The best news ever, we are officially 1/2 through the DJT nightmare.  And that is why he is making such a  spectacle over this boarder wall nonsense.  He’s already started his 2020 campaign and is appealing to his “base” that he’s a man of his word, I would say he’s neither.

I gave out some fake news last post, the gentleman with the lighting business on Liberty Avenue is Francis Norwalk, not Paul Norwalk.  I apologize, I hate being the bearer of fake news.

Real news, my friend Nicki finished my Day of the Dead pillows in Bougainvillea, they are so cute:

Day of the Dead pillows


I should figure out how to set up my camera, the camera on my iPhone is pretty cheesy.

I’m in a new book being released in March, Bas Van Oort is publishing “Het Wender Van Iowa” chronicling there bicycle trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific.  Bas is Dutch and so the book is in Dutch.  I told him if he ever has it translated into English to let me know.  He has a travel blog with thousands of followers and did a post dedicated to The Parador, when they were here.  He sent me a link to it, of course it was in Dutch, so I had a Google app translate it and he said very nice things about me and my Inn.

Big news on my guest room Bromeliad, it is moving and going to be my first first floor guest room and it will be wheel chair accessible.  I’m shooting for a debut later spring.  Pictures and details will follow as they are progress.

Darn I am already so over this cold, thankfully we basically just have about two more months of it.  Keep strong.  🙂



There are several groups now trying to clean up that massive garbage pit we humans have created in our oceans.  4ocean is a group that sells bracelets for $20 which is how they fund their clean up, not a bad price to pitch in.  These bracelets are made from trash 4ocean had pulled out of the oceans.  Another group trying to clean up specifically the huge swirling mass of plastics that covers an area the size of Texas in the Pacific above Hawaii is Ocean Clean Up and this group has deployed a system of floats that suspend netting that drops below the top of the ocean and scoops up the plastics.  Started in 2013, Boyan Slat wanted to start cleaning up that huge mess.  After a number of years planing and designing the system, it was launched this past fall and has run into some issues.  They’ve towed the system to Hawaii for repairs.  Hopefully he gets it up and running soon.  It gets depressing seeing your Commander in Tweet stand in the devastation of the Camp Fire (what an odd name for a forest fire) and deny climate change, it’s folks like 4Ocean and Boyan that give me hope that we aren’t doomed.  🙂

I’m taking down the holiday decorations and thought I’d share with you my rodent infestation, they are so cute:

Christmas mice


The crystal chandelier over the main dining room table is a Waterford crystal and I’ve been having problems with it.  First of all, the sockets are for European sized bulbs-a little difficult to find here in America.  So they have these sleeves I slip on the base of the bulb and then screw it in the socket.  There are three sockets that are permanently broken and two that periodically quit working.

Waterford Crystal


I got a name for a repair person from Erik at Lighting By Erik in Dormont  (whose’s going out of business) then I found out about Francis Norwalk in Bloomfield.  What a cool old guy, he’s in his 90’s and been doing chandelier and other lighting since he was in his twenties.  These are just a few of the chandeliers Fran has on the first floor, his better ones are upstairs, I can’t  imagine how impressive they must be.


Francis Norwalk crystal

And here’s on more picture with multiple chandeliers:

multiple crystal chandeliers

At 90+ Francis doesn’t have or want a website, but he is recognized in Google.  Basically he’s on Liberty going out from Downtown on the left in what looks like and old school house across from Paul’s Lumber right before the Bloomfield Bridge.  Paul’s lumber is an interesting place.

My friend Nicki was the one that found Kerry passed away, that is quite the heartbreaking story.  A friend told her she should make Memory Bears, she took clothes from Kerry’s house and made a couple like this:

memory bears

She’s selling them through her face book and has made like $600, someone gave her clothes from their parents and she made a boy bear and a girl bear for her.  Also from Kerry’s she found a bolt of Day of the Dead fabric and is making me some pillows from it.  The fabric’s very cool and I’m super excited between the new pillows and the Dia de Muertes items Javier & Sasha brought up for me from Cancun.  All going into Bougainvillea with the other ceramic frogs & gecko’s I brought up from Florida.

I got a Christmas card from Claire, Claire was my very first housekeeper and my good friend Dino’s mom.  She moved back to North or South Dakota (does it really matter if it’s north or south Dakota-both are cold as all heck).  🙂  And I never got her address.  Claire has a very special place in my heart and it is so nice to have her address and being in touch with her again.

That’s for today and Merry Christmas to you Orthodox Catholics,



I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas., I did. And if you are one of those that celebrate New Years Eve, please be responsible with drinking and driving.  Either a designated driver or one of the ride sharing companies need to be in your plans.  Besides not wanting one of my friends to get hurt or hurting someone else, the police will be out in full force (and rightly so)-so if you get busted shame on you.  That’s better than causing an accident.

This is my favorite holiday card this year is a Lab with icing and sprinkles on his nose (the puppy next is just adorable):

Cookie eating Lab


The greeting inside the card says “There will be no cookies this Christmas due to technical difficulties”.  Although the lab looks more like RJ with his American Standard looks than Rayezette with her English Lab looks, the potential for sampling cookies has her name all over it.  She would do that and look at me with a look, I’m really sorry dad, I couldn’t help myself.

Javier & Sasha were up for the Patriots game, this was their fourth visit, I believe.  Javier prefers to call to make his reservation than doing it on line.  At the end of our conversation, he always asks if there’s anything they can bring me from Cancun.  As always, I said thank you but I’m fine.  Later I thought they are coming up from Mexico the home of my beloved dia de Muertes, day of the dead, it is such a fun and colorful festival.  So where better could I get stuff for day of the dead, I called him back and said if they found a dia de Muertes item, I would love  it.  When they arrived on that Saturday, they sat down at the center dining room table and Javier started pulling things out of a bag, and continued pulling items wrapped for safe travel.  Here are the skulls and one Katrina they brought me:

day of the dead skulls The Parador Inn

And they brought me a day of the dead tshirt:

day of the dead tshirt Pittsburgh PA


I love this shirt.

I’ve been fairly slow this week and I’m sold out this weekend for the holiday and Steelers home game and been getting everything ready for that.  I finished everything upstairs and walked down into the basement and saw all my elephant ears that have been down there for two months drying out.  I lost my contact with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Gavin has left them.  So I couldn’t get approval to take my big composting items to one of their composting piles.  I was complaining about this to a guest and he said he just cuts his ears down, then runs his lawnmower over them.  I tried that and they just gummed up.  So I’ve had them in the basement drying out. Since I didn’t have any guests today, I fired up the lawnmower in the basement and chopped them up.  They are now compostable, I added them to all the leaves I’ve collected this fall. When I came upstairs with the chopped leaves to put on the compost pile da gerl said “Dad the kitchen stinks, I want to go outside for awhile”.

I have my dog sitters/Inn sitters all lined up for my trip to Florida this winter.  Weird as it is, Art & Randi are coming up from Vero Beach and I am going down to just below Vero Beach.  Vero Beach is a very cute coastal town.  I got to know it a bit while living down there.  LuAnn that worked at a nursery I would go to lived up there.  It’s about an hour north of Lake Worth where I used to live and she would drive that commute every day.  I understand an hour commute coming in to New York or DC, but Lake Worth it was frequently a subject of conversation about how she was certifiably insane.  I loved LuAnn, when I would go down to the nursery we would sit in the office for an hour at least laughing our *sses off.  🙂

Thanx for listening to me and have a safe and happy New Year,



I would like to thank all the help I received for my Alternative Victorian House Tour last weekend.  Many friends and neighbors made homemade cookies and cucumber sandwiches which really added to the festivities.  In particular, I would love to thank Linda (the owner of Cabin Fever Bed and Breakfast) whom I’ve known for years and is a dear friend and Ethelyn my neighbor.  I was killing myself laughing at/with them.  Here’s a snippet of one of their conversations.  Linda “I was at Phibbs taking pictures on Tuesday” and Ethelyn said “I was also there, what time were you their?”  Linda “10:30” and Ethelyn, “So was I”.  Linda “I had an excellent lunch there again”  Ethelyn, “What did you have?”  Linda “Pulled pork sandwich”  Ethelyn “So did I, what time” Linda “About 12:30”  Ethelyn “So did I and I didn’t see you”.  I chimed in “You two hadn’t met yet”  🙂  Then Ethelyn started talking about her African Gray Parrots, I remember when I first moved here meeting a woman with a parrot on her shoulder walking around the neighborhood.  As Ethelyn told her parrot stories, Linda kept saying that she should write a book.  Ethelyn had us both falling out of our chairs laughing.

Although we didn’t make the $1,000 goal I had set, we did raise a significant amount.  Something nice was people would come in and not pay the $5 cover, but hand us a $20 and not want change.  People were very generous and I love to see niceness.   

I told you that the neighborhood association wanted to put my home on their house tour and I said I would agree if they made a $1,000 belated donation to the food pantry, they said no and offered to run a fund raiser and I said no to that.  At that final tour committee meeting, one of the members threatened to take his house off the tour if the other committee members forced the issue of donating $1,000 to the food pantry.  Oh grow up, I’m sure you heard about the little boy that didn’t get his way so he took his ball and went home. 

In addition to the coffee/tea shop that opened across the street from me about a week ago, the wine bar’s grand opening is this weekend.  On over in the War Streets neighborhood Mayfly Market & Deli just opened at 1327 Arch Street less than a block from Randyland.  A cute little neighborhood store with a nice selection of staples, Ann Gilliagan’s famous sorbets and many other works by local artists.  Also, this past weekend the wine bar just down the block had their Grand Opening, Juan & Cecilia were overly impressed with the strong turn out.  It was great, next time you’re here, you need to check it out.  🙂

I had some terror moments here at The Parador Inn last week.  Ester my squirrel was outside my window eating peanuts as I was working at my desk.  I finished my project shortly there after and when I opened the office door to go back to the mansion a hawk was having lunch right outside my door.  It quickly picked up it’s prey and flew off.  My first though was I had lost my dear Ester.  ):  Then I looked at the crime scene and didn’t see any squirrel fur, just pigeon feathers.  I feel bad for the pigeon, but super happy Ester is still with us.

Da gerl had her final check up on her ACL, and she’s in good shape, there is still a small break in the bone and the vet said to just keep her from over exerting herself.  That should be fully healed by the summer.  She’s free to go on walks with her dad and big brother, she’s truly a happy camper.

Word Press changed the program, they seem to be trying to force us to buy the upgraded version.  This is it for today, have a great weekend,  My web guy Nick reverted it back to the Word Press Classic version and I’m doing better.

Did you see the Steelers on Sunday?  Damn they sure can play football when they show up.  🙂

Have a great one,


A little different thing to do for Christmas is the Etna Scare house is hosting a Christmas Scare House.    It is December 7 & 8 and cost $20.

Another something different is the pop up bar on Liberty, it is the Miracle on Liberty, they don’t have a website, but operate under their face book page.  It doesn’t say it on the face book their location which is 705 Liberty, it’s their second year and the benefit of the pop up is Pittsburgh Food Rescue and more details are in Pittsburgh Magazine.

Vietnam veteran Stanley Stoltz passed away with no known family, so the funeral home posted a notice asking people to show up at the burial.  Hundreds showed up and gave Stanley a proper send off.

What’s ya doing this weekend?  The Parador is hosting an Alternative Victorian House Tour from 4 – 8 Friday and 11 –  4 then 5 – 8 on Saturday.  $5 cash donation and all proceeds goes to the local food pantry.  I am doing this mainly to support the food pantry, the neighbor hood association in 2009 had a presentation and then request from food pantry for a one time $1,000 donation from all 17 Northside neighborhoods to help fill their shelves during the great recession and the neighborhood association refused and has refused since then to support the food pantry.  As I told the association back then, in my world “little children should not go to be hungry.  I don’t know what world you live in”.  My comments were not well received back then.  They approached me this year and wanted me to let them use my home for their Victorian House tour and I said yes, but I want a $1,000 donation to the food pantry and they said no.  So I’m running my own “house tour”, please stop by and assist so little kids don’t go to bed hungry this holiday and winter season.  I could still use a couple of volunteers for the Saturday shifts, if you are available, call my cell 412-508-6000.

Speaking of hungry kids, just when I thought I couldn’t me more impressed with John & Giselle Fetterman (our new Lieutenant Governor).  Giselle started 412 Food Rescue, it’s an app she developed with some very tech savvy friends.  412 Food Rescue is an app that they developed to keep food out of the garbage stream and feed people that are food insecure.  The concept of 412 Food Rescue is based on diverting good food that would normally end up in the garbage stream because the quantity is not large enough for the “big guys” like the food pantry to bother with.  The food pantry will send it’s trucks to grocery store chains when the grocery chain realizes for example a delivery of lettuce will not last for them to sell.  So the food pantry sends a truck to pick up the cases.  There’s a lot of small operations with usable food that doesn’t fit into the “big guys” scenario, like me two years ago after my 10 year anniversary party and this summer after my jazz series events.  With my OCD and my hate for waste, I knew to put the left overs into pans I didn’t need back and took it over to my local homeless shelter (Northside Common Ministries location).  Giselle and team  developed an app that if say I’m on the Northside and driving to West Mifflin to pick up my coffee, I can enter my start and finish locations into the app and they will respond with there’s a pan of lasagna in Southside and it’s wanted in Baldwin (on my way).  There’s an article in the Shadyside magazine Shady Ave about 412 Food Rescue.  They have about 4,000 volunteers signed up and about 600 non profits that accept the food donations.  Not only does the app hook up drivers with food to be picked up and where dropped off, it also offers navigation aids.  412 Food Rescue made 18,000 deliveries in it’s first three years and expect that to be their total for this year alone!  412 Food Rescue has started a food education program teaching recipients how to properly prepare healthy meals with food provided.  They have also started a program Hidden Harvest that volunteers pluck food from city trees & shrubs on city property and back yards that product more food than the owner can use (you can donate here as well).  They have also partnered with Penns Corner Farm Alliance in Lawrenceville to create a program to use up unattractive, yet nutritious food.

Besides the Victorian House tour and the Alternative Victorian House tour, there are other seasonal activities going on at The Parador, all decorated the decorations are all pretty much the same, I did find an addition to my snow village this summer at a thrift store for $4:

It’s the middle house, kind of large and it’s all clear and lights up nicely at nite.   It looks a little blurry in the picture, but not in real life, I guess I need to hone my photography skills.  🙂


Another tweak I’ve made is I’ve had this silver lame for years and never thought of what to do with it.  This year I spread it under my Caribbean tree and it really reflects the lights nicely.

For those of you that have not been here over the holidays, note the star on the top of the tree is actually a star fish and the red garland around the tree is real fish netting I got, cut into strips and painted red.

And one other holiday thing, my cards should be hitting the streets any day, they are finished and just waiting for the printer to put them in the mail.

Keep warm and cheerful on this cold and dreary day,





First of all, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and have a lot to be Thankful for.

Dee resigned a couple of weeks ago, she took a position at a nursing home, I think she will do well there.  After watching her with Betty in her last few weeks, Dee definitely has a bedside manner.  I’ve been encouraging her to work on a nursing degree, I will not be around forever.  This new place has a tuition reimbursement program and that should work well for her.

The reason I brought this up is usually this time of year, we would have our assigned duties.  So this year I’m doing it all cleaning and decorating for Christmas.  I always cleaned and paste waxed the first floor she would do the dining room chandeliers.  (I always did the Murano in the parlor.) I cleaned the crystal chandelier over the main dining room table for the first time in a number of years and wow, what a spectacular piece it is.

The chandelier is Waterford crystal.  I’ve seen the name etched int the tongue that holds the round ball on the bottom.  While polishing the crystals I noticed Waterford is also etched in many of the crystals as well.  The reason I bring this up is my thankfulness.  What a lucky man I am to have such a spectacular property and furnishings.  And to own such a successful bed and breakfast.  Sales has not been particularly stunning this year, but something I can handle and still keep up with the maintenance items that need my attention.   Usually, this time of year, I’d have Dee do all the housekeeping and I’d do small projects, saving the big projects till January/February.  This year I am just doing the breakfasts, housekeeping, maintenance and some very minor projects.  I’m OK with that.  I always push the admin things to last and this year it’s even getting worse.  I hate sitting on my butt in the office.  🙂

Speaking of being thankful, I am making progress with the nasty neighborhood association that threatened to sue me over my exterior colors (if you don’t know the story behind that, ask me next time you see me-it’s pretty funny-again I am a lucky man).  The coffee/tea shop opening across the street from me has a much more vivid teal on it’s exterior trim than mine that had them so upset.  Also, I remember blogging about them refusing to give a $1,000 request to the food pantry in the height of the recession when the food pantry shelves were bear.  When it was my turn to talk, I expressed my opinion that “in my world little kids should not go to bed hungry and I don’t know what world you guys live in”.  (They made around $60,000 on their Victorian Christmas House Tour that year and couldn’t give $1,000 to feed kids?!!!!!)  And if you know me, it don’t let things rest, I have whined about this repeatedly.  For years, they did not want me on their Victorian Christmas Tour because my tropical theme was not “appropriate”.  This year, they don’t seem to have enough houses for the tour and several ladies in the neighborhood approached me about using my house for their tour.  And I stand corrected, Holly called me and when she told them what I said about how cheap they are the told her they donate to several charities now, for one the Commons Initiative, funds collected to restore the Commons Park, the oldest park in the city right down the street from me and they donate to two other charities.  My terms were $1,000 to the food pantry.  They countered with that they would set up a fund raising for the food pantry.  I said no, $1,000 or no Parador on the tour.  Look up stubborn in the dictionary and you might see a picture of me. 🙂  So what I am doing this year is hosting an Alternative Victorian House Tour.  $5 cash and I am opening my Inn for tours, all proceeds goes to the food pantry.  I am looking for volunteers to help with my tour.  I need someone to be a greater, some one just to sit in the main dining room to stop tourees from opening the pantry door, because the kidz could get out and cause bedlam.  Shifts are Friday 12/7 from 4 – 8, Saturday from 10 – 4 12/8 and then 5 -9.  If anyone is available, please call me at 412-508-6000 free parking in my lot.  🙂

Finally parents, check out the worst toys list.  Toys today generally are much safer than ever, but that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down.  It’s the holiday buying season, I refuse to go to stores or even drive on Black Friday.

Thanx and keep warm,



I’m a very fortunate person, I am a vet, but not one of combat action.  I never had to make the decision of whether to pull the trigger and kill another human being.  I’m a Vietnam era veteran and was never in that conflict.  As a remembrance for today, I ordered the movie Dunkirk and saved it for today.  Although today is officially Veterans Day, it is actually Armistice Day.  At 11 am on 11/11/18 Germany surrendered to the Allies.  It was such a relief for the world to end this massacre.  Unfortunately, most young people, patriotic or otherwise are unaware of World War I and the atrocities back then or even the original meaning of this “holiday”.  This war to end all wars was actually a failure in that just a few years later we had World War II and it wasn’t until after that that the Geneva Conventions were adopted.  The agreement commonly referred to as the Geneva Conventions is actually four treaties (some as early as 1929) that were rolled into one in 1949.  It seems after atrocities like those committed during major wars makes mankind think about fairness and civility.  So after the unbelievable treatment of prisoners of war and the use of unbelievable tactics like mustard gas and other unbelievable creations to win a war we take a step back and consider their use.  So mustard gas is no longer an acceptable means of winning a war.  Although it is generally recognized cluster bombs, napalm nuclear bombs and other chemical forms of killing other humans may not be codified in the Geneva Conventions, it is commonly held that these also are war atrocities.  I appreciate all the people that thank me for my service, but I would rather they seek ways to end this constant blood shed on our shared planet.  A friend of mine is in the National Guard and when e’s been in uniform when we’ve met for a drink or meal and it impresses me how many strangers buy us a drink or at least thank him for his service.  We think right, we just don’t seem to follow through.

Lets look at the positives, the thing I am most impressed with Dunkirk is the evacuation of 300,000 Allied soldiers stranded on Dunkirk beach by 800 civilian fishing boats, merchant vessels, pleasure boats that converged to save the soldiers from a certain massacre by the German army a few miles away if not evacuated.  As I am also most impressed with the civilians on 9/11 that stopped the aircraft from causing further destruction after the twin towers were destroyed.  The courage of these civilians should make you want to visit the Shanksville 9/11 memorial.

Finally, I am a big proponent of a mandatory 2 year term of service to be an American citizen (born or naturalized).  It could be the military, peace corps, VISA, job corps anything.  Maybe then we as Americans can learn civics and civil behavior?

Thank you for your service, military, first responders and others that put their lives on the line for us,



I would like to thank you folks that expressed distress at what happened in my home town last week.  No Mr. Commander in Tweet, we do not need armed guards outside and inside our schools, churches, temples and synagogues.  We need less guns in our society.  I agree, most deaths by guns is by a hand gun, but most mass murders are done with military style assault rifles.  You don’t need an ak 47 to go hunting and kill a deer, rabbit or squirrel.  We need government leaders that are willing to step up and defend our citizens by enacting sensible gun control laws.

Speaking of gun control, tomorrow is election day.  GO OUT AND VOTE!  I don’t care who you vote for (actually I do, but it’s like winning a thousand dollar lottery versus a hundred dollar lottery-I have a preference, but I’m happy either way-I don’t play the lottery by the way, it was just an example).  🙂    Thank god those annoying campaign commercials will be over by Wednesday.  How can you vote for someone that gets elected by lying about his/her opponent or lying about their accomplishments and positions on issues.  If they lie in their campaign, I’d say that pretty much sums up their honesty.  Some of the candidates have been caught in outright lies and then deny it.  Worse yet is the advertisements paid for by special interests and PACs and their negativity.  Connor Lamb is not running in my district and he has run a very positive campaign discussing the issues and not being all negative. But the democratic machine has run some pretty negative ads in his name.   Besides liking Mr. Lamb’s position on many items, I want him to win to hopefully set a new campaign standard.  Keith Rufthus  has been pretty negative in his personal campaign.  Add to this the republican machine’s negative ads and its a smear campaign (and he has never endorsed these smears).  I like Governor Wolf and he has had some negative ads, but not over the top like his opponent who threatened to stomp Governor’s face in with golf spikes.  To give Scott Wagner some credit, he is now running a campaign ad pushing acceptance of all citizens. We need a new law that before a political ad is aired, it needs a seal of approval by an independent agency like Fact Checker, that gives a rating like the movies get.

I hate OTA’s, On line Travel Agencies like Expedia, Travelocity, etc.  They charge a fee for rooms booked through their websites, which I would be OK with.  But (you knew a but was coming up) 🙂 .  They initially tried charging bed and breakfasts an outrageous 25% fee for bookings, none of us signed up with them.  Eventually, they dropped the fee to a less outrageous 15% booking fee.  (They charge the big box hotels a 10% fee, which sticks in my craw).  I refused to sign up with an OTA for years and then Google came out with a new requirement that bed and breakfasts need to be signed up with an OTA to prove that they are legitimate.  So I signed up with Booking.com because they supposedly are the largest OTA covering Europe.  I’ve complained to my Booking.com agent about their fee and was told it wasn’t excessive that it was justified with all they spend on advertising and website security.  I told her they don’t spend more than Visa does on advertising and security that charges me less than 3%.

My battle with the pigeons continues, I’m making progress though.  I was making progress, but not enough so I decided to up the anti again and went back to Dick’s  and was looking at BB gun rifles.  They would be more accurate than the hand gun and luckily an employee came up and asked if I needed help.  I explained I didn’t want to kill the pigeons, just hurt them and make them go away.  He said the power in a rifle would send the BB through the pigeon and thus kill them.  He suggested doing what he does and use a sling shot.  I have that oak tree in my yard and so lots of acorns.  When I use them as ammunition, they biodegrade in my yard instead of leaving plastic pellets or metal BB’s  littering my yard for ever.  It’s been pretty successful, frequently I don’t have any pigeons and just a few other times.

Been busy working on my holiday cards, Roy was over this weekend and took the picture and I’ve been working on the mailing list.  Going through 6,000 addresses takes some time.  I just finished. 🙂  Most of the deletions are bad addresses, probably past guests that have moved since visiting.  Some are mail carriers that send the card back as un-deliverable for whatever reason and that guest ends up with a “bad address” note in my data base.  I also delete foreign countries (other than Canada).  There’s also a fair amount of incorrect addresses I need to fix zip codes, cities, etc.  The final category is those I don’t want back like the ones that smoked in their guest room.

Have a great evening and remember to VOTE tomorrow,



Da gerl went to the vet this week to have her stitches removed.  Still no walks and limited movement and to her chagrin the vet said she needs to keep the cone on for another week, she was so bummed.  She cried in the car coming home.  ):


When I’m in the kitchen and can watch her, I leave it off.  When I go out or leave the kitchen for chores, she gets the cone. I take if off so she can eat comfortably.  One evening, I forgot to remove the cone and put the food down for them and she just looked up at me pitifully, “Dad take the cone off!”  🙂

My good friend Arlen, the owner of City Books right down the street from me, sent me an email two weeks ago telling me I had made it in Forbes, it was an article on Pittsburgh talked about attractions, restaurants and lodging in the city.  He mentioned three lodging options and I was the only one with a picture.  🙂

I think I hate fall more than winter, it’s the harbinger of things to come.  I took the elephant ears out last week and did a great job this year I might add.  It’s important to get as much dirt off the rhizomes as I can so I don’t tease the tubers and they start to grow.  The bins I put them in were pretty light this year, so I must have done a good job.  I took little blankets and tucked them in when I put them in the basement and told them good night and I’ll see you in the spring.  (Just kidding).  Also, I normally take all the vegetation out at the same time.  But you should leave some of it in so the bugs and winter birds have someplace to hide from predators and as a food source with any seeds left.  So this year, I am gradually removing items.  Leaving the banana plants makes the courtyard look less barren.

I’ve been feeding the song birds for several years now.  About six months ago some pigeon found out that there’s food in the courtyard, so she invited her friends to the feast.  I was having 15 – 20 pigeons in my yard.  Yes, I’m prejudiced pigeons have never done anything to harm me, I just don’t like them or want them in my yard.  So I started throwing tennis balls at them and they would scatter and come right back.  I decided to up my game and went out and bought a pellet gun.  $20, you get what you pay for in life, I could watch the pellets wobble and fall short of the pigeons, I then bought a BB gun that used a CO2 cartridge to shoot the BBs.  It worked OK, but again you get what you pay for in life and it wasn’t tremendously accurate.  One day, the pigeons were ignoring me and I walked down the brick sidewalk along the front of the carriage house and had the stance aiming for the pigeons (at 6 am) and some lady was walking up the street saw me aiming in the general direction of the street and screamed.  I told her not to worry, she’s not a pigeon.  Luckily she laughed.  I wasn’t making enough progress with the BB gun and decided I needed to up my game again.  I went back to Dicks and was looking at a BB rifle.  A young guy working there came up and asked if I needed help and I explained my problem, I didn’t want to kill the pigeons, just chase them away.  He said the rifle would send the BB right through the pigeon and kill it.  I don’t want to kill them, I just don’t want them in my yard.  He suggested a sling shot, he said that’s what he uses.  I have the oak tree in the courtyard and so I have plenty of acorns.  And that’s what I’ve been using and that seems to be working pretty good.  I have that obnoxious one that first discovered me, she’s pretty persistent and I guess it’s her boyfriend and another pigeon.  Generally these days I have less than five pigeons, if any.  Some days they don’t come by at all.

How about that horrendous massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue here in Pittsburgh?  I blame this hatefulness in our country on YOUR commander in tweet for his divisiveness rhetoric appealing to his base. His idiotic statements during the 2016 campaign that made no sense like he knows more about ISIS than the generals and other such idiotic statements drove me crazy (and still drives me crazy-I ignore most of it).  Then his ranting about a wall is why we have that caravan of peoples coming up from central America.  His hateful comments about sh*t hole African countries and ban on Muslim country visas and entry into our country has empowered these nut cases like Robert D. Bowers here in Pittsburgh in their twisted views on life.  I watched a fair amount of Kavanaugh’s nomination hearing.  With his tears, anger and other emotions, I felt I was watching a scene from the Apprentice.  Yo budd, this isn’t some TV series that needs higher ratings, this is my country and we deserve better.  You can be an idiot and in charge of the country (with checks and balances hopefully), but please stop this hateful divisiveness.  It’s bad enough how much your are degrading our environment and giving more and more money to the top 1%, but please stop making us hate each other.  My friend Peet corrected my description of DJT to his divisiveness, I trusted spell check and should have known better.   Damn after reading Peet’s comment, I think i could write a book here, what an idiot (not you Peet-but DJT).  I don’t want to degrade the “conservatives”, but we need to learn to understand people other than us.

I’m planning my winter trip to Florida, my normal person is not available to baby sit the kidz and mansion.  My blog automatically posts to Facebook and won’t put the dates in here.  Anyone interested in living in a mansion for two weeks with two adorable dogs?  My dates aren’t in concrete yet, if you are interested send me an email ed@theparadorinn.com

OK guys, that’s it for today, have a good one,



Da gerl had her surgery yesterday.  The surgeon was happy with the results, she seems pretty stressed out, I think it’s discomfort, not pain.  See her shaved leg.  When I picked her up, she confronted me because yesterday when I dropped her off, I told her it was a day spa.  This morning she said, Dad, that wasn’t no day spa!

10 days we go back to have the stitches removed and it’s still a 10 week recovery until her last appointment and final x-ray to ensure everything healed properly.  I guess I’m sleeping on the floor for the next couple of weeks to be sure she doesn’t get it in her head to jump up on the bed (and my big fear is that she would then jump down out of the bed).


Wish us luck,