Hi,

Obviously tomorrow is Easter Sunday, it is the anniversary of Hank Aaron setting the home run record (715 in 1974), it is the anniversary of President Truman seizing the steel millers because of a strike that the district court ruled as illegal (1952), the last poll tax was abolished in Mississippi (1966-prior to that, some places you had to pay to vote) and the 17th Amendment was passed (1913).

I read a book I learn something from and then I read a mindless novel.  My current brainiac book is The Quest by Daniel Yergin (he go a Pulitzer for The Prize).  The book is about world politics and energy, in particular oil.  It not only is very informative, it’s not overly dry as some of these books can be.  It has about six zillion pages and I won’t finish it for a year or two, but I am enjoying it.  Something I found noteworthy was in the Gulf of Mexico, there are three thousand drilling platforms and twenty-two thousand miles undersea pipelines.  In 2005 when Katrina and then Rita slammed through there, 115 platforms were destroyed (these were the pre-Miami-Dade Standards set after Andrew), 52 platforms were damaged and five-hundred thirty-five miles of pipeline were damaged. “Yet so effective were the environmental containment measures that the offshore production facilities did not leak.”  Pretty amazing, we can do it if we want.

The Bread and Puppet Theater will be presenting four pieces from The Republic of Cardboard Monday at the Brew House on the Southside at 7:30.  Founded in 1963, this self-sustaining nonprofit from New York’s Lower East Side will be presenting four pieces related to their association with the Occupy movement – a depressed citizenry’s uprising against a culture that pretends but fails to serve it’s urgent needs.  That this is being presented at the Brew House is an added bonus.  If you don’t know, the Brew House is an artist’s enclave in the old Duquesne Brewery off Jane Street.  The artists squatted in the empty building years ago and eventually took control of it and turned it into loft/working studio units.  Rich Bach, the metal sculpture that did my Aztec calendar has a place there.  He’s the artist that has done all of the metal sculptures for the Mad Mex restaurant group.  There is no admission for this event, but they will be asking for a donation after the event.

Pittsburgh’s own Brian McGreevy has released his first book Hemlock Grove (actually, Brian’s from Charleroi and currently resides in Los Angeles and works as a screen writer).  This literary novel has as the subject a werewolf.  With the popularity of the Sci Fi and BBC versions of Being Human and the smash success of the Twilight series, I’d say Brian’s right on time.  Netflix secured an option for a television version being filmed here in Pittsburgh starting in June with Brian doing the screenplay.

Three River’s Art’s Festival starts in just over a month.  The music line up has been announced, opening with The Wailers on Friday (June1), Kathleen Edwards on Saturday (June 2), The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on Sunday (June 3), The Dawes Band Tuesday (June 5), Ed Menzer and da Boiz Wednesday (just kidding, checking to see if you are still awake), the Carolina Chocolate Drops on Friday (June 8), Saturday (June 9) will be the Bluegrass day featuring Del McCoury, Peter Rowan and Greensky, finally, closing on Sunday will be Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers.

One of my favorite contests is over and the Trib has announced the winners of this year’s Peeps Contest.  The Peep Crown goes AGAIN to Green Tree resident Nancy Becker with “The Peeps” a take off on Alfred Hitchcok’s The Birds.  Last year Kathleen did a take off on Hitchcok’s Psycho.  Also this year were entries I’m Sticky and I Know It, Jurassic Peeps, Hoarder, Buried Alive and Auroral Bunnyalis.  Too funny.  The Trib doesn’t have today’s article posted with the winners, so follow this link for a bunch of the contestants, I think my favorite was Night of the Living Peeps or Brunner Pass.  :)  When you follow the link, click on the Icon Photo Gallery.

I’ve been meaning to replace the light fixture in Ruellia’s stairway for awhile now.  I had guests checking in yesterday and so I hurried up (see a problem here?) and went to install the new fixture yesterday.  Here’s what happened to the ladder when I fell down the stairs:


The bottom of the ladder is what my right thumb feels like.  ):  In my defense, I have one of those triangle things you place on steps when you need to put a ladder on the stairs.  But Ruellia’s stairs are steeper and more narrow than it is designed for.  So after wobbling around for awhile, ruining a ladder and spraining my thumb, I piled block and pieces of wood to secure the ladder.  The light is successfully installed and the guests are happy.

Not surprising banking fees are going up again locally it seems Citizens Bank is the greediest of them all.  The are starting to charge $15 monthly fee if you don’t keep a $5k balance, they are going to charge you $3.95 if you tie Quick Books to you account and $8.95 for bill pay for their Circle Checking account.  They are raising their Green Checking account fees to $9.99 from $4.99, checking with interest will go up to $11.99 from $9.99 if you don’t keep their minimum balance.  The Quick Books and bill pay fees are really inane.  That is a major saving on labor for the banks, they’re just hoping you’ll stay and pay.  Seriously, go to Slovak Savings Bank (they have checking and loans also), they really don’t have fees.  I have my personal checking account there, no fees.  I have my business account there, no fees.  I have Betty’s “slush fund” (the money the kids have in there for her incase of an emergency) and it made $40 last month interest, no fees.  There’s only the one branch up on California Avenue and they don’t even have an ATM machine.  So they just put the fees other banks charge you for using their ATMs back in you account.  I love those people so much, that I usually wait to use an ATM that doesn’t charge a fee like Allegheny Valley Bank up on McKnight Road.

Have a great holiday tomorrow and don’t forget, always eat the ears first :),

ed

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