Saturday, April 30, 2016

"How Gullible Are You? Part 1: Dr. Pepper, Big Butts, and Australian Welcome Sign

Here's another blog asking "How Gullible Are You?"  - This is the latest round of stuff people are emailing each other believing these to be true, whether they are or not. What do you think?

1) Dr Pepper Bought by Coca-Cola, to Be Discontinued

An online hoax held that Coca-Cola had bought up rival soda brand Dr Pepper and would be shutting down production of the popular soft drink.

2)  Man Deletes Entire Company with One Line of Code

The hoax was a viral marketing scheme intended to direct traffic to his server management company.

3) Was Ted Cruz's Father Linked to the JFK Assassination?

Digitally altered
Disreputable web site posits a link between Ted Cruz's father and Lee Harvey Oswald based on negligible evidence.

4) 'Welcome to Australia'

A photograph purporting to show an official "Welcome to Australia" sign has been digitally altered.

5) Oxford Butts Study

An Oxford University study that supposedly indicated "big butts make you smarter" was heavily distorted in news reports.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Windows Users Should Delete QuickTime

If you use Windows on your computer,  you may want to delete your QuickTime video program and just use Windows media. On April 15, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent out an urgent alert advising Windows users to uninstall Apple's QuickTime program. The reason is that the program has not been updated to patch security vulnerabilities.  - We removed it from our home computer already.
- Rob and Tom

Here's the article from CNN Money (and the Washington Post):  Windows Users Should  Delete QuickTime 

Apple has pulled support for QuickTime on Windows, the video and audio software that had once been widely used to play movie trailers and other Internet media clips.

The company decided this week not to issue any more security updates for QuickTime on Windows, despite two major vulnerabilities in the software that can allow hackers into people's computers.
Apple's last QuickTime update for Windows came in late January, and the company had been periodically fixing bugs over the past several years.

But Apple (AAPL, Tech30) hasn't dedicated much effort to QuickTime over the past decade. The last major QuickTime release for Windows was in 2005. Apple delivered a substantial QuickTime upgrade for Mac OS X in 2009, and the company continues to support QuickTime for Mac with regular security updates.
Source: CNN Money: 
Source: Washington Post:

Thursday, April 28, 2016

How Gullible Are You? Fake Prince Meme

It's really sad when people decide to capitalize on the death of a famous person to create "fake quotes" to attack a political party, person or thing they don't like. Such was the case last week when the pop star known as Prince died. Someone obviously from the Republican Party decided to use Prince's death to spread a FAKE meme and hateful quote about the Democratic party. How cold and callous.  People that do this kind of stupidity need to get some serious mental health assistance. Capitalizing on anyone's death to promote your own views on anything is wrong.
  So, if you see this stupid meme, now you know it's fake. Don't share the fake one, but do educate people that it was fake and in very, very poor taste.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Dog pics to make your Wednesday Nicer

Dolly and Tyler cuddle
  Well, to make your Wednesday easier to deal with here  are some recent cute pics of our kids, Dolly (the Weimaraner), Tyler (black and tan Dachshund) and Franklin (red Dachshund).

Tyler and Dolly

Dolly and Tyler


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

English Tea at the Mansion At Strathmore!

Rob, Linda and Tom
Recently our friend Linda treated us to an elegant English Tea at the Mansion At Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. The mansion is also a performing arts venue hosting diverse range of global musicians, and is on the same property as the Strathmore Concert Hall for larger concerts. 
The Tea room at the Strathmore

The tea featured a string quartet and wonderful small sandwiches, scones and other delectable delights. The tea was tasty and the elegant setting made for a nice way to spend a couple of hours with great company. 
Linda and Tom

If you're looking for a fun, tasty and different thing to do, the Strathmore hosts afternoon teas during the week and Linda is one of the volunteer servers as she enjoys her retirement. Give it a try! 

The soothing sounds of local musicians fill the room, as you enjoy Afternoon Tea in the cozy atmosphere of The Shapiro Music Room at Strathmore.
Strathmore Blend Tea is specially made for us by Master Tea Blender John Harney of Connecticut, and is served with a light lunch of delectable tea savories.
Afternoon Teas: $24 per person (Stars Price $21.60)
Specialty Teas: $28 per person (Stars Price $25.20)

Tea begins at 1pm
Call 301.581.5108 for reservations. Pre-paid, non-refundable reservations required.
Vegetarian options are available; please be sure to request a vegetarian meal when making your reservation.
Tea for Two gift certificates make great gifts! To purchase, call 301.581.5108 or visit the Shop at Strathmore located in the Mansion.
Strathmore celebrates 30 years of Afternoon Tea. Read more.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sinusitis? I recommend Getting this: NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit

 This weekend has been absolutely brutal for me (Rob) with a bad sinus infection (that followed asthma and bronchitis). My thanks to all who recommended a Neilmed Sinus Rinse Kit or a Neti pot. I got the Neilmed Sinus Rinse Kit and it helped a lot. (if you have an infection - green mucus - you should go to the doctor and get antibiotic to clear it).
   I've used nasal saline solution and it winds up burning the back of your throat. With this rinse, it doesn't. There are 50 packets of medicine that include some salt and baking soda in a  gentle mix that must be mixed with purified or distilled water (get it at the grocery). You fill the bottle with water and mixture and leaning over the sink, squirt it up one side of your nose - it will clear out the congestion through the other side of your nose.
   I've been doing this a couple of times a day, and it really helps. You can get it at CVS, Target, etc. Everyone with sinus congestion NEEDS to get this. It's about $10 and so worth it.
    OTHER THINGS TO DO  Take 12 hour Mucinex DM, Sudafed PE, Motrin, and 12 hour cough syrup. **SLEEP sitting straight up. It helps drain the sinuses - whether propped up in bed with pillows, or on a recliner.
After 2 weeks of sickness, I'm HOPING to be better by the end of the week.  - Rob

Product Details

You'll need purified water for it
NeilMed SINUS RINSE is an easy squeeze bottle system that allows you to deliver the saline solution with positive pressure to clean the nasal passages thoroughly, while maintaining your head in an upright position. You have complete control of the pressure and volume of solution, ensuring a gentle, soothing and therapeutic experience. Daily rinsing is safe and will keep your nasal passages clean, healthy and open. Use For Nasal Allergies, Dryness & Hay Fever Sinus Pressure & Nasal Stuffiness Nasal Symptoms from Flu & Cold Nasal Irritation from Occupational & House Dust, Fumes, Animal Dander, Grass, Pollen, Smoke, etc. Post Nasal Drip & Nasal Congestion Advantages Soothing, No Burning or Stinging Large Volume & Low Pressure System for Saline Nasal Irrigation, Moisturization and Daily Nasal Hygiene Single piece, custom-designed rounded black cap fits any nasal opening. No push and pull components make for easy cleaning. Preservative, Drug, Iodine, BPA, Gluten and Latex Free Premixed Packets of USP Grade Sodium Chloride & Sodium Bicarbonate (Purity level 99% or higher) Excellent cleansing prior to spraying nasal corticosteroids pH Balanced & Isotonic, or Hypertonic with two or more packets Smooth Flow with easy squeeze bottle Empties nearly 95% in upright position Suitable for use after sinus surgery and during pregnancy. Consult your physician with concerns. Portable for travel Money back guarantee



Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ireland's Cork City Toilet Rat Caution!

Downtown Cork City, Ireland. Credit; Rob and Tom
We visited the city of Cork, Ireland in the spring of 2015 and keep up with news of Ireland. We love Ireland, although we will say that the city of Cork was not our favorite place... other than our visit to the famous Cork County Gaol (Jail) - which is a MUST-see. We remember walking through the city and it seemed much more downtrodden than other cities and towns we visited. Well, apparently, they have a rat problem - but rats are coming up in toilets!  At least it did in this particular story from the Middleton area of town after flooding occurred. Hopefully once the flooding subsides, so will the rat problem, -  Rob and Tom

Rat Watch in Cork City Toilets

HOMEOWNERS have been advised to watch their backsides during floods after a man in the Midleton area was bitten by a rat while sitting on the toilet.
Yesterday, Councillor Noel Collins reported the incident to Cork County Council during a Southern Area Meeting, after asking them to investigate the possibility of flushing rat poison through the sewer system.
“The flooding resulted in another problem for residents, that of rat infestation, which really upset many families, mentally and physically, and indeed, one elderly gentleman suffered a rat bite to his posterior while using his toilet, and had to receive immediate medical attention,” he said.
Credit: Getty images

A plumber found a broken sewer pipe nearby, which is believed to have allowed the rat to enter the system.
The council warned that flushing rat poison through the public system could lead to contamination of other water sources, but said that Irish Water are responsible for vermin control within the system.
Cllr Collins added: “I would advise homeowners to keep their toilet seats down when not in use, and to watch their posteriors.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In the news: World's 'oldest dog' dies at 30 in Australia after going to sleep in her basket

This is an amazing record for mankind's best friend. Imagine your beloved dog living 30 years - that's the age that a dog in Australia reached before passing this week. Here's the story.

In the news: World's 'oldest dog' dies at 30 in Australia after going to sleep in her basket

Caption: Maggie, who was thought to be the world's oldest dog, has died in Australia aged 30 - or 133 in human years.

The Kelpie was owned by Victoria dairy farmer Brian McLaren.  He told a local newspaper that she died on Sunday night in her basket.
"She was 30. She was still going along nicely last week. She was walking from the dairy to the office and growling at the cats and all that sort of thing," Brian told the Weekly Times.
"She just went downhill in two days and I said yesterday morning when I went home for lunch, 'She hasn't got long now.' "I'm sad, but I'm pleased she went the way she went."

Maggie's age can't be verified because Brian says he lost the dog's paperwork when she was a puppy.
Brian McLaren says his youngest son, Liam, was four years old when they bought Maggie. He's now 34.
Before she died, the farm dog was deaf and had been losing her vision.

 The official holder of the world's oldest dog is held by an Australian Cattle Dog called Bluey who died in 1939 aged 29.

Guinness World Records says he was bought as a puppy in 1910 in Victoria and worked among cattle and sheep for nearly 20 years before being put to sleep.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Another Fun TP: Kyle's Bed & Breakfast: Without Reservations

For a great read, check out the fourth trade paperback in the LGBT comic series "Kyle's Bed and Breakfast: Without Reservations." Greg Fox is an incredible writer and artist who brings to life the many characters of Kyle's Bed and Breakfast. This paperback came out in October 2015.

The setting is a Bed and Breakfast in New York, owned by a 30 something gay man named Kyle, who runs this  gay bed and breakfast. He has long-term renters and people who come and go. There are so many great characters and situations that many gay men can identify with and relate to and you'll really get involved in their lives. I love reading Kyle's B and B and seeing what the characters can get into next. 

In this collection you'll read about Kyle's assistant coaching of an olympic skater who insisted making a statement, Drew and Lance learning to trust each other, Richard's brother, and a great new 80 year old character, Rudy. Once you start reading the series, you'll want to get all of the paperbacks!!!

I can't wait for the NEXT collection to come out. 

This series takes comic strips through 2014. For the most recent comic strips, you can find them on-line at:

ABOUT THIS BOOK: It's easy to see why thousands of readers have been swept up into the captivating saga of the B&B boys in this, the fourth volume in the series. Set in the picturesque New England-style harbor town of Northport, (a real town, located on the rocky north shore of Long Island), the men of Kyle's B&B have returned for more drama, romance, laughter, intrigue, suspense, and, (sometimes), sheer wackiness. Closeted baseball player Brad... cool, calculating businessman Lance... party boy gossip Richard... hardworking college student Eduardo... and B&B owner Kyle, the calm at the center of the emotional maelstrom. Although the series runs as a biweekly comic strip, (published online and syndicated to LGBT print publications across North America), this collection reads more like a graphic novel, with interwoven, ongoing storylines sure to be of spellbinding interest to both men & women, gay & straight readers alike. Containing several years' worth of episodes, (in which new characters such as Olympic figure skater Michael, octogenarian Rudy, and southern musclebear sensation Drew are introduced), this volume also includes a 7-page all-new story sure to enthrall readers. Happily, it isn't necessary to have read prior volumes in the series... new readers can jump right into the story here with ease, in what is possibly the best volume in the series so far. Lushly illustrated in full-color, this is one B&B you'll want to return to again and again!

About the Author

Greg Fox is the artist/writer of the comic strip "Kyle's Bed & Breakfast", currently syndicated to a variety of LGBT publications across North America, Fox has published four collections of Kyle's B&B, the first of which was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and a collection of figure drawings, "Kyle's B&B Presents: Drawings of Drew" featuring Kyle's B&B character Drew Danvers. Fox currently resides in Northport, Long Island, New York, busily working on new episodes of Kyle's B&B, and several other book projects for Sugar Maple Press.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Has this happened to you? Mindreading

Last Thursday, I (Rob) was sitting at the kitchen table after finishing dinner and my hubby got up and started
washing the dishes. I looked up at him and said, "tomorrow on your day off, can you go down to City Hall and get a new recycle bin to replace the old one?" 
   He looked up and said "That's exactly what I was just thinking as I was washing these dishes! Get out of my head!" 
   It's not the first time that I've been able to voice exactly what he's been thinking when he's thinking it. We have a great connection. It may also be because I have the ability to read energy - like hearing ghosts and spirits. But it just confirms that we have something special. Of course, he laughs and jokingly says "that's too creepy. It's time for a divorce!" :)
   Has this ever happened to you and your partner?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A fun dog mystery: The Silence of the Chihuahuas (A Barking Detective Mystery)

Looking for a creative mystery that involves a dog? I (Rob) just finished reading a great one, with a young female private eye and a Chihuahua named Pepe that helps her solve mysteries. The catch: He talks in English with a spanish-tinge and she understands him. It's really funny. It's well-written, the characters are interesting, and the book is really entertaining. I couldn't put it down, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest in the series.
   The book in the series that I read is called The Silence of the Chihuahuas (A Barking Detective Mystery) by Waverly Curtis. I've already ordered the others.

Pepe, aspiring P.I. Geri Sullivan’s muy clever Chihuahua, has stopped talking. But why now, with Geri’s best friend Brad missing and her ditzy sister in grave danger? Geri’s lost without Pepe’s dogged detective work, especially when a client of Brad’s expires under very murky circumstances.
Luckily, Pepe turns out to be an excelente blogger, and his nose for clues soon has the detective duo chasing down leads. But they’ll have to put a bite on crime quickly, because danger’s afoot – and it’s making tracks in their direction . . .


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Movie Trailer: DC Comics' Suicide Squad! Coming in Aug. 2016

Suicide Squad series from DC Comics
Since I (Rob) am a big DC Comics fan, and I enjoyed Batman Vs. Superman, I'm now looking forward to the next DC comics movie called "Suicide Squad" that comes out in August.

   This is not about super heroes, but a band of the worst supervillians hired by the government to do suicide missions to reduce their jail sentence. There has been a couple of runs of series in the comics, and all were popular. In this movie, you'll even see the familiar Joker and a surprise appearance from Batman, but it centers around the villains. The trailer looks entertaining.

WHO is in the movie?   Will Smith, Joel Kinnaman, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Jai Courtney, Cara Delevingne and Viola Davis.

Monday, April 18, 2016

In the News: Chihuahua Leads Police On Chase Across San Francisco Bridge


   For a brief span Sunday, the "C" in CHP stood for Chihuahua. That's because a black dog led what police
describe as a high-speed pursuit over the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland, before being placed in official custody.
    The dog's only identifying tag — black, with a silver human skull — served to cement his status as a hardcore animal who's not wowed by authority. His flight from the law was captured on a dashboard camera and posted to social media in what quickly became a well-liked video.
   It took at least three units — two officers on motorcycles and one in a car — to corral the animal, which had been streaking its way toward San Francisco.
   Police issued a call for help in finding the dog's owner, asking on Facebook, "Missing a Chihuahua?"
At one point in the chase, the dog appeared to toy with his pursuers, stopping to face an officer on a motorcycle — who then starts to dismount from his machine — before tearing off again.
    The Associated Press adds, "After it was captured, the Chihuahua was taken to a San Francisco animal shelter where staff members named it Ponch, after the CHP Officer Frank Poncherello played by Erik Estrada in the TV series CHiPs."
  On Monday, officials at San Francisco Animal Care and Control sent an update on Ponch, saying he's doing well "but he would love to see his family."
Actor Erik Estrada retweeted that message, much like he did after seeing an earlier tweet about the Chihuahua's escapade.


Ponch is doing well this morning but he would love to see his family.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Still sick... and Info on Symptoms and Treatment of Viral Bronchitis

Since I (Rob) am still dealing with a double-dose of asthma and bronchitis, I thought I'd share this helpful
 information I learned about viral (vs. bacterial) bronchitis. 
    Yesterday was day 4 that I've been dealing with it on medications (Tussin cough med,, Prednisone, 2 inhalers, mucinex, sudafed, and meloxicam) . Although not feeling as horrible as I did Wed through Friday, I am still coughing (up) every couple of hours. Sleeping lasts in 3-4 hour bouts before the coughing commences. So, still not feeling decent yet.
MY TIP FOR NIGHT TIME:  have water by your bed, kleenex, and a rescue inhaler. Also keep the cough syrup nearby to help clear the congestion). CLOSE the windows at night, or you're inviting more pollen inside. 
  Yesterday, we went for an English Tea with our friend Linda who bought us tickets to the event. It was a wonderful time, and the company, tea, food, music and mansion were wonderful. However the 2 hours out wore me down. - So today, it's back to bed rest, tons more water and the vaporizer. UGH.  
  Nothing like being sick when it's FINALLY warm outside.  
Stay well everyone!


Symptoms of Viral Bronchitis

  • Chest pain and discomfort.
  • Productive cough which brings up mucus. If the mucus is yellow-green in color, then it indicates a bacterial infection.
  • Weakness.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Patient experiences shortness of breath which is worsened upon mild physical activity or exertion.
  • Wheezing is also present.

Investigations for Viral Bronchitis

Physical exam and medical history; where the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to any abnormal lung sounds such as rales and also any abnormal breathing sounds which may be present. Other than this, tests which are done include:
  • X-ray of the chest.
  • Lung Function Tests (LFTs) help in diagnosis.
  • Pulse Oximetry: This test helps in determining the quantity of oxygen in the blood.
  • Sputum samples are also taken to look for signs of bacterial infection or inflammation.

Treatment for Viral Bronchitis

Viral bronchitis does not require any specific treatment and antibiotics are not advised, unless you develop secondary bacterial infection. A case of viral infection usually subsides on its own in a week or two.

Symptomatic Treatments for Viral Bronchitis Are As Follows:

  • Antiviral medications such as Relenza (Zanamivir) or Tamiflu are prescribed. These help in limiting or alleviating the symptoms and also help in preventing secondary bacterial bronchitis.
  • Therapeutic options to treat viral infections are limited.3
  • Using decongestants, nebulizers to help with breathing.
  • Cough syrups, which are expectorants to relieve chest congestion and pain.
  • Cough drops/ lozenges can also be used.
  • Humidifier or a steam should be used in the bathroom.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin can be taken for fever; however, children should not be given aspirin.
  • Your doctor may also prescribe inhalers if you have wheezing.

Other Steps Which Help In Easing The Discomfort Are:

  • Drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke and other such irritants.
  • Taking plenty of rest.

Preventative Measures for Viral Bronchitis

  • Quit smoking.
  • It is important to get a yearly flu vaccine with a pneumococcal vaccine.
  • Avoid irritants such as smoke and air pollution.
  • Wash your hands frequently so as to prevent the viruses and other contagious infections from spreading.

Fantastic Local Hauntings Book: Haunted Boulder

 I recently finished reading one of the best collections of local ghost stories I've ever read. It's called "Haunted
Boulder" as in Colorado, and it was written by Roz Brown and Ann Alexander Leggett.
  The book is really interesting and makes you feel like you're inside the haunted properties they're talking about. The authors provide pictures of the properties, too, which really helps enhance the stories. Each story is well-written, and the authors did an amazing job of researching the histories of the past residents, interviewing current residents, and referencing newspaper articles.
  Some of these stories are sure to stick with you for some time, like the Obsessive (grown-up) Boy Scout who is apparently still attached to his scouting awards long after his death. The hanging ghost of William Tull is another story I won't soon forget.
  If you're planning to be in or around Boulder, Colorado, this book is a must-have. You can use it to make your own personal ghost tour. I highly recommend it!
    As a side note,  Roz and I have worked together from time to time over the years (long-distance) and I just found out she co-wrote this paranormal book, so we have that in common. Amazing how after working with someone (she's in Colorado, I'm in the Mid-Atlantic) you learn something new.
    Available on

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Great New TV Show: Second Chance on Fox!

Want to see a great new TV show?  Although the first season just ended, you can find it on-demand or likely on-line on the Fox network. We LOVE the show and the supporting characters.You should check it out. Here's what it's about...

WHAT'S IT ABOUT? The series follows the life of Jimmy Pritchard, a 75-year-old former King County, Washington, sheriff   who was morally corrupt and eventually disgraced and forced to retire. After he is murdered, Pritchard is brought back to life in the improved body of a younger man by billionaire tech-genius twins Mary and Otto Goodwin. However, despite having a new life and a chance to relive his life and find a new purpose, the temptations that led to his career being tarnished continue to haunt him. He works as a consultant with his son who is an FBI agent.
the cast of Second Chance

Second Chance is a science fiction crime drama television series created by Rand Ravich. It is inspired by the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. The show debuted online on December 25, 2015,[1] and started broadcasting January 13, 2016, on Fox


Friday, April 15, 2016

Tomorrow: 4/16/16 Mid-Atlantic Spring DoxieFest 2016!

Tyler is looking forward to Doxiefest
Reminder! Tomorrow Saturday, Apr 16 from 12 to 5 p.m.EDT is the  Mid-Atlantic Spring DoxieFest! 
Bigger and better than ever with LIVE MUSIC, wiener races, raffles and MORE! This year's event will feature 2 wiener races- 1pm and 3:30pm.
WHERE:  Heavenly Waters Park - 608 N. Tollgate Road, Bel Air, MD 21014 
**FREE, but donations are accepted to benefit Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue. 
ABOUT Show the softer side of your family or business by supporting one of the nation’s fastest growing Dachshund Rescue Events! Share your compassion and enthusiasm for dachshunds and their owners while ensuring that we are able to provide the best event, yet! All donations that exceed our need for this year’s event will be given back to CCDR, to be used for the medical needs of pups in foster care.
For more information, please email
Coming from out of town? Get a discounted rate on pet friendly hotels in Bel Air, or call 877-411-FIDO to speak with one of our pet travel experts!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cool Photos: Time-Lapse Photos Show Staggering Transformations Of Inner Cities

This photo article from the Huffington Post follows a photographer who showed the transition of neighborhoods in various cities over the course of almost 4 decades.

Camilo José Vergara has spent nearly 40 years obsessively documenting poor, segregated neighborhoods, from the Bronx to Gary, Indiana.

Camilo Jose Vergara
Vyse Ave. at East 178th St., Bronx, New York, shown in 1980, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993 and 2013. 
A photographer who has spent more than half his life obsessively documenting American cities is creating an expansive and eye-opening record of how poor, segregated neighborhoods have transformed over time.
Camilo José Vergara, 71, has systematically photographed the same set of intersections in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities over and over again since 1977. He continues to work on the “Tracking Time” series, and his forthcoming book Detroit Is No Dry Bones will be published later this year.
The Chilean-born photographer usually focuses on the built environment rather than people, returning to familiar spots to discover blighted houses replaced with high rises or falling into further decay; churches turned into restaurants and stores into churches; mom-and-pop shops boarded up or taken over by chain businesses.
“Stuff that isn’t deteriorating kind of bores me,” Vergara said.
Vergara differentiates his work from photographs that are meant to stand alone and “astonish” a viewer. Instead, his work is best digested a dozen or a couple hundred images at a time. He sees himself as an archivist, both creating the original documents and then curating them.
“You find meaning in some aggregate images, and that’s what I’ve done all my life,” Vergara said. “That’s the great function of photography, is that it’s not so much focused on the extraordinary — it’s the everyday.”
Vergara’s entire collection is a portrait of decline and renewal at both a neighborhood and national level, one that particularly resonates as many cities grapple with rapid gentrification and the displacement of long-time residents and small businesses. His method of time-lapse photography has created a record of those everyday surroundings that might otherwise be lost.
Camilo Jose Vergara
Ransom Gillis Mansion, Alfred at John R St., Detroit, shown in 1993, 2000, 2002, 2012, 2015 and again in 2015. 
When Vergara isn’t criss-crossing the country, he is poring over his extensive collection, digitizing older photographs and looking for common threads. Trained as a sociologist, he conducts research and interviews to flesh out stories he pulls from his images.
He’s focused on churches and the role of religion in the poor neighborhoods he is drawn to. In another series, he highlights urban folk art that never makes it into museum collections: the hand-painted signs and murals that adorn liquor stores, laundromats and community centers. A recent collection captures the agricultural scenes painted on food trucks in Los Angeles’ Latino neighborhoods — possibly endangered as they shift toward more gourmet fare, Vergara said.
“Things disappear so quickly,” he said. “And then you realize … your city doesn’t look like that anymore.”
Vergara has won a National Humanities medal and MacArthur fellowship. And the Library of Congress acquired Vergara’s archive last year, cementing its value. But his work did not initially earn approval from art world gatekeepers, nor from the artist himself.
His first project, more traditional street photography in Harlem and the Bronx in the early ‘70s, attracted little interest. Vergara scrapped the idea, but at the time chose to hold onto the images because “they reminded me of how I had wasted my life.” They’ve since been published widely.
“The irony is that all my life I’ve been interested in failure, and now I can’t consider myself a failure,” he said, laughing.
There’s failure lurking in many of Vergara’s photographs, but there’s also much more to see, if you keep looking. Vergara certainly will — he’s compelled to return to the sites he’s chosen, capture how they’ve changed yet again and bring his archive up to date.
“This work sort of pulls you in, it’s like a river,” he said. “I imagine I’ll be doing it until the last day I live.” 
Camilo Jose Vergara
Views Along Fern St., Camden, New Jersey, shown in 1979, 1988, 1997, 2004, 2009 and 2014.
Camilo Jose Vergara
7316 South Broadway, Los Angeles, shown in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2012 and 2014.
Credit: Camilo Jose Vergara
New St. and Newark St., Newark, New Jersey, shown in 1980, 1981, 1985, 1987, 2014, 2015.
Many more photographs from Vergara’s “Tracking Time” series can be seen on his website.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Want to buy a Village in England? West Heslerton: Entire village goes up for sale for £20m

·         Want to buy a Village in England? We'd love to retire to England, but we'd have to hit the lottery big time for the latest offer. 
     West Heslerton: Entire village goes up for sale for £20m!
    BBC news reported that a village is for sale in England. 
An entire North Yorkshire village has gone on the market for a guide price of £20m.
West Heslerton, near Malton, has a 21-bedroom mansion, pub, petrol station, 43 homes and 2,116 acres of land.
The village has been owned by the same family for over 150 years, but has been put up for sale after the most recent owner died. Cundalls estate agents said it had already attracted interest "from far and wide".

Image copyright Cundalls 
Eve Dawnay owned the estate until her death five years ago, with the family now deciding to sell.
West Heslerton also has a church, primary school and a playing field with a pavilion.   
Tom Watson, of Cundalls, said: "Miss Dawnay was a wonderful lady.
"She was very kind and the property rents are - and have always been - very low.
"This has helped keep a vibrant village community with a mixed group of ages and there are obviously a lot of people hoping that somebody with a similar benevolent nature will come along to take over the estate."
More than 110 acres of woodland is also being sold by the family.
Mr Watson added: "All the tenants were told it was going on the market in September, since then the rumour mill has started going about potential buyers.
"We already have had interest from far and wide."
 Image caption The village boasts a pub called the Dawnay Arms  
Miss Dawnay's sister, Verena Elliott, said: "We all loved it and it would be very hard to find a village with more loyal and lovely people living in it.
"There is a real sense of community which is hard to find these days."

Other previous village sales
Linkenholt, Hampshire - Sold for £25m in 2009 - the sale included 22 cottages and houses, 1,500 acres of farmland, a village shop and a blacksmiths.
Bantham, Devon - The 750-acre seaside estate exceeded the asking price of £11m and included about 20 cottages and a beach.
Little Rollright, Oxfordshire - The Cotswold village went on the market in 2014 with an asking price of £18m, including a manor house, rectory, five cottages and 500 acres.
Image copyright Cundalls

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Great TV Show: Lucifer on Fox network

Great show on Fox Network
The TV show "Lucifer" on the Fox Network is really fun and entertaining. Tom Ellis, the Welsh actor who plays Lucifer is brilliant. Charming, sarcastic and blunt.

Welsh actor Tom Ellis is very charming
The series focuses on Lucifer Morningstar, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell and resigns his throne Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals". Lucifer runs a piano bar in Los Angeles called "Lux," with the assistance of his demonic ally Mazikeen. After a minor celebrity whom Lucifer once helped achieve fame is murdered outside his club, Lucifer becomes involved with the LAPD when he takes it upon himself to assist Detective Chloe Decker in finding the one responsible so that he can "punish them."  So, in essence he becomes a good guy with a twist.
BACKGROUND: It features a character adapted from the character created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg as a supporting character in the comic book series The Sandman. The character later became the protagonist of the spin-off comic book series Lucifer from DC Comics Vertigo line, although so far, the comic hasn't lived up to the TV show.  The TV show is much better!
 Fox renewed the series for a second season.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Meet Ruari- 4-5-16 Adoptable through Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue!

Ruari is a black and tan Dachshund who is adoptable  through Coast to Coast Dachshund Rescue as of April 2, 2016 Go to and look for him under "Dachshund BT smooth"
His ID number is #16002

ABOUT RUARI - Ruari is a 9 year old black and tan smooth coat sweetheart. He came into foster as an owner-surrender. Ruari is such a good boy! We are learning that he loves to play tug, snuggle in the big bed, and go for walks. GOOD WITH OTHER DOGS! He gets along just great with our two other doxies, a female and a male and they play together. No aggression issues have been witnessed. He rests peacefully all night in his crate and during the day when we are all at work and school. When we come home, he has free roam of the house and follows us around wagging his tail. We have noticed that he will slip out of the house at a moment’s notice if we are not super careful, but will come back to us if we don’t chase and yell. So therefore a fenced-in yard is probably a good idea for Ruari, or at least he would need a micro-chip.
Ruari will make a great addition to a family with another dachshund or other dog that he can pal around with. Or in a home with someone who will take Ruari to a dog park for some social time. He really is a sweet dog.
FOR INFORMATION: Email Nadine at :
Location: Pennsylvania.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

From the Dumb File: Man's leg severed while blowing up lawn mower

You can't make up stupid like this. Today's "Dumb File" is one from Athens, Georgia with a gun-happy guy who wanted to blow up a lawnmower. The story is below from Online Athens. 

Walton County man's leg severed while blowing up lawn mower

SOURCE: On-line Athens, March 24, 2016 (URL below)
Walton County, Georgia

A 32-year-old Walton County man's leg was severed just below the knee by a piece of shrapnel when he and his friends blew up a lawn mower.

The men were using Tannerite to blow up the riding mower, according to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Tannerite is a combination of chemicals sold legally at most gun and sporting goods stores.

David Thomas Presley was airlifted to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, where his condition was unavailable Wednesday.

Deputies were called to the wooded location about 3:50 p.m. on Emmett Doster Road between Monroe and Bethlehem, according to the report.

One of the men at the site explained they put about three pounds of Tannerite inside the mower and Presley was shooting a gun at the Tannerite to ignite an explosion.

When a piece of the metal sheared Presley’s leg off, the friends placed him in a vehicle and drove to the end of a driveway, where they were met by an ambulance, according to the report.
The witnesses videotaped the explosion, deputies said.

Sheriff Joe Chapman told Atlanta TV Fox News that Presley was standing about 30 yards from the mower when it exploded.

Tannerite is composed of two chemicals and only explodes if hit by a high velocity object such as bullet. The mixture is sold as an exploding target. One state, Maryland, has banned its sale to the public except those with a license to have explosives.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office urged users on its Facebook page to be careful with the substance.
“Yes, it is legal and no, we can’t make people stop doing it. But why folks, just why,” the post read. “Please adhere to the warnings and use this dangerous material with caution or maybe consider other less dangerous hobbies.”

About six months ago near Muskegon, Mich., a man had his leg severed when he used Tannerite to blow up a 55-gallon metal drum, according to a report by Muskegon’s Fox 32. That man was standing about 50 yards away from the drum.

URL to story:

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Rob's tribute to Merle Haggard

Earlier this week the news reported the passing of country legend Merle Haggard. A couple of years ago, we actually got to see him in concert at an Arts hall in Annapolis. I (Rob) am a huge fan of classic country music so it was a tremendous treat for me (Tom isn't a fan but came with me). Merle has had so many classics and I have his greatest hits CD. Some of my favorites from Merle are "Rainbow Stew," "Working Man's Blues," "Mama Tried" and of course "Okie from Muskogee."
  Back in 2007 he  wrote a song supporting Hillary Clinton for her presidential bid. (See below for the lyrics) He was a SMART southern Democrat. All the more reason to love him. He will be missed, but his music is eternal.
  It wasn't until the mid-80s that I became aware of classic country music (Because I grew up in Boston and they never had a country music station until the late 1990s). I was introduced to a catalog of Merle's songs when he appeared on the Dolly show in 1987 and he did a duet with Dolly covering many of his hits. I was immediately a fan. Here's that video: 

THE STORY: Merle Haggard Passes 
Source: Huffington Post
Merle Haggard died Wednesday after battling double pneumonia, his manager confirmed to TMZ. The country singer died at his home in California on his 79th birthday.
The famous country singer recently canceled a series of shows, citing health problems, but had plans for upcoming performances with Willie Nelson.
Haggard was born in 1937 in Bakersfield, California. Known for his songs like “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “Okie from Muskogee,” “Sing Me Back Home” and “Mama Tried” among countless others, the singer earned 38 No. 1 hits over the course of his career. Haggard was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and is considered “the single most influential singer-songwriter in country music history.”

From, Here are the lyrics to “Hillary.
“If we don’t elect Hillary, then we’ll never know.
“She is the right lady, and her husband’s a pro.
“Eight years in the White House with the know-how we need.
“When you walk with a leader, you learn how to lead.
“And who kept her head high when it could have been down?
“And who ran the show when the scandal hit town?
“This country needs to be honest. Our changes need to be large.
“What we need is a big switch of gender. Let’s put a woman in charge.
“A woman in charge of the Army, put a woman in charge of the wheel.
“The country owes it to Hillary, and Hillary owes it to Bill.
“This country needs to be honest. Our changes need to be large.
“What we need is a big switch of gender. Let’s put a woman in charge.”

Friday, April 8, 2016

Today's SCIENCE Blog: How Big Is Pluto?

Here's an article that gives you a great idea of just how big of a planet Pluto really is. We found this fascinating. What do you think?
Rob and Tom 

How Big Is Pluto?
By Nola Taylor Redd, Contributor

After 76 years of classification as a planet, Pluto was demoted in 2006 to a dwarf planet, in part because of its size but also because of its minor gravitational effects on the bodies around it.
When NASA's New Horizons mission visited in 2015, it took the most accurate measurement of the world, revealing it to be larger than previously thought, but still not large enough to be qualified as full-grown planet. Pluto remains one of the most well-known non-planetary bodies in the solar system.

Radius, diameter and circumference
When New Horizons arrived at Pluto, it measured the diameter of the world to be 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) across, about two-thirds the diameter of Earth's moon. This makes it larger than the dwarf planet Eris, once thought to be larger than Pluto. Eris is 1,445 miles (2,326 km) in diameter.

"This settles the debate about the largest object in the solar system [beyond Neptune]," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said during a NASA press briefing reviewing the mission flyby.  

This graphic presents a view of Pluto and Charon as they would appear if placed slightly above Earth's surface and viewed from a great distance. Credit: NASA
Unlike many of the planets in the solar system, such as Earth, Pluto does not bulge at its center; its radius — 1,185 km (737 miles) — is the same at its poles and at its equator.

Circumference: If you were to take a walk around the equator of Pluto, you would travel about 4,627 miles (7,445 km). That is just a bit less than the distance from Denver to London (4,683 miles).

Pluto is thought to have a rocky core covered by ice, which would mean that its surface features would change with temperature as it travels closer to and farther from the sun. In fact, as the ice melts, the atmosphere of the tiny body expands outward.

Although all of the planets beyond Mars are gas giants, Pluto is small and rocky. The tiny body has a mass of only 1.31 x 1022 kilograms, about two-tenths of a percent of Earth's. It has a volume of 1.5 billion cubic miles (6.4 billion cubic km).

Pluto's small size and low mass mean that it has a density of 1.86 grams per cubic centimeter according to recent measurements by New Horizons, about 40 percent of Earth's density.

- See more at:

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto's status as a planet has been debated. It is less massive than seven of the moons in the solar system — Earth's moon, the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, Neptune's moon Triton, and Saturn's moon Titan. [Infographic: Pluto's 5 Moons Explained]
In 2003, the icy body of Eris was found far beyond the Kuiper Belt. Originally, it appeared to be larger than Pluto. The discovery sparked a debate about what it meant to be a planet.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union came up with four criteria that cause an object to be classified as a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet:
  • Orbits the sun
  • Has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape
  • Is not a moon
  • Has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit
Under this criteria, Pluto's low mass does not directly keep it from full planetary status, but the fact that it fails to sweep clean the area surrounding it. Of course, the reason it can't clear out the Kuiper Belt it orbits through is because it lacks the gravitational force to do so, a fact related to its mass.
Follow Nola Taylor Redd on Twitter @NolaTRedd or Google+. Follow us at @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on
Editor's note: This article was updated on March 18, 2016, to correct Pluto's mass, volume and density.
- See more at:

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