Saturday, February 28, 2015

Photo Blog: Arrow and Felicity Look-Alike Day

Rob and Lynn as Arrow and Felicity
One day this month we had a superhero gathering in the office- and it was purely by accident, but it made for a great memory. 
    Since the TV show Arrow came out on the CW network (about the hero known as the Green Arrow), and Stephen Amell has a closely shaved beard and mustache I (Rob) thought I'd grow one for the winter.
     On Feb. 7th I stopped shaving. By Feb. 13th it had already come in pretty well.
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity
   So, on Friday, Feb. 13th, because the wind chills were near zero, I decided to go to work (it was casual day) in my jeans and Arrow sweatshirt (with a hood, like Arrow wears), so I resembled the Arrow (the scruff and the hood) when I put the hood on.
Felicity and Arrow from the comics "Green Arrow"
PERFECT TIMING -  What's really cool, is that my good friend Lynn who works with me (and sits next to me in the office) also loves the TV show Arrow and  the main characters, Oliver Queen (The Arrow) and Felicity (the computer guru/hacker/tech wizard on Arrow's Team), so we've been calling each other "Ollie" and "Felicity."

Arrow airs Wed. nights at 8pm on CW
WHO IS FELICITY? - After proving her hacker credentials by explaining to the Arrow that she knows his secret identity, as well as highly specific details from his superhero, personal, professional and family lives, she offered to become a part of his team out of a desire to help him save the Star City. 
     On Friday the 13th, she happened to come to work dressed EXACTLY like Felicity. She even has the SAME eye glasses (yes, she got them on purpose awhile ago).
That's the same day I went to work in in my "Arrow" mode. It was perfect. Here's a picture of us (pic of the actors who play Oliver and Felicity).

Friday, February 27, 2015

Idiots in the News! Be aware of these stupid people!

Here's another blog about idiots in the news. You need to know about them to protect yourself from them, and vote them into a padded cell. There are some really SICK and TOTALLY STUPID people out there.
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1)  Nevada Lawmaker Says Cancer Is A Fungus, Recommends Simply Washing It Out
by Josh Israel Posted on February 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm
 Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R) wants to reform the rules of end-of-life medical care so that more cancer patients can simply flush out their disease using baking soda.

2) Idaho lawmaker asks if woman can swallow camera for gynecological exam before medical abortion
Courtesy Idaho State Legislature website
    Article by: KIMBERLEE KRUESI , Associated Press     Updated: February 24
BOISE, Idaho — An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.
  The question Monday from Republican state Rep. Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

3)  Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books
February 25, 2015 By Erin Nanasi  **SOUNDS LIKE NAZI GERMANY TO US**

  Republican senator in Kansas, Mary Pilcher-Cook, has introduced a bill to the state house to amend the current public morals standard. Senate Bill 56 would, according to The Courthouse News Service, “… amend Kansas’ public morals statute by deleting an exemption that protects K-12 public, private and parochial schoolteachers from being prosecuted for presenting material deemed harmful to minors.” In other words, any book could result in the arrest, prosecution, and possibly jailing of teachers and librarians, if “deemed harmful to minors.”  Read more at:

A Republican senator in Kansas, Mary Pilcher-Cook, has introduced a bill to the state house to amend the current public morals standard. Senate Bill 56 would, according to The Courthouse News Service, “… amend Kansas’ public morals statute by deleting an exemption that protects K-12 public, private and parochial schoolteachers from being prosecuted for presenting material deemed harmful to minors.” In other words, any book could result in the arrest, prosecution, and possibly jailing of teachers and librarians, if “deemed harmful to minors.”

Read more at:
Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books

Read more at:
Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books

Read more at:
Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books

Read more at:
Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books

Read more at:
Kansas GOP Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook Wants To Criminalize “Harmful” Books

Read more at:

4) Texas conservatives hold controversial cake-cutting over gay marriage ban
Dylan Baddour | February 25, 2015\   FROM THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE- Feb. 26, 2015
 Republican leaders in Austin joined members of the conservative coalition Texas Values to slice a ceremonaial cake on the 10th anniversary of the passage of the so-called Texas Marriage Amendment, which defined marriage as "one man and one woman" in Texas.  (source: Texas Values Facebook page)) ARTICLE:

Look at how sickly gleeful these bigots appear. These are the faces of bigotry, intolerance and hatred. These people and people like them disgust us.

5) In State Legislatures, Anti-LGBT Onslaught Continues

As marriage equality advances across the country and polls show that an overwhelming majority of young people reject anti-LGBT bigotry, opponents of LGBT human rights are growing increasingly panicked.  But instead of recognizing that they're on the wrong side of history and moving their prejudicial views out of the Stone Age, they're hysterically trying to cause as much damage to LGBT people as they possibly can, while they still have the power to do so.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the states, where conservative lawmakers are rushing to create special "rights" to discriminate against LGBT people under the guise of protecting "religious liberty" and banning cities and counties from adopting LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination laws. We've covered the onslaught of anti-LGBT attacks in the states READ HERE FOR THE sampling of the latest anti-LGBT attacks 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things come in 3s - The passing of 3 pets (and a special rescue dog story)

Merlin Nov 1997 - Feb 2015
On Tuesday, February 17, we received word that three pets passed. Things also seem to happen in threes, and this day
brought very sad news about precious cats and a dog. Two friends lost their cats, and one of the dog rescue folks we worked with lost a senior dog she recently adopted. It was a heartbreaking night and a reminder how special cats and dogs are in our lives.

   Our friend Karin told me that her cat got out and hadn't come back after a month. I told her that  I feared her cat had passed in the woods and she also thought the same.Karin happened to pick Feb. 17 to send me the message about her cat, and two other messages followed soon after.

    Our friends Cristina and Will said goodbye to the beautiful black cat Merlin. Merlin was born in November 1997 and passed on February 17, 2015. Cristina said "He was my sweet little guy. We've been together a long time."

Pappy the Senior Dachshund
   In January, our friend Donna G, coordinator for Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue received an email from Kim L. of a Texas Dachshund rescue. Donna shared the email with us about a dog in Texas in need of a foster home. Despite being in Maryland and far away, rescues transport dogs anywhere in the U.S to find them good foster or forever homes - which is why we were contacted by Kim.
   Kim said he is a senior, red, smooth 15 pound dachshund that was turned into the Montgomery County Animal Shelter in Conroe, Texas. The shelter simply called him "ID# A 248535."  
   Kim named this little guy "Pappy." It turned out that Pappy was also mostly blind (he could see light and shadows as it turned out). But clearly he was a senior dog, and some heartless, cruel person dumped him near the end of his life.
   After checking with Donna and with us, Kim decided to foster little Pappy herself. She wanted to give this little guy the best part of his life. She did.
  On February 17, I received the following email from Kim:   Pappy the old male doxie we talked about had to be put down yesterday. He could no longer get up and was going to the bathroom on himself.  I just wanted to let you know.
  I read that email and cried. I never got to meet Pappy, but through the rescue I got to know him. In just a month of being abandoned on the street in his old age, he passed. We're so grateful to Kim for taking him in and caring for him in the last month of his life when he needed love more than ever. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Great Book: Murder She Wrote "prescription for Murder"

Recently I (Rob) finished reading one of the latest in the Murder She Wrote mystery series called "Prescription for
Murder" There are about 30 books in the series, and all have them have been top notch. This was no exception. In fact, this was very memorable, and had twists and turns in it- that brought Dr. Seth Hazlitt (Jessica's best friend in Cabot Cove, Maine) front and center into the mystery. Dr. Hazlitt befriended a Doctor seeking a cure for Alzheimer's disease and was getting funding for it from people who were hoping for a big payoff. The catch is that the doctor and his wife also fled Cuba and found asylum in the U.S. There were a number of people with stakes in the doctor's research, including people in high places.    The book has an interesting ending and was enjoyable and memorable.  
  Usually it takes me a couple of weeks to finish a novel, but I finished this in five days flat- I couldn't put it down. Of course, I highly recommend it.
 Here's the book summary: 
Jessica’s latest book tour brings her to Tampa, Florida, where she meets up with an old friend, Cabot Cove’s Dr. Seth Hazlitt. Seth is in town visiting Alvaro Vasquez, a renowned physician who is developing a potentially groundbreaking cure for Alzheimer’s disease. If he’s successful, his American backers stand to make millions. But there’s a growing fear that the drug may fall into the wrong hands.

Jessica attends a party at Vasquez’s lavish home, but the celebration ends abruptly when Vasquez seems to be struck by lightning. Jessica and Seth do some digging into the physician’s checkered past and learn that his death was no accident. As they work together to find a cure for the common killer, they become enmeshed in international intrigue involving the local police, the FBI, and the CIA—and begin to wonder whether they’ll ever see Cabot Cove again.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rob's New Beard!

It took 2 weeks for me (Rob) to grow a full beard and so far people seem to like it. I haven't had one since college (many years ago), and since we've had sub-zero wind chills throughout February, it's now keeping my face warm (and hides wrinkles). What do you think? :) 

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Note About our (Eastern U.S.) Extreme Winters and Summers

    Since we're now dealing with ANOTHER Arctic Outbreak, I keep hearing "Where's Global Warming?" 
 Well, it's the reason we're having them.
  WHY?  Climate change (a warmer world) creates these Arctic outbreaks. A warmer climate causes extremes in the jet stream.
  HOW? This Winter, the Jet Stream over the Eastern Pacific has been pushed far north, so east of it, is a large dip in the stream, which has allowed Arctic and even Siberian air spill down over the eastern 2/3rds of the U.S. Conversely, 1/3rd of the country- the Western U.S. has had record high temperatures throughout February. -  WHAT ABOUT SIBERIA? In addition, the Siberian air (that was over Siberia) has come over the "north pole" to the U.S. and Siberia and Russia have been experiencing yet another warmer than normal summer - (as happened with the winter olympics when there wasn't enough snow to sled).
  RESEARCH FROM NASA: Cold Snaps Plus Global Warming Do Add Up

 I just wish they'd warm here and cool on the western U.S. to help with their snowpack needs!!

In general, the overall world temperatures when averaged continue to warm
 NASA and NOAA have analyzed the data independently of one another and yet have arrived at the same conclusion: 2014 is the warmest year on record since 1880. This is the 38th consecutive year with above average surface temperatures. The dataset has been released by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. RESEARCH: 


Have you seen this News? How does it make you feel?

We really don't get it. Below are 4 articles of things you may not be aware of, but you should know. Why? Because some people treat each other with cruelty for no reason.... So, if you know who they are you can take a stand against them.
1) A doctor in Michigan refused to treat a baby of a gay couple because of her religion.

2)  A legislator wants to PREVENT people from being protected in their workplaces, schools and homes.
3) More anti-marriage legislation in states where gay marriage is already legal
 Can SOMEONE please tell us why the conservatives feel it necessary to do this to a group of people?

Krista and Jami Contreras were married in Vermont in 2012.
In October 2014 they welcomed a beautiful baby Bay Windsor into the world and were quickly confronted with an ugly reality, one they say from a place they never expected. Instead of seeing Dr. Vensa Roi with whom they had an appointment,  another doctor greeted them. The first thing Dr. Karam said was 'I'll be your doctor, I'll be seeing you today because Dr. Roi decided this morning that she prayed on it and she won't be able to care for Bay," Jami said. "Dr. Karam told us she didn't even come to the office that morning because she didn't want to see us."

Krista and Jami Contreras are not suing Roi. They concede that Roi did nothing illegal — which is precisely what they have a problem with: There are few laws on the books that protect the LGBT community from discrimination.
"It's a very scary thing," said attorney Dana Nessel, who has handled several discrimination cases involving the gay community, including the same-sex marriage case that's going to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in April. "We don't have special protections for LGBT individuals."
Currently, 22 states have laws that prohibit doctors from discriminating against someone based on their sexual orientation. Michigan is not one of these states. Michigan does have its own anti-discrimination law known as the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. But it doesn't cover LGBT individuals. 
BOTTOM LINE: People with any sense in their heads should Boycott Dr. Vesna Roi at Eastlake Pediatrics in Roseville, MI.and put her out of business. She is a disgrace to the Hippocratic oath. 

In Michigan, doctors can refuse to treat a gay person, or their children, citing religious freedoms. SO In states like Michigan, the Hippocratic Oath means that Christian doctors can refuse to save the lives of gay people and people of these faiths, Baha'i, Buddhism,  Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism.

The American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics have taken a strong stance against this practice and have prohibited it in their ethics rules, which are only advisory.

2) Senate GOP pushes bill to restrict spread of marriage equality
A group of Senate Republicans led by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz reintroduced a bill Tuesday that would seek to prevent the federal government from enforcing its definition of marriage in states that do not recognize marriage equality. Under the bill, same-sex spouses living in states that don't recognize their marriages would be barred from accessing federal benefits. "[W]e should reject attempts by the Obama administration to force same-sex marriage on all 50 states," Cruz said. CNN (2/11), LGBTQ Nation (2/11)

3)  Kan. governor curtails workplace protections for LGBT state employees
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on Tuesday rescinded an executive order that protected state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Brownback denounced the original directive, which was issued by then-Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in 2007, as something that should have been done through legislation. "Any such expansion of 'protected classes' should be done by the legislature and not through unilateral action," Brownback said in a statement. LGBT activists plan to protest the move at the state Capitol on Saturday. The Huffington Post (2/10), MSNBC (2/11), WIBW-TV (Topeka, Kan.) (2/10), The Wichita Eagle (Kan.) (2/12)

4) Ark. lawmakers reportedly poised to pass anti-LGBT bill
Local governments in Arkansas would be barred from enacting LGBT anti-discrimination measures under a bill approved by the state Senate on Monday. The bill passed a House committee Wednesday and is set to be considered by the full House today. "It's crystal clear that the motivation for this bill is to stifle local efforts to advance equality for LGBT Arkansans," said Kendra Johnson, director of HRC Arkansas. BuzzFeed (2/11), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (2/9) 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Sign from My Dog Buzz's Spirit - 10 years this month

The 1996 Nickel
    On this date ten years ago,  my (Rob)  first dog, Buzz Wyatt was struck and killed by a car  in front of me as I was walking him and his leash opened.  ( (later in the year Tom and I would finally meet) Buzz was less than one year old.You never get over that, but you do get signs from your pets. Buzz became the world's best canine communicator. In fact, he came to me so many ways that me made me aware of just how many ways a dog or cat could communicate from the other side. From doppelgangers to moving objects, from a
Buzz Wyatt
bark in the house to the sound of nails on the floor. Songs on the radio at times when I'm thinking of him or coins, butterflies or other things in nature.
   I wrote about all of those things and more in my latest book called "Pets and the Afterlife." The book also contains chapters from three other mediums with their canine spirit communicators.

   Spirits come around on birthdays, anniversaries and holidays to let us know they're still around us. Dogs and cats are no different from spirit people. They all acknowledge those events with us. So, this year, I got a sign from Buzz with help from a human spirit of a friend named Ed (who passed in 1996).

  On the night of February 11th,  I asked Buzz Wyatt to send me a sign that he's around, and I also asked Ed's spirit to let me know that Buzz is with him (he always wanted a dog in life and never adopted one). So, on February 12, I got the answer.

Ed sent the nickel
  At lunchtime I drove to the post office to mail a package and parked next to a curb. I got out of my truck and looked down and around (to make sure I wasn't too close to the curb) and there was nothing there. I mailed the package, and came back to the truck. As I was walking to the driver's side door, right next to it was a shiny nickel. When I saw it, I said in my head "Hello Edward!"

BTW- Spirits love to use coins to send messages they're around- and check the year, because if it means something to you or them- you'll have a better idea of who sent it. I didn't see the year until picked it up. It was dated 1996. 1996 was the year my friend Ed passed.  It was from Ed, and I heard him in my head say that "I've got my other dog." Our dog Sprite passed on July 8, 2013, and Ed let us know he was with him at that time. Now, Ed confirmed that Buzz was there with him, too - and it's the anniversary  month of Buzz's passing.

 I was looking for a sign and I got it - from Ed and Buzz. .

Watch for signs from your pets and people. They send them. We just have to be open-minded and pay attention.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

In the news: 6 Breathing Tricks To Help You Fall Asleep Faster Tonight

1) Take it slow.      We know, we know, you already tried that! But not so fast -- many of us don't actually know what if feels like to recruit the diaphragm, abdominals and lungs to take in a full breath, hold onto it for a moment and then gradually let it go.  With slow breathing, you'll feel the rib cage expand to let the lungs fill completely, and then fall back into its natural position as you exhale. Lie down in bed on your back and try breathing slowly for 10 minutes before nodding off.

2) Try the 4-7-8 technique.
To relieve your anxious mind, sit up in bed with your back straight, and press the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth. Maintaining that position, close your mouth and inhale through your nose for four counts, hold that breath for seven counts, and then exhale through your mouth around your tongue for eight counts. Repeat this pattern until you have completed four full breaths.

3) Use a traditional meditative breath.
If you find that a busy, anxious mind is your primary sleep destroyer, it may be time to finally give meditation a try. Through her research, neuroscientist and meditation expert Catherine Kerr has found that focusing on the breath is the very first component required in a mindfulness meditation practice. Connecting with the rise and fall of the breath, and noticing where you feel that breath move within the body, can help you begin the process of relaxing tense muscles. This physical change also helps you let any negative or stressful thoughts and emotions come and go as you remain tied to the breath and your body. Complete this breathing exercise for eight to 10 minutes to reap the full benefits each night.

4) Channel your yoga skills.
 Try it out by sitting in a kneeling position with your back straight and hands resting on your knees. Take a breath in through your nose and exhale powerfully through your mouth by contracting your abdominal muscles in short, measured bursts.

5) Alternate nostrils!
Alternate Nostrils!
  By alternating between each nostril for the inhale and exhale components of the breath, the body and mind are said to achieve a sense of balance and neutrality. While mouth breathing subconsciously tells the brain that the body is stressed, breathing through the nose sends signals of relaxation and homeostasis. When performing this breathing exercise at night before bed, start with the right nostril. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight, and close off the left nostril with the right ring finger to inhale. Then close off the right nostril with the right thumb to exhale. Keep your eyes closed throughout the exercise.

6) Double down on the exhale.
One more for the yogis out there! Many pranayamic breathing techniques rely on an exhale that is double the length of the previous inhale to inspire calming and restorative benefits. A 2006 study found that this form of voluntary, slow breathing has the ability to help reset the body's autonomic nervous system by synchronizing neural elements in the heart, lungs and brain. . To test it out, lie down in bed on your back, inhale for three seconds, exhale for six seconds and repeat until you've fallen asleep.


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

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

About us

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

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

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