Tomorrow is the anniversary of Lewis and Clark reaching the Pacific Ocean (1805), it is the anniversary of the very colorful Louis Riel‘s hanging (1885), the anniversary of Saint Eustatius, West Indies first salute to the American Flag by a foreign government (1776) and it is the birth anniversary of blues man William Handy (1873).

I like to view myself as a reasonable man.  I am a preservationist and environmentalist, within reason.  Generally speaking, I’m against dams.  I think we artificially alter nature and frequently pay a high cost when Mother Nature responds.  I like seeing the state removing old dams because they are structurally deficient returning moving bodies of water back to their natural courses.  When it comes to dams and locks on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio, we do need them for flood control and river traffic.   Why not turn them over to private businesses?  They are in terrible condition and seem to have an eminent threat of failure.  Turn them over (or sell them) to one of the energy companies.  They can rebuild them to generate electricity and collect the fees charged for going through the locks.  There’s green power potential just sitting there and I would imagine a power company could figure out a way to amortize the cost of construction and make it work.

NPR had a ditty on non-profits.  One example of a non profit they gave was the American Bureau of Shipping.  Of the $600M in profit they generated, they compensated their CEO $20M, invested $60M in hedge funds over seven years.  When MPR questioned ABS, they said they did nothing illegal and that America has a more favorable tax climate than most other countries.  The MBA recently changed their status from a non profit to a for profit company.  The NFL (who pays their commissioner $11 1/2M)  and NHA are both still non profit.  They estimate we loose $10B a year in potential taxes because of these companies hiding behind non profit status (like UPMC).  To hear the segment, just click on the NPR hyperlink at the beginning of this paragraph.

Also, from NPR, the Swedes built trash to electricity plants around their country several years ago.  The have started a green campaign that has been so successful that they are now importing trash from neighboring countries!  🙂

Dan Brown, the owner of Loggerhead Tools in in a battle with Sears.  He invented and patented the Bionic Wrench out of Illinois.  Because of the volume expected, he hired Penn United Technologies in Jefferson, Butler County to produce the wrenches.  They sold 250,000 through Sears last year.  Sears started dragging their feet this past spring about placing their Christmas order.  Penn Technologies couldn’t wait and so started new production runs assuming is was just bureaucracy.    Sears made some cosmetic changes, had the wrench made in China under their brand name Craftsman Max Axess.  Dan’s suing them for patent infringement, expects to win that battle, but loose the war to a cheaper import by one of our soulless companies.

Westmoreland Museum of American Art has come up with an innovative idea to maintain their collection.  You can “adopt” a painting in need of repair.  They have all price ranges, depending on the severity  of the damage.  In turn, you get a plaque next to the picture and free admission for a year.  WMAA is doing a $15M expansion/renovation, but is still open.  More info on their web site or by calling 724.837.1500.

Which reminds me.  I recently learned that frequently, computers don’t recognize how I present phone numbers.  If you use a dot instead of a dash, some programs see that as blank space.  Hmmm.

Don’t forget it’s Light Up Night this weekend.  Tons of activities.  In addition to lighting the tradition trees outside the City/County building and in the ice skating rink at PPG Place, there’s odd one in Market Square.  Fireworks Friday night, the life sized creche at Steel Plaza, the annual gingerbread contest in in PPG’s windows and new this year will be the Winter Garden in Market Square with vendors in Chalet looking booths.  I haven’t seen it yet, but have talked to people who saw them being erected say they were pretty cute.  In fact, I heard Allegheny West was having trouble finding vendors for their holiday shop this year for their annual Victorian house tour December 7 & 8.  Go to Light Up Nights web site for schedules of events and AW’s web site if interested in their house tour.

There’s a free exhibit at the Box Heart Gallery through November 24.  Minimally Charged: Drawings and Paintings by Jackie Hoysted takes a different view on the human body.  For example, Thoughtful explores the difference between nudity versus nakedness.  Jackie strives to highlight the person/emotion more than the traditional emphasis on the body.  Box Heart is at 4523 Liberty Avenue in Bloomfield.  More info at their web site or by calling 412.687.8858.  (I gotta quit using dots) 🙂

I like Halloween, I love Day of the Dead.  I really enjoy the artwork associated with Dia de los Muertos and the overall concept of this Mexican holiday.  My friend Kerry that owns KS Kennedy Floral has relatively recently gotten into the Day of the Dead as well and gave me this really cute Catrina:

Well, that’s about it for today, have a great one,



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