Hi,

Tomorrow is Dia de los Muertos, Mexico’s Day of the Dead that celebrates the remembrance of past loved ones.  The Prime Meridian was set (1884), President John Adams was the first to occupy the White House when our nation’s capital moved from Philadelphia to Washington, DC (1880), Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral (1938) and the hockey mask was invented (1959).

Chase and Wells Fargo are dropping the plan to charge customers monthly fees for using their debit cards.  Bank of America seems to be crumbling also, to a point.  Customer pressure over their $5 a month fee for debit cards unless you maintain a $20,000 balance in accounts in their many businesses (mortgages, Meryl Lynch, etc).  They haven’t announced what the change will be, but it’s speculated that they will drop the amount of minimum deposit.  I wish I had a BofA account or one of their credit cards so I could close it.  We, the people, won with Netflix attempt at excessive fees.  I think they lost around 25% of their customers before they dropped the plans to separate streaming movies from mailed movies.  There is power in the people, remember that.  :)

The Mattress Factory is having their first residency program since 2006.  Of the more than 600 applicants, six were selected to create unique site specific installational exhibits throughout the the main exhibit building.  If you go to the Mattress Factory, be sure to check out crazy Randy’s Randyland.  His three story house is on Jacksonia just a block or two from the Mattress Factory.  He’s painted it every conceivable color and done things like boarded up windows and then painted people peaking out the drapes at you on it.  For more info on the Mattress Factory, go to their web site or call 412.231.3169.

Here’s one for you, the Justice Department is official discussing instructing their staff to lie to the citizens of the United States when a request for information is made and the information requested is sensitive.  Currently, the Justice Department employee would say that it’s classified and you can’t see it or he/she can provide an edited copy with the classified information blacked out.  I have all kinds of problems with my government having an official “it’s OK to lie to our constituents.”

Richard Muller, the credible scientist from the University of California, Berkeley who’s famous for disputing that the major cause of global warming is man made is publishing his latest study. This study was largely paid for by The Charles Koch Foundation.  The Koch brothers, with major investments in oil and other energy resources are famous for denying that there is global warming and even if it was, it would be just a cyclical blimp.  Mr. Muller was concerned about the reliability of the weather stations data and much data comes from around cities that create “heat islands.”  After reviewing the data available and taking his on recordings, he has concluded that “And now we have confidence that the temperatures rise that had previously been reported had been done without bias.”  He concluded that there is no reason to be skeptical of climate change now.

A new restaurant on Liberty Avenue in the Dallmeyer Building, Downtown has the name Taste of Dahntahn.  Guess what it’s theme is, no silly it’s not Chinese.  :)  Kind of a retro look inside with black and white and color photographs of the city.  Menu items include things like Sammitches, Fried Green Tuhmaytuh and Da Kerneggy.  There’s been some issues with both food and service, nothing major and that’s fairly common when restaurants open.  I’ve opened many and know we weren’t 100% for all guests.  Good restaurants are aware of this and watch for and correct deficiencies.  We’ll see.  I do like the name.

Speaking of creative menus, I can’t talk about that without mentioning my friends up at Shiloh Grill are coming up on their first year anniversary.  Not only do they have some fun names for their entrees (Traditional Italian Divorce Soup) they follow through in the description of the dish (This broth will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.  What was once rich and creamy is now irrevocably broken, with plenty of grounds.  The cost?  Half of what you got.  Served cold, of course).

The fourth installment in the Warhol’s Word of God series.  The Sound of One Hand, through November 27 with the normal Warhol hours and is included in it’s normal admission price.  More info at their web site or by calling 412.237.8300.  Max Gimblett, a New York artist since 1972, has been focusing on Buddhism since 1965 and even became a lay monk in 2006.  His art is divided between Enso and Koan.  Enso is a Japanese art form that’s basically a circle created on silk or rice paper with a single stroke of a thick brush.  It represents the spirit of the moment of creation.  In a circle, nothing stops, nothing comes to an end, it just keeps going.  His other art form is Koan.  Koan is a story, dialogue, question or statement that cannot be fully understood through rational thought alone.  Koans are frequently referred to as  a riddle.

Have a good night and great day,

ed

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