Friday, October 31, 2014

A Look Back at our Doggy Halloween Costumes

Coffee and Donuts!
Halloween has always been pretty special for our doggy kids, and I (Rob) have always loved putting together costumes for them. Here are a collage of pictures from the past.

Dolly has been a shark, Krypto the superdog, an ear of corn and Dunkin' Donuts coffee cup


Dolly the land shark

Franklin has been a skeleton, Dunkin' Donut,  ear of corn and a monkey
 

Sprite (passed in 2013) was a monkey
Skeleton Franklin
Dolly is corny

Tyler hasn't yet been outfitted...but he will be!
Tyler wondering what he's going to be dressed as!
Dolly as Krypto
Franklin corn!
two monkeys and a banana
























Happy Halloween! Favorite scary weather scenes in horror movies

EarthSky put together this interesting look at Scary Weather Scenes in Horror Movies for Halloween- which I think is appropriate since I'm a meteorologist. Enjoy! 
 
By   Oct 27, 2014 

Favorite scary weather scenes in horror movie

Are those loud rumbles of thunder – or pelts of hail hitting your roof and knocking on your windows – or a crazed psycho killer on the loose?

Have you ever watched a scary movie where a crazed killer chases a person in an old, abandoned house during a thunderstorm? If you have, then you know how certain kinds of weather can add suspense and thrills to a horror movie. Thunderstorms can be loud and can produce the flickering lighting that adds to a scary movie. Some of the classic movies just had to include stormy weather. Follow the links below for my picks of favorite scary weather scenes in horror movies.
Frankenstein. How would Frankenstein be born without a good thunderstorm with plenty of lightning?
VIDEO CLIP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H3dFh6GA-A

The Shining. Stephen King built his book (and the subsequent movie) The Shining upon the fact that weather can be horrible. The Shining focuses on a hotel where a couple and their son are trapped by bad weather, and (bwahaha) the hotel eventually drives Jack Nicholson’s character mad. Towards the end of the movie, the scene below would not be possible without a major winter storm. SPOILER ALERT for the clip below: If you’ve never seen The Shining, you might want to avoid watching this clip!
VIDEO CLIP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfpKXa-AhPE

Psycho. The classic Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho also uses bad weather to drive the action forward. Near the premise and beginning of this movie, Marion Crane leaves her home and work place after stealing money from her boss. After hours of driving on the road, a mixture of fatigue and stormy weather influences her decision to spend the night at the Bates motel. Without the storm, would she have stayed at the Bates Motel? We’ll never know, but you have to admit, weather played a large role in her decision to spend the night at a hotel … that will never let her come out alive.
Happy Halloween!
VIDEO CLIP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSlo44VO-lE

SOURCE http://earthsky.org/earth/favorite-scary-weather-scenes-in-horror-movies?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=d2cd3f1a73-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-d2cd3f1a73-307928925  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Doggy Halloween Event: We met Annabelle's Treats and Bonnie the dog photog!

Dolly, Tom and Franklin (Rob had Tyler off camera)
We've been looking into boarding and day care facilities for our kids, and recently found a nice one called Fieldstone Animal Inn. 
  (Website: www.fieldstoneanimalinn.com/)
   On Sunday, October 26th, they were having an open house, so it was the perfect time to bring them there and get them familiar with the environment and the smells. Smells are important after all! 
 They have a lot of great services and the kennels and outdoor runs are CLEANED and poo-free (important when you have Dachshunds who like to "snack." Eww). They have:Trained Petcare Specialists,Shaded Grounds, Indoor & Outdoor Pet Access,Eco & Pet Friendly Products, Individualized Care and  Exceptional Activities & Comfort Services.

   The weather was perfect, so we walked around and met some great vendors that were there as well.

ANNABELLE'S GOURMET DOG TREATS
Annabelle's Honey Apple Peanut Butter Crisp!

We met Kim who founded and bakes Annabelle's Gourmet Dog Treats and sells the in Maryland and on-line. The ingredients are so good that people can eat them, too.
This is the one that our kids loved:  Honey-Apple Peanut Butter Crisp
Bonnie holding Tyler
Take the time to enjoy a nutritious  treat made with honey, apples, all-natural peanut butter with a hint of vanilla.  Just what your best friend needs to brighten their day.



Her website: http://www.annabellesgourmetdogtreats.com/

BONNIE GROWER THE DOG PHOTOGRAPHER 
  Bonnie Grower – Annapolis Maryland pet photographer, animal lover and military spouse, among other things.
From her website:  During photo sessions, I was able to capture their hysterical personalities (have you ever seen cattle dogs play tug-of-war with a tree?!), the pure joy of a favorite toy, and their general passion for life. Their pictures are timeless and always bring a smile, a memory, or a laugh each time we look at them. The photographs are treasured gifts, telling the story of a life that will always live in our hearts.
All too often I have heard people say they don’t have any good pictures of their pet. This is why I decided to combine my passion for animals and photography into the art of pet photography. I want to celebrate your pet’s personality using a fun, fresh, photojournalistic style.
Her Website:  http://www.bonniegrower.com/


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Foster Dog Switch: Our foster: 12 yr. old Mack -Needs a Home!

Those of you who read our blog often read yesterday that we took in a foster dog named Heath (Dachshund) who was supposed to go to our friend April to foster. Because April had Mack (a 12 yr old black and tan mini-doxie) we opted to take Heath. Over the weekend, we realized something serious. Heath does NOT like men. In fact, he's afraid of men (which suggests to me that he was abused by one). He would look at us and shake, even if we were feeding him, or giving him treats. He was petrified. He was so scared that he had diarrhea several times on blankets, beds, etc... so it was a real challenge. - Rob took him to the vet Monday night and he was tested for many things. He is only suffering from anxiety and fear of men, causing him to defecate over everything. Not a good story in a house with ONLY 2 men. 
  So, April agreed to take him after all, and we took Mack, whom we brought to her almost 2 months ago.
**We are so angry with people who abuse animals. **
     SO, we have 4 kids in the house again!

Meet Mack - Such a sweet little boy needing a home
Who is Mack?  On Sept. 1, we did a dog rescue transport for Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue and brought 12 year old Mack, a mini, black and tan dachshund to our friend April to foster.  
   We kept him overnight and he was AWESOME. He is housetrained, sweet, and gets along with other dogs (although Tyler learned not to steal his toy!) he's peaceful, calm and lovable. I wrote a profile from him and we took pictures and I made a video for the rescue. 

Tom and Mack

MEET MACK THE SWEETEST DACHSHUND IN THE WORLD 

Rob and Mack
Hi - My name is Mack. I am a very calm, obedient, housebroken, quiet, black and tan mini dachshund who needs a loving forever home. My parents just went through a divorce and my dad cried when he called the rescue because he couldn't keep me. My doggy-brother went to a different home and I was so upset I threw up when I saw him go. It was heartbreaking. Please love me. I'm less than 10 pounds of pure love.
Mack is a tiny little guy
      I get along well with other dogs, and during my overnight at a foster home, played with another little dachshund. I love my bed and blankets, and go to bed and sleep through the night. I don't make a fuss, don't cry and won't keep you up at night. My previous daddy even let me sleep in his bed. I'm really quiet. I also like sleeping in the sunshine when it comes through the window and shines on the carpet.
Mack cuddled with Dolly 
I know commands, and love to go out in a fenced backyard. I prefer that to walking on a leash (and please don't use a retractable leash, it can be dangerous to me and other doggies). I AM Housebroken! 
    I love toys and take the squeaker out in 5 minutes. I love baskets of toys and play with them all.
I'm in good health. I had some teeth removed, so I like wet food and softer treats. I'm microchipped, so the address needs to be changed when I get to my forever home.
    My name went from Buddy to Ziggy to Mack, and I've had really bad luck with humans who fall in love with me and can't keep me because of their own social situations (no fault of mine).  I don't know why humans can't stay together and be a family, and I just want to live out my years and give all my love and be loved.
All I want is to be loved.
12 year old Mack is adoptable at coast to coast Dachshund rescue. For information go to: c2cdr.org .  
Contact Rgutro@gmail.com

**NEW OCT. 28th VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MxS88T-S_c 


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our latest rescue transport: Heath the Dachshund a Hurricane Katrina Survivor Needs a Home

Our latest rescue transport:  Heath the Dachshund a Hurricane Katrina Survivor Needs a Home

Add caption
On Saturday, we picked up Heath from our friend Shelley- who transported him from Delaware. He's had a tough life, from surviving Hurricane Katrina to not getting medical attention in his last home.
    We kept Heath with us for two days and learned that he's not fond of men. We think he was mistreated by a man. He doesn't have that problem with women. He came to us with really bad tummy trouble and maybe a urinary tract infection.- so whenever we tried picking him up, he'd pee and poo... (we cleaned a lot of blankets, beds and carpets).
  Rob took him to the vet last night (Monday) and got him tested for parasites, etc. and he had none. He's been given meds for sick tummy - and to help quell his diarrhea. He also had blood tests and urine tests to see if he has an infection.  
   It's heartbreaking when dogs come into the rescue neglected, abused or sickly, and that happens more often than not. People just don't take care of dogs and discard them like useless trash when they're not feeling well. It's infuriating.
    *************************************
   Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue (www.c2cdr.org) is seeking a forever home for Heath, a black dachshund (17 lbs).  Heath was born on July 22, 2004 and 1 year and 1 month later, Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and left him without a family. He was rescued and adopted in New Jersey where he lived for almost 9 years before given to the rescue. He's shy and loves to go in his bed in a crate. He doesn't play with toys, but loves blankets and being with you. He doesn't have separation anxiety and goes into his crate/bed.
Heath's Close up!
   He walks well on a leash and doesn't pull. He has a shiny short fur coat with a gentle sprinkle of grey on his muzzle. He gets along very well with other dogs. (Unknown with cats).
   He arrived into a foster home on Oct. 24, 2014, and will be available for adoption by late Nov. after dental treatment, shots, etc.
When rescued he let his foster dad cut his nails and bathe him without a problem.
  This little guy is a hurricane survivor, and his last family didn't take him to the vet for the last 4 years. He needs a great home where you  will love him as he will love you.
  Heath will be available for adoption by mid-November 2014

HEATH'S FIRST VIDEO:  http://youtu.be/bFVLksiFoxU
 
HEATH'S OTHER VIDEO: http://youtu.be/8tvbCoRCwVM
EMBED CODE: 

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Little Girl's Spirit Gives Me a Tragic Story

At Medium Barb Mallon's Halloween event this weekend I received a couple of messages from spirits. One of them was
the little girl's spirit looked like this
from a child. I was sitting in the back of the room while Barb was getting messages from a spirit when a little girl's spirit


came through to me. 
   She told me she was a young African-American girl and she had passed. I felt a dry throat and heard her say, "There was smoke everywhere. There was a fire in our house. It was hot, I was tired, I couldn't breathe and I fell asleep. She told me that she was wearing a red top and little black skirt. She said that she's okay now, and she said she may be heard walking around the house at night. 
  She also said that "Whenever you're cooking on the stove, I'm standing right next to you."
I held onto that message and didn't know who it belonged to- but the little girl would tell me later.
  When the night's events came to a close I didn't have the opportunity to read my 2 messages aloud, so it was up to spirit to tell me who they were for. After the session, I went into the lobby of the hotel (where the event took place) and stood at a table with my three books. 
house fire with a lot of smoke
  I talked with a lot of people that evening, but when two women came up to me, one caucasian and the other African-American I felt the little girl's spirit nudge me to tell the women my message. 
  The African-American woman said "That's my husband's cousin. Actually cousins. There were two little girls ages 3 and 5 that died in a fire recently." He wanted to know if they were okay on the other side, and this was his confirmation.    So why did I only get messages from one of them? She was the "spokesperson" for both of them. Oftentimes one spirit will come through stronger and more vocal than another - as in the case of a husband and wife for instance. 
  It was amazing that not only was this little girl descriptive, but she pointed out the person that needed the message. 
 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Great classic comic collection DC Showcase Hawkman Vol. 2

I (Rob) just finished reading and thoroughly enjoying DC SHOWCASE PRESENTS HAWKMAN VOLUME 2. It was over 500 pages of vintage stories from the 1960s featuring one of my favorite all-time superheroes, Hawkman! 
    Hawkman is Katar Hol, an honored police officer on his homeworld of Thanagar. Along with his wife Shayera, they use the anti-gravity ninth (also known as Nth) metal and their wings to fight criminals. These were the tools of an elite police unit tasked to track and apprehend the most dangerous criminals. They came to Earth and took the identities of Carter and Shiera Hall, curators of a history museum. 



Written by Gardner Fox, Bob Haney and others Art by Murphy Anderson, Gil Kane, Joe Kubert and others Cover by Anderson Over 500 pages of classic Hawkman adventures, from the pages of HAWKMAN #12-27, ATOM & HAWKMAN #39-45, ATOM #31, and THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD

 ***Of Special Interest to Comics Fans*** Included is the story: 'Queen Jean, Why Must We Die?' It revealed that the Atom's fiancĂ©e Jean Loring was the descendent of aliens who had crashed on Earth in the Stone Age. Returned from sub-molecular exile the survivors drove her insane -- because their hereditary rulers must be free of all care -- before the heroes could rescue -- but not cure her. This tale would provide much of the basis for Loring's actions in contemporary sagas Identity Crisis and Countdown to Final Crisis!! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Long awaited victory for companion animals!

As dog dads, animal lovers and dog rescue volunteers, we heard some great news last week. One of the groups we support is the Last Chance for Animals.

For more than three decades, Last Chance for Animals has investigated and helped prosecute Class B dealers, who sell "random source” dogs to research facilities for cruel and invasive experiments.
    These dealers often provide stolen companion animals or obtain animals from breeders, shelters, auctions and "free to good home” ads. Class B dealers are known for inflicting horrifying abuse and keeping animals in filthy, decrepit conditions.
    LCA was the first animal rights group to ever investigate Class B dealers, as well as the first to procure state and federal prison sentences for their crimes.

 Now for the good news: Based on findings from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Institutes of Health will no longer fund any research involving dogs from Class B dealers. The NIH is the largest funder of biomedical research in the U.S., so this is a monumental decision. A similar ban on cats from Class B dealers was adopted in 2012, and now, as of October 1, 2014, dogs have the same protection. This means that dogs will no longer be ripped from their caring families, locked into cramped, filthy kennels and sold for brutal experimentation.


The facts:
• Through our investigations, LCA found that dogs at Class B dealers' kennels were routinely beaten and deprived of food and water, forced to fight over scraps.
• In one case, puppies were beaten to death and left in a frozen pile all winter. In another, dogs with heartworm were killed so the dealer could send the parasites to labs.
• HBO's Emmy-nominated documentary, Dealing Dogs, profiled LCA'S harrowing undercover investigation and subsequent bust of one of the nation's most notorious and prolific Class B dealers, C.C. Baird. All members of the National Academy of Sciences committee viewed this documentary as part of their deliberations, and LCA is recognized on page 83 of their report.

As proud and relieved as we are about the NIH ban on Class B dealers, our work is not over yet. Unfortunately, the NIH will continue to fund research involving dogs and cats from Class A dealers (commercial breeders who raise the puppies themselves).

LCA will continue to fight against invasive animal testing until the barbaric practice has stopped

DID YOU KNOW?  
Millions of dogs and cats in China are bludgeoned, strangled with wire nooses and literally bled to death, just so their fur can be turned into trim and trinkets. Frequently, products made from their fur are deliberately mislabeled as other species’ fur and exported to the United States to be sold to unsuspecting consumers in retail stores. MOST PEOPLE wearing dog and cat fur DON’T EVEN KNOW IT!
DID YO

Friday, October 24, 2014

Brief Visit to Glens Falls, NY!

Two weeks ago, I (Rob) traveled to upstate New York to do a fundraiser for the Adirondack Save a Stray rescue and talk about how pets communicate from the afterlife. I flew in on the afternoon of the event, and the next morning on the way back to the airport, explored the small town of Glens Falls. Here are some pictures and history.
   The fall colors were already in full force the first weekend of October when I was there, so it was nice to drive up the highway.

Sidewalk view of downtown Glens Falls
THE GREY GHOST- That's a nickname for Weimaraners, like our dog Dolly, and there was a bicycle shop by that name so I had to get a picture of it!  I got the feeling that our late dog Buzz was also a Weimaraner (he passed in 2005),  led me there to let me know he's still with me! 


I think Buzz's spirit led me here.


WHAT IS GLENS FALLS?  A small town, about 45 minutes north of Albany, New York. The population was 14,700 at the 2010 census. The name was given by Colonel Johannes Glen, the falls referring to a large waterfall in the Hudson River at the southern end of the city.[4] Glens Falls is a city located in the southeast corner of Warren County, surrounded by the town of Queensbury to the north, east, and west, and by the Hudson River and Saratoga County to the south. Glens Falls is known as "Hometown U.S.A.", a title given to it by Look Magazine in 1944. The city has also referred to itself as the "Empire City.


travelers Bldg where I gave my talk


Another picture of downtown

Glens Falls is full of things to do for you and your family. It's a small but sophisticated little city with a variety of museums, festivals, theater, recreational activities, concerts, as well as great shopping and restaurants for all tastes and budgets. Charming architecture with friendly people make Glens Falls a “must visit” when touring upstate New York.... For a listing of what to do there, visit: http://visit.cityofglensfalls.com/.

NEXT: SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A word about Ebola and Epidemics AND Test Your Gullibility!

We're tired of the media frenzy over Ebola as every disease has the opportunity to traverse the world as a result of air travel. I  (Rob) told Tom in April that Ebola would be in the U.S. by September because of air travel. It was inevitable.  The FLU kills more Americans annually - so get a flu shot.    Which leads me to this point before I get to the Gullibility test.. 
- This week, an acquaintance I connected to on Facebook slammed the President for appointing a person to be in charge of overseeing protections and managing the message about Ebola. The guy said "The President is appointing an "Ebola Czar" so someone else can take the blame for the epidemic.
  That statement was simply stupid for so many reasons.  Here's why
1) When you manage a corporation or large entity, and a certain crisis arises, you appoint a project manager to manage the project so you can continue to take care of the overall company. That's basically what the President did.    He didn't do it to have someone to take blame.  People will just attack this President for everything - when they don't think, just react and be nasty.
2) Ebola is NOT an epidemic in the U.S. - The flu, guns, and drunk driving each kill a lot more people in the U.S... and 3 people have died of Ebola in the U.S.

3)  AN Historic Example of Ignoring a Health Risk:  Anyone that remembers President Reagan in 1980 may remember that he laughed off HIV/AIDS and refused funding. He and the party called it a "gay disease" - which everyone today knows that it is certainly NOT.  Reagan basically said that gay people can suffer and die and they don't care.  (Why people praise him is beyond me).  The Reagan adminstration refused to fund research for a cure - Look it up.  Meanwhile, President Obama has called for funding research for an Ebola vaccine and has called for organized training and protections WITHIN A WEEK - not 8 years. SO, the fool who said that about the President really just needs to shut up.
4) Ebola has been around since the 1970s in Africa. U.S. Pharmaceutical companies have not paid attention to it, because there's not enough profit in the U.S. for a vaccine. 

NOW:  TEST YOUR GULLIBILITY - This is going around in Email: 
CNN reported that Ebola has been found in packages of hair extensions.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/photos/medical/cnnebola.asp#IUvth3PM0wtojhWB.99
FALSE - It was a prank that people believed. 
Origins:   In mid-October 2014, in the midst of great public concern in the U.S. over the spread of Ebola, a rumor began making the rounds of social media claiming that a news outlet had reported on the Ebola virus being found in packages of hair extensions. Such rumors were bolstered by a purported screenshot of a CNN news segment on that subject:
It was all a prank, however: Neither CNN nor any other news outlet reported on an instance of Ebola turning up in packages of hair extensions. The accompanying image was an altered screenshot of a CNN report from several days earlier on a related, but distinctly different, subject: anchorman Anderson Cooper's interview with a subject in Monrovia, Liberia, discussing whether Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, was aware that he had been exposed to the Ebola virus before boarding the airplane that brought him to the U.S. from Liberia.

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/photos/medical/cnnebola.asp#IUvth3PM0wtojhWB.99

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Franklin Post-Surgery Week 6 / and Dog pics

Franklin and Tom looking outside
Tyler happy Franklin is running again
    










We're now entering week 7 after our 10 year old Dachshund Franklin's spinal surgery for a herniated disk, and he's walking and has even learned to run, although somewhat sideways (before he drops down on his butt after a minute or two).
   We continue to do his leg stretching exercises daily, and have noticed that his back leg muscles have become somewhat more tense. So, I massage his back legs to relieve the muscle tension.

 VIDEO OF FRANKLIN WHO HAS LEARNED HOW TO RUN AGAIN: http://youtu.be/V98PlqCaI-s

 



Warner Bros. Announce Upcoming Superhero Movies

As a huge DC Comics superhero fan- this announcement from Warner Brothers is really exciting to me! - Rob
L to R: Aquaman, Green Lantern,Wonder Woman, Superman,Batman, Flash, Cyborg
Warner Bros. Announce Upcoming Superhero Movies

Warner Bros.   announced plans to release 10 D.C. Comics movies between 2016 and 2020. 

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016), “Suicide Squad” (2016), Justice League (2017) “The Flash” (2018), Aquaman (2018) and a new “Green Lantern” in 2020. Zack Snyder is slated to direct the The Justice League films, of which there will be two, and the movie will star Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, and Amy Adams. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will star in “Shazam”, to be released in 2019.
If you can handle more excitement, Warner Bros. also announced plans to release three new lego films in the next in the next four years. “The Lego Batman Movie” will be released in 2017 followed by a sequel to the hugely successful “The Lego Movie” in 2018, aptly named “The Lego Movie 2.”
Here are the DC and Marvel Superhero Movies as of 10/20/14
2015:
May 1: Avengers: Age of Ultron
July 17: Ant-Man
August 7: Fantastic Four (Fox)

2016:
February 12: Deadpool (Fox)
March 25: Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice
May 6: Captain America 3 (not official title, reportedly "Civil War")
May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse (Fox)
July 8: Untitled Marvel film unofficially widely believed to be Doctor Strange (new addition) August 5: Suicide Squad (new addition)
November 11: Sinister Six (Sony)


2017:
March 3: Untitled Wolverine sequel (Fox)
May 5: Untitled Marvel Film
June 23: Wonder Woman (new addition)
July 14: Fantastic Four 2 (Fox)
July 28: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
November 3: Untitled Marvel film
November 17: Justice League, Part 1 (new addition)
(unspecified date): Untitled Sony female Spider-Man spin-off
(unspecified tentative date): Sony Venom: Carnage Spider-Man spin-off (rumored to be dead)


2018: March 23: The Flash (new addition)
May 4: Untitled Marvel film
July 6: Untitled Marvel film
July 13: Untitled Fox Mystery Marvel film
July 27: Aquaman (new addition)
November 2: Untitled Marvel film
(unspecified date): Amazing Spider-Man 3


2019: April 5: Shazam (new addition)
May 3: Untitled Marvel film
June 14: Justice League, Part 2 (new addition)

2020: April 3: Cyborg (new addition) June 19: Green Lantern (new addition)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Cast Out By Families/Rise in Suicides

Here are 2 articles that just came out from Rolling Stone Magazine. For those who think that gay people don't face discrimination from churches, religions and families - these will be eye opening, infuriating and make you sick.  - Michelle Bachmann's hometown became so insane with religion that there are a high rate of teen suicides. REALLY. Read the excerpt of the 2nd article below and TEACH TOLERANCE, WELCOME ALL PEOPLE. - Rob and Tom 

Another Educational Post: Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens Cast Out By Families

This is a sick and serious issue that so many (not all) religious families have thrown their gay teenage children out on the streets. These are really heartbreaking, horrifying stories- and the people that do this to their own children in the name of any religion are sick and unfit to be parents. - Just read some of these kids' experiences.  http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903?page=4


This gay teen took his own life

EVEN MORE INFURIATING- Michele Bachmann's town has sparked many Teen suicides:   One Town's War on Gay Teens

In Michele Bachmann's home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back

Like many 13-year-olds, Brittany knew seventh grade was a living hell. But what she didn't know was that she was caught in the crossfire of a culture war being waged by local evangelicals inspired by their high-profile congressional representative Michele Bachmann, who
David Phan, gay 14-year-old boy- suicide victim
graduated from Anoka High School and, until recently, was a member of one of the most conservative churches in the area. When Christian activists who considered gays an abomination forced a measure through the school board forbidding the discussion of homosexuality in the district's public schools, kids like Brittany were unknowingly thrust into the heart of a clash that was about to become intertwined with tragedy.
 
Like Brittany, eighth-grader Samantha Johnson was a husky tomboy too, outgoing with a big smile and a silly streak to match Brittany's own. Sam was also bullied for her look – short hair, dark clothing, lack of girly affect – but she merrily shrugged off the abuse. When Sam's volleyball teammates' taunting got rough – barring her from the girls' locker room, yelling, "You're a guy!" – she simply stopped going to practice. After school, Sam would encourage Brittany to join her in privately mocking their tormentors, and the girls would parade around Brittany's house speaking in Valley Girl squeals, wearing bras over their shirts, collapsing in laughter. They'd become as close as sisters in the year since Sam had moved from North Dakota following her parents' divorce, and Sam had quickly become Brittany's beacon. Sam was even helping to start a Gay Straight Alliance club, as a safe haven for misfits like them, although the club's progress was stalled by the school district that, among other things, was queasy about the club's flagrant use of the word "gay." Religious conservatives have called GSAs "sex clubs," and sure enough, the local religious right loudly objected to them. "This is an assault on moral standards," read one recent letter to the community paper. "Let's stop this dangerous nonsense before it's too late and more young boys and girls are encouraged to 'come out' and practice their 'gayness' right in their own school's homosexual club."
this gay teen took his own life

Brittany admired Sam's courage, and tried to mimic her insouciance and stoicism. So Brittany was bewildered when one day in November 2009, on the school bus home, a sixth-grade boy slid in next to her and asked quaveringly, "Did you hear Sam said she's going to kill herself?"

Brittany considered the question. No way. How many times had she seen Sam roll her eyes and announce, "Ugh, I'm gonna kill myself" over some insignificant thing? "Don't worry, you'll see Sam tomorrow," Brittany reassured her friend as they got off the bus. But as she trudged toward her house, she couldn't stop turning it over in her mind. A boy in the district had already committed suicide just days into the school year – TJ Hayes, a 16-year-old at Blaine High School – so she knew such things were possible. But Sam Johnson? Brittany tried to keep the thought at bay. Finally, she confided in her mother.

"This isn't something you kid about, Brittany," her mom scolded, snatching the kitchen cordless and taking it down the hall to call the Johnsons. A minute later she returned, her face a mask of shock and terror. "Honey, I'm so sorry. We're too late," she said tonelessly as Brittany's knees buckled; 13-year-old Sam had climbed into the bathtub after school and shot herself in the mouth with her own hunting rifle. No one at school had seen her suicide coming.
 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Watch! 1 Hour BBC TV Special: Dolly Parton Platinum Blonde

While I was on You Tube, I searched on my favorite singer, Dolly Parton and came across this 1 hour Biography special from BBC TV! It was really enjoyable. If you're a Dolly fan, (you don't have to love country music to love Dolly), sit down and enjoy this great special highlighting her history, stories, fun, music and great sense of humor! 
 Country:
Release Date:   6 January 2003 (UK)


LINK
http://youtu.be/c6w3eQ9T2BE

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Dog-Oriented Mystery: Teacup Turbulence!

I (Rob) recently read a "Pet Rescue Mystery" called "Teacup Turbulence by Linda O. Johnston. It was the second in the
series about a dog and cat rescue manager who gets into solving murders.
  The first in the series was so enjoyable it made me want to read the next! This book was just as entertaining as the the first The characters were interesting and you really get to know them.
The lead character, Lauren, manages pet rescue operations and works in trying to solve a murder case, The victim is  a nasty character that was rude to everyone, so the suspect list is long.
  Enjoyable and recommended for any pet lover and mystery lover.

BTW- Speaking as a writer of 3 books, After you read a book please RATE them on Amazon.com. - it helps!! - Rob

BOOK SUMMARY: Thanks to a savvy ad campaign featuring teacup pups sporting HotPets Bling—a new line of faux jewelry dog collars—small dog adoptions have skyrocketed across the city. So when Lauren discovers a shelter in the Midwest with more toy dogs than it can handle, she arranges a private plane to swoop in and fly the pups back to LA.
   But Lauren didn’t count on rescue worker Teresa Kantrim coming along for the ride. Teresa has cared for the dogs since they were found and doesn’t trust anyone from La-La Land to take over the job. Her biting comments clearly haven’t earned Teresa any new friends, but when she turns up murdered, it’s time for Lauren to dig into Teresa’s past and find out who wanted her put down.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Photo Fun: Goofing Around with Rob's Nephew Brian!

Brian and Doug
One of life's simple pleasures is acting goofy and we know how to do that well.
  Just look at our pictures! When I (Rob) visited Boston for the Pet Expo in September, I got to stay with my younger brother Doug, sister-in-law Sue, and nephews Brian (11) and Scotty (10). Even though it was just a short weekend visit we always have fun.  Here are some pictures I took with Brian (and some with Doug) that speak for themselves.  

  The bottom line: By goofy, enjoy your day. Life is short!
#1- Rob and Brian


#2-Rob and Brian

#3- Rob and Brian

#4- Rob and Brian

Brian ready for Dunkin' Donuts

Getting ready for donuts!


Thursday, October 16, 2014

NOAA Issues Winter Outlook for U.S.!

Here it is: NOAA has issued the winter outlook! 


NOAA: Another warm winter likely for western U.S., South may see colder weather
Repeat of last year’s extremely cold, snowy winter east of Rockies unlikely


Below average temperatures are favored in parts of the south-central and southeastern United States, while above-average temperatures are most likely in the western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii and New England, according to the U.S. Winter Outlook, issued today by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center
 
While drought may improve in some portions of the U.S. this winter, California's record-setting drought will likely persist or intensify in large parts of the state. Nearly 60 percent of California is suffering from exceptional drought – the worst category – with 2013 being the driest year on record. Also, 2012 and 2013 rank in the top 10 of California’s warmest years on record, and 2014 is shaping up to be California’s warmest year on record. Winter is the wet season in California, so mountainous snowfall will prove crucial for drought recovery. Drought is expected to improve in California’s southern and northwestern regions, but improvement is not expected until December or January. 
“Complete drought recovery in California this winter is highly unlikely. While we’re predicting at least a 2 in 3 chance that winter precipitation will be near or above normal throughout the state, with such widespread, extreme deficits, recovery will be slow,” said Mike Halpert, acting director of NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “This outlook gives the public valuable information, allowing them to make informed decisions and plans for the season. It's an important tool as we build a Weather-Ready Nation.” 
 

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