Hi,

Public Television debuted today in 1969, a Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens runs today in Pine Mountain, GA, birth anniversaries include Texan Stephen Austin (1793), actor Charles Bronson (1921), chief justice Edward White (1845) and poet William Bryant (1794).  It also is the anniversary of the newspaper headlines Dewey Defeats Truman, 1948.

Pittsburghers seem to be pretty big on remodeling.  Of the 366 markets surveyed, we’re #7.  There are a number of reasons for this  (in my opinion).  Money’s easier to get from a bank for a remodel as opposed to a new mortgage.  And Pittsburghers are also more “neighborhood centered” than most other cities in the country.  Our roots are in our neighborhoods.  That was always my explanation for the rude conduct so often seen in Florida when I lived there.  There were no roots.  Grandma wasn’t around to see you speeding down a road and tell your mom or wife.  The lady that used to baby sit you wouldn’t be in the store when you are being rude to the clerk.  You’re second grade teacher won’t walk past your new home with music blasting out your window.  That is one of the big things that really makes a neighborhood.

I guess attorneys for Ronnie Wood’s divorce from Jo cost them.  After about 25 years, Ronnie (of the Rolling Stones) dumped Jo for a much younger cocktail waitress named Ekaterina.  They had a “yard sale” at Julien’s Auctions in New York recently and sold velvet & leather jackets, a lithograph Ronnie made of of Eric Clapton and singed by both, an original Fender guitar Ronnie used on stage and I think there may have been some old china and linens as well.  :)

The Steelers wants to expand seating at Heinz Field by 3,000 at the far end by the river.  They have now sued the SEA (Stadium Authority) because the SEA is balking at paying 3/4 of the cost.  The Steelers are bragging they payed $100M in taxes since the stadium opened (actually the Steelers collected that amount of taxes from us on ticket sales) on the $208.8M stadium.  They also claim they paid $123M towards the initial construction, but $57M came from HJ Heinz Company for naming rights and $40M from seat licensing sales.  In my math, the Steelers has actually only contributed $26M.  Listen to me, only $26M, you’d think that’s drop in the bucket.  :)  But in the grand scheme of things, just like the Steelers trying to steal more Northshore land for development, they really need to start ponying up.  (I talked about the sweet deal the Steelers have on development rights on the Northshore and were poised to pay less than 1/4 of the value of the land until the owner of Alco Parking stepped in with a counter offer).  I wish I was a CPA and had access to their financial records to expose just how greedy they are.

I saw something that brings out the OCD in me.  I’m a little crazy (now most of you stop right there)  :) about my social security number, my credit card numbers, my bank account numbers.  Anytime someone asks for one of those numbers, I immediately challenge them, “What do you need that for?”  “Is it required”.  It’s amazing how many doctors’ offices, utility companies, etc like to get your social security number on file for no real purpose.  When I shop on line, they like to keep your credit card on file for you next purchase.  I always shop as a guest and in the comments section request that once the purchase has been processed, to remove my credit card info.  I’ve been told “it’s encrypted and the only thing anyone can see is the last four numbers”.  If it’s encrypted, it can be un-encrypted.  The State of South Carolina’s tax department was hacked and millions of small business’ social security, Federal tax ID and credit card numbers were compromised.

The gentleman that owns The City Oven on Banksville Road and some partners bought the property on the corner of Washington Blvd and Bower Hill Road in 2007.  They tore down the buildings that were there and were planning on a fairly substantial development.  They applied for and received a $1.78M TIF and spent it.  Because of the economy, the land has sat empty of buildings, just ruble, weeds and fencing with No Trespassing sings all over since.  Because of the way TIF’s are written, time runs out in January for the State to get it’s reimbursement, and if they don’t pay back the TIF, they get to keep the property-free and clear.  Am I the only one that sees something wrong here?

Lynne Kropinak is lugging five hundred pound converted cigarette vending machines around town selling merchandise from local artists.  Her concept Craft-o-Tron uses came from an article she read while waiting in a doctor’s office.  The article talked about artist Clark Wittington and his Art-o-Mat machines, re-purposed cigarette machines.  Lynne “upcycled” products like jewelery made of recycled flatware, “Teeny Kreepy Dolls” and wool knitted pierogies among other wares.  Her traveling Craft-o-Tron is currently in ToonSeum on Liberty Avenue and Cats and Dogs Coffee House in Lawrence.

The North and South Park ice skating rinks are opening this Thursday for the season.

Also, remember to turn your clocks back when you go to bed Saturday night.

Enjoy this weekend’s break from all the rain,

ed