Plan on coming to the next jazz event at The Parador next Wednesday, June 20 from 7 – 9.  We will be high lighting George Heid.  Just $30 covers corkage (bring your own booze)  :), live music in the ballroom and a wonderful buffet of turkey lasagna, sausage sliders and salads.  The last one with Joe Negri was a blast, I had never met Joe in the past, what a talented musician and nice man!  Free on street parking after 6.

I’m starting something new.  Drew, Lenny & Paula’s son across the street got married here after I quit hosting weddings, I did it as a favor to Lenny & Paula.  This was several years ago.  I was talking to Drew, who works for Verizon.  He asked if he could look into my account and is saving me around $50 a month and he’s starting a thing where when you call any of my numbers a recording in my voice says something to the effect, to talk to ed push #1.  This will stop those insidious robo calls because they can’t push one.  🙂

I was speaking with a friend he said my blogs have been a bit negative, he even used the word “dark”.  Thinking about it, I think he might be right.  I was a my sister’s recently and she said I was turning into my father.  I loved and respected my father, but as he got older he got more and more negative.  It has been a big fear of mine, I don’t want to turn into a bitter old man.  I have to renew looking at the sunny side of the street.  Life is hard and there’s a lot of terrible things going on, but there’s also a lot of wonderful things as well.

For a long time it seemed like we were making progress towards a more fair America.  Unfortunately, with the dysfunction in Washington, we seem to becoming a less tolerant and more greedy society.  I do have to be a bit negative here, did you hear about that pilot whale stranded in a canal in Thailand?  They couldn’t save him and when they did the necropsy he had 15 pounds of plastic bags stuck in his stomach and couldn’t digest food.  I was talking to someone about it and he said well, the stupid thing deserved it for being so stupid.  The poor thing was an animal, not a college graduate like the man I almost punched.  We need to totally stop using plastic bags.  Whether you are one of the responsible people that dispose of them properly, or not, they should not be available.  With all the plastic floating around in the oceans, Mr OCD is constantly picking plastic litter up when I’m walking around.  This is one of the reasons I have reusable grocery bags in my guest rooms, to encourage the use of reusable shopping bags.

On the sunny side of the street, Pennsylvania is making it easier for retired lawyers to practice law in the state for pro bono cases.  The judiciary reduced the rate for retired pro bono lawyers through an emeritus status designation from $200 to $25.  Attorney’s are required 12 credits a year in continuing education at around $30 a pop, they’ve dropped that to 8 credits for emeritus status lawyers.  To earn emeritus status, you have to do work for a recognized non-profit who provide malpractice insurance as it can be pretty expensive on the open market.

Speaking of lawyers, I’m impressed with our Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro.  He’s been in office just over a year and doesn’t back down from a fight.

In 2013 vandals burnt a cross in the lawn of Pittsburgh’s Mifflin prek-8 grade school.  The teachers and staff were not going to take this hateful event define them.  Instead they instituted programs that ended up getting them the “No Place for Hate” designation by the Anit-Defamation League.   They are one of just 1,700 schools in the entire United States to receive this.

Walt Yager of McKeesport avoided the draft during the Vietnam War with the sole surviving son exception a decision he regrets to this day.  He visited the Vietnam War Memorial twenty years ago and it’s left him changed.  He’s spearheading a drive to bring the traveling replica to his hometown McKeesport right down the street where I started Penn State at Renzie Park.  He needs to raise the $8,000 host fee and $4,000 for security.   You can donate  a check to Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund c/o MAVMO 1985 Lincoln Way Suite 23 McKeesport, PA 15131.  You can email Walt at s3585way@gmail.com.

Summer house tours are gearing up.  Two local ones include Observatory Hill on June 24, I was at their tour last year and it was a very mixed bag of houses, all very interesting.  And the East Northside is this coming weekend.  This tour is a compliation of several neighborhoods, including Troy Hill, East Deutschtown and Spring Garden a great way to see several charming neighborhoods over here.

I had to drop the membership I had with the local YMCA, they charged me around $500 a year (fitness clubs usually run around a hundred with all new and shiny gyms and equipment) because they refused to give me two passes.  If I have two separate guests like traveling business people most frequent users of the passes I had to get them to schedule their workout times between themselves.  Mike told me they had “new management”  at the Y and couldn’t give me two passes anymore.  (You have to swipe in to use the facility and it would be easy for them to see how seldom my passes were used)  I had been willing to pay the premium because they are a local non profit.  But not if they cannot accommodate my guests any better than that.  There was an article in the paper about the Y filing for bankruptcy over their location Downtown.  They run the new gym over the old GC Murphy store at Market Square. The paper said they agree with Millcraft the owners of the building to pay $100,000  a month! until September to take them out of bankruptcy and keep the facility open while they pursue new operators.  I don’t know what the original terms were, but anywhere around $100,00 a month for any gym is outrageous.  Maybe the Y should look to their local supporters instead of trying all that flash and bang Downtown?

The gardens are going gang busters, my vertical hydrangea are blooming for the first time:

Look at how much the banana plants have grown since my last post several weeks ago:

The Bleeding Heart is becoming a monster:

Gender confusion, my kids are experiencing.  Da boi lifts his leg a lot to urinate, but sometime he just squats like a gerl.  Yesterday I was taking da kidz for their walk and da gerl lifted her leg to urinate.  I fell out laughing.

Although I am not clinically diagnosed, I have OCD fairly severely.  Particularly in the kitchen.  I read an article in the Opinions section of the paper a couple of weeks ago written by someone diagnosed with OCD, his must be worse than mine.  His concern was because he is official diagnosed with OCD, he has a record of mental illness.  There’s a large push to ban folks with diagnosed mental illness from being able to purchase guns.  I agree some people with mental illness should not be able to purchase a lethal weapon, but it can’t be the easy way out with with a blanket ban.  OCD does not categorize you as a terrorist. That’s like the easy way out the government started probably around 20 years ago they decided to close the mental hospitals.  The logic was acclimating people into society is more humane than institutionalization (and saves the government a lot of money).  Look at how our homelessness has ballooned.  A lot of those poor people should be given constant care (for one reason to be sure they remain on their medications- case in point, Freddy the skinny homeless man that walks my street a lot talking to himself very loudly and obscenely.  You can tell when Freddy has been off his meds for a while), not in an institution like the one made famous in One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest.

OK kids, I’m done for the day, have a great one and hope to see you next Wednesday at my jazz event,