Hi,

Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day.  Originally set up in 1919 as Armistice Day to commemorate the soldiers on both sides of World War I that lost their lives fighting for their countries.  Be sure to say Thank you to any Vets you know.  It’s the anniversary of the Anglican Church’s first permitting women priests (1992), Irving Berlin’s God Bless America’s first performance (1938), independence anniversaries include Angola (1975), Maldives (1968), Poland (1918) and Washington was admitted to the Union (1889).  Birth anniversaries include Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821), General George S Patton (1885), the last Italian king Emmanuel Victor (1869) and American novelist Kurt Vonnegut (1922).

The Evil Empire Buncher group strikes again.  They sent a letter to City Council that if they don’t get there way and be allowed to tear down 1/3 of the Terminal Building, the project won’t go forward and harm will be caused to so many people counting on the project.  They also say that no other developer would consider the project without approval to tear down 1/3 of the Terminal Building.  If I understand things correctly, Buncher OWNS the 200 acre parcel behind the Terminal Building and they have an option from the URA on the Terminal Building.  #1, let me get this clear, they own 200 acres of extremely valuable vacant land next to a major river (Allegheny) and within walking distance Downtown and the Strip and they are going to walk away from the project?  Really!  I  guess the mayor of Toronto isn’t the only one smoking crack.

I’ve been seriously trying to quit smoking for over four years now.  I’ve been on Chantix four times and it works for awhile and the next thing you know, I’m smoking occasionally and then regularly.  I don’t think being on Chantix full time would be healthy either.  :)  (I had those nasty nightmares the first time I was on Chantix and took it by their dosage of once in the morning and once in the evening.  But anytime I would only take it once a day, I had no problems).  So I decided to try those E-cigarettes.  I opted for V2 and that seems to be working fine for me.  In case you aren’t aware, E-cigarettes look like a cigarette with a rechargeable lithium battery where the tobacco would normally be and a cartridge where the filter would be.  The cartridges contain nicotine, but none of the tar or carcinogens associated with regular cigarettes.  My lithium batteries are not holding the charge for long, so I went to their website to order two replacements (I thought).  While on their website I clicked on the Icon that says Batteries, three images popped up showing two batteries in each.  I chose which one I wanted and then clicked Buy Now and the next screen popped up, again showing two batteries and I made my purchase.  One arrived today and I thought they had just mispackaged them, so I called them.  When I spoke with their customer service rep, he explained that the reason they show two batteries is there’s actually two models in each of the three pictures, a manual and an automatic version.  Even with him explaining this to me and me being at the website looking at the pictures, I had to squint to see the difference.  And there was no verbiage saying you’re buying one and we’re showing two for this reason.  I explained him that I thought I was buying the automatic, not the manual, but that’s not the point.  I thought I was getting two batteries.  Well he kept explaining to me why there was two pictures and how I could return the manual for an automatic.  I was obviously getting nowhere with him, so I told him good bye and went to the Contact Us section of their website and sent them an email explaining my concerns.  In less than an hour, they called me!  The lady I spoke with was so nice, I felt bad complaining.  I think she totally understood I wasn’t looking for something for free (which I believe the first guy thought), I was upset with my shopping experience.  I don’t think they ware deliberately deceiving their customers, it’s just that their website is misleading.  I explained how I run my Inn so everything is so totally clear, there’s no confusion when a guest arrives about what room they are going to be in, how long they are going to be here, what the charge is going to be, etc.  I think because I wasn’t screaming and hollering and politely explained my beef, she’s sending me a pack of cartridges.  What does a pack of cartridges actually cost them?  Going above and beyond, she has a loyal customer as long as I smoke E-cigarettes and they got a free link in my blog.  I love good customer service.

How about the Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto?  I wasn’t 100% behind him in the past.  As you know, I really hate that constant bickering in politics you see all the time and I saw him and our current ghost mayor at each other all the time (and other squabbles).  He held his election celebration event in Homewood.  He’s named cabinet and it includes two white males, a black male, a black female, a Hispanic female, an Oriental female and a white female.  All with some amazing credentials.  This may be too good to be true, but I’m really looking forward to see what he does.  And I don’t seem to be the only one that took notice.  VP Joe Biden called him to congratulate him.

What a great Veteran’s Day story.  Illinois native Stephanie Hare, living in England called the USO at O’Hare and told local USO volunteer John Colas that her fiance Pravin Rajan would be passing through with his fellow Marines on their way home from Afghanistan.  In just an hour and a few phone calls, John got 15 Chicago police officers and fireman to come to the airport who were joined by airport security and others to present a water salute the plane went through and then as the Marines got off the plane, they went through an honor guard of the uniformed police and fire fighters, as well as other airport staff.  Then, American Airlines has a policy of upgrading uniformed service members to first class whenever there are empty seats.  So seven of the Marines received upgrades and 6 first class guests gave up their seat for the remaining Marines so they could all sit together.  It didn’t take a lot of money, planning or resources.  Just effort and a little thinking outside the box.  It created memories for these heroes (flawed I’m sure as I am, but Americans that did the best they could) that will never forget.

To celebrate their 20th anniversary, the National Aviary has created an new exhibit, Canary’s Call.  It’s an educational exhibit that shows how the impact of man (and women) :) is affecting the environment.  Through over population, habitat loss, invasive species and over consumption we are having a real impact on so many species.  Add this to other diseases like the white nose bat syndrome our co-inhabitors of earth are really taking it in the shorts.  They have rehabbed the rhinoceros hornbill’s cage for this exhibit, they rhinoceros have been at the Aviary for awhile, but they have these amazing beaks that are topped with horns.  The Aviary has added the fruit eating Malayan flying foxes, which are bats (bats are technically mammals, but they fly and look like birds, so we’ll give the Aviary a free pass card here) and are about 16 inches long but have wing spans up to 6 feet.  Pretty amazing.  More information at their website or by calling 412-323-7235.  By the way, there are several National Aviaries, but Pittsburgh’s is the largest of them all.

Pittsburgh’s 53 annual Light Up Night‘s just around the corner (November 22).  They are expanding the event this year, it seems Smithfield Street will be closed to vehicular traffic.  The classic rock groups The Elliots and Totally 80s will perform from Mellon Square facing down to Smithfield for street dancing.  Gloria Gaynor will perform in front of Macy’s for the unveiling of Macy’s holiday windows.  They are also adding a laser effects and bubble machines.  Santa will light the holiday tree at Market Square at 5:45, the European Market opens again and has expanded and live Christmas carols will be song by Jeff Jimerson as well as other family friendly activities.  PPG’s ice rink opens that weekend and the free Fifth Avenue Holiday Trolley will also debut.  More details at their website.

I hope you’ve winterized your house, if not, you better get hoppin, it’s getting close.  :)

Happy Veteran’s Day,

ed

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