Hi,

Tomorrow has lots of anniversaries like when the Bar Code system was introduced (1974), the Federal Credit Union Act (1934), the human genome was mapped (200), the Saint Lawrence Seaway was opened (1959), the pardoning of three of the men convicted in Chicago’s Haymarket Riot by the Illinois governor and the United Nations charter was signed (1945).  Birth anniversaries include author Pearl Buck (1892), Union Civil War officer (and for awhile was credited with inventing baseball) Abner Doubleday (1819) and Revolutionary War leader Arthur Middleton (1742).

Honest, I had a post last Saturday.  But when I went into WordPress today, it showed up as a draft and I thought I had a double copy and deleted it.  Damn, I hate putting all that work into a post and then losing it on my own fault.

Why do guests want to know where I live?  I think it’s a legitimate question if I live on-site, but the exact location I find irksome.  A lot of people ask if I live on-site and I always say yes and drop it.  Sometimes guests get persistent about where.  What, are you going to stop by later and ask me out for a glass of wine?  :)  What difference does it make?  It’s just one of those little things that I find annoying.

I had 21 guests for the Kenny Chesney concert and then a wedding for a neighbor’s son on Sunday.  Quite a challenging weekend, but all went well.   There were 55K people in the stadium for the concert and they estimate as high as an additional 30K where here just to party.  That kept the police a little busy with 73 arrests and they had to respond to 10 large fights.  When you consider the number of people (many who have been consuming alcohol since the morning), I don’t think the negative stats are too bad.  I did at one point walk outside the front of my Inn and found three young guys standing right inside the fence separating my parking lot from the sidewalk, which in and of itself wasn’t too strange, but I had “a feeling” and when I started walking towards them, a fourth came out of the back of my lot.  When I approached, they discretely, but quickly walked down the sidewalk away from me.  I figured he was using my lot as a toilet, but didn’t find any wet spots.  So my assumption was he was trying door handles to see if the cars were locked and would steal anything they could get there hands on.  I hate thieves as much as liars.

Anyway, on July 18, the Balmoral School of Piping and Drumming is hosting an instructor’s recital at the Shady Side Academy’s Hillman Center.  It’s a pretty cool organization I support yearly with a gift certificate.

Camp Erin, founded by professional baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer and his wife offers a yearly camp to help kids cope with loss.  This year it was held at YMCA’s Camp Kon-O-Kwee in Butler county along the Conoquenessing Creek.  No cell phones, no TV, no electronics, what a great way to show kids besides how to cope with death of loved ones, but also that to be disconnected can be fun.  This last camp they had 103 kids that are encouraged to laugh, sing as well as cry.  The adult volunteers show kids it’s OK to grieve, that’s the best way to work loss out.  If you know a child that needs help coping with a loss, they start taking applications in December for the 2014 camp.  Camp Erin has expanded to 39 locations in the US and 2 in Canada.

Have you ever been on the USS Requin?  It’s on the river right next to the Carnegie Science Center and I have always been fascinated with it.  I’m not overly claustrophobic, but I do get the willies going in it and thinking of being confined on it for months on end when it was in service.  The Carnegie has started guided tours on select Sundays, one of the guides actually served on the Requin in the 60′s.  To have an “inside” tour of the submarine would be like having an inside tour of The Parador getting all the little details you could miss on your own.  The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non members.  Reservations are required.

The gift that keeps giving, P.W.S.A.  The state oversight committee trying to work with the city (and in this instance the county) has been insisting the city pick up a computer software package the county is using so the systems can integrate and be more efficient and save money.  I think this has been an issue for almost five years now.  Instead of getting the same system so everyone can talk together, the water authority bought their own system that doesn’t have the ability to communicate with the city or the county.  After spending $2.7M on the system (and it’s still not fully operational) three years ago, they say it would cost and additional $2M to make it able to communicate with the city.  We really should get rid of all these authorities.  They are by nature, independent.  But when you see the stupidity and ineptness, there’s nothing much you can do.  You certainly can’t vote them out of office.   The water authority has a special place in my heart after costing me $42K pre-opening to separate the domestic and the sprinkler system waters (LONG story here).  Although the stadium authority did stand up to the Steelers about paying for the additional seats the Steelers want added and other amenities, they basically let the sports teams have complete control of developing public lands around the stadiums at bargain basement prices.  It wasn’t until the gentleman that owns Alco Parking made a realistic offer for the Northshore properties that the stadium authority finally made the Steelers pay a price that was discounted, not just robbery.  The other authority that needs disbanded is Port Authority.  During the initial pre-construction phase of the Northshore connector, then director Steve Bland was asked if he would put additional cars on when the Steelers have home games.  He said “No, that would involve overtime”.  OMG, 65K people going to a game and he wasn’t planning on adding additional cars.  He quickly changed that story.  Most recently, our county executive nominated an ex-turnpike official that ended up getting indicted for theft and corruption.  I’m sure Councilman Ricky Burgess has the best of intentions, but he’s proposing creating a new authority to make up a land bank for abandoned properties predominately in the Homewood Brushton sections of the city.  We already have a Urban Redevelopment Authority, why do we need another urban redevelopment group?  The sky is blue, it’s hot and humid, but a nice breeze.  See, I’m not all negative.  :)

I don’t know how much you watch our waterways, but Campbell Transportation Company is a pretty big local company that does a lot of barge movement on the rivers.  This privately held company out of Houston, PA has been around over 50 years has expanded into building tugboats.  They are christening their two new boats, the Renee Lynn and Alice Jean on Tuesday at a private (but very large group of invited guests) here on the Northshore.  I like seeing local companies grow.

The Three Rivers Regatta is this coming Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Besides all the boats, boat races and food vendors, a big attraction is Sandsational Sand Sculpting‘s of 160 tons of sand into America’s Pioneering Spirit.  The sneak picture in today’s paper looks pretty impressive.  Better than my weak sandcastles I used to make on the beach. :)

Well, that’s it for today, have a great day and enjoy this hot, but sunny and nice weather,

ed

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