Tomorrow is David Atchison birth anniversary (1807-he was President of the US for one day waiting on President Taylor to be sworn in on Monday, March 4, 1849), it is Chad’s Independence Day (1960), Mike Douglas’ birth anniversary (1925-a pioneer in talk radio), the Aberdeen Asset Mgmt Cowes Week is tomorrow (since 1826, it is the largest, longest and most prestigious international sailing regatta in the world), Alex Haley’s birth anniversary (1921) and it is the Anniversary of the Watt’s Riots (1965).

There’s a great group over here on the Northside doing great things.  I’ve seen the “Off The Floor” truck scooting around.  They are associated with the Pittsburgh Presbytery and don’t even have an office.  This low key group of just two persons and several volunteers has assisted 112 in need families this past year.  People donate used furniture in good condition and Off The Floor stores it in a warehouse next to the Presbytery.  They are so small, they don’t have the ability to screen potential recipients, so they farm this function out to other churches that identify the needs and relay this info on to Off the Floor.  They try hard to not just “drop of a coffee table”, instead they try and pair things together or match current furnishings so the recipient has pride in their home.  They are always looking for bed frames, mattresses, box springs, cribs, high chairs, small end tables, night stands, box fans, kitchen and dining room tables and chairs.  They also accept lightly used bedding and bath linen.  They do not accept TV stands, large desks, book cases, outdoor furniture, any electronics, exercise equipment, clothing, small wares, dishes or utensils.  More info for donations at their web site or by calling 412.926.5053.

I doubt this will surprise you, but I hate telemarketers.  #1 they make use of the phone I pay for to #2 disrupt some portion of my day by #3 talking out their butts about how wonderful their product is and how much it’s going to save me.  They don’t know what I am paying or using, they frequently don’t even know whom to talk to.  This annoyance is incessant, as many at ten or more calls a day, frequently from the same people.  The most annoying are the robo calls that want to lend me money, please press 2.  I have repeatedly asked them to take me off their solicitation lists, I have filed FCC complaints and I still get the calls from some of the same people.  Most calls are for credit card processing (they’re going to save me 30%), low interest loans I qualify for and Verizon trying to get me to bundle (Verizon even sends people door to door wanting to see my current phone bill so they can show me how much they can save me.  I treat them like Jehovah’s Witnesses and chase them with a broom).  🙂  Well, it should come as no surprise that I took great pleasure in getting three of their goats in the past week.  The other day a telemarketer called and when I called her a telemarketer, she go all huffy and explained that she wasn’t “a telemarketer, she is a account executive” and then this morning I got one and explained “I don’t pay for a phone for you to sit on your a** and annoy me”.  Well, she really took offense at my “unprofessional” use of the word a**.  I said it three more times and hung up.  🙂  And finally I had one that asked me why “I wasn’t interested”.  I told him I don’t deal with telemarketers, if I want to buy ad time in the Penguins Yearbook, I’d conact them.  And he said that he had such a great offer.  When I asked him what part of “I don’t deal with telemarketers” he didn’t understand, he hung up.  🙂

When I bought The Parador Inn, I bought sleep sofas for in the living rooms of the suites.  Even though they had Sealy mattresses, they were still thin and fairly uncomfortable mattresses.  I hate those metal day beds and found a wooden day bed at Macy’s that has a nice appearance and changed two rooms to day beds last year (Bougainvillea and Ruellia) and just changed Lady Palm.

And, if you go to my web site, you’ll see the new image I just inserted, now that I have total access to edit it.  🙂  There’s also a new picture of Bird of Paradise showing the lace I draped over the pecky cypress door I use as a focal point over the bed.

Back in June, I bought a printer with WiFi capabilities.  I couldn’t get it to work, called a Techie I know and he even had problems getting it to work.  It’s a Samsung and I don’t know if he did something wrong installing it, but it takes forever to print.  I can’t just go in and print Welcome Letter after Welcome Letter.  There’s a delay and there’s kind of a grinding when it prints.  New printers come with a “starter” cartridge and in just over a month, it was warning me that the ink was low.  I initially went back to HHGreg to get a refill, the sales clerk looked and said they didn’t have any, so I went to Stables and they didn’t have a matching cartridge.  I went to Office Max and they didn’t either.  The sales clerk at Office Max called another store and was told we could substitute another cartridge, so I bought it.  When I went to install it, it was the wrong cartridge.  I have a couple of reservations I need to process and Welcome Letters for today’s check-ins and I’m up a creek without a paddle.  I did get two Welcome Letters printed, but the third room, Lady Palm, I had to put a letter from the other day with someone else’s name, the wrong date and room.  At least they have the WiFi passwords and other info I pass on in my Welcome Letters.  This afternoon, I went back to Office Max and returned the cartridge.  I then went to HHGreg to complain about all this with the manager.  He said they had cartridges and they’ve had them for a week.  So he sold me one, because of my tirade about the poor product, etc, he discounted the cartridge $20.  I brought it home and it doesn’t fit.  I could shoot someone.  It turns out I’m going to have to shoot me.  🙂  I took the cartridge out of the packing slip and tried to fit it in.  The lid wouldn’t close.  So I took it back to HHGreg and it slipped right in the floor model.  There was a piece of plastic and felt packaging on the cartridge that I hadn’t taken off.  I’m my own worst enemy some times.  ):

Speaking of banking (don’t be confused, we weren’t).  I’m a very happy customer of Slovak Savings Bank here on the Northside.  They are currently a one branch bank that has expanded to include checking accounts and business accounts.  I get such great service, I couldn’t be happier.  I’m a big proponent of small banking and found some links you might be interested in following if you are considering dropping the mega banks.  To look into credit unions, try www.asmarterchoice.org, www.creditunion.coop or www.culookup.com.  If you are looking for a non credit union smaller bank you may try www.bankrate.com, www.moneyrates.com, www.findabetterbank.com, www.bankfox.com or www.mybanktracker.com.  If enough of us pull our funds from the banks of those theives, maybe they will start providing service with reasonable rates, service, fees and less forclosures.

I talked about mobile food vendors a few blogs back.  They are going to have to make room for a new wave coming that’s already making in-roads in New York, Boston, LA, Portland and other towns.  Retail.  Such things as shoe stores, clothing, accessories, massage, even a mobile hair cuts, neck messages and shoe shines in The Man Cave in Phoenix.

The Pennsylvania Master Gardener’s annual Garden in the Parks Field Day will be held next Saturday (August 18) in both North and South Parks.  This runs from 9 am until 1 pm at North Park Demonstration Garden at Wildwood Road and Babcock Blvd and South Park Demonstration garden at Corrigan Drive and McConkey Road.  There will be beekeepers, the Pittsburgh Mushroom Club will be in attendance as will the Pittsburgh Botanic Club.  Master Gardeners will be there to answer questions and give advice.  If you have garden questions, here’s where you need to be.  More info at 412.473.2540.

Speaking of the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, they added rain gardens this year to their Great Garden Contest.  One of the entrants was a 7 acre rain garden in the 87 acre Wingfield Pines Reserve that was build in an abandoned coal mine that had been spilling 43 tons of iron oxides into Chartiers Creek.    This passive system, designed by Bob Hedin, does that job, as well as giving a great place to get ideas by walking along all the boardwalks constructed for visitors to view this natural way to help clean up past mistakes.

Rain Barrels are all over the place this fall.  StormWorks that sponsored the artist painted rain barrels will be auctioning them off in September on-line.  They can be seen at The Children’s Museum, Coffee Tree Roasters (where I get my coffee) at their East Liberty store, US Steel Plaza, PPG Zoo, Aquarium, Schenley Plaza, Construction Junction and the Biddle Building in Wilkinsburg.  StormWorks has been working with Nine Mile Run Watershed Association in clean up Nine Mile Run.  StormWorks is selling 133 and 65 gallon rain barrels for $295 and $199, they send a consultant out for $75 (deductible from the price) to advice you on installation, etc.  You can find rain barrels on-the-cheap at places like ACE Hardware for around $99.  In September and October the Pennsylvania Resouces Council will present rain barrel workshops starting at 10 am and go for $50. More info at their web site.  On September 15 at Cooper-Siegel Community Library at 403 Fox Chapel Road, Fox Chapel, PA 15238 will have a workshop on rain barrels and will receive a $10 coupon that can be used at Penn Barrel Company.  There’s no info at either web site, but there’s contact info and directions to get you started, if you are interested.  On October 6, the Mattress Factory can receive a hardware and a 55 gallon drum coutesy of Coca Cola.  This will be in conjunction with the exhibit Feminist and …….. .  Which includes works by artist Betsy Damon who founded Keepers of the Water, an organization that strives to restore, preserve and remediate water resources.

Well, have a great weekend,



















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