis Jennings was back for the full session today after missing the last few days with what he said was a groin injury. He was back, and looked impressive. He's still probably a bit skinnier than you'd ideally want a big-time receiver to be, but that's to be expected from a freshman. On one play today he caught a short dig route from Chad Voytik and was able to take it down the field 30 or 40 yards. He's very fluid moving on the field and seems to have a good sense of body control. He took a handful of reps with the first team today, and I'd be surprised if those don't increase as training camp wears on.

- On the flip side of things, receiver Tyler Boyd missed virtually all of today's session. He was indoors working with trainers, and Paul Chryst said after practice that it was basically just a rest/maintenance day for Boyd. It sounds like that will be something that continues throughout camp with Boyd and various other players. To some degree, it makes sense. Boyd is probably the most important on Pitt's roster this season, so the coaches probably feel it's more important to keep him healthy and rested rather than run him ragged on the field.

- Defensive back Phillipie Motley had a walking boot on his left foot that Chryst loquaciously described as "a little something with his foot." He said he was day-to-day.

- Running back Isaac Bennett took part in individual drills and 7-on-7 situations, but did not see the field during 11-on-11 periods. Today, sophomore Rachid Ibrahim was generally the second running back out there with the first team following James Conner.

- Defensive end David Durham made a nice play during the first part of team drills, jumping over the pile to stuff Conner on a 3rd-and-short situation.

- Trenton Coles had an interception on a tipped pass that was intended for Ronald Jones but tipped in the air by Lafayette Pitts. Coles is going to be an important player for Pitt this season, given how he has been thrust into a starting role with Titus Howard's suspension. He's got all the potential in the world, but has yet to put it all together. One of the biggest problems he'll face is when he has to go against bigger receivers. He's listed at 6-3, 175 pounds, and even that's probably a bit generous. There was a point today when he lined up against Manasseh Garner and it just didn't seem fair how much bigger Garner was. Coles will have to be very fundamentally sound, or else the coaches will have to figure out ways to cover bigger receivers that can body up on Coles.

- Conner, once again, took probably three or four snaps at defensive end. Not a ton, but he's definitely getting his work in there.

- It looks like Rori Blair is definitely making his way up the defensive end rotation, to the point where he might be the first or second guy off the bench right now (especially in nickel situations) behind Durham and Shakir Soto. That says just as much (if not more) about Pitt's lack of depth there than it does about Blair, but he's a guy who Pitt will probably have to count on at points this year. The good news is that, physically, he doesn't really look like a freshman. He looks big enough to go against college offensive linemen and the extra work he got from being here in the spring should help too. It's not an ideal situation, obviously, but it could be worse.

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