Hi,

Is the anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburgh (1863), the 150th anniversary of the IRS (1862), Princess Di’s birth anniversary (1961), the first photograph used in a newspaper (a man only known as Thubault took pictures of the Parisian riots of 1848), the first US postage stamps (1847), the first US Zoo (1874 Philadelphia), Mammoth Cave National Park was founded (1941), Medicare’s anniversary (1968) and zip codes were inaugurated (1963).

It’s been a fairly hectic week.  I let my new housekeeper go.  Since starting, I’ve had problems getting him to finish jobs.  I had him clean the deck and then I had to wind up the hose after he left, I had him wash and clean the truck, he didn’t clean the windows, I repeatedly pointed out that he wouldn’t have the bed spreads even and level (one side longer than the other or it wasn’t an even length to the floor along one side).   His last shift, he mopped around the dog’s beds, didn’t oil the grill after cleaning it, didn’t clean the edges around it and and at one point when I came in, he was just rinsing glassware from a guest room instead of using hot soapy water.  After he left, I found the two glasses he was rinsing out in the drainer, but the other dirty dishes were still in the sink.  So when he came in the other day, I sat him down and told him I thought I was going to have to let him go.  I wasn’t set on canning him, but obviously the possibility was there.  I wanted to see how he would react.  He said “I have been working slow trying to get more hours and because of that he wasn’t ‘in the zone'”.  #1 he admitted he was milking the job.  #2 he said because he was working slow, he couldn’t focus on details.  Seems to me that should cause the opposite.  Anyway, he’s no longer here and I’ve been the second housekeeper.  Marsha starts Monday.  :)

Sometimes I feel the opposite of Ziggy, totally “picked on”.  We’ll leave computers and my steep learning curve on them (not to mention two hours by me and four by a computer tech to install a new WiFi compatible printer) out of this conversation.  I found a tumbler I liked by Arco Roc, a nice six ounce is perfect for a bathroom.  They’ve discontinued it, the ones I’ve been using for the past couple of years are eight ounces.  When I was open in Florida, my starter course was homemade bread, fresh fruit, coffee/tea and orange juice.  My first winter up here, serving fresh fruit was out of the question.  So I started serving parfaits made of low fat vanilla yogurt, granola and diced fresh fruit.  In the winter, I could count on pears, apples, etc.  I bought a case of Libbey 5112 parfait glasses and they’ve lasted five years.  I have my 25 on the shelf in the Pantry and I’m down to one left in the case in the basement.  So I went to Penn Fixture first to order another case and they said Libbey no longer makes them.  I went to Restaurant Depot, they even sent me a copy of Libbey’s e-mail to them stating that they discontinued parfait glasses in 2009.  These iconic footed glasses have been around longer than I’ve been in hospitality.  Libbey was the only one to make them.  There is nothing out there that has the same appearance.  So I’m back to using e-Bay to stock up.

Rain Barrels on Parade is a project to increase awareness of keeping rainwater out of our storm and sewer water systems.  Ten local artsts have decorated a rain barrel making it a piece of art and they are scattered around the city in places like the Children’s Museum, Schenley Plaza and the US Steel Plaza lobby.  They are planning on auctioning these rain barrels off at the end of the summer as a fund raiser.  This project is being coordinated with the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association and the Clean Rivers Campaign.  They are trying to tie this in with ALCOSAN’s consent decree with the DEP to clean up our waterways by shifting some of the focus from infrastructure to more sustainable living choices.

How about the Elon Musk?  He’s the guy behind the guy behind the Eagle rocket that hooked up with the space station last month, he’s also the guy behind Tesla Motors, the makers of luxury electric vehicles.  They are built on a lotus chassis, 265 miles to a charge and he’s sold 2,300 of them at $109,000 a clip.  He’s the founder of paypal and sold it to E-bay for a healthy profit.  Instead of retiring into obscurity like so many of his other high tech pioneers, he’s decided to challenge himself.  Pretty cool.

Regatta entertainment on Point State Park’s Main Stage includes Sunday, Kiger Band (classic country and rock) 12:45 pm, Bishop Clay Band (alternative rock) at 2 pm,  Abbamania (ABBA tribute band) 8 p.m.  All four nights the Point Skate Park will be open from noon until 9 pm, this is ice skating on an artificial ice rink.  Sandcastle’s sand sculpture competition starts Sunday, they make some massive creations in Point State Park.  Live music at the Main Stage on Tuesday will include Delaney (rock n roll) at noon, Jamie Bruno (Pittsburgh’s own country and western performer) at 2:45 pm and Verna’s Steel Drum band  5:40 and 6:30 pm and Ernie Fields at 8 pm.  Each day at 9:30 will feature Lasertainment on the Main Stage.  On Tuesday, live music on the Main Stage will be Nomad at noon, Jamie Bruno at 2:50, Music From Another Room at 4:30 and the Beach Party Boys tribute band at 8 pm.  Live music on the Main Stage on Tuesday will include From Another Room at noon, Verna’s Steel Drum Band at 2:1 and 4:10, Bishop Clay will be back at 6 pm and the Air National Guard Band at 8:15.  Across the river at River’s Casino’s Amphitheatre America will play at 8 pm.

River activities on Sunday include the P-1 Superstock Powerboat Racing on the Allegheny Time Trials at 2 pm, Qualifiers at 4 pm and Finals at 7 pm.  On Monday P-1 Superstock Powerboat Racing will feature for the first time v-hulled, dual engine offshore boats on the Allegheny with Time Trials again at 4 pm, Qualifiers at 5 pm and Finals at 7:05.  Tuesday’s water line up include a free tour of a Titanic life boat from 9 am until 2 on the Northshore, Beaverland Must Skis precision skiing on the Allegheny at 3:30, 5:30 and 8 pm.  Not on the water, but bikester Mike Steidley will perform radical bike maneuvers in Point State Park at 5:30 and 7 pm.  And Salute to Speed Powerboat Superleague North American Championships on the Allegheny with Time Trials at 4 pm, Qualifiers at 5 pm and Finals at 7:05.  Finally on Wednesday is the famous Anything That Floats on the Allegheny starting at 10 am.  Beaverland Must Skis will be back with shows at 1:30, 3:30, 6, 8 pm.  The Dragon Boat Races  will be on the Allegheny at 8 pm.  Mike Streidley also is giving more performances at 3, 4:30, 6 and 7:30 pm.  The Salute to Speed P-2 Powerboat Superleague North American Championships  will compete with muscles unleashed on the Allegheny with Time Trials at 2 pm, Qualifiers at 4:30 and Finals at 7.  The the wrap up will be Flashes of Freedom Fireworks Fantasia at the Golden Triangle starting at 9:35.

Have a great and safe fourth of July,

ed

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