Friday, October 31, 2008

Ghost Walk in Historic Ellicott City, Maryland!

Last night, Oct. 30th, we (with Dolly and Franklin) joined our friends Todd and Erica for a Ghost Walk through old Ellicott City, Maryland. It's an old town, preserved as it was in the early 1800s. Founded in 1772, the town features the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Station Museum, built in 1830, a downtown historic district, which is a very popular destination among antiques shoppers, with restaurants, eclectic boutique shops, coffee shops, a tea room and many historic sites. It's one of the most haunted towns in Maryland! - I've sensed them...
Here are some pictures from last night. Franklin gave Erica a surprise kiss; Dolly and Franklin sniffing for ghosts; Tom scared!! and the haunted antique shop, that used to be a funeral home/carriage house. Ghosts appear in it today!

More Great Family Themed Costumes/Photos

Here's a GREAT Halloween family pic from our friends Joel and Nancy in Virginia- Their dog, Raleigh came as a dog, baby Jonah dressed as a dog; Nancy - 8 1/2 months pregnant and a fire hydrant and Joel as a fire hydrant. ALSO with the fire department truck from the parade in the background! Way to go- we love them!
Here's a great Halloween-pic from our friends Melinda and Derek in Hawaii with their son Jack and daughter Emmy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Dolly Parton Dress-up Contest for Halloween / What's in the Halloween Treats?

Here's a Halloween Contest you can enter if you DARE! Dolly Parton is offering a prize for the best look-a-like! (Tom and I don't do drag). Thanks to our friend Ed from Nashville who sent this!

From MEN'S HEALTH: What's really in Halloween Candy?
- BE WARNED: They also say to not eat candy, and that's not going to happen!
Halloween calories can add up and set you down a scary path of eating. Don’t let labels like “fun size” throw you off-guard—Halloween-sized treats typically deliver about 75 calories, 13 grams of carbs, 1g protein, and 3g fat per piece. So keep your quantities down: One a day is a good limit this week.
Trade the fake chocolate in Tootsie Rolls for the dark chocolate in Hershey’s Kisses—at 25 calories a pop, these treats contain the same skin and heart benefits found in red wine.
Trick your body into producing more energy with treats. Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups slow down the emptying of sugar from your stomach to your blood stream, delivering even energy for a few hours when you need a sweet boost.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More Favorite Halloween Pics!

More great costumes from past Halloweens:
My friend Lynn J as Maleficient; Jeff and Gary as soldiers from different eras; My favorite photo of Dolly as Krypto, Superman's dog; Steve C. and I as Perry White editor of the Daily Planet and Superman; a Super-Yawn from Krypto (Dolly); Fitz as an Electric Cowboy with Rob as Aquaman and Tom as a Scarecrow; and Tom as Brad Pitt! (well, it works for me!)...and my friend Lynn, her son and husband Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie, Steamboat Minnie and Pete, the nasty cat captain who terrorizes Steamboat Willie.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some of our Favorite Halloween Pictures in the Last 2 Years

Here are a couple of our favorite Halloween pics, in addition to the corn suit pics further below on this blog. Some pics include our friends Colleen and Todd with baby Natalie as mustard, Ketchup and a hot dog; Steve as Sweeney Todd; Lynn as Tweety; and us and the kids as various things! Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Great Book for Halloween: Murder, She Wrote: Trick or Treachery

I just finished reading another book in the Murder She Wrote series by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain called "Trick or Treachery." FANTASTIC! It'll get you in the mood for Halloween.
Jessica and Seth attend the annual Cabot Cove Halloween party at Paul Marshall's house in costume, Seth as a military man and Jessica as "The Legend of Cabot Cove." While at the party, a strange new resident is murdered on the grounds. This mystery is more mysterious than you think it is. I read it in 3 days. Pick it up!

Petco Contest Winners -Second Place

This weekend we took Dolly and Franklin to Petco in Annapolis for a photo together (without us this time) and to enter them in their ear of corn suits in that local halloween costume contest. We met Tom's parents at the store, so it was more fun.
There were only about 7 others with their pets (all dogs and two cats). I guess the judges (three employees) liked cats, because that cat won first prize, much to the dismay of all the dog owners... because the cat wore a store bought flower outfit. Dolly and Franklin came in second, which meant a basket of a couple of different treats, small samples of dog food, and a $5 gift card to Petco.
The heavy rain we had on Saturday kept a lot of people from coming out we think... That meant more treats for us to get for the kids, as Petco had a table of free treats. Tom's mom helped herself to them, too, so she'd have plenty on hand when her grand-doggies come and visit!
Our friend Ben called us later and told us he went by the Bowie Petco to see if we'd be there, and said that no one even showed up for their contest. Next year we'll go to Bowie. :)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Rob's Green Lantern Costume

Okay - here are the first photos of my Green Lantern Outfit! It's taken awhile to get it together. I ordered the top and bottom pieces at, and the customer service was fantastic. - I found the gloves, made the mask, bought a Green Lantern ring (2 years ago), spray painted my old cowboy boots green, and bought a lantern that I also spray painted green- so the outfit was complete! -
I made Dolly a Green Lantern shirt, too, to complement my outfit. She's the Green Lantern from the Dog Star. :)
This morning, I went to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis. I've been buying comics from this guy, Steve who owns this great shop - for years. He encouraged people to come by in their costumes, so I did. This is a photo of Steve, the comic shop owner and I.
Two other guys came in the shop in costume, one as "the Spirit" and the other as a Werewolf, so I took their picture as well. A little boy also came in with his dad, and the boy was dressed as Batman. I love comic book shops!

Saw the Movie "Into the Wild" - on DVD- good movie

Tom and I rented the movie "Into the Wild" on DVD tonight (it's a rainy Saturday night) and it was really good. It's based on a true story and the bestselling book by Jon Krakauer. After graduating from Emory University in 1992, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless (Hirsch) abandons his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters that shape his life. Movie Trailer:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Petsmart Costume Winners!

On Tuesday night, Oct. 21st, Petsmart stores around the U.S. had doggie costume events and a contest - so we took Franklin and Dolly in their "ear of corn" suits, and we wore matching Halloween shirts (yeah, my idea!). There were some great outfits, and some of the folks there with their dogs remembered us from last year (Rob was Aquaman and Dolly a shark; Tom and Franklin were skeletons). It was all in good fun, and everyone was just happy to be there.
One married couple were there again with their two pomeranian dogs - dressed as Elvis and a Pimp, and the woman was dressed in 1970s garb. She was so funny- (her husband didn't dress up). She said that we "raised the bar" for costumes last year, as she and her dogs came in second last year. Her dogs wore biker outfits. - this year she came in third.
Another woman dressed as Micky Mouse, and brought her two pugs, dressed as Micky and Minnie Mouse! They won second place. Another dog I thought was cute was dressed as Robin Hood (I think)- There was a princess, a dancer, a cow, a devil, a witch, and a wizard.

We also played the "Sit" to music game, and Dolly came in third. We opted Franklin out of the game because he won't sit on command, only if there's food involved! :)
THAT event at Petsmart was well organized and run, and it made my Halloween. Plus, for first place, we won $40 in Petsmart gift cards!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Stomach Flu Hits Home Again

Tom had a stomach flu for about 7 days about a week and a half ago. As of Sunday, I thought it was the five guys fries (I know they contributed), but today it's happening all over again. So, I believe I have Tom's stomach flu...thaaat's great. Pass the dry toast please. Of course, coffee is ALWAYS on the diet.

I Prefer not to get (or send) Political E-mails

A lot of us are guilty of sending politically-charged emails to friends and colleagues, including me (years ago). Recently, I've decided that's a very, very bad thing to do. There's more than enough information available to people to make an informed decision, based on their lifestyle. After all, it's all about whichever candidate you identify with most or whichever beliefs they promote.
Everyone that knows me, knows I'm a democrat, because I believe in equal rights for all people. Period.
I've been disappointed that various entertainers have come out supporting the candidate I'm not behind. That's what got me thinking - I DON'T want to know your political party. I just want to like you for who you are. Politics, like some religions are divisive. The bottom line - we need to love and support everyone. No exceptions.
Below are two articles from today's headlines I thought interesting. Speaking as an educated guy (not speaking as a Dem or Rep), story #1 about Sen. Stevens conviction and still being on the ballot is crazy. Story #2 about John McCain saying "liberals" are an economic threat when conservatives in power created the largest deficit in the history of this country, just doesn't make sense to me. Anyway, I will NOT send political emails. I'll keep thoughts here (and they will be few).

1) WASHINGTON POST: Stevens Found Guilty on 7 Counts
Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, one of Congress's most powerful Republicans, was convicted yesterday of lying on financial disclosure forms to conceal his receipt of gifts and expensive renovations to his house, just eight days before he faces voters in a tight reelection contest...
2) BOSTON GLOBE: McCain calls liberals a threat to economy
CLEVELAND - Republican John McCain, casting next week's presidential election along partisan and ideological lines, yesterday portrayed Democrat Barack Obama as an old-fashioned liberal who would govern as a dangerous extension of his party's congressional leadership.

Monday, October 20, 2008

YES! Dunkin' Coffee Beats Starbucks in National Taste Test!

Yes!! My favorite coffee is America's #1 choice!

Consumers invited to learn more at new website,
CANTON, Mass. (October 20, 2008) -- Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks? Americans have made their coffee choice clear. An independent taste test of coffee drinkers across ten major U.S. markets shows a significant majority of participants preferred Dunkin' Donuts coffee over Starbucks.
A&G Research, Inc., under the counsel of claims test advisor Al Ossip, conducted the taste test in May and June in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, and Starbucks' home turf, Seattle. 476 adults, each of whom had consumed regular, hot brewed coffee within the past week, participated in this double-blind taste test. For the test, A&G Research used fresh packaged coffee purchased in each brand's stores, tested each brand's most popular flavor (Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend versus Starbucks House Blend), brewed the coffee using equipment recommended by each brand and served it black.
RESULTS: A&G says that the study results clearly indicate a preference for Dunkin' Donuts: Among all participants, 54.2% preferred Dunkin' Donuts coffee, compared to 39.3% who chose Starbucks. 6.3% expressed no preference. Of those participants who did have a preference, 58% favored Dunkin' Donuts coffee, versus 42% for Starbucks.

Tummy troubles and movies

Sunday we ate at Five Guys restaurant and had some of their great hamburgers, but have noticed (now twice) that their french fries have made us very sick. We went there with two friends after seeing their new-old home in Gaithersburg. Needless to say, we drove home quickly, and Rob was sick all afternoon/evening. Tom didn't get it this time fortunately... but last week, Tom had either severe food poisoning or a stomach flu, as he was sick for one week! -
Sunday evening we were supposed to meet Tom's mom at the movies to see "Beverly Hills Chihuauhua" - I told Tom to go, and he did. He said the movie was okay. Meanwhile, I stayed home with the dogs (near the facilities) and watched Spiderman 2 on DVD, with interruptions of course. Ugh.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Halloween Outfits for the Dogs! - "Barctoberfest"

Tom and I took the dogs to "Barctoberfest" in Baltimore's Patterson Park this afternoon, and it was okay... but it took about half an hour to park (and lots of time to walk to it) so we were the last to sign up for the events. I miss the event being at the Can Company in the Canton area of the city.
Anyway, the long-awaited costume contest wasn't successful. Franklin's corn suit was a hit with people wanting to take pictures of him- but not a winner. Dolly was a Green Lantern from the Dog Star to match me in my Green Lantern outfit... (dog and owner look-alike) but she kept pulling off her "gloves" and her mask kept falling off, so we were a mess. Anyway, I made a backup outfit for her, on the recommendation of Mom Feldhaus in Maine last weekend. Mother's know best- so I made Dolly an "ear of corn" outfit, too, and put her in it after the costume event. That's when 4 young women asked to have their photos with Franklin and Dolly, both in the Corn Dog suits. So, it's a Corny halloween for the dogs.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today is Rob's 46th Birthday! - A Day Off!

I took today off to celebrate turning 46! Wow...46 - I used to think that was old, now I don't! :) It's all relative. Anyway, despite the fact that more gray hairs (LOOK FOR THEM!) are sneaking in this year, I still have a young spirit I think! I love life, dogs, coffee and people!
Nothing happier about a birthday than waking up next to the guy you love and your "kids" (Dolly and Franklin). After making breakfast for Tom and the dogs at 4am (typical), Tom had to go to work, and the dogs and I went back to bed until 6am! I did my morning sit-ups, and walked the dogs a mile, an jumped on the computer briefly (now). I had phone call singing from Tom and then his mom, and the day just wouldn't have been complete without our friend Jeff in VA calling and playing Loretta Lynn's "Happy Birthday" song (as he's done every year on this day for the last 6 years- I love it!).
BTW- Country Singer Alan Jackson is born on this day, and turns 50 today, so I'll be listening to his CDs all day (I think I have all of 'em). Birthday wishes also to my friend Sandra in Alabama, and John in Frederick, Md. (also both born today).
I'm going grocery shopping, and then picking up the dogs for a trip to Petsmart for food and treats, then taking them on a run, and giving them a bath!
Tonight I'll have dinner with Tom and his parents - great way to end a birthday.
On a final note regarding turning old - it's a state of mind. For example, Tom and I were in a pet store with the dogs, and I had Dolly (the gray weimaraner) with me. Dolly was only 2 years old... and a young boy walked up to me and said "Your dog is gray - She's old!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Need your Vote on a Dog Photo Contest ASAP!

I submitted Franklin and Dolly's birthday party photo to a website, and they take votes every week to determine a winner. You'll have to vote for about 12 dogs (they're in the middle of it) to get through it. You award stars (out of 10) for cuteness. They're counting on you! Thanks!! VOTE HERE:

Join Us Saturday Oct. 18th at BARCSotberfest!

We're Going in Costume to the 4th Annual BARCStoberfest Fundraiser!
Come and join us, dog or no dog! Tom, Dolly, Franklin and I will be there.
It's Saturday, October 18, 2008 11am - 4pm
BARCStoberfest is coming! The 4th annual BARCStoberfest fundraiser will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2008 in Patterson Park (rain date is 10/19/08). This festival is a fun-filled, day-long event for the whole family – and the family pet!
BARCStoberfest will feature great activities, pet contests, entertainment, demonstrations and new this year – the Strut Your Mutt Walk. It's a true community event that brings awareness to the causes of animal homelessness, educates the public about animal welfare, and raises money to support BARCS. For more information:

U.S.Soldier Finally to Get her Adopted Iraqi Dog!

A nice good news story for you...
The pup got a reprieve from the U.S. military and could be headed for Minnesota by the weekend.
By MARY JANE SMETANKA, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Last update: October 15, 2008 - 11:27 PM
Sgt. Gwen Beberg, who adopted Ratchet as a tiny 4-week-old pup after fellow soldiers in Baghdad rescued him from a pile of burning she'll finally get her companion. Powerful friends in Washington, D.C., and a worldwide outcry by dog lovers have prompted the U.S. military to agree to release Ratchet, the Iraqi puppy an Army sergeant from Spring Lake Park is trying to get to her Minnesota home.
But the black-and-white mutt isn't home free, yet. On Wednesday, because of what a rescue group says was a slow release by the military, the pup missed the flight that would have gotten him out of Baghdad.
Operation Baghdad Pups will make a special trip back to Iraq on Sunday to try to retrieve him.
The Full story:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Halloween During this Recession

This cartoon pretty much says it all for this Halloween:

Tailgaters...Today's Wins the Dumbhead Award!

This morning I drove Dolly and Franklin to Doggy Day Care as usual, and on the road I traveled, Route 178 in Crownsville, the driver behind me decided to tailgate me. So when I put my signal on to take a left into Doggy Daycare I moved close to the double yellow line, and stopped to wait for oncoming traffic to pass.
This guy was so close to me that when he stopped there was no way for him to move right and go past me! In fact, he wound up BACKING UP on the main road, turning his wheel and THEN going around me. Served him right. Of course, it would've served him even more if someone hit the clown. Why people tailgate on the road is beyond me.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Crypton Dog Beds...

UPDATE: Nov. 5, 2008: Since I wrote this, came through for me. They DID exchange the cover for a suede Marsh Fabric Crypton cover. The dogs WILL sleep on that one. I DO recommend for the Suede Marsh Crypton fabric bed.
BOTTOM LINE- if your dog likes soft cushions to lay on, the Wegman collection of fabric, although beautiful in appearance, won't be comfortable for your dog. Ask for the suede crypton fabric instead.

ORIGINAL POST: Okay- I tried to do a good thing. For us and for the dogs. For YEARS I've been reading about this Crypton fabric being used in dog beds that is spill, stain and dirt resistant, and comfortable. Well, it's 3 out of 4. They are NOT comfortable.
I paid $160 for the bed (which I would NEVER pay in a store, but you know,it's easier on-line)... only to find that the Crypton fabric is like Canvas. Yes, as rough as a canvas.
The design was beautiful, but the material is not comfortable at all. I wouldn't even want to use it for a pillow.
Needless to say, the dogs TRIED to sleep on it the first night. They were up all night. It was NOT comfortable. It was a CANVAS-like fabric- with weimaraners on it (the William Wegman collection).
So, I contacted the maker: dogbedworks who informed me that it was not exchangable : "This is a custom made item and we cannot accommodate returns or exchanges of these beds. As always, we are here help if you have any questions." I didn't see the fine print on the order. So, read everything when you order on-line.
DON'T MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE. Get a regular, comfortable bed from a pet store. If there's not enough stuffing in it, buy a $2.00 bag in Walmart and add to the bed. NOW I've got to figure out where I can get a new cover for this unusable bed.

Tough Weekend

It was a tough weekend. In fact, it was so stressful, I had headaches that withstood 4 tylenol (spaced accordingly by directions), stomach issues, and was emotionally and physically exhausted. I flew to Massachusetts to visit my widowed mother, and help her get the house cleared of some things since my dad passed. She's an emotional wreck. Up, down, depressed, angry, sad and changes her mind minute-by-minute. On top of it, she's been losing her memory over the last couple of years, so she gets angry when you do something she asked you to do before. I understand the loss of her husband (of 53 years), but the anger thing needs counseling.
I'm not someone that really ever yells (unless it's over politics at the television), but although I promised I wouldn't, I did it each day after being yelled at - I simply despise arguments and was prompted into them over and over. I won't go any further. Just know that if you have to deal with an elderly mom, and you love her very much, and she's angry and forgetful, it's not easy. For me to come home physically sick and emotionally/mentally exhausted, that's a tough weekend.
The only bright spots were two. One, my taking her on a Mystery Ride to Portland, Maine, where we met our friend Jeff and Mom and Dad Feldhaus for lunch. After, Jeff, my mom and I walked through the "Old Port" part of town, which was actually a really nice time. Two, Jeff came back to Mass. with my mother and I that night and we visited my brother Doug, wife Sue and my 2 nephews the next morning for a couple of hours.
TOM and the doggies got to stay home in the peace and quiet.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Conn. high court rules gay couples can marry

Well, it's about time. Maybe all the other states will realize that equal means equal. For those that use religion to deny and divide, I pray for them. If two people share love for each other, and God is love, do the people that stand against gay marriage think that God is evil then? Well, they're wrong. God loves everyone equally and everyone IS equal. Period. It's time to end division, hatred and fear.
After all, gay couples in Massachusetts have been marrying for over a year now- straight people haven't divorced because of it (they're doing fine with that by themselves) and everyone is living just fine there.

Conn. high court rules gay couples can marry By DAVE COLLINS Associated Press Writer
© 2008 The Associated Press Oct. 10, 2008, 11:57AM
HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut's Supreme Court ruled Friday that gay couples have the right to marry, making the state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions through the courts. FULL STORY:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Our Candidate for President- One you only heard of through us!

We have the perfect candidate for President this year, thanks to Hugh Simons in Atlanta, his campaign manager who provided the means.
This candidate has federal government experience on environmental issues. He's been a city councilor for years in my home town. He's knowledgeable about the political process, state and federal governments, what it takes to pass laws and make actions happen. He's been responsible for cleaning up beaches, for resolving land and business disputes. He's taken calls 24/7 from the general public and always provided a response. He's honest, hardworking, a husband and father. He's by FAR the best candidate Tom and I could ever imagine.
Watch this video to see who it is:

Support Marriage Equality in California

Our friends Rick and Richard asked us to post this: This really does go well beyond California in its impact. We would like to get married ourselves, and this kind of inequality really has to stop. It's just plain stupid.
08 Oct 2008 04:30 pm
"Red Alert In California
An anti-marriage equality ad, featuring Gavin Newsom, is making headway in California. The rights of many married couples are now in jeopardy. If you support marriage equality, please do what you can to talk to your friends and family members in California, or donate here for the No On 8 campaign. We're currently losing. And this is the most critical vote in the history of the civil rights movement of our time. With potentially historic levels of African-American voters in California, and with a certain political party rallying the extremist Christian right, the momentum has shifted. Please help."
TrackBack URL for this entry:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Superman's dad is dead ... again

I saw this story on CNN today (and am picking up my comics tonight, as I do every Wednesday night)- and this issue of Action Comics is already in my previously ordered list of titles. What's interesting is that I didn't know that DC Comics was going to revisit this story again. It's interesting because at work, several co-workers and friends call me "Superman" and this story is coming out just 2 months after my dad passed. Coincidence? Hmmm...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Superman's dad has died again.
DC Comics has killed off Clark Kent's Earth father with a heart attack. In Action Comics No. 870, out Wednesday, Superman can't hear his mom's cries for help in time to save Jonathan Kent.
The TV Jonathan -- played by John Schneider -- died long ago on CW's "Smallville."
In the original Superman tales of the 1940s, Clark Kent's parents died while he was still a teen. And in the 1978 "Superman" movie that starred Christopher Reeve, Jonathan Kent, played by Glenn Ford, also died of a heart attack.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Some Possible Mergers? (Really Funny ones!)

Here are some MERGERS that may happen as a result of the bad economy - according to "Mom" Ann Feldhaus in Maine (Thanks,Mom!):

With all the turmoil in the market today and the collapse of Lehman
Bros and Acquisition of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America this might be some
good advice. For all of you with any money left, be aware of the next
expected mergers so that you can get in on the ground floor and make some
BIG bucks.

Watch for these consolidations in later this year:
1.) Hale Business Systems, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Fuller Brush, and W R. Grace Co. Will merge and become:
Hale, Mary, Fuller, Grace.

2.) Polygram Records, Warner Bros., and Zesta Crackers join forces and become:
Poly, Warner Cracker.

3.) 3M will merge with Goodyear and become:

4. Zippo Manufacturing, Audi Motors, Dofasco, and Dakota Mining will
merge and become:
ZipAudiDoDa .

5. FedEx is expected to join its competitor, UPS, and become:

6. Fairchild Electronics and Honeywell Computers will become:
Fairwell Honeychild.

7. Grey Poupon and Docker Pants are expected to become:

8. Knotts Berry Farm and the National Organization of Women will become:
Knott NOW!

And finally...
9. Victoria 's Secret and Smith &Wesson will merge under the new name:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saw the Movie: Religulous

We finally saw a movie at the theatre - and it was really thought-provoking. I'm a firm believer in God and have a strong faith (having many times been communicating with those who have passed from this life), and have to say this documentary made a lot of sense.
As USA Today says, "Bill Maher's intent in his documentary is to shift that pressure onto the faithful as he grills them on the basic tenets of their beliefs. The results are funny, revealing, provocative and even scary. And to a goodly sum, probably, offensive."
The fascinating part of this is how religions are man-made, and each wants their followers to adhere to a different set of beliefs that can not only give hope and be a refuge for people, but also cause division, hatred, intolerance, wars and death. Maher interviewed a Vatican priest who admitted that no one knew when Jesus was born (he mentioned it could be July 3rd for all they know), and said that a number of traditions and beliefs were created long after Christ. Interesting.
Maher finds some really interesting characters (below from USA today story):
"1) From Mormon underwear to gizmos to assist Orthodox Jews to circumvent Sabbath rules, Maher finds plenty of humor in the holy. However, he goes out of his way to avoid bullying tactics: "There is a difference between not respecting a person and not respecting their beliefs."
2) When Maher goes after a Hispanic minister in Florida named Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, who claims he is the reincarnation of Jesus, he quips, "Not just because you share the name Jesus?"
3) The Rev. Jeremiah Cummings, ex-member of the singing group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, has a weakness for snappy, and expensive, suits. "The people want you to live well," he says. Maher zings: "That's what pimps say about their women."

"We want people to be enlightened of things they aren't aware of," Maher says. That includes that the recent finding by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life that 16% of Americans aren't affiliated with any religion, a bigger minority than blacks or Jews.

Here's one thing in the film that we both DID know: News that the Founding Fathers weren't high on organized worship might come as a shocker, too. Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying, "Lighthouses are more useful than churches." (So did Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc.) - What's interesting is the "religious right" wants to run the country, and that's totally opposite of what this country was founded on. Food for thought.

2 Stories I found Interesting: What Do You Think?

Happy Monday! Our dogs are back at daycare today for the first time in 3 weeks, and they were very excited.
Anyway, here are 2 stories in today's news I found interesting, and I'd be curious to hear your comments on the first one (just click on "COMMENT" below). I don't like public bathrooms... but when you have to use 'em, so be it. Some people outright fear them. It grosses me out though, when people don't wash their hands!!

Conquering the 'ewww' factor of the public potty
CNN Story Highlights:
*New Web sites help find nearby public restrooms in the U.S. and abroad
*Washing your hands is crucial to preventing the spread of bacteria
*The first stall is likely to be cleaner than the middle stall
*Don't put your purse on the floor, which has the highest concentration of germs

Dog makes 45 mile trek home 1:43
A once missing dog is back home with his owner, three weeks and 45 miles later. WJAR's Michelle Brown has the story.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hil and Richard Visit with their new dog!

Our friends Hil and Richard, who have been a couple for over 45 years visited us today and brought their new poodle, Amy (all pictured above). She was adopted from the Washington DC Animal Rescue League, and is around 3 years old. What a beautiful, well-trained, housetrained and lovable little dog she is.
We left the dogs together in the house and ventured out for some Chinese food. The dogs were fine and seemed to enjoy each other's company.
It was nice, because Dolly and Franklin don't like a poodle that lives down the street from us, but that's cause we think the older man that walks that neighbor dog is grumpy, and our kids just don't like him! :)

Saturday a Dogged Downer Turns Upward

Yesterday, Saturday, Oct. 4th I went to the 2nd of 3 doggy costume events planned for the month of October... and like last week's (which was cancelled and not rescheduled) this one didn't go well either.
Tom decided not to go because there was too many chores around the house to do (there were, but these events are what I wait all year for, as Halloween is my favorite time of year). Also, Jeff, Douglas, JC, Todd and Erica all cancelled for various (and good reasons), so I was on my own with Dolly and Franklin. It took 1 hour to get there. It was in Hunt Valley (north of Baltimore) and we're near Annapolis, but the drive was fine, singing to Alan Jackson with the dogs in the truck. :)
The Dogfest event was huge. It was spread out over about 5 farm-sized areas. Parking was a mess, run by teens on their cell phones, directing and misdirecting people all over. One teen attendant sent me in the opposite direction of where the entrance was (it wasn't obvious, and everything was over rolling hills).
The costume event wasn't marked, and was down over 2 rolling hills. We got there 15 minutes before it, and it took 10 minutes to walk to the entrance of the event, then walk 1/4 mile up a dirt road to the vendor's tents - which were nowhere NEAR the costume event. That was too far to get to, and I had the dogs' costumes in the truck back 1/4 mile away in the lot. So, I gave up on it. We DID walk around and enjoyed looking at all the stuff from the vendors and I bought various treats. It was fun for the "kids" so there was a lot of butt-sniffing going on. :)
I was totally surprised when my friend Steve C. called my name! He drove up from Baltimore (Jane was home sick). Steve made my day. He had been there 30 minutes looking for me and the dogs. WOW. We decided to leave and went to Panera Bread nearby and had a snack outside at a table. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. 71F and blue sky and sunshine. Dolly and Franklin were perfectly behaved and greeted everyone walking by. Afterward, Steve left to go shopping in the mall where Panera was, and I headed home.
I stopped and visited friends Tood, Erica and their weimaraner, Beamer in Ellicott City, and we visited for a short time, watching all the dogs run around in their backyard and enjoying the sunshine. They, too, saved my day of "a dogged downer" - having costumes and not getting to show them off (I MADE 'em, which was why it was frustrating). Anyway, Erica is pregnant and has a head cold, but of course, can't take anything for it. I recommend chocolate. :)
Upon returning home, Tom and I went out to dinner, and I proceeded to get sick on whatever we ate. At least Tom got lots of gardening and stuff done (although he strained his back again doing it). Interesting day.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ready for Halloween?

My favorite Holiday is coming - and I'm excited about this year! I'll post pics of the costumes later. I'm dragging Tom to a bunch of doggy costume events, too. :)
Meanwhile, I'm not the only one psyched about it! Our friends Melinda and Derek love Halloween and have already put together the costumes for their kids!
Jack as Batman and Emmy as Batgirl - and Melinda makes the outfits!

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