Here’s a new one for you curious folks that want to see something you’ve never seen before, it’s over in Winber (over by Johnston about an hour east of Pittsburgh) is the Trolley Graveyard.  It’s a collection of old trolleys that are sitting around in a field.  You need to contact Ed Metka who purchased the 14 trolleys hoping to save them from the scrap heap ahead of time for permission.  Not sure how to contact him, someone told me to do it on Face book.

Oakland is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh that has Pitt, CMU and UPMC’s major hospitals.  It is only 1.7 square miles big and it holds10% of the city’s population and 20% of the city’s jobs.  A regular little powerhouse for Pittsburgh.

I know some of my followers follow me to get updates on the city, you ex-patriots.  🙂  A couple of big things going on here is we are one of the 10 finalist world wide for Hyperloop I this super futuristic method of transportation.  It’s a blend of the old meg lev that they build in South Park as a demo years ago with much more, it’s a tube that propels pods through them on a magnetic propulsion system .  It’s a passenger and freight system that will travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in less than 30 minutes.  Although Elon Musk is not a part of it, he’s a big proponent.  The jury’s still out on him with me.  I don’t know if he’s the 21st century version of Albert Einstein or just another greedy capitalist.

The other thing going on here is self driving cars.  Everyone knows Uber picked Pittsburgh as one of their main research facilities.  Probably because Uber is here, there are  several autonomous vehicle tech groups moving here.  Riding on the heals of Uber is Argo AI the Pittsburgh start up that’s partnered with Ford who’s committed $1B investment in the project (yes, that’s a b in in Billion).  They are moving into the new building Oxford Development is slated to start in their Crossings 3 in the Strip.  Part of Crossings 3 is that 300 apartment complex on the river side of Railroad Street just past the Cork Factory apartments. And two office buildings already housing Apple, German Tech company Robert Bosch and some big law firm.  They better hurry construction on this fourth building.  Argo’s lease in the Crane building on 24th Street expires next year and Wombat Securities has signed a lease on the space (so Argo might end up being homeless for awhile).  🙂  Wombat is a CMU spin off specializing in information security.  Maybe Equifax might want to hire them, more on Equifax in my next post.

My good friends from college visited last week.  Tony and Sue from State College, PA and Dave & Claire from Austin, TX.  Tony & Sue were in in the spring when their daughter came in from Canada (she flew in to PGH airport) and they all spent a weekend.  We were chatting about his woodworking projects and he said most of his back log was caught up.  He foolishly asked if I needed anything.  There’s a small kind of picket fence on the mantel in the dining room and the left side is missing (actually I have the parts, but not the skill level to fix I try a lot of things, but call my limits when dealing with the antiques).  Tony said it would be no big deal to drill out the holes on the top rail and fix the broken parts on the base of the spindles so we/he can re-attach them.  First pic is the current fence on the right of the mantel:

This next picture shows the missing fence on the left:

He then said anything else?  Did I say Tony was foolish?  🙂  Something that’s bugged me since I bought Mr. Rhodes mansion in 2005.  Mr. Rhodes had very specific tastes.  He liked panels, they are everywhere, but on either side of the middle dining room.  There was fluted columns that stood out like a sore thumb to me:

Tony said it would be no problem to make panels like you see going toward the pantry and we’d take the flutes out.  The initial plan was to leave the decorative base and matching crowns.  When we went to install his panels, we all agreed the bases and crowns would be too much.  So plan B.

Plan B involved Tony making a new bottoms on the front dining room side to match the baseboard there and a fairly straight forward piece for the tops of the main dining room side.

This is like the missing piece of trim in the main hallway that bothered me (no one else ever saw it). At the end of the hallway at the door going out to the veranda, the piece of trim on the hinge (left side) was missing.  And every time I walked down that hallway I would see the strip of yellow paint.  A carpenter I know replaced the hinges on the interior front door that kept pulling loose and he foolishly (do you see a trend here) 🙂 asked if there was something else.  I pointed out the yellow strip and he said the rest of the trim is walnut and to get all the pieces needed it would run around $900.  Or he could do it in pine, faux the stain and no one would notice for $200.  Guess which I choose?  I never see the yellow stripe or the pine, I just see a hallway with trim that matches.

Can you tell the left is pine and the right is walnut?

That’s it for today, it may not be as long for my next post.  Tomorrow seems to be a fairly tame day and I might be able to get one started.

Take care,


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