Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first manned flight in a hot air balloon in Paris, France (1783 by Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent Marquis d’Arlandes), Mata Hari’s execution (1917) and when the Crow Reservation was opened for settlement (1892).  Birth anniversaries include economist John Kenneth Galbraith (1908), German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844) and pugilist John Sullivan (1858).

Well, it’s official, September was the best month I’ve ever had since opening in Lake Worth in 2010.  🙂

The next 12 windows are in the Ballroom.  I’ve stained and 2 coats of polyurethane are on the insides, two coats of finish on the outsides and I’ll be ready for installation next week.  That’s 30 new widows this year!

My favorite room in the Mansion is the front foyer.  The paneling and hand tolled leather cornice are absolutely amazing.  I believe I’ve talked about it in the past.  It’s very poorly lit to show off the craftsmanship in there.  I won’t just install any kind of lighting, I wouldn’t damage anything with drilling holes, etc and have waited the eight years I’ve owned The Parador until the right solution came along.  I knew it would.  I also believe I spoke about the architects that were in last July that recommended Environmental Lights that specialize in LED and other high efficiency lighting.  Well, I ordered LED strip lighting and just had it installed.  Here’s a picture of the foyer with just the sample they sent me installed:

And here’s a picture with the strips installed:

Amazing?  Thanx John & Kerry.

The Balmoral Classic0 is back November 8 & 9 in Shadyside.  It is a celebration of drums and bag pipes and will have the US Junior Solo Bagpiping and Drumming Championship on Friday.  And on Saturday, Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and American Cellist Natalie Haas will offer a concert.  More info on their website or by calling 412-323-2707.

I don’t if any of you are into “Slow TV“, but the Norwegians who pioneered it are coming out with a new show.  Slow Knitting, you can watch them shear the sheep, spin the wool and then knit a sweater.  They expect it to take four or five hours.  Past feats was watching a fire burn for 12 days in this past February and  5 1/2 days of a cruise ship plying the Arctic coast in 2011.

Originally a Tucson, AZ native that lived in NYC for 10 years, Matthew Buccholz has been in Pittsburgh for awhile.  While working at the gift shop Wild Card in Lawrenceville and started taking old maps and photographs and photo shopping them with a touch of the comic strip Bizzaro.  You’ll see an old photograph of Downtown with a flying saucer hovering between buildings and an old map of the city with Minnie the Monongahela Monster rising at the point.  He created a map showing the Living Dead Outbreaks in the city from 1875 and the map was provided by Romero & Sons.  🙂  To go with this, he also has created a BEWARE poster warning of any contact with zombies.  Kind of fun and whimsical.

Greedy SOB.  Michael Svonavec is suing the Federal government saying the land he owned in Shanksville is worth $23M.  The heroic actions that caused that tragedy aside, what was his farm worth prior?  Even considering the added value of the deaths that saved possibly thousands of more American lives gave to that land by making it a destination for solemn reflection, $23M?  Maybe we should send him to Afghanistan for a year to appreciate what he has here?  Now don’t get me wrong, the value has increased from the what ever it was before the crash, but $23M?  It’s a memorial, not a casino.

The Garden Club of Allegheny County (a member of the American Garden Club since 1914) is having their annual fund raiser Pizzazz October 17 from 9:30 am until 7 pm and from 9:30 am until 3 pm on October 18.  Admission’s $10 (there’s a “preview” on the 16th from 6 – 9 pm for $75).  Besides the door, the vendors also give a portion of their proceeds and last year they raised $80K which the garden club distributes as grants to such organizations as Phipps, Allegheny Land Trust, Tree Pittsburgh among others.  The garden club is pretty selective on accepting vendors.  Two highlights this year is 1000 Jobs Haiti, where all items are made by Haitian woman, frequently the sole provider for their families.  And handbags made by The Purlettes + One, these seniors from the Redwoods community that hand-knit their hand bags from Peruvian wool.

Well, that’s it for now, it’s a bit drizzly and overcast, welcome to Fall.  ):


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