Hi,

 

The Snow Angel project started in Pittsburgh and expanded to Allegheny County.  Unfortunately because of the lack of funding, Allegheny County is no longer in the program.  In case you are unaware of the Snow Angel project is it pares healthy men and women with elderly or disabled that are unable to clear the snow from their walkways.  You can go to the Snow Angels website or call 412-475-2459 to request assistance or volunteer.  So far 62 new people have requested assistance and only 23 new has signed up to volunteer.  In addition to the new requests 100 that have been helped in the past are requesting help again.  Last winter 250 requested assistance and 80 volunteered, a big gap.  The website has a map with the locations of people needing help so you can volunteer for someone close.  You don’t want to volunteer to help someone miles away because you could end up being part of the problem during a snow storm driving through the mess.  A great idea and there’s no gym charge for getting in shape.  You don’t even need to do a face to face with the person you will be helping, a phone can can determine if you need to bring a shovel or will there be one there.

They offer tours of the Maxo Vanka murals at St Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church in Millvale on Saturdays at 11 am and 12:30 and they last about an hour.  Maxo Vanka an artist of Croatian decent painted the murals in the 1930’s and are pretty famous.  Art Deco was in vogue in the 1930’s and you can see it’s influence in these paintings.  Visit the tours link and they request a $10 donation that goes to preservation of the murals.  They are pretty spectacular, you should schedule an appointment.

With as bitterly cold as it’s been here, I’m seeing extra birds at my feeder.   The little guys hang out on the ground pecking away at fallen seeds the bigger birds knock out.  Being the nice guy I am, I felt bad for the little guys and took a broom out so their little beaks could find the seeds without digging through the snow.  My fat birds have trampled the snow like humans do on the sidewalk.  Who would have thought they’d damp down the snow:

See how it’s all trampled down directly under the feeder?

Speaking of cold, I had frozen pipes in Bromeliad in the Carriage House this past weekend.  I can close the two Carriage House guest rooms down and not heat them in the winter during the week, I can drain the water.  I was sold out last weekend for the final regular season Steeler game and needed all the rooms.  I closed the taps, turned the water on and turned the heat on Friday in both rooms.  Something else I need to do is turn the furnace on low in the ballroom because that is under the guest rooms.  When I did it, I couldn’t get the thermostat to lower the temp from the last event I had in there.  I changed the batteries and still it wouldn’t go down.  So instead of 45 degrees, I figured I could live with 65 for the weekend.  Dumb me didn’t go back in the ballroom to see if it heated.  I got the water in the sink working but couldn’t get the tub/shower to work.  I called John, my plumber, and he said he could be here in 15 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!  What plumber on a ten degree night New Years weekend can offer that kind of service?  John’s a super star in my world these days.  BIG shout out to John with All Pro Plumbing.  I tried finding John’s website but after several pages, I saw a link to a past blog I did where I offered kudos to John for figuring out what was wrong with my AC back in October 14, 2011 866.996.7767.

Took the gerl for her first post surgery visit with the vet.  First of all, she’s the darling at Avets, they all know her and speak so kindly about her.  She is such a positive force and everyone loves positive attitudes.  The surgeon was beaming about her recovery so far.  Thank you Dee for doing her physical therapy when you are here, it has certainly sped her recovery added to my PT.  🙂  She’s now cleared for short walks and I can keep extending them each week.  So for a while, it’s separate walks for the gerls & boiz.

Took down the holiday decorations the last two days, they are all neatly packed and stowed for another season.  The worst was taking down the outside garlands in this frigid temperatures.  I survived and didn’t fall off the porch roof removing the big wreaths.  Life is good.  🙂

Neighborhood mail is getting really bad here.  When I first moved here I received my mail by 2 pm, it keeps creeping later and later, no it’s around 5 pm.  Which is annoying, but they are not picking up the mail out of the neighborhood mail boxes.  I don’t have a mail box and don’t want to put envelopes with checks in them in the mail slot for all nefarious passers by to see.  I always take them to the corner mail box when I take the dogs for a walk, the mail box seems not to be emptied on a regular basis.  I again got my new invoice for my car payment today with a late fee and I mailed it in plenty of time.  I’m going to start taking them to the actual post office mail box.  I received my mortgage bill today 1/3/18 that was due 1/1/17 and I received my other bill from my bank two weeks ago, they normally send both bills out at the same timeWhile I’m whining, holiday cards when out several weeks ago.  And I am getting the “undeliverable” ones back.  I see a pattern where a particular zip code, a bunch are returned.  Besides the money spent making them, postage the thing that bothers me the most is taking people off my list because a mail person is too lazy to deliver mail (an assumption on my part I definitely acknowledge).  I’m considering switching to e-cards, to get a physical holiday card means a lot to me and would really hate to stop sending them.  Most are from guests that haven’t been here in a few years, but some of them are just a few months ago.  I’m always getting mail for a business over at 939 North Avenue and I’m at 939 Western Avenue two blocks south of North Avenue.  All in the same neighborhood and the same mail person.  I get mail from outside my zip code even.  Can’t they read?  And there’s nothing you can do, on several occassions I needed post card stamps to send out cards and the post office didn’t have any or I needed to bu 100 only needing 5!  That’s like your gas station not having gas or your grocery store not having milk.  How can they stay in business?

Off my soap box and on to new and exciting things happening here.  A new phone system is being installed, it basically works, the phone part.  The alarm system, door bell and surveillance cameras still need fixed.  Guests will now be able to call anywhere in the continental US for free, just like you do at home.  And now when you call The Parador, your first option will be to reach me and then you will have the option of ringing a particular room.  Say you are staying in Chenille and your daughter wants to reach you, the prompt will tell you how to ring that room.  I didn’t have them install voice mail in the rooms, too many ways that could be a problem.  So if you are staying here, just be sure to tell whomever might need to reach you, which room you are in.  And if a call comes in and I happen to be in the office, I can transfer the call to the appropriate room.  Here’s a picture of the new phones:

My desk is not normally this neat, I stacked all the papers normally strewn all over and hid them.  🙂

Everyone knows Pittsburgh has a lot a tech and has for quite some time.  Did you know the techie that invented emojis for a smiley was a CMU professor Scott Fahlaman.  If you don’t know his name, most Pittsburghers are aware it started here.  A Mt Lebanon teenager invented the first computer virus 25 years ago.  Rich Skrenta played games on computers back when games came on floppy discs (do you remember floppy discs?) and he would tamper with the floppy discs before passing them on to his friends.  The basis of Apple’s operating system was invented by another CMU professor Luis von Ahan.

Well, that’s it for today, happy New Year and remember to check in on your elderly neighbors in this frigid tempurature,

ed

 

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