Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Auschwitz being liberated (1945), Apollow I fire where Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee all perished in the fire (1967), Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart birth anniversary (1756), Vietnam Peace Agreement (1973) and Thomas Crapper’s death anniversary (1910) although indoor plumbing had been around for a hundred years, he perfected it to the point that he had patents placed on different parts.

I’m not an attorney or elected official, but I like to think I have common sense.  Senator Jane Orie’s corruption case has been the best thing in the news for close to two years now.  It’s one thing after another.  The latest is she sent letters to her constituents seeking volunteers to speak as character witnesses.  If I was going to trial and needed character witnesses, I think I would know who likes me and would say something nice about me.  I may even think this out a little further and seek people that know me professionally vs personally vs intellectually vs whatever.  But a blanket letter asking for volunteers I fine hysterical (and a bit sad).  I wonder if she had state paid employees work on this.  :)

We are on another list.  US News and World Reports listed Pittsburgh in the top ten places to retire (#7 by the way).  Criteria listed as affordable housing, health care, higher education, arts and entertainment as well as free transportation, if your over 65 and Port Authority’s still operating.  :)

Did you know that Ron Johnson is a fan of my blog?  Whose Ron Johnson?  Hey, hey, hey.  He’s the former Apple executive that now runs JC Penney’s.  He’s streamlining their pricing structure and over all reducing prices by 40%.  Instead of having inflated daily prices to cover deep discounts at their never ending THE BEST SALE EVER, they are going to have decent prices on a regular basis with targeted sales like for closeouts, seasonals, etc.  They may actually get me to go in there.  If I’m going to an event and need a shirt, I go out and buy a shirt.  I don’t watch for months for who’s having this sale or that.

Bottom Dollar’s hitting da ‘burg in a big way.  Six opened today and three more next month.  I hear they are considering up to fifteen more within the next year.  Watch out you nasty Giant Eagle.  They are somewhat of a no frills place, they don’t have a pharmacy, dry cleaners, bakery and some other specialty functions.  But supposedly they have some of the best prices on brand name items and their personal label’s are 10% – 50% below brand names.  Supposedly they will carry the brand names as well as their named items.  I don’t know how many times I’ve gone into Giant Eagle and the only item available is their private label.  I will never forget those sleazy SOB’s threatening Schweppes that if they didn’t with draw their bid for Le Nature’s bottling plant, Giant Eagle would never carry their beverages.  AND they got caught.  :)  They do carry a few items I can’t find elsewhere, but that list is now down to just one, poppy seeds.

Starting today, the airlines can no longer do that bait and switch kind of pricing.  Oh, you wanted a seat with the $9 air fare?  That will be $200 more.  :)  When they advertise prices, they have to show the total cost.  Now be careful here, the new rules regulate mandatory fees like airfare, taxes, etc.  Not included are things like charges for infants, pets, baggage, etc.  But I find it a good start so that now we can easily compare apples to apples when planning a flight.  Other new rules that have taken effect are the airlines can not increase the price once you bought the ticket (I didn’t know they could do that), let you hold a reservation for twenty-four hours and still let you cancel it within that twenty-four with no charge (not so for short term bookings, which is fair), require airlines to disclose baggage fees when you book and airlines are now required to give prompt notifications of flight cancellations and delays.  Overall, I think we did pretty good today.

Fresh Market, and upscale grocery store headquartered out of North Carolina got the preliminary approval from Mt Lebo to tear down the old Roth Carpet on Connor Road right of Washington Road across from the Mt Lebanon Galleria.  Because Washington Road is a state road, PennDOT has to approve the entrances.  Once that is OK’d, they take the final plans to Mt Lebanon and hope to start construction early 2013.  This will add to the Uncommon Market on the top of the hill by the Village, the new Trader Joe’s in Upper Saint Claire and the proposed Whole Foods across from the Village where Consol Energy used to have their headquarters.

A huge item this past holiday season was e-book readers.  All toll, Pew Research estimates that 29% of Americans have an e-reader of some sort.  That’s a lot of novices out there and e-books can be for a totally untechnoligically savvy group (me included).  So where to we floundering e-book novices go for help?  Did you notice a key clue in the past couple of sentences?  Book!  Where do you go for book knowledge?  A library.  Mt Lebanon, a year ago started classes to assist patrons get the mastery of their e-readers with instructions as simple as “Here’s the on switch”, to how to download books and the actual functions of the e-reader.  They started with two or three a week and now seem to have classes most days.  Not be left in the wake, the Carnegies are starting similar assistance programs.  The Carnegies currently have 30,000 e-books available and hope to add an additional 13,000 this year.

Inside scope here guys, they’re starting a new exhibit at The Warhol next week.  It’s focus is on cars and did you know Andy hand painted a BMW?  Yeps, he did and it’s going to be on display in the lobby.  But the problem is it won’t fit through the normal loading doors.  They have to take one of those huge plate class windows out next week and bring the BMW in through there.  I don’t know which day they are planning on doing this, Judy if you read this and want to make a comment, feel free.  :)  I love Judy, she’s in charge of corporate memberships and she is absolutely the best thing the Carnegies got since the dinosaurs.  :)

The Convention Center is hosting the World of Wheels starting tomorrow.  Friday from 3 – 10 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.  Appropriate entertainment will feature BMX Extreme Stunt Shows throughout the weekend, appearances by WWE wrestler Rey Mysterio, Deena Nicole from Jersey Shore and TV reality show host Billy the Exterminator (I don’t know any of them).  :)  Two award winning Pittsburgh car enthusiasts will have their vehicles on display.  Gerry Lerma woth her 1962 Chevy II “Runt” and Michael Tarquinion’s 1932 Ford “Second Wind”.  More info at their web site.

Well, have a great night,

ed

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