Tomorrow’s Italian Republic Day where in 1946 they passed a referendum which kept it a republic instead of returning it to a monarchy, the Salem Witch Trials began in 1692), it is the anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II (1953) and Saint Erasmus holiday, the patron saint of sailors also know as Saint Elmo.  Birth anniversaries include actor Johnny Weissmuller (1904) and no introduction needed for Marquis De Sade (1740).

I know it’s been a week since my last post, but the window project is just about completed.  I haven’t pulled a weed in almost two weeks.  I’ve stained the insides of all twenty windows and given the insides two coats of a Polycriylic sealant.  I’ve given the exterior of the windows the first coat of the teal finish and cleaned the windows up (ended up in a clinic because a gashed my palm on the LAST of the 112 staples I had to take out from their packing).  Tomorrow I give them a second finish coat of the teal and I’ll be all set for installation starting on Monday.  They really look great, I’m so excited.

I really hate Giant Eagle grocery stores.  They do all sorts of sly things like listing specials and not differentiating between a sale for the general public and a sale for their frequent shopper patrons.  I really don’t like people following my habits and never sign up for any of those perk cards, my privacy’s worth more to me than the few dollars a year I’d save. When I first moved back to Pittsburgh and saw Giant Eagle would have banners for specials, but not differentiate between frequent shopper specials and general specials, I  brought it to the attention of the store manager and she literally told me they can run their specials any way they want.   GE is constantly carrying an item and then it’s only available under their label and of lesser quality (and price I admit).  Their latest salvo is black bean and corn salsa.  Paul Newman’s brand is one of the items Kuhn’s doesn’t carry and I go to GE for.  Last night, the only black bean and corn salsa available was under the GE label and it definitely doesn’t have the taste or quality of Paul Newman’s.  Also, when I came into the GE last night, I walked through their produce section and in the center of the floor was this display of red and green bell peppers.  The big sign said “Green Peppers $2.49 lbs”.  No mention of the red peppers which are always more expensive than green.  Just another sly trick of theirs.  They are also HUGE on trying to force you to use their perks card one way or another.  Their latest is you have to have their perks card to use the self check out line.  They claim the reason for this is they experience a lot of theft through the self check out line.  I’ve gone from occasionally shopping there, to seldom and now it’s probably going to never.  In case you don’t remember, GE was busted for threatening Schweppes that if they didn’t withdraw their bid for  that bottling company in Latrobe, GE would NEVER carry their products again, or if they did, it would be on a lower shelf.

Do you own a pool?  It is illegal to dispose of pool water into anything that would flow into a waterway in Pennsylvania.  It has to be put through a sanitary sewer system so the chlorine and muriatic acid can be removed.  So if you do own a pool and clean out last years water, don’t just dump it out into your yard or a storm water drainage system.  Every year around now, the DEP gets reports of fish and other aquatic life kill-offs because of it.  More info on proper disposal of pool water is at the DEP’s website and use the keyword pool waste water.

Did you know there are 55,390 small businesses in Allegheny County with 100 or less employees?  I wasn’t.  Go Small Businesses.  🙂

On Tuesday, Preservation Pittsburgh and a Lawrenceville architect Sarah Kroloff filed to have the 87 year old Terminal Building in the Strip declared a historic building.  Go guys!  Hopefully their hard work will finally save one of our iconic buildings city hall seems to quick to dismiss.  Although I hear mayoral candidate Bill Peduto is against the Buncher plan to destroy 1/3 of the building.

Forty years ago, the Westmoreland County Historical Society  started a flea market to generate revenue at the historic village they created.  The flea market is not as popular as in it’s heydays, back when my Dad would go out there, there were almost 300 vendors.   Next Sunday, Historic Hanna’s Town opens for the season.  It’s a pretty extensive antiques flea market out in Greensburg (almost an hour east of Pittsburgh).  Now it’s down to a little over 100, but you can usually fine some great stuff.  It’s held the second Sunday each month of it’s season.   More info on their website.

For a longer trip, SeaWorld has opened it’s Antarctica, Empire of the the Penguin on a four acre site in Orlando.  This is on the foot heels of the Universal opening their Harry Potter theme park three years ago.  Both theme parks are giving DisneyWorld a run for it’s money, which happens to be HUGE money.  Disney is banking on it’s Avatar theme park to keep it in the lead, scheduled to open in 2017.

Did you know CMU was ranked #4 in the top 25 drama schools or the WORLD rated by the Hollywood Reporter coming out next week.  CMU has graduated the winners of six Oscars, 24 Tony’s and 95 Emmys.  Pretty good score card.

Daniel Tosh is coming to Heinz Hall June 13.  I don’t get to see many of his politically incorrect shows on the Comedy Channel, but he really makes me laugh when I do.

Speaking of entertainment, the Three River’s Arts Festival starts next Friday (June 7) and runs through Sunday, June 16.  I don’t often find things I want to buy there, but enjoy the crowds, shows and other entertainment during the festival.  Huge this year is the final re-opening of the fountain on the point.  To celebrate, they are doing a laser show on top of the fountain beamed from on top of PPG Place.  They are going to do this along with the new LED lighting in the fountain and some other light shows around Point State Park.  There’s still construction going on down there, but at least the fountain will be on again, I for one have really missed it.

There’s a cool nonprofit over here on the Northside, Artists Image Resources.  Founded in 1997, this 10,000 square foot facility teaches intaglio (etching), lithography, screen-printing shops, a digital imaging lab, exhibition and archival spaces.  Founded by Ian Short and Robert Beckman they’ve taught and learned from hundreds of artists, teachers and students.  Worth checking out.

Lastly, LMS Greenhouse and Nursery out by Hartwood Acres is hosting their second fairy gardening class next Saturday (June 8) at 10:30 am.  A fairy garden is a miniature garden in a container that uses plants that are naturally of a small scale and props of small buildings, furniture, accents and of course fairies.  The art form started in Japan in the 1800’s and was first seen in America at the Chicago Worlds Fair in 1893.  The cost of the class is $40 and you get a container, soil, three plants and instructions.  LMS has other fairy products for purchase as well.  Yard supervisor Jane Getsey will be teaching the class and reservation are required.  You can make them by calling 412-767-7020 or by e-mailing Jane at jgetsey@lmsgreenhouse.com.  More info general info at their web site.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, we’ll talk again soon,


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