Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why it's not a good idea to tag people on Facebook

Here's something we all deal with, and it needs to be addressed, because SOMETIMES we have important news that friends miss, because it gets buried from others tagging you.

WHY it's not a good idea to tag people on Facebook unless they're really involved directly:

When you tag someone, it shows up on their page and pushes down (in your and everyone's feeds) of whatever they post- which in one case was really important for others to know.

For example- A friend of ours lost his mother to cancer in 2014 and so many people posted "look at this" stuff and sayings, pictures, etc.  on his wall that I never saw his mother died. 

-When people post to someone's wall or tag them it posts it as if they wrote it... and it buries what they want people to know. That's why I never tag anyone and just send them a note in a private message.

Many of our friends have "Tagged" us on the same Dachshund or Weimaraner picture, or saying about coffee, several times, and it buries anything that we post about what's happening with us (like when my mom passed in Dec. 2013, there were posts on our "Facebook wall" from others about dogs or coffee (which we love!) - but some friends never saw that my mom died. 

IF YOU HAVE FUN THINGS- we love to see them- just Private Facebook MESSAGE them to us (and everyone you want to share them with)!! We really appreciate everyone's thoughts and humor and want to hear from you. We just want to ensure that if there's something important, our friends see it, as we hope to see what's important in YOUR LIFE!  

Monday, March 30, 2015

Tip to Make the Most COMFY Dog Bed!

The memory foam insert we bought
If you have a large or medium sized-dog that has a rectangular bed (like the ones that have a zippered cover) we have a   solution for you to give your dog the BEST comfort ever.  We bought a KOHLS Home Classics® 1 1/2-in. Memory Foam Mattress Topper, Twin bed size.  
   Once we got it home we opened it up and let it expand to its original shape (they recommend giving it 48-72 hours to do so before using it. After we did that, Dolly and Tyler walked over and laid down on it, and seemed comfy. That was a good sign!
   After 2 days, we  then folded it over and trimmed the edges, making it a new mattress for the kids. 
It's extremely comfortable, and it was on sale from $80 to $39.99!!  
  It is MUCH more comfortable and less hot than the foam insert that came with their bed, and it'll make them feel like they're laying on our bed. 

This is our kids' big bed that we inserted the memory foam into

Here's a link to it: http://www.kohls.com
THE DESCRIPTION:  You'll never want to get out of bed after you experience the luxurious comfort of this mattress topper. In white. Features   Hypoallergenic   Fits mattresses up to 20-in. thick
Construction & Care Cover: cotton/polyester, machine wash * Topper: polyurethane foam, spot clean *Manufacturer's 5-year limited warranty *Imported
Memory Foam Tips *Remove from packaging within 72 hours *Allow 48 hours for this product to return to its original shape *After unwrapping, air product for a few hours to eliminate trapped odors

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Great book for dog parents: The Secret Lives of Dogs, The Real Reason Behind 52 Mysterious Canine Behaviors

I just finished reading a really great book for dog parents called "The Secret Lives of Dogs, The Real Reason Behind 52 Mysterious Canine Behaviors" by Jana Murphy and the editors of Pets Part of the Family.
  I found this book on sale at a Barnes and Noble store and it really explores 52 behaviors that your dogs may do, and provides fixes for bad behaviors.
Things like "Why do they eat grass?" (Dolly, Tyler and Franklin do this)
Why do they eat poo? (like our boys)
Why do they paw before laying down? (all do this)
Why howl at sirens (Like Tyler)
Digging, Face Licking, Afraid of stairs, Afraid of thunder, raiding trash, peeing on "hello", and many more.
EVERY dog parent will find something in this book useful. I know I did and we've been dog parents for 10 Years!!!
- Rob

BOOK SUMMARY: Dogs have been part of our families for so long that we often think of them as little (and entirely well-behaved) humans. Sometimes, we forget that they're and entirely different species. They do things for reasons that have nothing to do with us - reasons that, in some cases, are millions of year old. "Ancient Instinct and Urges". Although dogs have been living with people for a long time, some of their behavior has its origins in their ancestors' days in the wild, a time when dogs had to be totally self-sufficient an order in survive.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Classic Graphic Novel - DC Comics: Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 6

I have always loved the Justice League of America: Batman, Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Hawkman and many more. The 1970s and 1980s were the heyday for the JLA, and this is the 6th collection where the
JLA meets Earth-2's Justice Society (from the 1940s). Great art- great stories- and one storyline goes through 4 comics all compiled into this issue. A second storyline goes through 2 comics also in this issue. Really classic stuff here! - Rob


The Justice League of America teams up with their heroic predecessors, The Justice Society of America, in this new collection featuring three adventures that have never been reprinted before. First, the two teams face the threat of Gorilla Grodd and the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Then, the JLA and JSA battle alongside the All-Star Squadron against the Crime Syndicate. In the third epic in this book, the teams take on the Crime Champions of Earth-1.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wonderful Weimaraner Workout - Agility Day!

Rob and Dolly headed for a tunnel

Thanks to the DC Area Weimaraner Club, this past Sunday was an all-day Agility training day for Weimaraner parents!  
     Many of you know that I've been taking our 5 year old black and tan Dachshund Tyler to pre-agility training for the last year. Every night after dinner at home, I've been training him for at least 30 minutes a night and Dolly, our 10 year old Weimaraner joins in. Dolly has learned everything Tyler has learned (Franklin the 10 year old Dachshund who had back surgery in Sept. does a limited few things now). Dolly loves the training just as Tyler does, so when the DC Weim Club posted information about the special all-day event, I  KNEW that Dolly had to go. 
Karin and Oliver looking at the A Frame

 On Sunday, March 22, Dolly and I spent the day from 9am to 4 p.m. with other Weim parents including our friend Karin and her Weim, Oliver. Karin manages the DC Area Weimaraner Rescue that Tom and I help out with.  (SEE VIDEO OF DOLLY'S FIRST JUMPS BELOW)

Rob guides Dolly over the first of three jumps!

LOTS OF CHALLENGES -  Kathy, the Agility teacher was wonderful, and in 7 hours, all the weimaraners did the ENTIRE course, which included 2 tunnels, a tunnel with a large cloth at the end, jumping through a tire, going over an "A" frame, stopping on a "table" and holding for a 5 count, slowly doing the teeter-totter, jumping THREE pole jumps and then walking a long thin platform!

DOGS WHO PARTICIPATED - Dolly, Oliver, Cody, Juno,  Piper, Zeus and Carter (and I can't remember the others!) 
    By the end of it, when we each did the entire course of things all together, Dolly was amazing. She, Oliver, and one other Weim were the oldest (each 10 years) and did so well. I was so proud of Dolly, that it just choked me up.
Oliver going through a tunnel
Oliver loved the agility!

Karen and Oliver doing the A-Frame
    We are now going to enroll Dolly in agility training because you CAN teach an older dog new tricks.  - Rob 
All the Weimaraner parents and the amazing Weimaraner Agility Stars!
The best kind of day

VIDEO:  https://youtu.be/uPLJLi2Y2cc?list=UUhOeBaDq9UjmiRIidjY0bOA

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CBS News Video: Cave-digging artist finds inspiration underground

Here's a really interesting 5 minute news video from CBS News that aired in 2014 (that I missed). It's worth seeing this man's amazing talent. He makes the lands in New Mexico come to life with his art:  
Cave-digging artist finds inspiration underground
Published on May 18, 2014
For the past 25 years, Ra Paulette has been carving out man-made caves from the sandstone hills of New Mexico, and then sculpting these spaces into works of art he calls wilderness shrines. Lee Cowan has the story of an artist who does his best work underground.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Great Sci-Fi/paranormal book: Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

I (Rob) just finished reading and enjoying another book in the Harry Dresden files series by Jim Butcher. "Summer knight" is the fourth in series. Harry is a wizard that lives in Chicago, and deals with all kinds of supernatural creatures.  In the world of The Dresden Files, magic is real, along with vampires, demons, spirits, faeries, werewolves, outsiders and other monsters. In this book, the "Summer Knight" of the Summer Faerie kingdom is slain and Harry is tasked with finding out the murder and preventing a major war between the faeries that rule Winter and Summer (yes, there are faerie armies and Queens for those two seasons and they war and win when the seasons shift, then battle again...)
  There are a lot of great supporting characters here, including Harry's friend Billy, who happens to be a werewolf (and
has a bunch of werewolf friends); The book is a page turner. You really get involved in it, and I recommend it. Can't wait to read the next in the series!

ABOUT THE BOOKS:   The books are written as a first person narrative from the perspective of the main character, private investigator and wizard Harry Dresden, as he recounts investigations into supernatural disturbances in modern-day Chicago.  As of 2014, Butcher has written 15 novels set in the "Dresden Files" universe,

Although the supernatural is still widely discredited, it is practiced by some members of society. Additionally, large portions of the globe (such as much of Central and South America) are mentioned as being largely under the control of supernatural factions. The White Council is an organization of human wizards, noted to wield significant economic power in the world, along with their supernatural power. Each species in the series (humans, faeries, vampires, etc.) has its own political and societal rules and organizations. The human wizards depend on the White Council, while faeries may belong to either of two Faerie Courts, or none at all. Vampires may belong to any of three vampire courts.
Harry Dresden works as the world's only "consulting wizard," accepting supernatural cases from both human and non-human clients, as well as the Chicago PD's Special Investigation unit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

In the News- Legalization of Discrimination

 Wow. JUST TODAY, March 24th  - so many legislators around the U.S. have proposed or are passing bills to LEGALLY DISCRIMINATE.   Really?  Isn't this 2015 and not 1920?  Read these articles below with proven news sources.
    This is HARSH.  Since many states have made gay marriage legal, the right wing politicians in office have gone insane to create LAWS to make discrimination legal against gay people, to BLOCK them from getting married, to block gay people from getting life-saving help, to refuse gay people adoptions, and even impeach judges that ruled that Equality means Equality.
  And for those of you who are Religious- Good for you. That doesn't give you a right to discriminate against people unlike you. It makes me sick to think that actual elected officials are doing this crap and legislating hatred. -

March 24, 2015
Idaho measure calls for impeachments of judges who support marriage equality
The Idaho House last week passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of federal judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage. The bill, which follows a number of court rulings legalizing marriage equality in Idaho and elsewhere, now heads to the Senate. Democratic state Rep. John McCrostie, who is the only openly LGBT lawmaker in Idaho, indicated that the measure would have little effect other than to provide campaign fodder for certain lawmakers. KUOW-FM (Seattle) (3/17), Idaho Press-Tribune (Nampa)/The Associated Press (3/18), The Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Wash.) (free content) (3/20), The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho) (3/21)
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Mich. lawmakers vote to let adoption agencies refuse gay parents
Michigan's Republican-led House approved a bill last week that would allow adoption agencies to refuse gay couples on the basis of religious beliefs. The bill would prevent state or local government from punishing adoption agencies exercising objections. "It's not just [a] license to discriminate. It's actually writing a check for that discrimination," said state Rep. Jeff Irwin, a Democrat. MLive.com (Michigan) (free registration) (3/18), The Morning Sun (Mount Pleasant, Mich.)/The Associated Press (3/18)
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Mo. Legislature considers slate of anti-LGBT bills
Lawmakers in Missouri are considering eight bills that could allow anti-LGBT discrimination, including one that would grant university groups exemptions from nondiscrimination policies and another that would require all public restrooms to be gender-divided. "These bills are all attacks that try to move us backwards," said Kyle Piccola of PROMO, a state LGBT advocacy organization. KSHB-TV (Kansas City, Mo.) (3/20), ThinkProgress.org/MSNBC (3/19)
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Utah clerks given ability to opt out of same-sex marriages
Utah government officials will be allowed to refuse to marry same-sex couples under legislation signed by Gov. Gary Herbert last week. County clerks' offices will be required to designate someone else to perform marriages if a clerk refuses to do so. Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah)/The Associated Press (3/20), KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) (3/21)
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Classic Graphic Novel Collection: DC Showcase Presents The House of Mystery

I love comics from the 1970s and 1980s. During that time there were some horror/mystery comics that i never read but am enjoying now. The House Of Mystery was a comic book series that was about different aspects of the supernatural.T This collection contained 552 pages for $16.99 and was packed with classic short stories. Every night at bedtime I would read one or two of them. There were some really imaginative writers and some great artists in this issue and for anyone that likes weird stories (and short ones), I recommend this! - Rob 

Classic Graphic Novel Collection: DC Showcase Presents The House of Mystery Volume 2.
This collection includes stories from HOUSE OF MYSTERY #195-211. These fantastic black-and-white tales of mystery and suspense from the 1970s feature thrilling stories with surprise twist endings that will keep readers on the edges of their seats!

Here's a great assessment of the 552 page collection, that says it perfectly from Bookgasm
(SOURCE: www.bookgasm.com -House of Mystery Vol.2
SHOWCASE PRESENTS THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY: VOLUME 2 reprints 17 consecutive issues from the early 1970s of DC’s venerable terror anthology title. 
   As always, our non-intrusive host is Cain, the caretaker of the House of Mystery, who introduces the handful of short stories in each issue, supplemented here and there by single-page collections of wordless panel gags by Mad‘s Sergio Aragon├ęs. The tales themselves often involve bad guys getting their comeuppance in a “twist” ending, entirely but comfortably predictable.

    These stories involve tried-and-true elements such as a guy fighting off vampire bats in a castle, a ghost ship, a village of wish-granting “little people,” alien visitors, haunted houses, a snow beast, Egyptian curses, werewolves, animal kingdom revenge, demonic soul-swapping and swamp creatures.
    Among the literally dozens and dozens of stories, three stand out for differing reasons: “The Poster Plague” is a peculiar mystery about posters that appear all over a college campus promoting events that already have happened, with a black-humored sick ending. “This Evil Demon Loves People!” is a clever case of an infant who can wish people into his baby bottles, and “The Exterminator” is one story that truly gave me chills. Let’s just say it involves spiders.
      Whether old or new, the level of talent involved in HOUSE OF MYSTERY is amazing: Bernie Wrightson, Wally Wood, Alex Toth, Gil Kane … the list goes on.
     There are still plenty of rooms left in THE HOUSE OF MYSTERY for DC to continue putting these SHOWCASE editions out for those of us too young the first time around. Here’s hoping they’ll also tap Cain’s brother Abel and his HOUSE OF SECRETS. It’d be an easy way for them to get me to part with my money. –Rod Lott

Monday, March 23, 2015

How the Eastern U.S. had a Bitter Winter and the World in General was Hottest on Record

    Most people who are not scientists want to know how the Eastern U.S. had a bitter winter and the world in general was the hottest on record.  GOOD QUESTION.  Now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA in short, where the National Weather Service resides), provides picture proof. 

    This winter the eastern 2/3rds of the U.S. had what seems like continuous Arctic and even Siberian air outbreaks and it was brutally cold while the western 1/3 of the U.S. baked. (In fact the west was so warm that it balanced out the brutal eastern cold to still make the U.S. winter warmer than normal).

  So, what about the rest of the world? Well, as I told everyone this winter, Russia and Siberia was experiencing a warmer than normal winter (their cold air came over the pole to the U.S.!). NOAA published a world-wide temperature map showing the deviations from normal in temperatures this winter. Red is warmer than normal, Blue is cooler than normal. The darker the colors, the more extreme the temperatures.  

   For people who don't get climate change, this is an easy-to-understand  visualization that shows there's much more warmth than cold (although I wish we were in one of the many the warm winter regions!) - Rob 

NOW, ONTO THE ARTICLE: This has been the warmest winter on record, except in the most politically important part of the world

This map, showing deviation from normal temperatures by part of the world in February, is stunning. And for advocates of taking strong action on climate change, probably a little depressing.

When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that 2014 was the warmest year on record, we couldn't help but notice that the Eastern United States was among the places that recorded their coldest temperatures last year. The year-end map was the minor league version of the map above, which shows a giant blue blanket over half of the country -- despite this being the warmest winter on record.
That eastern half, of course, is where most of America's residents live and all of its federal legislators work. Which is why we get things like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) bringing a snowball to the Senate floor for show-and-tell. Inhofe was right in one sense: February did end up being colder than usual. And for those who insist that cold weather disproves the idea of a warming climate (which it obviously doesn't), that was just more fodder.
The most powerful parts of the world were, on the whole, significantly less warm during the record-setting February. Compare the map at the top of the page with the ones below, contrasting population (using data from NASA) and, to measure relative power, economics (from the World Fact Book) across the planet. Western Europe and the Eastern United States were colder than many places -- and disproportionately economically powerful.
    And it's economics that often motivates opposition to taking action on climate change, as we pointed out earlier this week. There is an up-front cost to addressing climate change, which is why Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested that power generators simply ignore a federal mandate to clean up emissions. (The emissions from power production are among the largest contributors to the atmospheric gases that are warming the planet.)
There's some psychology at play, too. People are less willing to accept findings that the climate is warming when it's cold outside. Which is sort of logical, and sort of not. But it means that trying to address climate change during a record cold snap is an uphill battle.
On Thursday, President Obama will sign an order cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the federal government. It will spur the now-expected response from opponents to such action. Some of them will almost certainly point to the weather in doing so. It's cold out! How can the climate be warming? The answer: Last month, it was warming dramatically in the least politically convenient locations for advocates of moves like Obama's.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Watched on DVD: Dracula Untold (2014)

Last weekend we rented the DVD "Dracula Untold." Tom really wanted to see it,
and it was a decent movie. We would give it a "B." Tom likes vampire movies and I don't - but I did watch it (although read some of my book in parts of it because it was somewhat gory).  I will say that it was a good take on the background story and origin of Dracula... who was Vlad the Impaler and became the vampire to save his people. It was a different spin on the character's beginnings.

Dracula Untold (2014)
PG-13  |   |  Action, Drama, Fantasy  |  10 October 2014 (USA)
THE STORY:  As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.
If you like movies about vampires, and don't mind movies with vast battle scenes and blood, then rent it. It's 92 minutes. If you're not a fan of vampires, you can skip it and rent Frozen.- Rob 
THE MOVIE TRAILER: https://youtu.be/hZFZxEnB7ws 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Disney Trip Blog 9: Something Fishy!

The Nemo ride
Rob and Tom in the dark!
This is the final blog about our two day trip to Disney in the beginning of the month. This one highlights "The Seas with Nemo and Friends." This used to be "The Living Seas" and has changed to Nemo's area. It gives you a nice ride in a 'clam shell' that takes you around and outside the bottom of the giant tanks filled with fish, sharks, stingrays, etc. During the ride there are projectors and audio that make the fish characters from Nemo appear to be swimming in the tank. It's pretty cute. 
Add caption

Something's fishy!
The aquarium of course is massive, and there are a lot of areas to walk around and enjoy the fish. Well worth going into!
Jeff trying to photograph the shark
Two days was a good amount of time for us to spend at Disney. We did a lot, saw a lot and managed to see a couple of good friends (although we couldn't see everyone we know that lives in Orlando, we'll get them next time).

If you decide to go, book it through AAA travel. It was a great experience. You just have to get your airline tickets!  This blog concludes are 2 day Disney adventure (and it took 9 short blogs - to keep it short and make it entertaining... we hope).

Tom and Rob at the end of the 2 day vacation

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