Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tom's Public Service @ a Bridge

Back in June when we went to Pennsylvania for a day trip, we walked through the town of New Hope and walked up to a bridge. Tom decided he'd do a public service message by pointing out the sign about "weight restrictions." Unfortunately, it seemed to go unheeded (see picture #2) and we think these two people were ticketed and fined for trying to cross!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Remembering Buzz's Birthday

Today, July 29 would have been my (Rob) puppy Buzz Wyatt's 6th birthday. Buzz came to me as a birthday gift from a friend- and Buzz changed my life for the better. At first challenging to learn how to raise a pup, I learned unconditional love as he helped nurse Buzz back to health, as Buzz contracted pneumonia the first week they were together. Buzz had hospital overnight stays and I had him breathing steam, taking medications, etc. until he regained health, only to be taken away 4 months later by a speeding, reckless driver in Feb 2005. Buzz has come back many times and made his appearance known, to me, Dolly and Franklin. We have his ashes in the house, and feel him around. Today, being his 6th birthday- I wanted to pay tribute to him and post some favorite photos, because that love never changes!

Monday, July 26, 2010

We Were Hit With Storm Damage!


Sunday afternoon between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. a strong cold front moved south from Pennsylvania into Maryland where the afternoon humid, high temperature was around 101F (Heat Index of 108F). The hot, unstable air-mass set the stage for severe thunderstorms with microbursts and wind gusts near 70 mph. One of those 70 mph wind gusts tore all of the shingles, tarpaper and nails out of the roof of our new (14 month old) dormer and back of the roof (which is 18 months new). The storm caused our new dormer to leak, too. We didn't discover it, though until around 7pm when we were coming back from walking the dogs (since the post-storm temperature had dropped to 76F). Here are photos of the event, starting with 1) the Beautiful sky during sunset, hours after the storm had passed.
2) Pictures of the roof damage and the roof being repaired today (Tom and I had to take the day off to get it organized and help the contractor
3) Severe tree damage in the neighborhood.
4) We suffered a Power Outage from 3:30pm until around midnight. Luckily the power returned (cable/internet was out all day).
5) We contacted two of our neighbors that live on other streets where the power hasn't returned, and we had Elvina over for breakfast (she said she was craving coffee and a bagel, poor thing!), and Susan and her dog Zack over for dinner. They were both told their power would be back on by 5:30 p.m. If it doesn't come on, they may both come back to spend the night in air conditioning. This was a tough storm.
6) Our friends Tom and Rebecca sent us a photo of lightning associated with the same cold front once it reached South Carolina (where they live)








Sunday, July 25, 2010

133F in the Vehicle!

If you didn't believe all my warnings about the intense and deadly heat that can accumulated in a vehicle in a short period of time, I put a digital thermometer in the truck for a couple of minutes yesterday. It zipped up to 133F... a very deadly temperature. SO, never, ever leave pets or children in the car in the summertime, even with windows rolled down, it will heat up to extreme temperatures like this.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You, Pets and this High Heat - Be Aware

With this dangerous heat, its easy for people and pets to get sick quickly from dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.
What causes heat exhaustion and heatstroke?
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, occur when your body can't keep itself cool. As the air temperature rises, your body stays cool when your sweat evaporates. On hot, humid days, the evaporation of sweat is slowed by the increased moisture in the air. When sweating isn't enough to cool your body, your body temperature rises, and you may become ill.
HEAT SICKNESS - Our Weimaraner Dolly was only out for 30 minutes at a time at Daycare yesterday (in a shaded run and with water) and she came home with heat sickness. She ate dinner then threw it all up. After I rubbed her down with a washcloth and icecubes, and gave her a bath in cool water, she was fine. ... then she was hungry. That was only 30 MINUTES!!

DON'T WALK THE DOGS ON HOT PAVEMENT IN THE DAYTIME - Asphalt tends to be 20 degrees HOTTER than the air temperature (once the temps get over 85F), so avoid walking dogs on asphalt. Think about walking on 105F pavement in bare feet. OUCH! When temps hit 90F, the asphalt can be around 120-122F in direct sunshine. ***WITH THE HIGH HEAT INDICIES, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG OUTSIDE FOR MORE THAN 15-30 MINUTES***
What is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion happens when your body gets too hot. It can be caused by physical exercise or hot weather. You may experience:
•Heavy sweating •Feeling weak and/or confused •Dizziness
•Nausea •Headache •Fast heartbeat •Dark-colored urine, which indicates dehydration
What should I do if I think I have heat exhaustion?
If you think you have heat exhaustion, get out of the heat quickly. Rest in a building that has air-conditioning. If you can't get inside, find a cool, shady place. Drink plenty of water or other fluids. Do NOT drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks (such as soda). These can make heat exhaustion worse. Take a cool shower or bath, or apply cool water to your skin. Take off any tight or unnecessary clothing.
If you do not feel better within 30 minutes, you should contact your doctor. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can progress to heatstroke
What should I do if I think someone has heatstroke?
If you think someone might have heatstroke, call emergency medical personnel immediately. While you are waiting for medical assistance, take the person into an air-conditioned building or a cool, shady place. Remove the person's unnecessary clothing to help cool him or her down. Try to fan air over the person while wetting the skin with water. You can also apply ice packs to the the person's armpits, groin, neck and back. These areas contain a lot of blood vessels close the surface of the skin. Cooling them with ice packs can help the person cool down.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More airports create pet "restroom" areas

Areas for pets are long overdue in airports around the U.S. people who maneuver with guide dogs have had a terrible time trying to accommodate their dogs. Sighted people who are transporting their dogs with them by air also have to really search for dog relief stations. This is way overdue.
(PHOTO: Buddy the Weimaraner - part of our friends Cathy and Cindy's family in PA)
More airports create areas for pets to take care of business
USA TODAY: Dogs need to go, too. So airports are adding doggie restrooms.
Airports say "pet relief areas" enhance customer service. But they're also being nudged by a federal rule that orders airlines to work with airports to install facilities for travelers who have service dogs.
Among airports with new dog bathrooms: Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington Dulles, Washington National, Chicago O'Hare and Phoenix.
The facilities are typically outside, within walking distance of the terminal. The federal rule requires they be kept clean, free of odor, contain a gravel or sand surface and have adequate drainage. Some airports have added synthetic grass, fire hydrants and benches.
"Many of our members travel," says Melanie Brunson, executive director of the American Council of the Blind, which pushed for the rule. "Increasingly, you don't get much time between flights. You don't have a whole lot of time to take care of your dog's needs."
FULL STORY: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2010-07-20-airportpets20_ST_N.htm?csp=DailyBriefing

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BEST SHOW ON TV: Last Chance Highway - Animal Planet

We have a new favorite TV show, and it's only on for 8 weeks. It's on Animal Planetm and it's called Last Chance Highway. It's an eight-part series that focuses on the monumental mission of a dedicated handful of animal rescuers. The stakes are high for Shelly Bookwalter and Kyle Peterson and for the soon-to-be-euthanized dogs they are fighting to save.
http://animal.discovery.com/videos/last-chance-highway-abandoned-puppies.html
KEEP KLEENEX HANDY.

Laptops vs. Desktops

I'm going to get a lot of crap for posting this blog, but hey, it's how I feel.
I just learned that I have to do away with my PC at the office (AND AT HOME) and use a laptop. UGH. I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate laptops. Did I say I hate them?
-My office MADE ME use them about 4 years ago. The first brand new MAC laptop had a harddrive failure and I lost everything. The replacement had a harddrive failure 3 weeks into using it - I again lost everything. The THIRD replacement had a harddrive failure (and NO, I never removed them from the office, beat them tossed them against the wall or abused them). The store that provided them said "just a bad batch." That was enough to permanently OFF me from Macs and Laptops. I've been using a GREAT PC by DELL since then, in both the office and at home. They work wonderfully, and NO hard-drive crashes.
- NOW I learned that the gov't WANTS me to use a laptop. UGH. HATE IT!! I don't want to lug this thing to and from the office. I don't want to have to worry about leaving it in my vehicle to run an errand to avoid having it melt or freeze (OH, I also had the misfortune of having a laptop stolen from my truck many years ago..forgot about laptop #4). I want my PC. I want my DELL. I hate Apple. I hate MacIntosh. They're NOT INTUITIVE. They're cumbersome and awkward. Now I have to relearn everything and use something I can't stand. Plus, I'm sure after a month the damned harddrive will CRASH. At least I have everything on a memory stick now. SIGH.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Too Hot to Enjoy the Outdoors /Tom's Grandma


We went from one of the coldest winters in decades, and the snowiest winter on record (since records started being kept in 1889) to the hottest summer ever recorded in the mid-Atlantic.
Just like that old great country song by Mark Chestnut called "Too Cold at Home," its too darn hot to do anything outside!
HERE ARE THE LYRICS: Well, it sure feels good to come in here
And just pull up a seat. A frosty mug of a cool one, Helps to beat the heat. These old dog days of summer Lord, I'll be glad when they're gone. It's too hot to fish, too hot for golf and too cold at home.

A TRIBUTE TO TOM'S GRANDMA - This weekend would have been Tom's grandmother Grace's 100th birthday. She passed 4 years ago, however, but remains strongly around Tom today. Grandma has been tossing Tom pennies and other change since she passed. Today we drove to eastern Virginia with our dogs, Dolly and Franklin and went to her gravesite to pay tribute to her. She's in a nice, peaceful place.
As usual, Rob received some messages at the cemetary. I got my tell-tale headache indicating there were some spirits or ghosts present. Now, cemetaries aren't "haunted," until living people come there with feelings of love and other emotions to "power up the spirits." If there were earth-bound ghosts there, negative energy would power them up, but love powers spirits who have crossed into the light. Grandma gave me several messages and one was her telling me how she would go out in the backyard kitchen (separate from the house) and bring ice cream to Tom when he stayed there as a kid. Tom confirmed that one for me. There were other images, some of which we're still trying to understand.
Grandma Grace was really funny. I only knew here about 6 months before she passed and 5 of those she spent in a nursing home. She had a good wit about her, and was loved by many people in the town. She did a lot of sewing for people, and Tom tells me she was a good cook, too, always canning and preserving something. She's very loved and missed.
I sensed some other spirits that were able to "power up" when we were there- one leaning against a tree, another sitting on his gravestone. I didn't get their messages though (we didn't stick around a long time as it was too hot!).

Always "Stumpin'" Doin'


We had a cedar tree taken down in our backyard this weekend, bccause it was growing into the powerlines, and BGE (power company) was going to come and hack it down (and likely leave all of it for us to cart to the landfill. So, we hired someone who did it all. We're going to replace it with smaller trees when the blistering heat lets up (likely October!)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Today's Maryland Earthquake


There was a small Earthquake northwest of Washington, DC today. There was no damage reported, as it was 3.7 on the richter scale. It occurred at 5:04 a.m. EDT, and it was centered about 40 miles northwest of Bowie, Md. in Gaithersburg, Md. (that's about 20 miles north of Washington, DC.)at 39.167°N, 77.252°W.
I didn't feel it (I was at home with the dogs while Tom was enroute to work in his car) but our dachshund Franklin let out a yelp when it occurred! I remember looking at the clock and saw that it was around 5:04 a.m. Animals always sense earthquakes.
The quake originated about 3 miles deep. It just shook things from Virginia to New Jersey. Above is the map of where the quake was felt (Intensity Map created by the U.S. Geological Survey who monitors earthquakes). the star represents the point of origin (we're east of Washington, DC). The last time we had a small quake in this area was May 2008.

Superhero Movies in the Works!


GREEN LANTERN MOVIE - SUMMARY: Ryan Reynolds stars as Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot who becomes a ring-wearing intergalactic superhero in this massive sci-fi epic from director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale). Though Reynolds has prior experience in the superhero realm from his role as Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, playing Green Lantern involved some major challenges, like getting hurled through the air on a wire at up to 60 feet per second to create the illusion of flight. “The first time you do it, you’re seriously considering an adult diaper,” Reynolds says. Still, he couldn’t resist the chance to play the beloved DC Comics hero, whose power ring can conjure virtually anything he can dream up.
**ROB'S TAKE ON IT - I'll watch anything with Ryan Reynolds...he's hot!**
GHOST RIDER 2 - Nicolas Cage also confirms his own return for the comic book sequel
Nicolas Cage will return for a Ghost Rider sequel helmed by Neveldine/Taylor, the actor confirmed tonight on The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
ROB'S TAKE ON IT - Tom and I loved the first Ghost Rider, and look forward to #2!
THOR - FeaturesChris Hemsworth as Thor and Anthony Hopkins as Odin in Marvel Studios' Thor, coming to 3D and 2D theaters on May 6, 2011.
ROB'S TAKE ON IT - Never a fan of Thor, but have always loved Norse mythology. May be interesting.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

2 Articles of Interest Today: Judge Judy and Vitamin D

We take Vitamin D, and we love Judge Judy (we watch her every night), so I found these articles interesting from USA Today.
Study: Exercise, tea and vitamin D to ward off dementiaBy Mary Brophy Marcus, USA TODAY
Improved living and diet habits — including lots of physical activity, regular tea-drinking and sufficient vitamin D levels — could reduce the risk of brain decline, according to three studies. FULL STORY: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-07-12-alzheimerslifestyle12_ST_N.htm?POE=click-refer


Judge Judy: No one gets the best of her in court, in ratings
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
LOS ANGELES — The defendant has stepped in it now.
"I never lie!" he says, raising his voice and a finger Judith Sheindlin's way.
The courtroom goes quiet as spectators realize the man is done for. Sheindlin —Judge Judy to anyone who owns a television set — stiffens in her seat, not sure what she just heard. "Excuse me?" she asks, raising an eyebrow, giving that look like you just interrupted her putt. "I said I never ..."
"God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason!" Sheindlin bellows at the man and his wife, who standaccused of defaulting on a loan. "Time to use the ears. When you lie as long as he has, it just gets to be a habit, doesn't it? Don't look at your wife. She's not going to help you. Look at me!"
Sheindlin brings the gavel down. "Judgment for plaintiff. You're paying your debts." She leans over to longtime bailiff Petri Hawkins-Byrd. "Get rid of them," she whispers. "I'm through with them." Sheindlin is up and out the door. FULL STORY: http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2010-07-14-judgejudy14_CV_N.htm

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Where is the News?

I'd like to know what happened to television news... This week, there are about 3 stories that are running over and over, Lindsey Lohan goes to jail (WHO CARES), Mel Gibson spewed obscenities to his girlfriend -with whom this "devout" Catholic didn't marry, but had a child with (that's another rant)- (WHO CARES), and the oil spill (we all care).
If you look at the state section in USA Today's newspaper, you'll notice there are a TON of things happening in all 50 states, some of which impact people everywhere, or affect people outside the state who know someone that resides there. I would rather get a quick "state-by-state news snapshot" than hear about Mel Gibson for 15 minutes!
Here are some stories from various states that I found in newspapers from major cities in them. These stories could be relevant to the rest of the U.S.!
From ARKANSAS: More than 600 Entergy customers are without power Tuesday morning after storms rolled through Arkansas overnight.
From OREGON: Oregon lawmakers in 2011 may ban plastic bags, charge for paper bags in 2012 (*This is sure to spread around the U.S.)
From OREGON: Oregon State University entomologist looks to uncover what's killing honeybees (*Much needed study for the entire U.S.)
From MINNESOTA: Minneapolis weighs adding fee on unfinished buildings - Minneapolis advanced a proposal to extend an annual $6,550 penalty on vacant buildings to new properties. (*This could catch on elsewhere, too)
I did a quick scan of the front pages of newspapers from these 3 states, and this news could be relevant to EVERYONE. So, why isn't it reported? SAD.

GOOD CANINE NEWS FROM USA TODAY - I didn't know that USA Today has its own news page on-line devoted to dogs! It's a great page, and I've bookmarked it. Take a look.
http://content.usatoday.com/communities/pawprintpost/index

Monday, July 12, 2010

Need Hay? We have lots of it!

The typical summer-time drought in the mid-Atlantic killed our lawn on June 1. The summertime climate has become one where June, July and August have blistering hot temperatures with very little rain. Our lawn is evidence of that- it's all browned and looks like hay (This photo was taken on July 11). We've lost quite a number of trees, shrubs and other plants, despite watering. It's just too hot. In fact, June almost tied the all-time heat record for the month, and the first 2 weeks of July are breaking records. So, if you're in our neighborhood, and riding through on a horse, come on by- we can feed him!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Great Book All Ages-"There's a Dead Person Following My Sister Around"


I recently went to a Scholastic book warehouse sale with a good friend who found the paperback "There's a Dead Person Following My Sister Around" by author Vivian Vande Velde.
I just finished the book (142 pages) and although its written for kids and young teens, I LOVED IT!
I learned the Ms. Vande Velde has written others like it, which I intend to read (even though we have no children). The Publisher's Website says of the book "Vande Velde continues her string of historical ghost stories, this time focusing on the Underground Railroad. The first-person narrator, 11-year-old Ted, is certain that his house in Rochester, NY, can't be haunted because it has been in his family for generations and there have been no secrets to speak of in its past. Then his five-year-old sister Vicki's imaginary friend Marella and the "bad lady" who seems to be chasing her prove themselves to be all too real. Ted decides to get to the bottom of the mystery and finds a journal belonging to one of his ancestors that recounts the tragic story of two runaway slaves, a mother and her five-year-old daughter, who drowned in the Erie Canal, which used to run through the family's backyard."
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. It was a fun and enjoyable read.

IRONIC: From PeopleofWalmart.com

(Thanks to Mom F in Maine for another hilarious email) - This gem of a photo is from "PeopleofWalmart.com" and as the person who posted it says:
The irony here is overwhelming. I’m just going to sit back and let you soak it in.

Shaping into a Record Hot July/ Why??

The cold front passed through yesterday, so we went from highs near 100 to highs in the lower 90s. That's not much of a "cold front." This morning, after a 1 hour dog walk this morning and despite the lower humidity, it's still hot. It was 80F at 10am, and going to 92F today.
This is already shaping up to be the HOTTEST July on record in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. Right after the 2nd hottest June on record (since records began in 1889). We missed tying the record by an average of 1/10th of a degree over the 30 days in June. Big deal!
And, after the COLDEST winter in 2 decades (that lasted 5 months), no springtime, and the hottest summer on record, you ask - What has happened to middle ground?
The answer: It was an El Nino winter and we've not got a La Nina summer. That's the reason for the extreme seasons and this weather madness. SIGH!!!

What Comics Does Rob Read? Recommend?

Recently a friend of ours asked what comic books I (Rob) still read today. Mostly, I prefer the DC comics line of superheroes.
Superman, Batman and Robin, Batgirl, Red Robin (formerly Robin), Green Lantern, Flash, Action Comics (another series that includes Superman), Justice League of America, Justice Society of America, and the only Marvel Comics series I read is Captain America. Right now, I'm also reading the entire DC Comics "Brightest Day" storyline, which is the follow up to "Blackest night." I'm also trying out the brand new Zatanna comic line, which is pretty good!
RECOMMENDED GRAPHIC NOVELS - Graphic novels are extremely popular. They're simply compilations of monthly comics that depict complete storylines, and they're more for patient people (unlike me when it comes to superhero comics).
I recommend the new DC graphic novel of the "Blackest Night" storyline out of the Green Lantern series. This is one of the BEST storylines in comics history. So, what's that storyline about? Blackest Night involves a personified force of death resurrecting deceased superheroes and seeking to eliminate all life and emotion from the universe. Geoff Johns has identified the series' central theme as "emotion."[2] The crossover was published for eight months via a limited series, as well as in both the Green Lantern and Green Lantern Corps comic titles. FOR VIDEO:http://www.dccomics.com/sites/greenlantern/

"Blackest Night' is right up there with DC's Infinite Crisis, and Crisis on Infinite Earths (from the mid-2000s and 1984). AVOID "Final Crisis." That was a stupid waste of time.
Tom just read the graphic novel of "1602" by Marvel comics, where the characters (superheroes of today) are placed in that time period. He said its a great story.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Great Book - Act of Treason by Vince Flynn


For those who have not yet discovered Vince Flynn, he was one of my dad's favorite authors, and since Dad passed, I've inherited Dad's entire collection of Flynn's books. They are ALL great reads. In Consent to Kill CIA operative Mitch Rapp investigates an al-Qaeda–style bomb attack on the motorcade of the Democratic presidential candidate, Georgia governor Josh Alexander, in Washington, D.C., a month before the November election. The bomb kills the candidate's wife and several Secret Service agents, Rapp uses all the tools at his disposal to investigate the claim of the now discredited head of the protective detail that a mysterious figure in a red baseball cap set off the fatal bomb. Rapp soon finds that the motive for the outrage may be personal rather than political. It's a great read!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reminder to get a Colonoscopy

I (Rob) have to get a colonscopy in the next month, because polyps were found- and I'm having anxiety over it. Of course, my situation is "unique" but I won't go into it. After going to 3 different doctors, I had to find a specialist that can do the procedure. The worst part is waiting a month!
Several friends of ours have had this procedure, and some multiple times. If it runs in your family to have polyps, or colon cancer, get checked. I learned from this adventure that polyps run on one side of my family (of course, I didn't know that before). So, ASK your relatives. It may sound embarrassing, but your life is more important than blushing over your colon.
What is a Colonoscopy? A Colonoscopy is the endoscopic examination of the colon and the distal part of the small bowel with a CCD camera or a fiber optic camera on a flexible tube passed through the anus. It may provide a visual diagnosis (e.g. ulceration, polyps) and grants the opportunity for biopsy or removal of suspected lesions. Colonoscopy can remove polyps as small as one millimetre or less. Once polyps are removed, they can be studied with the aid of a microscope to determine if they are precancerous or not.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today's Adventure: Karma on the Road

I was driving to a doctor's appointment this morning on a road that was dropping down from 4 lanes to 2 lanes (one lane going each direction) and I was in the appropriate lane for the merge to go straight. As the lanes came together a young woman in a silver sports car raced past me on the shoulder and quickly swung in front of me, cutting me off (and forcing me to brake). She startled me, and I gave a quick toot on my horn. Of course, she put her arm outside her window and gave me the finger. Lovely.
Here's where the Karma part comes in;
1) There was a truck 3 cars ahead of her, so she couldn't speed excessively.
2) When she turned off, I followed (because that was the road I had to go on), and she must've been driving about 80 mph (it was a 40 mph road). She took off like a bullet and was out of sight. A couple of minutes later, I drove past her as she was PULLED OVER by a Police Officer for speeding!
KARMA!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"A Wise Doctor" Joke for You

Here's a funny story for you - and appropriate for me because I'm going to the doc's on Friday. (Thanks to Mom F. in Maine for this one)
A WISE DOCTOR: A gorgeous young redhead goes into the doctor's office and said that her body hurt wherever she touched it. 'Impossible!' says the doctor.. 'Show me.'
The redhead took her finger, pushed on her left shoulder and screamed, then she pushed her elbow and screamed even more. She pushed her knee and screamed; likewise she pushed her ankle and screamed. Everywhere she touched made her scream.
The doctor said, 'You're not really a redhead, are you? 'Well, no' she said, 'I'm actually a blonde.'
'I thought so,' the doctor said, 'Your finger is broken.'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Another Closeted Priest- This One Embezzled a Million

I've blogged about this before... the Pope and the Catholic Church (That I once loved so much) just doesn't get it! You CANNOT take people's sexual desires away from them. It goes against human nature. Everyone needs a partner. It causes priests (straight and gay) to have secret rendezvous with women and men. Here's yet another example, and this one is bad because this priest used church money on his romp. - He even gives gay people a bad name. After all, who in the hell spends money on "body glitter?" JEEZ. - The bigger issue is that the church needs to drop that idiotic rule about "not marrying" before they have NO ONE left to say masses.
THE STORY:
Priest Stole $1.3 Million to Spend on Male Escorts, Designer Clothes, Other Stereotypically Gay Things
Kevin Gray, a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury, Connecticut, is expected to turn himself in after being charged with siphoning $1.3 million from church coffers to pay for his secret gay lifestyle.
After a lengthy investigation, the authorities have charged Gray with first-degree larceny, which could carry a 20-year sentence if he's eventually convicted. Apparently for the past seven years Gray has been spending church money to fund trips to New York and pay for sessions with male escorts, and he also racked up $200,000 in restaurant bills including a large tab at Tavern on the Green.
No word on how much he spent on tickets to Madonna concerts, rare vintage copies of Playbill, body glitter, and vodka sodas on Fire Island. He's been bilking money from his congregation (and also lied and told his congregation that he had cancer).
Brian Moylan, author of this post: brian@gawker.com.
STORY AT ASSOCIATED PRESS: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i9a60tiFY-4-NODymy6UKDs-LSAwD9GPKQ3G2

100 Degrees in the Shade Today

Here's a photo I took today at 12:20pm EDT of our backyard Thermometer. What's interesting is that its inside the covered patio, so it sits in the shade!
It's 100 degrees Fahrenheit IN THE SHADE here in central Maryland today! The temperature already hit 100F at Reagan National Airport this morning around 11am and clouds that moved in dropped it to 99F. Thaaaat's great.

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th and 5th Cook-Ins

On July 4th it was about 100 degrees Fahrenheit (A local bank thermometer at 4pm said it was 104F). It was too hot to eat or cook outside (besides, we don't have a grill), so Rob cooked homemade spaghetti sauce with all the fixins, and Tom's parents came over for a nice dinner. Around 9pm when it was getting dark we heard all the fireworks going off in locations around our house and we walked the dogs. They're not afraid of fireworks, and walking them outside as they were booming made them less afraid.

JULY 5th- Again at 100F! It's too hot to do much during this heatwave, so we got up early and walked the dogs, went to the gym for an hour and did home projects. In the afternoon our friends Susan and Cary invited us over for a cook-in, which was fun! Here are some photos from the fun afternoon, with Cary, Susan and Ed (and Cary and Susan's 3 dogs); and all of us together).

EMBARRASSING - GOP Nat'l Committee Chairman Doesn't Know How Afghanistan War Started

Okay, you know I'm not conservative, but this is really embarrassing for the GOPers, too. I just read that Michael Steele (former Lt. Governor of Maryland) is leading the Republican National Committee and doesn't even know that George W. Bush is the one that brought our troops to Afghanistan after 9/11. 1) It's embarrassing 2) Jr. High School students know who brought us into Afghanistan 3) Can't the GOP get a more intelligent, charismatic leader?

HEADLINE: Conservatives Say Michael Steele Should Resign Over Afghan War Remarks
Conservative strategist William Kristol, former South Carolina party chairman Katon Dawson and other Republicans are calling for the resignation of Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele over Steele's suggestion that the U.S. effort in Afghanistan is doomed.
At a fundraiser in Noank, Conn., Steele blamed the U.S. troubles in Afghanistan on the Obama administration and expressed doubts about coalition forces' ability to succeed in the violence-torn country.
"Keep in mind again, for our federal candidates, this was a war of Obama's choosing," Steele said. "This is not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in."
"It was the president who was trying to be cute by half by flipping a script demonizing Iraq, while saying the battle really should be in Afghanistan," Steele said, referring to Obama's insistence during the presidential campaign that the U.S. should be focused on Afghanistan instead of Iraq.
"Well, if he's such a student of history, has he not understood that, you know, that's the one thing you don't do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan? All right, because everyone who has tried, over a thousand years of history, has failed. And there are reasons for that. There are other ways to engage in Afghanistan."
Former president George W. Bush ordered U.S. troops to Afghanistan in October 2001 in response to the Sept. 11 attacks by terrorists based there. Obama has said publicly for at least eight years that while he opposed the invasion of Iraq, he supported the war in Afghanistan.
Steele's comments, including using the word "comical" to describe the events leading to the forced resignation of Afghanistan commander Stanley McChrystal, sparked an outcry from commentators as a video of his remarks made its way around the Internet. FULL STORY: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/07/02/michael-steele-says-afghan-war-doomed-republicans-call-for-resi/ LA TIMES: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jul/02/nation/la-na-rnc-steele-20100703 PBS NEWS HOUR: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec10/news_07-02.html CBS NEWS: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20009569-503544.html and 1,482 other articles. AND... if you don't believe it, there's video of it on-line.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What to do on a HOT Saturday?


What's the best thing to do on a hot summertime Saturday? How about breakfast out at Panera Bread, lots of laundry, an early morning 1 mile dog walk, playing rope toss in the backyard with Dolly (the Weimaraner) and shopping at IKEA for a new desk chair? Well, that's what we did. Tom and I spent some time in IKEA trying out the chairs until we found one we liked (Pictured is Tom trying out chairs in IKEA). We're also in search of a daybed/futon/small couch the becomes a bed. We found one in IKEA we liked, but it only came in dark gray - ICK. So, we're still looking.

New Website Healthcare.gov Really Helps Clarify

The Federal Government launched a website this week to clarify healthcare reform and make it EASY TO UNDERSTAND for everyone. You can find it at http://www.healthcare.gov
**I went there and entered in "Pre-existing condition, state of Maryland, Over 55, can't afford it - and the site gave me FOUR OPTIONS to obtain health insurance. WOW. Where was this when I was 22, working 3 jobs without health insurance and couldn't afford to go to a doctor? TEST IT YOURSELF. I'm not just taking the White House's word for it - I investigated it!
******************************************************
ANOTHER GOOD SOURCE TO CORRECT MIS-INFORMATION:

I've heard MANY lies and misinterpretations of the health care law to scare people.
If you want the FACTS, go to the WhiteHouse.gov website to get them. The media and right-wing mouthpieces will distort and introduce fear to get people to follow them. Why not get the information from the SOURCE?
I found this great site with 8 videos about subjects that were misinterpreted. It's well-worth educating yourselves!
http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/
REALITY CHECK ON 2 MISCONCEPTIONS:
*Linda Douglass of the White House Office addresses the myth of Congress being exempt from the reform. THE TRUTH: CONGRESS DID NOT EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM THE REFORM. This is a myth: there is no exemption and there has not been any such vote. To the contrary, reform gives all Americans access to an insurance exchange much like the one Congress has enjoyed, and just like Congress, Americans will be free to make their own choices.
* MYTH: The Health Care reform would eliminate wasteful subsidies to insurance companies in the Medicare Advantage program, without hurting benefits or care and leaving the trust fund intact. THE TRUTH: It will strengthen Medicare's long-term stability and save seniors money.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wonder Woman Gets a New Costume After 69 Years


(PHOTO: Wonder Woman's New Costume)
Wonder Woman has been around for 69-years, although she's only about 30 in the comics. Wonder Woman's comic book hit number 600 this week!
The monthly Wonder Woman comic is published by DC Comics and this issue marks a HUGE change for Wonder Woman. She'll don a new — and less revealing — costume. The costume ties into an alternative history for the character devised by J. Michael Straczynski, the new writer of the series, and into a quest by DC to shine a critical and creative spotlight on the heroine, who stands with Superman and Batman in its primary triumvirate of superstars, despite her series’s modest sales.
In the revised storyline, Wonder Woman is smuggled out as a baby when unknown forces destroy her home and slaughter its inhabitants (instead of growing up on Paradise Island with her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and her Amazon sisters). *I personally would rather keep the greek island theme*
“She’s been locked into pretty much the exact same outfit since her debut in 1941,” Mr. Straczynski wrote. “If you’re going to make a statement about bringing Wonder Woman into the 21st century, you need to be bold and you need to make it visual. I wanted to toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility.” The new costume was designed by the artist Jim Lee, who in February was named co-publisher of DC, alongside Dan DiDio.
Straczynski added, “What woman only wears only one outfit for 60-plus years?”
The new costume will almost certainly be better received than the curveball thrown Wonder Woman in 1968, when she lost her powers, dressed mod and practiced martial arts. It took the attention of no less than Gloria Steinem to protest the change, and to help get the Amazon back into her star-spangled duds. Ms. Steinem went on to use Wonder Woman, resplendent in red, white and blue, on the cover of the first issue of Ms. magazine in 1972.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We Love Canadian Weather!


We're very grateful for Canadian High Pressure that settled over the eastern half of the U.S. yesterday, today and will be here tomorrow. For the first time in June temperatures were out of the 90s and upper 80s during the day, thanks to Canadian High pressure and cool Canadian air. Temperatures are in the upper 70s/low 80s during the day, and last night temps cooled into the upper 50s!

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

Great Books by our friends

Great Books by our friends
Check out these great books (yeah, Rob's are in there, too)

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next

Podcast of Rob's 50 min. interview on Paranormal Filler Radio 7/13/14