HI,

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of the Erie Canal (1825), it’s Austria’s National Day, the gun fight at the OK Corral (1881) and it is the Islamic feast of the sacrafice-Eid-al-Adha.  Birth anniversaries include French revolutionary war hero Georges Danton (1759), renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson (1911) and composer Domenic Scarlatti (1685).

Back in the late 1940’s and early 50’s the government had a surplus of parachutes and Idaho had a surplus of beavers in certain parts of the state and wanted to move them to remote areas of the state.  And so the the game commission came up with a novel solution, they devised a Beaver Drop.  🙂

A lot of the subscription services are blaming the new chip embedded credit cards for sharp decline in membership.  Places like Netflix, dating sites, etc.  That is a common occurrence when credit cards are renewed with a new expiration date.  But there are so many cards being re-issued because of the chip technology, it’s a lot more than normal.

Hewlett-Packard, Dell,Lenovo are teaming with Microsoft  to launch a $70M ad campaign encouraging PC and laptop users to buy newer versions.  The laptop and PC segment has been falling steadily over the last number of years as people switch to smart phone and notebooks for their computing needs.

It’s a busy time of year for North Hills Community Outreach.  They are having their yearly coat drive through the end of October.  Coats donated need to be serviceable, no broken zippers, ripped or torn coats can be accepted.  For the first time they have partnered with Dutch Girls Cleaners on McKnight Road.  Dutch Girls is offering to clean any coat donated in need of cleaning.  They are more interested in functional coats like ski jackets, more than fashionable long coats.  Most needed are adult XL and XXL.  Last year they collected 2,000 coats and jackets that helped 345 families. They are also collecting non perishable foods for Thanksgiving Dinners, anything you might find at a Thanksgiving dinner is needed.  Like canned cranberries, vegetables, powdered potatoes, etc They helped 800 families in need last year and the drive lasts through November 13.  Provided meals to 800 meals last year to families in need.  Also, so they don’t get bored, they are running a toy drive.  🙂  November 11 through December 11.  They are looking for unwrapped toys for tots through high school age.  More info at their website or by calling 412-487-6316.  You can also use that phone number to register to receive a coat, Thanksgiving dinner or toys.

Penn Forest Cemetery has new staff members.  Penn Forest is that green cemetery in Penn Hills, they’ve hired goats to keep the weeds at bay.  They will cordon off areas of the cemetery  and let the goats do their thing.  And get this, they’ve hired a director of security for the goats, a donkey will travel with the goats to keep predators at bay.  🙂    And as an added benefit, both landscapers and security guard will leave behind complimentary fertilizer.  🙂

There’s an interesting Government Accounting Office website that highlights art the government owns and where it is.  You can do a search by location or by artist.  Kind of an interesting site to browse.

Over the years, putting the gardens in the Courtyard to bed for the winter has been quite the chore and I’m getting pretty efficient at this task.  🙂  I remember digging the elephant ears’ tubers out in the mud right before a hard frost.  There was the year da boiz broke my hand and Dee & Taymar had to help me cut down the Arondo donex and it was bitter cold.  Then there was getting rid of all that vegetation.  The elephant ears and grasses are to much for my little Courtyard to be able to compost.   The city wouldn’t take it.   I ended up using my good friend Jeff that owns Peppi’s and would put limited amount of vegetation in his dumpster.  I’m not particularly comfortable putting vegetation in the garbage stream.  Last year, I talked about hooking up with those great people at the Western PA Conservancy, I know them.  I sponsor a garden at the corner of Brighton Road and California Avenue.  I knew at this time of year, they were dismantling most of their gardens and I’ve seen their pick up trucks loaded with plants they’ve taken out of the various gardens and knew they had to have a big composting program somewhere.  So I called my contact and inquired if I could put my vegetation in their composting pile.  The answer was yes.  I had the vegetation in the back of my pick up, he offered to transfer it to his truck and then take me up to show where their composting was right up Brighton Road.The last few days I’ve been dismantling the gardens and piling it in the truck.  In one fell swoop I was able to get rid of the vegetation.  Here’s before:P1000832

P1000833

Here’s the Courtyard stripped and inspected by da kidz:

geckotowardsverandastripped

P1000832

And here’s the tubers ready for their sleep in the basement over the winter:

P1000835

Generally I replant the elephant ears later April, if you would like some, just bring a tub (with a lid) and visit me before later April. I always have a tub extra after planting them.  And I put tubers in cardboard boxes with a sign Free Elephant Ears.  They are usually gone the same day.  When my nephew Michael and myself cut the silver birch down a couple of weeks ago, we cut the l tree into fireplace sized logs with a sign Free Firewood, they were gone in two days. I will probably cut the Maiden Hair Grasses in half this spring (that’s the grasses on the far side of the water feature.  If you want some of them, just let me know.

Here’s a pic of the Maiden Hair:

P1000200

That’s it for today, enjoy your weekend,

ed

Hi,

Sorry folks, I told this to publish on Monday and it didn’t.

Birth anniversaries include black American naval aviator Jesse Brown (1926), on the edge comedian Lenny Bruce (1925), former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (1925), French actor Yves Montand (1921) and Revolutionary War Heroine Molly Pitcher (1754).  It’s the anniversary of the authorization of the US Navy (1775) and in Burundi, Assassintion of the Hero of the Nation, Prince Louis Rwagasore (1961).

Gilfilan Farm will hold it’s second holiday antique show through October 15.  It runs from 10 am until 4 pm in the white barn.  The farm house will only be open for tours through scheduling by calling 412-835-2050 or by e-mailing the president of the Upper St Clair Historical Society at president@hsusc.org.  Gilifan Farm is one of the original farms of the area that eventually became Upper St Clair.

Jane has been visiting from Florida several times a year, Jim her friend has given me several original pieces of art work that hang in a grouping on the second floor landing.  One is of the old fire truck that used to be in the Commons for kids to play on another is of a small house in the Mexican War Streets and the third is of a whale playing in the ocean:

P1000828

Appearantly, Jane’s sister Louise Leak was an accomplished artist, most notably for her work on etching print blocks.  Louise passed away forty years ago and they recently found a number of her print blocks.  Jane presented me with one titled The Table Room:

P1000827

The picture’s black and white with so much detail, very talented!

City of Asylum recently closed on the old Masonic Temple on North Avenue (two doors down from the Garden Theater).  They plan on starting a $10M renovation immediately.  CA, in case you are not familiar with them house dissident authors and poets, mostly of Asian origin.  CA own several shot gun houses in the Mexican War Streets, one of the houses has a poem in Chinese written on the outside of the house, something to check out if you are walking in the area of the Mattress Factory and Randyland.  Up until now, they have hosted their readings and other events any where they could.  Now with the first floor becoming Alphabet City, they will have a permanent venue and coffee & gift shops in one location.

Pittsburgh’s Dirty Dozen Bike Race is about a month out, November 28.  The Dirty Dozen is actually 13 of the city’s steepest streets, including Canton in Beechview.  Canton has the steepest grade of any paved street in the world, the Guinness Book of Records lists a street in New Zealand, because it is longer.  (I think NZ’s street is 34% and Canton is 37%).  Actually they could hold the entire race in Beechview, there are so many super steep streets over there.  I go there often because that’s where my Mom lives and I scare her by driving down some of them.  🙂  Go to their website if you would like to register to participate.  It’s also a great excuse to go out and get some fresh air and cheer the participants on.

Rayzette is fully recovered from her being spayed.  Day one she slept the rest of the day, day two I took the cone off so she could eat breakfast and then again so she could eat lunch.  I left the cone off after she ate and watched her closely.  She started licking the incision and the cone went back on her.  I after dinner, I left the cone off and watched her for hours and she had learned the cone was related to licking the incision.  And she has a ravenous appetite.  🙂  She’s 62# and climbing, RJ’s 84#.  She doesn’t look like a puppy any more, she just looks like a super cuter small lab.  Here’s my little girl hanging out with her big brother:

P1000829

Take care and enjoy this nice weather we’re having,

ed

HI,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of one of debut of my most favorite TV shows Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969), Chief Joseph’s surrender (1877), the accident at the Enrico Fermi Atomic Power Plant at Monroe, MI (1966) and it is Portugal’s Republic Day.  Birth anniversaries include 21st President Chester Arthur (1829), three stooges actor Larry Fine (1902) and film pioneer Louis Lumiere (1864).

It’s that time of year to be scary (no comments on my cooking).  🙂  They are having their yearly living dead festival in Evans City, where much of Night of the Living Dead was shot next weekend.  Be careful of using the link livingdeatweeken.com, I was there and was going to put a hyperlink to it, but there seems to be some malware in it.  Included in the festivities will be a dedication of a permanent marker on the site of the farm house from the movie.  And of course the Living Dead Museum will have activities.  They are planning on having a number of cast members from the original movie and others that worked the classic film give autographs and insider information.

In addition to all the scare houses out there, there’s a number haunted tours.  In the City of Monogahela there’s a Candlelight Ghost Walk at 7:15 on the weekends of 10/16 &17 and then 10/ 23 & 24.  They are guided tours where the docent tells you stories of why certain houses are believed to be haunted.  More info by calling 724-258-6432 or visiting their website.  Out in Brownsville the Nemacolin Castle will have tours most weekend evenings during the month of October, more info 724-785-6882.  You go through the mansion in the dark with just lanterns.  Brackenridge Heights Golf Course will have ghost tours October 10 & 23 of areas known as hot spots.  The most famous ghost is Leo, a former employee.  This public golf course was private and exclusive in it’s heydays.  More info at their webs site or by calling  724-226-0955. Out in Fayette County there’s the Smock Heritage Museum, formerly known as a company story has a number of ghosts are said to be in residence.  They are only have tours from 5 pm  until midnight, October 10.  These guided tours take about 30 minutes.  More info at 724-570-3258.  Another  haunted tour include Haunted Pittsburgh which starts at the City County Building 7 pm Fridays, more info at their website.

The recreations of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria are docked down at Station Square until October 12.  Tickets are $7 & $8 for self guided tours and they run from 9 am until 6 pm.  More info at their website.

I talked about E-Cycling Recyling in Pine several years ago, Jenn Carr was collecting old TVs, and other electronics and then selling them to eloop in plum.  She’s no longer accepting these things, but eloop is still in business.

Faros Properties from New York relatively recently bought the old Allegheny Center Mall, 1.2 million square foot complex and is in the process of turning it into Nova, a tech friendly facility.  I believe they are the same group that last year bought the high rise apparments in the mall area and turned the 40% occupancy to 100% with waiting lists.  Nova will be hosting a big Maker Faire with over 200 inventors, crafters and tech enthusiasts. next weekend October 10 & 11.  Maker Faires is an international movement.

The California Girls were in again for another visit.  They are such nice ladies, and poor Nancy suffered the entire week they visited with gall stones.  But she kept up the happy face and was always such a pleasure to be around.  They left Thursday and before they left they went down to see Kerry at KS Kennedy Distinctive Floral and Gourmet and ordered flowers for all of us.  And you can see one of my Halloween decorations sneaking into the picture.  🙂

P1000824

Enjoy this sunny fall day,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is world rabies day and Cabrillo Day (commemorating the discovery of California by the Europeans (1542).  Birth anniversaries include international actor Marcello Mastroianni (1924), European boxer Max Schmeling (1905),TV variety show pioneer Ed Sullivan (1901) and in Taiwan it is celebrated Confucius’s birthday and teachers day (he was born around 551 BC).

The National Aviary has added a garden gift shop right at the main entrance.  This is a separate shop from the gift shop by the entrance from the parking lot.  Both are run by the Aviary, not some outside vendor renting space.  In keeping with their mission, the items are nature inspired gifts.  The shop is open from 10 am until 5 pm and you don’t have to buy an admission tickets to visit it, just like the the other shop.

Really, the attorney for the latest Plum teacher being investigated for having sex with a minor made a statement that the 15 year old girl iniated the sexual encounter.  A 29 year old adult was influenced into a relationship with by a 15 year old child?  I think that attorney should be looked at.

Maybe there’s hope for us, Peanut Corporation of America’s owner Stewart Parnell just received a 28 year jail sentence for knowingly shipping salmonella tainted peanut butter.  We need jail time to strike home to corporate America to reign in the corporate greed.  Corporate executives make so much money, that even if their company doesn’t actually pay the fines, it means nothing to them.  9 people died and over 700 got sick.  I bet if a few of our banking executives got jail time, it would slow down on their corporate malfeasance.

Yes, I’m a boring person (I seldom go out), but these independent movie houses are now starting to serve craft beers at their concession stands.  It adds another layer to their offerings like I think it was the Hollywood Theater in Dormont that had a spaghetti dinner included in the price of admission for their recent spaghetti western series.  Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville has several beers on tap and it’s next door to another venture of theirs Atlas Bottle Works next door, you can walk over to Atlas select from 500 bottles available and walk right back into the theater with it.  The Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill also offers adult beverages.

The Montgomery Homestead Inn on the Appalachian Trail had a surprise the morning of May 16.  Several FBI agents showed up in the door with a picture of James Hammes, a regular at her Inn and known only as Bismarck.  Hammes had been up and down the Trail and is accused of embezzling $9M from his Ohio employer.  I think he always paid with cash.  🙂

This week my little girl is getting spayed, I’ve been a mess over this.  Unfortunately for sanity at The Parador Inn, it has to be done.  Here’s the latest picture of her with her, as yet, big brother.  I almost had to cut her choker off her she’s growing so fast.  She has mainly her adult teeth now.

P1000818

The moon is going to be closest to earth tonight than it will be for the next 33 years this super moon eclipse is not going to be easily seen, because our weather calls for mostly cloudy.  In the chance of a break in the clouds, you should poke your head out every now and then to see this if possible.

Short post for today,

ed

Hi,

Jumping ahead, Wednesday will be the first day of fall.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of the creation of the Postmaster General (1789), it’s Mali’s Independence day, it is Mabon one of the lesser Sabbats of the Wiccan year, the start of the Iran-Iraq war (1980), Italo Marchiony invented and eventually patented the cone for ice cream cones (1903), it is Elephant Appreciation Day

The reason for the Trump phenomenon is we as a nation are tired of the lies and graft in our country.  Chris Christie privatized the New Jersey lottery and the UK company, Northstar, running it was paid $100M last year.  Their performance has been so bad that NJ can cancel the contract.  (this is the same company Tom Corbett wanted to bring into Pennsylvania).  Northstar hired Christie’s communications chief from his campaign staff at a tune of $450,000!  As just one example, every time we turn around, we’re getting fleeced by one of  our entrenched politicians.

Which is my segway into what I really wanted to talk about, my hero John Feterman, the mayor of Braddock for the last almost ten years.  After graduating from Harvard, he took a position in Braddock through Americorps and fell in love with the gritty town and has been there since.  He threw his hat in the ring to represent us replacing Senator Pat Toomey (an entrenched politician) and running against two other entrenched politicians Governor Wolf’s ex-chief of staff Katie McGinty and former congressman Joe Sestak.  His website is johnfetterman.com. I spoke of John’s wife Gisel that started that food pantry app in my last blog post, goodness runs in the family.  🙂

Bruce Klein has his tradtional Halloween seasonal show at Photo Antiquities right over on E Ohio Street across the park from me.  Spirits Good and Evil and Vintage Mug Shots is a look at post mortem photographs.  Last year he specialized in child post mortem photos, this year he has not limit on age.  When someone passed away, the family would hire a photographer to capture an image of the deceased (sometimes with his/her eyes closed as if sleeping and sometimes with the eyes propped open).

To continue with the day bed saga, I took the broken springs over to John Groll Ornamental Ironworks to get it repaired.   John has done a fair amount of work here.  Initially he repaired the big fence in front of my Inn.  Basic repairs and then he got the gate to work.  He has since been back to do the handicap railings going into the Ballroom and along the Veranda.  Also, to get my Certificate of Occupancy to open, the City wanted a railing to the front porch from the parking lot.  John made one that matches the railings from the sidewalk up to the front door. He does nice work and is reasonably priced.  John’s shop is on Beck’s Run Road and I pulled in his lot, pulled the broken spring out of the back of my Prius.  A I entered the shop, John wasn’t there, but his staff member took one look at what I had and somewhat sneered “We don’t work on stuff like that”.  He then did a double take and asked if I wasn’t the guy that owns The Parador.  He has been here a couple of times for installation work on the railings.  And said, “Give me about ten minutes and I’ll fix it for you.”  It’s great being local and known, getting the cheapest price is not as important as finding someone that charges a reasonable price and build a relationship with them, it pays off in the long run.

Speaking of work at The Parador, we ordered 35 more replacement windows.  They will be installed the last week in October, hopefully I will see a significant reduction in my gas bills this winter (and reduced electric next summer for cooling.  This will finish all the large windows and the ones in the kitchens and laundry room.

Here’s the latest picture of Rayzette, she’s getting so big, I almost had to cut her latest choker off.  She’s growing so fast,and has anenormous appetite.  🙂P1000816

I have changed the occupancy for all the guest rooms, they are all now double occupancy, even the suites.  This weekend I’m serving 23 guests breakfast Sunday and Monday, that’ one of the reasons I quit doing weddings, logistically it’ too difficult.  The only time I run into this anymore is on Steeler home game weekends. And I always sell out for Heinz Field events, I would be more inclined to let extra persons in the suites on other days.  I had someone reserve four rooms  and then dropped it down to two, squeezing three people into one room and I’m left with two empty rooms Friday night  I was able to sell the two rooms Saturday night.  They cancelled the two rooms just before the two week cut off for cancellations, so they avoided the normal deposit they would be charged.  I easily could have sold those rooms if they hadn’t been blocked for months

Speaking of guests, I love my guests.  There are as in anything, some difficult ones and people that don’t read my Confirmation that has gotten me in trouble on on-line travels sites with negative reviews because people think lodging, 24 hour front desk.  Two nights ago I had two back to back phone calls at 1:30 in the morning.  When I pointed out to the one lady she was calling a Bed and Breakfast at 1:30 am where the cook/owner gets up at 5:30 am.  And she told me I didn’t have to be snippy with her.  David & Veronica were just here and brought me a bottle of wine a big ball for RJ and a small ball for Rayzette and two braided wrist bands for Dee & Taymar.  Speaking of Taymar (Taymar is Dee’s son and he’s working here helping out mainly with breakfast ).  He’s such a nice kid, I use him as my front man and generally I plate the breakfast and he delivers it to the guests.  I was so cute a couple of weeks ago, breakfast was basically finished and I was working on the computer when a guest walked in the kitchen and wanted to give him a tip for being so nice.  He was beaming, it was so cute.  I’m used to repeat guests doing random acts of kindness  Two weeks ago, I had first time guests from mid state New York. And they brought a sampling basket of what the area is known for.  It’s like when I waited tables and guests would leave 20% instead of the standard 15%.  It’s not the money, it’s that someone appreciates what we do. I definately am not soliciting gifts (a review would be nice though)  🙂  Thank you all my wonderful guests.

Is this the year my adopted Northside explodes?  It’s long over due.  Some New York company bought the high rise apartments a couple of years ago down around the old Allegheny Center Mall, that were running around 50% occupancy and they now have 100% occupancy and waiting lists. I believe it’s the same company that bought the old Allegheny Center Mall recently and is in the process of turning it into a business incubator for small technology companies.  One of the companies that regularly send Eileen to me Matrix will be moving into there next spring.  I hear they are putting a fitness center in there as well as a Star Bucks and other trendy options the techies look for at much more affordable rent rates than Bakery Square out in East Liberty. Not to mention the convenience of walking Downtown, which you can’t from Bakery Square out in East Liberty.  Some developer bought the Workman’s Bank on East Ohio Street and a number of parcels next to it and are planning on building 140 room hotel, retail and restaurants (the anchor will be a restaurant on the first floor of the bank).  There’s talk that some developer is finally interested in the Garden Theater block and wants to build a seven story structure behind it for apartments.  Personally, I think their plan is hideous, a seven story structure in an area that’s three stories.  And they seem only interested in keeping the facade of the old buildings next to the Garden Theater.  Although I don’t like the look of what they want to do, just to get something moving there, I will refrain from complaining too much.  What I have an issue with is they were talking about was trying to get a variance for parking they would normally be required to have.  Parking on the Northside is already at a premium.  This is what good planning needs to address, it will only get worse as time goes by. Closer to my Inn, some developer recently purchased the Guchert Building on the corner of North Avenue and Brighton Road for $1M, I believe it’s going to be residential, it’s a really big building I’m sure they will be able to get at least forty units in it.  The Hipwell site is home to Smart Solution on the first floor and they are planning and slowly working on residential on the second and third floors.  It looks like Andrew is starting site preparation for the next phase of his  Brighton Beech condo development, the condo’s they shot Abduction the move with Jason Lautner in it were he was the son of some government agents and they tried to keep him from the evil agents.  Not adding to housing growth, Dawar has located on Allegheny Avenue a couple of years ago (behind the fast food restaurants where Gourmet USA used to be a big desert company).  Dawar make and create special adaptations of touch screen technologies.

There’s going to be a rally against animal cuelty at the Humane Society at 10 am on October 17 with state senator Dom Costa as host.

Hi,

Tomorrow is the birth anniversary of Revolutionary War statesman Carter Braxton (1736), evolutionary biologist Jay Gould (1955) Baseballer legend Roger Maris (1934) and fashion designer Elsa Schaparelli (1890). Not much on other annviersaries so TV’s Gunsmoke first air in 1995 and the X-File 1993.

It’s funny watching my not so little girl (she’s 50# now).  🙂  Follow in RJ’s footsteps, tearing up my garden as he did as a pup an now she’s kitchen surfing. For those of you without a puppy and a big kitchen where she can get a running start, she runs from one end of the kitchen to the rend other and jumps on one of their beds and “surfs” across the tile floor.  I remember when RJ figured that one out.  She also “surfs” on the throw rug.  Here’s my big girl:

P1000811

She doesn’t look much like a puppy anymore, does she?

Progressive insurance has had it’s “safe driver” option for awhile now.  It’s a program where the insured agrees to put a devise in their car that monitors driving behavior.  Not a terrible thing, on some levels.  Allstate has applied for a patent for their version which will also monitor  BA levels (not necessarily a bad thing), disttracted driving due to phone calls, etc (will they be recording the conversations?) and other drivers around that vehicle.  And in the patent application, they admit they intend to use the data collected and sell it like Google mining your e-mails.  A terrible thing.  Where will big companies go next with spying on us?

Here’s the  cutest reggae video ever Reggea Shark.

Very scary, a family in Armstrong County had their WiFi hacked and lost control of their computer, TV and iPhone since they were all part of the WiFi system.  He/She also took control of the webcam and was watching them.  Besides everything else, he taunted them saying he saw their daughter in pajamas watching TV in the other room, luckily he/she had access to their bank account and only took a small amount of money.

PA Sales tax is 6%, Allegheny County collects and additional 1%, part of which goes to the Regional Asset District or RAD.  Which supports non profits.  Attractions that receive RAD money are required to open their doors to the public for free each year. The Carnegie Museums of Natural History Art and Architecture is offering free admission Sunday, September 20,  Soldiers and Sailors Hall will have free admission Monday September 21.  Phipps Conservatory will have free admission Sunday, September 27. The Warhol and Children’s Museum‘s free day will be also on Sunday, September 27.  Go to RAD’s site for a complete listing of all the organizations offering a free admission day, There’ s a lot more than the biggies I just listed .

Besides the headlines grabbing Exxon oil spill when their pipe burst in Montana under the Yellowstone River. In the North Dakota leg of the Yellowstone River nearly 1M gallons of brine killed countless water life in 2006.  And they spent $2M on clean up.  The problem with brine (the waste from fracking either the oil companies using it to crack the shale rock or it comes up with the oil because it’s naturally occurring down there.The brine is much more salty than sea water and it kills plants and trees that can’t flee from it. And with oil you can see it and there’s microbes in the soil that will actually eat it.  (I’m not minimizing the effects, I’m just saying the threat from brine spills is significantly worse.)  What got my goat was the cavalier attitude of the Independent Petroleum Association spokeswoman Katie Brown said “In an industrial society, you are going to have spills”.  I guess with that logic, with the use of nuclear power, we are going to have melt downs?

I have worked around restaurants most of my life and seen chef’s send out free food often, sometimes it’s a sampling for a regular guest, sometimes it’s trying out new recipes to see the results.  It’s becoming a trend in some local restaurants to do it on a regular basis  with everyone depending on how much time the kitchen has.  These “small bites” have an actual name I just learned Amuse-Bouche pronounced amuse boosh). Several local restaurants that seem to be doing this on a regular basis include Monterrey Bay Fish Grotto, Altius on Mt Washington, Spoon, Paris 66 and the Twisted Frenchman.

This refugee crisis in Europe is mind blowing.  It speaks volumes of the governance of their home countries.  But if you want to emigrate to a western country, you need to accept our morals and values.  I’m OK if you want to wear a burka around your neighborhood, or shopping, going to attractions etc.  But if our law for identification says a face picture is needed and you don’t want to do that, go back to the country you fled.  This last comment is from the movement in France this past summer where Muslim woman were organizing to fight the law banning head scarfs in photo ID pictures.

That’s enough rambling for one day, enjoy the break in our heat wave, that starts tomorrow 🙂

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the discovery of the first body in the Whitechapel murders (Jack the Ripper 1888), the first major earthquake of the East Coast was in Chaleston (1886), the death of Princess Di (1980) and it’s Love Ligating Lawyers Day.  Birth anniversaries include American Authro William Saroyan (1908) and actor James Coburn (1928).

I don’t expect anyone to believe me.  I swear this is a true story.  During house training Rayzette was locked in the bathroom over night and hated it.  She would wake me by 4 and I’d let her out to do her business.  And then I would come back in an go to bed until 5;30.  One morning she had an “accident” and I put her back in the blockaded bathroom which she really hated.  I was smelling urine in the Office today and looked around and couldn’t find where she had her accident.  Tonight  after taking a shower I noticed their water dish had discolored water.  I picked it up and smelled it, that’s where the urine smell was coming from.  Can you believe this?  I swear these are the facts, speculation is I’ve potty trained my little princess. 🙂

They are bringing a LST up to the Northshore September 2 though the 8th.  Tours will be from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and admission will be $20 adult $5 for kids and $20 for families.  This is in conjunction with the Heinz History Center’s exhibit “We Can Do It”on Pittsburgh’s involvement with World War II.  Many, if not most of the LST’s were built here on Nevile Island by Dravo and American Bridge made them in Ambridge.  The LSTs were a big part of how we won the war.  Flat bottomed they could land on the beach and unload all the equipment in them (they could hold 20 Sherman tanks).  They also could pick up equipment needed on another front and deliver it.  Even though the Germans could see the English coast, they couldn’t get the supplies across the English Channel to launch a major assault.

Speaking of water and boats, want to surf our rivers?  Surf Pittsburgh has a specially designed boat that pulls you on a surf board as it creates a wake you can surf on.  And how crazy are you, do you want to jump out of a fully functoning plane?  Skydiave Pennsylvania right up in Mercer and hook you up with that insanity.  🙂  A little tamer is Go Ape in Allison Park.  You can traverse a rope bridge through the tree canopy where you end up at a zip line.

I went to see my surgeon the other day and got a complete clean bill of health.  He wants be to come back once or twice for a check up in the next two years, just to be cautious.  The carotid artery was pumping blood just fine, I got to see it.

I have two contractors giving bids on replacing 25 more windows, that should be a massive change in my heating and air conditioning.  This batch will be all the big windows in the dining rooms, Parlor and the front window in African Tulip and Bird of Paradise. As well as the 6 kitchen & Laundry room windows.  This project will bring me up to 65 windows replaced.  There are some more I may change one day, the statiionary windows in Chenille & Oleander’s window seats, but I’m not too concerned about them. And because they aren’t double hung, they will be significantly less expensive than these big windows I’ve been working on.  I’m able to do this by refinancing my mortgage and two loans with Slovak Savings Bank and took out some additional funds to cover this.  I am actually paying $300 less a month than before!  If you are looking for a small bank that really treats you like a human and be appreciated as a customer, check out Slovak, I love those people.  🙂

John Conti of the Tribune  Review did another insightful article in today’s edition Pittsburgh History in 10 Houses.  Not a lot of text, but the examples he picked an the brief description on each shows the history of our city and how we progressed.  As you look at the images, you will be able to pick out areas of the city you are familiar with and how those neighborhoods exemplify the individual styles he talks about.

When I bought the building that would become The Parador Inn of Pittsburgh, I bought four sleep sofas for the suites for multiple sleeping options.  Even though they were a name brand Sealy, they were very uncomfortable.  I started looking for a nice looking day bed model and found these at Macy’s:

P1000810

by it’s very nature, they are much more comfortable than the sleep sofas.  they are actually a twin bed (the couch) and a twin bed underneath (the trundle) with regular mattresses.  The flat spring that holds the couch on two of the models has already broken.  When I went to get another at Macy’s, my only option was to pay to have it delivered to my house, which cost as much as the spring did.  Macys delivers furniture to their stores on a regular basis.  When I complained about it, the sales clerk told me they had been having trouble with people not picking up the ordered merchandise.  Why would I pay for something and not pick it up?  It’s another example of why big businesses are loosing ground.  People are getting fed up with their corporate greed,  Most of their delivery fee is like ATM surcharges, pure profit.

Speaking of corporate greed I started watching a movie last night on broadcast TV last night.  Shortly into it, I realized one o the reasons I seldom watch broad cast TV, the amount of commercials they squeeze in is so annoying (the other main reason I seldom watch broadcast TV is the stupid series they run.)

Be good,

ed

Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first baseball games being televised (1939), the largest exposion in recorded history Krakatoa volcano exploded in Indonesia  (883) speaking of Michael Vis, tomorrow is National Dog Day.

the Steelers signed Michael Vic?  What he personally did to animals and what he promoted for monetary benefit can not be forgiven.Can you Imagine he horrors those poor dogs lived?  You rob a bank, take drugs and other criminal acts I believe in once you’ve paid your debt to society, it’s time to move on.  But the premeditation of torturing poor animals to teach them to maul and maim other animals to me is beyond comprehension.  I urge everyone to Join the Facebook movement Pittsburghers against Michael Vic.

And here’s my little girl, she’s getting so big.  She’s lost most of her puppy teeth and now has regular teeth:

P1000806

For my fellow old timers, tomorrow is  the 50th anniversary of Sonny & Cher’s hit song I Got You Babe.

A late response to James Harrison’s decision to return his boys’  trophies for participating in a sports program.  Acknowledging kids participation in things is an admirable thing to do.  But a trophy?  Let’s get real, how about a red ribbon with a star on it.I love Mr. Harrison’s statement that awards should be for hard work and not participation.  That mentality just feeds a big problem I see in America, the sense of entitlement.  You need to work to earn the “fruits of you labor”.  I cringe when I hear that word compensation.

In collaboration with some other street artistss, Banksy opened Dismaland in England the other day.  If features a satiric view of Disney Land with a decrepit castle and many other installations  making social comments.  His website is fairly dysfunctional, they are blaming it on the high volume of traffic to the website.

There are a lot of art galleries that showcase local artists, usually the highlighted artist represents the taste an style of that gallery.  Charley Larkin transformed the family owned barn into a gallery showcasing all kinds of different mediums.  The barn was a garden center the family ran.  In it’s new life The Outlet Barn in Collier will be showcasing various local artists with a very diverse mix of styles.  Located on Campbells Run Road, it’ easy to access.

Braddock’s Mayor John Feterman’s wife Gisele set up a program with the Costco in Homestead where she would pick up food items Costco couldn’t sell and distribute them to families in need in her town.  There are many restaurants & caterers that have left over food that’s perfectly good and end up throwing it away, even if they consider donating it to a food pantry.  First of all they have to go through the hoops of liability waivers, etc.  Gisele was talking with her friend Leah and they came up with the idea 412foodrescue.  Where different sources of food supply can contact them and through their team of volunteers the find someone to pick the food up an drop it off at an accepting food distribution point.  They are working on an App that participating donors an recipients can link up and coordinate it with Gisele’s team of volunteers.  What a great idea.  Not only is it helping ease the burden of for ome of the many food inscure families in our area, it’s also keeping “food wast” out of our trash system.  Methane from our garbage piles spew 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere each year.  iIf you have a vehicle and sometie, maybe contact them and help transport food to the needy.  I’ve been a big fan of John Fetterman for a number of years now and I guess I need to at Gisele to my list of heroes.  🙂

I own a business and love to make money, I’m always watching how much revenue is coming in (and expenses going out) and comparing it to my past history.  I have no problem with the American idea of capitalism.  What I have a problem with is corporate greed.  Speaking of which, Macy’s is closing their Downtown store after buying out Kaufmann’s several years ago (actually, Kaufmann’s has been a part of Macy’s for years.  Macy’s finally took control of the business and put their flag on the building.  Macy’s has been for years buying Downtown departiment stores across the country and are now in the process of closing them all down.  John Wanamaker in Philly is down to just a couple of floors.  They have been been downsizing since taking control do doing all kinds of cost cutting and revenue enhancing.  Take Edgar Kaufmann and what he did with his father’s business and grew it into a thriving business.  Back when he took control, Pittsburgh was filling up with immigrants that English was not their native language, he would specifically hire people fluent in foreign tongues and have them work the floors.  What a novel concept and what a great way to build loyal long time customers.  The point is not to make that quick buck, but to build a loyal following with innovative and exciting offerings.  He would have concerts and art shows in his department store.  I wonder what the new owners will do with those iconic deco murals he had commissioned for the first floor about Pittsurgh’s industrial heritage by Boardman Robinson.  If you don’t know  them, it may be worth a quick stop in before they close soon.  There was a great article in the Tribune Review Sunday on Mr. Kaufmann..

Hi,

I was supposed to post this last  night before bed and forgot.  So the below trivia is for today, not tomorrow.  🙂

Tomorrow’s the anniversary of gold being discovered in Yukon (186),Plutonium was first weighed (1942) and sister ships Viking 1 and 2 were launched to Mars (1975).  Birth anniversaries include President Benjamin Harrison (1833), Polish/American architectEero Saarinen (1950) and oddly enough his father Eliel Saarinen (1873)

Don Giles and his crew with Action Painting finished up this week, The Parador looks so fresh.  🙂  They did a bunch of small wood repairs as well as the painting, like the trim around the side porch railing,befoer:

P1000799

And after:

P1000801

And this was really significant, when they went to paint the third floor eave, they noticed the wood was all rotted and took it out and replaced it.  Here’s where they removed the rotten wood:

P1000792

And here it is aftr:

A:P1000800

As per our agreement, Action Painting (412-403-6458) got just about everything painted in the two weeks I was closed for painting, they worked seven days a week and focused on the upper areas first.

Northside’s Photo Antiquities has acquired a very early picture of The Point showing a covered bridge from The Point to Northside an how the bottom of the “Golden Triangle was all industry at the time.  The covered bridge was eventually taken down an became the Manchester Bridge which was brought down in the late 1950’s.  The wooden covered bridge was the Union Bridge, which I believe was the on built by Joshua Rhodes, the gentleman that built my Mansion, and they gave him a lot of grief over the bridge because of the low clearance for barge traffic on the Allegheny River. Bruce Klein, who owns Photo Antiquities recently acquired this photograph in pristine condition an is on display at the Museum 531 E Ohio Street.  Bruce has a huge supply of pictures, mainly of the city and an extensive collection of Civil War pictures a well that he displays on a rotating basis.  Always a great time to drop in and view his ever changing display.  Photo Antiquities is a short fifteen minute walk from The Parador.  More info at their website.

What would a post be without a picture of my little girl an her big brother:

P1000804

That’s it for now, take care and enjoy,

ed

Hi

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the atomic bomb being dropped on Nagasaki, the resignation of President Nixon resigned (1974),Robert Gray became the first American to circumnavigate the earth (1790).

My little girl is growing daily, she’ becoming quite the size an is still affectionate with RJ, she waits until he lays down and the scrunches up with him.  Here’s the “bunkmates”:

P1000783

 

We’re still working on what’s allowed and what’s not.  She’s doing pretty good with not going out on the sidewalk.  i need to stop the jumping on people, it might be cute as a puppy, but as she gets bigger we can’t have that.

They are moving the Thival Innovation Music Festival from Bakery Square to the Almono site in Hazelwood .  Almono is planning 2,700 housing units and 2 million square feet of office an light industrial spaces on the 158 acre parcel along the Mon River. Hopefully they will integrate this new development with Hazelwood and not do what they did with development in Homestead that brought absolutely no benefit to the neighborhoods on the other side of the tracks from the Water Front retail development there.  Last year at Bakery Square they drew about 10,000 people a day and they expect continued growth this their third year.  They have quite the line up, see the link to see who’s playing and which day.They are fencing off a six acre spot to keep people from wondering around this construction zone.and getting hurt.  Inside the fence they will have porta potties and food trucks.

Who knows their children better than their parents?  Richard Scaife removed his greedy children from his will in 2008.  Now Jeannie & David Scaife are challenging his spending in the later years of his life.  It was his money to do with what he wanted.  the younger Scaifes are trying to get the money he donated to various charities and invest in his passion The Tribune Review newspapers.  Call me cold blooded for not being sympathetic to Jeannie & David, I don’t understand how those poor kids can get by with just $1M a month, they problably have to go to dollar stores to stock their pantries.  🙂

Don Giles and crew from Action Painting have finished both sides and the parts of the Mansion facing the Courtyard.  Here’s the side of the Mansion facing the parking lot before;

P1000780

And after;

P1000790

I’m seeing a steady improvement in my motor skills and mental abilities.  The most obvious to me is my ability to type is rapidly improving.  I still lay down several times a day and my body certainly seems to appreciate it. 🙂  And I want to thank everyone that has called and e-mailed wishing me well.

i just has a visit this week from two very good friends from West Palm Beach, Mike and Joe.  When you have good friends and see them again after a period of not seeing them, you just fall back in step with the friendship.  It was such a nice break to have some time off and enjoy their company talking about old times and what’s new in my old town where the first Parador was .

August 10 through August 16 is Pittsburgh Restaurant Week a great time to check out old favorites and find new favorites.  The participating restaurants and th specials they will be offering are on their website.

Have a great rest of your weekend,

ed

12345...