First of all Happy Valentine’s Day!  Tomorrow is Remember the Maine Day (ship blown up while at anchor in Havana Harbor 1898 starting the Spanish American War), it is Lupercalia (the anniversary of ancient Roman fertility festival) and the withdrawal of the Soviet troops in Afghanistan (1989).  Birth anniversaries include actor John Barrymore (1882), Anton Cermak (the mayor of Chicago who took the bullet meant to assassinate President Elect Franklin Roosevelt in Miami (1933) and inventor of the reaper Cyrus McCormick (1809).

The gorgeous stained glass windows Joedda installed in Chenille and Oleander were not supported correctly.  They were just the stained glass and the lead supports.  Which weren’t strong enough to support the weight of the stained glass and lead.  So I sent Oleander’s out to be rebuild and put in a proper frame so they survive.  They were bulging all over the place and ready to fall apart.  Here’s a picture of Oleander’s windows:


After sending Chenille’s stained glass windows out to be rebuilt I got them backabout 2 weeks ago.  I had to prime and paint the exterior facing wood and stain and polyurethane the inside.  Here’s a picture of the new windows I had installed the past fall (more on that next).  These are the stationary windows that are double pained with e-gas and reflective tinting for efficiency:


Here’s a picture of the repaired stained glass windows installed over the new exterior windows:


And here’s a close up of the stained glass in the new frame:


The fall window project seems to be paying off. My December 2014 gas bill was $1,300 and this past December it was $300 (granted this December was much warmer than last). Both January’s had similar temeratures and the 2015 gas bill was $1,450 and this January it was $750. 🙂 Big smile. I’m closing in on almost 100 windows replaced.

So UPMC is planning to build a new hospital in Jefferson Hills across from Allegheny Hospital’s Jefferson hospital which sits six miles from McKeesport.  I guess that’s the death toll for UPMC’s less profitable McKeesport hospital.  They are being even more aggressive than when they closed the less profitable Braddock hospital and then built a new one basically  across the street from Allegheny Hospital’s Forbes regional hospital something like two miles away.  Braddock and McKeesport are both economically challenge neighborhoods, Monroeville and Jefferson Hills are both economically well to do neighborhoods.  I guess prejudiced is what warrants Jeffrey Romoff’s $6.4 MILLION dollar bonus.  He needs that to afford his home that occupies a full floor in the US Steel building.  Not that he personally pays for it, I assume it’s part of his “compensation” package by getting a floor in the building UPMC basically rents most of.

I recenetlhy hosted a visit by artist Michael Sirvet, who set up a show at James Galleries in the West End.  Michael has very vibrant pieces, he’s not afraid of color.  🙂  He creates restructuralist sculpture using various materials.

The Northside Chronicle had a feature story on St. Anthony’s Chapel up on Troy Hill.  St Anthony’s has the largest collection of relics outside the Vatican!  They are authenticated by the Vatican.  They were mainly collected by a a Belgian-born noble/physician turned priest Suitbert Godfrey Mollinger.  He traveled Europe during war times collecting these relics.  It’s quite impressive.  The chapel is generally open from 1 – 4 with formal tours generally starting around 1:30 Saturdays through Thursdays.

TVs are getting harder and harder to recycle responsibly. eLoop the major electronics recycler no longer accepts them, nor does Goodwill, Salvation Army or Best Buy. Evolution E-Cycling on the South Side does accept TVs, but for a price between $10 – $60.

After moving to the Northside ten years ago, The Northside Chronicle finally is running an article on me, The Tribune Review has had two stories on The Parador and the Post Gazette has never run a story on me.  Follow the link to the on line version, the print version will be out in next month’s print version.  Thank you Neil.

There’s an amazing show at Photo Antiquities over on East Ohio Street,  Chris Togneri did a great article on them in The Trib.  There’s still a lot of power in good photography.  When I was in the army in Munich, I ended up going to Dachau several times and the thing that still sticks with me is a photograph of a well dress boy about 8 years old and he’s standing in the cold, well dressed and the rest of the image was Nazis and the only thing you could see of them was their jack boots and knees.  The confusion and fear in his face obviously left a lasting impression on me.  Photographer Ed Salamony of the former Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, who passed away in1999, went over to Bernies Photo for some equipment to develop some pictures he took during the Great Depression.  He ended up giving the negatives to Bernies for their collection.  What curator Frank Watters is trying to show, is even in extreme poverty and hopelessness you can have dignity.  Very interesting and well written article in the trib an very powerful images at Bernies.

A couple of years ago, The History Center purchased the Dietrich Building behind it.  They use it for storage and that’s where they refurbish pieces. Sections of it are now open to the public.  It’s included in the admission price.

At the PABBI conference I signed up with a new credit card processor, and Tom Weiskotten was right, his rates are noticeably lower than I was paying previously to Heartland.  I also signed up for a new on line reservation system Think Reservations.  And didn’t want to roll out the new system while I was busy.  We scheduled to do it in February and it went live last week.  My previous system Webervations was so outdated and unresponsive (the staff).  Taking a reservation was so cumbersome between getting the credit info securely and transferring all the personal information into my data base took a lot of time.  And people were always getting confused because the system could not automatically include the specials or other discounts.  There’s now codes you put in and it automatically gives the appropriate discount.  And it knows how to tell the three week days it takes to qualify for the Caribbean Freedom Special.  It automatically sends the reservation confirmation.  Richard programmed the system so that with one click I can easily print the welcome letters instead of going back and forth between different programs.  The system also automatically takes a one day deposit.  If you are a cash customer (Michelle 🙂 ), or one of my regular business travelers, call me for the secret promo codes (Liz & Jim for example).

That’s it for today, keep warm, its supposed to go back up close to 50 towards the end of the week,



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