Hi,

Tomorrow is the anniversary of the first time napalm was used on a large scale on the Japanese in the Philippines (1945), To Kill a Mockingbird was first published (1960), Babe Ruth debuted in the Majors (1914) and the Burr-Hamilton Duel (1804).  Birth anniversaries include John Quincy Adams (1767) and author E.B. White (1899).

It’s happened again.  I don’t know what I do, but my fingers stumble on the keyboard and my entire post is erased.  VERY frustrating.  I never look at the keyboard when I type, so I have no idea what I keep doing.  This is the third time I had a post I was doing the final proof and lost it.  So here goes again:

I’m looking for help, not that kind, my shrink helps a lot.  :)  I have Dee and I love her and Kevin’s a great guy and a big help, he’s actually becoming quite the skilled house painter.  I’m letting him put the finish coat on now.  But I desperately need help running the Inn, business has been amazing and keeps growing.  What I’ve tried in the past (repeatedly) was going to Craig’s List and posting an ad for a housekeeper.  I give a very accurate in the job description, pay and hours.  I would get probably forty calls from it, set up maybe twenty meet and greets and be lucky if ten showed up (ONE called to cancel, once).  The slackers I had no problem getting rid of, the good ones it just wasn’t enough hours to keep them.  So I’m reaching out to you guys.  The housekeeping position I have always thought would be ideal for a stay at home mom or dad. Hours are from 11 am until 3 or 4 depending on the work load and I pay $10./hour.  I have come up with a second option, which probably would be better all around.  I’m thinking of hiring a working supervisor.  This could really free me to do Inn keeping things I really should be doing. The supervisor takes the phone and frees me from the constant phone calls.  He/she can take reservations, answer questions on the property, screen telemarketers, etc.  I have a log that I have always assigned tasks to my housekeeping staff, I can direct the supervisor’s daily duties there as well.  Obviously, cleaning would be a key responsibility.  Culinary duties would be big and most all tasks can be done between check-ins, etc.  Hours would be from around 2 until about 8 and pay would start at $15/hour.  If you know someone that might fit, have them call me at 412-231-4800.  There’s a free weekend in it for you if I hire him/her.  :)

Sunday will be the last day Goodwill will be accepting used TV’s.  They’ve reached their limit for volume this year.  They will still accept computers, printers and other electronics that they can refurbish.  I believe they were just safely removing toxic materials from the TV and then sending them to a dump.  E-Loop expects to be able to accept them through October before they reach their limit.  And don’t panic and take your old TV and pitch it over some hill (not that I think any of my readers would do that), just leave it in the basement until next year.

I’m not sure where I stand on this.  Point Park University is becoming quite the presence Downtown.  Generally speaking, I like what they’ve done with all the properties they’ve bought and they seem to have a bit of a stewardship mentality towards their developments.  But they want to demolish three buildings on Forbes that were built in 1910, 1911 and 1915.  The former Honus Wagner Sports Store is one of them and was originally the Royal Theater. They say they want to save and re-use much of the exterior and some of the interior architecturals in the  new building.  They are looking to relocate the Pittsburgh Playhouse from Oakland to the new building.  I think I’ll straddle the fence for now.

There’s a new addition to the Southside, Skybar.  AMPD Group owns Diesel on Carson Street and have opened their latest venue on it’s roof.  You need a membership to use the pool during the day ($300 per season and it entitles you to bring a guest) and then they put thick plastic over the lit pool so you can walk over it in the evening.  A full service bar (no well brands) and they will order food on request from one of their other venues down the street Local Bar + Kitchen for delivery.  Dramatic views of the City and Southside Slopes from the space.  Evening admission includes admission to Diesel.  This concept has been around for awhile in some cities like Miami and Las Vegas, this is the first of it’s kind in Pittsburgh.

Well, if you didn’t make it to Gettysburg for the anniversary festivities, there’s an exhibit right down the street from me at Photo Antiquities, 531 E Ohio Street (next to Bernie’s Photos).  Bruce has this HUGE photo collection of old photos his family has gathered over the years.  His current show highlights the works of Alexander Gardner, one of the employees of probably most noted photographer of the 19th century, Matthew Brady.  The photographs are more of a human interest theme than war and battles theme.  The vintage albumen photos really take you back in time. Hours are 10 am until 4 pm Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays and Tuesdays) through July 31.  More info at their website or by calling 412-231-7881.

Well it didn’t take them long, the Marcellus Oil companies have figured out that they can deduct “post-production costs”, transportation, compressing and handling the raw gas and oil.  (This came from a lawsuit they filed over this and the judge ruled in their favor).  Some people have been charged as much as $2.88 out of a $3.00 royalty.  The original contracts are all different, as the energy companies tried to gobble up as much leasing acres as they could.  So there’s a chance a property owner may have a leg to stand on to keep them from this practice.  This is currently a big item in the northern Pennsylvania counties, but trust me, it’s coming to Western PA before long.  If you or someone you know has signed with these companies, I would strongly recommend the services of a good attorney.  Even if the energy company has not started this practice, find out what exactly the lease says and how you can protect yourselves.

Accidents happen, I burnt the bacon one day last week.  No one was hurt.  That train that derailed in Lac-Megantic Canada also seems to have been an accident.  Someone got hurt, actually 15 dead at this point and around 25 missing.  I was filling a spray bottle of chemical cleaner we use here and some overflowed into the drain, I added to the pollution in our environment.  I Googled oils spills because I wanted to quote the Exxon pipeline oil spill into the Yellowstone River in Yellowstone Park for this post, the list under my second link in this paragraph really says a lot.  I keep hearing from the corporate spin ad agencies that rail transport of oil is soooo safe and that pipeline transport of oil is even safer.  Tell that to the poor souls in Lac-Megantic or the water life in Yellowstone River.  I’m OK with mistakes, I would possibly be OK with mistakes that seriously impact our environment, if I could trust corporations to do the right thing.  If Exxon had stepped up to the plate in the Prince William Sound spill caused by their drunk tanker driver in 1989, instead of spending the millions fighting their responsibilities and delaying any action, I may not be so hostile to the energy companies.  I think BP initially tried to step up to the plate.  Yes, they were wrong trying the cheap way, which is what all this is about.  If they used the best available technologies and were transparent about it, I really don’t think they would have half the flack they get.  You can never please everyone, but the anti-fracking movement isn’t going away.  Instead of hiring spin doctors for millions, just buy the right well heads and pipe casings.  Easy fix to me.


Quite the rain we’ve had the past 24 hours, I had to drive through Mt Lebanon last night around 7 pm and water was gushing a good foot out of most of the storm drains.  It’s late afternoon today and after a morning drenching, it looks like more’s on it’s way.  And for some reason, my retiree, Razor, seems to be all of a sudden scared of thunder.  He is attached to me during storms.  :)

Have a great one and don’t drive through large puddles in the road,

ed

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