Thursday, March 31, 2016

Rob's Movie Review: Batman Vs. Superman (no spoilers) GO SEE IT


We saw "Batman Vs. Superman" on Sunday, and although I really liked it,  Tom not so much. But- GO SEE IT! It's really a classic. Comic book readers will appreciate a lot of things in this film.
BTW- There really are no spoilers on this blog since I'm going to address some things you've seen in the trailers.


Know Before you go (and you SHOULD see it):  Tom didn't realize that the opening sequence where Bruce Wayne was driving actually took place in Metropolis during the end of the "Man of Steel" movie. Bruce saw Superman fighting Zod and creating a lot of destruction in the city. Because Tom thought it was new destruction (which I don't like either) it immediately turned him off to the movie. However, I realized it was a scene from "Man of Steel" when I saw the footage and the Kryptonian space ship in the air. This is really an important point to know.

Acting: Tom and I both agree that the acting from ALL actors was incredible.
- Ben Affleck's Batman- As a huge Batman fan, I can honestly say that he nailed the character in both Bruce Wayne and Batman characters. He was outstanding and convincing. He's a better Batman than all other actors. (Even Jeremy Irons was the perfect Alfred).
 - Henry Cavill's Superman - As in Man of Steel, he's the perfect Superman. Commanding, powerful, tender, thoughtful, handsome.
- Gail Gadot's Wonder Woman - A great add to the film, and I like the way she was found out. Her appearance was a highlight and you want to know more. 
- Luthor and Lois Lane - Outstanding acting by Jesse Eisenberg and Amy Adams.  Luthor was revealed to be the super evil genius and manipulator he is in the comics. Although Batman had already questioned Superman's unchecked power, Luthor built on that paranoia leading to the confrontation. 


True to the Comics: I've been reading comics since 1972, and Tom doesn't read them. Since the movie really followed the comics to a point- That's what made it more enjoyable to me. 
 In the comics when Batman first met Superman, the did fight for the SAME reason. Batman thought Superman a threat with unchecked power. Further if you know the Superman Doomsday story line, you can guess the end of the movie...(and it will remind you of the end of the 2nd Star Wars Film)  SO, they followed the comics, and THAT'S what comics fans like.
  
One change from the comics I did like: The new origin of Doomsday.

What didn't I like?  Without spoiling anything, Bruce's and Clark's individual dream sequences were awful and were totally unnecessary. And the Batman v. Superman actual fight went on too long.

BOTTOM LINE: Go see it. I give it 4 out of 5 Stars. Take it from a Batman and Superman comics fan since 1972. 

Side note:  DO NOT pay attention to bad reviews. I really wonder what in the critics to like aside from stupid artsy films.  I read an awful review of the film on Vox.com, and was disgusted by the nitpicky attitude of the reviewer. SO, here's what I wrote them: 
   This was the most nitpicky review of a film I've ever read. Yes, you made a couple of good points- like the two dream sequences that were not necessary and non-sensical for that matter. However, anyone that knows anything about comics knows that Luthor is a manipulator. The creation of Doomsday was MUCH more believable than the way it happened in the comics- where a creature just happens to be rocketed from Krypton. 
  *This critic even attacks the use of the Daily Planet- When even Perry White said no one is buying newspapers, it's on-line. The world still have newspapers last time I checked, whether paper or on-line. I could go on, but I won't. 
  I've been a comics fan since 1972 and they stayed close to comic lore as they should. - If you want to pan a superhero film, go pan Avengers 2 which was boring and awful. At least there was emotion, great acting, and an interesting plot line here. There was none of that in Avengers 2. 



Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A 1 min. Video Tour of Spring Equinox at Blenheim Palace!

One of the places we visited when we were in England in 2013 was the Blenheim Palace. We thought the palace was beautiful and the grounds were, too. Here's a 1 minute Video Tour of Spring Equinox at Blenheim Palace!

Blenheim Palace is a monumental country house situated in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, England. It is the principal residence of the dukes of Marlborough, and the only non-royal non-episcopal country house in England to hold the title of palace.

History: Blenheim Palace was built in the early 18th Century to celebrate victory over the French in the War of the Spanish Succession. The palace is also notable as the birthplace and ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill.


If you can't see the video below, here's the link: https://vimeo.com/159364791



Spring Equinox at Blenheim Palace from Blenheim Palace on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Tribute to Chance: His Life Story as we Knew It

Schatzi and Chance
Late Sunday night, March 26, our friend Whitney sent us a text message that
Chance, her beloved Weimaraner passed away. We are heartbroken, but so thankful to her for adopting Chance in 2012. Whitney and Mike gave Chance the greatest life a dog could ask for, and Chance was so bonded and loved by his sister, Schatzi, who always cuddled with him.
Whitney and Chance June 2016

Chance was our foster dog that we pulled from a shelter thanks to Karin Bakkin of DC Area Weimaraner Rescue. Chance needed hip surgery when we brought him home and we made sure he got it. We then worked on rehabilitating his leg and he was adopted. This is a compilation of Chance's life as we wrote about him on our blogs. He will be forever in our hearts. Rob and Tom, Dolly, Franklin and Tyler

Our note to Whitney: Whitney, Mike and Schatzi- Tom and I are just heartbroken. Chance has always been a part of our family,too since we rescued him from the local shelter. . We were fortunate enough to foster him through Karin and the rescue, and we knew that you would be the best mom, ever- and you are. Chance had an amazing life when you adopted him. His gentle spirit will always be around you, and he'll give you signs he's still with you (as Buzz and Sprite have done with us). Schatzi will also be lost in grief, so hug her tightly for us. Remember his smile because YOU were responsible for giving him the best time of his life. We are always here for you. Love and hugs, Rob and Tom.


Follow the blogs below (in date order) from the time we were lucky enough to rescue Chance and share in his life experiences that we were fortunate enough to be part of:

June 17, 2012  Our Weimaraner Rescue Story: Fostering Chance

We continue to support the Dachshund and Weimaraner rescues and as a result, we have a new foster dog. It all started two weeks ago when we got a notice from our city alert system that an 8 month old beagle puppy was found in our neighborhood. So, being the dog activists, we created a flyer with the dog's info, where he was found, and a picture of him. Rob distributed the flyer up and down the street where the pup was found and called the county shelter days later to check if he was claimed. Fortunately, he was! -
At the Shelter earlier this week
However, when I (Rob) called the rescue, the shelter coordinator asked why I was interested in the dog's well-being, so I told her we work with the two rescues. That's when I learned they had a Senior Weimaraner (11 years old) in the shelter. The shelter had already called DC Weimaraner rescue, and talked with Karin, the coordinator. The rescue already has 25 dogs, and we offered to take this guy to help out. 
  Saturday at 5pm we picked up the male Weimaraner, whom the shelter called "Snoopy." But we've renamed him "Chance" because now he's got another chance. He did well on the ride home and sat up in the back for most of the ride.
Chance now resting comfortably with us at home
  Here's the interesting part - His left rear leg is lame, but he can still walk around. He'll  be 11 on August 4th (he had a microchip in him that had vet info on it, but not the owner's info). So, the shelter got his records. The shelter also gave him all vaccinations, etc. 
    He's so calm. When we got him home, Tom bathed him in the backyard (he smelled of the shelter), and it was so sweet to see Tom taking care of him. Rob washed his ears and clipped his nails and he just laid down and let us take care of him. Poor thing is also dealing with severe diarrhrea, but we're treating that. He's very passive and hops around and gets along with our other kids.
TOUGH FIRST NIGHT - Chance had a really tough night. He got up during the night and had severe diarrhea all around the
room and on himself. .
LEG ISSUES: ** The strength of his good leg (his other is apparently useless) is weak in the morning, so after we got him out he tried to pee and collapsed on the ground, peeing while laying down.**
 - I was able to bathe him again outside (it was 5:30 a.m.), clean his bed and put a towel on it, and clean up the entire room.   We gave  him the metronidizole and Imodium last night after several runs of severe diarrhea. I've made sure he's had plenty of water and he finally ate a little this morning when I put tuna fish on his food, but I hear his tummy roiling. He was also shivering, so I covered him with a blanket. Right now we're waiting to hear from the rescue to get some guidance on what to do next for him. He's such a sweet dog. We want to get his hip and leg back in place to see if he can walk on his back leg again.  



June 21, 2012  Our Foster Dog Chance Goes in for Hip Surgery



Today, Chance, our foster dog (and a Weimaraner) is going to have hip surgery today to enable him to walk on all fours again. He has a dislocated hip and leg, that the doctor thinks is the result of a car hitting him when he was wandering the streets.
He checked into the hospital this morning at 7:30am and will be in surgery this afternoon. The doc said it will be good for him and has a good "chance" for success. 

Chance getting ready for surgery at the hospital this morning



Tom and I have got it covered (its a lot to ask of the rescue, when they're taking care of 25 dogs- so we're happy to cover it) We want him to be healthy and enjoy the rest of his life. Thanks to DC Weim rescue for allowing us to foster and rescue him
Franklin, Dolly and Chance on a walk yesterday (Chance Hops)
and for the Prince George's County, Md. shelter for taking him in, giving him a place to stay, vaccines, medications, and contacting the rescue. 

I've (Rob) been picking him up in the mornings because his good back leg is weak.I've also carried him up and downstairs (Glad he's only 66 pounds!). 

Healing will take several weeks, including physical therapy, so when he comes back we'll be working with him. Its such a great feeling to be able to take a dog that may have had "no chance," and giving him a "Chance" for a new life. - Tom was the one who gave him the new name.   Watch for more updates, and thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement.

WHAT KIND OF OPERATION IS HE HAVING?
They're removing part of  the femur, which is separated from the hip. It's called " Femoral head ostectomy" and it will create a "false joint."
- From Wikipedia:   Unlike most other hip surgeries, the head of the femur is not replaced, but is allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone, a pseudoarthrosis (also called a "false joint"). The neck of the femur is usually removed at the same time as the head. This prevents the post operative complication of bone rubbing on bone and continued pain. This has led to the procedure often also called "Femoral head and neck ostectomy".
Animals who have had FHO surgery are required to maintain a lower weight throughout their lives to compensate for the loss of skeletal integrity, and generally have less mobility than normal- but will be able to walk without the pain!
Diagram of the FHO procedure- removal of part of Femur
Chance discovers he likes toys





 

 

 

 

July 5, 2012 Chance Recovery Update

 Chance is doing extremely well. He goes on walks with us and the other three dogs now (we take them early morning and late at night, if the night time isn't too oppressive). He's amazing and determined.
 DOGGY DAY CARE: - He went to Doggy daycare on Monday when we didn't have power (so he and the others would be kept cool) and appeared to enjoy it. He gets along so well with other dogs. He also came back and was using his back leg (where the hip operation occurred) more, and putting it down more while walking. He continues to improve at an amazing pace.
Left: Chance / Right: Sprite
STAIRS:  - He also learned how to come downstairs, as long as we gently keep his behind straight. (We're still carrying him upstairs until he
builds up the muscle in that leg that he didn't use for so long).
STITCHES OUT TODAY:  On July 5th, he gets his stitches out from his hip surgery and the removal of that benign fatty tumor. He's energetic, happy and follows us everywhere. He also loves putting a ball in his mouth and carrying it around or playing with it. I can tell he's getting better, because now he steals Dolly's toys when she's playing with them... and causes Dolly some Doggy Angst!
REHAB: We'll be talking with the doctor about physical therapy  and will work with him over the next couple of weeks to get him healthy for a forever home. He's such a great boy, and it will tear me up to see him go to another home, but we need to continue our rescue efforts to help another dog.

 Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Great Progress for Chance the Foster Dog

A proud moment- Chance conquers Hill number 1!
Our foster dog, Chance the Weimaraner is making remarkable progress since his hip surgery, where the doctor cut off the ball at the end of the leg, so that the leg would slide back in place. Since then, Chance has shown remarkable progress and we've been helping him use his leg.  
One of 2 large hills Chance conquered!
-  During a lunchtime walk, Chance (and the other dogs) went on a good 25 minute walk with me, and we went up TWO hills. The doctor told us to get Chance to walk up hills. Chance did a great job and used his weak leg (its weak because half the muscle withered when it was bent behind his butt) the entire way!  Here are a couple of pictures and a short video to show the progress.
   - Chance also can come down the stairs (13 steps) as long as I hold his backside straight (his back tends to lean to one side, away from his strong leg). This past weekend, with some butt support, he was actually able to CLIMB the 13 stairs (treats helped)!  Amazing!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Chance is Going to a Forever Home!

 


July 15, 2012: Chance Loves the Human Touch

·          Our foster dog Chance loves the human touch. He loves to  cuddle and he always wants to be with us. He loves laying down at our feet while we're sitting on a chair watching television. Here's a pic of Chance at Tom's feet earlier this week.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Chance's Adoption Day!

On Sunday, July 29, 2012 our foster dog, Chance was adopted by Whitney and Mike. It was a great day for Chance, and he was so happy his tail kept wagging. We all became fast friends, too, so we know that we'll be seeing more of Chance, Whitney and Mike. We look forward to hearing about Chance's adventures in his new home with his new "sister" Schatzi the mini-Dachshund.  (Yes, it was really emotionally tough to see Chance go, but he's going to be soooo loved!).
Whitney, Mike and Chance

Tom and Rob give Chance a goodbye hug

Chance got a pre-adoption bath

Chance is comfy in the back of Whitney & Mike's SUV
Schazi and Chance already comfy with each other in his new home!

Chance relaxing in his new home!

Tom, Dolly, Franklin and Sprite (Rob taking pic) all missing Chance on adoption nite

 

 Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Winery Dog Day with Chance and Schatzi!

Walking through the winery
Recently we met Whitney and Mike at a Winery near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania that was holding a "Dog Day." It was a fundraising event for dogs, and people were welcome to bring their dogs, so we all did. Whitney and Mike adopted (our former foster Weimaraner) Chance and also have a mini-dacshund named Schatzi.
Chance and Whitney
  We left our elder Dachshund, Sprite with Tom's folks, and took Dolly and Franklin on the ride. It took over 2 hours to get there, and 2 more to get back -but we had a wonderful time together. We got to walk the dogs around the vineyard, check out a lot of dog-related vendors, enjoy a lunch together, and the dogs got to see each other again. 
  Chance looked wonderful!  His formerly lame leg had developed good muscle and he was walking with barely a limp (he had hip surgery in June). Whitney and Mike are doing an awesome job in Chance's recovery, and it was SO great to see them all.  Here are some pictures from that memorable afternoon. 


Tom, Franklin, Mike, Schatzi

Tom, Mike and doggies




Chance, Dolly and Franklin

Schatzi, Chance, Dolly, Franklin

Schatzi
Chance enjoys a little girl's attention

Chance Close up!

Chance and Dolly when told to look at the camera

Chance and Dolly looking for bunnies

Franklin and Dolly

Schatzi and Chance

Chance and Schatzi

Schatzi and Chance

Franklin posing

Getting organized for the group shot


Friday, May 16, 2014


A "Chance" Visit! : A Doggy Guest for the week

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