Hi,

Tomorrow is National Grouch Day (no comments here, please) :), Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s birth anniversary (1844), John Kenneth Galbraith’s birth anniversary (1908), the anniversary of Mata Hari’s execution (1917) and the anniversary of the first manned flight (1783)-two French men manned a hot air Montgolfier over Paris.

Derronda got her first mention on Trip Advisor, you go girl.  She’s the best, I’m glad to see a guest take the time to acknowledge this.

I love competent craft persons.  I spoke of John with All Pro Plumbing (866.996.7767) in a past blog and the fabulous job he did figuring out what was wrong with my central air conditioning.  (For four years it operated, but didn’t get the Mansion cool enough.  People have looked at it and said the two units should cool the place, but they didn’t.  The air intake wasn’t big enough!).  Well, his latest was one of the the heating/AC duct work lines for the Ballroom we had to disconnect when we did the renovations for Bromeliad.  It came through the brick wall into what was the closet and then down into the Ballroom.  He found a passageway hidden up in the ceiling and so was able to re-connect it to the system without tearing up the ceiling or taking a brick wall apart.  Also, the stairwell up to Ruellia doesn’t have heat, but does has exposed water lines.  I’ve had to watch the winter weather and when it got real cold, run an extension from the guest room down to the door and plug in a space heater.  He took a duck work line from the new furnace/AC in the Loft over through the wall into that stairwell.  It won’t make the stairwell toasty in the winter or chilly in the summer, but should take the edge off of it so I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Kevin Sousa, co-owner and creative chef at Salt of the Earth in East Liberty is opening a second restaurant next spring called Union Pig & Chicken at 220 N Highland Avenue.  This 2,200 square foot space formerly was a restaurant several years ago.  I think Salt of the Earth was a former car show room, so this conversion should be pretty easy.  Chef Kevin’s a pretty interesting guy.  He goes to the market, picks out what he thinks looks good and then creatively figures out how to use the different ingredients together.  Their menu’s on a chalk board hanging on a wall and is always changing.  There are some deuce tables on a balcony and some bar stools at the bar and open kitchen.  But most of the seating’s benches along long tables family style.

Friends of the Riverfront took title of the Aspinwall marina.  Thanx to their efforts, they were able to raise the $2.3 million for the eight acre parcel.  Now that they have title, they are working on plans to make it a public accessible park and river front access.  I think Highmark made a large donation which filled the last gap in funding.

The alligator in Westmoreland’s Beaver Run Reservoir seems to have gotten a reprieve.  The water authority out there backed off their insistence to let the alligator die from the cold instead of letting a qualified trapper to snag the ‘gator and turn him over to a refuge in Florida that had agreed to take him.  What’s up with water authorities, are they all crazy?  Pittsburgh Water Authority cost me over $42k when I bought this place and almost bankrupt me.

Are you aware that the human body has about 100 trillion cells, but only about one in ten are human!  The rest are microbes, primarily bacteria, but also viruses, fungi and a panoply of other micro-organisms.  We are a walking self contained micro-system.  There’s a balance in life, all bacteria and viruses are not bad.  Many are beneficial, in fact, crucial for our existence.  I have frequently whined about this Clorox disinfect everything in your house mentality.  I have repeatedly read about how we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the micro world around us.  We are loosing our immunity humans have developed over eons by being exposed to bad microbes and developing strong anti bodies.  That’s partially why these “super bugs” are evolving.  It’s like alcohol, something that so many people are demonizing.  Responsible consumption keeps coming up as a factor in keeping bad cholesterol in check (French people drinking a responsible amount of red wine).  Now if you’re a guest of mine or potential guest, don’t get nervous.  I’m very clean and practice safe food handling procedures.  It’s just I’m not into running around the Inn spraying all kinds of chemicals because Clorox wants to sell more products.

Tim Hemmes, a quadriplegic from a motor cycle accident has a robotic arm next to his wheel chair.  With it, he can control the arm with his brain!  There’s tiny micro chips embedded in his brain and electrodes read what the mind thinks and transmits it to the robotic arm and hand.  It’s still extremely difficult and a lot of work, but OMG watch out Geordi from Star Trek.  Good work Tim, my hat goes out to you and all your had work.

I would like to thank Merrill Stabile, the owner of Alco Parking, for saving the city residents from a land grab by the Pirates and Steelers.  I have nothing against the Pirates and Steelers trying to get a parcel of land as cheap as possible.  I blame the Stadium Authority for not looking out for the city’s interests.  Because of all the back lash caused by Mr. Sabile’s offer for $10 MILLION instead of the $1 Million the Steelers/Pirates was planning on paying for the land, the SEA decided they better sell it at market value instead of giving it away as a gift.

Robin Russell is coordinating an empty bowls dinner at Quaker Valley School District.  The students are making these bowls that you purchase and proceeds go several local food pantries.  The symbolism of the empty bowls is obvious, the student’s creative efforts are great, teaching these kids that they are a part of a bigger community than just their school is invaluable.  The event on November 1 runs from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. with other similar activities.  Besides making the bowls, the students will be acting as hosts, food prep and general organizers.

Have you seen the picture of Christina Aguilera?  She’s such a pretty woman, from Pittsburgh in case you’ve been living under a rock.  They say her group ran up an $8k bar bill at the hotel when they were performing in Wales (I think it was) and a $7k bar bill on the bus.  Maybe we ought to lighten up on the partying, she really looks a mess.

Phipp’s Fall Flower Show opened yesterday and runs through November 6.  They have over 5,000 fall-hued blooms throughout the gardens.  The Phipps continues to be one of my most favorite spaces in the City.

Well, it’s Friday, Steeler home game weekend, I need to get my butt in gear.  Have a great weekend, go Steelers,

ed

1 Comment
  • Maybe Christina Aguilera read your Blog & was trying to get her cholesterol level down!!!

    Congrats Derronda, you do make wonderful bread & Ed you do make everyone feel right at home.

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