Monday, September 29, 2008

Comic Con/ House / Doggy Stuff / Eyes Have it!

Yesterday's Baltimore Comic Book Convention was great. It was very crowded, and I went with my friend Grey, and Tom's friend's partner (both of whom are HUGE comic book fans). We spent hours there going through the aisles of comic books, seeing artists and writers, looking at toys, tee-shirts, and other superhero stuff. It was fun! We also took a lunch break and went to the Federal Hill Street Festival (nearby) that our friend Jane organized. We met Jane and Steve for a quick lunch and enjoyed the festival before going back to the convention!
- HOUSE PROJECT Meanwhile, Tom stayed home with the dogs, and installed 4 new in-ceiling lights in the Kitchen. They look awesome, and provide great light in there now!
DOG NEWS- Dolly gets her stitches out tomorrow!!! Franklin's leg is much better, too. The doc apparently worked it back into place.
- EYE STUFF- I pick up my 2nd pair of glasses tomorrow, and in 2 weeks, Tom goes for his cataract surgery consultation. Yup, he's got them and they're driving him crazy, so they need to be removed. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

You wait all week for Saturday, and...

It's raining. Yup. A dog event that I've had on the calendar for 2 months is cancelled due to a pain-in-the-butt Low pressure system that's now sitting near southwestern Virginia and bringing clouds and showers from VA to Maine. We were supposed to go the Pet Appreciation Festival and Pet Memorial Day observance
at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, MD with our friends Brooke, Pat and their dog Eli. Well, I'm pretty miffed. I wait all week to finally do something that's not work and it's cancelled. Okay, it wouldn't so bad if we didn't have 17 straight days of Sunshine and No rain beforehand. Timing is everything.
On top of that, we got our haircuts this morning at a nearby barber. There were 4 people cutting hair, and an older gentleman (who was one of the barbers) said "Next." I went next. Big mistake. I have a big "lump" of hair on the side of my head that he didn't thin out to match the other side. I now have to trim it myself or pad it down with lots of hair gel until my next haircut. I knew he'd screw something up when he wouldn't stop talking about his wife and kids great "2 week adventure out west." He kept stopping and talking with his hands over and over again. Yeah, I was exasperated. Meanwhile, Tom and another person were done with another barber (a more talented woman) in the time it took the Talker to finish chopping my hair. Thaaaaaat's great.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Lots of Dogs in Wash DC Need Foster Homes ASAP

Our friend Jeff F. came upon this great dog-saving organization in Washington, DC called "The K-9 Lifesavers Dogs" that try and place dogs in foster or permanent homes. Some are in kill-shelters and their time is ticking...Read their profiles

Here's one that needs Immediate fostering: Name: Mellie (HOW CAN YOU RESIST?)
Breed: Cocker Spaniel Mix Approximate Age: 5 months
Approximate Weight: 18 lbs -- will grow to be about 25-30
Currently Living at: A horrible high kill shelter -- Please foster Mellie today!

Looking Forward to the "Muscle Relaxing" Weekend

After a tough week, BOTH dogs are on the mend. Dolly has her energy back, and had the stitches from her upper back removed at the Vet yesterday. Her surgery stitches come out next week. Franklin is on muscle relaxers like Dolly, for his sprained front right leg. So, BOTH dogs are on muscle relaxers!! They're going to have a lazy weekend. :)
SATURDAY: We are going to take Dolly and Franklin to a doggy event on Saturday (and may wind up carrying them quickly...Franklin is 21 pounds, Dolly is 58, but hey, we work out). If it doesn't get rained out... it's a "Pet Appreciation Festival" in Timonium, Md. ( with lots of pet vendors, etc. - and we're meeting our friends Brooke and Pat and their dog Eli there.

SUNDAY: It's the Baltimore Comic Book Convention for Rob!! (Tom is staying home to garden with the dogs in the backyard). (IMAGE: Superboy and Krypto- DC Comics).
Rob and his friends Grey and Tom (another Tom) are going to the convention, then may go to a street festival in Federal Hill to see Steve and Jane. The Baltimore Book Festival is also on all weekend, so there's much to see!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


It's Thursday, Sept. 25th and by 9:30 a.m. it was already "One of Those Days."
- FIRST- Our heartfelt and sincere sympathy and condolences to our friend Mike Fitzgerald, who's dad passed away on Sept. 23rd, losing a battle with cancer. After just losing my dad less than 2 months ago, I know what he's feeling. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts. His blog:
- SECOND - Our friend John in Virginia Beach is facing cancer for the 4th time in his life. He's conquered it 3 times. Now it's not in one place, but throughout his body and he's on a new chemo treatment. John's the most optimistic, loving person you'll ever know. If you want to send him a note of encouragement, his email is: He said "This new chemo is the new 'designer' chemo, and it's supposed to kill ONLY the cancer cells, and not any of the healthy cells."
- THIRD - Our dachshund Franklin is now at the Hospital for his Injured right front foot - Now he won't and really can't walk without whimpering in pain. I had to carry him outside last night and this morning to do his business. I took him into the Vet this morning, and had to leave him all day for X-rays and an exam. Either it's sprained or broken, we're unsure. Stay Tuned.
- FOURTH - A morning COMPUTER UPDATE for WINDOWS crashed our home computer early this morning on my "Work at Home Day." - So, after dropping Franklin to the vet, I had to drive to work and leave Dolly at home in her protective collar. The computer is rebooting and self-fixing over the next several hours. Hopefully it will work!
- FIFTH - Little things- after Tom left for work this AM, and the dogs and I went back to bed, a gust of wind from the slightly open kitchen window knocked a dish off the counter that was drying (from Tom's breakfast) and it shattered - scaring Dolly, Franklin and I!
YES, It's another "So Happy It's Thursday! - or S.H.I.Thursday! :)
Hope your day is going better, and keep Mike and John in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Krypto Flies Again! (as do Dolly, Franklin and Low Pressure Systems)

Krypto Flies Again in the pages of this week's SUPERMAN Comics #680!!!
In "Atlas," part 4: It's the grand finale of the Atlas epic and Superman's foe ia seemingly victorious! With Superman down for the count, who can stand in the way of the city's supposed new ruler? Enter Krypto, (Super)man's best friend, who will do anything to protect his master. Don't miss Krypto at his most heroic, a worthy addition to the Superman Family – and a very good boy. (a MUST BUY!!) - After all, Dolly loves dressing up like Krypto.
It's day #7 after Dolly's surgery. Today we've noticed an incredible improvement. She's finally not wincing and scooting after doing her business. Her ears are up, she's perky again, and her tail wags again! She's Flying High again! We're so happy to have our little "poo-poo head" getting back to normal. FRANKLIN, however, flew through the air when he jumped from a chair and hurt his left front paw. He's now limping. He keeps thinking he's a big dog. He's going to be limping for awhile, and we MUST keep him off the chairs (we've tried for years).
Watch Mid-Atlantic Live Radar here:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Weekday Routine and Dolly Recovery Day #5 and 6

It was a perfect Fall day on Monday, Sept. 22nd, sunshine, blue sky, around 78F, and we had to work. Sigh. Today, Tuesday the 23rd will be just as nice though - and working from home, I'll be able to walk the dogs a couple of times and enjoy the weather. I love working from home a couple of days a week!
WEEKDAY ROUTINE: Seems like when we get home from work, we have enough time to make dinner, feed the "kids"/dogs, clean up, run to the gym for an hour, walk the dogs afterward, and have about 1 hour of TV or reading before we have to sleep and start all over again! That's why weekends are so important! (BTW- I love the sitcom "The Big Bang Theory" on Monday nights- about nerds into science and superheroes who try to fit into society with "normal people." Worth Watching!!
We finally got a chance to return to the gym last night after almost 2 weeks. It felt good. I still do my sit-ups every morning, and have now added in push-ups again, as gym time is at a premium. Exercise feels good!
DOLLY UPDATE: Dolly is now in Day #6 after her operation. She's still wincing in pain whenever she has to relieve herself in any manner- so the codeine helps. I can't wait for her pain to subside. We get the stitches out on Sept. 30th from her operation, and from her upper back (where she cut it 2 weeks ago). She's sleeping better, thankfully.
IN OUR THOUGHTS: Our friend Mike recently noted on his blog "Zentropolis"- see my list to the Right and click on it to read- that his Dad is dying of cancer. Please keep his dad and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2 funny political Videos- No Party Necessary

Here's a clip from a recent "Daily Show" - that's worth watching!
Copy and paste in another browser:
Thanks to Jeff for sending this... it's an education.
AND- here's a fun one from "JIB JAB" - thanks to Cynthia:
Copy and paste in another browser:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

2 Electricians and Recovery Day #4:Sunday

We're staying close to home this weekend, because Dolly is in a lot of pain from her surgery. SO, on Saturday we had two electricians here to work on several projects. The light switch on our stairway doesn't work right on both floors; we had two spotlights wired up in the backyard (to see the dogs at night); an attic light installed; wiring to the new backyard fountain we bought (at 50% off last weekend!)and a light and ceiling fan in the new patio we built (but still haven't enclosed). The job is continuing on Sunday, too. Meanwhile, there's no rest for us. I made a run to the dump and bought 12 mum plants and 5 bags of hardwood mulch. After we moved our new fountain, Tom planted the mums and mulched another new bed of plants he planted last weekend. (see photo) Because we've put so much effort into the backyard, I made a little VIDEO TOUR of some of the backyard, so you could see it!

DOLLY UPDATE DAY #4: When Dolly relieves herself she cringes, because of the pain. It's supposed to subside after a week. I can't wait. Further, she's learned to work her way out of the Elizabethan (plastic) collar, and can actually bend past the inflatable dog collar. Fortunately, she's really good about not going to her stitches. She's on Codeine and Rimadyl (I think people take both, although I've never had Rimadyl). Saturday night into Sunday, I slept on the floor with her again, and she was a lot more comfortable, only getting up 4-5 times and moving. I've been walking her and Franklin short distances around the neighborhood, and the small amount of exercise seems to relieve the pain she gets when she pees. So, that's a good thing. Tonight I plan on sleeping in our bed for a change!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Day #3- Post-Surgery - Dog's stricture (correcting dog recurring urinary tract infections)

      Friday was a busy day- I was fortunate enough to be able to work at home, to ensure that Dolly didn't lick her stitches.   Dolly had surgery for a vaginal stricture which caused urinary tract infections. Apparently, if female dogs have continual urinary tract infections, they may have a stricture, or a closure, which means when they urinate, some of their urine stays inside their bodies and causes infection.
 - Once the stricture is surgically reopened, urine no longer gets trapped and causes infection.
    I again slept with Dolly on the floor, to ensure she didn't lick her stitches. She kept getting up (about 4 times) because of the discomfort of having stitches in her private area. So, sleep was restless, but we got enough. 
  We finally got up at 6am, and I walked Dolly out in the backyard on the leash, and let Franklin run. It's important that when a dog has an operation near her privates (even spaying or neutering) that they're not allowed to "scoot" on the ground. That will wear the stitches and dirty the area. So, I was mindful of that, and cleaned her off after she snuck a "scoot" in on the grass. It's very painful for her to urinate still, just as it is for people with that surgery. Poor baby.Dolly's stitches are under her tail - that's why it's so very, very painful. They also shaved her lower back for an epidural during the procedure).

 **UPDATE:  7 years later as of Dec. 2015, Dolly has only had one other urinary tract infection (not related to the stricture). 
  ***SO, if your female dog exhibits recurring urinary tract infections, have them assessed for a vaginal stricture. The surgery basically "reworked" her plumbing and there were quite a number of stitches. She was on pain medication for 2 weeks (I believe), but the surgery was Well-worth it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Dolly Post Surgery Day 2

It's Day 2 after Dolly's "stricture" surgery. Despite the fact that she has stitches inside and outside of her private area, she's doing very well. She's on TWO pain medications including Codeine, and an antibiotic. She's alert and happy to be home.
Last night, I slept on the floor next to her (thanks to Craig B for calling and suggesting I should do that and the ice pack)and she woke up several times trying to get comfortable. She didn't need the collar though, to keep her from licking the wound. She doesn't even touch the stitches. She's supposed to wear a collar for 2 weeks to keep her from licking the stitches, but the inflatable one I bought doesn't work as she can still reach back there. However, the horrible elizabethian one does work. But she's really not bothering it at all! In fact, I've left the collars off while we're in the house - and she's leaving the stitches alone. She's such a good girl. The only one I worry about is Franklin if he tries to lick Dolly's wound to heal it... so we'll have to separate them when/if we go out for a short time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Political Test Yourself - ABC News Test- Which Candidate Do You Agree With More?

Here's a test that Tom sent to me, to see where I fall in agreement with the candidates. It will give you some idea about which political candidate falls more in line with your beliefs.
There are 13 sets of quotes. Read them carefully and click on the one you agree with most. It's a close race, so maybe this will help! I wound up with 11 of 13 for Obama. That's all I'll say, as I've decided not to talk politics this year (it's dangerous ground) HOWEVER, this is a Tool to help YOU! Here's the URL. Just Copy and Paste it in another browser: Http://

3pm EDT Sept. 18 Update on Dolly - Post-Surgery

3PM UPDATE: Dolly is HOME. I picked her up at 1:30pm today. She's doing okay. Her backside looks like a stitched patchwork, but she's very mellow, and on 2 different pain meds, and antibiotics. (I asked if they had valium for me - but they didn't!). When she came in the room, I teared up - she's shaved in back, and over her lower back, as she was given an epidural.
She has to wear an inflatable collar around her neck for the next 2 weeks, so she doesn't lick "back there." She's snoozing in it right now, so it's not terribly uncomfortable. It's so good to have our baby home.

Earlier Post: Surgery didn't happen until after 6:00pm last night, and the vet called me around 8:30pm and said it went well. I don't know if Dolly was conscious or not by that time though. The vet said that they were going to attempt to feed her later last night, and walk her outside for a minute or two. I'll know more today- I'm supposed to call her after 9 am this morning, and check if I can pick her up today/tonight... so that's all I know at the moment.
Meanwhile, Franklin has been mopey all day yesterday and this morning. He won't get up. He just hides under a blanket.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

UPDATE: Dolly's Surgery Date - Today - Still Waiting 3:20pm

It's 3:20 pm on Wed. Sept. 17th and I'm STILL waiting for a call from the Vet hospital about Dolly. Talk about high anxiety...

9/17/08 - UPDATE: I checked Dolly into the Anne Arundel Emergency Veterinary Hospital this morning at 7:30am. Franklin was with us, of course, and HE was the one that was shaking and scared. Dolly just stood around waiting until she was checked in. Of course, when they took her in the back and I turned to leave I was a tearful mess. I'll be on edge all day today until the doctor calls after Dolly wakes up after her surgery.

9/16/08- I took Dolly (and of course Franklin) to the Anne Arundel Veterinary Hospital for the second consult on her "vaginal stricture" today, and the doctor (who was really nice) confirmed it. So, tomorrow I check Dolly in for surgery in the early morning. She'll have to stay overnight, and when she comes home, has to wear those unbearably uncomfortable "elizabethian collars." Tomorrow I'll be on edge.

Tuesday Morning Stuff - Happy Birthday Mom!

It's Tuesday, Sept. 16th, and it's Tom's Mom's birthday!
We've got a little surprise in store, but can't write about it until tomorrow, as mom reads this blog.... so you'll have to wait and see tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Fall has arrived in Maryland... finally. The dry cold front that came through yesterday afternoon (yup, none of the much-needed rain) wiped away the abysmal humidity of Sunday. It was about 59F here this morning, which made for a great early morning (6:30am) walk with the dogs. Today at 1pm though, I have to take Dolly to the Annapolis Veterinary Hospital for more tests, prior to her surgery tomorrow. I'm stressed over it, of course.

Speaking of, we're pretty concerned about the economy after yesterday's news:
Wall Street Posts Worst Loss Since 2001
NY Times
Despite reassurances by the Bush administration, the Dow fell 4.4 percent on Monday, dragged by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch.
Whoever says the economy is good (I think John McCain said it was sound, at least
3 times in recent weeks) is not paying attention.

Happy Tuesday!

These people vote...

Mom Feldhaus sent us this story today- it'll make you laugh out loud. This is from Weyauwega, Wisconsin (west of Green Bay). Enjoy... but know that these people vote!! (and you can likely guess who he voted for in the last election!)

I live in a semi-rural area. (Weyauwega, Wisconsin)
We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative
office to request the removal of the Deer Crossing sign on our road.
The reason: "Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think
this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dolly Cuts her Back

Friday night was tough. We were supposed to have dinner with our friends Ben and Chuck, that we haven't seen for months. Instead, I spent 3 hours at the Vet with Dolly. All was fine until we pulled into the driveway at home after coming home from work and Doggy Day Care. I opened the truck door, and Franklin jumped out first, and Dolly next, but she tried running underneath the door (following Franklin) instead of running around it. SO, the point of the bottom of the door gouged into her leaving a bleeding, oozing 1-1 1/2" wound and ripping off fur.
I immediately called vets here in Bowie, MD to be turned away. So, I drove Dolly to her old vet the next town over (and hit massive traffic). She had it shaved, cleaned and stapled. She's on antibiotics for that in addition to her urinary tract infection, the poor baby.

She was sooo patient at the vet for THREE HOURS waiting. She hasn't even touched it or licked it either. She's the best baby. Hopefully, October will be much better for her, after all that and next week's surgery.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dolly Likely to Have Major Surgery Next Week

Tuesday, Sept. 9, 8:35 pm EDT
Okay, I'm stunned. It's certainly been the summer for that. I took Dolly to the vet today for yet another urinary tract infection. She's prone to them, and have been getting them every 3-6 months for her entire life. She's had x-rays, etc. before -and the vet always just gave antibiotics to clear them.
Today, I decided to go to a vet closer to the house (here in our town), and not a 1 1/2 hour round trip drive to the vet I've been bringing her to since I adopted her in March 2005.
The vet was very nice, and very knowledgeable. He took blood tests, and urine tests (I brought a sample), and told me that it sounds like a "vaginal stricture." If he expected a gay man to know what that was, of course, I didn't. He explained that the "area" was almost sealed up inside, causing build up of bacteria and continual urinary tract infections. He gave her an exam there in the office and confirmed it. He said in the last couple of weeks, he's seen 3 other dogs with it.
So, we have an appt. with Annapolis Veterinary Hospital next Tuesday for the pre-operative consultation, and on Wed. the 17th for her surgery. I'm a mess.
I checked the definition on-line and found this: "In some cases a stricture is simply there because the female has never been bred and once a tie has been accomplished the stricture is loosened. Very often vets can snip the bands that are causing the stricture with no problem. (Not in Dolly's case I was told, however). A good vet can evaluate the female and either repair the stricture of advise you of the need for a csection. There are people who believe this to be a genetic issue, however it is one that is correctable."
The hospital told me Dolly would have to be hospitalized for 1-3 days, and couldn't exercise or go to daycare for 2-3 weeks. Hopefully, she'll get through the surgery without any problems, and it will prevent any more infections from ever developing. Our baby is in pain every time she gets them. Please keep Dolly in your thoughts and prayers.

Tom Pulled his Back Out Again / Rob's New Glasses

It's not a major injury, but Tom has a back that aches him when he does strenous stuff, so it's not a surprise that his back was acting up again. So, muscle relaxers and painkillers are the order of the week.
On a better note, I picked up my new glasses. I actually bought 2 pair (2nd at a discount), but the second pair hasn't come in yet. The pair that did come in are in Clark Kent style. Yes, I did that on purpose.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More Weekend Patio Work and Gardening

Sunday was a beatiful day outside, sunny and 86F so Tom finished the third and final side of framing the patio roof, so we can paint it and screen it! It took about 4 hours.

While Tom was finishing up the side of the patio today, Sunday, I was in charge of planting and dog washing!
This morning, we bought 10 creeping juniper shrubs and it was my job to plant them near our backyard shed. I did that and washed the dogs, so Dolly and Franklin were sparkling clean! I used a dog shampoo that smells like strawberries - we bought it in Target and I recommend it.
We finshed around 4:30pm, cleaned up and met Tom's folks for dinner - what a way to end a weekend.

Halloween Costume In Progress

This year, I thought I'd try a different superhero- one I don't have a costume for: The Green Lantern!
Green Lantern possesses a power ring that gives the user great control over the physical world as long as the wielder has sufficient willpower and strength to wield it.
Actually there is a "Green Lantern Corps" consisting of these "galatic guardians" - and they're made up of all different life forms. Each wear rings that are technological creations of the Guardians of the Universe, who granted such rings to worthy candidates. These individuals made up the intergalactic police force known as the Green Lantern Corps. SO, I'm making a Green Lantern costume for Dolly!! - Will get back to you about Tom's and Franklin's costumes.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

This is Love...

Dolly and Franklin hopped on the bed with me this morning for 30 minutes after they and Tom had breakfast and Tom went to work. They positioned themselves to face each other, and I realized it after I got up (the 2nd time) and grabbed my cell phone to take this picture. These two are the best of friends, and truly brother and sister!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Banking Tip- Try A Credit Union for Best Rates

A Tip from Tom- Today's Wall Street Journal Article:
Many Americans are pretty unimpressed with the banking industry right now. So maybe it's a good time to look at an alternative -- like moving your account to a local credit union instead.
These not-for-profit co-operatives have a kind of sleepy, backwater image. They're often seen as the local libraries of banking. But that's too bad. The chances are they didn't pay their chief executive $10 million while writing off billions in subprime loans. And they can offer you some surprisingly good deals.
To find one to join go to, the Web site run by the trade organization, to find credit unions near you.
Copy and Paste this URL to Read full article:,-Check-Out-a-Credit-Union

Monday, September 1, 2008

Franklin's Goofy Fence Game with the Neighbor's Dog

Franklin and Dolly hate squirrels in their territory, but Franklin has a different kind of territory game he plays. Franklin also likes playing a game with our neighbor's dog on the other side of the fence where the run along the fence and bark at each other...this is what they're doing in this "typical day" video... while Dolly couldn't care, and happily chomps on a stick!

Another Working Weekend! - with VIDEO Proof!

This weekend we worked on the porch more, actually Tom did, with his step-dad, and his sister's boyfriend. They built two of the three sides, that are going to be screened in next weekend... and they put one of the two doors on it! You can see some of that in the picture here, and you can see our paint job from last weekend. I was in charge of cooking for 6! - we did take time out to visit a Baltimore Antiques Show and Federal Hill, Baltimore, and the Hampton National Historic Site (Mansion) in Towson, Md. - a great 19th century home, with 95% of it's original furnishings. Worth the trip!

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.

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