Tomorrow is the birth anniversary of baseball legend Joe DiMaggio (1914), Andrew Carnegie (1835), John F Kennedy Jr (1960) and temperance leader Carry Amelia Moore Nation (1846-the hatchet wielding smasher of saloons).  Also, it is the anniversary of the presidential order dropping the speed limit to 55 mph due to the  1973 oil crisis and the Mirabel sisters murdered by dictator Rafael Trujilo in the Dominican Republic (1960).

In reference to a post I made a few months ago, I just found out the answer.  I was confused why the news providers kept referring to “Myanmar, formerly known as Burma”.  The former ruling junta summarily changed the name of this country 23 years ago.  The democracy advocates resisted this name change and continued to refer to their country as Burma.  As a result, most countries refused to officially change the name and Burma still appears as the name of the country in official American documents.  Aung San Suu Kyi recently was scolded by the military for using the word Burma in a public address.

Are any of you quilters?  If so, I assume you already know about The Quilt Company out in Allison Park.  They stock over 5,000 fabrics and  quite the assortment of tools.  They have bus tours come to their shop and even hosted 40 quilters from Ireland.  Karen & Carey Montgomery opened their store in 1993, closing in on their 20th anniversary. In a related topic, the traveling Original Sewing and Quilt Expo stopped at the Monroeville Expo Mart last August in their first stop in Pittsburgh and 2,000 hobbyists attended, even with the Squirrel Hill Tunnels closed.  It was such a success that they have already scheduled August 22 to 24 in 2013.  If you are a quilter or just a sewer, you may want to look into the Pittsburgh branch of the American Sewing Guild’s local chapter.  They have about 260 members that meet monthly in nine Pittsburgh neighborhoods in member homes to hone current skills and learn new ones.

Quilting is just one of the many crafts that make up the $30B craft industry.  The #1 hobby (in terms of sales $) is woodworking.  Rounding out the top three, drawing comes in #2 and food crafting comes in #3.  The food ranking seems to be attributed to all the cooking shows showing up all over TV (shows showing was a deliberate pun).  The Craft and Hobby Association estimates that at least one craft project is completed in 56% of the American households each year.

Do you know what drives me nuts?  (I know, that’s a long list).  🙂  I receive tons of junk mail and spam.  I assume Constant Contact has my name and e-mail address on file and they probably sell the mailing list to other businesses.  I am always getting e-mails from some business I’ve never heard of and it’s powered by Constant Contact.  So I always hit the “Unsubscribe” button (which takes time and effort out of my life), which takes me to a web site that then wants me to fill in my e-mail address to unsubscribe (more time and effort on my part) and then the icing on the cake is when they want me to fill out a form saying why I don’t want their stupid advertising filling my in-box.

There’s a cute UTube video, Gotham High.  It’s a parody of Batman and what’s cute about it is it uses actual film footage from teen movies staring real Batman stars like Christian Bales, Heath Ledger, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom hardy and Anne Hathaway in their youth.

It’s that time of year, Christmas house tours in our area.  The oldest and largest is right here in my neighborhood.  The Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas Tour (who won’t feature my Inn because I’m not Victorian enough) hosts in excess 1,500 guests.  The tour starts at Calvary Methodist Church (noted for the two huge Tiffany windows and recently spent $5M in renovations) and tour six homes, a holiday gift shop and an optional tour of a toy train collection ($10).  These guided three hour tours cost $25 and leave Calvary every 12 minutes like clock work.  More info at their web site or 412-418-2027.  The Zelienople Historical Society 20th annual Christmas House Tour.  This self guided tour of 10 homes decorated in a variety of themes and cost $22.  More info at their web site or by calling 724-452-9457.  The Scottdale Historical Society annual House Tour starts at the society’s Louck’s Homestead at 527 N Chestnut Street and high light the Homestead, the Alverton Center Bethel Church of God and four homes cost $15.  More info at their Facebook page or by calling 724-887-5045.  The Sewickley Christmas Santa House Tour is sponsored by the Edgeworth Garden Club and features six rooms in their clubhouse stuffed with all kinds of Santa Clauses and other folk art.  Tickets are $10 and proceeds go toward a scholarship to a qualifying student majoring in plant sciences.  More info by calling 412-818-5329.  Finally, the Greensburg Garden Center’s tour this year will feature five historic churches decorated for the season with the pastors talking to the tours about the history of the church and it’s architecture.  More info at 724-837-0245.

The Toonseum is featuring a show by and of Kensington Falls Animation that has been a on the cutting edge of scoreboard animations and  TV ads for the Steelers, Penguins and Pirates (as well as the deceased Spirit and Maulers).  More info at both Toonseum and Kensington’s web sites or by calling 41-.232-0199.  The show runs through January 27 and costs $5.

Have a great day,


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