Happy Inauguration Day.  What a great country we live in.  George Washington was quoted that the important act wasn’t him being the first president, but a smooth transition to the next president.  It was a very antagonistic and polarizing election, but we still transitioned to a new four year term with Democrats and Republicans in attendance.  Not like Syria, Mali or so many other countries.

Margaret Brent demanded a political voice in 1648, our first feminist and one you may want to read up on, a very dynamic lady.  It is the birth anniversaries of patriot Ethan Allen (1738), ACLU founder Roger Nash Breckinridge (1821), gun maker John Moses Browning (1855), designer Christian Dior (1905), civil war legend Thomas Jonathan Stonewall Jackson (1824) and radio personality Wolfman Jack (1938).

Here’s an update on the wainscoting project in Oleander:

This wall is letting me scrape it first, that will make the obnoxious job of using the stripper much easier.  For some reason the wall behind where the sink and toilet sit won’t let me scrape it.  But the good news on that is the finish is much thinner and it takes a lot less stripper.  So the next step is clean up that little bit on the bottom and then scrape the trim around the window and both doors (bathroom/bedroom door and the bathroom closet door).  The next pic’s I post should be pretty impressive (I hope).  🙂

3-D printing, also known as “additive manufacturing” it the process of taking an image of an object and making a three dimensional copy of it.  This is done by building a prototype of an image and printing or stacking thousands of precision layers of a material to form a solid model  of the object.  There are different mediums used in this process, like hair-thin gypsum powder, plastic and even molten metal.  The layers are held together with a binding agent, frequently epoxy.  3-D printing evolved out of laser printing technology.  One local 3-D printer manufacturers is ExOne Co LLC headquartered in North Huntingdon (with offices in Troy, MI; Huston, TX, Augsburg, Germany and Japan) is cruising to exceeding $15M, this their ninth year.  Another major 3-D player is Pittsburgh 3D LP of Blawnox.  They are the regional distributor for Z Corp 3D printers covering Western PA and NY with these printers made in Rock Hill, SC.  Although these are not five cent color copies from Kinko’s, they are a huge savings going from drawing board to more traditional forms of demos.  The technology has exploded the last three years and there’s tremendous growth in the technology in the machines, the mediums for making the 3D image and other parallel equipment.

For being in charge of JP Morgan Chase bank when they lost $6B in trading losses, CEO Jamie Dimon had is pay cut by $11.5M (from $23M).  OMG, will he be able to feed and clothe his children this year?  🙂

We (Pittsburghers) all know about our convention center and how it’s considered the largest green building in the world.  For you non-Pittsburghers, it’s design incorporates massive natural light, so very little artificial light is ever needed, the sloping roofs etc mean it consumes very little air conditioning, it has it’s own grey water recycling/reuse system, etc.  (that’s why it holds a platinum LEED rating).  What I have always noticed, but didn’t notice (if that makes any sense) is there’s no “main entrance”.  Buildings of that size and importance always have a grand entrance.  The “grand entrance” was designed to be from the yet to be built convention center hotel.  This hotel, up to 500 guest rooms, was slated to go where that service parking lot is in front of the convention hall bounded by Tenth and Penn (the parcel doesn’t seem that big to me).  🙂  The hotel’s main lobby was to go from Penn Avenue all the way through the building to the back wall (across that alleyway from the convention center).  There you would come to grand elevators that would take you to either the third or fourth floors of the convention center.  The fourth floor would let you out on the roof top terrace.  The third floor would let you off at a glass enclosed walkway over the center’s cavernous main hall.  After traversing this walkway and getting a glimpse of the event you are about to attend, the walkway ends at a lobby facing the river with escalators down to the main floor.  Pretty dramatic entrance.  Now I know why I always felt like I was using a side entrance anytime I’ve attended anything at the convention center.  🙂

The Box Hart Gallery at 4523 Liberty Avenue, Bloomfield has their “12th Annual Art Inter/National … here and abroad” exhibit through February 2.  They are highlighting 24 works of art by 20 artists using a variety of medias.  (They received more than 550 entries from local, national and international artists).  A couple of pieces if found intriguing were Sia Aryai: Iran Eternity 1, an artist originally from Iran that masked a photograph  with thin veils of milky – white pigment.  British artist Sarah Michalik‘s sculpture “Patterns of Immersion” is an interesting way of looking at our “connections” through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media.   Jardley Jean-Louis of Queens who’s piece Yellow depicts bathroom has a lot in this drawing that doesn’t meet the eye at first glance, like the lady in the bathtub and the gentleman wrapped up in the shower curtain at the foot of the tub.  Finally, possibly the most dramatic piece is Russian born sculptor Irina Koukhanov’s Iron Enclosure 2.  It is two bronze sculpture of two birds, one wearing a military helmet and the other wearing a gas mask.  The implications here are obvious.  More info at Box Heart’s website, the individual’s web sites or by calling 412-687-8858.

You may think you’re living in the city, but we keep getting sightings of black bears.  There was a young male in my mom’s Beechview area this past spring, there was the one out at Pittsburgh Mills that actually went into the Sears store there, there’s been sightings in Cranberry recently.  Now they seem to be hanging out around Robert Morris’ campus in Moon Township.  Even though they are famed for being shy and avoiding people, I think I’d be pretty scared coming across one.  Call me wimpy.  🙂

Here’s a list of local events coming up in the area:

The traveling Celiac Awareness Tour is returning to Monroeville this coming Saturday from 9 am until 2 pm.  It’s a great source of learning to live without gluten and an opportunity to get great gluten free recipes.

The 53rd Annual Pittsburgh Boat Show starts Thursday at the Monroeville Convention Center and runs through January 27.  A nice way to pretend it’s no longer winter.  🙂

The 52nd Annual Baierl Subaru Pittsburgh World of Wheels is also this weekend (January 25 – 27) at the David L Lawrence Convention Center, what a long name.  🙂

Also at the convention center next week (January 29 – 31) will be the Fourth annual Marcellus-Utica Midstream Conference & Exhibit.

More info at their web sites.

Keep warm and happy,


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