Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Federal Hill Street Festival!

After we returned from our adventurous trip to Connecticut on Friday, we spent Saturday getting the dogs from daycare and walking and playing with them. We also had lunch with friends Tom and Robert who drove over from Gaithersburg. On Sunday June 29th, after a nice breakfast at Panera Bread, and a long dog walk over to the local farmer's market, we went to a street festival.
(PHOTO: Tom and Rob at the festival)
Jane and Steve had helped organize the Federal Hill Jazz Street Festival in Baltimore, so Jeff from VA joined us for the fun. There was a lot to see and do, and here are some photos from it.
(PHOTO: Tom and Jeff listening to a band)

(PHOTO: These teenage boys really had talent at the festival. They sang "Six Days on the Road" and did a great job).
(PHOTO: Tom acting goofy at one of the many booths at the festival. Funny!)
(PHOTO: Jeff and Tom looking at a selection of hats at a booth. No sale!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wedding Video - Part 2- conclusion

Here's the conclusion to our wedding on video. Thanks again to our friend Colleen who video taped it on her camera. We are forever thankful.
We actually held the ceremony in Ralph and Rich's Italian Restaurant in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and they pulled these curtains as room dividers to give us a private room. It was incredible. They also had classical music piped in, and it all sounded like it was part of the ceremony. It was all wonderful, and again, we thank all of our family and friends who made the long trip to Connecticut. We also thank the restaurant (and the food was incredible) and the clerk at City Hall, and our friends Mike and Amy who came in from Minnesota- Mike married us. That was a tremendous life-long gift we will always cherish.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Short Video of our Ceremony (part 1)

Our ceremony was short - and we have two of the three parts on video, thanks to our friend Colleen, who was there and thought to record it! We are so appreciative. The second segment (the one that didn't get recorded) was the one of our vows, but the beginning and endings of the ceremony we do have and will treasure. Here's the first part of it, and our friend Mike is the minister who married us.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Official! We're Married!

(PHOTO: L to R: Rob, Mike the minister, Tom)
It's Official! Tom and I are married! Yesterday in Bridgeport, Connecticut was the BIGGEST, BEST DAY of our lives! We filled out the paperwork at City Hall (and the woman at the counter in the records/licenses department was great and organized. She even joked about joining us at the restaurant for lunch.
We exchanged vows in Ralph and Rich's Italian Restaurant around the corner from City Hall. Rob's brother Doug got a recommendation of the restaurant from the Bridgeport Mayor's office - and it was perfect. The managers gave us a private room, where our friend Mike B. performed the ceremony.
(PHOTO: Our rings!)
We were so joined by a small group of family and friends who drove down from Massachusetts. It couldn't have been any better.
(PHOTO: Jeff from Virginia drove up with us from Maryland and he was our ring bearer!) More later... (Thanks to Rob's sister-in-law, Dawn for these photos... and other photos and videos coming from Colleen and others...)

Little Natalie's Good Luck Wish for Our Marriage

Our friends Colleen and Todd of Massachusetts had their daughter Natalie give us a video congratulations for our wedding day. It's so cute!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today We Get Married in Connecticut!

Well, the big countdown is over. Today is the day we take our vows in Connecticut (because it's the closest state that will allow us to legally marry). Here's a picture from our trip to Maine/New Hampshire last month that we think is appropriate for today!
We're planning on having it outside in a park around the corner from City Hall at noontime, if the thunderstorms hold off!

To give you a feel for today, here's a link to pics of Tom and I at Jim and Ed's wedding in NH last month: http://picasaweb.google.com/EKJK08/BuzzTom#

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One Day on the Big Countdown!

Special guest hinter: Jeff from Virginia...Tomorrow is the big day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2 Days to Go!!

2 Days to go...Watch the video for another clue...although it was tough to get one out of this bunch!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3 Days to Go: The Video Countdown

The "3 days to go" hint to the big event is the work of Franklin the Dachshund and Dolly the Weimaraner today. Can you understand dog? :)

TMJ and Nails

Two quick thoughts this morning: TMJ and toenails. Nope, they're not related!
NAILING THE NAILS- First, a funny story about doggy toenails that happened this morning. I don't like cutting our dog's toenails/claws and they don't like it either. However, it was time for a trim for our Weimaraner, Dolly. So, while they were sitting on their bed in the kitchen after Tom left for work (and I was getting ready) I had some time to trim their nails. As soon as I took out the clipper, Franklin, our dachshund, ran into the bedroom and hid under the bed! Dolly lay on her bed and let me clip her nails awaiting her treats. It wasn't until after Franklin heard me put the clippers away that he slinked back out into the kitchen. :)
TMJ PAIN REDUCTION! "Popping Jaw" - If you have Tempomandibular blah-blah you know that one of the joints in your jaw pops out when you open your mouth too wide. I have it, and have had it for 20 years, so going to the dentist is unpleasant, because your jaw sometimes pops and stays open. Over the past 2 weeks, I've had pain in what feels like three lower teeth (one is a dead tooth/root canal) and my jaw joint, so I've been trying to figure out what's going on. I happened to mention it to the chiropractor I've been seeing for my neck and he said Chiropractors treat TMJ. DUH! I didn't even think about it. So he showed me an exercise to stretch the mouth muscle that pulls the jaw out of the socket, and loosen the muscle. IT WORKED! After 2 days, no more headaches, no tooth pain. That tension the mouth muscle put on the gums, created pain around the teeth. Wow.
If you have TMJ, open your mouth and stick your index finger against the back part of your cheek. You'll feel a muscle that stretches across from top back to front bottom. Push on that and stretch it. It will relax the muscle and pain!

Monday, June 22, 2009

4 Days to Go...Clue #2

Okay, Okay, we've read your comments... no gowns! But...another hint. :) Ooops! Ran out of time to write more... we've gotta walk Dolly and Franklin before the sun goes down. Enjoy our 2nd video clue. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Countdown is ON!

We've got something important to announce... and it's happening on Friday. Here's a video hint...

Happy Father's Day

(PHOTO: A Robin's nest with 4 eggs in our front young maple trees)
Happy Father's Day all! To celebrate today, we met our friends Steve and Jane for breakfast at Panera Bread (Steve's a dad) and we're dads to Dolly and Franklin! :) - It's a beautiful day here in Maryland, 75F, a mix of clouds and sun, low humidity, and a nice breeze. Perfect.
As a tribute to my dad today, I started reading another one of my dad's paperbacks by author Vince Flynn. It's another spy/espionage book -- and he's a very good author. I also made a couple of calls to some dads I know, and we're making dinner and dessert for Tom's parents this afternoon. We plan on eating out in our screened in patio as the weather is perfect!
(PHOTO: Franklin telling it like it is).
(PHOTO: Dolly giving Tom a kiss because we walked the dogs for 40 minutes down to a local farmer's market this morning).
(PHOTO: Tom bought his parents' old car, so he can use it to drive to a jobsite a couple of days a week for the next year. It's 68 miles north of here.)

Friday, June 19, 2009

New airline Pet Airways' only passengers to be four-legged


I saw this in USA TODAY and think it's a FANTASTIC IDEA!!

Soon, pet owners who live in a handful of large U.S. cities will have the ability to do that. Pet Airways plans to begin service on July 14 as the USA's first pets-only carrier — no human passengers allowed. The introductory fare: $149 each way. For that, pets will be flown in individual crates in lighted and pressurized plane cabins, with a human attendant checking them every 15 minutes. They'll board, just like people, from their own airport lounges and get overnight lodging accommodations on long-haul flights. Their owners can track their whereabouts at all times online. They can even earn "pet points" as frequent fliers.
Pet Airways won't solve every owner's needs initially. It will serve only five U.S. destinations: Baltimore/Washington International Airport, plus non-commercial airports in the New York City area, and in Chicago, Denver and Los Angeles. It's catering to dogs and cats starting out. And it'll fly each route once a week. But Pet Airways founders, husband and wife team Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel, have big expansion plans and are convinced there will be plenty of demand from pet lovers to achieve them.FULL STORY: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-06-18-pet-airways_N.htm?csp=

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rainy Day: Even the Dogs Want to Stay in Bed!


The forecast today: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 9am, then showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after noon. High near 80. Well, from 5am to 8am, some pretty heavy downpours were happening here, with the crashes of thunder, so not even the dogs wanted to get out of bed. In fact, after Tom made the bed and went to work, Dolly and Franklin insisted on getting back on the bed. They did. Wish I could've stayed in bed all day long, too.

Obama's 'benefit extension' Not Much to gay federal employees

UPDATE: JUNE 18, 2009 1:07 PM
John Berry, the openly gay director of OPM, was the first guest on the Diane Rehms Show (NPR)this morning. He explained what it was exactly that Obama signed yesterday and "promised" that Obama is not finished. He says the president is trying to overturn both Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense Of Marriage Act as well as enact stronger hate crimes laws. You can listen to the show here: http://wamu.org/programs/dr/09/06/18.php


Gay couples (married, in civil unions or in domestic partnerships) STILL won't be able to share health benefits. The legislation the President signed yesterday is pretty hollow. It only allows gay people to "ask for time off if their partner is ill." - (I can already do that!) It DOESN'T extend health benefits to partners, it doesn't allow retirement or pensions to go to a partner should one pass. Then why sign this? I guess it's to make it look like the President cares. I'm really disappointed. He won't repeal "Don't ask, don't tell," he won't make gay civil unions a federal law (even though he said he supports it), and now he won't extend full federal benefits. But, he CAN'T give full benefits, because the "Defense of Marriage Act" needs to be repealed.
Why is that important to gay couples to share benefits who legally can't get married in Maryland (yet) or 43 other states? Although I understand the concern of extending benefits to non-married partners, that would be a non-issue if the federal gov't allowed gay couples to marry. The answer is that simple, and its also fair and equal.
THE ARTICLE Wednesday, June 17, 2009 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will sign a memorandum on Wednesday to extend healthcare and other benefits to unmarried domestic partners of federal workers, a White House official said on Tuesday.
It's not healthcare, it's extended leave if needed for health reasons of a partner.
Pres.Obama himself is well aware of the discrimination at least- I just read on ABC News: The President said that he is limited in the benefits he can extend, due to legal constraints under the Defense of Marriage Act. He has pledged to overturn that law, and today repeated that promise.
"I believe it's discriminatory, I think it interferes with states' rights, and we will work with Congress to overturn it," the President said. "We've got more work to do to ensure that government treats all its citizens equally; to fight injustice and intolerance in all its forms; and to bring about that more perfect union. I'm committed to these efforts, and I pledge to work tirelessly on behalf of these issues in the months and years to come."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Captain America: Reborn? - A video on the Upcoming Comic Event

Marvel Comics is issuing Captain America #600 this week. There's going to be some kind of event in this issue (according to Marvel) that will set up for Marvel's biggest storyline of 2009, REBORN. The "Reborn" series starts July 1st and features Steve Rogers' (the original Captain America) resurrection and return to life after being shot dead a couple of years ago.
Personally, I think they shouldn't bring him back, because his former sidekick, Bucky makes a much more interesting character as Capt. America. Unlike the Batman series that killed off Batman and made the original Robin (Dick Grayson) the new Batman - I think Bruce Wayne needs to come back.

Anyway, Marvel comics issued this "video" about the upcoming series. It looks good, but I really hope they keep the former "Bucky" as the new Captain America.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NEO-URBANISM - A BAD IDEA

City planning concepts come and go. There have been many good ones - from the garden city concept proposed in the sketches and writings of Ebenezer Howard to Van Haussman's plan for Paris to move troops swiftly through the city. But there's a new wave of thought emerging called "Neo-urbanism." Being espoused by peak oil theorists as the correct way to go (and we need to do it now - oh, and let's bash a few architects along the way), the concept is simple: societies will abandon sprawling suburbs to re-populate newly redeveloped walkable urban centers. There will be a rebirth of local, high density, population centers with locally-grown agricultural products. (Food will no longer be mass produced on an uber scale by diesel-powered machinery on mega-farms; neither will it be imported from far away places - so goodbye to strawberries in February!) These densely packed population centers will be connected by a network of rail systems because cars will become a thing of the past - since no one will be able to afford them anyway as the cost of oil spirals to astronomical heights in direct relationship to the supply of oil becoming more scarce.
Of course, being an architect, I am intrigued by the concept - beautifully landscaped, appropriately scaled, pedestrian-friendly environments - but here's why this neo-urbanist concept won't work. Let's take our fair city, Washington, DC, for example. First, the price tag for a modest townhouse in a "desirable" and safe quadrant of the city will start at $800,000 - and that's for a "fixer-upper." Who has this kind of money? You can, of course, risk your life and be an urban pioneer choosing to live in a "less desirable" neighborhood and dodge bullets everytime you walk home from the Metro. When I've challenged this concept, proponents of neo-urbanism retort that populations will just have to downsize and return to renting single rooms in other people's houses. Right now, Rob & I own a 4 BR, 2 BA house - I've got to tell you, it would be tough for us to scale down to the point where we could live out of one room in someone else's house - with 2 doggies.
Second, there's not enough real estate in cities for everyone to move back into them. The only way to support huge migrations of people moving back into cities is to build skyscrapers - the very building type that peak oil theorists despise because skyscrapers use tremendous amounts of energy and resources (not only to construct but also to maintain over their life cycle) and because skyscrapers can not be renovated once they are past their prime - they have to be torn down (again, using up tremendous resources). Third, the infrastructure can not support huge dense population centers living together. Concentrating masses of people together in one place breeds unsanitary living conditions. Shoot, just walking to my office from the Metro station at Farragut West, you can see how much difficulty people have just keeping chewing gum in their mouths as evidenced by the flattened black spots on the sidewalks stretching as far as the eye can see. Can you imagine dealing with all of the other waste people produce? The reason why local dense population centers worked before was because there weren't so many people.
Neo-urbanists had better think on a much grander scale and come up with better solutions like how to connect the sprawling suburbs with a network of rail systems, because unless there's a huge "thinning of the herd," expecting cities to absorb huge migrating populations is just not feasible.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our photos from the Wash DC Pride Parade





Yesterday we went to the Gay pride parade in Washington, DC and met our friends Lynn, Jeff and Gary and some others. It was a perfect day for it, and a interesting parade. I was encouraged by all of the politicians and Churches (yes, churches), and organizations and businesses that are supporting gay marriage. It was really something to see. There were the standard drag queen folks, and leather guys, a lot of floats, some marching bands, and so much more. Tom liked the leather guys and I liked the blue man. : ) Jeff liked the drag queen dressed up as Tina Turner (because he loves Tina Turner anyway).
We stayed for the first 2 1/2 hours of the parade! On a related note, that morning we had an interesting discussion with the woman the cuts our hair. She learned that the parade is a lot of showy stuff, and that we're just as normal as everyone else and we lead "boring lives" like everyone. We have a house, jobs, two dogs, no partying, and go to bed early!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Funny "Darned Shoes" Video from a Fashion Show

The local ABC News station here in Washington, DC aired a clip from a fashion show, where one of the runway models really couldn't seem to walk in the ridiculously high heels the designer had made her wear. We laugh out loud at this video and hope you will, too!

Friday, June 12, 2009

How to Get a Dachshund to Come Inside

Between thunderstorms this week, the dogs actually got to go outside- and sometimes it was hard to get Franklin the dachshund to come in...He knows the word "NOW!" instead of "come," that way if I'm just calling Dolly, our weimaraner, she knows "come" and comes immediately. Sometimes, however, "now" doesn't work for Franklin and I have to pull out the word "Treat."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Red Tornado getting a comic book / Real Tornado Hits Baltimore!


The Superhero "The Red Tornado" is going to get a 6 issue miniseries comic book in September. Most people won't know him, although he's been around since the 1970s, and is one of my Ultimate favorites!! - Likely because he's a weather-oriented superhero.
Here's what DC comics says: The onetime member of the Justice League will be examining his origins in this series by Kevin VanHook and artist Jose Luis, teasing the idea of Reddy’s “android family,” which may come into tension with his wife and adopted daughter. We’ll find out in September.
A REAL TORNADO TOUCHED DOWN IN BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD. (AP)- The National Weather Service has determined that a tornado touched down in southeast Baltimore County. The tornado touched down in Dundalk on Tuesday afternoon, June 9, during a storm that damaged buildings and knocked down trees.
NWS science officer Steven Zubricks says wind speed of a maximum of 70 mph during the storm was consistent with an EF-0 rated tornado, the minimum rating. Officials examined damage, reviewed weather instruments and took statements from residents to make the determination. The storm caused more than 70,000 outages throughout the Baltimore area, most of which have been restored. No injuries were reported.

Hailstones from Tuesday's Storms / Today's Severe Weather Forecast


Late Tuesday afternoon Waynesboro, PA just above Hagerstown, MD – on the Mason-Dixon Line received one of the many severe thunderstorms. It produced quarter-sized hailstones. One of my co-workers ran outside and picked up a few of them. This is a photo he took of them next to a quarter.
TODAY'S FORECAST FOR BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON –
FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM EDT THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE TONIGHT
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH LIKELY LATER: A FEW OF THE STORMS COULD BECOME SEVERE... WITH DAMAGING WIND GUSTS AND LARGE HAIL. IN ADDITION... HEAVY RAINFALL IS EXPECTED. WITH SOILS ALREADY SATURATED FROM PREVIOUS RAINS...FLASH FLOODING WILL BE POSSIBLE.

Today: Scattered showers and thunderstorms redeveloping after 2pm ending by midnight. Some could be SEVERE with heavy rains, gusty winds, frequent lightning and small hail. High near 81. Low 69 LIVE RADAR: http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=LWX&product=NCR&overlay=11101111&loop=yes

A Few Thoughts on Justice (finally!) and Closed-minded People

The hateful Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean, was dethroned yesterday for not doing her job: she failed to show up at several scheduled appearances. This bimbo, and she is a bimbo, is a self-proclaimed Christian who posed for topless photos. Rather than admit that she was fired for not performing the duties ascribed to her and the pornographic photos (which is against the Miss America Pageant guidelines), she is blaming her dismissal on the remarks she made about Gay marriage. She openly hates gay people and said that gay marriage shouldn't be allowed. That's really loving and Christian of her! Anyway, there is justice. I'm glad to see this brainless harridan was fired. Here are highlights from the CNN story:
# "Better late than never," Perez Hilton says of Carrie Prejean's firing
# Prejean was Miss California USA, controversial due to statements, topless photos
# Runner-up Tami Farrell will take over as Miss California USA
# Prejean tells Billy Bush she thinks her response to the gay marriage question was the reason for her firing
Related to hatred, intolerance ,and closed-minded behavior is the tragic story of the shooting of the security guard at the National Holocaust Museum yesterday by an 88 year old right-wing extremist whack job who hated Jews and African-American people. These people that spread hatred of others unlike themselves are horrifying. So many simple-minded people follow this kind of hatred and are blinded into thinking this is the way to live: to hate others that are no just like you. That is SO WRONG.
We're all on this earth together. We need to at least TRY TO LIKE each other. People who hate others for their race, color, sexuality, religious beliefs are closed-minded. Closed-mindedness and intolerance of others breeds hatred that can potentially result in the tragic event that transpired at the Holocaust Museum - an example of what can happen when people finally go over the edge of sanity. We NEED to respect each other.
A priest I once knew in Massachusetts summed it up this way: "You should love them but you don't have to like the person they are." Think about it.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

T-Storm Photos


My co-worker Shane loves thunderstorms, and asked a lot of questions yesterday before the line of Severe Thunderstorms struck the Baltimore/Washington corridor between 5-7pm EDT. It was the first time I've ever seen a line of thunderstorms that were ALL severe, and that stretched hundreds of miles, from Philadelphia, PA to Harrisonburg, Virginia. Here are two of Shane's photos from yesterday, June 9th. There was a lot of cloud-to-cloud lightning which is what he captured in one of these photos.
We're in for another round of possibly Severe Thunderstorms this afternoon... and more storms tomorrow and Friday. LIVE BALTIMORE/WASHINGTON AREA RADAR: http://radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=LWX&product=NCR&overlay=11101111&loop=yes

Interesting News Stories / Iron Man 2 Villain

There were a couple of things in the news this week that I thought interesting:
1) The President's stimulus package is being used for smart transportation in NYC/NJ WORK BEGINS ON NATION'S LARGEST MASS TRANSIT PROJECT: A RAILWAY TUNNEL - NEW YORK (CNN) Officials broke ground on a second passenger rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River, NY.The new tunnel will link New Jersey with New York and eventually will double capacity on the nation's busiest rail corridor.
2) I was extremely disappointed with the Supreme Court over their ruling to keep "Don't Ask/ Don't Tell" in the Military. Gay people serve openly in the British and Australian Armed forces without a problem.
INSIDE SCOOP ON THE UPCOMING IRON MAN 2 MOVIE - The Movie "Iron Man 2" is currently being filmed. They picked Micky Rourke for the villain. I've always thought he was one of the most unattractive actors. He's always dirty and grungy looking and this role hasn't improved that image. Here's What CNN said: IRON MAN faces an adversary with some amazing gadgets of his own.Whiplash (Mickey Rourke) is a Russian who "has constructed his own version of an armored suit like Iron Man.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Up With a Bang! Our Severe Thunderstorm Video

The atmosphere is really moist and unstable here in Maryland today, and that's prime for thunderstorm development. The first round (of two) came this morning, with heavy rains, gusty winds and frequent lightning. The sky darkened so much at 7 a.m. EDT, the streetlights went back on (sunrise was 5:40 a.m. EDT). Here's a video I took from our front door before the storm REALLY got bad. The lightning became SO frequent after this video that the thunder shook our house several times. So, I huddled up with our dogs in our first floor interior room away from the windows (Tom was already at work). Here's the video:


The National Weather Service Forecast for Today: Showers and thunderstorms likely this morning and again, mainly after 3pm. Some storms could be severe, with large hail and damaging winds. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. Low 66.

Where did the storms come from this morning?
West Virginia. There was some convection (rapidly rising hot air
that condenses into thunderstorms) that moved into a line of t-storms from W. Virginia. That line of storms stretched from Eastern Pennsylvania to So.western Virginia and tracked through
Baltimore / Washington at 7am EDT. There will be a break in storms again until early afternoon, and then MORE severe storms will develop again.

Before the storms came, all was quiet. Here's a picture of Dolly (the Weimaraner) and Franklin (the Dachshund) on their beds listening to the approaching thunder in the distance. It was about 20 minutes after this that I recorded the video here, and then we all ran into a room and huddled together until the storm passed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Two Favorites at the Tony Awards

Angela Lansbury from her Murder She Wrote days (and many other things) and Dolly Parton are two of my favorite female actresses. I was glad to see they got to share the spotlight at the Tony Awards last night, although we were too tired to stay up and watch them!
(PHOTO:) Angela Lansbury poses with her trophy for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for "Blithe Spirit" at the 63rd Annual Tony Awards in New York Sunday June 7, 2009. Angela Lansbury received her fifth Tony, this time for her performance as the dotty medium Madame Arcati in a revival of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit.Lansbury gave a special lifetime achievement award to Jerry Herman, composer of Hello, Dolly! and Mame, which starred Lansbury.
(PHOTO:) Dolly Parton, performs at the 63rd annual Tony Awards in New York, Sunday, June 7, 2009. We're hoping to see 9 to 5 on Broadway at some point. http://www.9to5themusical.com/

Saturday, June 6, 2009

WEEKEND: Coating the Driveway and Doggie Baths

Do you think a Saturday would slip by without something getting done around our house? Heavens, no! :) On Saturday, we took the "kids" on 2 walks, went shopping (the recently remodeled Kohl's near us was having a huge sale this weekend), went to Lowe's (a couple of times), and more. Tom took several hours to apply sealant to the asphalt driveway today, and tomorrow he has to apply a second coat. Here's a pic of Tom in action:

Meanwhile, I get the indoor task of Doggie baths. Here's Franklin, the dachshund, in the utility sink (where I bathe them every week or so). In fact, when I say "BATH" Franklin runs and hides under the bed and I have to coax him out with treats and grab him!
Here's Dolly getting a bath in the utility sink. Of course, being 57 pounds, she's a little tougher for me to pick up, but she stays in the tub and really doesn't move around a lot. Dolly doesn't mind getting a bath. When I say "Dolly, bath!" She kind of slinks into the laundry room, with her ears back, and waits for me to gently pick her up. She's a really good girl.
Here are Franklin and Dolly post-bath. Of course, I always wind up taking a bath myself, while giving them one, that is...

Funny Movie and a Deer in the Yard!


IS THAT YOU, DEER? - This morning, Saturday, the dogs were up early -so I let them out in the backyard at 6am. We all went back to bed after the dogs came in, just to catch another 30 minutes of sleep when we heard a "thump" outside. I ran to the kitchen and looked out the sliding glass doors, and there was a DEER in our backyard. She leapt over our 6 foot fence to get in, and couldn't figure how to get out! So Tom went around front to unlock the gate, but the deer jumped over the fence again before he got there. Good thing we took the dogs in! Little Franklin (the dachshund) would've torn that deer apart! :)
MOVIE TIME - We started watching Rodney Dangerfield's 1982 classic comedy movie "Back To School" Friday night. Lots of laugh out loud lines like the ones below: Thornton Melon (Rodney's character): What's your favorite subject?
(Female college student): Poetry.
Thornton Melon: Really? Well, maybe you can help me straighten out my Longfellow.

AND
Trendy Man: Mr. Melon, your wife was just showing us her Klimt.
Thornton Melon: You too, huh? She's shown it to everybody.
Trendy Man: Well, she's very proud of it.
Thornton Melon: I'm proud of mine too. I don't go waving it around at parties, though.
Trendy Man: It's an exceptional painting.
Thornton Melon: Oh, the painting.

Surprise call from MD Atty General

Hi all - I think I've been in "activist" mode this week.
After hearing that Maryland Atty general Douglas Gansler is trying to get gay marriages that are done in other states as being recognized in Maryland, I called his office and left a message on Monday. HE CALLED ME today! He said the MD constitution states marriage is between a man and woman, but he said several other states have that issue but still recognize marriages done outside their states. He said that although there may not be enough support this year (it's an election year and we know that politicians who want to get re-elected don't want to address this) - but maybe next year would look better. He said he's 46 (my age) and thinks its ridiculous that Maryland doesn't allow gay marriage. He said by not having it, Maryland is saying "not everyone is equal." WOW. I am SO impressed. Now THAT is a great Atty General. To contact his office: Main telephone number (410) 576-6300 or 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free in Maryland.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Tomorrow (June 5th) is Free Donut Day at Dunkin' Donuts!


FREE DONUT AT DUNKIN' DONUTS TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL DONUT DAY
On June 5, Dunkin' Donuts stores to offer a free donut with the purchase of any beverage.
Dunkin' Donuts, America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods, is marking National Donut Day with a sweet nationwide offer to help Americans celebrate the joy and fun of donuts. On June 5, 2009, participating Dunkin' Donuts restaurants throughout the country will give every customer a free donut of their choice, with the purchase of any beverage, limit one per customer.
Also on National Donut Day, Dunkin' Donuts will announce the winner of its first-ever "Create Dunkin's Next Donut" contest. From nearly 130,000 donut contest creations submitted online, one of 12 finalists will win a $12,000 grand prize and have their winning donuts sold in Dunkin' Donuts locations throughout the country. Americans can vote for their favorite finalist online at www.dunkindonuts.com/donut. National Donut Day, held the first Friday of June each year, was started by the Chicago Salvation Army more than 70 years ago.

It's law: Gay couples can soon wed in NH!! -The Sixth State!

(PHOTO: Supporters watch as Gov. John Lynch signs gay marriage into law at the State House in Concord yesterday. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS))
(ROB'S NOTE: NH finally passed the law to ensure equality of gay couples to marry. The governor requested and got some stipulations that enable churches to refuse to marry gay couples, which is okay by me- it's just a bad reflection on the churches. Regardless, Equal rights means equal for all. I'm glad to see this passed finally.)
CONCORD – Acting quickly after final Senate and House votes yesterday, Gov. John Lynch signed into law a group of three bills that allow same-sex marriage in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is the sixth state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law becomes effective Jan. 1, 2010.
Lynch signed the bills in a crowded Executive Council chamber less than 90 minutes after the House voted 198-176 to pass HB 73 (text), the final piece of the marriage package. The bills allow any two adults to marry. They also bar lawsuits against religious groups and workers if they refuse to participate in gay weddings or celebrations that go against their faiths."Today is a day to celebrate in New Hampshire. Today should not be considered a victory for some and a loss for others. Today is a victory for all the people of New Hampshire, who I believe, in our own independent way, want tolerance for all," he said.
The trio of bills go into great detail preserving the rights of religious groups. Lynch threatened to veto gay marriage if the final explicit protections in HB 73 weren't part of the new law. Lynch said that New Hampshire has done all it can to ensure marriage equality. He said changes need to be made at the federal level next. The Defense of Marriage Act reserves federal benefits such as Social Security and federal tax breaks for traditional marriages between men and women. (ROB'S NOTE: Yes, the next step is to repeal that stupid defense of Marriage Act so gay couples can have truly EQUAL rights and protections.)
FULL STORY:http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=It%27s+law%3a+Gay+couples+can+soon+wed+in+NH&articleId=d8c6860d-6235-470d-a1ac-081e01387c07

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Emergency Funding Needed for Dogs Recovered!


MIDWEST PAWS NEEDS EMERGENCY FUNDING - They are a licensed rescue and a 501c3 non profit organization.
On Thursday May 21st 2009 GWP Rescue Inc and Midwest PAWs were notified of 26 dogs that were seized by local animal control in Branson, MO. From a backyard breeder there were 19 puppies and 9 adults. The owner was allowed to keep 4 adult females and one adult male to continue his breeding practices. Although his breeding facility is unlicensed he is recognized as a hobby breeder. His breeding facility was contaminated with parvovirus and the pointers were infected with this deadly virus. The owner even admitted that his pointers were not vaccinated in general. The pointers from his care are suffering from a variety of medical conditions. Before necessary care could be given two pups were lost to parvovirus. All of these pointers were exposed to this virus, which made it difficult to find a facility that would care for them for fear of an outbreak. The infected puppies with parvovirus are in private medical care where they are cared for 24/7 and isolated to further prevent the spread of this virus. They will stay at this facility until they are medically cleared. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND DONATIONS: http://www.midwestpaws.com/

Free Directory Asst,, TV Shows, Biz Cards, Credit Report


Here are some helpful Free things for this poor economy, courtesy of USA Today:
Free Directory Assistance on the Phone - free from any telephone. 1-800-GOOG-411 and 1-800-FREE411 are two free directory services. Google's service (GOOG-411) relies on voice recognition to find results.
Business cards - VistaPrint and GigglePrint will give you 250 free, full-color business cards. Select one of a limited number of designs. Then, add your personal information. You must pay for shipping and processing. The free cards carry the printer's logo on the back. You can remove the logo or customize your design. In that case, you'll pay for the cards.
Credit reports - By law, you are entitled to one free credit report each year from each of the three main credit bureaus. The official site for getting your reports is AnnualCreditReport. Look-alike sites may provide you with a free report, but they often have hidden catches. Get one every four months, each from a different bureau.
Television Programming - Want to watch television (free) on your own schedule? Then head to the Web: Hulu and Joost.com are among the biggest, but you'll find shows on sites of the Networks.
And check out http://www.thefreesite.com/

Bad Politics

This week, two big items appeared in the news where the former VP, Cheney totally contradicted two stances he had over 8 years in office. I've never trusted him anyway, and know he and his admin. were corrupt. So, why does the media still care about what that idiot says? Here are the 2 issues:
1) Cheney: No link between Saddam Hussein, 9/11 WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that he does not believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the planning or execution of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Full story: http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/01/cheney.speech/index.html AGAIN? What??? For 8 Years in office he said THERE WAS DEFINITELY A LINK. Now he blames the intelligence community. God, how totally corrupt he is!
2) Cheney favors gay marriage but believes states should make the decision, not the federal gov't Associated Press Writer http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/sns-ap-us-cheney,0,2329252.story
...President Dick Cheney said Monday he supports gays being able to marry but believes states, not the...of arrangement they wish." Cheney, who has a gay daughter, said marriage has always been a state issue.
What the hell? He said when in office he was DEAD SET AGAINST gay marriage. Now that he doesn't have to kiss up to conservatives he says this? What a loser.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MD Looking into Recognizing Out-of-state gay marriages

Big kudos to the MD Attorney General and his office. I called MD Atty General Doug Gansler's office today in support of recognizing gay marriages from out of state. They transferred me into the executive offices and I spoke to a really nice woman about it, who asked some questions and asked for my name, town, and contact info, which I gave her. She thanked me very much for calling. - I told her we really appreciate the AG's efforts, and look forward to utilizing that law (should it come to pass). Here's the story from the Associated Press 6:20 AM CDT, June 1, 2009:
Md. AG considers recognizing gay marriages
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is looking into whether the state can recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, and his office plans to issue an opinion in the coming weeks.
State law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but Maryland also sticks to a long-standing legal principle that generally acknowledges couples married elsewhere.
Gansler, a Democrat, supports gay marriage. While Maryland has extended a variety of protections to same-sex couples in recent years, it has stopped short of legalizing marriages or civil unions. Gov. Martin O'Malley, also a Democrat, supports the latter.
FULL STORY: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-md-gaymarriage-recog,0,3149391.story

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