Tomorrow is the anniversary of Poor Richard’s Almanack (1732), Iowa being admitted to the Union (1846), the enactment of The Endangered Species Act (1973), the Pledge of Allegiance was Recognized and encouraged to be recited in all public schools (1945) and tomorrow is The Cold Moon, a tradition amount Native Americans of the north east recognizing the full moon during the longest nights of the year (and shortest days, darn it).  ):

The NRA finally came out with a statement on the Sandy Hook tragedy.  They want to place armed guards in all schools in America!  Believe it or not, that totally leaves me speechless.  🙂

Most comments I receive on my posts, people send them directly to me.  This one is from a regular guest and obviously more knowledgeable than I.  So I’m including his unedited comments:

“As a retired police officer I’m in pretty much agreement with your views.

Where you propose buy-back I propose trade-in for a bolt action or lever action .30-.30 .30-.06 or.270 all of which is adequate for hunting anything in North America.

What gets me is the gun nuts who say they like to “plink” with an assault rifle.  Hello! you plink with a .22.  Probably the most practical approach is to limit the capacity of a clip with rigorous enforcement but the gun nuts would still have access to so many existing ones.”

There’s an art exhibit at the Artists Image Resource over here on the Northside at 518 Foreland Street.  The theme is creative printing using various textural, metallic elements and other resources.  Twenty-two artists (out of 150 applicants) from around the country have fifty works on display.  Troy Hill resident, Katie Kaplan,  is included through the “resident artists project” and has some quite detailed works.  A number of artists teach art a various colleges like Kay Campbell, a professor at Oregon State University.  Michael Hegedus has several works on display that have quite the depth that you don’t notice at first.  The exhibit was created by Nicholas Chambers, the new Milton Fine Curator of Art at The Warhol.  (Speaking of The Warhol, I saw the most interesting stat.  The Warhol Museum here on the Northside averages around 120,000 visitors per year.  They have a traveling show over in the Orient, scheduled over 26 months through various cities, it had an attendance of over 170,000 at it’s exhibition in Singapore).

There’s an interesting group that are a part of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, the Society of Tavern Seekers seek out historic businesses of libation around the city to re-discover their history.  Places they visited this year include The Original Oyster House (established 1870), the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (established 1908), Teutonia Mannerchor (established 1854), the Allegheny HYP Club that is in what was workers’ row housing Downtown (built in 1894), the Gandy Dancer Saloon in the Grand Concourse (Joshua Rhodes train station built at the turn of the century-the previous owner of the mansion that became The Parador Inn), Penn Brewery (founded in 1848) and the Omni William Penn’s famous Art Deco Urban Room ballroom on the 17th floor.  In the three years Tavern Seekers has grown and are always looking for  new members.

There’s all kinds of options for counting down to the New Year on December 31.  Possibly the most unique option is at the Crowne Plaza on Fort Couch Road in Bethel Park (across from South Hills Village).  They are hosting New Year’s Undead Eve presented by Horror Realm.  This zombie themed celebration from ten until midnight and costs $25 or $45 per couple.  Admission includes a nacho bar, snacks and a midnight champagne toast.  A cash bar will be available.  Although no dress code, they will be having a ghoul dress contest with prizes (think more in terms of glam and less of gore).  The Gateway Clipper fleet is offering several options.  They will be hosting several dinner cruises that will have you back on land by 8 pm and cost $50.  For those interested in a later night cruise option, there’s two.  A dancing and hors d’ oeuvres cruise will be departing at 8:30 for $70 (with a champagne toast and favors) and at the same time a dancing sans hors d’ oeuvres for $50 (with a  champagne toast and favors).  Both will have a cash bar available and you must be 21 to participate.  If you want to really swank it up a bit, at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, Pittsburgh Opera is offering a number of packages.  The high end black tie event starts at 6:30, runs $500 and includes VIP cocktail hour, dinner, the concert, party and valet parking.  Or for $350 arrive at 7:15 arrive for  dinner, the concert, party and valet parking starting at 7:15.  The final tiers starts at 9:15 and for $125 for the concert and party option or $75 for just the concert option, also arriving at 9:15.  More info on all events at their web sites.

Of course you can’t talk about New Years Eve without including Downtown’s First Night.  Parade, fireworks, jazz, magic, comedy, dance, theater and child centered activities are just the tip of the iceberg.  Their official schedule of events covers 80 events, surely you can find something to appeal to you in that.  So I’m not going to even try and cover highlights.  If you think you may be interested, please go to their web site.  The event is family friendly, but stronger libations are available throughout Downtown watering holes.

Roughly 1,000 years ago, the Normans conquered Britain and with the conquest, introduced cider to the English.  In England, what we refer to as hard cider is just called cider (do they not have non-alcoholic apple juice?  Maybe they just call it apple juice).  🙂  Cider has been popular over there forever, while we just dabble in it during the fall.  The raise in popularity of craft beer and wine combined with the fall in the mass produced main stream American beer market has caught some international companies attention.  The coveted young adult woman’s market seems to have a preference to cider and the fact that cider has a higher profit margin seems to foretell a boom in the near future of imported craft cider products.  Nielsen estimates 38% of cider drinkers are younger than 35, where as 17% beer drinkers are beer drinkers.  Also, 50% cider drinkers earn $70,000 versus 38% beer drinkers.  The past year alone, cider consumption jumped 75% over last year.

The Penguins Pond is open to the public over at Station Square.  This is at the new Highmark Stadium at the far west end of the complex where Pittsburgh’s pro soccer Riverhounds will call home next spring.  It is open 11 am until 5 pm Mondays through Thursdays, 3 pm until 11 pm Fridays and Saturdays and 3 pm until 7 pm Sundays.  It costs $7 to enter and I assume they will be renting skates as well.

A few months back I talked about Rusted Root and how they were working on a new album and they were financing it with local contributions by fans.  Well they are having their debut tonight at Mr. Smalls Theater in Millville tonight.  The album, The Movement, will have a lot of the tribal rhythms they are famous for and a lot of new sounds as well.  I really hate stupid people trying to make me do things.  As I’ve said in the past, other than adult orientated web sites (I get your mind out of the gutter, I’m talking about alcohol, nor porn) :), why do I have to “Click Here” to enter a web site I just spent time looking for?  Mr. Smalls has this stupid thing to enter their web site, you first have to either sign up for their mailing list or decline.  So I won’t place a hyperlink from my Blog to them.  If you want to go there, you’ll have to find it yourself.  🙂  You loose Mr. Smalls.

Well, it’s cold outside and I need to tidy up the front sidewalk before it gets trampled into ice. Lost a number of reservations this week due to the snow storm.  So I can be sloven for the next two days.  🙂  Take care,



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