Monday, November 30, 2015

Video: Bear with me: Milo and Max: A Tail Of Two Dachshunds

This past weekend our friend Scott visited us. He is the creator and host of an on-line LGBT video blog that features all kinds of things from the paranormal (he's also a ghost investigator) to dog rescue. Since the latest Coast to Coast Dachshund rescue dogs, Max and Milo were adopted, he wanted to do a recap and happy ending video, so I (Rob) guested.
   Scott was actually the first transporter on the interstate run to get them from Indiana to Maryland. They were both adopted together on Nov. 1 from a wonderful mom named Cindy. Here's the video (and some background on how to be a foster dog parent and save dogs from euthanization).
Bear with me: Milo and Max: A Tail Of Two Dachshunds

In the news: home-grown terrorist: Aryan Brotherhood Kingpin Gets 50 'Very Hard Years'

With all the talk about terrorism from other parts of the world, it's important not to lose sight of home-grown terrorists.
Here's an article about a very scary white supremacist (Note: the article describes one of the horrific things he did, which will gross you out). These kinds of terrorists have been in the U.S. a long time.

Aryan Brotherhood Kingpin Gets 50 'Very Hard Years'

Sentence keeps James Byrd out of federal prison

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 17, 2015
(Newser) – James Byrd is a sadistic, ruthless Aryan Brotherhood of Texas kingpin, and prosecutors have won a long fight to keep him out of federal prison. Instead, Tarrant County prosecutor Allenna Bangs tells the Houston Chronicle, the 45-year-old will serve a 50-year sentence in a Texas state prison, where his gang affiliation will be enough to have him kept in solitary, unable to conduct the white supremacist gang's business in a prison yard. In federal prison, such gang involvement doesn't justify solitary. 
  "He will be in a box for 23 hours a day," Bangs tells the Chronicle. "That will be 50 very hard years." She says it was tough to secure a conviction against Byrd since most witnesses—including a man he stabbed 37 times in the face—were too terrified to testify against him. He was eventually convicted of directing gang activities.
    Prosecutors say Byrd's brutality helped him rise through the gang's ranks in prison and he was just as savage during five months of freedom he had beginning in late 2013, when he worked as a gang enforcer among ex-cons. In an attack that landed him back in prison, prosecutors say Byrd stabbed a fellow gang member, soaked a slice of white bread in his blood, and then ate half.
The bleeding gang member was then ordered to eat the other half. "This guy was like an episode of Sons of Anarchy," Tarrant County prosecutor Joshua Ross tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "He was a true believer. His dedication bordered on theology. For him, the brotherhood came first." (It turns out the Nazis' ideal Aryan baby was actually Jewish.)


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Double Birthday to Our Dolly and Tyler

Dolly and Tyler
Today, November 29 is our Weimaraner, Dolly's 11th birthday and our Dachshund Tyler's 5th birthday.

It's a double birthday celebration!   

Dolly was born on this date in 2004 as part of a breeder's litter that was abandoned into a shelter in Atlanta (when her mom contracted tetanus and couldn't feed the puppies- so the idiots dumped the 6 puppies in a kill shelter). Fortunately, the shelter contacted the former Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue in Tennessee who drove down, took the puppies and bottle fed all of them! Rob adopted Dolly in March 2005 when she was three months old (and both would later meet and fall in love with Tom and Franklin).

Dolly and Tyler
Waiting to get up for a walk
Tyler, our black and tan Dachshund came to us in Dec. 2012 as a foster dog through Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue. He was dumped in a kill shelter in North Carolina at about 1 or 2 years old. Thanks to a friend who drove down there and got him, we started fostering him and adopted him by April of 2013. (After some schooling) he's been a true joy in our lives. Tyler didn't come with any information at all- no birthdate, no health records, nothing from his abusive beginnings. So, since he bonded with Dolly, and can't go anywhere without her, we decided he would share the same birthday!  So, today, Nov. 29, 2015 he turns 5 years old.

- and Franklin, our red, smooth Dachshund will turn 12 in March. 
So today we celebrate Dolly and Tyler!

A New Comic: Set in Scotland, mythology, mystery

Every now and then I (Rob) like to check out new comics if they seem interesting. A new comic called "Red Thorn" seems to combine Scotland, mythology, mystery and more. In addition, the guy drawn on the cover of issue #1 looks like our friend Jason Hisley of La Cakerie fame (Baltimore) so we'll check it out. :)  We will get back to you on the series.... Rob and Tom 

Chat With Red Thorn’s Writer David Baillie

redthorn    David Baillie is a Scottish writer and artist who has been writing comics professionally since 2008. He’s had his comic book work published in the weekly British comics anthology 2000AD, Judge Dredd Magazine, as well as his first novel, Portal 666, that was published by Amazon and features Valiant’s Bloodshot. His latest project, the Vertigo produced Red Thorn is set in and around the Scottish city of Glasgow and is steeped in Scottish mythology.

Graphic Policy: So how did you come up with the idea for Red Thorn? Where did the name come from?

David Baillie: I was working up a few ideas to pitch Shelly as part of the new Vertigo slate and I had fixated on writing something set in Scotland. 
 I dug myself into a huge research hole – trying to find the weird mythology and folk horror fuel that I wanted to explore.
As for the title – when our ancient pagan demi-God Thorn amasses his army (issue 2, true believers!) it’s what his soldiers chant upon his coronation. It’s also how history will remember him when our tale is done.

GP This is a new series, but based on Scottish mythology.  Did you design the characters from the ground up, or are there established designs for these mythological characters you needed to respect?  
DB: All the characters have been designed from scratch, however, I’ve incorporated a lot of Celtic motifs into things.  Thorn’s tattoos are based on Pict and Ogham artwork. Other characters have very specific design elements, which, if you know the mythology, will make a lot more sense.

GP: With Red Thorn being based around Scottish mythology, it’s easy to imagine that you’re pretty familiar with that, where not many readers would be; with the comic being our window into that world, so to speak, were there any challenges in writing that aspect?
DB: I deliberately chose figures that either readers will be hugely familiar with – allowing us to flip expectations straight out of the gate – or I went to the other end of the spectrum and focused on creatures and stories that very few will have heard of. It’s a nice balance to strike, and as we continue I’m really looking forward to pulling in even more Scottish mythology and re-forging it so that it fits the world of the series.

GP: How big a part does the city of Glasgow play in the story itself beyond being just the setting for the series?

DB: The characters all feel very, very Glaswegian. There’s a pleasant argumentativeness to Glasgow people, and I’ve given that trait to pretty much the entire main cast. While Isla, our protagonist for the first arc, was born in America her family can be traced back for generations through the streets and waterways of Glasgow and that’s reflected in her personality.
Glasgow also has a really great history, which has informed how I’ve put constructed the longer arcs to come on Red Thorn. By the last page of the final issue you’ll see that the story could not have been set anywhere else.

GP: Without giving too much away for readers, what can we expect to find when we open Red Thorn in November?

DB: Sex, horror, pithy Scottish dialogue, magic, music, nudity, violence, great hair, fantastic abs, very bad language and perhaps the best art you’ll see in a comic all year.

GP: You’ve mentioned in a previous interview that readers will be too attached to at least one character that they’ll keep reading just to see what happens. Any plans beyond Glasgow Kiss for where you’ll be taking the series?

DB: Huge plans. The end of Glasgow Kiss sets the scene for the next three or four arcs, as well as setting up our horrible, inevitable conclusion. And no matter who you fall in love with you’ll probably cry at some point. And for that I make no apologies.

GP: Before I finish up, one last question: aliens, cowboys, pirates or ninjas, and why?
DB: Why choose? This is comics. We can do anything we want!

The first issue of Red Thorn is out November 18th.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

In the News: 1922: The discovery of Tutankhamun, in color

Recently the photos from the discovery of King Tutankhamun on Nov. 4, 1922 were colorized. Tutankhamun, the boy king ruled Egypt from about 1332 to 1323 BC.
   We've always been fascinated with ancient Egyptian life, architecture, art and gods and goddesses.
 Here's a couple and a link to the article with the rest.

The discovery of  Tutankhamun, in color:  Unboxing King Tut, the boy pharoah

Friday, November 27, 2015

Research: Study finds more evidence Coffee can be a life saver!

I'm a huge coffee drinker. In fact, I've been drinking coffee since I was a teenager. There have been so many studies over the years that confirm how good coffee is for human consumption, from prevention of alzheimer's disease to prevention of colon cancer. In addition to those, another new study that involved thousands from the medical field has been published recently promoting the benefits of coffee. 
  - BTW, I drink about 8-12 cups a day (no, it doesn't make me jittery), and the trick is drinking it BLACK, with NO sugar, NO cream. Cream and sugar add calories and lead to weight increase and cavities. So, when you get your next coffee ask for it "right out of the pot" and drink to good health! - Rob
Coffee promotes a healthier life!

ARTICLE:  Study finds more evidence Coffee can be a life saver!
November 17, 2015
Researchers have found even more evidence that coffee can be good for you. People who drink regular, moderate amounts of coffee are less likely to die from a range of diseases, from diabetes to heart disease.

The cutoff seems to be around five cups a day, and even decaf coffee helps, the team at Harvard University's school of public health found.

But even heavy coffee drinking doesn't appear to offset the damage caused by smoking, they report in the journal Circulation.

"The main message is that regular consumption, meaning three to five cups of coffee a day, is associated with lower risk in total mortality and mortality from several causes like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and suicide," Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology who helped lead the study, told NBC News.

"In previous studies on that issue, most of the coffee was caffeinated coffee. In our study, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee showed a lower mortality risk but there is no final conclusion yet."
"In our study, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee showed a lower mortality risk." 

Hu and colleagues looked at two giant sources of information: surveys of more than 200,000 doctors and nurses who have regularly updated researchers on their eating and other lifestyle habits and details about their health for more than 20 years.

Coffee drinkers overall were less likely to die over the decades than non-drinkers. The effects were even stronger and clearer when the team discounted smokers. Non-smokers who drank coffee were between 8 and 15 percent less likely to die, depending on how much they drank.

"This is good news for people who drink coffee because the evidence is strong. Drinking coffee may be good for health outcome," Hu said.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

Dolly, Franklin and Tyler sniffing the turkey
Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours. We know that  everyone will be sniffing for turkey and pumpkin pie. :)        Have a great day and know that we're thankful for our friends and family, and every day we have together. 

Had a fun Thanksgiving with Tom's folks, and friends. Hope your day has been sweet, too! 

Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund and brother Oakley
A Weimaraner puppy Thanksgiving

A Weimaraner's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Hangout

Doxie Pilbrims

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Smile of the Week: Another funny comics store experience: "the Box"

As I mentioned last week, Wednesdays are new comic days. So, every Wednesday, Tom and I put our
Comics box
three canine kids in the truck and we drive to the comic book store (after a Dunkin' Donut sandwich dinner).  

   At comics stores, you can have subscription box, where the new comics that you collect are placed inside on a weekly basis. As soon as a known customer enters the shop, one of the employees says hello and goes to the back of the store to get the customer's comics out of their subscription box. 
  Last week, a young bearded employee named Jake saw me come in and said really loudly "Hi Rob, I'll grab your box!"  
   I looked over at Torma, one of the other employees,  and said, "Well, Jake can grab my box any time!" - as raised my eyebrows.  I'm out to everyone in the shop and of course, no one cares. Torma got the message and laughed out loud. It's always fun to go to a store where you know the employees and can joke around.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Crooks are stupid Part 2

 It's amazing (and entertaining) to see just how dumb people can be after doing something illegal. Recently CBS News had a spotlight on several dumb crooks. Here is part 2 of the "Winners" ;

1) Bank robber calls ahead
In March 2010, 27-year-old Albert Bailey of Bridgeport, Connecticut and a 16-year-old accomplice attempted to streamline a bank robbery by calling ahead.That's right. This brilliant criminal placed a call to a branch of the People's Bank in Fairfield, Connecticut, requesting that $100,000 in large bills be gathered in preparation for his arrival. Rather than doing that, the employee hung up and immediately called 911. Good thing the robber tipped him off. Credit: Fairfield Police Department

2) Man carjacks in jail parking lot

In March 2008, 23-year-old Frank Singleton had just been released from Palm Beach County Jail on a misdemeanor trespassing charge, when he decided to carjack a woman in the prison parking lot. As a result, he went from getting out of jail to being thrown back in for six years. Credit: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

3)  Robber steals money, leaves ID
In June 2013, a 26-year-old man, named Zachary Tentoni, snatched a Boston woman's wallet as she walked near Harbor Middle School in Dorchester, Massachusetts. In the process, he successfully got away with her ID and $40. He, however, dropped his birth certificate and a note from his mother in the scuffle at the scene, making it pretty easy for Boston authorities to track him down. Credit: Massachusetts State District Attorney


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14

Article on Rob's books in Baltimore Gay Life

Writer Jen Vance interviewed Rob about his books and abilities and published an article about him in Baltimore Gay Life newspaper in Nov. 2013. (It's on the 2nd to last page). LINK: