2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Not too shabby for our first full year of blogging. Here’s to further success in 2015!

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Heading downtown for First Night? Here’s what you need to know about public transportation

Last week we told you all about Highmark First Night and how to plan your visit. Now it’s time to talk about your transportation options on the big night. Because it’s New Year’s Eve on Wednesday, we’re posting early this week to give you all the info you need for attending the festivities in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Pittsburgh First Night
Pittsburgh’s First Night celebration features not one, but two fireworks displays, plus so much more.

First of all, it’s a good idea to take public transportation into the city, as parking will be hard to find and many streets will be closed for the celebration. But be warned: lots of people will be using public transportation, so plan to leave early and weigh your options toward the end of the night: head home early to beat the crowd, or stay for the fireworks at midnight and join the crush. Either way, you’re better off than those who decided to drive. They had to pay an arm and a leg for parking and are still facing the same timing dilemma.

In any case, take note that the Port Authority is running special hours for New Year’s Eve, and the usual holiday hours for New Year’s Day. Plus, kids under 12 accompanied by an adult wearing a First Night button ride for free starting at 4 p.m. If you don’t have a ConnectCard already, consider getting one for each member of the household and loading it up with a value or a pass. The cards are easier and faster than providing correct change. You can get cards at most Giant Eagle stores around Pittsburgh.

Be sure to use the Port Authority trip planner to schedule your ride so you know when to arrive at the stop.

It’s a good idea to check the weather before you head out as well. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter in the area, but it looks like it’s getting colder just in time for New Year’s. Bundle up in layers before you head out for the night, and bring cash for hot beverages.

Don’t live close to public transportation? Consider moving to a Prudential Realty Community like Alvern Gardens, Place Seville, or Sleepy Hollow in 2015.

City’s Older Buildings Being Transformed Into Artist Studios

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Has any city, anywhere, reinvented itself as relentlessly as Pittsburgh has?

Public and private concerns have made creative use of so many things that used to be other things:  Mill sites turned into shopping centers; industrial wastelands transformed into beautiful parks; old buildings —  like train stations and churches — reconfigured to house restaurants, breweries, and more.

And the trend keeps growing.

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Case in point: Etna. For decades, the Tippins Company produced steelmaking machinery there, helping forge Pittsburgh’s reputation as an industrial powerhouse. But, what goes on there these days is helping Pittsburgh forge a new reputation — as a creative, artistic powerhouse.

Tom Mosser is among dozens of artists who’ve set up studios in an old Tippins building.

“Art is work and it’s play, but it’s kind of cool to be in part of this big warehouse district,” says Mosser.

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Consumer Reports: Top Stick Vacs

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Need a quick pick-me-up to keep your house looking nice for the holidays? Three new, lightweight stick vacuums from Shark and Dyson not only promise to do the trick but also claim to be as good or better than full-sized vacuums.

So Consumer Reports challenged them with the deep-cleaning test, where dirt is poured on and pressed in, a test normally reserved for full-sized vacuums. The stick vacs couldn’t keep up.

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For deep-cleaning carpets, suction alone isn’t enough. A vacuum needs to have some weight and a powerful brush roll. Stick vacs are generally less than 10 pounds and just won’t do the job. But don’t count these new stick vacs out. When compared with others, they actually took the top three spots in Consumer Reports’ tests.

Number one is the Dyson DC 59 Animal. It does an excellent job on pet…

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Hays Bald Eagles Make Christmas Visit To Nest

CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Hays bald eagles were busy with their nest on Christmas.

The eagles made a morning visit to the nest and officials say they’re likely making changes to get ready for some more eaglets.

Officials say they’re expecting to see eggs in the nest in mid- or late February.

LIVE FEED: Click here to watch the Eagle Cam!

Last year’s eggs appeared in March.

This past week, the Audubon Society announced plans to expand on the uber-popular Eagle Cam.

Thousands tuned in each day for live updates on an eagle pair and their three little eaglets. Now this genuine reality show is ready for its second season.

Last year’s eagle antics were followed by classrooms across the country. This year, Audubon has built a website portal to increase student participation.

The Audubon Society plans to eventually put a second camera at another eagle nesting site in Harmar…

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5 Ways To Stay Tick Free

Worried about tick prevention for your dog? Here are some tips!

Ticks are rather admirable creatures – they do what they are meant to do at the expense of everyone hating them… nope! Just kidding they aren’t, they are the epitome of disgustingness and if I had to deal with them again, it would be too darn soon.

A few weeks back, we brought Cotton to the fairly new Sembawang Dog Run to celebrate her first official year with us.

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We have had brushes with ticks, but none attached, hence we always assumed that her shampoo with neem oil and the monthly Revolution preventive were doing the job of keeping the beasties away.

What we never would have thought of was that we would bring home close to 50 little devil spawns (seed ticks) back with us!! What a great birthday present to Mama Tan and Cotton, right? -.-

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For those who have been fortunate enough to not know of seed…

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