Monday, May 31, 2010

Oil Spill Response

Over the last month I've been hearing from the Republican Party "the Federal Government needs to do something about the oil spill in the Gulf." I worked for NOAA (the agency that is managing the government's clean up/response and managing the fisheries) and can tell you I see they've been doing a tremendous job on-site.
It's very easy to blame everyone, especially to blame the President- but the blame doesn't lie with President Obama, it lies with oil companies, Congress, lobbyists, and Federal Agencies for issuing permits too easily.
Louisiana's GOP Governor Bobby Jindel just told CBS News tonight (5/31) that "This is the Federal Government's spill and they have to clean it up." WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. To that fool of a governor I say - This is not a "democrat vs. republican oil spill" you ass. This is a BP Oil Company spill. BP is in charge of cleaning it up. NOAA and other federal agencies are doing a lot to help clean up the oil. In fact, most of the oil has NOT beached, and given the fact it's supposedly larger than the Exxon Valdez in 1989, that means they're doing a FANTASTIC job of keeping it off the beaches, AND they're saving marine birds and sea life as much as possible.
Oil clean up is an area that BP and other oil companies SHOULD have been more knowledgeable before drilling. PERIOD. Part of it is the Federal Government's fault for issuing a permit (and the head of the Minerals Management Agency stepped down). According to the NY Times, "the Minerals Management Service let BP and “dozens of other oil companies” drill in the Gulf without getting proper permits from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as it is required to do by law. The answer is simple: It’s everyone’s fault. It’s the industry’s fault for overzealous drilling and lazy safety, it’s the fault of Congress for refusing to engage in real oversight when companies with big lobbying budgets are involved, and it’s the fault of regulatory agencies for being too close to the businesses they are meant to oversee."
Is this the President's Fault? NO. Was Exxon Valdez President George H.R. Bush's fault? NO. Did they fault him? NO. So, to the Republican Party- and the fool who said from the GOP tonight that "the Obama Administration needs to report out every hour" I say: Stop acting like idiots. Everyone is working together. NOAA provides DAILY UPDATES on this site: In fact, the GOP can "Subscribe to the NOAA Incident newsfeed (Atom or RSS) for updates on new incidents as they happen." Now... it's time for everyone to help out. Disasters are usually good at bringing people together. Hopefully, this one eventually will do that.

Book Review: Pet Ghosts by Joshua Warren

Book Review: Pet Ghosts by Joshua Warren
This book came out in 2006, but I hadn't heard of it until I did a search on the topic recently. I just finished reading it, and I was disappointed because I was expecting insight into animal intelligence, behavior and communications with those they left behind. Having lost a puppy (who communicated with me a LOT), I hoped to read signs from others. Instead, paranormal investigator Joshua Warren focuses on ghostly animals throughout history, such as from ancient and medieval texts (including the Bible) and different cultures. The book talks about Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster, hellhounds and werewolves. None of this made much sense to me because none of these things are "pets." I think the book should have been called "non-human and mythological ghosts."
If you've lost a beloved dog or cat and are looking for comfort from this book, you won't find it here, unfortunately. Warren does great research, but the title of the book is really misleading.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thanks to all at the 2 Mass. Book Events

This weekend has been full of wonderful experiences and the two book talks/signing events were wonderful. On Friday, May 28, Derek Bartlett (manager of the Cape Cod and the Islands Paranormal Research Society ( hosted me at the Cape Cod Community College. I met a lot of wonderful people, some with the gift of mediumship that that are also trying to develop, others with after-death experiences, and others who have seen ghosts or spirits. Derek set me up for a Powerpoint presentation with a microphone, and I had a lot of great interaction with the audience. I'm looking forward to staying in touch with so many folks, and immediately felt a connection with Derek and his wife. My thanks also to my partner Tom (for always coming and supporting me), my mom, brother and friend Janice who came over from Nantucket Island.
On Saturday night, May 29, Jenn from the Coffee Break Cafe in Quincy enabled me to provide an intimate talk and signing with a great group and enjoy great coffee ( I also connected with Jenn and her mom, and my mom's best friend Jane came with her daughter and husband; and our friend MaryAnn also surprised us! Everyone at both events had great questions and it was a fantastic experience to meet and talk with everyone.
- My next event is THIS SUNDAY, June 6 at the Federal Hill Jazz Festival in Baltimore. I'm teaming up with my friends Steve and Lynn Jenner (who wrote an hysterical parody of "Twilight" called "Twilite: the Parody." Come out and visit! We'll be there from 11am-7pm!

Our Dogs Sense Sarah's Spirit

On the night we learned of our close friend Sarah's passing, our dogs Dolly and Franklin could not get to sleep. So, I put them on our bed. Dolly kept looking at the corner of the bedroom near Tom's side of the bed and I got my tell-tale headache alerting me that a spirit was there. Meanwhile Dolly just stared and stared at the corner.
I'm sure it was Sarah letting me know she was okay. It was a peaceful presence, indicating to me that Sarah was indeed here, so I was able to relax, knowing she's at peace. Our dogs would not sleep on their beds after "seeing" or "hearing" Sarah, and had to sleep on our full-sized bed. That made for quite a crowded bed!
As I've mentioned before, dogs have heightened abilities that humans don't share. Spirits are energy, and they even communicate at a higher decibel range than humans can hear, although dogs can hear it. Think about how a digital recorder can pick up a spirit or ghost's voice even though it is unheard by people. Dogs also have different cones and rods in their eyes and a different visual physiology that although makes them less able to recognize colors (most colors appear gray except for yellows and blues), they have a better ability to sense motion (including spirits).

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Video/ Rob's Brother Organizes Volleyball Event

My (Rob) brother has been a tremendous force in local politics in my home state for many years, and one of the things he did was to organize an annual beach volleyball tournament to benefit the community. Here's a short video from the local newspaper about the event, with interviews of my brother. I'm very proud of him!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Movie Trailer for DC Comics' Weird Western Hero Jonah Hex

Warner Bros. Pictures has started airing these two TV spots for Jonah Hex, coming to theaters on June 18. I've always loved westerns, and most especially, DC Comics' Weird Western Hero, Jonah Hex. Hex is a surly and cynical cowboy whose face is horribly scarred on the right side, and who is bound by a personal code of honor to protect and avenge the innocent. He briefly fought for the confederate army in the 1860s before becoming disgusted by their desire to maintain slavery, so he abandoned the army and became a bounty hunter.
The film, directed by Jimmy Hayward, the action thriller stars Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon and Michael Fassbender.

Hex's facial injuries can be traced back to being sold into slavery by his father to the Apache for safe passage. Jonah eventually saved the chief from being killed by a mountain lion and was made an honorary member of the tribe. He was soon betrayed by the envious son of the chief while on a raid. He returned years later to challenge him in a sacred tomahawk battle but the chief's son sabotaged Jonah's tomahawk and Jonah used his knife in self defense when the tomahawk broke. The tribe saw this as breaking the rules of the sacred battle and sentenced Jonah to wear the mark of the demon by pressing a searing hot tomahawk to his face. They said his honorary relationship to the chief was the only thing that saved him from death.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Remembering Our Friend Sarah

Our friend Sarah has been a tremendous part of our lives for the last 5 years when I (Rob) met her at a dog event with her husband Denis. There was an immediate connection, and Tom and I have grown to love her and Denis so very much. Last night, we talked with Denis to learn that Sarah passed away from her battle with cancer. We're devastated. On Sunday, we went to Sarah's birthday party and she was all smiles and glowing with love, despite her deteriorating condition. Sarah never lost hope. This is a photo from Sunday of Sarah with her husband. Her smile is infectious as it has always been.

Less than 6 months ago, Sarah went to the doctor to check out a stomach ache, and learned she had stage 4 cancer, although she was asymptomatic. It was a shock, but she never gave up hope. That's Sarah. She was the kindest, most loving, happy, optimistic person who always had a smile, a hug and a kiss for us. I always looked forward to her emails every week asking for SNOW, even in July Sarah LOVED Snow. Well, this winter I "gave" her 2 blizzards and record snow in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. She was ecstatic, and still wanted more. She made me laugh when it came to my forecasts and the weather.

Sarah had a tremendous love for dogs that started through Denis. It didn't take long for Sarah and Denis to become an advocate for pet rights- and when they lost their beloved dog Shadow to the bullet of a madman in Vermont, they pushed for pets to be recognized as companions in the state, not just "empty animals." We're behind that 110%. Anyone that has a dog understands that feeling. Our dogs ARE our children. The day Sarah passed, the Vermont Supreme Court issued a decision that acknowledged dogs are more than just replaceable. Sarah told the Vermont press "It's so important for people to really recognize the relationship between the families and their companion animals." Sarah and Denis have 5 dogs and a foster dog, so their house was always full of canine companionship and love.

Sarah was very excited for us when we went to Connecticut and got married last June. When we told her about a small local reception she immediately volunteered to bake gourmet cupcakes for all of the guests! For weeks we tried her various recipes, got boxes and other things together. The cupcakes were such a hit that there were only 2 left after the reception, and people still talk about them even a year later.
-We often met Sarah and Denis for dinner during the week, just to keep in touch in person. It was always something to look forward to doing.
Sarah is a tremendous person, so full of love, life, happiness, optimism and someone who has deeply touched our hearts. We miss her so much, but we know that she's now at peace with her loving dog Shadow.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

2nd Appearance on "Ghost Chronicles" Internet Radio - Wed May 26 at 8pm EDT!

MAY 26 at 8pm EDT (WEDNESDAY): 2nd Appearance on "Ghost Chronicles" Internet Radio - I've been invited back for a return on-air visit with Ron Kolek and Maureen on the Ghost Chronicles: Internet Radio Show to talk about this coming weekend's talks/book signings in Mass. and my book.
WHERE CAN YOU HEAR IT? Listen On-Line Live to "Ghost Chronicles" every Wednesday (8-9 PM) on and and
YOU CAN CALL IN: With questions and stories at: (877) 864-4869. More information about the New England Ghost Project:

Monday, May 24, 2010

Book Event/ "Karmafest"

Tom helped move a friend on Sunday while Rob went to another book event. Rob learned of an event called "Karmafest" happening north of Baltimore on Sunday, May 23, and after contacting the person managing it (a really nice woman named Patty) he was invited to bring his books "Ghosts and Spirits: Insights from a Medium" for a book signing. Here are some photos from Karmafest.

GOOD AND BAD KARMA - The day was mixed with good and bad "Karma." I tried going into a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot enroute to Karmafest and there were no spaces and a very impatient (and huge) man pulled into the parking lot behind me beeping his horn. I guess I stood between him and his dozen donuts, so I backed around his van and left without coffee. I did find another Dunkin' and got my coffee.
I (Rob) met a lot of really nice people at Karmafest. I'll explain stories and topics on the Ghost book blog. One "bad karma" that I found interesting was from another author at the Karmafest. I arrived at 9:45am and was told to just sit on the corner of a stage and spread my books (and sign) out. The "stage" had a table and chairs for multiple authors but there were no others when I arrived. By 11:15am a young woman arrived and appeared outraged that only my book sign was up. I told her to sit on the stage next to me and put her books out. She stormed off.
Five minutes later someone from the festival had me pack up my books and brought me all the way to the front entrance of the festival, while the young woman sat at the table on the stage with her books. Fascinating. 45 minutes later when I looked at the stage she and her books were gone. I thought "having bad karma at karmafest likely doesn't make for success."
I also noticed that our friend Douglas stopped by with his friend, but I was talking with several people - and I couldn't talk with him. What a great friend to come by. Thanks, Doug!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

So Many Invitations...Not Enough Time

Did you ever notice that you can go for a string of weekends without any invitations to events, then you get multiple ones for the same day around the same time? That's what happened to us this past Saturday.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SARAH - Our friend Sarah was celebrating her birthday, and she's been braving a battle against cancer, so we went to celebrate with her and her husband.
Sarah is the most loving, optimistic, determined person ever, and radiates love. Even battling for her health she maintained smiles, hugs, and love for everyone. Sarah and her friend Dona (whom we had never met until Saturday) had spent days last summer baking and making elegant cupcakes for our wedding reception. The cupcakes were such a hit that we only had one left after the guests departed! We also share a deep love for our canine children. We are so proud of Sarah in her determination and we ask you to keep her in your prayers.
One of her friends hosted the event and it was wonderful. The house was situated on the Severn River and had a beautiful view into the Chesapeake Bay. There was also a hammock there, that Tom couldn't resist!

GRADUATION EVENTS - The events that we were unable to attend (both in different towns), but were there in spirit were for our friends Sadie (graduating from college) and Phil (graduating from high school). We are very proud of both of them and they've both got a great life and career ahead of them.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hooray for Dollywood! This video will inspire a trip there

Dollywood is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and we need to go back!!! It's my favorite vacation spot in the world (Yeah, I'm a little red around the neck).

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tom's "Ooops" Moment

On Thursday night Tom and I went to the gym and worked out. As we were coming out of the gym we opened the glass door to leave, and I stepped out on the sidewalk. Tom was behind me and noticed a very large young woman coming his way, so he stopped and held the door open.
He looked at her and said "Are you coming in here?"
She smiled and said "Uh-uh, but I know I should!"
Tom just smirked (and turned a little red) as the woman walked past us and she said, "I'm going to the dollar store, but I need to go to the gym."
We laughed a lot as we walked to the car. Ooops!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Book Event at Karmafest- Baltimore Sunday, May 23rd!

ON MAY 23 (SUNDAY) 10am-11am I'll be making an appearance at the Baltimore area's biggest Holistic/Psychic/Yoga festival!
I'll be joining other authors for a book event at KARMAFEST® at Oregon Ridge Park, Cockeysville, MD. I'll be located in AREA THREE (BALLROOM STAGE).
It's north of Baltimore, Just off Interstate 83. What is Karmafest? KarmaFest® is the ultimate Holistic/Psychic/Yoga festival founded by Patricia Hawse in 2005. Over 100 vendors there!
DATE AND TIME OF ENTIRE EVENT: May 22n& 23. HOURS Saturday: 10am-10pm; Sunday: 10am-8pm
LOCATION: Oregon Ridge Park: 13555 Beaver Dam Road, Cockeysville, MD 21030 PHONE: 410-887-1815
ost for KARMAFEST is $15 at the door or $12 a day if purchased in advance online - click here to purchase tickets. KarmaFest is a family friendly environment and kids under 12 are free. We have a full kids program each day with drumming, hoola hoop workshop, nature walk and more!!
ENTERTAINMENT: the amazing sounds of Jan Seiden and Jeffrey Kuhn, Native American and World Flutes, Guitar and Percussion. They are playing 6pm on Saturday and 2:30 on Sunday.Another special event taking place at KarmaFest this year has to do with a new focus on the fostering of Indigo and Crystal children - who are so graciously guiding us safely into this new age. LEOTHA, the Shaman, will again be here from California, conducting Shamanic Journeys.

Computer Problems? You'll love this story!

Mom F. from Maine sent me this story. Enjoy it!
"I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Eric, the 11 year
old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him
to come over. Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.
As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong? He
replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'
I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten
T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'
Eric grinned.... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?
'No,' I replied. 'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure
it out.'
So I wrote down: ID10T
I used to like Eric, the little bastard."

Moron of the Week Award!

Here's the Clear cut winner for Moron of the Week award: Bristol Palin To Hit Speakers' Circuit
Here's a teenager who got pregnant out of wedlock and had a baby, while the father ran off. NOW, she's asking for 30K per audience to speak about the "Importance of Abstaining from pre-marital sex." So, SHE'S going to tell people how to live? MORON. Even More idiotic are the morons who PAY to hear her talk!!

The Article: JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) ―Bristol Palin is hitting the speakers' circuit and will command between $15,000 and $30,000 for each appearance, Palin family attorney Thomas Van Flein said Monday.
Van Flein confirmed a report by celebrity news website RadarOnline that the daughter of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has signed with Single Source Speakers. He added her exact fees will depend on factors such as which group she's addressing and what she must to do prepare.
Bristol Palin, 19, is listed on the speaking group's website as available for conferences, fundraisers, special events and holidays, as well as women's, youth, abstinence and "pro-life" programs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stupidity in the News

1)CT DEMOCRAT MIS-STATES MILITARY SERVICE- Um... didn't President Bush do that, too?
STILL, this guy is an idiot. People who can't tell the truth need to be removed from politics (Yes, I'm a democrat, but I won't stand for lies).
Richard Blumenthal, the early favorite to win retiring fellow Democrat Christopher Dodd's Senate seat from Connecticut, never served in the military in Vietnam despite his public comments indicating he had done so, the New York Times reported on Monday. Blumenthal, Connecticut's state attorney general, received at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970, the newspaper said, citing his military records. It said in April 1970, Blumenthal landed a spot in the Marine Corps Reserve but never actually was sent to serve in Vietnam during the war.
2) ANOTHER GOP "Family Values" politician caught in Infidelity. Gee, what a surprise... NOT. Rep. Mark Souder, R-Ind., to Resign After Affair With Staffer. Souder said in a statement provided by his office that he has "sinned against God, my wife and my family by having a mutual relationship with a part-time member of my staff." "In the poisonous environment of Washington, D.C., any personal failing is seized upon, often twisted, for political gain," he said. (UM... Sure, blame the environment of Washington, DC for your fooling around. Idiot #2 this week!)
3) AFRICA LACKING CIVIL RIGHTS COMMON SENSE- Apparently the African continent isn't the place gay couples should vacation. From ABC News today: The African continent still in the dark ages of civil rights.
A judge in Malawi has found a gay couple guilty of "unnatural acts and gross
indecency." What did they do? They had an engagement ceremony. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were arrested last December after holding a traditional engagement ceremony. Full story;
Malawi is one of at least 37 Sub-Saharan African countries explicitly criminalizing homosexuality. Some of the countries, like Sudan and parts of Nigeria, have laws making homosexuality a crime punishable by death.
Uganda is in a heated debate over a proposed law, often referred to as the "kill the gays" law, which would give the death penalty to certain homosexual acts and life imprisonment for simply being gay.
In South Africa, the only country in Africa that has laws protecting gays from discrimination, lesbians have been subjected to "corrective rapes" by gangs, with human rights groups accusing law enforcement officials there of looking the other way.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fun Weekend/ Book Signing Event

SATURDAY FUN - Saturday was a busy but fun day. After an early morning dog walk, we ran errands and grocery shopped. At night, our friend Jeff joined us to meet our friend Leah from NY who was in Baltimore this weekend for a craft show. We all met Leah and her friend Judy for dinner and a fun evening.

SUNDAY FUNDAY and BOOK SIGNING EVENT - Our friends Darold (pictured with us) and Troy joined us for my 2nd Book signing in Annapolis. The Annapolis downtown Hard Bean Coffee and Cafe hosted me for a book signing and meet and greet event from 1-4:30pm today. It was awesome. I was positioned just outside of the store's front doors at a table on a busy sidewalk. There were a lot of people that stopped by to say hello and many of them had the ability to sense spirits and ghosts. Like myself, they were also trying to enhance and refine their abilities. I had lots of wonderful conversations with people from all walks of life.
WHO IS PATRICK? - Last night a spirit of a young man (likely in his 20s or early 30s) came to me and showed me a white and pink rose (with dark trim on the flower petal edges). This means that whomever he wanted to communicate with could have met me at the book signing (or someone reading this blog). I forgot to ask the first couple of people, but others I asked didn't know of a Patrick that passed. Patrick's message was "stop grieving for me and start living your life. I'm okay on the other side." The flowers represented a birthday or anniversary. Because of the pink, I'm certain that the message is intended for a woman. I'm waiting to hear who Patrick belongs to.

A DOUBLE EXPERIENCE CONFIRMS SPIRITS - Our friend Troy also has the ability to sense ghosts and spirits, and he can also sense someone's energy. He sat with me for the last hour or two of the event and we had some odd experiences.
A YOUNGSTER'S ENERGY - A young boy (about 7 or 8) stopped by with his older sister. The boy stopped right in front of the table and said "tell me about ghosts and your book." I found it odd and he stood stock still listening. I explained what's in the book and asked if he had ever seen a ghost. He said no. However, he was visibly shaking (his sister said he was cold), but that energy hit me and the muscles in my sides started shaking. Troy looked at me and I knew he was also reading it. When I mentioned an "orb" his sister asked what it was. The little boy stated "it's a ball of spiritual energy." (It is!). He then asked if I could sign a promotional post card to him, which I did. He thanked me and left with his sister. After talking with Troy, we confirmed that the little boy was much more in tune with the energy of spirits and ghosts than he was admitting. He radiated light and emotional energy and both Troy and I confirmed it.

THE MYSTERIOUS TALL MAN - Another visitor that struck Troy and I was a tall, thin, older gentleman in a blue shirt. He walked past me twice and the second time I could see there was a spirit attached to him, walking with him. I immediately turned and looked at Troy who confirmed that he also felt a second presence next to the tall stranger. After the book event ended and I was inside with the manager, the tall stranger came back and sat in the seat I had used, then got up and left before I returned. He definitely had an entity attached to him.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Comics News: Superboy Gets A New Series!

There are some superheroes I love more than others, and Superboy (a clone using Superman's and Lex Luthor's DNA) is one of them. Young, beefy, and figuring out the world as he grows up. I was excited to hear (thanks, Grey for sending) that he'll be back in comics again on a regular basis!
SUPERBOY RETURNS TO COMICS - Superboy has an ongoing series again! Writer Jeff Lemire, who emerged from indie sensation to buzzworthy with Sweet Tooth from Vertigo, then jumped into the DCU as the announced writer for The Atom's ongoing adventures in Adventure Comics as a co-feature starting this summer.
From the same Adventure, a one-off issue in August will introduce Superboy's new direction for his ongoing series, drawn by Italian artist Pier Gallo. On DCU Blog The Source, Lemire had this to say of the series. “I am really excited to be taking over the adventures of Conner Kent/Superboy in a new monthly series! The book will combine many of the classic touchstones of the Superboy mythos along with new supporting characters, new villains and new ideas, building a strong foundation that can support the Boy of Steel for years to come. I really want to work with our amazing artist Pier Gallo to combine a classic storytelling feel with a thoroughly modern sensibility and explore what it would really be like to be a super powered teenager, in the heart of rural America.”

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Good Book of Canadian Ghost Stories!

I recently finished reading an interesting Collection of Canadian Ghost Stories called "Maritime Mysteries" (Paperback) by Bill Jessome. The author collected a good number of interesting ghost stories that are situated in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. If you're planning to visit either place I recommend getting this book and reading it- then checking some of these places out. Each story is a quick and enjoyable read!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dad's Spirit Helps Mom Fly Home

On Sunday, May 9 my mother's two-week visit ended and I took her to the airport. This was the first time that she had to fly alone in her life (My brother flew down with her and flew back after a couple of days) and she was nervous. When you're dealing with someone who is prone to anxiety attacks, sometimes news like "you'll be flying home alone" shouldn't be shared well in advance because that person will obsess over it, so we told her at the airport that morning of her return after getting her through security (and she was okay because I got a special "Non Passenger Escort" pass that let me take her to the gate (Southwest airlines is WONDERFUL!).
While we were in the security line my mother saw a dime on the floor but couldn't pick it up. Spirits often toss pennies, dimes and quarters in front of us to let us know they're there. Mom didn't tell me about it and we went through security. On the other side, she went to the restroom and came out holding a dime! She said "this dime was just on the counter in the restroom," and she explained about the other dime she had seen. She said "I know it's your father." She was right. When she told me that I had already started getting the tell-tale headache that lets me know spirits or ghosts are around. I sensed my dad sitting right beside her with his hand on her shoulder. I told her he was there to sit with her on the flight. My dad told me to tell mom that she should return for Christmas, so I told her. She said "Like heck I will!" I heard my dad's spirit laughing and he said "That's my Norma!" He stayed with us and he showed me that he'd be sitting with her on the flight to keep her calm. She understood and was calmed and relieved!
When it came time for her to pre-board, I asked the attendant to take her to a seat and he did. Great service on Southwest! I didn't feel my dad's spirit with me and knew he had "boarded" the plane with my mother, so she was safe and sound. Once again, my dad comes through from beyond!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Teeth-rattling Sinus Infection

I have a number of allergies, so sinus infections aren't new to me. This one, however, "takes the cake." I see a chiropractor and acupuncturist for neck, sinus and jaw problems, and saw both this week. The acupuncturist has done wonders with my neck, and actually enabled me to breathe out of the left side of my nose for the first time in a long time. That night, I felt the sinus infection so badly that it made my entire jaw and top teeth ache! I had to use ibuprofen to sleep and it didn't work long. During that night I wound up grinding my teeth setting off more jaw and teeth pain, so I went to the dentist. Turns out I added to the sinus headache from the grinding and my jaw slipped out of place (making the jaw ache). I had to buy a night guard yesterday (which worked to reduce the pain). My head is pounding enough for me to see my pulse in my vision! So, antibiotics and a doctor's visit is next. This is one "teeth-rattling" sinus infection. It's tough to get old! :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Checklist of What The President Has Accomplished

This week, the White House is trying to get passage of the most sweeping financial regulatory change since the aftermath of the Great Depression, a bill that aims to curtail the Wall Street risk-taking that fed the meltdown in 2008. *Sounds like a good idea* - anyway, for those who Don't know what's been done, I found this USA Today run-down helpful. Looks like a lot has been accomplished!
-- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: The $862 billion "stimulus bill" invested in transportation and energy projects, tax cuts and education grants.
-- Affordable Health Care for America Act: The law $940 billion in the first 10 years will create new health care exchanges, expand insurance coverage to 32 million people who have gone without, close gaps in Medicare prescription-drug coverage and forbid insurance companies from rejecting people for pre-existing conditions.
-- The HIRE Act: A jobs bill that provided $18 billion in tax breaks for small businesses to spur hiring and $20 billion for transit and highways programs.
-- Auto companies bailout: Billions of dollars in government loans to struggling Detroit automakers Chrysler, General Motors and GMAC in an effort to save jobs.
-- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: Obama's first Supreme Court nominee was confirmed 68-31 by the Senate and became the first Hispanic justice on the court.
-- Omnibus Public Land Management Act: The most sweeping land-protection act in 15 years designated more than 2 million acres of public land huge tracts of desert and forest across nine states to be official "wilderness."
-- New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia: The Obama administration and Russia negotiated a deal for each country to cut its stock of strategic nuclear warheads by 30%. Ratification is pending in the Senate.
-- Education overhaul: A revamped student loan program and a new $4.3 billion "Race to the Top" competition challenged schools to prove they have taken steps to improve standards and performance.
Source: USA TODAY research

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Talk/BookSigning "Ghosts and Spirits" w/Medium Rob Gutro at Hard Bean Coffee

Talk/BookSigning "Ghosts and Spirits" w/Medium Rob Gutro at Hard Bean Coffee & Booksellers in Annapolis | Calendar Of Events ( - The Capital)

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3 Newsworthy Knuckleheads

Three stories in the news this week have caught my attention because they highlight the stupidity and ignorance some people show. See what you think:
1) DELTA AIRLINES LOSES DOG - When Canadian Josiah Allen flew home from holiday earlier this month he discovered that his pet terrier cross Paco was missing, presumably mixed up amongst lost baggage in an airline hangar somewhere between Mexico and the U.S. Paco is not the first dog to disappear in transit. Four years ago a prize-winning whippet went missing at New York’s Kennedy airport after escaping her crate while being loaded onto a Delta Airlines plane. **MY TAKE: Use PetAirways to transport pets. Losing a dog is the same as losing a child. No Excuses, airlines!
2) ANOTHER RIGHT-WING, ANTI-GAY CHRISTIAN "LEADER" CAUGHT WITH MEN - Religion does BAD things to gay people. It either:1) Alienates them from churches and God (making them feel hated and unloved, which is WRONG); 2) Makes them fight for their rights and acceptance for being whom God made them; or 3) Makes them rabid anti-gay hypocrites, hiding their sexuality because of religion and hating gay people.
An Example of someone in Category 3 is in the news again. This time, another anti-gay christian right leader caught with a man. George Alan Rekers, a founding member of the Family Research Council with James Dobson and Amandi Nicholi Jr., was caught returning home from a European vacation in mid-April with a young man he hired on The callboy's client, Rekers, is one of America's most prominent anti-gay activists. Rekers, a Baptist minister who is a leading scholar for the Christian right.

**MY COMMENT: This loser and all of the rest of them in the "Christian right" need to dissolve their hatred and hypocracy. I'm disgusted.
3) NEW SUPREME COURT PICK - Elena Kagan was nominated for the Supreme Court. I'm still learning about her, but already heard one GOP Senator (Imhofe) said he'd vote against her because she doesn't agree with the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy against gay people in the military. MY COMMENT: Imhofe wins the Idiot of the Week Award. How about making a decision based on the person's experience and not highlight your hateful "religious" views Mr. Imhofe? I'm looking forward to learning more about Kagan.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom's Vacation Ends on Fun Notes

FRIDAY FUN - My (Rob's) mother's 2-week vacation visit to our house ended on Mother's Day, but there was a lot crammed in the last couple of days. On Friday my mom and I worked in a couple of dog walks (and she even mopped the kitchen floor and sewed all the ripped dog toys while I was working 1/2 a day). Mom loves bowling, but is used to candlepins in New England- which are not found in the Mid-Atlantic. We bowled a couple of strings and had fun. I haven't bowled in about 10 years, so we were both pretty lousy!

Because it was "Margarita Friday" we kept with our tradition of Mexican food and Tom's parents joined us. Here's my (Rob) mom and Tom's mom walking out of the restaurant arm in arm and headed to Baskin Robbins for an ice cream! We ended the evening with a very entertaining show put on by the local high school that paid tribute to Michael Jackson - performing many of his songs (which included a great piano solo by our neighbor's daughter). It was great!

SATURDAY STUFF - My (Rob) mom went shopping for about 4 hours with our friend JC and his mom while I worked at the Maryland Science Center for "Space Day." The weather outside was perfect, so Tom and the dogs spent the afternoon outside in the garden. At night, we enjoyed a concert at Tom's parents' (over 55) complex. Both of them are in the development's choir so it was fun to see them and hear them sing.

SUNDAY - We got up early and made breakfast, helping my mom get ready for her trip back home. Her flight left at 12:30pm, so we took her to the airport after she said goodbye to Dolly the Weimaraner and Franklin the Dachshund. Here's a photo of Dolly, sad to see grandma leave.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fun Dog Walks! / Water Training

One of the fun things we've done with my (Rob's) mom is taking our dogs (Dolly the Weimaraner and Franklin the Dachshund) for walks. We've been doing that every afternoon and night with her (Rob takes them for an early morning walk daily, too, but it's too early for my mom)!

Our friends Susan and Cary recommended using a spray bottle of water when the dogs misbehave while walking. Sometimes when they see other dogs (especially small white dogs for some reason) they go crazy and try to get at them, barking and carrying on. Now that we have the spray bottle, they behave! Of course, the first couple of times they started going nuts with dogs passing by they got lots of squirts. In fact, the first time both Dolly and Franklin were soaking wet!! It was kind of funny. Anyway, we recommend it!! It works and its harmless!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Ghostly Return to the Belair Mansion!

(PHOTO: Belair Mansion Credit: City of Bowie)
On May 5, 2010, I returned to the Belair mansion in Bowie, Md. with my mother who was visiting from out of state.
The Belair Mansion (circa 1745) is the beautiful five-part Georgian plantation house of Samuel Ogle, former Provincial Governor of Maryland. Enlarged in 1914 by the New York architectural firm of Delano and Aldrich, the Mansion was also the home of William Woodward, famous horseman in the first half of the 20th century. Restored to reflect is 250-year old legacy, the Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Several years ago I had taken a candlelight Christmas tour through the mansion and sensed the ghost of a little girl in the nursery. I later confirmed who the ghost was from the house historian and learned that little Anna Marie Ogle died at the age of two in the mansion.
This time, my mom and entered the mansion from the basement door which is now the public entrance. We were met by a docent named Catherine who welcomed us. I immediately developed a headache in the back of my head, the tell-tale sign a ghost or spirit was present. The docent then showed us a 12 minute videotape about the history of the Belair Mansion and its many former owners. Some of which include the breeders of two triple crown horse race winners.
(PHOTO: Anna Marie Ogle's nursery and bedroom where her ghost still runs around and plays)
After that, we took a self-guided tour through the two upstairs levels of the house. On the first level after passing through the dining room and moving toward the west wing (which was added in 1910) I felt Anna's ghost tugging on the right side of my shirt. I suddenly felt a cold spot on my lower right side as if a child's hand was placed above my waist and I heard her ask me to "come upstairs and play with her toys."
We went upstairs and looked through all the rooms and came to the nursery where she passed. Anna kept giving me the feeling of a dry throat and a lot of swallowing. Then, a sudden onset of feeling my body heat up and perspire came over me, as if sweating from a high fever. Anna was sharing with me how she had passed. She's still at the mansion now, enjoying running through the house and trying to get people to play with her, still unaware that she needs to cross over.
We exited the mansion and walked through the small garden far into the backyard, where we saw the small fenced family cemetery. In the cemetery sits a tombstone with a crucifix on it, labeled "Anna Marie Ogle, 1849-1851." (PHOTO: Plaque on the cemetery fence that notes of Anna Marie's short lifetime).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Monday was Mom's Shopping Day / Everything Happens for a Good Reason

SENIOR SHOPAHOLICS! - After I (Rob) finished work in the morning, my mom and I drove up to meet Jim and his mom Jill for lunch and shopping. Jim took the day off so that it would work out. After a nice lunch in a mall, our mothers (who met before and hit it off) walked around and showed us the shop-a-holics that they were! Jim and I thought it was actually pretty funny and cute to watch the two of them together. Of course, we realized that we were watching "shopping professionals" when we spent TWO HOURS in one corner of the women's clothing area of JC Penney. We finally both called them to leave because I didn't want to hit rush hour traffic going home. They're getting a return shopping engagement on Thursday because they didn't even get through ONE entire store in 2 hours! :) Here are some photos from the day of Jim, his mom Jill, my mom (making goofy faces) and me.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A GOOD REASON - My mom didn't want to be away from home and stay with us two weeks, but everything happens for a good reason in life. This was no exception. Originally we were going to have Mom stay one week, but we made her ticket a 2-week return. Five days ago, a 10 foot in diameter water pipe that feeds all of Boston and eastern Mass. ruptured. Drinking water and all water suddenly became unavailable for days! Finally, the pipe is repaired (so we read today). Fortunately, by being here with us on vacation, Mom missed the drama of being home and not having water!
NICE FLOWERS - Here's a vase of flowers that our friend Jeff gave to my mom.

My Favorite City Hit by Severe Flooding: Nashville

The weekend's historic floods struck Nashville's tourism industry at its heart, taking out a signature hotel and other attractions just as the city enters its peak summer visitor season.
• The flooded Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center won't reopen for several months, leaving Nashville without 12 percent of its hotel rooms and wiping out as much as a fourth of the convention business that comes to town.
• Honky-tonks and shops along Lower Broadway and on Second Avenue, including the Wildhorse Saloon and Hard Rock Cafe, closed Monday and didn't know when they would reopen because of flooding in their basements.
• Water damage also shut down major tourist attractions including the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills shopping center, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Spider-Man Arrests Shoplifter in Comic Book Store

I LOVE this story!! Our friend Jack sent it to me. It's from the Australia news on w on May 3, 2010. "Free Comic Book Day" was Saturday, May 1 around the world. During the event, some people dress up as their favorite comic book or science fiction heroes or villains and hang out in comic book shops. The shop I go to had a lot of Star Wars and Star Trek characters. This story is from Australia and happened over the past weekend.

AUSTRALIA- MAY 3: Don’t even think about shoplifting in a comic book store when Spider-Man, The Flash, and some Jedi Knights are present. The super heroes, dressed for International Free Comics Day, detained a man who tried to make off with $160 book at Comic Centre in Adelaide, Australia. Store owner Michael Baulderstone, who was attired as Spider-Man, explains what happened.
“We had about 40 people dressed up as their favourite superheroes to celebrate International Free Comic Day, so he didn’t have much of a choice but to hand the X-Men Omnibus back after a little bit of a scuffle,” he said.
“I’ve had a look at the security footage and it shows Spider-Man running down the corridor of the shop, grabbing this guy, hauling him off.
“Everyone in the store thought it was a play, that it was street theatre of some sort. It wasn’t until I said `Call the police’ that people started to realise.”
Comic Centre and another bookstore encouraged patrons to dress as characters for the event.
“One of the funniest things about the incident was that I called for people to stand near the door and it just so happened we had people dressed as Jedi knights there blocking the exit, the Flash was there at some point too,” Mr Baulderstone said.

Monday, May 3, 2010

SPCA Dog Walk/Fun Lunch!

Sunday was another warm day, so we started early to get in a fund-raising dog walk. Rob's mom decided to forego it because of the heat, so we took Dolly and Franklin and drove to the local county SPCA fund-raising dog walk in Annapolis. We walked 3.5 miles and were pretty warm by the end of it! We saw hundreds of dogs, including about 15 Dachshunds and 2 Weimaraners, one of which was a rare "blue Weimaraner" (actually more like dark blue). Here are some photos from the dog event. Because the Weimaraner breed of dog comes from Pointers I took a photo of a Pointer. There were also several big dogs, some of which were as large as ponies!

After the dog walk, we cleaned up, picked Rob's mom up and met our friend Jill, her daughter Kelli and her brother's boyfriend Allen at Friendly's for a really fun lunch. We all posed for some pictures outside in the heat. Kelli is such an awesome girl, and Rob's Godchild. She just one a full scholarship and we're so proud and excited for her!! Here's a photo of Tom and I cutting up with Kelli.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


We love Saturdays (who doesn't)?
Today, my (Rob) mom decided to stay at our house in the morning and relax while we mulched Tom's parents' yard, and their neighbor's yard. It was hot today, around 85F, and we were mulching at 11am. We used 16 bags of mulch! We brought the dogs with us, too, as they love to see grandma and grandpa. When we came home we installed the outside awning and 2 air conditioners in the upstairs. We had a nice late lunch on our backyard patio with mom and the dogs.

In the late afternoon, our friend Jeff drove up from Virginia to see my mom (he's known my mom for 10 years) and he brought flowers and great latin pastries. Here are some photos of Jeff and my mom. Including one that Jeff said is his "thug" pose. He wasn't ready for the photo when the camera went off! We enjoyed Chinese food and then the pastries afterward on our backyard patio at night.

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