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10 posts in 10 days – Dave R’s office

Cats: Off The Wall Topics, Uncategorized| 2 Comments »
office-pictures-0201I’m sure most of you out there have normal offices at work.  Maybe you have a lot of awards or photos on your walls, loads of important papers waiting to be signed.  An in-box, and out-box, a stapler.  Well, my office here at QED is a little different.
First off, my office is on the first floor here at QED. (There are 4 floors total)  I live right next door to QED cooking legend Chris Fennimore.  He’s the program director at WQED but everyone knows him asoffice-pictures-023 the “cooking guy.”  We call him Cookie.  If you have any questions about a recipe, let me know and I’ll ask him though the wall.       office-pictures-0121So here’s my desk.  Pretty clean ‘eh?  Some highlights above my desk is the fish mobile in the upper left, my collection of press passes including my most prized possession – our Super Bowl XL passes.  I got Fuzzy dice, and genuine New Orleans beads, and an FBI hat from the FBI training academy.  There is some legitimate work stuff but if you look above the computer monitor, you’ll see a red blur.  This is the Bloody Bison.  My daughter Madison came in one day when she was about 3 and drew that picture.  I think she meant for it to be a dog, but it looks more like a bloody bison so that stuck.


office-pictures-011Ok, next wall over is my black velvet Dogs Playing Poker.  I got this when I was in college and for some reason after I got married, my wife Pattie allowed me to take this to work instead of displaying it at home.  Below that is my “rolodex,” which involves about 23 post-its and various pieces of paper with phone numbers written on them.


office-pictures-007On the opposite wall is my bobbleheads underneath my black velvet paintings.  If you’ve seen our Belt Show, we stopped at a garage sale in the South Hills during the blue belt or maybe the green belt story, and I got these Reyes paintings.  Between them is the pig catapult, which I successfully kept out of my kids’ hands.  On the left if a map of Pennsylvania which is where we are going for our state shows.  Around the map is lots of fan mail that I saved including a guy who says our show helps with hangovers, and one guy who wanted us to help build him a house.  office-pictures-009


I like to think of it as dorm-room-chic.  Someday I promise that I will grow up.

No dust mites were harmed in any way during the writing of this blog. – Dave R

10 posts in 10 days – Bobbleheads

Cats: Off The Wall Topics, Uncategorized| 1 Comment »

Here’s a question – where can you find Jesse Jackson standing next to Jesus?  Where can you find George Bush hanging out with Beethoven?  And where can you find Ulysses S. Grant posing with PA State Representative Tim Solobay?  Simple – on the shelf in my office.

I collect bobblehead dolls.  I didn’t mean to, it just happened. 

office-pictures-006About 5 years ago, my sister-in-law Carol gave me a Joey Fatone N’Sync bobblehead doll for a Christmas present.  I think it was a joke, but I thought it was funny so I brought it into work.  And as many people have pointed out, it bears a striking resemblance to the other Dave.  Since then, the collection has grown to over 30 bobbles.  I didn’t buy any of them, they just seemed to find me.

dave-r-pics-0011I even got a bobblehead doll of myself thanks to a shoot a few years back with Walt Srocki.  This segment just happened to generate the most feedback of any story we’ve done because Walt will make you a one-of-a-kind bobblehead doll if you send him a few photos.  It’s bigger than your normal bobblehead and he will only make one copy – he won’t make a mold because he sees it as a work of art.  I really like mine.  If you want one from Walt – you can call him at 412-782-5551.


Here’s a couple I really like.  I was able to strong-arm OnQ’s Tonia Caruso out of her Tim Solobay bobbleheads.  Mr. Solobay is the PA State Representative from the 48th district.  I actually have 3 Solobays, in 3 different action poses. 

Of course, the Pirates have about 77 bobblehead nights a year so I got a lot of forgettable Pirates on my shelf.  I got future Hall-of-Lame players like Ronny Paulino, Oliver Perez, Mike Gonzalez, and Craig Wilson.  I even have a Potato Pete who is one of my 4 favorite pierogies.

I do have some really famous people like Plaxico, Jimmy Krenn, Jesus, George Bush, The Woodright Shoppe’s Roy Underhill, Bill from the Red Green show, the Empire carpet guy and Rosie the Robot.  Oh, if they could only talk, the conversation they would have….


Of course, these guys are just a small part of the strangeness that is my office here at QED.  Tomorrow, I’ll show you the rest, in all of its insane glory.  You’ve seen “MTV’s Cribs” right?  Ok, this is just like that, but without the pools, home theaters, and Escalades.

No bobbleheads were harmed during the writing of this blog. – Dave R


10 Posts in 10 days – March Madness

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Since I’m calling 10 blog posts in 10 days my March madness, it only seems appropriate that the first post talk about the NCAA tournament that begins tomorrow.


It’s March and that can mean only one thing – potholes and the NCAA Tournament.  Ok, that’s two things but only one of those is enjoyable.  For my money, this is the best sporting event of the year.  You can keep your Super Bowls, your World Series, your Westminster Dog Shows – give me a month of great college hoops and I’m happy.  And the reason it’s the best event is because everyone is the country is gambling on it.   The tournament bracket pools make even the most holy folks among us turn into John Daly.


I know you throw your money into these pools, you don’t have to hide it.  Yet year after year you lose to people like Janet in accounting or Herb in sales.  Well enough is enough.  I’m here to give you helpful tips that I guarantee will help you make some noise in your office pool.

I like to call these Rhodes’ Laws (Actually, it doesn’t roll off the tongue that well but it looks cool in print).  If you follow these guidelines, you will come out healthier, wealthier, and wise.  (Ok, maybe not the wise thing but work with me here).

Rhodes’ Laws:

1.  Put North Carolina in your final four.  I don’t care if it is 2009, 1979, or 1949, pick them.  Powder blue works real well in March.

2.  Never, ever pick a 15th or 16th seed in the 1st round.  C’mon!  Who are you trying to impress?  The guys on these teams are not NBA lottery picks – they are the future Quality Control Specialists for mid-sized paper companies.

3.  Pick upsets in the 1st two rounds.  Yeah, I know, that goes against what rule #2 says, but here’s what I’m saying – pick realistic upsets, especially some #10-13 seeds.  And when you nail one of these games, it just feels so good.  Like maybe Mississippi State?  Hmm?  Hmm?

4.  Don’t pick Marquette to win it all.  They haven’t done that since 1977.

5.  Don’t pick San Francisco to win it all.  They haven’t done that since 1956, and that should continue since they didn’t make the tournament.

6.  Don’t pick the City College of New York to win it all.  They haven’t done that since 1950.  In fact, never pick the City College of New York for anything outside of an off-Broadway musical.

7.  Stay away from universities that have lots of directions in their name.  Teams like East Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, and Southwesteastnorth Texas College of Mortuary Science.  I don’t know why, but the more directions mean less wins.

8.  Don’t pick a team from the Ivy League.  Teams like Harvard, Penn and Princeton…let’s face it, these guys are probably more focused on their Political Science mid-terms than b-ball, and who wants that in their college basketball team?!?

9.  The ACC is good.

10.  The TAAC is not.

11.  If there is a clear cut #1 team in the country, don’t pick them to win it all.  Everyone else is doing that, so go out on a limb, pick a good team but not the overwhelming favorite.

12. Just because “Radford” sounds cool doesn’t mean you should pick them.  If you see them in the brackets, move on.

13.  Morgan State.  See #12.

14.  Portland State.  See #13.

15.  If for some strange reason you have a pool for the women’s brackets and I don’t know why you would, pick UCONN to win.  As for the rest of the picks, flip a coin.

16.  UCLA’s coach Ben Howland is a genius, except this year.

17.  Do you know what the “F” in Stephen F. Austin stands for?  Failure.  Don’t pick ‘em.

18.  As much as this pains me to type – Pitt is not going to win it all.  I’m sorry.  But you can do yourself a favor by getting them knocked out somewhere in the Sweet 16 – Final 4 range.  Everyone else will be picking them to go farther, so you can make up some points here. 

19.  And finally, always tip your bartenders and waitresses.  Actually this has nothing to do with the tournament, but I thought I’d throw it in anyway.

Congratulations.  If you’ve taken my advice, you will be winning your pool in 3 weeks.  Now fill out those brackets and this is very important, make sure you stop working at exactly noon on Thursday.  If you don’t have a TV or radio in your office, call in sick because you need to be rooting for Virginia Commonwealth.  And this will probably be the last time you ever root for Virginia Commonwealth.

No diaper dandies were harmed in any way during the writing of this blog.  – Dave R



10 Posts in 10 Days

Cats: Off The Wall Topics| 1 Comment »

Since we haven’t been shooting too much the past few months, our blog has become pretty barren.  Tomorrow, that will change.  I am planning on writing 10 new blog posts over the next 10 days.  Crazy?  Yes.  Do-able?  Maybe.   Can I find 10 things to talk about to make this happen?  Probably not.  Will the creativity drain out of me by Day 5 as my writers-blocked mind warps with sloth?   Likely.  Will I just keep asking questions like this?  No, I hope not.

So, beginning tomorrow, March 18th, you hopefully will find 10 new posts and I will win this challenge or you can vote me off the island.

And since I’m calling this my March Madness – I will kick it off by telling you how to win your office NCAA tournament basketball poll – guaranteed.

– Dave R

It’s Kolache Time!

Cats: Eat Pennsylvania| 3 Comments »

If you don’t have the $$$ to zip off to Prague to enjoy the delicious Czech treats known as kolaches, a short drive from Pittsburgh to scenic Beaver, PA will do the trick!

Cafe Kolache window Bob our cameraman

Dave & I, along with cameraman Bob Lubomski made the trip to Cafe Kolache to shoot a TV segment for our upcoming documentary “Eat Pennsylvania 2: The Second Course.”  It’s the follow up to our Telly-award winning “Eat Pennsylvania” show we did a few years back.  We’ll be shooting segments for it all across Pennsylvania up through the summer of this year.  The hour-long food fun fest will be ready for air on PBS stations all across Pennsylvania this fall in beautiful high-definition and will feature around a dozen unique and not-to-be-missed food finds including Cafe Kolache.

Its all kolaches! shop

Back to kolaches… what are they exactly?  Well I’ll tell you this much… there are all kinds of them in flavors that range from savory lunch options to sweet breakfast treats.  And it’s the fresh-baked, slightly sweetened yeast dough that is the secret.  It’s light and delicious and made by hand daily.  The lovely baker Erin was on hand today to walk us through the baking process.  She even let me take a crack at filling a few.

Erin baking! Erin delivers

What kind of flavors are we talking about?  For breakfast alone there are combos that feature: bacon, sausage, eggs, jalapeno, ham & cheeses like colby, swiss and provolone.  Alongside those morning morsels are traditional offerings featuring cottage cheese & lekvar (a much cooler word than prunes!), cream cheese, poppyseed and fruit-filled gems ranging from apple, apricot, blueberry, cherry, lemon, peach, rasberry & strawberry.  Almost out of breath… but there’s more!  Lunch combos featuring: chicken-fajita & jalapeno, pepperoni & cheese, ham & swiss, spinach & feta, veggie of the day & even a lunch kolache of the day.  And wait for it… dessert kolaches!  Apple caramel, Bavarian Cream with cherry, coconut cream, nutty turtle & rasberry cream cheese.  And that’s just the kolaches.  They also have soups, salads, sweets, teas and lots of other stuff including coffee, coffee & more coffee!

lotsa kolaches sign

Cafe is in the title so you’d expect a ton of coffe, and Cafe Kolache delivers in that area too.  Hot & cold espresso drinks, a wide variety of coffee blends and specialty coffee drinks of all kinds!  And the beans are all fresh from Prestogeorge in Pittsburgh’s Strip District. So this is a LEGIT coffee shop for sure.

hot coffee mild roast

Still not sure of what a kolache is exactly?  It’s not a pierogie, not a ravioli, not a sandwich.  Think of it as sort of an Old World ‘hot pocket’ that’s part calzone, part pastry, part dinner roll.  Does that help?

our lunch! fancy coffee stuff

For lunch Dave had the Pepperoni & Cheese and I sampled the Spinach & Feta.  A totally different eating experience than a calzone due to the slightly-sweet dough that was light as air and very soft.  Loved it and the portion size is perfect and also very easy to eat with your hands.

Kristi & her husband yes, please

One thing about the place was clear from the get go… this is a family establishment.  Shop owner Kristi is joined by her husband and a very close and friendly staff which really made us and the customers feel relaxed and comfortable the minute we walked in.  Not something you can really say about a lot of coffee shops.  Of course the aromas of freshly roasted coffees and hot baked goods might have a bit to do with that as well!

kolaches to go cinnamon!

Kristi also made sure we had plenty of tasty treats to take back to WQED!  I LOVED the Bavarian cream with cherry kolache, possibly my favorite of the bunch.  Some of the QED staffers were also raving about the nutty turtle flavor and the texture of the cinnamon rolls.  I think I really need to go for a jog now.  Bye. – Dave H.

Slot Car Racing?

Cats: Dave & Dave's Excellent Adventures| 1 Comment »

Always on the lookout for something interesting that we don’t know is happening right under our noses, Dave & I recently stopped by the A.B. Charles Hobby Shop in Mount Lebanon for… wait for it… slot car racing!?

Men\'s league of slot car racers gentlemen start your engines! kids like it!

Okay, I’ll get to exactly what slot car racing is… but first, A.B. Charles.  The name itself sounds like a cross between one of the early Presidents of the United States and perhaps an eccentric billionaire who runs his own circus.  Turns out, A.B. Charles has been delivering the hobby goods to our area for 60 years… and the place is huge!  If model cars, miniature railroad and stuff like that is up your alley, then the big barn building should be a planned stop for you.  It’s right next to Atria’s and used to house the old Rollier hardware store.  You can’t miss the place if you’re ever on Banksville Road near the Dormont Pool.

Okay… slot cars?  If you were thinking pine wood derby, forget about it, but if you were thinking hot wheels, you are in the ballpark.  And if you’re a dude and over the age of 20, then you might remember having an AFX track as a kid.  It was like having electric-powered hot wheel  or matchbox cars.  You set up the track, plugged it in, put your car in a lane (or slot as it’s properly called) and let it rip with your hand controller.   Now you remember!

Well guess what… the lower level at A.B. Charles is a giant slot car room.  There are 3 huge tracks set up that range from easy Sunday drive to fierce Indy 500!  They also have a straight-away drag strip to separate the men from the boys and I guess the boys from the girls?

So who’s doing this?  Well the random night we stopped by, turns out it was a huge cross-section of ages.  Kids were there having an all action birthday party, parents and some grandparents were there with other kids interested in racing, and we even found a league of seasoned pros who’ve been racing for years.

I have to admit, watching those little cars zipping all around the tracks was at times hypnotizing, and at other times enough to drive your eyes batty, but we did get to try it, and it was cool.

The guys doing the racing were also pretty hospitable to us.  And these guys mean business.  Not only do they all have stables of really high end cars, but they travel with giant tackle box tool kits that bring to mind NASCAR pit crews.  We learned a lot in a very short time just talking and hanging out with them.  And they gave us pointers as we raced.  So if you want to try this and have no idea what the ‘h-e-double-hockey-sticks’ you’re doing, there are plenty of people on both sides of the counter at A.B. Charles to help you out.  Besides in this economy, who can afford to buy their own life-sized race car anyway?

This is the sort of TV shoot that on the surface seems kind of ordinary, but since we’re shooting in HD and Frank is behind the lens, this racing-world-in-miniature actually transforms itself into something eye-poppingly-cool and really visual.  Everytime we see stuff like this, the word ‘eye-candy’ comes to mind.  And we say that because we know how awesome the HD video will look.  Look for the story soon on “OnQ!”  – Dave H.


Cats: Off The Wall Topics| Comments Off

So being named Dave is pretty common, especially at this TV station.  There was a time a few years ago that we had about 18 people named Dave who worked in this building.  In fact, there are still so many that I just go by my last name.  Hallewell goes by “H.”  Visitors to the station are often told that if they want to get someone’s attention, just yell out Dave or Jim.

So wouldn’t you know, I get this email a few months back from a T-shirt company in Vancouver, Canada. (beauty ‘eh!)  The company is run by 2 guys named Dave and they make T-shirts using the name Dave in catchy new slogans.

So these guys were nice enough to send along 2 shirts for us, because that’s what guys named Dave do, they look out for each other.  (No – this is not either of us, although I’m wishing I was on that beach!)

Here are their top ten selling slogan shirts right now:

10.   I want to rock and roll all night and party every dave.

9.  Breakfast is the most important meal of the dave.

8.   This is your lucky dave.

7.  Dave dreamer

6.  Dave in and dave out.

5.  All dave all of the time.

4.  G’dave mate.

3.  The first dave of the rest of your life

2.  Some daves are better than others

1.  A dave at the beach.

So you see, pretty clever stuff and if you know someone named Dave and want to surprise him with a unusual present, this would probably work.  Check them out at www.davewear.com

Dave R


10 Resolutions I Think I Can Keep This Year

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10.  Build an exact replica of Larry King’s TV set with a Light-Bright.

9.  Try to look tough while applying Chapstick.

8.  Invent something cool like cereal.

7.  Find out what the hell an ‘eminence front’ is.

6.  Never say “Me Three” after someone says “Me Too.”

5.  Punch anyone who uses the phrase, “outside the box.”

4.  Always order my high-fructose corn syrup on the side.

3.  Freak people out by constantly emphasizing the wrong syl-LAB-le.

2.  Find out whether there are in fact IHOP’s in places like Morroco or Iceland.

1.  Paint my car like the General Lee and take the backroads to and from work while being chased by the local cops.

-Dave H.

Breaking the News on Facebook

Cats: Behind the Scenes| 2 Comments »

So by now you know that Dave & I host a TV show and that we have done a few 1 hour specials.  But what you probably don’t know is that we also write a weekly humor column for a handful of papers around the country.  It’s called “Breaking the News” and you can think of it as News of the Weird meets “Weekend Update” from SNL.  For example, here’s a couple news stories from this week:

Anheuser-Busch has just announced that they are cutting 1,400 jobs.  The beer company also announced a new slogan, “Tastes great, less jobs.”

After being convicted by a jury last week, O.J. Simpson was sentenced with 9 to 33 years in a Las Vegas jail.  Sometimes what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas for 9 to 33 years.

The European Union has formally launched its new anti-pirate mission off the coast of Somalia.  The new task force consists of a young boy who can fly and approximately 9 lost boys.

Breaking the News actually began back in October of 2002 when we were regulars on the ‘DVE Morning Show with Jim and Randy.  We did this skit weekly for well over a year and then started writing it as a column for a local newsweekly.  Well, for the past 2 years we’ve been doing a weekly national column but unless you live in places like Shreveport, LA or Dayton, OH, you don’t have an opportunity to read it.

But now you do!  We created a fan page for the column that you can check out on Facebook.  The plan is to put some of our current material on there and have updated news daily on the site.  Plus we’ll dig some funny stuff out of the vault.  And you don’t have to be a member to read it.  Just click on this link and it will magically take you there:


You can also click the pretty blue “Facebook” blue bar on the left side of our page. Facebook is pretty cool.  If you are already a member, you can add yourself as our “fan,” and then YOU can add in your two-cents about some of the crazy news we hear about everyday.  If you’re not a member, go ahead and join.  It’s free and easy, much like Dave H.  We’ll see you there and remember, let’s all be safe out there!

– Dave R

Makin My List… And Checkin It Twice

Cats: Off The Wall Topics| Comments Off

Okay, so in the previous post, the other Dave made his big ‘ol list of favorite ‘Dave & Dave’ stories, and he’s expecting me to do the same.  I thought about them sure… but while doing so I just happened to be listening to Christmas music and it got me thinking… What are my favorite all-time Christmas songs?  Let’s preface this by saying that I have a ka-jillion cds, before that cassettes and before that albums… so it may be a looooong blog entry if I were to list my favorites.  But in the spirit of the season I think I’ll pick 12. (for the 12 days of Christmas… nice)

Music is of course very subjective, but since I’m an expert, you’ll just have to trust me with these picks.  Some go way back… and some are relatively new additions.  But they all have one thing in common… they make the season more seasonable!

12.  The Platters “Blue Christmas” – they out-Elvis, Elvis by a snowy mile.

11.  Vanessa Williams “What Child Is This?” – a favorite song done beautifully.

10.  Beach Boys “Little Saint Nick” – can still see the album I had in first grade.  A classic.

9.  Los Straitjackets “Sleigh Ride” – instrumental bliss.  Impossible not to love.

8.  Ray Charles “This Time of the Year” – really nails the emotion of the holiday.  Beautiful.

7.  Neil Diamond “Little Drummer Boy” – great song (Joan JEtt has a cool version too) & Neil kills it.

6.  Tony Bennett “My Favorite Things” – kooky kool lyrics and Bennett-smooth.

5.  Stevie Nicks “Silent Night” – Sarah McLachlan has a great version too, but Stevie’s voice really rings.

4.  Peggy Lee “Happy Holiday” – just one of a pile of great Peggy Lee classics.

3.  Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney “Silver Bells” – the Christmas duet.

2.  Andy Williams “Do You Hear What I Hear” – the sweater man rules!  All his holiday stuff is must-have.

1.  Dean Martin “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” – everyone who has a fireplace should be required to own Dino’s Christmas tunes.  Fun, nostalgic and just plain cool.

It was hard to leave out other holiday heavyweights like Frank Sinatra, Lou Rawls, The Carpenters and so many more, but if you crank up my top 12 your eggs will be noggin for sure!  – Dave H.