Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fun Radio Interview on New England Ghost Chronicles On-Line

Tonight I had the good fortune to be a guest on the weekly Internet radio program hosted by the New England Ghost Chronicles. I was interviewed by hosts Ron Kolek, the lead scientific investigator of the group, and Maureen Wood, the group's psychic investigator.
Ron was curious about how my career as a meteorologist/scientist works with the intuitive side as a developing Medium. I told him that I continually try and prove every message that I get, which Maureen agreed can sometimes be hard to do. Not every message makes sense immediately. Sometimes the people whom the messages are for have to think about what an object or words mean - from a spirit giving them to the medium.
We talked about how my puppy that passed, and my Dad, who also passed inspired me to write my book "Ghosts and Spirits: Insights from a Medium." I shared a story about our haunted mattress and we talked about the science of energy. It was fun time, and I would love to go back on the program!
For more information about New England Ghost Chronicles (and I recommend their book- I loved it!), go to:
The radio episode will be available as a Podcast on itunes in a couple of weeks, and is free! You can watch for it here:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wiki the Weimaraner: Happy First Birthday!!!

Our friend Melanie's Weimaraner "Wiki" turned one year old this month, and she put together an incredible slide show to commemorate the occasion. It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes, too. Enjoy it, and Happy Birthday, Wiki! TO SEE THE SLIDESHOW, GO HERE:
Wiki the Weimaraner: Happy First Birthday!!!

Rob on Internet Radio Ghost Chronicle Show-Wed. March 31 7pm!

LIVE ON THE INTERNET: Tomorrow night- Wed. March 31st - I'm going to appear on Ghost Chronicles: The Radio Show to discuss my book "Ghosts and Spirits: Insights from a Medium"
WHEN? Wednesday, March 31, 2010 from 7-8pm EDT (I'll be on at 7:30pm)
WHERE CAN YOU HEAR IT? Listen On-Line Live to "Ghost Chronicles" every Wednesday (7-8 PM) on and
YOU CAN CALL IN: With questions and stories at: (877) 864-4869.
More information about the New England Ghost Project:

Md. Bill to Prevent Pet Stores from Selling Puppy Mill Dogs

There's a bill in the Md. legislature to prevent pet stores from selling puppy mill dogs which we support. If you live in Maryland, urge your legislators to support S.B.505. Below is my letter to our Senator. To find your Senator anywhere in the U.S. for similar bills, or anything you're passionate about go here:

Senator Douglas Peters
James Senate Office Building, Room 121
11 Bladen Street
Annapolis, MD 21401
As your constituents, we urge you to support S.B. 505 -- with Senator Gladden's amendments -- to put in place protections for consumers who purchase a sick puppy from a pet store, and to prohibit pet stores from selling puppies from the most egregious puppy mills. This legislation will help protect Maryland consumers.
Oftentimes puppies sold at pet stores appear healthy, but later show signs of severe illness -- costing the new owner thousands of dollars in veterinary bills.
(Before I met Tom) I adopted one of those puppies that developed pneumonia a week later and had to be hospitalized. The puppy suffered for weeks while healing, and I'm sure that other people would not have been able to afford the care that I made sure that pup had to heal.
Many puppies sold at Maryland pet stores come from breeders with one or more Animal Welfare Act violations. Those animals do not deserve to live in those filthy, horrendous conditions that puppy mills are known for.
Maryland and all states need legislation banning puppy mills, and we also need some kind of controls or licenses for people who want to breed dogs. Our neighbor (whose dog is found running loose in the street at times) bought another dog to breed and sell puppies. They can't control the one dog, and they're going to bring puppies into the world! Further thousands of animals are already being put to death in overloaded shelters now. People need to be educated and licensed because they don't know the right thing to do!
Please support S.B. 505 when it comes before you for your consideration.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Another Good One from Amazing Race's Dumbest Couple!

I just remembered another great DUH moment from the Amazing Race's dumbest couple this season: Caite and Brent. Last weekend, they were in Paris, France looking for a statue of Joan of Arc. Brent asked Caite who that was, and what kind of a statue they were looking for. She honestly replied "Joan is the guy that built that boat with all the animals." SERIOUSLY.
She confused Joan of Arc with Noah from the Biblical flood.
Here's what I DON'T GET: These 2 are allowed to marry in EVERY STATE and even have children!!! (Meanwhile gay couples can only marry in a few states).

Busy Weekend

WEEKENDS - Weekends all fly by, just like this one did. We were busy as always, and we enjoyed the Amazing Race, despite 2 of the dumbest contestants ever.
1) After 7am haircuts, we had our neighbors over for Saturday morning breakfast (long overdue since they shoveled us out in February during the 2 blizzards when we weren't here).
2) Dropped off patio furniture to friends in Gaithersburg (2+ hr. roundtrip)
3) Met Tom's folks for dinner; took dog walks; etc.
4) Sunday breakfast at Panera with friends at 7:30am; dog walks; running errands (of course Home Depot and Lowes were in there). Dinner with Jeff. and then watched "The Amazing Race"
5) Dolly got up at 3:45am today and had to throw up from eating grass. EESH. I wound up curling up on the floor with her under a blanket to keep watch on her (she was shivering) until 5am when Tom got up for work. So, I'm tired!!
AMAZING RACE: THESE MODELS ARE JUST DUMB- There's a couple on the Amazing Race who are both models and we are just waiting for them to lose. They are both really just, well, dumb. I know, its not right to call people that- but they don't have a grasp on the English language (often using the wrong words -if you don't know what it means, don't use it); always cussing and saying "I hate you" to each other; and frankly, we don't find them at all attractive. We also don't find Brent, the guy, attractive at all. He removed his shirt to swim in last night's episode and we were expecting something attractive, but there was nothing. Caite was on the Miss Teen USA contest, and apparently stumbled all over an answer. This is what she said her "Goal in life" is (it's on the Amazing Race Website):
Being able to overcome the embarrassment from the flub I made on national television during the Miss Teen USA pageant." THAT'S A GOAL??? As I said: dumb. Here's a photo of Brent and Caite (who can't spell her own name either, apparently).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Funny Headline

Our friend Lisa G. in Maine sent us this funny headline. It originated in an Op-Ed column in the "Echo" from Ypsilanti, Michigan.

You can see the Op-Ed here:

Saturday, March 27, 2010

We both read a great book: "Receive Me Falling"

During my(Rob's) first book signing at Barnes and Noble in Annapolis, I sat with 11 other local authors. Erika Robuck sat on one side of me and she wrote a book called "Receive Me Falling." We swapped books, and both Tom and I read Erika's novel- and we BOTH highly recommend it! We both loved the story and the characters. Of course, the ghost part appealed to me, too. I told Erica in an email that I really felt the emotions that both lead characters, Catherine in the 1800s, and Meg in the present day, were experiencing. Erika crafted a great story that goes between the two characters and time periods on a sugar plantation on a Caribbean Island.

Every slave story is a ghost story. The haunting words of an historian and former cane worker on the Caribbean island of Nevis launch Meghan Owen on her quest to unlock the secrets of an abandoned sugar plantation and its ghosts. After Meg's parents die in a car accident on the night of her engagement party, she calls off her wedding, takes leave of her job in Annapolis, and travels to land she's inherited on Nevis. A series of discoveries in an old plantation house on the property, Eden, set her on a search for the truth surrounding the shameful past of her ancestors, their slaves, and the tragedy that resulted in the fall of the plantation and its inhabitants. Through a crushing phone call with her lawyer, Meg learns that her father's estate was built on stolen money, and is being sued by multiple sources. She is faced with having to sell the land and plantation home, and deal with the betrayal she feels from her deceased father. In alternating chapters, the historical drama of the Dall family unfolds. Upon the arrival of British abolitionists to the hedonistic 19th century plantation society, Catherine Dall is forced to choose between her lifestyle and the scandal of deserting her family. An angry confrontation with Catherine's slave, Leah, results in the girl's death, but was it murder or suicide? Hidden texts, scandalous diaries, antique paintings, and confessional letters help Meghan Owen uncover the secrets of Eden and put the ghosts to rest. AMAZON:

Friday, March 26, 2010

Book Signing

Book Signing & Talk: Ghosts & Spirits-Insights from a Medium at Inspired Events in Odenton | Calendar Of Events ( - The Capital)

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A Visit from my Aunt - First Since 1996 /Concentration

The key with mediumship is meditation and concentration, and in today's world, it's hard to find time to do those! Usually, the only time I can do them is when I'm in the shower or driving to work - and those are the times I usually get messages. Today was no different.
On my drive to work this morning I was listening to an old CD of Barbara Mandrell's greatest hits (I love older country music). The song "If loving you is wrong (I don't want to be right)" came on. That song reminded me of my aunt Tillie, because before she passed she was seeing a man who was separated from his wife and she always thought it was "wrong" but couldn't resist his charms. That man passed before my aunt did.
I suddenly received a message from my Aunt right as the song was beginning. She told me "thank you" for getting my mother's (her sister) forgiveness for the things Tillie did to my mom during Tillie's time on Earth. Back in 1996, when I lived in Kentucky, my aunt came to me as a dark figure (apparently feeling shame and guilt for those things she did when alive) and begged me to help get her sister's forgiveness. It wasn't until years later that I was able to convince my mom to give that forgiveness, and my aunt was able to cross over into the light.
My aunt let me know she's happily with my uncle Richard now, and they're happy. I loved them both very much. She showed me their old 1967 car, with black leather interior (I don't remember the make) that she and uncle Richard would drive us around in when we stayed on weekends. She and uncle Richard then started singing "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" in my head (it was a Bobby Vinton song they loved). They then reminded me of "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation," by Marty Robbins, that they also used to sing in the car.
I asked my aunt if she was at peace, and suddenly the CD playing that Barbara Mandrell song skipped 4 times fast (that was her way of saying "yes.") The CD played fine for another 30 seconds, then I asked if she was happy on the other side, and the CD skipped again! Another "yes." I then saw some blue blouse that she showed me that she had apparently taken of my mom's when she was alive and had regrets over it. I asked her one more question (the CD was now on another song and was playing without skipping, and the CD skipped fast 4 times again, indicating a "yes!" The rest of the CD didn't skip at all, so it's obvious she was manipulating the CD player to answer me.
Whenever I received her answers, I was "forced" to smile. It was odd. But I knew it was my aunt assuring me she's fine and happy on the other side.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today's Headlines: Stupid People

I saw the following 2 stories below from the headlines in today's Atlanta Journal Constitution. There is DEFINITELY something wrong with the Georgia legislators. They're not helping domestic violence victims now in TWO ways. ONE, they've reduced funds to the program and TWO, now they've voted to allow anyone to carry guns ANYWHERE! (I understand the desire for guns, but just for hunting or for protection, but this is ridiculous!). So, who are the stupid people here? Georgia Legislators.
You can see these headlines for yourself at
Gun bills clear Senate
Sermons, happy hour and curbside loading might never be the same again in Georgia.
Two bills allowing licensed guns to be carried in churches, bars and parts of airports on Wednesday were passed by the Senate, closing out a marathon day of legislation.
Domestic violence programs strapped
Five women had to stop job hunting and one lost a job when the battered women's shelter in Gwinnett County could no longer help pay to keep their kids in day care last year.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

An Op-Ed Worth Reading

This Op-Ed appeared today in the NY Times. It's well-worth reading.
An Absence of Class
Published: March 22, 2010
Some of the images from the run-up to Sunday’s landmark health care vote in the House of Representatives should be seared into the nation’s consciousness. We are so far, in so many ways, from being a class act...

Watched th e movie "New Moon"

SUMMARY: In the second chapter of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight series, the romance between mortal Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) grows more intense. When Edward leaves in an effort to keep Bella safe, she tests fate in increasingly (stupid and) reckless ways in order to glimpse her love once more. But when she’s saved from the brink by her friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Bella uncovers mysteries of the supernatural world that will put her in more peril than ever before.
Tom and I enjoyed it, and we really enjoyed seeing "Jacob." Enjoy this poster! :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan

From the floor of Congress - This is true and perfect!!
Alan Grayson on the GOP Health Care Plan: "Don't Get Sick! And if You Do Get Sick, Die Quickly!"'

The Worst Party

For about a year, we've had enough of the Republican Party, and they keep getting worse. We are disgusted with their hatred, fear tactics (same old stuff), and they act like spoiled children who can't get their own way. What's with that? How about WORKING TOGETHER?
I've never heard so much hatred and crap from one political party (yes, the Dems have lots of faults, too, but they're nowhere near as good as creating crap like the GOP).
1) GOP Lies About Health Care - The GOP created lies about Obama's Health care like "death panels"! Anyone that believes that stupidity is listening to too much Palin, Limbaugh and the other idiots.
2) The GOP has never, ever cared about people who make under 200K a year. Why don't people understand that? Of course they didn't want health care to cover the little people! People making more than 200K would have to help the poor- and if they're the "Christians" they claim to be, they should want to help the poor. The GOP needs to go.
3)GOPers are SO disrespectful - Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) has admitted that he is the person who yelled "baby killer" as Rep. Bart Stupak was speaking about the health care bill yesterday. Just like the idiot Republican that called Obama a "Liar" when he was speaking last year.
4) Blocking Gay Marriage - Funny how Republicans are RABID about blocking gay marriages, when more Republicans have been cheating on their straight spouses over the last several years (than Democrats - I think it's about 10 Republicans to every 1 Democrat).
The GOP says they're tired of partisanship, but what do they do? Refuse to even work together with a democratic President. Did the Democratic Congress refuse to work with George W. Bush? No. They didn't like it, but they DID work with him. Why does it only work one way? To me, Republican means spoiled, nasty, lying, hateful behavior.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Health Care - and a great blog by a leading U.S. Economist

We were glad to see that the health care bill finally passed. Everyone needs health care, and it shows our government actually does care for everyone (not just rich people). The way I look at it is 1) it works okay in Canada and England. 2) Medicare works okay here, and is better than nothing 3) The Gov't requires us to all have auto insurance for our and others safety, so aren't people more important?
The things that tick me off more than anything: 1) Republicans said Democrats used a motion that has never been used to pass it. WRONG!!! GOP used the procedure 22 times, Democrats used it 7 times before. What a crock of crap the Republicans have told the media.
Here's a local example for you: We keep paying for things every time thugs go into hospitals with gun shot wounds. Why should WE pay for criminals? In fact, one of the hospitals in Washington, D.C. went bankrupt because of it, and now the Maryland Prince George's county hospital gets all those criminals (who have no health care) and the hospital has been bailed out of bankruptcy by the county 3 times now! Why should people that live in Maryland pay for criminals who shoot each other in the District of Columbia? How does that make sense?
Below: TOM AND I TOTALLY AGREE WITH ECONOMIST JAMES KUNTSLER, who wrote the following on his blog today:
“The most striking elements of so-called health care in America these days is how cruel and unjust it is, and in taking a stand against reforming it the Republican party appeared to be firmly in support of cruelty and injustice. This would be well within the historical tradition of other religious crusades which turned political -- such as the Spanish Inquisition and the seventeenth century war against witchcraft. Whatever else the Democratic party has stood for in recent history, it has tended to oppose institutional cruelty and injustice, and notice that it has also been the party for keeping religion out of government.
I hope that Mr. Obama's party can carry this message clearly into the electoral battles ahead, painting the Republican opposition for what it is: a gang of hypocritical, pietistic sadists, seeking pleasure in the suffering of others while pretending to be Christians, devoid of sympathy, empathy, or any inclination to simple human kindness, constant breakers of the Golden Rule, enemies of the common good. In fact, the current edition of the Republican party has achieved something really memorable in the annals of collective bad intentions: they have managed to create a sense of the public interest whose main goal is the destruction of the public interest.
This is exactly what the Republican majority on the Supreme Court did earlier this year by deciding that corporations -- which are sociopathic by definition in being answerable only to their shareholders and nothing else -- should enjoy the same full privileges in election campaign contributions as human persons, who are assumed to have obligations, duties, and responsibilities to the common good (and therefore to the public interest). This shameful act by the court majority only underscores the chief defining characteristic of Republicans in their current incarnation: an inability to think. And so, naturally Republicans gravitate toward superstition and the traditional devices of improvident religious authorities -- persecution of the weak, torture, denial of due process, and dogmas designed to spread hatred.
I hope the American public begins to understand this, because they have been manipulated in their own pain and hardship by these dark forces, and their thrall to the likes of John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush, Hannity, and the rest of these vicious morons could easily increase as their economic hardships deepen. We're facing a comprehensive contraction of wealth and economy that is going to challenge every shared virtue in our national soul, and we're not going to meet these difficulties successfully without a sense of mutual obligation and sympathy for each other. The Republican party is just itching to turn a giant thumbscrew on the US public -- that is, before they try to start burning their enemies at the stake. We understand that the Health Care Reform Act is a first stand against that.”

Sunday Sun and a "Serviceberry Tree"

Franklin the Dachshund and Dolly the Weimaraner loved the weather on Sunday. It was sunny and 74 degrees Fahrenheit! The average temperature is around 53F, so this was a really awesome and welcome day.
Rob woke up with a stomach ache that didn't ease but made the best of it. We walked the dogs in the morning, and Rob walked them in the afternoon and evening, while Tom worked in the garden and did all kinds of indoor projects!
In the afternoon we briefly visited friends Mike and Heidi, as they were celebrating Mike's and Sadie's (one of their daughter's) birthdays. Rob wasn't up to staying out long due to feeling poorly, but it was great to see everyone albeit briefly.

Because the State of Maryland is offering a $25 reduction in the purchase of a tree (from certain nurseries), we took advantage of it, and bought a "Serviceberry Tree Autumn Brilliance". The tree, pictured here when in bloom, requires Full Sun to Partial Sun, grows to 20-25 feet, spreads 15-20 feet, and flowers profusely with snow white flowers in early spring. It's green leaves turn brilliant orange in the fall. It's a fast growing ornamental tree with beautiful white flowers in spring. Red fruit attracts birds including Cedar Waxwings. Red-orange fall color. If you live in Maryland, to get a coupon for $25 off, go to:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Moving Jeff to his New Apartment

Yesterday our friend Jim and I helped Jeff move some stuff into his new apartment in Alexandria. Between Jim and Jeff moving was actually a really fun experience as we laughed a lot. Jim's partner Terry was taking care of their dog, while (my) Tom was taking care of our dogs and gardening, so it was just the three of us. The weather was perfect, which really helped.
We took a couple of trips, and as you can see, my truck was loaded up, as was Jeff's car. I had to get a picture of Jeff with Loretta Lynn's photo packed in the back of the truck!
We stopped for a short lunch and more coffee for me at Dunkin' Donuts, of course. I'm glad Jeff moved near a Dunkin' Donuts. That's important!! :)
The apartment is really, really nice, and so is the neighborhood. It's also really convenient to Jeff's office.
We started around 9:30am and I finished by 4:00pm, while Jeff and Terry headed out to shop for stuff for the apartment. We were happy and relieved that Jeff's move went so smoothly and now he's getting settled in. How often can you say a move was actually fun?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Check out our friend Fitz's New CD!!

Congratulations to our friend Fitz on the issue of his new Mesmers CD: Fitz's Subway to Another Life is available for sale on the Mesmers Website. Actually, there are two CDs:
1. The Regular Edition: 10 song and jewel case packaging.
2. The Limited Edition: 14 songs, nicer Digipack packaging, and we're only making 200 copies - so get them while they last.
The Regular is $10, the Limited Edition $18, and he's running a special where if you buy both the price is only $20. You can listen to samples on the Mesmers site. Fitz said "I hope folks like this one. I've put a lot of work into it and think it's miles better than our first release. Big thanks for all the encouragement and support!"
Congratulations, Fitz!! We're looking forward to enjoying it!!

TRUE STORY: A Leprechaun-dressed Bank Robber

The leprechauns are really getting bold and out of hand in the modern age. Used to be they'd just guard the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Now they go robbing banks to load up their pots. Boy, times have changed. Just read this story from the Tennessean Newspaper (Nashville's newspaper) today:

Leprechaun-dressed bank robber tied to Santa-dressed heist
By Eric Miller • GANNETT TENNESSEE • March 19, 2010

GALLATIN — The man shot and killed after robbing a Gallatin bank dressed as a leprechaun on St.
Patrick's Day is the same man who robbed a Hermitage bank dressed as Santa three days before
Christmas, investigators say.
Two men robbed First State Bank on Nashville Pike at lunchtime Wednesday, firing at police during a chase down busy city streets to a field behind a subdivision where they were killed in a gun battle with officers.
David Christopher Cotton of Wildwood Valley Road in Brentwood was identified as the man in the leprechaun suit, and Jonathan Ryan Skinner was identified as the driver of the getaway vehicle.
Skinner was a student at Western Kentucky University.
Investigators say Skinner was shot by officers; they believe Cotton killed himself but are waiting for an autopsy to verify that.

Bathroom Renovation Update

This seems like a never-ending story and it's called "Tom and Rob's First Floor Bathroom Renovation Fiasco." If you followed the story, you know about the contractor who took most of the cash and disappeared, and the other guy we hired to finish.
- Well, the cabinet we ordered specially made was delivered damaged, so Rob sent it back. The replacement arrived Thursday, March 18, and it was perfect. Except... the opening has 2 side tiles on the wall, and we can't get the cabinet to fit. Rob is letting Tom figure this one out.
- The shower door also FINALLY arrived and was installed! This is a photo of it. Now, we'll finally be able to use the downstairs shower. March 28th will mark four months trying to get this tiny bathroom back together. Glad we have 2. :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Today is Franklin's 6th Birthday!

Happy Birthday to me, Franklin the Dachshund!
I, Franklin, turn 6 today. I guess that's about 35 in human years, but I really don't care. Just give me treats.
I've got a strong personality, and love to wander around outside, bark and chase squirrels, birds, and bunnies. In fact, I've caught and took some of them down! If I can't catch one, then just give me treats for chasing them out of the yard.
My sister, Dolly doesn't look all that much like me other than she's also German, and a hound-like dog. I've heard people call her a "Weimaraner." She's great, though, because she loves to run and fetch and play with our daddies so I can sniff the ground in the backyard and forage for anything edible. Well, I even eat stuff that's not supposed to be edible!
Dolly likes putting her head on my back and using me as a pillow, and I think that's really nice. I love my sister, more than most humans love their siblings!
Here's a photo of my sister Dolly and I on the night before my birthday, after a nice walk outside. Dolly was loving it (See her smiling?), while I was tired!

Food is simply a passion. I live for it. I love it. Although I eat Purina One diet food (okay, so I have an extra pound or two on me), daddies put me on green beans, too and walk me 2-3 times a day. Jeez. That's a lot for a dog with 2 inch long legs. Dolly's legs are about 12" high!! How is that fair to me?
I know where the treat cabinet is at home, and like to hang out there. I love Milk Bone "pigs in blanket" treats, and crave bacon-flavored "Beggin' Strips!"
Tonight, as our daddies usually do, we'll be going to Petsmart to buy me more of my favorite treats and toys. I LOVE birthdays!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day.
St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by the Irish and Irish at Heart in big cities and small towns alike with parades, "wearing of the green," music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids and more. We've read that some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green! (That's just wrong).
I, Ro,b heard today on the Boston radio station WBZ-AM 1030 (it's a clear channel station meaning we can hear it in Washington, DC at night) that people in the Irish-laden area of South Boston, Mass. were standing outside of Irish Pubs at 6 a.m. for their opening at 8 a.m. to take the day off and start drinking their green beer. UM... I think that's a little extreme (and I AM Irish).
Anyway, for all of those who were into it, there's even a website devoted to events around the U.S. and Canada!! WOW. Who would've thought it was that big of an event? The website is:
Neither Tom nor I were wearing any green, unless you count Tom's complexion after eating corned beef that someone brought into his office (and he said it was Nasty!).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rob's Brother in the newspaper-

I (Rob) am so proud of the work that my younger brother Doug does as a City Councilor in my hometown. This week, the double low pressure system brought a lot of flooding in Massachusetts, and caused drainage issues. Of course, the newspaper called my brother to get a comment, and he was right on top of the situation. Go, Doug!

MWRA pumps 8 million gallons of sewage into Quincy Bay - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger

MWRA pumps 8 million gallons of sewage into Quincy Bay - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Rainy Days and Mondays /Local Rainfall

The Carpenters said it best for today "Rainy Days and Mondays (always get me down)." So below is a video treat for you. It's another rainy day here, so Dolly and Franklin are miserable. On Sunday, Franklin the Dachshund got THREE baths because he came in so muddy from the backyard.
RAIN TOTALS VARY - Here's an interesting note about Local Rainfall. This weekend with the double low pressure area dumping rain on the Baltimore/Washington corridor, Baltimore received about DOUBLE the amount of rainfall. Washington, DC's Reagan National Airport received 1.58" of rain, while Baltimore's BWI Airport received 3.71" of rain!

Rapid City Police Dept. Outs a Military Woman- Gets her Fired

For anyone that says discrimination, hateful behavior and intolerance for the lives of gay people just don't happen - here's the latest example of it. This 9 year air force craftsman, Jene Newsome, was outed by a police department (who had NO BUSINESS telling the Air Force she was married to her partner... again the stupid Don't Ask policy here), despite the fact she wouldn't give them information about her partner (who apparently committed theft). There's 2 things wrong here: 1) Newsome SHOULD have told them where her partner was and let her partner face justice. 2) the Police should NEVER have informed the Air Force Newsome is gay. They have totally destroyed her life and career in one day. How would ANYONE feel if that happened to them?
- I think politicians like the local, anti-gay, hateful, idiot Donald Dwyer here in Maryland needs to be thrown out of office just like this woman lost her job. Maybe then he'd "get it."

AF Sgt. Jené Newsome
AF Sargent Pays the Price After Police Play Peeping Tom
Two Rapid City police officers are accused of deliberately bringing the same-sex marriage of an Ellsworth Air Force Base sergeant to the military's attention, allegedly costing Staff Sgt. Jene Newsome her military career.
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota has filed an internal affairs complaint with the Rapid City Police Department questioning the conduct of Det. Tom Garinger and Officer Jeremy Stauffacher, according to Robert Doody, state ACLU director.
Doody believes that the officers maliciously sent a copy of a police report to the military that resulted in Newsome's dismissal from the service.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Wet. Wacky Weekend

As always, we pack a lot into every weekend. This was no exception! We hope your weekend was fun. Tell us what YOU did!
MARGARITA NIGHT - Friday night we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant around the corner from us, and our friend Ed joined us. Not only did Tom say the margaritas are the best ever (Rob doesn't drink), but the food was excellent, and Ed made us laugh through the entire dinner. Ole!
A FUN IRISH LUNCH- Saturday, although the weather was really bad, we met Craig and Jim for a fun lunch at Silante's Irish Pub in Baltimore. Craig planned it around a rugby game between Scotland and England being broadcast there (he has relatives from both places). We laughed, shared stories, aches and pains (as we do at our age), and had fun.
GOOD MOVIE "SLIDING DOORS" - (DVD, 1998) Tom and our friend Alain both mentioned this movie recently, so we rented it. Rob hadn't seen it before and we both really enjoyed it!! PLOT: There are two sides to every story. Helen is about to live both of them the same time. Romance was never this much fun. What if one split second sent your life in two completely different directions? - The movie shows how a woman's life would have been different if she caught a train she had missed. GREAT!
A VERY, VERY WET WEEKEND - After one of the coldest winters in a decade in the Washington, DC area, AND with a record snowfall of 77 inches, March brought spring in quickly. We went from high temperatures in the low 40s to Highs in the mid to upper 50s in a week's time (I'm not complaining). As with springtime in Washington, DC comes lots of rain. This weekend was no exception. We've had a FLOOD WATCH posted from Friday through tonight (Sunday). Overnight Friday into Saturday morning, we received 2.31 inches of rain (that's about 2 week's worth in a night).
DOGGIE MUD BATHS - With all the rain we've had this weekend, our Dachshund Franklin (who is a "low rider" to the ground) usually comes in caked with mud on his underside (the toddler tee-shirts we put him in usually mops up most of it, though), so he needed a BATH both Saturday and Sunday! Here's Franklin sitting for the camera while drying off, while Dolly the Weimaraner is happily chomping on her dental dinosaur in the background.

IT'S WET OUTSIDE - This is a picture of our back porch that has been so patiently waiting for us to use it again since October. We have a stained glass window hanging up on the porch that an old friend of Tom's made for him many years ago. This weekend, it's the only nice thing to look at outside with all the grey skies and rain!
WEEKEND CHORES - As always we change the bed, do laundry and clean the house. This weekend, Tom did a lot of stuff like install a new vent panel, and rebuild and re-paint a plumbing access panel in one of our closets, while Rob worked on the newsletter. Here's a photo of Tom painting the closet after rebuilding the wall!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SET YOUR CLOCKS AHEAD - It's Daylight Savings Time!

In the US and Canada - Daylight Saving Time always begins on the second Sunday of March and ends on the first Sunday of November.
This means SUNDAY EARLY MORNING MARCH 14, 2010, at 2:00 a.m. (or Saturday night before you go to bed)- you set the clocks ahead one hour. (Spring forward)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Corruption in the Boy and Girl Scouts

We don't support the boy scouts or girl scouts because they have a policy to BAN anyone who is gay from becoming scout leaders. Just stupid. In fact, I think a gay man could tie better knots then straight guys. :) Anyway, it seems corruption is everywhere. Read this article!! (BTW- finally, I see Reps. doing something GOOD instead of complaining!)

Senators question $1 million pay for charity's CEO
ASSOCIATED PRESS: WASHINGTON – A group of Republican senators is questioning high salaries and expensive travel bills for executives at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, raising issues that could jeopardize millions in federal funding for the national charity.
The four senators said they were concerned that the chief executive of a charity that has been closing local clubs for lack of funding was compensated nearly $1 million in 2008. They also questioned why in the same year officials spent $4.3 million on travel, $1.6 million on conferences, conventions and meetings, and $544,000 in lobbying fees.
"The question is whether or not a very top-heavy organization might be siphoning off federal dollars that should be going to help kids," said Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. The issues they raise could threaten the reputation of a popular charity that supports 4,300 local Boys & Girls Clubs serving about 4.8 million children. The timing threatens a bill moving through the Senate that would provide up to $425 million in federal money to the national organization over the next five years.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Stitch in Time / Dunkin' Donuts Waffle Sandwich

I have 2 things to blog about today that relate to the mouth. One: a stitch, Two: a fantastic sandwich.
"A STITCH IN TIME:" Dental troubles continue to plague me (Rob). The stitches in gum came loose on Monday, causing intense pain every time I swallowed, so it was back to the dentist on Tuesday. SIGH. The dentist re-stitched it (UGH) after putting a topical anesthetic to numb it. I told the dentist she needs to have CHOCOLATE flavored anesthetic! She said that if they did, everyone in the office would have numb mouths from eating it! Anyway, my TMJ starting killing me again for re-opening my mouth, and I've got the searing headaches again. ***REPLAY- The 2nd set of stitches came loose today (Wednesday), so I have to go back again on Thursday. I have 2 older root canals behind that missing tooth area that are actually throbbing, so the dentist told me they may ALSO have to come out! This is a dental nightmare and this is my 9th day of Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours. Eeesh. Now better things...
DUNKIN' DONUTS WAFFLE BREAKFAST SANDWICH - Yup, I'm sure you want to read this after the stuff above... but, tonight, Tom and I each enjoyed the BEST breakfast sandwich ever at Dunkin' Donuts. The new Waffle/egg/sausage breakfast sandwich! Try it!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Local Libraries Discourage "Book Talks" Unless You're a Big Time Author

I contacted 2 big libraries in my area to offer to give short talks about my book, and I received the same answer: "NO."
Why? "Sorry, your book wasn't published through a major publisher," "Our vendor doesn't buy from self-publishing companies," "We like local authors but only if you have a book with a big publisher."
One local library told me I need to give them free books, then wait three months after I fill out a lot of paperwork. Then they'll let me know if they're interested.
When I was told the library's vendor can only buy books from certain entities, I explained that I have 50 copies (that I bought) and they can buy a couple through me. The answer "NO."
The BOTTOM LINE: If you're self-published, DON'T BOTHER to contact a library to see if they're interested in allowing you to talk about your book, even though you're a local author. They won't. It's all about the money, power and connections.
I'm really disappointed by the answers I received from local libraries who I THOUGHT were supposed to support local authors and encourage local people to read and write books.
There are other places that will be much more receptive and appreciative than wasting any more time on local libraries with red tape and who don't care to promote what they're supposed to be encouraging.

New Australian Underwear -Gone Bananas!

After reading this news story from Reuters newswire today, all I can say is, "Is that a banana in your underwear, or are you just happy to see me?" :)
Aussie Underwear Has Gone Bananas
Date: 08-Mar-10
SYDNEY - Australian underwear company AussieBum has been monkeying around and the result is a range of men's underwear made with bananas.
The new eco-friendly banana range of undies incorporates 27 percent banana fiber, 64 percent cotton and 9 percent lycra, AussieBum's Lloyd Jones said on Friday.
The banana fiber used in the underwear is made from a bark weave from the banana plant and makes the underwear not only lightweight, but also very absorbent, he said. "Naturally you can't really add anymore banana fiber than that because it might be a bit squishy," said Jones, adding that wearers did not have to worry about real monkeys, as the underwear does not smell like a banana.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Good Movie/Jaw Pain / Sunshine Sunday!

SUNSHINE!! Today really felt like spring was coming! The sun was shining, and we took the dogs on two walks- one over an hour long. It was 55F and beautiful. Tom raked up the backyard (which is now devoid of snow!) and filled up 2 trash bags with broken branches and leaves while Rob worked on a presentation for a talk about his book (More on that another day).
JAW PAIN UPDATE - the oral surgery that I (Rob) had on Tuesday has been waking him every night around 3am when the pain killers wear off. Today, I started stretching out my cheek muscles that are pulled taught because of my TMJ, and it started to reduce the headache. I've been without ibuprofen since 9:30am (for the first time since Tuesday) but will take the big pain killer to sleep tonight. The jaw where the tooth removal and bone implant occurred still hurts like heck.
GOOD MOVIE - We walked the dogs to the library on Saturday and checked out the movie "MOTORCYCLE DIARIES." I had never heard of it- and it was entirely in spanish with English subtitles. It was, however, captivating, and surprising to learn it was a true story! Below is the summary and the movie trailer.
The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) is a biopic about the journey and written memoir of the 23-year-old Ernesto Guevara, who would years later become internationally known as the iconic Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. The film recounts the 1952 journey, initially by motorcycle, across South America by Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado. As the adventure centered around youthful hedonism unfolds, Guevara discovers himself transformed by his observations of the life of the impoverished indigenous peasantry.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How Do You Fill Up a Saturday?

It's really easy to fill up a Saturday in our house. Tom got us all up at 5:30am (Rob wanted to stay in bed), so Rob let the dogs out and made them breakfast while Tom went to the CAR WASH (yes, the car wash at 6am). We had breakfast at home, and then got haircuts at 7:15... then back home, loaded the truck with stuff for the dump and copper piping from our old shower for the recycle center. We drove north about 25 minutes (we had the dogs in the truck with us, laying on their pillows and comforter in the back seat of the cab). We learned that recycling COPPER piping, you need at least 10 pounds. The recycle place was "nice" to us and gave us a whopping $8.00. Then we went to the dump with other stuff, came home and cleaned up the back yard (of doggies presents now that all the snow melted). After a lunch with Tom's parents, we shopped for a new vacuum cleaner; cleaned up the flower beds of leaves and trash and trimmed the broken tree limbs (from our double blizzard in Feb.); walked the dogs 2 1/2 miles; did 6 loads of laundry and made the bed, cleaned a drain in the bathroom, and we're still going. It's 5:30pm... Are you TIRED YET?? This is typical for our Saturdays. Of course, with my (Rob) jaw still killing me - and I'm on pain killers every 4 hours, I'd like to take a nap. Um... forget that!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hitler's Haunted Staff Car

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following story was shared with me from a friend in California, and it's a prime example of how energies can attach themselves to objects. I've run into this before with entities attached to a mattress or a piece of furniture. In this case, it's a car!
The Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. It was founded by Major General William Lyon. In the museum you'll find authentic aircraft, rare vehicles and related memorabilia, with emphasis on World War II.
The museum has a Mercedes that used to belong to Adolph Hitler. It was likely one of his staff cars. The interior in the front of the car is the original leather interior, also the hand hold on top of the window of the car which Hitler gripped when saluting to the crowd is intact. No one is allowed inside the car but Gen. Lyon's driver stood in the car, grabbed the hand hold as to imitate Hitler's pose which is portrayed in a poster in front of the car. He claims a strange feeling overtook him that he couldn't explain. He got out of the car very quickly.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Think I'll Skip Mediterranean Cruises for Awhile

FROM CNN TODAY: Giant waves hit cruise ship; 2 passengers killed
Madrid, Spain (CNN) -- Two passengers aboard a cruise ship were killed when 26-foot waves crashed into the vessel Wednesday off northeast Spain, officials said. Fourteen others were injured.
The Greece-based Louis Cruise Lines ship was in the Mediterranean north of Barcelona when it was hit by three "abnormal" waves, each about 26 feet (9 meters) high, cruise line spokesman Michael Maratheftis said.
As a result, five windows in public areas -- on the forward part, or bow, of the 14-deck ship -- were smashed, and two male passengers -- a German and an Italian -- were killed, he said.
Fourteen others were treated aboard the ship for light injuries. Spain's state news agency reported that two of the passengers had serious injuries, including a 62-year-old woman with fractures in both legs.
The vessel, the Louis Majesty, was sailing under a Maltese flag and traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Genoa, Italy, the Greek Public Ministry of the Mercantile Marine said.

Rob's Book-Writing Advice

Recently our friend Colleen asked some questions about my experience in writing my first book. I'm no expert, just a regular guy who followed-through on an idea. I thought you may find the answers helpful for your own book! Here they are:
Question One: What is required to get a book published in a situation where the author has no money?
Fundraising. Self-publishing my book required footing about $600 to a self-publisher.
I did all the edits (I had someone edit), and even created the cover and book jacket; wrote the press release; wrote the author bio, the back cover text, etc.

Question Two: Are there any age requirements for certain publishers? No.

Question Three: Where is the best place to start if I wanted to get a book published?
Write the book first. Have someone edit it.
Then check the packages at

Question Four: What would be the average yearly income for an author that's not a best seller, but has books on the shelves? If you're lucky, $1,000-5,000 year.

Question 5: What are the first steps in getting a book published? (Talent, interesting subject matter, etc.)
It depends if you're writing fiction or non-fiction...
for non-fiction: First thing is to put together a table of contents.
Outline your chapters.
Write them and be willing to change the order.
Have someone else edit. You can't edit your own work.
Add 5-20 black and white photos if you can, to break up the text.
For Fiction: Have a plot outline and define who the characters are and their personalities. Then outline a time line of events which will become chapters.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Emergency Dental Visit

Tuesday was not a happy day for me. The root canaled tooth with the temporary filling was aching like a hot iron. My dentist took me in for an emergency appt. at 3:40pm. I finally left at 7pm.
When I arrived I explained the pain and sensitivity of the tooth. I had been the week before, and she re-opened the temporary filling to ensure it was still clean (the temp filling had been in since November). She cleaned it out and put another temporary to ensure it was okay. Then... PAIN like crazy!! Back to yesterday. After 3 novacaine I could STILL feel pain in the tooth, then 4 and finally 5 novacaine! The dentist looked at the tooth and noticed that the hairline fracture up the side of the tooth (vertical) was likely the culprit, and you can't root canal a vertically fractured tooth, so the decision was made to pull it. It's on the left side, bottom... Because it was fractured she needed to be very careful to not break it off, so 2 hours later (and I felt it) it came out. For the 3rd hour, she added in synthetic bone in the socket and sewed a membrane over it (EEEWWWW!!!) so that I can get an implant (because it's near the front of my mouth). In addition to the trauma to my jaw and adjoining teeth (one an old root canal), the major infection found in my jawline and under the bad tooth, my TMJ popping in and out, and the stitches pulling, this has been a PAINFUL day (last night I slept 2-3 hours) even on pain meds. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dental Trouble!

I (Rob) have "soft" teeth, which means all the brushing, flossing, anti-cavity stuff, gargling, etc. don't do much to prevent cavities. Fortunately, Tom has "hard" teeth, and very rarely gets a cavity. Over the last couple of years, I have contributed a lot to paying my dentist's mortgage. :(
Last week, I went in for a follow up to my 3rd root canal (which I will never get again after this- they're just coming out from now on). The temporary filling was re-filled with another temporary, because there was painful pressure inside the tooth. Now, that same tooth is causing pressure-pain on the completed (older) root canal behind it and waking me up at night! I have another appointment on Thursday, and I'm ready to say "pull the damned thing" and face getting an implant (however much THAT costs). I'm tired of hurting, filling-filled teeth.
Last week I wrote about a connection between root canals (keeping in the body's toxins) affecting internal organs, and even ties to cancer. I now figure that if my body wants it gone, then it needs to go. It would be like driving with a flat tire. Your car is telling you to replace it to function better and not screw up the tire rims!
So, until I get to the Thursday appointment, I'm chock full of ibuprofen. I hate teeth! Think about this: The mountain folks in West Virginia that lose them all always seem to be healthier and live longer. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Cruise to the E. Caribbean - Day #7,8 and 9

Here's the the last installment of our cruise to the Eastern Caribbean vacation. Yes, it takes a long time to organize the photos (and re-size them).
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11 - This was a day at sea going from St. Thomas to Half Moon Cay, the Holland America ship line's own private island in the Bahamas. Rob doesn't like days all at sea (because of sea-sickness). After an early breakfast (and we learned that to avoid seasickness, you need to have food in your stomach often!), we came back to our cabin to find a note from our new friends Alain and his partner Alain ("A2"). We spent the morning on deck in the sun (and wind) as Tom worked on Sudoku and a crossword, while Rob finished reading his great book (The art of racing in the rain, by Garth Stein- as told by a family dog).
We learned that the Federal Gov't was again closed today due to the 2nd blizzard. After both getting sunburned, we joined A2 for a really fun lunch outside on deck, talking about dogs (we both have them), renovations and more. After we parted I ran into the woman whose uncle John came to me in the dining room the day before. She told me that he uncle was gay and never came out of the closet. She said perhaps he felt comfortable going through me to contact his niece. I assured her that he's happy in the afterlife.
TOWEL ANIMAL FOLDING! - We were so amazed by the folded towel animals in our cabins that we took a 1 hour course and bought a book. Today's towel animal was hanging from a coat hangar when we returned- and it was a Monkey! Rob successfully folded a towel puppy.
MENTALIST SHOW -We later joined A2 at a mentalist game show featuring Bob Lawson and his partner Mark. Rob was called on stage to participate in a dollar bill game. Tom was called on stage later to write down a song title. I leaned over and told both Alains that Tom would write "Only Yesterday" by the Carpenters (his favorite song) - Sure enough he did, and Rob got a photo of it!
Because Alain L. knew the host he and his partner joined us and did a handwriting analysis for us. We talked and shared stories until almost 7pm. A woman came to me during our discussion, and although the name I got didn't seem right, I'm sure it was her. More on that in another post.

- Overnight the ship was really rocking and Rob was up all night with seasickness. Turns out one of the Alains was also seasick all night. After breakfast, Rob felt better and the ship dropped anchor at Half Moon Cay, Bahamas. It's basically an empty island that's a giant beach.
We got on a "Tender" or a ferry and arrived at the island after breakfast. We sat on the beach (the sand is like flour, it's so soft!), then walked the length of the beach. By 11am we left the beach (the water was a little cold, actually), and returned to the ship by 11am for a nap and lunch. By 3pm we got Tom's Sudoku and puzzle and checked the Internet. After a "Castoff Party" at 3:30pm. By 5pm, we noticed that the ship still wasn't heading home toward Florida. We had dinner, and people were wondering what was going on. By 9pm, the captain announced over the ship's intercom that for the last 4 hours we were dragging the anchor (that got stuck while being pulled up at the Half Moon Cay), in an attempt to pull it back up. So, the ship was circling at 3 knots (3 mph) for hours in the Bahamas in deep water - otherwise the anchor would have anchored us! By 11pm, there was a strong cold front moving in (that dumped 4" of snow on Atlanta the day before) and seas were getting rough. The Captain announced that we WOULD be in port the next day by 12 pm (5 hours later than scheduled) one way or another. It turned out to be "another" as they couldn't get the anchor up, so they had to cut the chain the held it! That's a $60,000 anchor!
Because of the approaching storm front, the Internet and ship to shore phones were down, and people were scrambling and ticked off that they couldn't change their flights (due to the long delay in arrival). They were not happy. We tried for 40 minutes on-line, and gave up... and went to bed.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13 - We awoke at 5:30am, as the seas raged outside, with 15-foot waves, splashing on our 4th floor balcony. Winds gusted to 42 knots (about 47 mph) outside, coupled with the ship moving at around 24 mph, that was about 71 mph winds!! (almost hurricane force). By 5:45am we went to the front desk, and they made a successful ship to shore call, and Tom was able to change our flights home to the next day (Sunday the 14th) because the rest of Saturday was booked out of Fort Lauderdale to Baltimore. After breakfast, we watched the ship pull into port and disembarked by 12:20pm. We took a shuttle to the airport, then called a hotel shuttle- and stayed overnight at a Days Inn in Hollywood, Fla., getting up early Sunday (5am)for a ride to the airport and finally home! It was a nice trip, people were friendly and we made some new friends- but the rough seas and the anchor issue won't be forgotten... and we really want to go back to Puerto Rico

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