Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bad Dog! - or Playing?

Today, when I was out having lunch with friends Craig, Jim and Jeff- and Tom was home gardening and doing house repairs, our weimaraner and dachshund were sitting peacefully on the lawn with Tom for a long time. At one point an older woman and her husband walked by with their small dog-and our Weimaraner ran at them barking and jumped on the woman scaring the heck out of her (bringing her to tears, I'm told). I wasn't home unfortunately and heard about it from Tom. Luckily, our neighbor who is a county police officer was outside putting things in his car and grabbed our Weimaraner who was barking at their little dog.
Was it dislike or play? - After all, our dog plays with other dogs at day care all the time, and she's passive, not agressive, and is a submissive dog, not a dominant dog.
Why does our Weimaraner not like little dogs? One reason is that this past winter, Tom's sister brought her little Yorkie over during the holidays. Our Weimaraner, who always loved every dog, was trying to play with the little Yorkie, who in turn, bit our weim through her nose causing it to bleed a lot (it's the most painful and sensitive area on a dog). Since then, our weim hates little dogs other than our dachshund. So, trauma will even affect dogs.
In fact, whenever we walk the dogs in the neighborhood, our Weimaraner barks at some of the little dogs (usually the white furry ones, which is odd because the Yorkie that bit her isn't white). So last night while walking her past a fenced in yard with a dog she barks at, I had a bag of treats with me that I let her sniff before getting to the fence. She barked once and I told her sternly "NO!" I commanded her to "WALK" and put the treat in front of her nose and led her past the other dog behind the fence barking like crazy- but our dog marched on and didn't bark. She IS very obedient (been to school a year for it), and got her treat in the end. I felt badly for the older woman, but our police officer neighbor was outside, and calmed her, and there were no injuries from the jumping, thankfully.

Friday, May 29, 2009

New! Sherlock Holmes Movie Trailer

I've always loved Sherlock Holmes...likely because I've always loved Batman, the "World's greatest detective" as he's often called. There's a NEW MOVIE coming out on Dec. 25th this year "Sherlock Holmes." - It stars Robert Downey Jr. as Mr. Holmes and Jude Law as Dr. Watson. The trailer looks good!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Please Click Daily to Help Dolly's Weim Rescue Obtain a Grant!

(Photo of Rob when he adopted Dolly from Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue on March 11, 2005)
PLEASE HELP The Animal Rescue Site choose our dog Dolly's WOLF CREEK WEIMARANER RESCUE, TENNESSEE receive special funds to help animals! JUST ONE CLICK A DAY- and one vote every day for your favorite rescue (Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue, TN)/
More than 60 grants will be awarded for a total of $100,000 going to eligible Petfinder.com members by the end of July 2009.
To Vote: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/home.faces Click ON THE TOP RIGHT: "VOTE FOR SHELTER"
- then type in "Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue" "Tennessee" to bring it up. Once you vote, you'll just need to type in what type of animal pops up to verify your vote. Thanks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Post Vacation Projects!


We returned from our vacation on a Thursday afternoon, so what did we do from Friday through the extended holiday (Memorial Day) weekend?
Well, we installed five new sections of fence in the backyard as a starter.

Then, we took out the awning from the attic and installed it over the 2nd floor windows, so that the sun wouldn't shine in directly and superheat the upstairs.

Then, we went to a nursery (our 2nd in four days) and bought azaelas for the backyard, green pepper plants for Rob's herb garden, and hanging flowers for the front porch. We even replaced the flag out front with the Maryland flag.

Tom painted the garage to match the new front door we had installed for us a couple of months ago. Now the house looks more uniform.

Finally, while Rob did laundry, etc. inside, Tom painted the front sections of the fence to match the house. Oh, we still had one more day to go, too...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

College Humor Superhero Spoof Cartoon

College Humor.com has come out with a couple of cartoons spoofing superheroes. I recently found this one thanks to the LA Times Blog.

I'm Furious- California Judges Refuse to Grant Gay Marriage

At 1:10pm EDT today, Judges in California's Supreme Court upheld the ban on gay marriages in California. Why? They said they were afraid to turn over the slim majority that voted in Proposition 8 last November that would remove a civil right from gay people to marry. BASTARDS. Okay, so now it has to go back up on the ballot. General consensus indicates that the feeling has now moved the other way in the voters' opinions. This is a legal right that everyone deserves, NOT a religious thing. When are they going to get it?
So, who am I really furious with? The Damned Mormon Church and the Catholic Church (that I used to belong to) and other churches who USED CHURCH FUNDS to advertise and get gay marriage banned in California.
Where in the hell is the IRS to remove their tax-free status?
Who the hell are they to decide equal rights under the U.S. Constitution?
If churches decided equal rights, people of color would still be enslaved and not able to marry anyone they want to marry. Churches need to get out and STAY out of politics. Religion has been this country's downfall in the last 8 years, as sad as that is to say.
Yes, the church taught me how to have faith, but when they strayed into politics and demanded people vote for their stupid conservative ways- they needed (and still need) to be closed down. I still have faith in God, but I don't need churches and man-made religions to brainwash me into useless, hateful conservative thinking. Conservatives ruled this country for 8 years and ruined it. Further, conservatives and so-called "religious" fanatics usually wind up being the biggest sinners and hypocrites. Conservatives need to go away and realize everyone deserves the same rights. Period.
The CNN story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/05/26/california.same.sex.marriage/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

Vacation Days #4 and 5: Portsmouth, NH and Freeport, ME


DINNER WITH FRIENDS IN NH - After visiting Portland, Maine on day #4 we drove south to Portsmouth, NH where we met two of our old friends Laureen and Lisa for dinner. Each of them live near the area, and we all met at a restaurant in downtown Portsmouth. Afterward, we walked to a nearby bakery/cafe for dessert.
As we were walking to the Bakery/cafe, Tom tried to get out of the picture...

"GETTING THE BOOT"- Our last day in Maine was a drive north to Freeport, home of L.L. Bean Company. The outdoor retailer has huge stores that are open 24 hours a day. Here's a photo of Tom and Jeff sitting on the oversized boot display (that you're not supposed to sit on) outside one of their shops.
"THE BITTER CHALLENGE" - Jeff was his funny self, and issued us a challenge because we were criticizing some things we saw in a fun way. He said "The next one to say something bitter buys everyone lunch." I happened to be driving in Freeport near L.L. Bean (before we went inside) and saw a post office, so I pulled in the parking lot to mail postcards I wrote earlier. Jeff immediately said "This isn't Rob's private mail service car... Oooops!" He realized he said something bitter, and we all laughed for about 5 minutes. Yup, he bought us lunch.
- The next day we drove Jeff north to Portland, Maine's airport then turned around and drove ourselves to Manchester, NH's airport (where we flew into). It was great to come back and get our dogs and be all together again.
I like short vacations, because I hate being away from the dogs, and home.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vacation Day #4: Weimaraner Murals!


Famous Weimaraner photographer William Wegman has a summer home in Maine. We learned that at the information station after we crossed the border into Maine. So, the state commissioned him to do a mural in two of the rest areas. This is a close up of several photographs running side-by-side. Each photograph appears to be taken in sequence.

Here's the entire mural in sequence. Notice that one of the dogs in the back disappears from view by the time you get to the far right mural. He must've been hungry. Anyway, the mural is stretched out inside the rest area welcome center over one set of doors, at mile marker 25 off I-95 in Kennebunkport, Maine.
This is a photo of the commission from the state of Maine to William Wegman to develop a mural.

Vacation Day #4: Portland, Maine


Day four was a visit to Portland, Maine - after dropping Gary off at the airport (he had to go home early), so we kept touring with Jeff. Our first stop was the Portland Observatory (which was only open for school kids, but we snuck in). Since 1807, the Portland Observatory has offered spectacular views of Portland’s busy harbor and served as a beloved symbol of the city’s rich maritime heritage. Named a National Historic Landmark in 2006, the Portland Observatory is the only known remaining historic maritime signal tower in the United States. The Observatory is located at 138 Congress Street, on Munjoy Hill in the East End of Portland.

Rob and Tom outside the Portland Observatory... We also found a nearby Dunkin' Donuts, and a comic book shop for me! :)
We next toured the Victoria Mansion, also known as the Morse-Libby House. It was called the finest example of residential design from the pre-Civil War era in America. It was very dark inside (period colors) and although I didn't sense any spirits, I was very uncomfortable as soon as we got in the house. It was built between 1858 and 1860 for Ruggles Sylvester Morse and his wife, Olive Ring Merrill Morse. A native of Maine, Morse made his fortune as the proprietor of luxury hotels in New Orleans during the 1850s. His experience as a hotelier shaped his taste in design, and when the time came to build a summer home, he sought out some of the nation’s leading designers.

SAW RAM ISLAND LEDGE LIGHT - from the shore. This 72 foot granite tower was built in 1905 on a narrow ledge of rocks that threatened the entrance to Portland Harbor. It is nearly a twin of the Graves Light in Boston Harbor, which was built around the same time. A total of 699 4-ton granite blocks were cut from the quarry in Vinalhaven and carefully shaped and numbered before being shipped to Ram Island.
Ram Island Ledge can be easily seen from Portland Head Light (which is where I took this photo from!). The light now shines through a 300mm plastic optic, powered by a long underwater cable from Portland Head.

LUNCH OUTSIDE THE PORTLAND HEADLIGHT- LIGHTHOUSE - Despite wind gusts to 35 mph, and temps near 60F, we were determined to eat outside there! Portland Head Light Station is a lighthouse located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, USA. It has been called the "Most photographed lighthouse in North America." The lighthouse is visited by nearly one million people per year. Construction began in 1787 at the directive of George Washington, and was completed on January 10, 1791. Whale oil lamps were originally used for illumination.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vacation Day #3 (Continued): Kennebunkport, Maine

(NOTE: CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE)
After touring Ogunquit in the morning, we drove south to Kennebunkport, Maine, and explored that town. Before leaving though, we had to fill up on Dunkin' Donuts coffee, and when I pulled into the drive through, I had to look twice, because the trash can had an extended chute, and looked like it may be where you speak into to place orders!

Kennebunkport was a quaint little town surrounded by water, just like Ogunquit. They had a great dog store there that had everything (although I can't remember the name of it). Here's a photo of part of the downtown area.

It was still cold that day, only reaching 54F, with wind chills still in the 40s, so we were bundled up here in front of the welcome sign for the town.

"THE WEDDING CAKE HOUSE" - A plaque placed at the side door of the George W. Bourne House in Kennebunk, Maine by the Maine Society, Daughters of American Colonists, tells us that "In 1825 the shipbuilder George Washington Bourne (1801-1856) brought his bride, Jane, to this new brick Federal-style home. Inspired by Milan's Gothic Cathedral, Bourne started the house decorations in 1852, using only hand tools. He completed the work shortly before his death. By century's close, the name "Wedding Cake House" was widely applied.

Of course I had to give Tom a smooch in front of the Wedding Cake House!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vacation Day #3: Ogunquit, ME... and One Ghost!


Maine's coast is filled with stories of ghosts inhabiting various places. There are three Inns in Ogunquit that have stories of ghostly visitors. Luckily, the Gazebo Inn where we stayed was not haunted- I would've known. I was a little leery when they said it was a 200 year old farmhouse totally overhauled...but no one came to me, which made it more relaxing.
A ghost came to me in a gift shop called "Revelations" in Ogunquit. The shop (located at 59 Shore Road, P.O. Box 1730, Ogunquit, ME 03907, www.revelationsgifts.com), had really nice gifts in it, and it was located in the old United Methodist Church. The church was founded in 1874, and moved out in 2003, when the gift shop took over the space.
As I was walking on the right side of the shop, I got a headache in the back left side of my head, indicating that a ghost or spirit was around. The ghost said her name was "Agatha" and gave me the year 1934. That could be the year of her birth or death, I'm not certain. She showed me singing, but not necessarily in a choir. I think that she enjoyed going to church and singing the hymns. She then revealed to me how she passed. Sometimes ghosts will do that- they'll share some of the pain they experienced- so I started heavy labored breathing in the shop, and felt a twinge of pain on the left side of my chest, indicating heart failure. I left the store to alleviate the pain and heavy breathing, and it cleared once outside.
I called the shop on May 23rd, and spoke to a male employee. He said that recently a clairvoyant woman came in and also sensed a man. The employee also told me there's a rumor that someone hung themselves in the bell tower when it was a church- but I know that wasn't Agatha. I'm sure it was the man the other medium sensed.
Here's a photo of the store (formerly United Methodist Church).

Vacation Day #3: Ogunquit, Maine!


Our third vacation day was spent exploring the town of Ogunquit, Maine- where we stayed. The weather was nasty... 54F, cloudy, damp, and windy, putting the wind chills somewhere in the low 40s (they were strong, gusty winds at the coast!). There's a 1 1/4 mile path that follows the rocky coast called "The Marginal Way" and we walked some of it (because it was really bitter outside!). Here we are posing for a picture on some rocks jutting into the ocean.

Here's a typical picture of what the coast looked like most of the time we were in Maine. Big waves crashing on rocks. What really surprised us was that there were people in wet suits trying to ride surfboards in that gusty, chilly weather. Oh, yeah, the water temps have to be in the 40s.

Tom and Jeff were more explorers than Gary and I were, so they ventured out far toward rock edges. Here's Jeff stumbling, but Tom and I just said that Jeff was "A Poser!"

Funny picture of Tom and I (Rob) when I was trying to set a timer on the camera and didn't quite make it in time to sit down!

Here's another picture that I thought was funny. "Jeff's a Poser!" - That's what we like to say about my mom, and Jeff showed that he does it, too. Notice Tom in the background on the bench giving a big yawn!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Vacation Day #2: Old Friends in NH and ME

Day #2 of our vacation started in New Hampshire and ended in Maine. We met Suzanne and her son Zander (Alexander) for breakfast. He's only 21 months, although he looks older. He never, ever stopped smiling. That's one happy boy. We took this photo ourselves on a timer, set up on a table in Panera Bread, Manchester, NH. Afterward, Suzanne and Zander followed us to the Airport Diner and met Jim and Ed for the first time since she moved there (her husband Kevin was at an appt., so we all missed him).

After a 2 hour drive from Manchester, NH to Portland, Maine, we met up with our friends Jeff and Gary who flew into Portland, Maine. We got to have dinner with them and Jeff's Mom and Dad, too. It was fun, and great to see them. Mom F. always finds the funniest laugh out loud jokes and emails them to us all the time. She also makes great wash cloths for the kitchen, and surprised us with them.
"SCRAWNY ASS SHORTS"- That's what Mom F. says fits my behind, and I finally found some at Cabella's outdoor store. "Walking trail shorts" are actually SHORT and not the stupid half pants! I was so excited I bought two pair!

GAZEBO INN BED AND BREAKFAST, Ogunquit, Maine - This is the place we stayed. There are 14 rooms, and they're all absolutely gorgeous. Beautifully decorated: paint, large stone tile showers, elaborate bedspreads, flat screen tvs in the rooms, a huge DVD library, 24 hour kitchen, 2 jacuzzis, treadmills, pool, massage, 3 lounge areas, computer hookups, and awesome breakfasts!

The first evening we got to Ogunquit (after dinner with Jeff's parents) we walked around quickly before the shops closed. Here are Rob and Tom being goofy taking a self-photo.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation Day#1: A Civil Union!

We took a 6 day vacation in New England, and started out on Day one by flying into Manchester, NH for a civil union of our friends Jim and Ed. Because we had an hour or two to spare, we headed for the Palace Theatre in Manchester, NH. The TV Show "Ghost Hunters" TAPS investigated it for possible supernatural entities, but didn't find any, so we thought we'd see if I could sense them. We could only get in the lobby and I didn't sense anything there. Here's a photo of Tom outside the front entrance.

Jim and Ed have been together NINE years. That's more than most straight couples- even the married ones. So, NH has a civil union law, and they acted on it. Luckily, it was the BEST weather during our entire trip. It was sunny and 72F, and their ceremony was outside. Here's a picture from the ceremony with Jim's best man (left) and Ed's sister (right).

Tom and I LOVED their cake. We want one!

Photo Left to right: Rob, Heidi (Rob used to work with, and Jim still does) and Tom.

Ed fed Jim wedding cake, and was nice about it... You know how they say when you live together for a while you look like each other? Well, Jim and Ed look VERY much alike!

The ceremony and reception (indoors) lasted from 4pm to 9:30pm and we went to our room while they were still going! Luckily, Jim and Ed set rooms aside in the hotel where the activity center was, where their reception was. It was fantastic, and the vows they gave each other made both myself and Tom tear up.
I've known Jim for 12 years, and love he and Ed very much. We're both so happy for them. During the reception, they danced to a Mama Cass song- and later I joined a line dance of "Proud Mary." Jim dragged Tom and I up for "Peace Train." It was a great time. Congrats boys! You truly are an example of love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Vacation: NH and ME

This week we've been on vacation in New Hampshire and Maine... thus, a few days without posting. We flew into NH for a civil union ceremony for our friends Jim and Ed, and have been staying in Ogunquit, Maine at a great Bed and Breakfast. Details and photos to follow when we get home tomorrow!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feed Shelter Dogs and Cats with a Click a Day Oniline


Help Feed Shelter dogs and cats with just a click! Do this daily, because the number of bowls of food sponsors provide to shelters is relative to the number of clicks the website gets. You can even have them send you a daily email reminder! I've been doing it for about 3 months and realize I forgot to tell you!
Click on the purple button at The Animal Rescue Site and give food to an animal living in a shelter or sanctuary --at no cost to you.
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/tpc/ERA_051609_ARS
THEN, with a click, you can also vote for BEST ANIMAL SHELTER (Free). We've been voting for Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue, TN, where Dolly was adopted from. Go to: http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/clickToGive/shelterchallenge.faces?siteId=3

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Great Book: Murder She Wrote: You Bet Your Life

I just finished reading "You Bet Your Life" another book in the Murder She Wrote series, which is totally my favorite! It's by Donald Bain and Jessica Fletcher, and based on the Murder She Wrote TV show from the 1980s, which Tom and I loved. In fact, we've been buying the DVDs of each season of the show (although they are a little pricey, but worth it).
The Book Summary (from the publisher): When her old friend Martha decides to get married in Las Vegas, Jessica Fletcher makes the trip to watch her walk down the aisle. But what are the odds that she'll be back two years later--to watch Martha stand accused of her husband's murder? Jessica's never been one to gamble, but she's willing to bet that Martha isn't guilty. Her husband was a high-rolling Las Vegas local with three ex-wives and plenty of jealous acquaintances. Joining Martha's defense team, Jessica combs through the man's past to find the real killer. But as the media attention grows--and Jessica is interviewed by the news anchors of "Court-TV"-the stakes are raised, and Jessica learns how to play for keeps.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sticking to Schedules

Sticking to a schedule or being a creature of habit isn't such a bad thing. I re-learned this week why our dogs love to stay on the schedule they've become accustomed to- because it messes up your body clock! - This week, I worked from 5am to 2pm (often a little later) because the Hubble Space Telescope is getting a massive technology repair, and reporters could call at any time.
That meant getting up earlier than normal (we usually get up at 4:30am, but that didn't work)... still making breakfast for Tom and the dogs, and packing not one but 2 lunches (Tom's and mine). It meant just letting the dogs out at 4:30am, and having Tom's parents drive up from Annapolis (20 mins) to let them out mid-morning. The dogs were thrown off- no morning walk, no daddy Rob working at home, or no drive to day care (although Tom's folks even did THAT for us 2 days this week). The dogs were out of sorts, and didn't sleep well, as we didn't.
I felt exhausted all week, although I gave it 110% at work. I came home, walked the dogs and was beat- but still had to run errands before going to our chiropractor (3 times a week) and making dinner for everyone. I want my schedule back! It's even upset my digestive system. So, the bottom line is-a schedule does a body and mind good.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Poll: Christians Back the Use of Torture

The use of torture to extract information from terrorists has been in the news a lot recently. Here's an article I found fascinating. The religious right continuously preaches to follow the example set by Jesus and live as He would want us to....But how does that corrolate with the use of torture? In my opinion, Christianity and torture don't mix. Check it out:
CHRISTIANS BACK TORTURE DESPITE FAITH, poll finds: Poll finds nearly half of all churchgoers believe acts are justified http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090512/NEWS06/905120341/-1/NLETTER01?source=nletter-news
Tom writes: Seems that “Christians” have forgotten a couple of historical milestones: the Inquisition, and when Romans used to douse Christians in oil and light them on fire to light the colosseum. What a bunch of hypocrites. Rob says, "Amen to that!"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Our favorite Architectural Blunder of the Month!


Tom's office always sees lots of architectural blunders (because he's an architect), and this one is my favorite example of stupidity from the bunch he sent me this month! Try and figure this one out!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tribute to our friend Eli

(Photo: Eli from Summer 2007)
This past week, Dolly and Franklin's friend and playmate, Eli passed on to a pain-free afterlife. At the young age of 5, Pat and Brooke's Cavalier Spaniel, Eli was suffering from Syringomyelia. It gave him bouts of uncontrollable scratching at his right shoulder, as well as a host of other issues he has had since he was a pup, like yelping upon being picked up. It's a neurological issue that causes a lot of pain. Last week, Eli wouldn't go up and down stairs, or jump on furniture as he used to. It just got to be too much pain for him, and Brooke and Pat had to make that difficult decision that was best for Eli. Our hearts are breaking for Eli, and for Brooke and Pat. We know that Eli is now playing with Buzz in Heaven and can run and chase rabbits side-by-side with Buzz.
Just so you know, Brooke and Pat learned this condition is very common in Cavalier Spaniels. For more information: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday Stuff/SUN Returns/ Mother's Day

The SUN returned today. Although yesterday had some sun, it did rain last night making rain for the 9th day in a row. Anyway, it seems that the Azaleas in the front of the house enjoyed all that rain... Here they are...
WEEKEND DOG WALKING FUN- Today was the 2nd day we actually got to walk the dogs around the neighborhood - they hate the rain, so seeing the sun was a treat. We made breakfast at home, then walked the "kids." Here they are waiting inside the front door, while I was taking a picture of the Azaleas.
Followed by an inside shot of them... Dolly and Franklin couldn't wait for their walk!
After we walk them about a mile, they always run to the side gate, so they can run into the backyard and run around there, too. This is an everyday occurrence.
MOTHER'S DAY - We decided to celebrate mom's day for Tom's mom today because restaurants are nuts tomorrow. I took her shopping with me in Walmart, while Tom and his stepdad revitalized their front lawn flower beds. Afterward, we treated them to dinner at Outback Steak House! YUM!!

Finished a great book: Code of Conduct

I just finished reading a really moving fiction book called "Code of Conduct" by Rich Merritt. I strongly recommend it! It's about gay marines trying to deal with "don't ask, don't tell," and had a great story about two men that find each other, friendships and undercover military agents that went on witch-hunts to find gay people and get them thrown out of the military. The military really makes these guys hide who they are, just so they can protect our country - Our gov't (like Britian and Australia) needs to just openly allow gay people in the military. Buy this book!
"Code of Conduct" is by Rich Merritt, an ex-Marine, who came out of the closet. It's Published by Kensington Books in 2008.
Summary from Google: At thirty-three, Don Hawkins has spent the better part of his life, in every sense, as a U.S. Marine. Enlisting to escape an alcoholic father and step-mother, he became the unoffical leader of a group of gay servicemen and women, all compelled to guard their sexual identity as faithfully as they serve their country. Ten years now since his lover died, Don is finally ready to love again, and falls headlong for Patrick, a handsome young helicopter pilot. As their relationship develops, Don lets his guard down - in potentially dangerous ways. Because forces are at work in the Naval Investigative Service, in Congress, and even in the bars and clubs that Don views as his turf, with a vicious agenda that will have unforseen consequences.

A Vampire Parody of Twilight: A Book to Get!


Our friend Steve Jenner just wrote a book that should go on your MUST READ LIST! - I just ordered mine today (it just came out today). Steve has a really funny sense of humor, so this is guaranteed to be enjoyable!
It’s a parody of the famously famous Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight book about teen vampire love.
You can also visit his website at: http://www.twilightparody.com Steve's wife Lynn (my friend from work) set up the website- and she wants some royalties for chocolate! :) Enjoy the excerpts!
You can see it on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/TwiLite-Parody-Stephen-Jenner/dp/1602643814/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241808818&sr=8-1

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wash Post Op-Ed by Eugene Robinson, writer


Hi all - Whether or not you agree with equal rights and gay marriage or not- and of course we do because we deserve it. Just like everyone else. Anyway, an Op-Ed in the Washington Post newspaper is a good follow-up to Tom's blog of yesterday. I edited it for brevity's sake, but you can read the whole thing at the link provided. And the Eugene Robinson isn't the gay pastor, he's a columnist who writes for the Post regularly.

WASHINGTON POST OP-ED by Eugene Robinson Friday, May 8, 2009

Believe it or not, often I can see the other side of an argument. I know that tough gun control laws save lives and make our communities safer, for example, but I also see clarity in the Second Amendment. I support affirmative action, but I realize that providing opportunity to some worthy individuals can mean denying opportunity to others. Thinking about some issues involves discerning among subtly graded shades of gray.
On some issues, though, I really don't see anything but black and white. Among them is the "question" of granting full equal rights to gay and lesbian Americans, which really isn't a question at all. It's a long-overdue imperative, one that the nation is finally beginning to acknowledge... (***THERE ARE MORE PARAGRAPHS, I EDITED IT TO JUST GIVE THE IDEA OF IT***)
Does Obama's stance in favor of repeal mean that he believes the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages? Does he also believe that, say, the state of Alabama should recognize a gay marriage performed in Iowa? If so, what is the practical difference between this position and just saying in plain language that gay marriages ought to be legal and recognized in all 50 states?
I'm not being unrealistic. I know that public acceptance of homosexuality in this country is still far from universal. But attitudes have changed dramatically -- more than enough for a popular, progressive president to speak loudly and clearly about a matter of fundamental human and civil rights. FULL OP-ED: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/07/AR2009050703055.html?wpisrc=newsletter&wpisrc=newsletter

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thoughts on newspaper commentary: "It is Acceptable for Blacks to Hate Gays"

Tom's Blogging today (I totally agree on this:)
COMMENTS ON TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST NEWSPAPER COMMENTARY Remember in grade school, there was always one kid in the class that everyone picked on? It was OK to pick on this person because everyone did it. I remember in my 3rd grade class, there was a kid named Steven R. I liked Steve. Steve had ADD. Of course, we didn’t know it at the time. We didn’t have fancy medical terms for such behavioral problems in 1971. The teacher would take Steven out of his chair and put him against the wall for disciplinary purposes. Steven, now sitting on the floor, would violently rock himself pounding his back against the wall. He could sit there for hours doing this. There was a girl in our class named Debbie P. Debbie saw the attention that Steve was getting, so she started aping the same rocking that Steve was doing. Everyone in our class picked on Debbie because it was OK to pick on Debbie. Not only was she chubby, but now she was “copying” Steve to get attention. And that wasn’t cool.

This morning, there was a short commentary in our local newspaper about the apparent cultural divide that has developed where it is now “acceptable” for blacks to hate Gays. No one dares to speak out and call them to task on this matter lest you be dubbed a racist or a bigot.

This week, the D.C. Council passed legislation that will allow the recognition of same sex marriages that are performed outside the city limits. The black community has vehemently retaliated against this action. Angry black preachers are all up in arms vowing to oust every council member that voted “for” the measure. These same black preachers raised such a ruckus at Monday evening’s hearings that they had to be forcibly removed from City Hall.

Yesterday in Washington D.C., black men and women were picketing with large banners in Freedom Plaza. Former mayor, Marion Barry (now dubiously dubbed a “civil rights champion” and is the antithesis of what is right, moral, or even ethical), has spoken out against this resolution and, in fact, was the lone dissenting vote on the bill when the final vote was taken. Loud-mouthed Republicans in Congress, spewing their hatred, are now vowing that they’re going to fight DC’s new law when it comes before them in the next 30 days. Why is this OK? Maybe I can shed some light on the subject.

In every culture, there has to be one group that is on the “outs.” Just like my 3rd grade class used to pick on Debbie P., there has to be one group that’s OK for society at large to pick on. No one is denying the long and exhaustive history of how blacks have been treated in this country. The record is clear and well documented. Blacks, for too long, have been the downtrodden of our society.

But, rather than recognizing the fact that Gays are now in the position that blacks once were, the black community has instead learned that it’s OK to bash Gays because we are now the group that’s on the “outs.” They know this because the black community has witnessed how Gays have been treated by our society and its leaders: Gays have been fired from jobs, denied rightfully earned promotions at places of employment, kicked out of housing, beaten up by rednecks and strung up to fences in freezing cold temperatures to die, denied acceptance in churches thereby kicking dirt in the face of the very tenets of what Christianity is all about – all of this with very little rebuke or retribution.

What is perplexing in all this is that blacks should be focusing their attention on what’s wrong within their own community: the breakdown of the family unit, the large number of fatherless families and unwed mothers with children, the significant number of black children being raised by grandparents, the disproportionate number of black males that make up the country’s prison inmate population, the alarming dropout rates of black children from our educational system, and the unbridled sense of entitlement that has reached apoplectic proportions in recent years.

The right to marry will be granted to the Gay community. It’s just a matter of time. What we are witnessing is the death throes of a hateful movement that needs to die. Because the States have done such a miserable job at handling this matter in a fair and equitable manner, because public opinion can be too easily swayed by closed minded hate mongering groups with lots of money, and because it is the job of our legal system to protect and defend the rights of the downtrodden in our society that cannot protect themselves, this debate will be heading for the Supreme Court very soon.

In the meantime, perhaps the black community should not be throwing rocks when their glass house has a lot of cracks.

World's Oldest Dog is 21 This Week!


Reuters reported that Chanel, the world's oldest dog, celebrated her 21st birthday on Wednesday with a certificate from the Guinness Book of Records and a visit to a dog hotel and spa. The dachshund, a rescue dog from Port Jefferson in New York, wore an orange sweater and red goggles as her owner, Denice Shaughnessy, accepted the award marking her longevity. "Chanel is the Guinness world record holder for the oldest living dog," said Jamie Panas, a spokeswoman for Guinness.
Shaughnessy said Chanel tires quickly, wears goggles for cataracts when she is in the sun, and booties to cushion a benign tumor on her hind leg. Shaughnessy got her pet from a shelter when the dog was six weeks old.

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