We are in PIttsburgh’s Restaurant Week, a great time to check out new dining options. There’s a lot of great restaurants participating.
Speaking of books, City of Asylum’s book store in their multipurpose venue Alphabet City opens January 28. Finally, something’s happening in the Garden Block. Like Arlen, if you want a non Barnes and Noble or Amazon experience, check these folks out. We have a lot of great non profits over here like City of Asylum and Brother’s Brother, one of my favorite charities. Brother’s Brother has one of the hightest percentages of money raised going to their cause, not overhead, like the ASPCA. Who has those heart wrenching TV ads, but most of the funds they raise goes to salaries and executive offices. Brother’s Brother’s executive offices looks like you are walking into a 1960’s stylish office that’s been in use for over 60 years. It’s pretty funny.
I was almost victim of a phone scam. Thursday before New Years Eve weekend (and the final Steeler’s regular season home game of the season) I received a call from an Unavailable phone number (red flag #1), but not a restricted number. Dee was off and I had rooms I needed cleaned and was busy getting ready for the weekend. He identified himself as a Duquesne Light technician giving me his required courtesy call that my electricity was scheduled to be disconnected that day for non payment. When I explained I was current and should have cancelled checks (he said, he’s just a technician and if I wanted to discuss this, I needed to call this 800 phone numbe)r. I called it and it was answered “Thank you for calling Duquesne Light.” I told him about the previous call and he asked some information to identify the account. He said my account was not current and he quoted a number similar to one of my recent bills. I’ve had a problem with Duquesne in the past where I switched Home Depot’s check in their envelope and their check in Home Depot’s envelope. Duquesne returned HD’s check and HD cashed theirs. So when Duquesne called me over that, we did a ACH (where you give them the routing number of your checking account and you approve the transaction). He was giving me pressure to settle up right away to keep my electric from being turned off. Being suspicious, I offered my credit card number (very safe, I have USAA and they are awesome). He said the money wouldn’t hit Duquesne’s coffers in time, it would be at least a day and once the shut off was scheduled, payment had to be received that day. (Red flag #3) I then offered an ACH transaction, he said no for the same reason (red flag #4). He wanted me to remit payment through green dot money pak instant pay. I had never heard of this. He explained how it works. (red flag #5) I had the cash and was considering it. He identified the Right Aid right down on Brighton Avenue had a Green Dot machine. I went down there with lots of doubts. I walked in and Nicole was working, I sort of know her from going in there. I asked her how the machine worked. She asked me why and I told her, she just smiled and said it’s a scam. You gotta love Nicole. I tried to tip her for being the last piece in my doubts and she refused, saying she could loose her job for accepting a tip. I mailed her a thank you.
I called Duquesne Light and they confirmed my account was current and they were aware of this scam and had a warning on their website. She told me I should do a police report, which I did. I spoke with Jeff that owns Peppis right down the street and he said they tried him twice.
I called WTAE news and they came out to do a story
I had a phone call last week from “Duquesne Light”, saying I was scheduled for a shut off that day. I told her they had tried this a week ago and then I told her unpleasant things about her mother.
Want to do something unusual? Hollow Oak Land Trust is hosting an Owl Prowl January 18. You traipse through the woods with the executive director of the Trust and Robert Mulvhill, omitholgist at the National Aviary. They will have an owl caller. You walk along with him, turn the lights out and he calls the owls. When they approach, you can turn your lights on to see them. The event is free, but you have to be a member to go, it costs $20 a year and I assume you would be able to go on their annual salamander crawl in the spring, kind of a two for one. 🙂 More info at their website or by calling them at 412-417-5825.
When I came out of the office this morning at 5:30 to take da kidz for their walk, I heard some load rantings coming from the west. I thought some drunk was rambling on over around the 7/11. When I came into the dining room, he sounded close, I made da kidz STAY and opened the side door he was sitting on the rocking chair giving a profanity laced tirade about the heroin addiction problem. I had guests in the room right over it, Chenille. I told him he was on private property and I wanted him to leave. He just looked at me. I told him I had two very large dogs behind the door that it would be legal for me to sic them on him since he was on private property. (What I didn’t say was the attack would probably include wiggling butts and licks. 🙂 ). 911 knows me, when I gave the address of the “emergency”, the lady said The Parador?. I said yes.
Gotta run, take care,