It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Happy Pittsburgh Light Up Night weekend!

If you know me IRL or have followed me anywhere on social media, you might know I like the holiday season a little bit.

I may or may not have a website dedicated to all things the holidays.

If you live in the Western Pennsylvania region, be sure to check out the site for all sorts of holiday events. This holiday calendar lists so many things. Here are some featured events.

This weekend is Pittsburgh Light Up Night.

Even if you’re not in the holiday spirit just yet, it’s never too early to scan events. December does go by very quickly. And if it’s not your thing, I bet someone you know (besides me, obv) would enjoy it!

Taylor Swift tix

Were you able to get Taylor Swift tickets? Somehow, I lucked into tickets. I am still pretty shocked. A friend organized a group, so I’ll actually be going to both Pittsburgh shows.

If you did not get tickets, Ticketmaster says you likely won’t.

John Aniston dies

John Aniston was a stalwart “Days of our Lives” cast member. The legendary actor died Nov. 11, his daughter, Jennifer Aniston, announced Monday.

Of course, we know him as Victor Kiriakis, a mafia leader with Greek and Italian ties who butted heads with Stefano DiMera and other villains in the fictitious town of Salem.

But few people know that Aniston’s ties to “Days of our Lives” actually began in 1970 when he portrayed Eric Richards.

Anyhow, here are a few things I’ve read this week:

  • Why Everything in Tech Seems to Be Collapsing at Once (The Atlantic)
  • CVS and Walgreens became fixtures of 21st century city life. Their time may be up. (Slate)
  • Gen Z announces itself in midterms with Democratic boost, historic wins (WaPo)
  • Trump called a protest. No one showed. Why GOP efforts to cry foul fizzled this time. (WaPo)

Twitter’s demise leaves users in disarray

How about Twitter these days?

I’ve always enjoyed social media and the information sharing, community building and friendships that has come with it.

Before we knew what “social media” was, I was connecting via blog writing and AOL chat rooms. In the early 2000s, I made digital friends via blogging. Then MySpace, then Facebook, then Twitter.

As a journalist and community builder, finding ways to engage, build relationships and share information runs central to who I am.

Twitter, by far, has had the most impact on my digital life and, quite honestly, my real life.

I used to enjoy saying, “Most of my friends are from Twitter.” And it was true!

Before most journalists knew what Twitter was, I was already finding sources and searching for story ideas via tweets. Over the course of several years, I taught fellow journalists to use Twitter.

As time went on and more people began using Twitter, the social media site went from a thoughtful cafe to a rowdy bar. I still found community, but finding and keeping those strong connections took more effort — like trying to move through a crowded bar and shout, “WHAT DID YOU SAY?” each time your friend says something. You know the scene.

From a news perspective, Twitter has been nothing more than a vacuum of people whose thoughts and words mean very little off the platform.

But with the real-time demise of Twitter, people are jumping ship and seeking new places to set up digital residences.

I dusted off my Reddit and Discord accounts; I tried navigating my way into an account on Mastodon; I opened accounts on Tribel, Cohost, and; and even considered giving LinkedIn more of a shot.

I’m not sure what my end game is — except that I plan on using Twitter less often.

I may go retro and blog more (here or maybe on Substack).

Perhaps you’ll consider following along. Find all the links here.

Send letters from Santa to support the American Cancer Society

Back again is a fundraising effort I just love!

For a minimum $5 donation per letter, you can have Santa send a personalized letter to someone you love! Think of all of those kids from 1 to 92 who would love a letter from Santa!

Money raised supports the American Cancer Society!

Get all of the details here.

Kennywood Park nearing 125th anniversary

What began as a trolley park in the late 1800s is now one of America’s top amusement parks.

Nestled above the Monongahela River, Kennywood Park has remained a constant as the world around it in the Mon Valley — sometimes referred to as “the valley that built the world” — changed.

The park sits across the river from a still-in-operation steel mill — one of a few left in a region that prospered in its heyday of steel works that provided jobs and also polluted the region.

Most of the steel mills are gone, the cities dotting the region that flourished during the time now struggle, and the area’s population continues dwindling.

As the region around it changed, Kennywood Park solidified itself as Western Pennsylvania’s amusement park, with annual school picnics, celebrity guests, ethnic celebrations and thrills for everybody in the family.

In 2022, as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions lifted and people navigated a new world, Kennywood Park management ushered in the start of a major celebration: The kickoff of the park’s 125th anniversary.

With it came word of the return of one of four rides the park removed, plus other park improvements — long overdue cosmetic enhancements to spruce up the park.

Sadly, with the great changes came a rollback in operating hours. The park, where legend has it that the coasters run faster at night, and where thousands of lights sparkle when the sun goes down, closed before the sun was even at the horizon, marking regular closings at 7 or 8 p.m.

It seems, more big changes are in the works in 2023 for the park’s 125th anniversary.

Kennywood is teasing at least one themed area improvement.

Little details are available but, apparently, aliens speak Pittsburghese!

The QR code takes fans to a site on Kennywood’s page.

Looking carefully at the site, these are some clues:

  • The site title says “UFOTracker.”
  • The image shows the number “1122,” which could mean the park might use Nov. 22 to reveal more information.
  • The image also shows “2023,” so that seems pretty obvious.

The Cosmic Chaos, which sits next to this area, was added to the park in 2007. It was manufactured by Zamperla, where the generic ride is called the Mega Disk’O.

The new ride is rumored to also be from Zamperla. Kennywood has some other Zamperla rides, including Aero 360 and SS Kenny (in Kiddieland).

Could any of these rides be coming to Kennywood in 2023? Hmm…

Of course, before then, the park will hold its Phantom Fall Fest (you know it as Phantom Fright Nights but now with daytime fun for everyone) and Holiday Lights!

Image by annca from Pixabay

Why is ‘Days of our Lives’ not on TV?

Why is “Days of our Lives” not on TV? NBC moved it to Peacock TV.

Has “Days of our Lives” been canceled? No. It’s still going strong on Peacock TV.

Why is “Days of our Lives” not on this week? It is on. It’s on Peacock TV.

What happened to “Days of our Lives” on NBC? The network moved it to Peacock TV.

If you haven’t heard, the sands keep flowing through the hourglass in Salem as “Days of our Lives” has a new home.

Beginning Sept. 12, new episodes of “Days of our Lives” started airing exclusively on Peacock TV.

You won’t find “Days of our Lives” on NBC anymore.

The network moved “Days of our Lives” to Peacock TV. It’s NBC’s streaming service.

New episodes are available weekdays at 6 a.m. Eastern.

The show is available under Peacock’s paid tier. New subscribers can get it for a discounted price of $1.99 a month or $19.99 for a year.

Many Comcast (Xfinity) customers might already have Peacock for free!

No longer are “Days of our Lives” fans tied to a television to watch. “Days of our Lives” fans can watch on the Peacock mobile app, on their tablets, on their computers or on their TVs (using a smart TV or a device like Chromecast).

Another perk is that “Days of our Lives” will never be pre-empted by network news, local news or sports. That means no recording at 1 a.m. or watching 45 minutes of an episode only for it to be cut off.

If you’re new to Peacock, don’t forget to watch the two “Beyond Salem” chapters (“Beyond Salem” chapter two included Kristian Alfonso and Peter Reckell) and the “Days of our Lives” Christmas movie!