Hi,

Is the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburgh (1863), the 150th anniversary of the IRS (1862), Princess Di’s birth anniversary (1961), the first photograph used in a newspaper (a man only known as Thubault took pictures of the Parisian riots of 1848), the first US postage stamps (1847), the first US Zoo (1874 Philadelphia), Mammoth Cave National Park was founded (1941), Medicare’s anniversary (1968) and zip codes were inaugurated (1963).

It’s been a fairly hectic week.  I let my new housekeeper go.  Since starting, I’ve had problems getting him to finish jobs.  I had him clean the deck and then I had to wind up the hose after he left, I had him wash and clean the truck, he didn’t clean the windows, I repeatedly pointed out that he wouldn’t have the bed spreads even and level (one side longer than the other or it wasn’t an even length to the floor along one side).   His last shift, he mopped around the dog’s beds, didn’t oil the grill after cleaning it, didn’t clean the edges around it and and at one point when I came in, he was just rinsing glassware from a guest room instead of using hot soapy water.  After he left, I found the two glasses he was rinsing out in the drainer, but the other dirty dishes were still in the sink.  So when he came in the other day, I sat him down and told him I thought I was going to have to let him go.  I wasn’t set on canning him, but obviously the possibility was there.  I wanted to see how he would react.  He said “I have been working slow trying to get more hours and because of that he wasn’t ‘in the zone’”.  #1 he admitted he was milking the job.  #2 he said because he was working slow, he couldn’t focus on details.  Seems to me that should cause the opposite.  Anyway, he’s no longer here and I’ve been the second housekeeper.  Marsha starts Monday.  :)

Sometimes I feel the opposite of Ziggy, totally “picked on”.  We’ll leave computers and my steep learning curve on them (not to mention two hours by me and four by a computer tech to install a new WiFi compatible printer) out of this conversation.  I found a tumbler I liked by Arco Roc, a nice six ounce is perfect for a bathroom.  They’ve discontinued it, the ones I’ve been using for the past couple of years are eight ounces.  When I was open in Florida, my starter course was homemade bread, fresh fruit, coffee/tea and orange juice.  My first winter up here, serving fresh fruit was out of the question.  So I started serving parfaits made of low fat vanilla yogurt, granola and diced fresh fruit.  In the winter, I could count on pears, apples, etc.  I bought a case of Libbey 5112 parfait glasses and they’ve lasted five years.  I have my 25 on the shelf in the Pantry and I’m down to one left in the case in the basement.  So I went to Penn Fixture first to order another case and they said Libbey no longer makes them.  I went to Restaurant Depot, they even sent me a copy of Libbey’s e-mail to them stating that they discontinued parfait glasses in 2009.  These iconic footed glasses have been around longer than I’ve been in hospitality.  Libbey was the only one to make them.  There is nothing out there that has the same appearance.  So I’m back to using e-Bay to stock up.

Rain Barrels on Parade is a project to increase awareness of keeping rainwater out of our storm and sewer water systems.  Ten local artsts have decorated a rain barrel making it a piece of art and they are scattered around the city in places like the Children’s Museum, Schenley Plaza and the US Steel Plaza lobby.  They are planning on auctioning these rain barrels off at the end of the summer as a fund raiser.  This project is being coordinated with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and the Clean Rivers Campaign.  They are trying to tie this in with ALCOSAN’s consent decree with the DEP to clean up our waterways by shifting some of the focus from infrastructure to more sustainable living choices.

How about the Elon Musk?  He’s the guy behind the guy behind the Eagle rocket that hooked up with the space station last month, he’s also the guy behind Tesla Motors, the makers of luxury electric vehicles.  They are built on a lotus chassis, 265 miles to a charge and he’s sold 2,300 of them at $109,000 a clip.  He’s the founder of paypal and sold it to E-bay for a healthy profit.  Instead of retiring into obscurity like so many of his other high tech pioneers, he’s decided to challenge himself.  Pretty cool.

Regatta entertainment on Point State Park’s Main Stage includes Sunday, Kiger Band (classic country and rock) 12:45 pm, Bishop Clay Band (alternative rock) at 2 pm,  Abbamania (ABBA tribute band) 8 p.m.  All four nights the Point Skate Park will be open from noon until 9 pm, this is ice skating on an artificial ice rink.  Sandcastle’s sand sculpture competition starts Sunday, they make some massive creations in Point State Park.  Live music at the Main Stage on Tuesday will include Delaney (rock n roll) at noon, Jamie Bruno (Pittsburgh’s own country and western performer) at 2:45 pm and Verna’s Steel Drum band  5:40 and 6:30 pm and Ernie Fields at 8 pm.  Each day at 9:30 will feature Lasertainment on the Main Stage.  On Tuesday, live music on the Main Stage will be Nomad at noon, Jamie Bruno at 2:50, Music From Another Room at 4:30 and the Beach Party Boys tribute band at 8 pm.  Live music on the Main Stage on Tuesday will include From Another Room at noon, Verna’s Steel Drum Band at 2:1 and 4:10, Bishop Clay will be back at 6 pm and the Air National Guard Band at 8:15.  Across the river at River’s Casino’s Amphitheatre America will play at 8 pm.

River activities on Sunday include the P-1 Superstock Powerboat Racing on the Allegheny Time Trials at 2 pm, Qualifiers at 4 pm and Finals at 7 pm.  On Monday P-1 Superstock Powerboat Racing will feature for the first time v-hulled, dual engine offshore boats on the Allegheny with Time Trials again at 4 pm, Qualifiers at 5 pm and Finals at 7:05.  Tuesday’s water line up include a free tour of a Titanic life boat from 9 am until 2 on the Northshore, Beaverland Must Skis precision skiing on the Allegheny at 3:30, 5:30 and 8 pm.  Not on the water, but bikester Mike Steidley will perform radical bike maneuvers in Point State Park at 5:30 and 7 pm.  And Salute to Speed Powerboat Superleague North American Championships on the Allegheny with Time Trials at 4 pm, Qualifiers at 5 pm and Finals at 7:05.  Finally on Wednesday is the famous Anything That Floats on the Allegheny starting at 10 am.  Beaverland Must Skis will be back with shows at 1:30, 3:30, 6, 8 pm.  The Dragon Boat Races  will be on the Allegheny at 8 pm.  Mike Streidley also is giving more performances at 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 pm.  The Salute to Speed P-2 Powerboat Superleague North American Championships  will compete with muscles unleashed on the Allegheny with Time Trials at 2 pm, Qualifiers at 4:30 and Finals at 7.  The the wrap up will be Flashes of Freedom Fireworks Fantasia at the Golden Triangle starting at 9:35.

Have a great and safe fourth of July,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the Berlin Airlift anniversary (19448), China’s Machua Day- the celebration of the expulsion of the Dutch in 1622, Jack Dempsey’s birth anniverary (11895), the 65th anniversary of a UFO siting in Mt Raineir (u figure the math :) ). Mick Fleetwood’s birth anniverary (1942).

Kevin Sousa, of Salt of the Earth, Union Pig & Chicken and Station Street Hot Dogs is venturing into Braddock with his next venue.  He’s opening a fairly casual daytime eatery and more upscale in the evenings.  He’s also offering Braddock residents with up to 50% discount with ID.  He hopes to open Magarac (named after the imaginary steelworker fold hero Joe Magarac) sometime next year in the old Cuda’s Italian Market on Braddock Avenue.  This will be the first real restaurant in Braddock since UPMC closed it’s doors last year.  For a steel city themed restaurant, Kevin should visit my friend’s Blue Dust over in West Homestead on Amity Street, if he hasn’t already.  And he’s planning on moving there.  Mayor Fedderman must have really impressed the Sousa family.  :)

The Frick in Point Breeze is hosting Three Centuries of Printmaking through September 2.  Normal business hours of10 am until 5 pm Tuesdays through Sundays and is included with the general admission.  Some of the pieces on display are from as far back as the 17th century and many of from the Frick’s private collection.  They exhibit various printmaking techniques and processes while framing the work chronologically withing the confines of art history.  One of the techniques is chromolithograph, invented in Germany, where they use a series of carefully registered stones and they must individually print for each color they required.  The two framed pictures in my front hallway uses a similar technique.  They depict festivals, wars, religious activities, social events all manor of activities. More info by calling 412.371.0600 or at their web site.

I love Puerto Rico.  Back in the sixties, they had some money to invest in their economy.  Instead of giving one of the largest companies in energy, Shell, $1.67B to build a plant that may or may not create worthwhile jobs, they decided to give out low cost loans and grants to small businesses to open lodging establishments around the island.  Last count I heard they had over 120 Paradors (guess where I got my name?).  :)  After the housing crisis collapsed the US mainland housing market and folks weren’t buying second vacation homes, Puerto Rico was faced with a huge housing glut.  No, they didn’t bail out big banks, try and force big mortgagors to fairly foreclose on only properties that truly deserved to be foreclosed on.  Nope.  The passed legislation that anyone buying a new home does not have to pay capital gains taxes when the house is sold.  Transfer fees were reduced for existing houses and eliminated for new housing, benefiting both buyers and sellers.  For the first five years, the  buyer does not pay property taxes.  If it is purchased to be a rental unit, the rental income is tax free for ten years.  Guess what, they have practically eliminated their housing glut.

Cynthia Shaffer is running a art show at Sweetwater Center for the Arts in Swickely from June 30 through July 28.  There are twenty some pieces selected for the show and they all have to be make of natural items or images of nature.  In the Belly of the Beast is the center’s first wild animal themed show.  One of the pieces in the show by Cynthia is a picture of her mom’s crabby cat hissing with four toy army men super imposed in front that looks like they are dancing.  Pretty funny.  More info at her web site, Sweetwater’s site or by calling 412.741.4405.

72 outlet Eat’n Park’s opening a new restaurant concept.   The first Hello Bistro just opened in Oakland on Forbes.  You order at a counter when you enter and have seat.  Servers deliver your food to you and do normal wait staff stuff.  They are having an oversized salad bar that you can be served at with things like chicken and steak.  They are also serving beer and wine for the first time in a concept restaurant.  This first restaurant will be open 7 am until 10 pm daily.  They are continuing their “family friendly” theme with very affordable prices.  In case you aren’t aware, they don’t just do that 24 hour Denny’s kind of restaurant.  They also operate The Porch (the new restaurant in Schenley Plaza) and Six Penn Kitchen in the Cultural District.  I kind of like them, they put some honest effort in buying local and a lot of green efforts.

The Fein Art Gallery here on the Northside has a new exhibit by Jeff Outlaw, Making Silly Faces at Girls through July 27.  Jeff’s watercolors are whimsical and sometimes a bit grafic.  Obiviously a fun showing.  It is at 519 East Ohio Street.  More info at Jeff’s or Fein’s web sites or by calling 412.321.6816.

Enjoy the Regatta,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow’s the Summer Solstice and the Wiccan Lesser Sabbats, the anniversary of Lizzie Borden’s verdict (“not guilty” 1893), the film Jaws was released (1975), the Ed Sullivan Show was introduced (1948), Audie Murphy’s birth anniversary (1924) and West Virginia was admitted to the Union (1863).

The two window seats in Chenille and Oleander are west facing and really absorb afternoon heat (not to mention brightness).  Two years ago, I got vertical blinds from justblinds.com, you get what you pay for.  They lasted a year and a half and then really trashed out.  I found Grabber through Costco and bought wooden vertical blinds from them.  This American company has been custom making blinds since 1939, they originate in Wisconsin, but have expanded and are actually here in Pennsylvania now.  I just installed them yesterday and here’s the brown ones for Oleander:

And white for Chenille:

They both have a strength and quality I didn’t find with justforblinds.  The construction is so much better, as you can see in the next picture.  For the valence, they routed out a hole down the center of the valence (the lower image) that you slide a triangle kind of plastic fastener that hen slides down the valence clip:

Already today, with the blinds closed, you can feel the difference in temperature from these blinds keeping the hot sun out.  My one complaint is the interface between Graber and Costco is really a messed up thing.  You will need to contact Graber to help you work through it.  Speaking of Costco, there was recently an article in the newspaper about how poorly their web presence is.  I’ll vouch for that.  :)  They apparently packaged one of the blinds before it thoroughly dried because when I went to hang the blind, two were mildly stuck together.  I sent Graber an e-mail this morning and they have already responded with this was unacceptable and they offered to make a whole new blind to replace this one.  I love companies that stand by their product.

Summer’s here and so are the garden tours.  The Academy Hill Garden Tour in Greensburg will be from 10 am until 3 pm on June 23.  This self guided tour will showcase eight to ten gardens and light refreshments will be served.  More info or advance tickets are available by calling Janet McNeel at 724.8343424 ( I didn’t put a link in to the Greensburg Garden Club because when I went there, it said there were no events on June 23-how stupid is that?).  Tour starts in this historic district in front of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art.  The 60th Murrysville Garden Club tour will be also on June 23 from 9 am until 2 pm.  Advance tickets are $10 and at the door will be$15 at the Morninglory Shop at 4542 William Penn Highway, Murrysville and at the Toll House 5313 W Pike Street, Export.  Seven Mt Lebanon gardens will be on their “gentlemen gardeners” tour on July 8 from noon until 5 pm.  Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door for this tour at the Mt Lebanon Public Library on Castle Shannon Blvd (tour starts at the library as well).  There will be a garden reception the evening before in the library’s courtyard for $30.  More info at their web site.  Pittsburgh’s Botanical Garden is hosting their Town and Country Tour through 15 private gardens, proceeds to benefit their ambitious 640 acre site near Oakdale where they are creating natural Western Pennsylvania gardens/wild life areas.  The first phase is to open this coming September 13 which I will cover as we get closer, but mark it on your calendar.  They are planning a $30M project over the next 30 years to develop the entire site.  This year’s tour will be in and around Shadyside from 9 am until 5 pm.  There is a $50 self guided tour and a $130 tour with lunch and transportation.  More info at 412.444.4464 or their web site.

The Three Rivers Regatta is expanding to five days this year, kicking off Friday, June 30 and running through Wednesday, July 4.  There’s going to be more free concerts, boat races and other activities to fill in the time.  They are ging to have outdoor ice skating at Point State Park (they are calling it Point Skate Park) :) in a 40 x 100 foot non frozen skating rink made of synthetic material that mimics ice.  Also new this year will be Lasertainment, laser light shows choreographed to music.  And the P-1 Superstock Championship Series (which normally is held in the ocean) will be making it’s Regatta debut.  The US Marine Drum and Bugle Corps will perform on July 1, the Beach Boys on July 3 and America on July 4.  All activities are free.

Have  a great day and week,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the Twelveth Amendment to the Constitution  (1804 when we lost the ability to directly elect our President), Arkansas was admitted to the Union (1836), the Magna Carta Day (1215), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established (1934) and for you procrastinators the dead line for your quarterly estimated federal income tax is due.  :)

My sister Sue brought Betty and her two friends from GRADE school over to the Inn for lunch yesterday!  I don’t know if Pennsylvania was a state back then.  :)  (Betty doesn’t use the Internet, I’m safe).  :)  It was very cool to see them interact and how lucid all of there memories were from 70+ years ago.  Thanx for visiting Marge and Jeannie (I’m assuming they don’t do Internet either-they do  both have cell phones, so you never know).  Betty’s in the middle.

Speaking of Betty, they are finding paintings in European caves from 30,000 years ago that seem to be made like cartoon cels to be viewed one after the other that with flickering torch light make the animals appear to move.  They did four legged creatures as well as birds flying.  The little clip by Marc Azema I believe he took the individual frames and speeded things up.

Doctor Kerr settled in Oakmont and in 1897, built a Queen Anne style home and office at 402 Delaware Avenue.  He passed away in 1931 and his daughter, Virginia, lived in the house until she passed away in 1994 and willed the home to the city of Oakmont.  It was never “modernized” or seriously updated, so it was pretty much like it was when the Kerr family lived in it.  There was no endowment to keep the house up, so borough officials used grant money to stablize it and do some restoration.  Docents lead tours on Saturdays of the 14 room house, and several rooms of the basement which included the laundry room, root and coal cellars and their maid Daisy’s bathroom.  These tours are given from 10 am until 2 pm on Saturdays, adult admission is $8.  To celebrate their ten years as a museum, the Kerr Museum is hosting free tours next Saturday (June 23), Victorian era games, ragtime music, a barber shop quartet, children’s crafts, complimentary refreshments and even a pie contest.  More info at their web site or by calling 412.826.9295.

As reported here several months ago, Fresh Market out of Greensboro, NC is progressing on the corner of Connor and Washington Roads (across from the Galleria in Mt. Lebanon).  The township gave them the green light on their plans, it’s now up to Penn Dot to OK the design to enter on to Connor Road (they are making the four entrances into two and you won’t be able to make a left turn from the lot during busy times.  This upscale food retailer will be joining The Uncommon Market on top of the hill, Trader Joe’s farther south and there’s talk of Whole Foods locating in the area as well.  Speaking of healthy food, Marty’s Market is well underway down in the Strip.  That’s where that other natural foods market was in front of the Cork Factory.  Hopefully this will be better run and be successful.  I believe the owner is a female Vet embarking on her first business.  Good luck to you.  :)

Penn Hills Arts Festival for the Visual and Performing Arts is coming up (July 20 & 21) at the William E Anderson Library on Stotler Road.  The festival will be featuring a juried art exhibit, live entertainment, food refreshments and children’s activities.  They are also looking for more artists to enter, you must be registered by July 2.  The fee for two works of are for submission is $20 for adults, $5 students 16 – 18 and $1 for kids under 16 (pretty cool there).  There’s a fair amount of restrictions/requirements (ways to hang pictures, etc), so if you are thinking of entering call Jani Pfeifer at 412.793.8302 or Deb Hardy at 412.241.2718.

For you South Hills people, I don’t know if you’ve been down Weyman Road just past Provost in awhile, but that old junk yard that’s been an eyesore for years is pretty much gone.  Whitehall Borough is in the process of changing the zoning to make that area light commercial.  Whatever they allow in there, it will be a huge improvement over that rusted fence, falling down building and rusted car carcases that’s been there forever.

Are you up for free outdoor Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II?  It will be shown Friday (June 15) at Arsenal Park (39th and Butler Streets Lawrenceville), Saturday at Grandview Park Bailey Avenue in Mt Washington and Riverview Park, Observatory Hill.  More info at City Parks or by calling 412.422.6426.

Pittsburgh artist Miller McCormick has a different slant on things.  He uses an outdated scanner/copier, light table, and ink printing overlays to create pretty unique images that are whimsical and challenge conventional image making that blurs the lines between digital construction and handcraft.  His works are on display at The Gallery 4 through the rest of the month at 406 S Highland Avenue, Shadyside from 1 pm until 8 pm Tuesdays through Fridays (thank you Gallery 4 for making your hours so easy to quote-you must be a blog follower of mine.)  :)  More info at 412.363.5050 or their web site.

Enjoy this wonderful weather and great weekend,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is both Russia and the Philippines Independence Days, it is the birth anniversary of Anne Frank, Baseball’s first Perfect Game (the pitcher did not allow a single opposition player to reach first base) [1880], the National Baseball Hall of Fame was established (9139) and it is the anniversary of President Reagan’s Tear Down This Wall speech.

I read a fun, brainless book and then one that I can learn something from.  My latest brainiac book was The Quest by Pulitzer Award winner Daniel Yergin.  Big book, 800 plus pages that does a real good job of taking energy issues apart and gives a great understanding of past, present and future issues associated with energy usage.  Through conservation and other energy saving measures, we have reduce our consumption by 40%, yet our overall consumption has grown 50% (I’m making these numbers up, but they are fairly close to what he quoted).  The reason is there’s more of us using energy and our forms of energy has increase so much (computers, smart phones, big TV’s etc).  He really does  a nice job dissecting the issues and explaining them.  I highly recommend it.

For those of you west of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River, if you have some free time, they are having a clean up drive next Saturday starting around 8 am.  They are starting at the Groveton Boat Club in Coraopolis/Groveton on Elizabeth Street in Robinson call 412.264.6776 or 412.523.9366 for more info.  They are starting from the Glenwillard Boat Club in Crescent at 400-448 Ferry Street, more info at 724.272.1777.  The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commision at 304 East Beaver Street, more info at 724.396.0653.  The Fish and Boat Commission in Leetsdale at the end of Petrun Road, more info at 724.624.4521.  The Monaca Pumphouse Park in Monaca, more info at 724.775.9600.  The Blockhouse Run North in New Brighton off Route 18 opposite the the New Brighton sewage treatment plant at the end of Third Avenue, more info at 724.624.4962.  And finally the boat dock near Ferry Road and the Shippingport power plant.  These Sweeps have been very successful in the past, 21,000 volunteers have collected 20,000 tons of debris.

Speaking of our clean city, I had Betty on Thursday.  We did lunch, she hung with me as I did my errands and then came over to hang out at the Inn during the afternoon.  After dinner, I told her we were going to do an “adventure”.  Instead of driving her over to her apartment in Beechview, we took the “T” (it stops right outside her apartment).  It was cool to see her be amazed at the “T” as it went under Downtown and then up the hill to her apartment.  I rode the “T” back Downtown and got off to check out the Arts Festival.  This time I saw three leather craft persons (I bought a wallet I was looking for) and saw at least five wood workers.  (I guest the Arts Festival read my last post).  :)  If they are still listening to me, big suggestion is to set up the vendor booths so you can walk down one side and then walk up another side seamlessly.  People miss a lot of the vendors because they miss a turn.

I listen to NPR almost exclusively between DUQ and YEP.  Saturday mornings I’ve always enjoyed the rantings of Ray and Tom Magliozzi, Click and Clack on Car Talk.  The last of their live shows will be in September, they will be retiring after that.  They’ve been on the radio for 35 years!  NPR will continue Car Talk after their retirement with archived shows.  I won’t be as fresh, but should still be pretty funny.

Every spring I buy lady bugs and let them loose in my yard to control aphids from Gardner’s Supply Company.  They also carry Praying Mantid’s egg cases.  You can hatch them right in you garden.  Nice way to keep bugs in check without chemicals.

I drove past UPMC’s new hospital in Monroeville last week.  What a bunch of BS, it’s huge, it’s expensive and we have to pay for it.  Did you know in America, we pay $8,000 per person per year on health care?  Most other industrialized nations pay less than $5,000.  And this extra $3,000 doesn’t get our health care any better.  We don’t live longer than other industrialized countries and we don’t have better daily health.  This $250 million facility was only built to compete with Forbes Regional, the West Penn hospital.  It’s like UPMC’s bitter battle now with Highmark because they are buying West Penn.  This “non-profit” barely eeks out the 2% free charitable care they are required by law to provide.

One more rant, then I’ll leave you in peace.  :)  I’ve been off and on the fence with our new governor.  I’m way off the fence now.  It sort of started with Governor Shapp who provided a $70 million incentive to VW to build a manufacturing plant in West Moreland.  They used up their incentives and closed.  We then ponied up to give Sony millions in incentives for the same space.  Governor Ridge gave $227 million to Kvaerner shipyard in Philly.  Now Governor Corbett is proposing up to $1.7BILLION for the cracker plant out in Beaver.  The current owner of the property, who polluted it, has in the bill of sale that he does not have to clean up the brownfield.  We do.

My good friends from State College, Tony and Sue are flying out of Pittsburgh tomorrow to meet up with their daughter that’s studing film in Canada and so they are spending the night here.  Dave and Claire, who also went to Penn State are  coming over for the evening.  So we’ll sit around and BS in the wee hours (probably around 10 for me).  :)

Have a great week,

ed

 

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of D-Day (1944), the first drive-in movie opened in Camden, NJ (1933), Nathan Hale’s birth anniversary (1755), Susan B Anthony was fined for voting (1872), the Security and Exchange Commission was created in 1934 and it is the 150th anniversary of the surrender of Memphis  by the Confederates.

I had Sheila & Dave’s wedding last weekend, great people and event.  Dave’s parents are very much into history and antiques.  When Holly & John arrived, we walked around the Mansion again and they pointed out the light fixture in the dining room of the sheppard boy and dog (possibly my favorite piece in the entire Mansion).  They said it was a Moreau and sure enough it is, it’s even labeled right in the front:

And as we were walking around, they pointed out the clock on the dining room mantle that looks like Lady Liberty and said that it looks like a Moreau.  Actually it’s a Ansonia Clock, they were manufactured in New York and Connecticut.

Finally, they’ve found a way to recycle Styrofoam.  You can always recycle the ”peanuts” at any shipping company like Fedex/Kinkos.  But the Styrofoam that packages electronics, etc have had to go into the land fills and they last there basically forever there.  Antracite Recycling in Scranton has been recycling paper cardboard and other items.  They found and purchased a used “de-densifier” for $64,000 in Maine and recently installed it in their junk yard.  It shreds the Styrofoam and then forms “logs” that can be stacked and shipped.  The process can take a trailer full of loose Styrofoam and stack these “logs” on a single pallet.  They are currently selling this recycled product to Dart Container Company.  Dart can de-densify the Styrofoam logs, process it into the cups and containers they are known for.  I saves them from buying the raw products (chemical and petroleum products) and manufacturing Styrofoam from scratch.

Ex State Senator Jane Orie was sentenced to two to ten years in jail for her convictions on corruption.  I really hate to see anyone go to jail, but when you have no remorse or admit that you did something wrong, I’d be OK with the jail terms being doubled.  This goes for Vince Fumo, Mike Veon, John Perzel, Bill DeWeese and Brett Freese as well.  In the past year as I’ve watched these trials, convictions and sentencing; I was hoping to see someone of them to actually do the right thing and apologize for their wrong doing.  Nope, and if Orie’s attorney doesn’t stop throwing feces on the wall hoping something will stick by accusing District Attorney Zappala’s office of using family feuds behind the prosecution of Orie, I might be tempted to throw some feces at him.  (Just kidding, don’t call the cops and accuse me of being a terrorist.)  :)  Even Judge Manning was disgusted with the corruption and read her the riot act at sentencing.  Maybe all this jail time and forfeiture of pensions may make them think twice about using the public office they’ve been entrusted with for their personal benefit.

I went to the Arts Festival Sunday.  They always have too much pottery.  Don’t get me wrong, I like pottery and find some pretty unique and interesting.  But there always seems to be an overabundance of potters represented.  I didn’t see one leather worker and just one or two wood workers.  I did find a lady, Debbie Houser of Personal Etchings, working with lexan creating various forms of night lights.  The etched lexan is placed over a light source that illuminates the lexan.  I bought two for night lights in Ruellia and Bromeliad:

I do have a minor problem with them.  The lexan base sits on top of the wooden light base.  This may be OK in a personal residence, but with the wear and tear in an Inn, I want to cut out the light hole a bit wider so the lexan base nestles in the wooden base instead of on it.  This will make it more stable.  Minor problem.  They really look cool in the dark.

Have a great day,

ed