Hi,

Typical, first day of the month, there’s lots to choose from.  Tomorrow is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s birth anniversary (1914), Iceland Beer Day, celebrating when they lifted a 75 year ban on beer (1989), it’s the anniversary of the kidnapping of twenty month old Charles Lindbergh (1932), Glenn Miller’s birth anniversary (1904) and the anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corpse (1961).

I drink coffee all day.  It’s not a  massive amount, but I just sip it and it has to be hot.  I start my day with a cup of tea.  After leaving the tea bag in the hot water to steep, I wrap the string and tag around the teaspoon and squeeze the last of the water/tea out of the bag.  Why am I talking about this?  Well, I’m being honest to show that I also wrap the string and tag around something.  I just had guests that do something I’ve seen often and always wonder why.  They were in for several days and each day they did this.  They wrap the string and tag around the tea cup handle.  Do they do this to secure the tea bag because they are afraid it may try and escape?  And there are a segment of tea drinkers that do this all the time.  It was fairly common to see when I worked in hotels.  No big deal to unwrap the string and bag, I just find it strange and have no idea what that logic is here.

I’ve spoken about a local group over here on the Northside in the past, Manchester Craftsman’s Guild.  A very cool organization that supports arts and music (in particular jazz) and brings this to school children.  They have a number of programs at their center Bidwell.  But they also bring classes to Pittsburgh City Schools that are free for the kids and the kids get to take classes on ceramics, photography, digital arts and design arts.  The teachers bring industry standard equipment to the schools for the kids.  Bill Strickland, the founder of Manchester Craftsman, is on a Pres Obama tour of the country to promote this kind of initiative to get kids learning and being creative instead of being in gangs and drugs.  The City cut almost $50k from their program in a cost cutting measure.  The overall school budget wasn’t reduced, they were just looking for ways to save money.  Generally I support most all cost cutting and think we need to get ready for new life style changes (and support ourselves instead of the government giving us things), but I’m a big proponent of intelligent public transportation and education.  Public transportation supports our less fortunate and they generally use public transportation to get to work (gangs and other scofflaws generally don’t use public transportation to carry out their nefarious deeds).  :)  And I support education for our children, particularly the younger because they are our future and we need to instill the spark for learning early on.  The City returned the $50k to the budget returning Manchester’s original funding.

There’s a world class art exhibit at Pitt’s University Art Gallery in the Frick Fine Arts Building from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday until March 18.  This is organized by Gao Minglu, currently a research professor in History in Art and Architecture, but was editor of China’s leading art magazine “Meishu” and organizer of many Mainland and foreign art exhibits.  This exhibit, “Mind Space” was in Pearl Lam’s Contrasts Gallery in Hong Kong and has moved to Pitt.  Minglu coined the term Maximalism, referring to “daily mental experiences in the way of repetitious, time-consuming and labor-intensive activities.  More info can be found at Frick Fine Arts.

The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History are offering free admission from 3:30 to 8 p.m. every Thursday evenings through the end of March, thanx to the Buncher Family Foundation.  I assume the Museum of Architecture is included as well.

I love companies that are run well.  Last weekend I ordered hair conditioner for in the rooms and then about an hour later realized I also needed make up removers.  So I went back to their web site a second time and placed my second order.  On Monday, I received an E-mail from Accent Amenities notifying me of a $6 refund because they could package both orders together.  I go to Anthony Arms in West Mifflin about once a month for target practice.  When I went in, the range was closed for remodeling.  It was closed the last time I was there as well.  When I mentioned this, they gave me two free range passes.  I wasn’t even complaining.  (Actually, they are a very poor example of customer service, generally.  But they did the right thing here) .  And then there’s the one big box store I enjoy patronizing, Costco.  They have the lowest turnover rate of any big box retailer because of how well they take care of their employees.  Something Home Depot was famous for until the end of the 1990′s.    But I digress.  Costco only accepts their coupons, generally, if you forget the coupon, the cashier has blank ones at the register and gives you the discount, and you don’t even have to ask for it.

That’s about it for today,

ed

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