Today is the anniversary of the first formal cremation in America, 1972 (I’m not sure why I’m listing this one).  It is also the anniversary of the founding of the Petrified Forest National Park in 1962.

The National Aviary was just accredited by the Washington based Association of Zoos and Aquariums for another five years, they have been accredited for the past twenty-five years.  Only 221 of the 2,500 organizations hold government permits to display wild animals hold this esteemed accreditation.  The AZA checks things like veterinary services, animal care, educational programs and conservation services.  They also check their books to ensure the organization has the funds to care for their animals.  Good Job National Aviary.  But, they seem to have a new web site that takes awhile to load, I hate web sites that are so cute and flashy and waste your time trying to view it.  ):

Don Blankenship is retiring from Massey Energy, the company guilty of having more violations of the Mine Safety Act than any other mining company (I’m not sure of the title of the group that inspects mines).  They have repeatedly at all (or maybe it has been just most) stonewalled and delayed every attempt by the inspectors to insure there’s a safe environment for the employees to go under ground and remove the coal. Not to mention 29 coal miners that lost their lives to this greedy money tops everything company.  They are also notorious for their disregard for the environment.  He’s at least being “encouraged” to retire by Massey’s board.  What does he get?  Two years of health care & $5,000 a month consulting job, $2 million on December 31 and another $10 million on July 1.  This doesn’t include undetermined performance awards.  OMG, to put it crassly, maybe I’ll murder 29 people and a multimillion dollar reward.

The Penn Hills volunteer fire department is having a train display in their hall.  There’s several trains traveling around a recreation of Mr Roger’s Neighborhood, other towns, farms, etc common to train displays, but what’s pretty unique here is this FIRE DEPARTMENT has a burning house with miniature fire fighters battling it.  🙂  The Station is at the corner of Center Avenue and Sixth Street.  Their is no “official” fee, they are asking for a donation to help support them acquire equipment.  It’s open Saturdays and Sundays 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. and then 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and runs through January 4.  Lets support our fire fighters and see a burning house in a fire house.

There’s a local couple making artistic Mexican sauces.  Luis & Joanne Guerrero of Point Breeze are hand crafting sauces inspired by Luis’s hometown of Leon  in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.  They have demonstrations at Whole Foods and other local markets.  Information on their company Guapo Sauce and products can be seen by clicking this link.

The Pittsburgh Public Market has recently opened in the Terminal Building and I finally made it on Sunday to see it.  I highly recommend it.  It’s only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, hopefully if the crowd I saw on a Sunday is any indication of business levels, they will open more days.  It’s all small local purveyors, a great find is Gosia’s Pierogies has a storefront there.  They’re the Latrobe company that’s owned and operated by deaf people.  Jay, from Catered Elegance , uses their pierogies in his panko breaded and fried pierogie appetizers, one of the few fried foods I indulge in.  Also, the East End Brewery, a very cool local micro brewery has a presence there.

Finally, Myra seems to be making great progress with writing the web site for her new Inn.  She seemed to be having a rough time getting started (which is common), but she’s really going gang busters now.  Hopefully we’ll be able to have a first final draft sometime around the holidays.  We will both be going to the North East Bed and Breakfast Convention in the spring, the convention’s close to The Stone Manse, so I’ll have an opportunity to see her progress.



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