Monday, February 28, 2011

Puerto Rico Vacation: Part 1

Last week we took our annual winter vacation and enjoyed San Juan, Puerto Rico and the surrounding area.
Beach with heavy surf in Condado

Tom and Rob at a park on Condado Beach


Tom at a dancing fountain in Condado
Rounded fountain rocks- an artsy photo

Breakfast place one morning... one cup of coffee, no refills. :
We loved San Juan, historic forts, the brightly colored houses and storefronts, the great food, the beaches and the bioluminescent bay with glowing algae. But I'll get through those over the course of this week through photos.
LODGING -We stayed at the Radisson Casino Hotel, which was nice, but on the last Monday of the month the casino throws a huge party outside (which was on the side of our room). Fortunately, the party ended at 10pm  
The main street through Condado
TIME NOTE - Puerto Rico is on Atlantic Time, one hour later than Eastern Standard Time. Television programs are interestingly on one hour LATER then regular time. So, an 8pm EST show would air at 9pm AST (Puerto Rico local time).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Some Interesting Things from the GOP Today

I'm in the process of reading the March 7, 2011 issue of TIME magazine (which lately has been pro-GOP a lot) and learned some interesting things that I thought I'd share with you.
1) "Three programs that the House GOP put on the chopping block [in the budget cuts]: (see page 18 of TIME) 1)HUD-VASH program to house homeless veterans 2) USDA Food Inspections 3) Nuclear Weapons Safety.  The first one would be wiped to Zero dollars, and the last two, to less about 1% of current total budget.

I THINK THE CUTS SHOULD COME FROM REDUCING TAX CUTS TO OIL COMPANIES AND REDUCING FARM SUBSIDIES (that the GOP won't touch for some reason... Can someone enlighten me why those 2 items are untouchable?)
MY QUESTIONS/THOUGHTS:
1)  I thought the GOP was once known as the "Military Party." To throw Veterans out of shelters that the Gov't created for them and make them homeless again is NOT a way to thank our Veterans. I think the GOP can no longer claim to be the "Military Party." -  
2) Regarding #2, the USDA Food Inspections - Um... in the last couple of years didn't we have tainted produce (chili peppers, lettuce, tomatoes) and meat that all sickened and  killed some people? Isn't that why we "beefed up" (pun intended) the Food Inspections?
3) Nuclear Weapons Safety - Um... isn't that still a concern?
**If anyone can offer any insight into these things, please share. I'd like to be educated on both sides of the issue.
********************************************
POTENTIAL GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE? - On page 8 of TIME I read that Indiana's Mitch Daniels may be considered to run for President in 2012 against President Obama. What I ALSO read was that "HE was the budget director for George W. Bush and the architect of the Bush tax cuts, which turned the Clinton surpluses into deficits..."  UM... I don't think he's a good choice to FIX the economy. Just my 2 cents.

Another classic joke: The Golfer and Forgiveness

Here's another great joke from Mom F. in Maine. I don't know where she finds them, but she always makes us laugh!

 The Golfer and Forgiveness
Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister asked,  "How many of  you have forgiven your enemies?"

80% held up their hands.

The Minister then repeated his question. All responded this time, except one man, an avid golfer named Walter Barnes, who attended church only when the weather was bad.
"Mr. Barnes, it's obviously not a good morning for golf. It's good to see you here today. Are you not willing to forgive your enemies?"

"I don't have any," he replied gruffly.

"Mr. Barnes, that is very unusual. How old are you?"

"Ninety-eight," he replied. The congregation stood up and clapped  their hands.

"Oh, Mr. Barnes, would you please come down in front & tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years & not have an enemy in the world?"

The old golfer tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit, turned around, faced the congregation, and said simply,  
 
"I outlived all the sons of bitches."

Saturday, February 26, 2011

AirTran *and fliers*- Our Experience

We just returned from a short vacation to San Juan, Puerto Rico (which was nice) and took Air Tran Airlines. It was an interesting experience. Most of the customer service people were friendly and helpful. Some of the airline practices were questionable but you can determine that from what we saw:
1) Duplicate Seat #s:  On all 4 flights, several duplicate seat numbers were issued, so there were a number of complications getting people seated before the flights took off.
2) Gate Changes: (This one is understandable) whenever we printed a boarding pass 24 hours before, the departure gates had all changed (on all 4 flights).
3) Seating: I (Rob) sat in a middle seat on all 4 flights because I'm smaller and thinner than most adults. On 2 of the 4 flights a very large man was seated next to me on the aisle (Tom was at the window). Those 2 men spilled over into my seat, took the arm rest and had their legs and elbows into me. Fortunately, Tom was at the window, so I put up the armrest between us and loosened my seatbelt to get away from the 2 inconsiderate fliers. I don't mind that people are large. What I DO mind is that they continually elbow me, overflow into my space and never ONCE say "Excuse me."
4) Weather Delays Not Due to Weather: We flew from Puerto Rico to Orlando. Our connecting plane was grounded all morning in Charlotte because of an "approaching cold front with strong winds." Yes, the front did have strong winds. However, it wasn't and didn't reach the east coast until mid-afternoon. So, instead of beating the front, they flew the plane directly into it by delaying it. Stupid.
5) What if Flights Canceled? We learned that if Air Tran cancels a flight and you have to stay somewhere overnight, they offer you "a small discount at a local hotel." What if it's not in someone's budget to pay a surprise $150-200 for a hotel because of an airline? I thought airlines used to cover that.
6) Baggage Fees: We paid the $20 for each bag (we had one each) on Air Tran. Although I think it's nickel-and-diming people, it's a lot better than trying to battle the 120 or so others for meager space in an onboard compartment. Despite the rules of "one carry-on" many people were wheeling on 2 and 3 bags. Only once did someone get caught and have to check their bag. People need to check their big bags and pay the darn $20. It saves a LOT of time and hassle getting onboard and in-flight.
7) Nice People: I did have the pleasure of sitting next to a really nice guy named John who lives in Orlando as we flew from Puerto Rico. He and I had a great conversation (Tom couldn't hear being near the window, and happily read his book), and that made that leg of the trip really enjoyable. John is in good shape, so I didn't have to worry about "body spillage" into my seat, which was also comforting.
8) Overbooked Every Flight: Every single flight we were on (4) were overbooked and gate attendants begged people to give up their seats for a free trip somewhere. I understand the need to fill a flight, but overbooking EVERY flight is really annoying, especially when people usually don't have the luxury to hang out in an airport for another 5-10 hours and waste a day.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vote for our bathroom remodel on THIS OLD HOUSE contest page

We submitted our bathroom remodel (that took a year and was $6500 overbudget because our contractor ran off with the cash.
vote for our remodel!
http://youroldhouse.thisoldhouse.com/thisoldhouse/submission.jsp?id=113524

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sprite Still Looking for a Home

Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue took our foster dog Sprite to an adoption event in Baltimore this weekend, and although a number of people really loved him, when they learned he's 14, they decided not to pursue adopting him.
 -How sad, that senior dogs are abandoned and no one wants to care for them. Sprite is very active and "spritely" for a young Dachshund-mix. He goes up and down stairs every day and night with us, runs outside in the backyard chasing Dolly and Franklin, sings (or moans) for his food and treats and loves walks! He doesn't pull, either, which is a NICE change. :)
 - When the rescue person (Kelly) picked him up this weekend and took him to the adoption event, our Weimaraner, Dolly cried. I think they're bonded. Uh-oh! Looks like we're in for "Foster-dog failure."

Sunday, February 20, 2011

People Who are Cruel to Animals DESERVE HARSH PENALTIES

We can't stand to hear about people being cruel to animals, and because we work with a Dachshund and Weimaraner rescue we hear a lot of stories. Our little 14 year old foster dog needed 7 teeth pulled, had never been fixed, had fleas, worms and no vaccines for YEARS. He's healthy now, thanks to the rescue. 
  But the cruelty isn't just in ignoring your pet's health. Idiots (mostly teenagers and young adults, and the idiot Michael Vick for example) torture dogs and cats. Dog-fighting, lighting dogs on fire, hanging them (like that Bible-thumping 63-year old Wacko woman who hung a PUPPY because it chewed her Bible in So. Carolina), and chaining them outside for WEEKS without food or water causing a slow death by starvation. 
 - What's even MORE horrible is that ALL of these Criminals think they've done nothing wrong. Even the older woman said "the dog was possessed by the devil." I believe it's the other way around. She's possessed...These people need SEVERE punishment. 
  RALLY IN ANNAPOLIS FOR HARSHER PENALTIES ON ANIMAL CRUELTY - The Baltimore Sun reports that Animal welfare activists rallied Thursday in Annapolis to show their support for a bill that would stiffen penalties for violating cruelty laws. (YES!!!)  Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold testified at the hearing and said the case of a Siberian husky known as Bear-Bear was the impetus for his pitching the legislation to Del. Robert Costa. Bear-Bear was shot in a dog park last year.FULL STORY: http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/opn/2011/02/20-13/Our-Say-Stronger-animal-cruelty-laws-should-be-passed.html
  Here are some stories in just this weekend's news from Baltimore, Md. - what about the rest of the country?
Two Severn teens charged with animal cruelty
SEVERN, Md. - Two 16-year-olds are facing animal cruelty charges after Anne Arundel County police responded to a call about what appeared to be a dogfight.Shortly before 5:30 p.m. Thursday, a caller told police that there were about five people watching two dogs fighting in the woods near Athena Lane and Loving Road in Severn, according to a police statement. 
  Police said that as they arrived, the group scattered, running toward Arwell Court, which is in the Orchards of Severn community. Officers arrested two teenage boys, one of whom was carrying a pit bull puppy by the neck. Police took the dog to a nearby veterinarian.
TWO OTHER IDIOTS GET A RETRIAL ON LIGHTING A DOG ON FIRE
BALTIMORE, Md. - Prosecutors said Friday that they will retry the animal-cruelty case against brothers Travers and Tremayne Johnson, who were accused of fatally setting fire to a pit bull in 2009, after the first trial ended Monday in a hung jury.  The new trial is scheduled for May 4.

American Bar Association Supports Justice for Victims of Animal Cruelty - Full Story: https://news.change.org/stories/american-bar-association-supports-justice-for-victims-of-animal-cruelty 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BINGO!!!

 On Tuesday night, Feb. 15th, we joined Tom's parents for the bi-weekly bingo game at their local activity center. It's always fun.. and there are always some characters there. Tom hates it when some of the older ladies yell "Bingo!" and sound like harpies from the back of the room.
 - In the couple of years that we've gone, I think we've won once. Well, we left during intermission as 1 1/2 hours was enough for us. So, we gave Mom and Bob our cards and they won $25! We told 'em they're going to take us out to dinner now. :)
- Some photos of the fun are posted. 1) an Extra-large Dunkin' Donuts coffee is a must when playing BINGO. 2) Tom serious about marking the right numbers. 3) Rob and Tom being goofy (as usual) during the Bingo game! 4) friend Pat, Mom and Bob concentrating on the game



Friday, February 18, 2011

Take the Intelligence Test!

Our friends Cathy and Cindy sent this little intelligence test.
I (Rob) just took it and scored: You GOT a score of 8 out of 11  My rating: Honor Student  
This is based on the Simon Evans score rating system. 
TRY IT OUT! http://www.mikescomputerinfo.com/inteltest.htm

 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Unattractive Dog Wins Best in Show

Hickory became the first Scottish deerhound to win Best in Show at Westminster. - 
***This is one of the most odd-looking, unattractive dogs we've ever seen. We watched the dog show and the Weimaraners and Dachshunds didn't come close to winning. However, a dog that looks like a dirty grey mop wins "Best in Show." What kind of "Show" were they looking for?
The NY Times Says:  The Labrador retriever is the most popular breed in the United States, according to American Kennel Club registration statistics. And yet, when set against a Westminster backdrop of elegant Afghans, jaded poodles, lumbering St. Bernards and impertinent Pomeranians, the humble Labrador retriever can get lost in the crowd. So perhaps it is not surprising that the Labrador retriever has never won Best in Show in Westminster’s 135 years. Other breeds better known as pets have also been overlooked. The golden retriever has never won, either, and the German shepherd and the pug have only won once apiece.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Just another Example of why Puppy Mills Should be Closed Down

One of the many dog charities that we support is the Cocker Spaniel rescue. My (Rob) family had a cocker spaniel named "Penny" when I was a kid. I just received the latest newsletter from the rescue who saved a 1 year old dog from a puppy mill. Below is his story. After reading it, you may want to write your Congressman/woman to close down puppy mills.
RESCUE INFORMATION:  Cocker Spaniel Adoption Center Inc., P.O. Box 1704, Westminster, MD  21158-5704 , 410-628-6191

Buddy

  Earlier this month, we reached out to volunteers in an attempt to locate a foster or forever home for Buddy, a sweet, energetic black and white cocker spaniel who had some special medical needs. 
   Buddy's short life began in a puppy mill. He was then sold to a pet store and bought by an impulsive family who began neglecting him immediately. He did not receive medical care, and when he came to CSAC severely anemic, the initial cause suspected was flea and parasite infection.
  Sadly, something far worse was wrong with sweet Buddy. At the tender age of one year, Buddy was diagnosed with chronic, incurable kidney disease. His vet said that Buddy's disease could be managed for one or two years, but tragically, it could not even be managed a few weeks. Buddy was being fostered by a wonderful family, but he had barely arrived at their home when his condition rapidly deteriorated. Buddy's kidneys suddenly shut down, and nothing could be done for him. There was no choice but to let him go to free him from pain and suffering. Everyone who knew Buddy is heartbroken.
   We thank Buddy's fosters and all the CSAC volunteers who worked so tirelessly to make Buddy's time in this world as special as possible. We also thank the many generous souls who unhesitatingly helped with Buddy's medical expenses. Although we are devastated by Buddy's premature departure to the Rainbow Bridge, his untimely and unnecessary death has made CSAC even more determined to do everything possible to put an end to puppy mills and continue to educate adopters about about responsible companion animal care.
   Rest in peace, precious Buddy. You left us far too soon.
 Cocker Spaniel Adoption Center Inc. (CSAC) is to help needy Cocker Spaniels find loving homes by displaying their pictures and descriptions and by telling their stories -- to the best possible extent. We are a 501(c)(3) charity and survive on donations from kind hearted folks like you.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

JOKE: A Blonde on an Airplane

Thanks to Mom F. in Maine for this funny joke!


A PLANE IS ON ITS WAY TO CHICAGO WHEN A BLONDE IN  ECONOMY CLASS GETS UP, AND MOVES TO THE FIRST CLASS  SECTION AND SITS DOWN. 
   THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT WATCHES HER DO THIS, AND ASKS TO SEE HER TICKET. 
  SHE THEN TELLS THE BLONDE THAT SHE PAID FOR ECONOMY CLASS, AND THAT SHE WILL HAVE TO SIT IN THE BACK. 
  THE BLONDE REPLIES, "I'M BLONDE, I'M BEAUTIFUL, I'M GOING TO CHICAGO   AND I'M STAYING RIGHT HERE." 
   THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT GOES INTO THE COCKPIT AND TELLS THE PILOT AND THE CO-PILOT THAT THERE IS A BLONDE BIMBO SITTING IN FIRST CLASS, THAT BELONGS IN ECONOMY, AND WON'T MOVE BACK TO HER SEAT. 
  THE CO-PILOT GOES BACK TO THE BLONDE AND TRIES TO EXPLAIN THAT BECAUSE SHE ONLY PAID FOR ECONOMY SHE WILL HAVE TO LEAVE AND RETURN TO HER SEAT. 
   THE BLONDE REPLIES, "I'M BLONDE, I'M BEAUTIFUL, I'M  GOING TO CHICAGO AND I'M STAYING RIGHT HERE." 
  THE CO-PILOT TELLS THE PILOT THAT HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE THE POLICE WAITING WHEN THEY LAND TO ARREST  THIS BLONDE WOMAN, WHO WON'T LISTEN TO REASON. 
   THE PILOT SAYS, "YOU SAY SHE IS A BLONDE? I'LL HANDLE THIS, I'M MARRIED TO A BLONDE. I SPEAK BLONDE." 
  HE GOES BACK TO THE BLONDE AND WHISPERS IN HER EAR,  AND SHE SAYS, "OH, I'M SORRY." AND GETS UP AND GOES  BACK TO HER SEAT IN ECONOMY. 
   THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND CO-PILOT ARE AMAZED AND  ASKED HIM WHAT HE SAID TO MAKE HER MOVE WITHOUT  ANY FUSS. 
  "I TOLD HER, FIRST CLASS ISN'T GOING TO CHICAGO."

Monday, February 14, 2011

MD Senator Now Supports Marriage Equality- After Testimony from Hateful Opponents

Our friend Suzanne sent this story to us, about a MD State Senator who changed his mind in favor of gay marriage in the state after hearing the hatred and vitriol from opponents testifying this week. I wrote to this Senator two weeks ago asking him to support gay marriage. I'm so glad to see that he realized how full of hatred people are that oppose marriage equality. What's sad is that one of those opponents is the Catholic Church that I used to love and belong to (until they started being so hateful to gay people). I'm glad to see that some of our politicians understand that all should be equal, and are disgusted by people who are motivated by hatred. 

 From: http://www.towleroad.com/2011/02/maryland-senator.html

MD State Senator Reverses Opinion, Now Supports Marriage Equality

Democratic Maryland State Senator James Brochin, who up until now had been against marriage equality, has completely changed his position. He'll now be one of the 21 state senators who support Maryland's marriage equality bill.
Jb Brochin made the announcement during an appearance on a radio show on 630 WMAL:
"I'm not going to be a part of the vilification of gays on the senate floor...The people who are against the bill, all they did was demonize homosexuality, call them pedophiles, androids, and I just, I can’t oppose the bill and be on the same side as people who would do that.I t’s destructive, it’s insulting to the same-sex families who are trying to raise their kids.”
Before changing his mind, Brochin had supported civil unions for gay and lesbian couples. The state's marriage equality bill needs 24 votes to pass. Six state senators (all Democrats) are either undecided or have not publicly stated their position on the issue.
Testimony for and against marriage equality in Maryland has been in progress all week. We heard the wingnuts use human/robot marriage as a reason to not allow same-sex couples to marry. The week also saw Maggie Gallagher testify though NOM President Brian Brown wasn't very optimistic about her impact. "Despite Maggie's powerful testimony, we know this committee today was stacked against us, and we expect the legislation to be on the Senate floor as early as next week.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Help for TMJ Pain and other stuff

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, when I had a tooth extracted on Feb. 3, the oral surgeon kept my mouth propped open over 30-40 minutes,  so my TMJ has been causing severe pain for the last 10 days. It's finally settled down enough so I can sleep through the night (after 8 days of waking up when the ibuprofen wore off). 
HELPING TMJ PAIN -   I learned some exercises that help, one is opening your mouth and pressing your finger against your cheek to stretch the band of muscle that works your jaw and tightens when TMJ sets off. Another exercise is raising your chin/lean your head back, and hold. That also stretches the muscle. It works. Also, try a heating pad on and off.
SOMETHING GOOD FROM SOMETHING BAD - Turns out I can't sleep on my left side anymore without the TMJ shifting the jaw and causing a headache that will wake me up. Implants are now out of the question because of the length of time you have to keep your mouth open, so I'll look into a denture or something. On the GOOD Side of things, my sense of smell has increased again. Each time I get a tooth out, I can smell better. That's because most of my upper teeth grew INTO my sinuses... which created blockages.  Something good from something bad.
EYE SAY... EVERYTHING WEARS OUT! - I just had a bi-annual visit to the eye doc, and have to get reading glasses now because of my astigmatism (I'm near sighted, but the astigmatism has increased and made close-up words look like they're glowing). So now I'll have distance and close-up glasses. I opted not to get bi-focals at this point. Ah, the joys of getting older. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A great story about Negative People

Negative people can suck the life right out of you and turn a good day into a bad day. That's why it's so important to try and be positive and find the GOOD in little simple pleasures. Sure, bad things happen. I get ticked when the computer grinds and won't let me type or do something. But I drop it after a couple of minutes. I also give myself 30 or 60 minutes to be mad at something and then forget it. Negativity does nothing but wear you down. 
-Now that you heard my philosophy, I'm going to share this funny story about a negative person. Our friend John in VA Beach sent us this. Enjoy. - Rob
  __________________________________________________________________
This is something to think about when negative people are doing their best to rain on your parade.. So remember this story the next time someone who knows nothing and cares less tries to make your life miserable.
  A woman was at her hairdresser's getting her hair styled for a trip to Rome with her husband..  She mentioned the trip to the hairdresser, who responded:
  " Rome?  Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded and dirty. You're crazy to go to Rome.  So, how are you getting there?"
  "We're taking Continental," was the reply. "We got a great rate!"
  "Continental?" exclaimed the hairdresser. " That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome  ?"
  "We'll be at this exclusive little place over on Rome 's  Tiber River called Teste."
  "Don't go any further. I know that place.  Everybody thinks its gonna be something special and exclusive, but it's really a dump."
  "We're going to go to see the Vatican and maybe get to see the Pope." "That's rich," laughed the hairdresser. You and a million other people trying to see him.  He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it."
  A month later, the woman again came in for a hairdo. The hairdresser asked her about her trip to Rome ..
"It was wonderful," explained the woman, "not only were we on time in one of Continental's brand new planes, but it was overbooked, and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a handsome 28-year-old steward who waited on me hand and foot.. And the hotel was great! They'd just finished a $5 million remodeling job, and now it's a jewel, the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were
overbooked, so they apologized and gave us their owner's suite at no extra charge!"
  "Well," muttered the hairdresser, "that's all well and good, but I know you didn't get to see the Pope."
"Actually, we were quite lucky, because as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder, and explained that the Pope likes to meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait, the Pope would personally greet me. Sure enough, five minutes later, the Pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down and he spoke a few words to me.."
  "Oh, really!  What'd he say ?"
  He said: "Who screwed up your hair so BAD?"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

NY Having a Tough Time Keeping Political People!

New York has had a tough time retaining Congressmen. A year ago Democrat Eric Massa resigned after being accused of  sexually harassing male staffers (no verdict yet, and extremely wrong and Stupid if true... which it likely is because he resigned). This week,  Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican sent a shirtless picture to a woman in Md. and claimed he was divorced (he's married with a son). He also resigned.  
(Photo RIGHT: I will say, though, he's in great shape.)
 Of course, both of these actions are totally inappropriate and they should resign. But it continues to show that all of our elected officials are human and do stupid things. What I don't understand is why these people don't realize they're public figures and everything they do is going to be analyzed. 
Here's the article from the blog beautymania:
 A married New York congressman accused of sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman abruptly resigned Wednesday, saying he regretted actions that had hurt his family and others.
The gossip website Gawker reported Wednesday that Rep. Christopher Lee, a two-term Republican with a young son, had e-mailed the photo to a woman he met on the Craigslist classified-ads website.
Lee said in an e-mailed statement that his resignation was effective immediately. The statement offered no confirmation or details of a Craigslist posting.
“I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,” Lee said in a statement posted on his congressional website. “I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness.”
Lee said the challenges faced in western New York, where he serves the 26th Congressional District, and across the country are “too serious for me to allow this distraction to continue, so I am announcing that I have resigned my seat in Congress effective immediately.”
Lee’s resignation comes almost a year after Democrat Eric Massa resigned his seat in western New York’s 29th Congressional District amid an investigation into whether he sexually harassed male staffers. Massa gave contradictory explanations for his behavior, acknowledging he groped and tickled a staffer in a nonsexual way and wrestled with others at his 50th birthday party but then denying any groping occurred.
In Lee’s case, a woman described as a 34-year-old Maryland resident and government employee provided Gawker with e-mails she said were an exchange between her and Lee in response to an ad she placed last month in the “Women Seeking Men” section of Craigslist.
Gawker reported that Lee identified himself as a divorced lobbyist and sent a photo of himself posing shirtless in front of a mirror. It said the woman eventually broke off the contact with Lee after becoming suspicious that he had misrepresented himself.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ALL States Should Watch: Video Testimony: Zach Wahls of Iowa Speaks About Family

Zach Wahls, a 19-year-old University of Iowa student spoke about the strength of his family during a public forum on House Joint Resolution 6 in the Iowa House of Representatives. Wahls has two mothers, and came to oppose House Joint Resolution 6 which would end civil unions in Iowa. The fight to to keep marriage equality in Iowa continues, help us support Iowans like Zach. http://www.oneiowa.org/donate/donate-now 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Infuriating Conversation with Md Catholic Conference: on Marriage

On Tuesday the Maryland Legislature was hearing testimony for and against legalizing gay marriage in the state. Mary Ellen Russell, the executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference was testifying that gay marriage is "against God."
 - So, after work, I called the Md. Catholic Conference and had what turned into an infuriating conversation with a woman who answered the phone. I told her that marriage is a civil right, not limited to religions. I told her that people who don't believe in a God or have no religion are free to marry. The divorce rate is 67% for straight couples after 5 years of marriage. She said "God created marriage and you'll see how WRONG your sin is when you die." God didn't create marriage, people did. She infuriated and insulted me.
  I explained that I used to belong to the church until they started using parishoners funds to fight gay marriage. Why in the hell would anyone support someone who is trying to deny them of a civil right?
 I understand the need and benefits of religion. I believe in God. I used to love my religion. BUT, there is a fine line that they cross when they politic. 
 People who are so convinced that their religion is the best religion, and that it should set rules for all other people are narrow-minded and ignorant. Not everyone believes in one religion. After the woman said to me "If this country was run by mXXXXXs (another religion), you would be murdered," I had to hang up. Yeah, these people are doing God's work... NOT. All I heard was hatred and intolerance. Way to go, Maryland Catholic Conference. No love there.

2nd Favorite Spot - Superbowl Ads

We love the Snickers ads with Aretha Franklin and Liza Minelli. Now, comedians Richard Lewis and Roseanne Barr with lumberjacks. Funny!
OKAY - After I posted it, Snickers had it removed from the source I linked to.
You can still see it here: http://www.youtube.com/snickers?feature=pyv

Monday, February 7, 2011

Superbowl Commercials

Although we don't watch the superbowl, and don't care about football, the commercials are usually entertaining, so if you want to see them all go here:  http://www.tbd.com/articles/2011/02/super-bowl-commercials-2011-watch-the-best-and-worst-video--50758.html

Meanwhile, one of our favorites features some of the cast of the TV show GLEE (which we love):

Sunday, February 6, 2011

We 3 Kids of Doggy Bed Are...

We 3 kids of doggy bed are, snoozing together, in dreamland we are!
Franklin, Dolly and Sprite share a big doggy bed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Tooth Trouble and Some Recommendations!

EMERGENCY EXTRACTION - One of my teeth had an old and large filling in it, that has been in there for about a decade or so and I knew (as did my dentist) that it was going to come apart. It had too much filling in it to do a root canal, so it was a matter of time. Thursday morning while eating a poptart (yes, a soft poptart) it broke in half!  I was able to get into an oral surgeon by noon, who gave me nitrous oxide and removed the rest of the tooth.
MY RECOMMENDATION - They also packed in artifical bone (which as painful as it is to heal, I recommend it whenever a tooth is pulled) to maintain the integrity of the jawbone and prevent the nearby teeth from moving. It will prepare for an implant later (it takes months to heal).
ANOTHER RECOMMENDATION: Get nitrous oxide (laughing gas) when getting teeth pulled. I felt no pain and the lights just all spun around like a whirlpool. I didn't feel them packing the gum or stitching it either. It was amazing.
- Unfortunately the pain started when it started healing. Last night, despite Vicadin, I slept 3 hours. Maybe I need to have a Margarita with the Vicadin. That was Tom's recommendation! :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

You'll be Able to Bring Your Dog to the NJ Casinos!

Sprite & Franklin stretched out on the rug today.
Pet owners from New Jersey and beyond will soon be able to bring their best friend to an Atlantic City casino. On February 24, Showboat Casino Hotel will become the city's first dog-friendly casino.

  Known as Pet Stay, the program is coming to Atlantic City after a successfulrun at eight casino hotels in Las Vegas operated by Caesars Entertainment Corp., Showboat's parent company.
  Depending on how well it is received, Pet Stay may be introduced later at the three other Caesars Entertainment casinos in Atlantic City — Bally's, Caesars and Harrah's Resort.
  Showboat will begin accepting online reservations for canine-friendly rooms Feb. 14, and Feb. 24 is the first night that dogs and their owners can check in. The casino plans to throw a promotional party March 3. At that time, Showboat will present a $1,000 donation to the Ocean City Humane Society in honor of the casino's furry guests.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Police Dog Work Can be Tough

Our friend Shea sent us this picture of a bloodhound on the job with police. The officer is holding up underwear, and take a look at the dog's horrified expression. 
 - If that were our Dachshunds they'd be all over that (yeah, they have the nasty habit of eating #2 in the backyard). Maybe that's why police employ Bloodhounds and not Dachshunds. They want to make sure the evidence isn't destroyed. LOL. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A story I wrote today: GOES-13 Satellite Sees Groundhog's Day on Ice

Here's a fun story I got to write today: 



Punxsutawney Phil predicted that spring will come on time, and NASA satellite data suggests that residents in more than one-third of the U.S. are now anxious for the prediction to come true.
PHOTO RIGHT: GOES-13 satellite image from 1731 UTC (12:31 p.m. EST) on Feb. 2, 2011 was still showing clouds over Punxsutawney, Pa. that were bringing light snow as Phil the groundhog made his prediction for an on-time springtime. Credit: NOAA/NASA GOES Project
  A massive winter storm touched 30 states over the last couple of days, including Phil's home at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. where rain mixed with sleet and freezing rain this morning before it changed to snow as part of that system. Phil's town is about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Looking at the satellite data, it's more than likely that the cloud cover and wet weather prevented the famous groundhog from seeing his shadow. Regardless, tradition says that spring will arrive on time.
PHOTO RIGHT: Photo of 18 inch snowfall in Chicago at 1:30 p.m. CST on February 2, 2011. Credit: Gretchen Cook-Anderson
  Satellite imagery from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite called GOES-13 keeps a constant eye on the weather over the eastern U.S. The two GOES satellites that monitor weather over the U.S., the other being GOES-11 covering the western U.S., are both operated by NOAA. Images and animations using the satellite data are created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.
  In a GOES-13 satellite image taken at 1731 UTC (12:31 p.m. EST) on Feb. 2, 2011 there were still clouds over Punxsutawney, Pa. and they were still bringing light snow to the town during the afternoon, hours after the groundhog's famous prediction. The satellite image also showed the most of the thicker clouds were already exiting New England and were bringing Boston, Mass. light rain, mist and fog and while Portland, Maine was getting light snow.

The National Weather Service (NWS) indicated that yesterday, Feb. 1, Chicago experienced a record snowfall of 13.6 inches. According to reports from the Weather Channel by 7 a.m. CST on Feb. 2, there was more than 17 inches of snow on the ground who mentioned it was the fifth all time biggest snow storm on record for the city.
  In Saint Louis, Mo. the NWS reported a record 17.5 inches of snow yesterday and 13.2 inches in Tulsa, Okla. The NWS reported that Milwaukee, Wis. received 8.5 inches on Feb. 1, but a blizzard warning was still in effect during the morning of Feb. 2. In the forecast discussion for Milwaukee, the NWS called it an "historic groundhog blizzard [that is] paralyzing southeast Wisconsin," as winds were gusting as high as 45 mph yesterday and today.
  The monster winter storm that created these records is now exiting New England and the GOES-13 satellite is tracking its movement. As GOES-13 continues to watch for the next winter storm, there's hope that the groundhog made an accurate prediction.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Henry Cavill to be the Next Superman

Henry Cavill
The Superman movies are about to get another "re-boot." The new choice is Henry Cavill. Fans of "The Tudors" on Showtime will immediately know him. He's the most striking, handsome hunk of the series.(JUST LOOK AT THE PHOTO- This guy is hunky and perfect to play Superman).

   Some background on Superman Movies: Christopher Reeve starred in Superman I-IV. Most of you likely never saw III with Richard Pryor and IV with "Nuclear Man" (both were not very good, sadly). "Superman Returns" in 2006 starred Brandon Routh, who I thought did a great job as both Superman and Clark Kent and even resembled Christopher Reeve. Unfortunately, Hollywood insisted on screwing with the comic book. They took Superman away from Earth for years to investigate the blown up fragments of Krypton. Then they gave Lois Lane a kid with another man (never happened in the comics). In fact, in 1996, Clark Kent MARRIED Lois Lane. That's the way it needs to be. You deviate from the comics and you tick off fans and don't get moviegoers.
   Who played Superman in Movies, TV and Broadway?   Henry Cavill joins others who played Superman like Christopher Reeve, George Reeves, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Ray Middleton, John Barrowman and Brandon Routh.

   Who is  Henry William Dalgliesh Cavill ? He was born May 5, 1983 and is a British actor. Henry became famous in "The Tudors" series as Henry VIII’s advisor. (Tom immediately found him striking, and he was pretty much the reason I kept watching the Tudors).
  He has appeared in the films The Count of Monte Cristo and Stardust, and played the role of Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk, on the Showtime series The Tudors, from 2007 until 2010. He has been cast to play Superman in the 2012 film The Man of Steel.  I found out thatCavill missed out on roles in the new Batman flicks and was nearly James Bond.
  Tom and I are BOTH looking forward to this Superman movie. :) 

 

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