Tomorrow is both Russia and the Philippines Independence Days, it is the birth anniversary of Anne Frank, Baseball’s first Perfect Game (the pitcher did not allow a single opposition player to reach first base) , the National Baseball Hall of Fame was established (9139) and it is the anniversary of President Reagan’s Tear Down This Wall speech.
I read a fun, brainless book and then one that I can learn something from. My latest brainiac book was The Quest by Pulitzer Award winner Daniel Yergin. Big book, 800 plus pages that does a real good job of taking energy issues apart and gives a great understanding of past, present and future issues associated with energy usage. Through conservation and other energy saving measures, we have reduce our consumption by 40%, yet our overall consumption has grown 50% (I’m making these numbers up, but they are fairly close to what he quoted). The reason is there’s more of us using energy and our forms of energy has increase so much (computers, smart phones, big TV’s etc). He really does a nice job dissecting the issues and explaining them. I highly recommend it.
For those of you west of Pittsburgh along the Ohio River, if you have some free time, they are having a clean up drive next Saturday starting around 8 am. They are starting at the Groveton Boat Club in Coraopolis/Groveton on Elizabeth Street in Robinson call 412.264.6776 or 412.523.9366 for more info. They are starting from the Glenwillard Boat Club in Crescent at 400-448 Ferry Street, more info at 724.272.1777. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commision at 304 East Beaver Street, more info at 724.396.0653. The Fish and Boat Commission in Leetsdale at the end of Petrun Road, more info at 724.624.4521. The Monaca Pumphouse Park in Monaca, more info at 724.775.9600. The Blockhouse Run North in New Brighton off Route 18 opposite the the New Brighton sewage treatment plant at the end of Third Avenue, more info at 724.624.4962. And finally the boat dock near Ferry Road and the Shippingport power plant. These Sweeps have been very successful in the past, 21,000 volunteers have collected 20,000 tons of debris.
Speaking of our clean city, I had Betty on Thursday. We did lunch, she hung with me as I did my errands and then came over to hang out at the Inn during the afternoon. After dinner, I told her we were going to do an “adventure”. Instead of driving her over to her apartment in Beechview, we took the “T” (it stops right outside her apartment). It was cool to see her be amazed at the “T” as it went under Downtown and then up the hill to her apartment. I rode the “T” back Downtown and got off to check out the Arts Festival. This time I saw three leather craft persons (I bought a wallet I was looking for) and saw at least five wood workers. (I guest the Arts Festival read my last post). If they are still listening to me, big suggestion is to set up the vendor booths so you can walk down one side and then walk up another side seamlessly. People miss a lot of the vendors because they miss a turn.
I listen to NPR almost exclusively between DUQ and YEP. Saturday mornings I’ve always enjoyed the rantings of Ray and Tom Magliozzi, Click and Clack on Car Talk. The last of their live shows will be in September, they will be retiring after that. They’ve been on the radio for 35 years! NPR will continue Car Talk after their retirement with archived shows. I won’t be as fresh, but should still be pretty funny.
Every spring I buy lady bugs and let them loose in my yard to control aphids from Gardner’s Supply Company. They also carry Praying Mantid’s egg cases. You can hatch them right in you garden. Nice way to keep bugs in check without chemicals.
I drove past UPMC’s new hospital in Monroeville last week. What a bunch of BS, it’s huge, it’s expensive and we have to pay for it. Did you know in America, we pay $8,000 per person per year on health care? Most other industrialized nations pay less than $5,000. And this extra $3,000 doesn’t get our health care any better. We don’t live longer than other industrialized countries and we don’t have better daily health. This $250 million facility was only built to compete with Forbes Regional, the West Penn hospital. It’s like UPMC’s bitter battle now with Highmark because they are buying West Penn. This “non-profit” barely eeks out the 2% free charitable care they are required by law to provide.
One more rant, then I’ll leave you in peace. I’ve been off and on the fence with our new governor. I’m way off the fence now. It sort of started with Governor Shapp who provided a $70 million incentive to VW to build a manufacturing plant in West Moreland. They used up their incentives and closed. We then ponied up to give Sony millions in incentives for the same space. Governor Ridge gave $227 million to Kvaerner shipyard in Philly. Now Governor Corbett is proposing up to $1.7BILLION for the cracker plant out in Beaver. The current owner of the property, who polluted it, has in the bill of sale that he does not have to clean up the brownfield. We do.
My good friends from State College, Tony and Sue are flying out of Pittsburgh tomorrow to meet up with their daughter that’s studing film in Canada and so they are spending the night here. Dave and Claire, who also went to Penn State are coming over for the evening. So we’ll sit around and BS in the wee hours (probably around 10 for me).
Have a great week,