Hi,

Tomorrow is Cabrillo Day, the anniversary of the discovery of California (1542) by Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, it is Al Capp’s birth anniversary (1909), Ed Sullivan’s birth anniversary (1901), the first night football game (1892) and Kate Douglas Wiggin’s birth anniversary (1856), she organized the first free kindergarten in Philadelphia.

Carol Pascuzzi of Pennsylvania Macaroni (aka Penn Mac) made the papers.  The Trib did a short profile on her, she’s the one at the cheese counter that calls everyone “dear heart”.  She’s been working there for over twenty-five years.  Her husband, Nick, orders the cheeses for Penn Mac.  So fromage runs in the family.  :)  She’s an amazing lady, if you don’t already know her.  When they’re not swamped, take a minute and talk to her, she has all kinds of suggestions like a slice of pecorino Roman and add a dollop of honey-maple carmel creme and presto you have a unique and tasty dessert.

Starting Monday is Pittsburgh’s Fashion Week.  I’m just mentioning it in passing and passing their web site on for you if you want to review it to see what and where.  There’s tons of stuff all over the place.

Seventeen year old Nicolas Foley had a rough start in life.  Between his birth parents fighting all the time, living in a homeless shelter with his mother before she abandoned him at the age of six, bouncing from foster home to foster home before being adopted by his aunt Karen Foley and her partner Jeanmarie Byrge.  He’s come a long way, he just won the National Youth of the Year sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  With this he’s getting a $50,000 college scholarship from the Rick & Susan Goings Foundation, $11,000 college scholarship from Tupperware Brands Corp and a new car from Toyota to start college right.  According to his teachers, coaches and the staff at the Sarah Heinz Foundation, Nick’s a very down to earth boy that’s turned into a natural leader.  Good for him.  :)

It looks like the enemies won, they start tearing down the Igloo on Monday.  The preservation groups lost their last appear Thursday.  That was such a defining structure that always identified Pittsburgh.  Such a unique and special place it was.  I’m dating myself here, but I was in it for a concert when the roof still retracted and we listened to the music under the stars.  They could have left just the Igloo and a wide sidewalk around it and reconnected the Hill to Downtown.  They don’t have to tear it down.  But it’s easier to tear it down and start from a level surface (and more profitable).  That’s like the developer Buchner down in the Strip wants to tear a couple of blocks of the Terminal Building down to give him better access to the land over by the river he wants to develop.  Instead of tearing it down and reconfiguring the 17th Street intersection, why not leave the building intact and go down to 15th Street?  Makes sense to me, probably would cost him more.  The demolition is before the State Historic Review, hopefully they’ll side with us.

Common theme here with me, the greedy big banks are at it again.  Tuesday, the new rules regulating credit cards and banks took effect and Visa and MasterCard have already announced they will be charging the highest fees across the board they can legally charge.  What’s really bad is the seven cents they currently charge for a $3 transaction (say a cup of coffee) will triple.  That’s going to really impact a lot of mom and pop delis, coffee shops, bakeries and other of our smallest businesses.  I guess enough of their executives aren’t getting their $million bonuses.  Do you know what kills me about credit card processing?  When you come to my Inn, I swipe your card and the money is taken out of your account.  Sometimes I don’t get it in my account for four days.  They sit on BILLIONS of dollars.  They can make millions just holding the amount of money in the system over night.  And they’re going to triple the fee the merchant has to pay for Joe the Plumber’s coffee.  Obscene.

Merrill Stabile and his family, 501 Martindale Associates, LP are offering the City $10M for the parking lot across from the Del Monte Building.  The problem with this is North Shore Developers, LP, the partnership between the Steelers, the Pirates and Continental Real Estate Cos of Columbus have an option on the property for $1M.  The option is about to expire.  North Shore Developers did the same thing with the land under AE Amphitheater.  They waited until the last possible minute to develop it and again, there was an option on the table for at least twice the amount they paid.  I wish I could remember those numbers and quote them.  For a city, that is teetering on the verge of financial collapse, this is insanity.  I know the Stadium Authority is a separate legal entity from the city, but it’s all intertwined.

My brother Tom and family are moving back from Colorado.  They arrive today, they both have jobs with Alcoa.  Pretty tight schedule, finding a house to rent (they’re looking at four tomorrow), Friday they clean it, Saturday the movers arrive and they both start work on Monday.  Oh, and they have to find day care for the toddler and two infants.  Pretty ambitious.

Well, I have to run, have a great day,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Faneuil Hall opened to the public (1742) in Boston, puppeteer Jim Henson’s birthday (1936), Chief Justice John Marshall’s birth anniversary (1755) and it is the Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving, in 1734 the German religious group celebrates their escape from persecution and still celebrate this day in the Pennsylvania Dutch country (Lancaster area).

Well, today President Abbas formally requested recognition from the UN.  Good for him.  I’m far from anti Israeli, but I’m tired of their BS.  They say they want to make peace with the Palestinians, yet they continue to build settlements in disputed areas.  The Israelis  built the new “Berlin Wall” to keep the Palestinians out.  I totally understand Israel’s concern for security, they are surrounded by a bunch of people that don’t like them.  And it’s getting pretty much worse with the changes in the area.  I personally believe they are just stalling.  Putting off the inevitable, like we have been with our debt.  Just deal with it, get it over with and move one.  You are going to have to come to terms someday.

I had the most interesting phone call Thursday.  I broke the hinge on my cell phone on Wednesday and the new phone shows the incoming phone number and the city and state.  This phone call came from Lake Worth, Florida; where I had my first Bed and Breakfast.  The woman said her name was Sherry and she wanted to book a room for three days.  We chatted for a few minutes about the dates and room and when I started writing down her info, I asked for her last name, which she gave me.  When I asked for her husband’s first name, she said Harold.  Now my mind’s kind of spinning and to breach the subject, I offered that my first Bed and Breakfast was in Lake Worth.  She hesitated and I said it was on South Federal Highway.  She said “Ed?”.  They stayed with me for about a month as they were finishing building a house out west of Downtown Lake Worth.  How amazing is that?  (Or weird, or uncanny, or ……..).  They were thinking of visiting Pittsburgh and chose my Inn for reasons other than we already knew each other.  They were a great couple and I look forward to seeing them again.

My friends Toby & Bruce from the Blue Heron Inn on Lake Finley, NY are visiting again.  They have a lovely Inn right on Lake Finley, with a full restaurant and gift shop.  They are originally from around here, but keep moving further north.  First Warren, now Lake Finley.  Bruce, a chef, brought me a bottle of his killer BBQ sauce that I’m having for dinner tonight.  :)

I’ve never been a big fan of Glen Campbell.  I mean his music’s OK, and of course I enjoyed his hits.  But they were never really big with me.  I just saw an interview with him.  He is releasing his latest, and probably last album Ghost on the Canvas.  The 75 year old Campbell has announced he has Alzheimer’s and is publicly speaking out about it all over the place instead of hiding it in a corner from the public.  I have a lot of respect for that and bringing the public’s awareness on this terrible disease.  My father passed away from complications from it.  It is a very sad thing to watch and his wife seems to be quite the trouper.  She was with him at the interview (she seems to be at his side all the time now) and although he was lucid, she kept prompting him when he would have difficulty.  Very touching to see.

We all know  Palladian windows, they that famous three window grouping of a larger window in the center and two matching windows on either side.  They’re attributed to Andrea Palladio, an Italian architect from the early 1700′s.  The Carnegie Museum of Architecture is having a show on Andrea through December 31 during their normal hours of operation (10 1.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays [extended to 8 p.m.] and Sundays noon until 5 p.m.).  There’s an opening exhibit reception this Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. and a lunch and lecture on October 13 starting at 1 p.m.  And another special event October 20 from 5:30 until 9 p.m.  See their web site for details.  They will be showcasing his drawings, his early book translations that made him quite the hit in England (and then the Americas).  You see variations of his work in many modern higher end houses, all kinds of older construction and MANY government and public buildings.  He is one of the most renowned of the Renaissance Architects.

After five months of owning my smarty pants phone, I down loaded my first app.  Pretty impressive, huh?  :)  I was reading about how important the Places app is for Innkeepers in an Innkeepers magazine.  So I bit the bullet and just did it.  I now can make phone calls, text, take pictures, surf the web and find the closest lodging establishment to where ever I am standing.

My good friend Myra visited Wednesday night.  You know her, she’s the one that recently opened The Stone Manse Inn in New Cumberland, PA (Harrisburg).  She’s only been open a few months and she has 35 reservations on her books for October.  OMG, that’s incredible for only being open for a few months.  She has her husband Phil scrambling to finish another guest room that she sold.  :)  You go girl.

Contractors were back this week.  They finished Bromeliad’s stair way (painting, hand rails, etc). I know, white wall and grey stairs and tile, how boring.  The stairwell is narrow and windowless.  I needed to keep it from being claustrophobic.  I’ll add a few splashes of color to keep my reputation in tact.  :)

They installed the four new windows in Bougainvillea’s bedroom and bathroom.  Those windows were so bad, if you pushed on the center rail to open the window, the top and side rails would raise leaving the glass and bottom rail below.  The one window behind the television was like that when I bought the place, they others have deteriorated since.  So not only can you now open and close the windows, it should make a big difference with keeping the guest room warm/cool.  I’m having an argument with myself right now.  Do I want to stain and polyurethane the windows or paint them?  They are very good Marvin windows with stain grade wood.  I hate to cover up all that natural grains with paint, but not sure how it will look against the yellow painted trim.  I’m leaning to staining them first.  It would be easier to paint over the stain than remove the paint so I can stain them.  Opinions?

The last project before winter for the contractor is we’re replacing Ruellia, Bromeliad and two of the Ballroom doors.  Not only functionality, but also should help with lowering my outrageous utility bills.

Well, that’s about it for now, we’ll chat soon again (sooner than almost a week again since my last post.  Sorry),

ed

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the signing of the American Constitution (1787), the battle of Antietam (1862) and the founding of the National Football League (1920).  It’s the birth anniversary of Hank Williams (1923), Warren Burger (1907) and Andrew Foster (1879-the “father of the negro baseball league”).  Also, the premiers of Mission Impossible (1966), MASH (1972), Bewitched (1964) and The Fugitive (1963).

Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators is a group of about 160 professional commercial illustrators publish an illustration directory with samples of the various artists work.  This way art professionals see samples of each artists style and can then contact them for further discussions.  This year, instead of doing the traditional directory, the artists picked a cocktail recipe and did an illustration tailored to that mixed drink.  This book is called Drawing Under the Influence and is only $5.  You can buy it from their web site or better yet, go to Gallerie Chiz at 5831 Ellsworth Avenue in  Shadyside through September 30 and see the original pieces for the book and purchase the book while there.  The Gallery is open 11 – 5:30 Tuesday through Fridays and 11 – 5 Saturdays.  Word of warning, if you go to the Illustrator’s web site, the link to Gallerie Chiz doesn’t work.

The connection between natural and mechanical worlds is known as biomimicry or biomimetics.  This is real, stay with me here.  We all know of Swiss engineer George de Mestral that took note of how jaggers  would stick to his dog’s coat in 1941.  He started working on this and Velcro was born.  A British company called Sound Foresight developed the Ultra Cane created on the way bats use radar to guide them for bugs for dinner.  Blue mussels’ ability to cling to wet and slippery rocks inspired Columbia Forest Products to create a nontoxic waterproof glue.  Metin Sitti, a professor mechanical engineering at CMU had a pet Gecko, but never paid much attention until a colleague came back from Thailand and talked about Geckos walking on the ceiling.  Sitti’s team came up a polymer to replicate the tiny hairs on a Gecko’s feet and applied them to a small robot’s feet and it is able to get it to hard to reach or too dangerous for humans.  It only works on clean and smooth surfaces, they are currently working on adapting it to dirty surfaces as well.  Termites were the inspiration for air conditioning of a large office/shopping complex in Harare, Zimbabwe.  To preserve their food, termites have created these huge towers with air vents that take the hotter air up through the top with cooler air being pulled in from the bottom.  They are using the same concept at the high rise building.

Southside resident, Geoffrey Goldberg, a bridge engineer, got interested in bridge post cards in his youth after finding some at an antique store in Massachusetts.  6,000 cards later, he decided to make a book on his collection.  Bridges: A Postcard History is available from Schiffer Publishing for $49.99 and it’s a coffee table type book.

Admiral Heating installed my central air conditioning back in 2005/2006 when I bought the property.  Totally trust and respect them.  They did an amazing job keeping all the lines carrying the cool air out of sight.  And they were very aware of the importance of keeping the system from being intrusive in the beautiful Mansion.  But, it hasn’t worked well since I opened.  Particularly when I have events and people are opening and closing the doors so much.  I’ve had Admiral back several times over this.  I’ve had that general contractor, Metro Classic Builders, that has his own HVAC company he likes to use.  So at one point, I asked John with All Pro Plumbing and Heating to look at my system.  He thought there wasn’t enough return air for the system and suggested that we put a large return in the ceiling of the linen closet on the second floor and leave the transom over the door open.  It’s amazing the difference.   Lesson to be learned, open you mind to new possibilities, even if you designed and installed a system.  Admiral made a small, discrete vent (one of several), but they weren’t pulling in enough air.

Another lesson learned (which I actually learned a long time ago.  That’s why people say I badger  :) ).  I get my low fat vanilla yogurt at Restaurant Depot in the Strip.  I like the flavor and texture of this product.  They were consistently running out of it this past spring and I complained to several staff members.  The answer I kept getting was Corporate ordered it and there wasn’t much they could do.  I kept buying plain yogurt and doctoring it up.  About two months ago I poked my head in their office and there was only one woman in there.  She asked if she could help me and I explained my frustration.  She apologized and said she wasn’t aware of the problem and would see what she could do.  They have had low fat vanilla yogurt EVERY time I’ve been in there since.  I like employees that make things happen.  :)

Another milestone at the Point State Park renovations (that have been going on for over five years), they opened the Cafe (just in time to close it for the winter).  :)  They are making progress.  They are supposed to start fixing the fountain this fall and it should be finished by spring.  I hope so, that’s such a center piece for the city.  If you get a chance before the winter sets in, you should make some time and walk around and see the improvements.  What they’ve done is very nice.

93 year old Henry P Hoffston donated his home’s preservation easement  for the mansion on Fifth Avenue in Shadyside he grew up in to the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation.  It’s one of those striking mansions on Millionaire’s Row in Shadyside.  The mansion can be sold, but will never be able to be demolished or radically altered.  Mr. Hoffston, who still lives in the mansion, says he doesn’t take the stairs as much as he used to, but still gets around it OK.  I can see me at 93.  :)

Well, that’s about it for now.  I have a rehearsal dinner tonight and a wedding tomorrow.  Have a great weekend.  Go Steelers (please),

ed

Hi,

Not to state the obvious, tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  Do you remember where you were and who called you to turn the news on?  A number of classic TV premiers (keeping this a bit lighter).  The Rookies (1972), The Carol Burnett Show (1967) and Little House on the Prairie” (1974).

I was listening to NPR this morning and they were talking about the high cost of medicine in this country compared to other industrialized countries (we have one of the most expensive, if not the most expensive).  Our doctors make up to 70% more than their European contemporaries.  I believe education, hard work, skill levels all deserve appropriate compensation.  I only attended college for four years and my course load was not what the pre-meds had.  And I didn’t have to go through graduate school and residency.  I’m sure the insurance for my business is less than theirs and I buy beds, not MRI’s.  But average incomes of $400k to $500k a year seems disproportionate to me.  Dr Patel, the doctor who’s practice was in Tampa and he recently bought the Hilton Downtown.  This isn’t his first or only hotel.  He has a whole group of them and other investments.  It’s like professional athletes.  I know their careers are shorter than other professions and they have to make when they can while they’re in their prime.  Bankers and other money professionals don’t have the high skill level of athletes  nor the education of doctors and many of them make even more.  I’m coming to my point:

A report by the Department of Agriculture shows that 17.2 million American households had difficulty feeding their families.  This is near record levels.  They are calling this “food insecurities” these days.  One in three of these Americans were classified as having “very low food security” i.e. they were going without meals!  If you look at it individually, instead of households, one in six Americans have “food security” issues.  This is most common in urban and rural locations, obvious.  A record 49 million people received food stamps.  With the Republican passed budget, 20% of the program will be reduced next year.  I think politicians that voted for that should have to go into these households and take 20% of the food in their pantries out.  Or maybe we should make them actually pull 20% of a child’s meal out of their mouths.  I’m HUGE for balancing the budgets and deficit reduction.  But lets cut out subsidies for unprofitable rural airports, let’s stop paying $85 for a hammer for the military, lets stop monetarily supporting our enemies, the Taliban, by keeping track of the billions we send to Afghanistan.  Oh, and maybe listen to the billionaire Warren Buffet when he says the rich should pay higher taxes.

And if I can continue on this vein, nearly one in three Americans that grew up in middle class families have slipped down the income ladder.  This has recently been reported by the Pew Charitable Trusts.  The study focused on people that were middle class teenagers in 1979 and between 39 and 44 years old in 2005.  People were deemed downwardly mobile if they fell below the 30th percentile in income.  Married couples were the most stable in maintaining their middle class status.  Divorced men and women were more prone to downward mobility, single mothers were one of the worst.  The obvious factor of education had the biggest effect on maintaining you social standing.  The higher the education not only pretty much ensured you kept your middle class status, but it gave you a good shot at improving it.  Conversely, not getting at least a college degree or worse not finishing high school is more or less a death knoll for your station in life.

OK, I’ll be nice now.  :)

There’s a number of art galleries on Penn Avenue.  Some are actual businesses, some are store fronts owned by the Cultural District and they let artists set up shows in them.  A current one at 707 Penn Avenue runs through September 11 is by Felipe Garcia-Huidobro who focuses a lot on poster art.  Poster art has been around since the early 1800′s and has been advertising everything from concerts to religious events.  In some European cities, posters over posters get so thick that it’s like rings on trees and they bring with them memories of past events.  Felipe got intrigued while studying art in Barcelona.  One of his pieces cut from 400 kilograms called Culture Boy was created from Culture Club’s posters.  Different and interesting.  Another artist on display down there at 709 Penn Avenue is Stephanie Armbruster.  This abstract artist takes pieces of architecture, signs, building facades, even chandeliers and works these into her works.  She tries to work her urban experiences with these pieces showing parts of life that have separated and can never to totally reassembled, yet become a part of us forever.

The new “Captains of Industry” again have a strong Pittsburgh tie.  We all know Miami’s Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks grew up in Mt Lebanon.  He made his fortune by selling an Internet radio company.  Did you know the owner of Groupon, Andrew Mason also grew up in Mt Lebanon?  Chad Hurley, co-founder of You Tube in 1995 and sold it to Google a year later for $1.65 billion went to IUP.  Charles Geschke, a CMU graduate co-founded Adobe and is still with it.  Michael Mauldin, also a former CMU student and teacher developed an Internet search code that became Lycos (he and the University later sold it for $2 million in 1995 and it was sold ten years later for $12.5 billion).  Andy Bechtolsheim and Vinod Khosia both co-founded Sun Microsystems which Oracle bought last year for $7.4 billion.  Not too shabby for a little old Pittsburgh.  :)

That’s about it for this post, have a good night and remember hour hero’s of ten years ago tomorrow some how,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Galveston Hurricane in 1900 where more than 6,000 people perished.  Winds of 120 miles an hour hit with the hurricane, followed by a huge tidal wave.  2,500 buildings were destroyed.  It is also the anniversary of Richard M Nixon’s pardon (1974), it is Patsy Cline’s birthday (1932), Peter Seller’s birthday (1925), Cid Caesar’s birthday (1922) and Pink’s birthday (1079). And it’s a big day for TV premiers, like Tarzan , That Girl and Star Trek (all in 1966).

As I’m writing this, I have PBS on and they are talking about the two new buildings going up on Ground Zero and the new park with the waterfalls being built.  Pretty amazing engineering feats.  The visual of these three spaces are stunning, but the engineering behind them is just incredible.  I’m having a hard time focusing on this blog.  So excuse me if some of this is disjointed.  I did re-read it and I think it’s OK.

The Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium as around 4,000 residents.  I never thought about it, can you imagine feeding all those hungry guys?  The animals consume 800 tons of food a year!  And it’s not bags of dog food, either.  :)  They all have their special diets, some are carnivores, some are herbivores and some are omnivores.  Even in each category, they have their unique tastes and preferences (like us).  And they can’t let them get fat, so it’s quite the responsibility of the zoo keepers to keep everything balanced.  They make 225 individual diets for the animals, including 135# of food for each of their seven gorillas for example.  Pretty impressive.

The former editor of The Carnegie Magazine (three decades) and former CMU English professor has published a book Andrew Carnegie’s Museums and Libraries in Pittsburgh that explores the local and international influence Carnegie had in creating our libraries, museums and performing arts venues.  He has two lectures scheduled, one at the Oakland museum on October 18 from 3 until 5 p.m. and the other at the Ligonier Public Library on November 9 from 7 until 9 p.m. and again at the Oakland branch January 14 from 2 until 4 p.m.  It should be a pretty informative FREE presentation.  :)

Opening at the Warhol on October 29 (I think it’s going to be a fairly long running exhibit, but don’t have the closing date) is a show case of Charles “Teenie” Harris.  A long time photographer for the Pittsburgh Courier, the prestigious black newspaper that chronicled the black urban experience after Jim Crow and the civil rights movement.  His works have been donated to the Warhol include around 80,000 images (obviously they all won’t be shown at this exhibit).  :)  Once it closes here, an abbreviated version will travel to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and then to Atlanta University Center Robert W Woodruff Library.

Another show opening at the Warhol is an exhibit of some of Alex Ross’s work.  Mr Ross is one of the premier comic book artists and you might say he was obsessed with super heroes (I say this kindly).  :)  One thing in particular I find compelling is three images he created of Captain Marvel when he was 4, the next when he was 15 and the third when he was 31.  Quite the progression.  It’s worth you moms and dads to go and see the child’s drawing and how he progressed.  Maybe you have a child prodigy on your hands.  :)  (A lot of smilies today, I must be in a good mood)  :)  Another I find interesting is the image of the Joker based on J.C. Leyendecker’s famous Dancing Couple.  If any of you are interested in Lyendecker, Kerry at KS Kennedy Floral, right down the street from me is a big fan and has a number of Leyendecker’s images in his shop and a wealth of info on him.   Ross is famous for his images of The Human Torch, Superman, Green Lantern and most all of the super heroes.

PNC Bank is really pushing their virtual wallet these days.  Supposedly a big reason is they are entering southern states and don’t have a lot of branches to make banking convenient.  Also, they want to be positioned as one of the most tech friendly banks.  That leads us to Google’s efforts to start up Google Wallet where you got to businesses that are set up with their software and you will scan the purchase with your smart phone and it pays either through debit or one of the major credit card companies.  All of the smart phone companies are working on their versions of this.  Anyone that knows me, knows how technologically challenged I am.  The reason I am reluctant to do this because I am not comfortable with security on these.  My identity was stolen a number of years ago by someone that only had my social security number and name.  All of the other application info was not even close to anything accurate.  Hackers have broken into Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank America, even the Pentagon!  I used to do on line banking, but got scared of having my account information in my computer.  I keep reading articles on these new payment systems, which I really would love to participate in, but until they can convince me that it’s safe, I’ll just wait it out.

Ruth Ziolkowski, widow of Korczak Ziolkowski, is still supervising the sculpture of Crazy Horse in South Dakota.  They have been at this since 1947, now that’s dedication.  This monument is only 20 miles from Mount Rushmore, which was finished decades ago.  Sioux elder Chief Henry Standing Bear invited Korczak to start this monument, which will be the tallest sculpture in the world, (when completed, the horse will stand 22 stories tall).  Korczak agreed because he felt that native Americans deserved something significant because of the wrongs inflicted on them.  Chief Standing Bear chose Crazy Horse because because he was a chief dedicated to his people, elderly and all the people less fortunate in addition to being a great leader and military strategist.  He personified all the good traits a hero should possess.

Shadyside’s A Fair, not to be confused with last month’s Shadyside Art Festival.  This Fair is being held in Mellon Park from 1 – 7 Friday, 10 – 7 Saturday and 10 – 5 on Sunday.  This Fair, in addition to the craft persons, will be featuring live entertainment (for details, please visit their web site).  The craft person that grabbed my attention is Donna Penoyer.  She works with precious metal clay, clay that is infused with precious metals like silver.  She works the metal into the clay, forms the piece and then fires it so they both meld together.  She’s going to have finished pieces for viewing and sale as well as pre-fired pieces so you can see what her pieces start from.

Good night,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is Louis Sullivan’s birth anniversary (1856), the American father of skyscrapers, The Treaty of Paris (1783) that ended the American Revolution and Fredrick Douglass’s escape to freedom (he was a slave that dressed as a sailor and carrying ID borrowed from a retired merchant seaman that boarded a train in Baltimore and road it to Wilmington where the underground railroad to freedom in Philadelphia (1883).  It is also Buhl Day in Sharon PA at Bulh farms celebrating laboring day and Monday is Labor Day started in 1883 by the Carpenters and Joiners Union also in 1883 in New York.

Wendell August Forge, which suffered a devastating fire in March, 2010 has been operating out of temporary facilities since.  They have decided to sell their old property (which is leveled) and build a new forge and show room right behind the Grove City Outlets.  I hope that ethnic shop (Croatian?) goes with them.  They had some really cool stuff.  Like this incredible han carved wooden village.  I’m sure the new location will spur higher sales, they were a bit of a pain to find at their old location.

According to the Institute of Policy Studies study, 25 of the 100 highest paid corporate executives were paid more than their company recorded as a tax expense in 2010!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  These executives include those from Verizon, Bank of New York Mellon, Allegheny Technologies, General Electric, Boeing and eBay.  There’s nothing I can add to that. ):

There’s a vacant building across from my Inn, it’s an old boarding house that supposedly was quite the place to stay in it’s day.  Over the years, through neglect, it’s continued to deteriorate until they finally closed it up about four years ago and have left it to sit there and fall into even more disrepair.  I believe homeless have camped out in it.  The owners have finally started getting it cleaned up a bit.  It was a friend’s birthday yesterday and so last evening I went out for a “beverage of choice” with him and when I came back, Neil & Heather said someone had just tried to break into the vacant building.  There were sitting on the Veranda and heard this load crash of breaking glass.  When the looked through the Arondo donex to the street they saw him causally walking down the street.  I called 911, naturally.  When I spoke to the dispatch operator, I explained someone had attempted to break into a vacant building across the street from my business.  The operator asked if I owned the building and when I responded no, he informed me that the owner of the building would have to call it in!  A crime is being committed and 911 won’t take the call?  To say I went ballistic would be an understatement.  As it turns out, he had already dispatched officers and was having trouble figuring out how to categorize the call.  PGH PD showed up with four officers and several under cover officers, took my report and I was happy.

I’m a big proponent for the right to bear arms, responsibly.  I own a legal hand gun, even toyed with the idea of getting an unregistered one.  The Pima County Arizona Republican Party are planning on raffling off a Glock 23.  Pima County is where Representative Gabrielle Cliffords is from and she was shot with a Glock 19.  #1, should a firearm be a prize in a raffle?  I assume the winner would have to fill out the appropriate forms to ensure he/she wasn’t a convicted felon or gang member.  But a gun?  OK, I think a big teddy bear or watch should be the prize, but I’m willing to concede other people think differently than me.  So I’m willing to compromise (did you hear that US Congress?).  But a similar gun that shot a Democratic Representative seems pretty callous to me.

Good news for the Aspinwall attempt to purchase Allegheny Riverfront property for a public marina and park.  Highmark has donated $200,000 to the project (they only need $100,000-did I say only?).  :)  So Friends of the Riverfront have an extra $100K to get up and running.  Nice job Highmark.  And where were you UPMC?  Closing another “unprofitable” hospital like in Braddock?  (I thought you were a non profit).  Or maybe you were building an unneeded facility across from an existing one owned by your competitor like in Monroeville?  Yes, I can be catty.  :)

Pittsburgh native, Jim Sinegal is retiring from Costco.  So the 76 year old founder of Costco feels the company is in a good position to go one without him.  If you follow my blog, you know I hate big box stores.  I do sin father, Lowes is very convenient at times.  But Costco is one of the big box stores I don’t feel too bad about patronizing.  They have the lowest turnover of any of the big box stores because they treat their employees well.  And the founder is originally from PGH, his family moved to California when he was 17.

I have to go to bed, I have a wedding tomorrow.  I hope you all have a great Memorial Day Weekend (just kidding, I know it’s Labor Day.)  :)  Happy Labor Day!

ed