Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's A Doggie Dog World

How Little Sally Pumpkinhead starts her day. On Bunny Watch out the front room window.
.

How Little Sally Pumpkinhead ends her day. On Bunny Watch out the front room window.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas



A Merry Christmas from me to you and yours.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

It's Begining To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Moving and Christmas overlap.



It's the Santa puppet show!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SNOW!

First snow storm at our new house.


View from the front porch.

My husband trying out his new toy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life In The Fast Lane

It has been over a week since we moved into our new home and I've been busy, busy, busy.   Getting a new home organized is more time consuming that I thought it would be.  Plus we had a few surprises, including having to buy a new washer and dryer. They finally arrived yesterday morning and it took the rest of the day for me to wash two weeks worth of laundry.  Clean clothes, yeaaah!

My sister spent the weekend helping me....correction, I helped her paint the walls in the dinning area.  The previous owner had painted it a dark olive color which acted like a black hole and pulled all light, including daylight, into it.  This morning I had the pleasure of walking into a bright sunlit dinning room that reflected even more light into the living room which made that area more pleasant to be in, too.

I going to be even more busy from now until after Christmas working on the house and entertaining family members who are coming to spent Christmas with me.  "Yeaaah!", again. So I probably won't be around much until after the holidays.   I will stop by to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, though.  See you soon.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Suffer The Little Children

Anyone with a gun can go out and commit an act of terrorism, even without a political affiliation.
-Unknown



Friday, December 07, 2012

Moving Day!

Colorado here we come, right back where we started from!

Exchanging this view:


For this view:

(Note: Not really the view from my new house but a reasonable facsimile. I took this photo at Cherry Creek State Park southeast of Denver on Thanksgiving Day.)


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Monday, December 03, 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spirit In The Sky

I'm gonna go to the place that's the best.
-Norman Greenbaum


(East of Joes, Colorado on US Highway 36. Liberty Baptist Church in the distance.)

I was lucky enough to actually see the spirit of all the turkeys who died for our sins winging their way to heaven yesterday. Was your Thanksgiving dinner worthy of them?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Pre-Holiday Greeting To You All


Who knew football has been connected with Thanksgiving since 1900. Have a great Thanksgiving Day, everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunshine Patriots

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country;
Thomas Paine in The American Crisis (1776)


I've tried to keep away from politics on my blog since the end of the election because I didn't feel the need to gloat after President Obama won another four years in the White House. This was mostly because the results of this election did not bring me a feeling of elation like in 2008 but instead a feeling of relieve. Relieve that most people understood going backward politically and socially the way the Republican Party wanted us to was not going to be good for our country. Now 15 days later I'm ready to jump back in. Why? Because of the reactions of Romney supporters to their candidate's loss- and I'm not just talking about the voters.

In the last 15 days I've read many articles detailing the numerous ways in which the Republican Party has blamed everyone but themselves for losing the election. I've read stories about people threatening to move to Canada. I've heard stories about people being upset with President Obama's win because the are absolutely certain he is a "Communist" or a "Muslim Plant" and that his reelection is prove that democracy in America is coming to an end. (Oh, all you people calling President Obama a communist? What you mean to call him is a socialist since he has been accused of pushing socialism with his health care plan. There is a difference.)

And I've read stories about people filing petitions in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indian, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas to have their states secede from the Union. Shades of 1861!

I first thought these were the reactions of a group of very poor losers to what to them was a very shocking loss. Now I see that what some of these people are trying to do is nothing less than unpatriotic and that they may even be stepping over the line into traitorous behavior. I can already hear the shouts of dismay coming from all you true Americans who say you are only following what is written in The Deceleration of Independence:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government."

Crap. Pure unadulterated crap. Read it again. It says that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, which is just what democracy is all about. In a democracy the will of the majority takes precedent over the will of the minority. And how do we know just what the will of the majority is? We vote, every four years we vote, just like we did 15 days ago. We voted and by our vote we, the majority, gave our consent to be governed. Democracy in action.

So, all of you who do not like the outcome of this election and consider yourselves the only true Americans and the only true patriots, face it, by your actions you are proving that you are neither. You are nothing but Sunshine Patriots, willing to believe in democracy only when it favors you whether you are in the majority or not . Some of you are perfectly willing to tear the government apart just to get your way and that, my friends, is not only un-American, and unpatriotic, it is treason.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Leaves Of Brown Came Tumbling Down

I've just noticed that almost all the trees in town have dropped their leaves and those displaced leaves are now being tossed about by the wind. Seeing this reminds me of another time when I took notice of the leaves.

It was a cold and windy October day.  I was carrying my four month old niece across the street in front of my sister's house to my  car .  When we were half way to the car she pushed herself away from me to stare mesmerized at something down the block.  I turned my head to see what had caught her attention so completely and saw hundreds of yellow leaves tumbling away from us as the wind pushed them down the street.  Then,  for an instant, I was able to see the leaves through her  four month old eyes- not as inanimate objects being carried by the wind but as living things dancing with the wind and having a grand old time.  I haven't looked at blowing leaves the same way since.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cleve Duncan (1935-2012)

Cleve Duncan, lead singer of The Penguins, died on November seventh. In 1955 The Penguins haunting version of Earth Angel reached number one on Billboard's R&B chart and stayed there for three weeks. It also reached number eight on the Pop chart. The Penguins version of Earth Angel has sold ten million copies since its released back in 1955. Cleve Duncan's voice has got to be the main reason for this.




(Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Wah-ah-ah,
Oh, oh, oh, oh)

Earth angel, earth angel
Will you be mine?
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

Earth angel, earth angel
The one I adore
Love you forever and ever more
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

I fell for you, and I knew
The vision of your love-loveliness
I hoped and I prayed, that someday
I'll be the vision of your hap-happiness

Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou-ou

(I fell for you, and I knew
The vision of your loveliness
I hoped and I prayed, that someday
That I'll be the vision of your happiness)

Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou-ou

(You)

(You)

(You)


Cleve Duncan's New York Times obituary is here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And They Call It Puppy Love

She sneaks up on the furniture to sleep if you don't watch her. She sneaks people food if you don't watch her. She licks the dirty plates in the dishwasher if you don't watch her. She digs holes in the yard if you don't watch her. She eats Duke's food along with her own if you don't watch her. She scratches the walls with her toenails while sleeping. She chases cats- if they don't chase her first. She ignores you when you call her if she is busy doing something else........but........

But look at that face. How can you not forgive her anything with a face like that?

Photo by Maura Thompson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Going Home

Home is where the heart is.
-Unknown


I watched The Snakepit (1948), staring Olivia de Havilland as a housewife who has a mental breakdown and ends up in an insane asylum, last week for the first time in many years. The first time I saw it I was about thirteen years old and it made a big impact on me. Especially the scene where the inmates are at a dance and actress Jan Clayton starts singing the song Going Home. I cried like a baby as she sang because I knew most of the people listening and singing along were most likely never going to leave the hospital. Watching it this time I still teared up during this scene because I now understand the poignancy of it all even more than I did as a child.

In addition to watching it with older eyes this time I was also watching it with years of movie experience behind me and now have a greater appreciation of the supporting cast. At thirteen I knew who Olivia de Havilland was, recognized Celeste Homes in a small part, and was surprised to see Jan Clayton but did not know she could sing. As for the rest of the cast, well, I didn't even think of them as actors but instead saw them as real inmates in a real hospital.

Below is the scene I've been talking about and it starts with Olivia de Havilland as Virginia Cunningham talking with her Doctor who informs her she is "going to staff" which means she will soon be discharged from the hospital. In the background the melody of Going Home starts playing and then the voice of Jan Clayton is heard.





Jan Clayton (1917-1983) was, for a certain generation of Americans, the first "Lassie's Mom" on television when she played Ellen Miller on TV's Lassie from 1954 to 1957 . She started her career as a singer and was the original Julie Jordan in the Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

At 1:53 and 2:08 you will see a woman in the crowd who is holding her intertwined arms in front of her. That is actress Celia Lovsky (1898-1979). She was born in Vienna and moved to Berlin in 1929 where she met actor Peter Lorre. She married him in 1934 in London after which they both moved to America. She is best know by Star Trek fans for her role as the Vulcan high priestess T'Pau in the 1969 episode titled Amok Time.

The women standing to Lovsky's right is Italian born actress Inez Palange (1889-1962) who is best know for playing gangster Tony Camonte's mother in the original version of Scarface (1932).

At 2:21 there is a close-up of a crying Ruth Donnelley (1896-1982). She shows up in many movies from the 1930s and 1940s including Footlight Parade (1933) with James Cagney, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) with Gary Cooper, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) with James Stewart, and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.

Standing just to her left is a man who looks like actor Sterling Holloway. He isn't but he looks like him enough to send me on a search to find out just who he was and what other movies he had been in. He turns out to be an actor named Ashley Cowan (1921-1990) who, according to IMDB, appeared in 76 movies and/or television shows during his acting career.

As the camera pans to the left of Ruth Donnelley you can see actress Angela Clarke (1909-2010) standing on her right. I recognized her because she had small parts in two of my favorite movies from 1953, Houdini and The Wax Museum. Like most of the other actors listed she also did a lot of television work.

At 2:48 is actress Betsy Blair (1923–2009). Technically Blair wasn't a supporting actor as this role was at the beginning of her career. A few years later she would star with Ernest Borgnine in Marty (1955). At that time she was on the Hollywood Blacklist and was only allowed to do the movie when her husband, actor Gene Kelly, intervened. Her work in Marty brought her an Academy Award nomination but did nothing to help her career. In 2003 her autobiography The Memory of All ThatLove and Politics in New York, Hollywood, and Paris was published.

The song has always brought up melancholic feelings for me when ever I've heard it since I connect it to this movie but for the last week the lyrics Going home, going home, I'm a going home have been going through my head or have been sung out loud by me and creating a feeling of joy and happiness.  This is because the lyrics are true.  One of the reasons why I've have been away from blogging so much is because my husband and I have decided to move back to Colorado.  We have been looking at houses along the front range near Fort Collins and if  things work out we will be back there by the middle of December.  I'm going home.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Can You Tell Me How To Get...?

Republican bigwigs and pundits have come up with many reasons on just why voters rejected their candidate this election year including the following; Karl Rove claims the president won because he suppressed the vote, others claim New Jersey governor Chris Christie is to blame, while some blame Hurricane Sandy herself.

Well, they are all wrong as the letter below proves. This letter, which seems to have been slipped under the front door of Mitt Romney's national headquarters some time last night, was found by a campaign worker this morning.




No comment about the letter has been made by any Romney official at this time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

God Is Good





We as a people chose:

Hope over fear.

Looking forward instead of backwards.

The bottom 47% over the top 1%.

Reason over self-righteousness.

Loving our neighbors as we do ourselves.

Separation of church and state.

Political fairness over political privilege.

In the end, we as a people chose to believe in truth, justice and the American way. We voted not against each other but for each other and that, my fellow Americans, is the true American way.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!



Remember, go easy on the candy.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Wheels On The Truck Go Round And Round

Drove to Denver in a snow storm yesterday and the highway I traveled on was so wet and slushy I fishtailed the truck all over the road at one point. Later I watched an SUV driving toward me suddenly cut across my lane and off the highway. I wondered what he was doing at the time because I did not remember a side road being where he turned. As I got closer I realized he hadn't turned off the highway onto a side road but instead had slid off the highway. Be the time I reached him he had already driven out of the ditch and continued on his way.

To give you and idea of just how icy the roads were I had my sister take the images below. The first one is of the front wheel of the driver's side of the truck. That side of the truck was the side that got heavyly splashed with road slush every time a big semi roared past me. The second image is the back wheel on the driver's side.





Beautiful, aren't they?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hey, Mickey!

Oh, Mickey
You're so fine
You're so fine
You blow my mind
Hey Mickey!




My sister Tara sent me this photo of the both of us back in 1990 when we spent the day at Disney World in Florida. We are standing in front of Mickey Mouse's house where I fell in love with a big fluffy overstuffed chair Mickey has in his living room. Mickey has great taste.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I Now Have A New Laptop

Will it make my life easier? Nah, this version puts all the ports right at the side edges closest to the front of the computer when you are typing. This is because the design team used what I call "Nobody (meaning them) really plugs in a mouse anymore so lets put the ports we are being forced to include in descending order of use"  thinking. This means when you plug in your mouse the plug is right in the way when you try to use the damn thing.

I know, I know, I could get a wireless mouse (which need batteries that run down) or leap into the 21 century and buy a i Pad (never) or some other type of tablet. Sorry, no can do. I like a real keyboard and I would hook up a typewriter to the Internet if I could. Now that's a real typing machine.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Greetings From Route 34


(On U.S 34 near Trenton, Nebraska.)

Monday, September 24, 2012

And The Sun At Night


Driving westward at sundown can be an adventure this time of year.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Turtledove

(click on photo to enlarge)

1. Kansas Ornate Box Turtle.

2. Mourning Dove.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chasing Shadows On The Wall

Keep your face always toward the sunshine - and shadows will fall behind you.
-Unknown




Monday, September 10, 2012

Do Not Adjust Your Set


Service will resume shortly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Blinky The Clown (1921-2012)

If you did not grow-up in Denver, Colorado the name Russell Scott means nothing to you. If you did the name may still mean nothing to you unless you recognize it as being the real name of Blinky The Clown. Russell Scott dies yesterday at the age of ninety-one and generations of adults who remember watching Blinky as a child or being on his show will smile in bittersweet memory of him when the read or hear the news. My sister was on his show when she was five-years-old and it is still an experience that makes her smile whenever she talks about it.

A few years ago my sister and I stopped to visit Blinky at his antiques store on South Broadway. When we got there he was sitting outside and we walked up to him, said hello, and told him how pleased we were to meet him. Then I said, "I just wanted to say...," and paused because I suddenly felt like crying. I stared at Mr. Scott and he stared back at me with a look of concern on his face. Then I finished my sentence, "...thank you."
A look of delight crossed his face followed quickly by tenderness and he smiled as he replied, "Ahhh, you are very welcome."

To give you an idea of how greatly Blinky The Clown influenced Denver children read the note below. Mr. Scott found it one morning when he opened his store.

Dear Blinky,

I was in your store a few days ago. I was coming in with the intentions of robbing you at gunpoint. But when I heard you were the real Blinky, I said to myself, 'I can't rob this person. I sat on Blinky's lap when I was 5 years old.'


In 2005 Russell Scott was inducted into the Broadcast Professionals of Colorado Hall of Fame. Below is the video used to introduce him that night.


His Denver Post obituary is here.

The official site of Blinky's Fun Club is here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Scott McKenzie (1939-2012)

Lots of girls walking around today who do not know they were named after Scott McKenzie since their mothers first heard the name McKenzie after John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas named his own daughter after him.

His recording of San Francisco became the siren song of the Sixties for a generation of teenagers.



If you're going to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you're going to San Francisco
You're gonna meet some gentle people there

For those who come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there
In the streets of San Francisco
Gentle people with flowers in their hair

All across the nation such a strange vibration
People in motion
There's a whole generation with a new explanation
People in motion, people in motion

For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a Love-in there

If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a Love-in there

Short obituary here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Now That's A Tree!

(Tree on Henry Flagler property, Palm Beach, FL)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

What Is The Meaning Of Life?

To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.
― Robert Louis Stevenson

The purpose of life is to stay alive. Watch any animal in nature--all it tries to do is stay alive. It doesn't care about beliefs or philosophy. Whenever any animal's behavior puts it out of touch with the realities of its existence, it becomes extinct.
― Michael Crichton

Live is meaningful only if you gave it a meaning
― T. Harv Eker

There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life, an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.
― Ana├»s Nin

I believe that I am not responsible for the meaningfulness or meaninglessness of life, but that I am responsible for what I do with the life I've got.
― Hermann Hesse

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.
― Albert Camus

I don't know the meaning of life. I don't know why we are here. I think life is full of anxieties and fears and tears. It has a lot of grief in it, and it can be very grim. And I do not want to be the one who tries to tell somebody else what life is all about. To me it's a complete mystery.
― Charles M. Schulz

As soon as you look at the world through an ideology you are finished. No reality fits an ideology. Life is beyond that. … That is why people are always searching for a meaning to life… Meaning is only found when you go beyond meaning. Life only makes sense when you perceive it as mystery and it makes no sense to the conceptualizing mind.
― Anthony de Mello

Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.
― Joseph Campbell

Plato says that the unexamined life is not worth living. But what if the examined life turns out to be a clunker as well?
― Kurt Vonnegut

Whatever we are, whatever we make of ourselves, is all we will ever have – and that, in its profound simplicity, is the meaning of life.
― Philip Appleman

The Ultimate Answer to Life, The Universe and Everything is...42!
― Douglas Adams

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Red Door

The Kingdom of Joy was protected from all evil by red doors. Keeping the evil spirits out it also kept the good spirits in. A red door that stays closed is worse than no door at all.
-Roy in the movie Behind The Red Door (2003)





Painted my front door red a few weeks ago.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Those Who Cannot Remember The Past

are condemned to repeat it.
-George Santayana, philosopher (1863-1952)

I got so frustrated with NBC's Olympic coverage that by the middle of last week I turned to books. I read The Dime Museum Murders the first in a series of mystery fiction books written by Daniel Stashower which have the greatest magician in the world, Harry Houdini, indulging in his believe that he is another Sherlock Holmes. Fun read.

Next I started reading The Kennedy Brothers: The Rise and Fall of Jack and Bobby which looks closely at the relationship between the two brothers and its affect on their political lives. The books begins with the trip the brothers made to Viet Nam in 1951 when John F. Kennedy was a member of Congress. What I found surprising, beside the fact that the Kennedy brothers even went to Viet Nam in 1951, is that the United States was already involved in the Viet Nam War as we were providing 50% of the munitions and supplies used by the French in their fight against the Viet Min. Next is that John F. Kennedy thought our government foreign policy was wrongheaded.

Along the way of their 25,00-mile trip in the fall of 1951, Bobby dutifully kept a journal in his cramped handwriting. The conclusion he and his brother reached was that nationalism was the determinant force of the age, stronger than either communism or capitalism, and that the United States was aligning itself with reactionary forces through second-rate diplomatic representation. They felt that the bipolar approach to containing communism wouldn't work because it usually meant association with discredited local despots or embattled colonial powers.

Replace the word Communism with the phrase Radical Islamic Fundamentalism and colonial powers with global corporations and we could be talking about now.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Olympic Games Day 13

I also cannot take anymore of NBC's coverage. The quality of live steam video online is getting worse with the images freezing or the screen going blank  as the download stops to rebuffer.  The TV broadcast is agonizingly frustrating what with all the human interest stories about the athletes and the
over-hyping of the events.  No, NBC, this cannot be the greatest race or match-up of the games, century, or history of the Olympics  if you have already said that about ten other events or people.

I wish the Olympic committee would give the broadcast rights to a company who understand this is a sporting event and not a two week episode of a "reality" television show.   If they cannot do that at least give it to a company who has its feet firmly planted in the 21th century and who understands that live streaming is not television of the future but television now and will not underestimate the number of people who will be trying to live stream their Olympic coverage.

Epic Fail, NBC.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Olympic Games Day 11

I think I've O.D. on the Olympics as I did not watch a single event yesterday. I did however find these interesting interactives at The New York Times website. All give an overview of each event since the first modern Olympics.

1. 100 meter sprint in Track and Field.

2. 100 meter freestyle in Swimming.

3. Long jump in Track and Field.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Olympic Games Day 10

 It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.
-Gore Vidal

Loved this weekend what with all the medals Great Britain won. Go Britain! We American are doing pretty well, too, although I hate it when some of our athletes behave badly when they "only" win a silver or bronze medal.

McKayla Maroney's behavior toward the other medal winners after learning she had lost the gold in woman's vault was rude, unsportsmanlike, and childish. I'll give her the childish part as she is only sixteen but the other behaviors are unacceptable and her coach should have taught her that being a gracious second or third place winner is part of being a good athlete. I find the belief that gold is the only medal worth winning in the Olympics to be very mercenary and distasteful.

(McKayla Maroney on the podium after wining silver in the Women's Vault final)

But then there is Justin Gatlin shown below minutes after wining the bronze medal in the Men's 100m race.


Gatlin ran this race faster than he did when he won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics but unfortunately for him he was racing against the two fastest men in the world, Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. But look at his face. You can see that he understands what the Olympics are about, doing the best you can in any given event and then reveling in the joy of winning a medal.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

And They Call It Puppy Love

You may remember I wrote a blog post about how my husband and I are fostering dogs for American Brittany Rescue. Since that post Toots has moved on to Denver and Freckles has been adopted and is now the very loved pet of a happy little boy and his family in Nebraska.

Toots and Freckles weren't our only fosters since I wrote that post, we also fostered another Brittany who had been picked up off the streets Wichita Kansas. He came to us from the Norton Correctional Facility in Norton, Kansas where he had gone through the Second Chance Homeless Pet Society dog training program. The first thing he did when he was brought into our yard was start searching for a way out. After spending a little over a week with us he also went on to a new home with loving owners.

But that wasn't the only dog we were looking out for during that time period. There were six others....but I think I'll let my husband tell you about it. Below you will find the the article that he wrote for the ABR newsletter which tell you the rest of the story.

There are many reasons to live in a small rural town in the high plains --- the quiet easy lifestyle, plenty of fields just outside of town to run our dogs and decent bird hunting 5 minutes away. However one thing that is disheartening is the livestock approach to pet ownership. It's sad to see dogs penned and chained their entire lives with no chance to run in the fields, play with other dogs or even interact much with their owners.

Sometimes I'm in a position to change some of this and this is my most recent story. Earlier this year a young couple in a ramshackle house on the edge of town decided to breed their two Brittanies most likely for the money. As the 7 pups grew and passed the 8-10 week adoption period my concern began to grow. The pups were exposed to improperly cut, very sharp chicken wire and tied up with steel cable without access to their water bowl at times. This went on during our record heat spell with days well over 100 degrees. I didn't even want to know their diet. At least one pup finally was sold.

When the 4 month period passed 2 of the pups were sold or given to a high school student and promptly showed up across the alley in a pen owned by someone else. At the point things got even worse. More 106 degree days and no water in the afternoon. Barbed wire, electrical cord and old feces throughout the pen. Once in a while the kid showed up to feed and water them but that was it. No walks, no training, no vet visits, no attention. I will never get out of my mind their wishful faces and forlorn cries for attention as they eyed us working in our yard.

So here we were, long time Brittany owners and fosters for ABR with this going on in our back yard. I knew that the pups didn't have much time left and it was time to take action. Diplomacy and consideration of others is always a good starting point. I approached the young couple with the 4 remaining pups and the kid with the 2 pups behind us. I told them of my concern for the pups and if I could help out in any way to let me know. I let them know all about ABR and how we could help. This worked for the young couple and they were happy that they could send the pups on.

These 4 pups went to Melissa Walsh, our regional coordinator, who had to worm them, get them on a good diet and give them some needed attention. She got them on a high quality grain-free diet which was sorely compromised when all 4 pups broke into her garden like a pack of juvenile delinquents and consumed many ears of corn.

The kid with the 2 pups behind me was obviously immature with no apparent empathy for his pups. He just wanted them, a trait I've seen before with people who want control over other living things. My kindly put concern for the pups went no where with him. I got the owner of the property and the chief of police involved. Luckily the chief is a dog person and told me bluntly that no dog was going to die on his watch. He strong armed the kid and I got the pups. Just in time. They went to the vet for worming, overdue shots and everything else we do for new dogs. I knew that we couldn't foster the pups for a multitude of reasons so I drove them to another ABR foster out-of-state.

When we got to the transfer point I put the pups on leashes and walked them around. Charlie, the more curious one, immediately got his head stuck in a Coke machine. I had visions of cutting him out with a reciprocating saw but fortunately I got his head out of there with no apparent damage. And that is my last and favorite memory of the pups that went on to a better life.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Olympic Games Day 7

Watching Women's 3m Springboard and Men's Trampoline this morning.   See the connection?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Olympic Games Day 6

Guess what sport I am watching this afternoon?
Answer here.


Johnny Otis

I know a cat named Way-Out Willie
Got a cool little chick named Rocking Millie
He can walk and stroll and Susie Q
And do that crazy hand jive, too.

Papa told Willie, "You'll ruin my home.
You and that hand jive have got to go."
Willie told Papa, "Don't you put me down.
They're doing that hand jive all around town."

Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive,
Doing that crazy hand jive.

Mama, mama, look at Uncle Joe
Doing the hand jive with sister Flo.
Grandma gave baby sister a dime;
Said, "Do that hand jive one more time."

Well, doctor and a lawyer and an Indian chief,
They all dig that crazy beat.
Way-Out Willie gave them all a treat
When he did that hand jive with his feet*

Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive
Doing that crazy hand jive

Well, Willie and Millie got married last fall
You know, they had a little Willie junior and that ain't all
The baby got famous in his crib you see
Doing that hand jive on T.V.

Hand jive, hand jive, hand jive,
Doing that crazy hand jive.

*Nope, illegal.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Olympic Games Day 5

Watching Handball this morning.

Not this game:

American Handball


But this game:

Team Handball

It's kind of like soccer but with a smaller ball and you use your hands instead of your feet. It's also fast paced and fun to watch.

UPDATE 7:34 PM- Watched Fencing's Men's Individual Epee and Women's Individual Saber semifinals and finals all afternoon. Another great ride and a wonderful sport.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympic Games Day 4

Watching Archery and Fencing's Men's Foil this morning.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Games Day 3

Fencing and Equestrian for me this morning.


3:45 PM: Spent the afternoon watching the Fencing's Women's Individual Epee. What a ride.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let The Olympic Games Begin!


Aggggh! What the hell are those things, cousins of the Teletubbies? Nope, they are the mascots for the 2012 Olympic and  Paralympic Games. Their names are Wenlock and Mandeville. Wenlock is named after the English town of Much Wenlock which held its own yearly Olympic games a good 45 years before the start of the modern Olympic games. Mandeville is named after the Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England who started the Stoke Mandeville Games for injured soldiers back in 1948 and which are considered the inspiration for the Paralympic Games.

There is a lot of symbolism in the design of these two and you can go here to read about it because I just do not want to take the time to explain to you why they look like non-purple versions of the one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater.




Well I saw the thing coming out of the sky
It had one long horn and one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said Oowee
It looks like a purple people eater to me

It was a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me
(One-eye)

Well, he came down to earth and he lit in a tree
I said Mr Purple People Eater don't eat me
I heard him say in a voice so gruff
(I wouldn't eat you 'cos you're so tough)

It was a one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
One-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me
(One-eye)

I said Mr Purple People Eater what's your line
He said eating purple people and it sure is fine
But that's not the reason that I came to land
(I wanna get a job in a rock 'n roll band)

Well, bless my soul, rock 'n roll, flying' purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, under-growed, flyin' purple people eater
(Who wears short-shorts)
Friendly little people eater
What a sight to see!

Well, then he swung from the tree and he lit on the ground
He started to rock, really rockin' around
A a crazy ditty with a swinging tune
(Be bop wop bop a lula wop bam boom)

Well, bless my soul, rock 'n roll, flying' purple people eater
Pigeon-toed, under-growed flyin' purple people eater
(I like short-shorts)
Friendly little people eater
What a sight to see!

Then he went on his way and then what do you know
I saw him last night on the Starout(?) show
He was a blowin' it out and really knockin' them dead
Playing rock 'n roll music through the horn in his head!
(Tequila)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Never Talk Politics Or Religion

Chick-Fil-A does not seem to understand that the above rule is very important when you run a business. Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A and son of the company founder, said in a newspaper interview that he believed in "..the biblical definition of the family unit.”

He then double-downed during a radio interview saying,

"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.' I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."

This caused the Jim Henson Company, who was in a promotional deal with Chick-fil-A, to release the following statement:

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-fil-A to GLAAD."

Chic-fil-A reacted to this statement by saying they had already dumped the Muppets the day before because the toys were defective:


Uh-huh.

Not learning from that misstep someone at Chick-fil-A decided to create a facebook account, using a stock photograph of a teenage girl as the profile pix, to post favorable comments on Chick-fil-A's facebook page.

Just who are the ones being arrogant, My Cathy? Let the boycott begin!

Note: I would be boycotting Chick-fil-A at this point, too, if I did not already not eat there. I've been boycotting them for years because I think their food is crap. The food used to be great but they've expanded to the point where they can no longer guarantee the quality of the food being prepared in all their restaurants.

Yesterday the Chick-fil-A fiasco turned into a free speech issue when it was reported that an alderman in Chicago wants to block Chick-fil-A from building one of their restaurants in his ward. How is this a freedom of speech issue? Well, the first amendment to the US Constitution says in part that:

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech.

In trying to use Chicago zoning law to punish Chick-fil-A for Mr. Cathy's anti-gay remark, Alderman Moreno is trying to abridge Mr. Cathy's constitution right to say any dumb-ass thing that pops into his head. No government official is allowed to do that; it says so right there in the first amendment.

If Alderman Moreno really wanted to punish Chick-fil-A he would allow them to build their restaurant in his ward. If he knows his constituents as well as he believes he does then he also knows that within one to two months after completion Chick-fil-A will have to close the place down after people vote with their feet by not stepping through the restaurant's doors. That's the way to punish Chick-fil-A, hit them right where they live- in the bank account.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wining Isn't Everything, It's The Only Thing

You know, when Republican member of the United States House of Representatives Michele Bachmann says crazy stuff about the president it doesn't bother me as much as when Mitt Romney says it. That's because I know Bachmann believes what she is saying while Romney knows what he is saying is a lie. The guy has no scruples and that's what makes him a sleaze bucket in my book.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 8:35 PM EDT On July 3th

On the beach in Palm Beach, FL
(Photo by Tara Shannon)


I started this series with a beach photo from the morning of my last day in Palm Beach, Fl. I'm ending it with a photo of me on the beach on my first night there. Peace and love, everyone.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Stop The Madness

The gun madness in this country hit closer to home with the murders at Century 16 in Aurora Town Center last night. I am feeling anger, despair and hopelessness. The myth that the Constitution give us the unlimited right to have as many guns as we want is destroying us.

The NRA wants you to believe that the Second Amendment to the Constitution only says this about gun ownership:
"...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The complete amendment reads:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

This amendment was written to give a brand new country a way to quickly create an citizen Army during a time when it did not have the funds to maintain a professional one. How this morphed into the right for anyone to have as many guns as they want without question is beyond my comprehension.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 1:15 PM EDT On July 9th

Contemplating the drinks lined up in front of me at Michael's Genuine Restaurant, Miami, FL.
(Photo by Tara Shannon)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 10:24 AM EDT On July 5th

Outdoor walkway at Bethesda-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church, Palm Beach, Fl
(Photo by Tara Shannon)


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 12:43 PM EDT On July 9th

On southbound I-95 heading to Miami, Fl.

The city of Miami in the distance.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 12:52 PM EDT On July 7th

On Henry Flagler's private railcar at the Flagler Museum, Palm Beach. FL
(Photo by Tara Shannon)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

100th Birthday of Woody Guthrie

Happy Birthday Woody.



This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I've roamed and rambled and I've followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
All around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

There was a big high wall there, that tried to stop me
Sign was painted, said "Private Property"
But on the backside it didn't say nothing
This land was made was made for you and me.

When the sun comes shining as I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
A voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California, to the New York Island
From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where I Was At Approx. 6:48 PM EDT On July 4th

In Palm Beach at a Fourth of July party with Tara.
(Tara holding an image of me and me holding a sparkler.)


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Where I Was At 6:35 AM EDT On Tuesday July 10th

In Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Tara Shannon)


Monday, July 02, 2012

And Break

Lots of things going on right now so I'm going to be away from my blog for about a week. Who knew adding one extra dog to the mix would be so time consuming. See you soon.

Oh, and to those of you who celebrate have a great and safe 4th of July.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Be Our Guest

For several years we have given monetary supported to American Brittany Rescue. ABR is an organization of volunteers who, as the website states,"..take in stray, abandoned, surrendered and/or impounded purebred Brittanys, provide them with foster care, health and temperament screening, an opportunity for any necessary rehabilitation and to assure their health and placement into new home." Last summer I even helped transport one dog to her new home in Denver. A couple of months ago we helped get another dog into Brittany Rescue and found the experience so rewarding that we decided to get more involved. We are now foster owners. Yesterday our first foster dogs arrived.


This is Freckles.


And this is Toots.


Freckles will be staying with us until a new permanent home can be found for her while Toots is in route to Denver. Tomorrow I will be driving her to a point half way between my home and Denver where her new foster owner will pick her up and take her on to Denver and her new life.

Both dogs are sweethearts and if you would like to read more about them go here. The link will take you to the dogs available in Kansas list. Toots is the first dog shown with Freckles right below her.