Hi,

Today’s the birth anniversary of Benedict Arnold, Albert Schweitzer and Richard Outcault.  Richard Outcault was asked by the New York World’s Sunday editor to submit drawings for use with their new color printing process in January 12, 1863.  He went on to start the first “Sunday Funnies”, “Hogan’s Alley”.

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery removed “A Fire in My Belly” a film by David Wojnarowicz from the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture because it was too controversial.  The film is being shown at both the Mattress Factory and the Warhol through February 13, the date it was to run through at the Smithsonian.

I keep getting these “comments” to my blog and they all seem to follow this format:

Kids room decor…

Thank you for this excellent write-up. I am usually searching for Kids room ideas to recommend in order to my own, personal readers. It is just what I was looking out for….

I haven’t said anything about “Kids room decor…” in any of my blogs and there’s always the “…” at the end of the narrative with nothing that follows.  I get spam through my Guest Comments Page on my web site, they’re always Viagra, other drugs, gambling opportunities, etc with hyperlinks.  I assume the hyperlinks take you to a bad place.  These comments don’t really have hyperlinks, other than the one that would take you back to originator.  I guess there’s some things in life I’ll never know.  🙂

Chatham University has always been this quiet girls school out in the Oakland/Shadyside area of Pittsburgh.  It’s been around forever, one of the alumni is Rachael Carson, which is appropriate for what’s to follow.  Chatham was given the 388 acre Richland farm, about twenty miles north of the City.  About 100 years ago, a HJ Heinz executive created Eden Hall on the property as a retreat for women that worked for Heinz.  Chatham plans on making the entire new campus environmentally sustainable.  Most colleges and universities have a sustainable building or area, but I believe this will be the first entire campus being designed from the ground up as being sustainable.  I’m impressed.

That friend that’s opening The Stone Manse out by Harrisburg saw a bald eagle outside her Inn today.  How cool is that.  What do I have, a family of vary large crows that have moved into the neighborhood.  Darn they’re big, I’d be nervous in a dark alley with one or two of them.  🙂

Well, that’s about it for today, Go Steelers,

ed

Hi,

Today is the anniversary of the first episode of All in the Family (1971), Batman (1966) and Dynasty (1981).  Zanzibar became independent in December 1963 under a sultan and over threw him on this date in 1964.  Finally, on this day in 1992 in Urbana IL, HAL of 2001 A Space Odyssey was “born”.

The West End, the little community just across the West End Bridge from me has several high light businesses.  There’s Articraft, a very high end antique store.  The gentleman that owns it has no connection to Pittsburgh, the reason he chose to locate here is we are the largest city within driving distance from New York and Chicago, his two major markets.  There’s also James Gallery over there.  They have shows there and do a lot of higher end framing, no Michael’s Crafts here.  🙂  Anyway, the current show is Pulp Friction, misspelling on purpose.  Director Paul Cicozi asked local and national artists to come up with art stretching the boundaries of paper.  The artists used torches, sand paper, cereal boxes, photographs and combinations of digital and hand work.  It is open Monday through Saturdays, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. through January 29 and admission is free.  James Gallery is  S. Main Street, West End 412.922.9800.

Brian from Eventures called me last week and had the courtesy to set up an appointment to meet at 11 a.m yesterday.  A few days later, Jay from Catered Elegance called and said Brian and Shannon wanted to meet here Tuesday afternoon, they’re getting married here this coming July.  I really needed to get my oil changed and called Blue Wave Auto Spa and set an 11 a.m. appointment.  I looked at my calendar and saw Brian and Shannon, but some how missed Brian from Eventures (maybe my brain saw Brian twice and counted it as one?).  Brian from Eventures called me to say he was here while they were changing my oil.  He was gracious  enough to wait for me to come home.  They do social and business media, recording meetings and weddings, audio visual effects, etc.  Very nice and professional, even though I was so rudely late.  The point of the story really isn’t my rudeness, I was flying down I 279 at 85 miles and hour and in the rear view mirror, I see a motorcycle police officer way behind me.  I slow down and he comes along beside me, looks at me and shakes his head NO and continued on his way.  Thank you.  I do speed all the time, but nothing like that.  Generally, I go just under ten miles an hour on my speedometer.  My speedometer is eight miles and hour fast.  So in a 55 mile and hour zone, I’m actually going more like 62.  Wrong, but not outrageous like 85.

Anyone that knows me or follows my blog knows how much I hate big.  I never go to Walmart, switched to a one branch bank (Slovak Savings Bank), seldom go to Lowes or Home Depot, etc.  And I never have anything nice to say about them either.  Well, I went to Verizon yesterday and had a pleasant experience.  I’ve been having problems with reception with my phone.  The agent was polite as well as knowledgeable.  He pointed several things out I could do on a maintenance basis.  And he reviewed my account and VOLUNTARILY OFFERED TO LOWER MY MONTHLY PAYMENT AND GAVE ME UNLIMITED HOURS.  They picked me up off the floor after that.  🙂  I have had such unpleasant experiences with Verizon over the years.  Generally speaking, anytime I dealt with them in person or over the phone, they were indifferent, at best.  When I moved up here, after being a Verizon customer for years in Florida, they made me pay a deposit because I didn’t have payment history up here with this branch.  They couldn’t contact the branch in Florida.  Yet, I was receiving continuous solicitations for changing my land line to them, then FIOS started.  I would get multiple solicitations in one day.  Verizon farms their marketing out to independent contractors (ie make lots of money by working from home) and there was no way to stop it.  I ended up letting out a barrage of profanity every time I answered the phone and it was someone soliciting for Verizon.  Also, they would send these “account executives” around door to door that would ask to see my phone bill and they would show me how they could save me money.  I must say, I seldom hear from them lately.  God I hate unwanted solicitation.  Anyway, I was impressed with Verizon yesterday.  I’m thinking of getting a smart phone (it may help me 🙂 ) and now that they have the iphone, I may go that route.

Steve Bland, the guy in charge of the mismanaged Port Authority was in today’s paper, but I don’t want to rant on two items in one day.  Maybe I’ll give him another shellacking tomorrow.  🙂

ed

Hi,

On this date in 1982, AT & T was forced to divestiture.  This is the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, in 1815 the British were soundly trounced (neither side new that the War of 1812 was officially ended two weeks earlier).  Finally, today is the anniversary of Chou En-Lai’s death in 1976 (no one knows exactly when he was born, sometime in 1898).

OK, my glass isn’t half empty or half full.  It’s three quarters full!  Well, more good news on the water leak.  Paul finished repairing the stack and only had to take about 6′ of the 18″ wide wall next to the front door.  We didn’t have to touch that gorgeous paneling in the front foyer or take the plaster down in the Dining Room with Kathleen Flaherty’s mural.

Did I tell you about my basement?  It’s a labyrinth of small rooms, the entire Inn is built of bricks. Even most of the interior walls.  So it needs a bunch of foundations below.  When I bought the Inn, the basement had a lathe and plaster ceiling.  I initially hired someone to take the bulk of the ceiling out so I would have access to the floor joists.  Since then, I’ve picked away at finishing cleaning the basement ceiling up.  After Paul repaired the stack, he went down the basement and removed a bunch of old pipes that were left from previous uses.

Squeezed in that chase with the stack was a bunch of electrical lines of all styles.  Shaun, my electrician had a cancellation on Friday and came by and straightened the wiring in that chase up and started removing dead wiring from the basement ceiling.  He’s coming back Monday to run some new wiring up to the third floor while we have that chase open.

The electrical and plumbing has been repaired, I have a fan on the chase drying it out.  So by next week, I should have the front hallway all closed up.

There’s a new hard cider bar that’s recently opened in Lawrenceville.  Arsenal Cider House and Wine Cellar is located at 300 39th Street.  Bill & Michelle Larkin converted the first floor of their Lawrenceville 19th century row house into the cider bar.  They make all their own hard ciders and are always coming up with new adaptations.  They’re open Wednesday through Friday from 4 – 8 p.m., Saturdays from noon until 8 and Sunday from noon until 4.  Their first batch was sold out in in three months and had to close for three weeks to brew a new batch.  They sell their cider in growlers (1 liters) for about $20 and refills are about $12.

The week before Christmas, I had a melt down with Mark from the Northside Leadership Conference.  At issue was the lack of support to local Northside businesses by the new Rivers Casino and the lack of support of Northside business support groups for this.  When I would drive out the Parkway West and see that sign for the Best Western Hotel’s that says “Stop in for free casino discount tickets”, my blood would boil.  Well, I have to give Mark credit, within two days, George from the Rivers called and set up another appointment with me (we met last summer).  When George stopped by, Jeff from the Inn on the Mexican Wars Streets was here also and George offered us discount tickets also.  He said they also would include us with a link on their web site.  I’m quite happy with this.  Thanx Mark & George.

Well that’s about it for today,

ed

Hi,

A lot of famous people were born on this day, Louis Braille was born in 1809, Jacob Grimm (of Grimm’s Fairy Tales) was born in 1785 and Isaac Newton was born in 1643.  Today, Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896.

Happy days are here again.  Paul, my plumber was here this morning.  There definitely is/was leaking into my walls from at least the second to the first floor, possible starting all the way up on the third floor.  The FANTASTIC news (sorry for shouting, but I’m really excited here) is we will not have to take the paneling in the front foyer down or take  the dining room wall out (it’d kill me if I had to damage Kathleen’s murals).  The problem is the stack (where the water comes down from the tubs, toilets & sinks) has failed.  It runs up the wall between the foyer and the front hallway next to the front door between the Parlor and Dining Rooms.  So we’re going to have to take out that little (maybe 18″) section of wall right next to the front door where the light switches are.  And it seems to get better.  It looks like if we need to repair the stack all the way up to the third floor, it runs through a closet in Bird of Paradise’s foyer that I store holiday decorations in.  All things that will relatively easily be repaired after the plumbing is fixed.  What a HUGE sigh of relief.  Paul’s coming back tomorrow morning, so once he has that wall opened up, we’ll see how extensive the work will need to be.

Here’s an interesting one for you.  The Palace at Versailles is being leased by the French government to a Belgium firm that’s going to turn it’s 23 bedrooms into a luxury hotel.   I’ve never been to Versailles, but I did visit Mad Ludwig’s recreation of it in Bavaria and it’s quite the palace.  The French government has assigned their top historian to oversee the renovations so the hotel doesn’t damage the integrity of the palace.  I can’t imagine what a night there’s going to cost.  I would imagine higher than my $150.  🙂

Disney’s national Mary Poppins’ tour includes three locals.  Case Dillard from Little Rock, Ark, Shua Potter from Erlanger, KY and Eric Hatch from Knoxville, IA are all on the cast and are graduates from Point Park University.

The PBS’s Antiques Roadshow is coming to Pittsburgh this year.  If you want your free tickets, go to www.pbs.org/antiques and sign up.  You have to do this by April 18.  They are also looking for large antiques for their Roadshow Furniture Roundup.  They plan on airing this show in 2012 and are looking for a selection of large antiques within a fifty miles of each other.

There’s a guy in California, Dan Balsam, that got so fed up with spam, he quit his job, got a law degree and now his whole practice is fighting spam. The attorney representing several of the spammers Dan’s sued calls him a “spambulance” chaser.  Pretty cute.  I love his poem on the front page of his web site.  His web site www.danhatesspam.com is worth a visit.

bye,

ed

Hi,

Happy New Year, I hope everyone had safe and happy holidays.

Today, in 2004, after traveling 302.6 million miles, the Mars Rover successfully landed and began exploring Venus (just kidding, looking to see if you were paying attention).  Alaska was admitted into the Union on this date in 1959 the first drinking straw was patented in 1888, it was a paraffin-covered paper which replaced natural rye straws.

There’s a move afoot to save Pittsburgh’s last remaining wooden block paved street.  Roslyn Place is a cul-de-sac in Shadeyside and is made up 26,000 4 X 8 inch oak blocks.  It was originally laid in 1916.

Did you know that poison ivy’s active ingredient can infect you up to five years after it was killed on a tree (ie be careful of firewood).

The Penns were a disappointment over the weekend, but the weekend was great.  I had about half Penns fans and half Caps fans and everyone played nicely together.

A lot of the plumbing and electrical here are buried in the walls.  One of my greatest fears seems to have come true. I seem to have a water leak in the walls over the front foyer.  Last week when the weather got so warm, I hosed the front and side porches off and even got the windows washed.  I’ve been smelling a funky smell in the front hallway and attributed it that.  Then Saturday night, the smoke/fire alarm was sending an alert of a problem with the pull box by the front door.  I called ADP and just as I got through to Wayne, the system reset to Normal.  When I looked at the pull box, the plaster had more cracks than I recall being there and part seemed damp.  I went to the basement and directly under the front foyer the floor was wet and there was (is) water dripping from the joists.  There’s two light switches for the basement.  One at the top of the stairs that turns on the lights in the first half of the basement and then a switch in a doorway to the second half.  There’s one or two lights in each of the rooms.  Stupid me, either Mr Cheapness or Mr Ecology, I turn lights out in the basement in areas I don’t normally go to.  The light that lights the area under the foyer I had turned off, I may have caught this sooner if I didn’t leave it in darkness.  I talked to Paul, my plumber and he was going to try and make it over today, if not definitely tomorrow.  I’ve checked both Bird of Paradise and Lady Palm’s bathrooms (directly over this leak) and there’s no obvious water.  There’s a hot water and a cold water pipe going up from the basement directly where this leak is.  I have no idea how we’re going to fix this.  I’m scared.

We’ll talk again as soon as I have an update,

ed

Hi,

I didn’t get to post this until today, but yesterday was my holiday.  It’s National Whiners Day. 🙂  They take nominations for national recognition at hugging_whining@yahoo.com, if anyone wants me to be nationally recognized for my whining.

Let me start this blog with whining about a whiner.  Larry Ginsburg owns Music Distributing Company.  It’s this very cool company that buys, sells and repairs vending machines, jukeboxes, kiddie rides and other memorabilia.  It has been in the Millvale Industrial Park for some time and he had 40,000 square feet.  The Millvale Industrial Park was recently torn down for the route 28 expansion/rehab.  Since they were going to tear the building down, he relocated to 23rd Street in Sharpsburg, a much smaller space.  He’s complaining about the lack of space he has, that he’s had to store stuff all over the place in friends garages, etc.  The state ended up auctioning stuff off left in the Millvale building (he got a percentage of the proceeds of the auction).  He can only do repairs currently, because the state is paying his rent for the first year and he’s barred from selling for some reason.  But my point is, he wasn’t blind sided.  They have been planning this much needed work on route 28 for at least 20 years.  If he took just two things out a day for the last twenty years, surely he could have moved everything out.  🙂  Not to trash Larry too much, he seems like a nice guy and if you are into these classic pieces, please stop out in Sharpsburg and check him out.  I did do a search, it seems like he had a web site at one point, but if you type music distributing company pittsburgh pa, a number of things come up on him, but no actual web site.

Just about forty-five minutes from here are two toy museums.  The Marx Toy Museum at 915 Second Avenue, Moundsville, WV is only open the rest of this week before it closes for the winter.  Call them for their hours 304.845 and to be sure they haven’t closed already for the winter.  They have rooms full of all kinds of classic and vintage toys.  Louis Marx owned the Marx Toy Factory in nearby Glen Dale and in the 50’s & 60’s, his company was the largest toy manufacturer in the world.  Close by, just outside Wheeling is the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum.  It is located in a two story formal school house and has rooms of toys, dolls and even the Ohio Valley Room that has displays on the history and geography of the Ohio Valley.  Their phone number is 877.242.8133.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and are enjoying the time between Christmas and New Years,

ed

Hi,

Today is the anniversary of the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank, 1913.  Also, it’s Mexico’s Feast of the Radishes (no kidding).  In Oaxaca they hand carve figurines out of radishes and sell them in booths and many other radish related festivities.  🙂

Myra, my good friend opening The Stone Manse Inn in York, PA scolded me for not keeping up with my blog, so here’s two in two days.  Myra’s looking for furniture for her new Inn.  In particular dressers, tables, chairs, etc.  She’s looking to barter, so if you have something decent in the basement or garage, you could possibly turn it into a get-away at a very cool Inn.  Her phone number is 717.774.0999.

On December 9th I spoke of Penn Hills Fire Department having a model train display up as a fund raiser.  (The fire department also added a burning house complete with smoke and flickering red lights in the windows).  🙂  Penn Hills also has a train display in their Municipal Building featuring a lot of Pittsburgh sites.  There’s a miniature train display in the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Ardmore (near the Meadows Racetrack) which is know for it’s various transportation exhibits.  In Richland, the Model Railroad Museum has a train display featuring view of the old B & O and MV rail lines from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD with “toy” towns based on actual photographs from back then.  Thorncreek United Methodist Church in Jefferson Township has a train display that looks quite colorful.  Of course my favorite space in the city, Phipps Conservatory has a miniature train display called The Garden Railroad. This is the longest running until March 13.  Finally, in Etna at the All Saints school, they have a 16 x 24 foot train display for their kids.

Sold out tonight, the Steelers have their last regular season home game tonight.  It’s perfect weather for a football game, cold but not bitter, snowing, flurries, not a blizzard and hardly any wind.  I’m not saying it’s perfect weather for me, I hate the cold.  But football should be viewed in the cold by the fans (and by me in the warmth of my room).  Call me a sissy, that’s OK, I hate the cold and can’t wait for Spring.

Friends of mine own The Inn on the Mexican War Streets.  Carl and Jeff had their holiday open house last night, Jeff sure can cook.  He’s a retired culinary instructor.  I love being invited over to their house for food, it’s always a delight.

Well, my guests should be arriving soon.  I promise it won’t be a week again before I post my next blog.

Happy Holidays,

ed

Hi,

Happy Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, so from now on the days get longer and longer.  It is also Valda, an Indo-Iranian holiday celebrating the struggle between darkness and light.  Light is winning from this day forward (until next year).  ):

Well, the main reason I haven’t been here in a bit, is because I just finished addressing and stamping 2,000 holiday cards.  They went out this morning.

There’s a new exhibit at The Mattress Factory, called Queloides, which is Spanish for the  word keloids.   This word is an English medical term for off color scaring of skin from surgery and other injuries.  Many people believe black skin is more prone to this.  Hence the theme of the exhibit about racism in Cuba, the artwork is by Cuban artists exploring this.  One piece called “Artificial Breathing” has the words Am I Not a Man and Brother and it has ice crystals created by a freezer behind the wall referring to the cold shoulder many young blacks feel in Cuba.  As you enter the Mattress Factory, there’s an old Plymouth with a dozen ceramic black legs holding it up.  This piece is called “The Raft”.  The show runs through February 27 and cost $10 for adults.  The Mattress Factory is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.

There’s a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art called “The Art of Structure.”  It’s a combination of an exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum “Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist” and “The Art of Structural Design: A Swiss Legacy”.  It examines the relationships between art and engineering.  One of the structures the exhibit looks at is the George Washington Bridge (it was supposed to be clad in stone or masonry, but since it was built during the Great Depression, that extravagance was scrapped).  They also look at the Christian Menn designed Sunniberg Bridge in Switzerland, a very cool bridge with low cable support systems and a wavy deck.  They also look at buildings made of cement, that gave the architects a lot of leeway in design.  This medium wasn’t embraced too much in America, but there’s some great examples in Latin America.  Puerto Rico’s   Bacardi Rum Factory and Candela’s hyperbolic paraboloids in designing everything from churches to band stands.  It runs through January 17 with the normal museum hours 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays, open late Thursdays through 8 p.m. Noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays.  The price is $15 unless you get your tickets here, then it’s only $9.  🙂

Skip and Christina (and Hunter) have recently relocated to the Northside from Florida.  They stayed with me during their relocation processes and called me Friday to see if I knew an officiant, they wanted to get married here today.  So I hooked them up with Larry Goyda and they were married this evening.  It was really nice.  They’re such a nice couple, and Hunter’s such a cute kid.

There’s a guy that came up with a neat idea, he’s making plush toys that are designed to look like germs.  He did this to make kids comfortable  with what causes common ailments.  They have a whole series with plushes called measles, rubella, e-coli and many others.  Check out his web site Giant Microbes.

One final entry before I sign off for the night, Old Economy Village over in Beaver County is stealing the Cathedral of Learning’s nationality rooms’ tradition of having a holiday tree of that room’s nationality.  (And I don’t mean “stealing” in a bad way.  The Puerto Rican’s stole the name The Parador from the Spanish and I stole the name from the Puerto Ricans, so I’m OK with “stealing” on that level-some would call it borrowing).  Old Economy is the original settlement of a group of German immigrants that almost had to close last year due to cuts in state funding.  Some local volunteers got it saved.  The ethnic trees this year represent England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Serbia and Ukraine.

Good night,

ed

Hi,

Today is the anniversary of the premier of Magnum PI, 1980.  Tomorrow is the anniversary of Joel Roberts Poinsett’s death in 1851.  He was the diplomat that brought back the central American plant that has become so popular for the holidays and had the plant named for him.

My sister and her friend can’t go to the Steeler’s game tomorrow.  Their tickets (around 737 row AA) are for sale.  If anyone wants them (face value $75), call her at 412.913.0949.  A guest checked in and also has two tickets around section 223.  Call me if you want these 412.231.4800.

They just don’t “get it”, do they?  We voted a bunch, not enough, state legislators out of office two years ago over their late at night, behind closed doors money grab for their raises.  We voted state judges out of office for the same.  I personally like President Obama a lot.  I think he’s a nice guy that has high morals and is trying to do “the right thing”.  I am questioning his ability to lead, at this point.  After the resounding thrashing the Democrats got in this past election and the GOP and Tea Party’s demand for financial reform, our federal representatives, of both parties, are still doing their pork line item add ons to every bill going through congress.  Our state representatives are still playing with their WAM (walking around money they take from us and give out to their special interests).  Out going Governor Rendell is sinking us deeper in debt with his out going special projects costing us $65 million.  OMG, what do we have to do to get through to them?  Take up arms.  (That statement will put me on NSA’s watch list).  🙂  Sorry for the tirade, maybe I should stop reading the paper everyday.

On a brighter note, Forbes magazine came out with their ratings of charitable organizations.  Again, one of my two favorites, Brother’s Brother, came out tied number one with the percentage of donations actually going to the charity and the least going to overhead (like the VA spending over a million dollars to “decorate” their new offices over here on the Northside).  My other favorite charity (and maybe slightly higher in my list because Greg is definitely one of the little guys making a big difference) Central Asia Institute sent out their yearly report, what an amazing organization and what an amazing individual Greg Mortenson is.  He’s the CAI as I am The Parador.  He’s written two amazing books, “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools” about his efforts to build schools to educate Pakistani and Afghan children, with an emphasis on girls.  CAI’s calendar’s hanging in my kitchen over the little table I use as a desk down here.

There’s a local young guy from Natrona Heights (up the Allegheny River) that’s stared his own business selling shoes he’s hand painted.  He’s twenty one years old and has been doing this since middle school.  Max Talbot, of the Penguins, is one of his customers and supporters.  His shoes run from around $300-$400 a pair, each are one of a kind.  You can see his work at his web site brushfootwear.com.

The Union Project at 801 N Negley Avenue in Highland Park (sort of near the zoo) is have their ninth annual “Unwrapped” community celebration and fund raiser this evening from 7 to 11.  It’s the old Union Baptist Church that was bought by a group of young Mennonites wanting to create a local arts and community center.  One of their first challenges was to repair/restore 150 stained glass windows.  They decided to take them out one at a time and use them to teach stained glass repair for a fee.  They’ve been working on this since.  The last I heard, they were desperately trying to get the last few  windows finished for tonight’s festivities.  If you have time, it’s beautiful space and worth the trip this evening.

Have a great one,

ed

Hi,

Today is the anniversary of the first formal cremation in America, 1972 (I’m not sure why I’m listing this one).  It is also the anniversary of the founding of the Petrified Forest National Park in 1962.

The National Aviary was just accredited by the Washington based Association of Zoos and Aquariums for another five years, they have been accredited for the past twenty-five years.  Only 221 of the 2,500 organizations hold government permits to display wild animals hold this esteemed accreditation.  The AZA checks things like veterinary services, animal care, educational programs and conservation services.  They also check their books to ensure the organization has the funds to care for their animals.  Good Job National Aviary.  But, they seem to have a new web site that takes awhile to load, I hate web sites that are so cute and flashy and waste your time trying to view it.  ):

Don Blankenship is retiring from Massey Energy, the company guilty of having more violations of the Mine Safety Act than any other mining company (I’m not sure of the title of the group that inspects mines).  They have repeatedly at all (or maybe it has been just most) stonewalled and delayed every attempt by the inspectors to insure there’s a safe environment for the employees to go under ground and remove the coal. Not to mention 29 coal miners that lost their lives to this greedy money tops everything company.  They are also notorious for their disregard for the environment.  He’s at least being “encouraged” to retire by Massey’s board.  What does he get?  Two years of health care & $5,000 a month consulting job, $2 million on December 31 and another $10 million on July 1.  This doesn’t include undetermined performance awards.  OMG, to put it crassly, maybe I’ll murder 29 people and a multimillion dollar reward.

The Penn Hills volunteer fire department is having a train display in their hall.  There’s several trains traveling around a recreation of Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, other towns, farms, etc common to train displays, but what’s pretty unique here is this FIRE DEPARTMENT has a burning house with miniature fire fighters battling it.  🙂  The Station is at the corner of Center Avenue and Sixth Street.  Their is no “official” fee, they are asking for a donation to help support them acquire equipment.  It’s open Saturdays and Sundays 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and then 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and runs through January 4.  Lets support our fire fighters and see a burning house in a fire house.

There’s a local couple making artistic Mexican sauces.  Luis & Joanne Guerrero of Point Breeze are hand crafting sauces inspired by Luis’s hometown of Leon  in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.  They have demonstrations at Whole Foods and other local markets.  Information on their company Guapo Sauce and products can be seen by clicking this link.

The Pittsburgh Public Market has recently opened in the Terminal Building and I finally made it on Sunday to see it.  I highly recommend it.  It’s only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hopefully if the crowd I saw on a Sunday is any indication of business levels, they will open more days.  It’s all small local purveyors, a great find is Gosia’s Pierogies has a storefront there.  They’re the Latrobe company that’s owned and operated by deaf people.  Jay, from Catered Elegance , uses their pierogies in his panko breaded and fried pierogie appetizers, one of the few fried foods I indulge in.  Also, the East End Brewery, a very cool local micro brewery has a presence there.

Finally, Myra seems to be making great progress with writing the web site for her new Inn.  She seemed to be having a rough time getting started (which is common), but she’s really going gang busters now.  Hopefully we’ll be able to have a first final draft sometime around the holidays.  We will both be going to the North East Bed and Breakfast Convention in the spring, the convention’s close to The Stone Manse, so I’ll have an opportunity to see her progress.

Bye,

ed