Sunday, December 21, 2014

Santa Brought Mack to a Forever Home !

Mack asked Santa for a forever home
On Saturday, Dec. 20, Santa brought our little 11 year old black and tan, mini-dachshund named Mack, to his forever home. We had been fostering little Mack for about 2 months through Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue. 
Connie and Poul of northern Virginia adopted him yesterday after Rob and Tom did a home visit, checked references and brought Mack to their home. They have two other dachshunds, Joe and Kira who are both younger. 
  We've grown fond of the little guy, as we do with our foster dogs, but it's more important that the go to a good home so we can continue helping save more little guys and girls. 
   On Dec. 7, we took Mack to get his picture with Santa and tell Santa what he'd like for Christmas. We're thankful that Santa was able to come through.
   We're very excited that Mack got what he asked Santa for this year- a forever home!
We love the little guy!

Rob, Mack and Tom on Adoption Day

Mack's other pics with Santa

Another pic of Mack and Santa

Mack looking at Dolly, Franklin and Tyler

Mack tells Santa "I want a forever home for Christmas."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Part 7 (final part): Famous Actors Playing Batman Villains

Since I'm (Rob) a HUGE Fan of Batman, and especially the Batman TV Series that ran from 1966-1968, I thought I'd
share 7 installments of famous actors who played villains in the series. They're ALL really famous. See how many you recognize. 
WHY NOW? - Because one of the most heavily requested Blu-ray releases of all time finally hit stores last week when Warner Bros. put out Batman: The Complete Series on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. (I have a version of it)
After years of waiting, fans now get to experience the classic 1966 series the way it was intended, fully uncut and beaming with bright, beautiful colors.



It’s almost a shame that someone as talented as Barbara Rush (It Came from Outer Space) was saddled with another of Batman’s least memorable villains. In her one appearance on the show, Nora Clavicle uses her wits and charm to convince Mayor Linseed to give her the Commissioner job, which is all part of a devious plan to destroy Gotham City and collect on an insurance claim. How does she plan to do it, though? With mechanical mice. Since she replaced the police force with housewives, they’re all afraid of mice. Pretty sexist, right? Ahh, those crazy 1960s.



It’s a shame that Batman doesn’t really let Dina Merrill’s Calamity Jan be much more than arm candy for their western spoof villain Shame, but at least the actress does the best she can with the material she’s got. Calamity Jan comes across as adorable and silly, but just smart enough to probably be able to ditch Shame and bring Batman and Robin to their knees. Sadly, we’ll never know if that’s true since she’s mostly playing second fiddle to Cliff Roberston’s Shame.



Ida Lupino helped pave the way for female directors of our time, so it should come as no surprise that she’s very much the leading power in the villainous duo that headlines Batman’s penultimate episode. Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft comes from a long line of female alchemists, but she’s determined to be the only successful one. So she uses her power to bring down the Bat. Or tries, at least. She’s a bright, colorful character in many ways, but the way she puts her silly husband Cabala in his place is the very best thing about her.


After a few episodes that feature female villains mostly relegated to storylines dominated by male power (Nora Clavicle and Calamity Jan), it’s great to see one where the man completely and utterly does anything he can to make his wife happy, right? Played by Howard Duff, Cabala is less a villain and more a sidekick to Dr. Cassandra Spellcraft. He’ll do anything to please her, calls her “Doccy Baby,” and can often be caught checking himself out in the mirror rather than plotting villainous schemes.


Batman’s final villain is also one of its most glamorous. Played by Zsa Zsa Gabor, Minerva opens a health spa in Gotham City and uses her Deepest Secret Extractor to run amok. She’s pulling off robberies left and right, and even Alfred gets involved going undercover to help The Dynamic Duo. What makes Minerva so memorable, however, is the star power of Gabor. Sure, she’s mostly just saying “Darlings…” a lot, but her appearance as the platinum-dressed villainess will likely never be forgotten.
Batman: The Complete Series (Limited Edition) is available on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD now.

Friday, December 19, 2014

A fun 50th Birthday "Wine and Canvas" Party

Rob and Sterling clowning around
Earlier in the month, we went to our friend Sterling's 50th birthday party, hosted by his partner Sean and Sterls' parents. It was an amazing, fun event, where all of the guests (there were about 30) were treated to making a painting of a beachscape- under the instruction of an artist.   
   Everyone received a canvas and paints and were seated at long tables. The instructor had a finished "beachscape" painting and a blank canvas and took everyone through a step-by-step to paint it. 


Rob the artist at work

The room of partygoing painters!

Rob's painting with the "kids"

Tom's painting with an umbrella

Rob and Tom
   Some added their own tweaks, while everyone had a good time.  Below are some of the people and paintings!

Dolly, Tyler and Franklin in Rob's painting

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Doggy Car Ride Time!

getting cozy
Our three kids love to ride in the pickup truck. The cab of the truck has a specially-built bench (Tom built it) that acts as a bed for Dolly (Weimaraner), Franklin (red Dachshund) and Tyler (Black and Tan Dachshund). Tom even carpeted the bench and there's a comforter on it, so the kids have the entire cab to stretch out and relax. They also like to see what's happening while we're driving, and then get sleepy, so they all seem to get their faces on the front arm rest before zonking out. Here are some pictures of a drive to see Santa.
Getting sleepy!

Franklin and Tyler
Dolly and Tyler see the camera

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Great new CD from Ty Herndon (country) !

5.0 out of 5 stars This is great country music! A CD to listen to over and over!
I (Rob) have been a fan of country music from the 1960s to the early 2000s.  (until country artists started "rapping" - which hurts my head, so I turn it off). One of the country artists from the 1990s that I really liked was Ty Herndon. He's always had crisp, clean vocals and sang a number of songs that I really love. 
   He's been out of the spotlight for quite awhile though, and just recently released a new CD. I did a review of it on, and it's really great. 
Review:by Rob  
  This review is from: Lies I Told Myself (Audio CD)
This is great country music! All of the songs are catchy, easy to understand, clearly sung, and cover a gamut of experiences in life. From the uptempo "I'm in love with you" to the realistic "Lies I told myself." Every cut on this CD is enjoyable and I've listened to it every day for a week (since I got it). There is no "rap" in this CD, just well-sung, enjoyable, easy to relate to, emotional great music.  
     BTW- Ty Herndon finally came out of the closet and admitted he's a gay man. He went through two failed marriages to women ( I'm sure it was because religion forced him to hide who he was) and finally decided to be honest with himself and the world. I'm happy for him that he can now rest easier, and that he's back with a great country music CD. (Btw, there's nothing on it about his personal life. I highly recommend the CD. 
VIDEO OF FIRST SONG: (The Lies I Told Myself):

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Rescue Transport of 2 Dachshunds for "Dash Rescue"!

On Sunday, Dec. 14th after a nice morning visit with our friends Sam, Laura and baby Mary Rose, we did a Dachshund
rescue transport. We met Katie in Alexandria and picked up 2 dachshunds: Saylor is a red, smooth boy, 2 years old.
SAYLOR (being fostered in Annapolis, Md.) ~ 15lbs, 2 years, male/neutered, red smooth doxie, Heartworm negative (thankfully) & up to date on vaccines ___ sassy little man! ___ 

Dapple is a black and tan dachshund with some dapple coloring, and also 2 years old. DAPPLE (also being fostered in Annapolis) ~ 14lbs, 2 years, female/spayed, silver-dapple smooth doxie, not yet tested for heartworm  & up to date on vaccines ___
Both came from Alabama and were transported to Annapolis, Maryland to be fostered for future adoption. 
Dapple rode on Tom's lap
   DID YOU KNOW?   All of the dogs that the various rescues in Maryland save and find homes for (after getting all of them much-needed medical care) come from the southern U.S. That's because the general attitude in the southern U.S. is "we don't believe in spaying and neutering, we don't bring our dogs and cats to a vet, and if they get to be to inconvenient, we simply dump them on the side of the road."  - I lived in TN, GA, and KY, and trust me, that's the truth. Anyway, all of the dogs we find homes for come from the south and find homes in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeastern U.S.
   The Dachshund rescue we transported for this time is DASH Rescue, and we brought the two dogs right to the President of the rescue, Sarah Young.

Sarah of DASH holds Dapple in Annapolis

Saylor and Tom at the drop off point!
For info about these dogs or the rescue, to adopt them or to make donations to help care for these dogs' medical expenses with DASH Rescue, visit:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tom's Essay for his Shakespeare Course

During our 2012 vacation in England, we visited Shakespeare's House  (it was built in 1470). While there we signed up
Tom at Shakespeare's House in June 2012
for emails from the historic house and museum, and recently they offered a 6 week free on-line course about Shakespeare, so Tom enrolled and took it. Tom enjoyed the course and for the "final" he had to write an essay involving one of Shakespeare's plays. So, you'll see it below!

A creative work influenced by a work by Shakespeare

In this written assignment, we were tasked with illustrating with an example a creative work that has been influenced by a work by Shakespeare.  I have chosen as my example an episode entitled “Mortal Coil” from the American TV series, Star Trek Voyager.  In this episode, the character Neelix dies and is resurrected after 19 hours.  His death experience causes him to question the purpose of life, and his own reason for existing.  This very same contemplation and reflection on the meaning of life occurs in Act V, Scene 1 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

What I particularly appreciate about the science fiction genre is its ability to explore socially sensitive topics in a very meaningful way; topics which are too controversial, and often the cause of much public debate can be explored in this totally innocuous format.  From our course we learned that Shakespeare, in a very similar manner, would use plays to do the very same thing.  

Hamlet was written around the year 1600.  Queen Elizabeth I is near the end of her reign.  There is fear of the unknown.  Who will assume the throne?  It is a time of transition; a time when there will be a transfer of power.  

Shakespeare also uses Hamlet to question the church’s teachings. The character Ophelia commits suicide and yet will receive a Christian burial, an act which is questioned by the gravediggers.  Hamlet observes one of the gravediggers singing as he works, and notes that the job of digging graves is such a miserable way to make a living, how can anyone be singing while they performed such work?  “Has this fellow no feeling of his business? He sings at grave-making.” says Hamlet. 

Other Hamlet missives include Hamlet’s contemplation on the value of life when in the end, a person’s corpse can be treated in such a manner – commenting on the gravediggers tossing up skulls and other bones as they’re digging deeper into the ground.  At one point, Hamlet morbidly asks the gravedigger to tell him how long it takes for a corpse to rot.  In the end, Hamlet’s conclusion is that man comes from dust, and returns to dust, at least dust has a purpose – to fill holes in the wall and block out the wind’s draft.

In the Star Trek episode, Neelix reaches a very similar conclusion and even goes so far as to attempt suicide himself just to be rid of this earthly shell, this “mortal coil” that entwines him and prevents him from escaping an otherwise worthless existence.    

Click here for the story of our 2012 Visit to Shakespeare's House : ENGLAND TRIP: Day 6: Part 6: Shakespeare's House and his Daughter's House/Ghosts


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.

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)

Super Yawn from Krypto (Dolly)