Hi,

Happy New Year, I hope everyone had safe and happy holidays.

Today, in 2004, after traveling 302.6 million miles, the Mars Rover successfully landed and began exploring Venus (just kidding, looking to see if you were paying attention).  Alaska was admitted into the Union on this date in 1959 the first drinking straw was patented in 1888, it was a paraffin-covered paper which replaced natural rye straws.

There’s a move afoot to save Pittsburgh’s last remaining wooden block paved street.  Roslyn Place is a cul-de-sac in Shadeyside and is made up 26,000 4 X 8 inch oak blocks.  It was originally laid in 1916.

Did you know that poison ivy’s active ingredient can infect you up to five years after it was killed on a tree (ie be careful of firewood).

The Penns were a disappointment over the weekend, but the weekend was great.  I had about half Penns fans and half Caps fans and everyone played nicely together.

A lot of the plumbing and electrical here are buried in the walls.  One of my greatest fears seems to have come true. I seem to have a water leak in the walls over the front foyer.  Last week when the weather got so warm, I hosed the front and side porches off and even got the windows washed.  I’ve been smelling a funky smell in the front hallway and attributed it that.  Then Saturday night, the smoke/fire alarm was sending an alert of a problem with the pull box by the front door.  I called ADP and just as I got through to Wayne, the system reset to Normal.  When I looked at the pull box, the plaster had more cracks than I recall being there and part seemed damp.  I went to the basement and directly under the front foyer the floor was wet and there was (is) water dripping from the joists.  There’s two light switches for the basement.  One at the top of the stairs that turns on the lights in the first half of the basement and then a switch in a doorway to the second half.  There’s one or two lights in each of the rooms.  Stupid me, either Mr Cheapness or Mr Ecology, I turn lights out in the basement in areas I don’t normally go to.  The light that lights the area under the foyer I had turned off, I may have caught this sooner if I didn’t leave it in darkness.  I talked to Paul, my plumber and he was going to try and make it over today, if not definitely tomorrow.  I’ve checked both Bird of Paradise and Lady Palm’s bathrooms (directly over this leak) and there’s no obvious water.  There’s a hot water and a cold water pipe going up from the basement directly where this leak is.  I have no idea how we’re going to fix this.  I’m scared.

We’ll talk again as soon as I have an update,

ed

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