Thanks Pittsburgh!

Pittsburgh is having a steel hangover.

That’s what I kept hearing all day long. My life really is interesting because I’m now getting to a diverse enough group of cities in a short amount of time to get a feel for what’s happening in each city.

I didn’t expect what I found.

Why? Cause I, like many others even who live here, remember Pittsburgh’s past. It’s the city of steel.

I expected dirty, grimy, economic ruin, and all that.

But, I found a really pretty city that has great educational institutions and a vibrancy that many other cities wish they had.

But, there’s that steel hangover.

The city is still trying to figure out who it is. Is it a football town? A technology town (I met a couple of Apple employees tonight, for instance, who work here and Google is opening an office and Bill Gates donated a bunch of money to Carnegie Mellon where I’ll be getting a tour of the robotics lab tomorrow)? Or something else? A geek town?

Seems they have the past working against them. Some city elders want to move away from the Steel and industrial heritage the city has.

One thing that I learned is that a lot of people come here to get their computer science and technology degrees and then they promptly leave for either better weather or better economic conditions.

Anyway, back to tonight. The bloggers here gave me a tour of the town and really treated me like a star. Even bought me a birthday cake! I got my own Pittsburgh towel (football is HUGE here).

We ended up at Aldos for coffee. What’s the big deal about that? Well, it’s the best coffee in Pittsburgh. How do I know that? I don’t, but they have a blog and the coffee is just as good as anything I’ve had in Seattle. You gotta love a coffee place that has HDTV too!

Anyway, thanks PeterB and the approximately 40 others who came to the Pittsburgh blogger fest tonight for my birthday. Oh, and thanks to Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy of Pittsburgh Business Bloggers for inviting me out and driving me around town.

A funny thing is that Venky (as Venkatesh is known around town, here’s a picture of him drinking a coffee and another of him out in front of the hotel I’m staying at holding the OQO I was dragging around town) took me to the local Barnes and Noble where I offered to sign some books. So, out comes the Emergency Author Signing kit. No kidding. Eamon McNamee, community relations manager at Barnes and Noble comes out and greets me. What a trip!

Anyway, back to Pittsburgh. You gotta love a town that has a Cathederal of Learning. Seriously, that’s what they call this building and it’s the second tallest educational building in the world.

More photos coming tomorrow on my Flickr feed (I love showing off my new SmartPhone and how I can get photos up there within a few seconds). At about 2 p.m. Eastern tomorrow I’ll be visiting Carnegie Mellon’s robot laboratory. That should be fun!

Party Alert! (What a day!)

What a day. It was event after event and I just didn’t get time to blog or answer much email. It’s 1 a.m. here and I gotta get some sleep. But, wanted to post something quick. First, Mike Madison’s class was great. Had fun conversations about how to blog and the legal issues that might arise. Mike covers it on his blog. Here’s a photo of Mike with two of his students (they took me to lunch where we talked about Pittsburgh and lots of corporate legal issues).

But, that’s not what this post is about.

TechCrunch, seconds ago, posted an announcement and wiki for the Naked Conversations Silicon Valley Launch Event on February 17.

The TechCrunch parties are becoming world famous (we talked about them at the blogger dinner tonight) and this one is gonna be even a bigger deal than previous ones. We even have sponsors. Pluck, Pandora, Kaboodle, Zazzle, Rojo, Flock, and Eurekster aren buying food and other fun things for party goers.

Sorry, this is limited to the first 200 people who sign up. Hope to see you there!

The best blonde joke…

I missed the best blonde joke ever. Well, at least I did until I got to Greg Hughes blog. Being blonde I appreciate jokes like these. Update: Greg’s link doesn’t seem to work, so you can catch the joke on Ben Hammersley’s blog.

Oh, hell, since we’re doing stupid stuff and it’s my birthday, here’s a couple of fun videos:

One for Liz Lawley. She’s a World of Warcraft fan. The video explains how WoW is a birth control device.
One for all you Xbox fans. Video of the comic group Tripod — song has funny moments that women who hang out with geeks can certainly appreciate.

Hey, I know these have been on Digg already. Too bad. It’s my birthday and it’s my blog. Heheh.