Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You're kidding, right?

This kind of shit makes my blood boil.

Does this freakshow (aka Lady Gaga) really think that she's qualified to comment on the policies of our military?

The fact that she stands up there, telling her dimwitted fans to call their congressmen and pressure them to vote for a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' just irritates me to no end. What right is it of hers to attempt to influence military policy? If you're not a member of the military, past or present, STFU. Simple as that.

My own, personal opinion on the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy is beside the point. It's not my place to have an opinion on the matter. That should be left to those who are actually affected by it.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Life of Riley

It's official -- I want to be my dog.
While I spend my morning running around, cleaning, doing laundry, ironing and all that other fun stuff, he spends his morning doing this:

Good thing I didn't want to vacuum the couch. God forbid I would ask The Prince to move!

The rest of my day will be spent trying to figure out how to program our DVR. And yes, that probably will take the rest of my day! I am not tech-savvy. We've never had a DVR before. Probably wouldn't have one now, except that it came with our cable when we signed up. Think the cable company could provide, I don't know, an instruction manual? No, of course not. I'll have to go to their website and see if I can download something that resembles instructions.
If I don't completely lose my patience and end up with this thing in tiny little pieces, it will be a miracle.

I'm not in the best mood today, to begin with. We had a mild thunderstorm this morning and thunderstorms are rough for me, since losing Gunner. I was so used to having this big ol' Shepherd in my lap, or glued to my side, at the slightest little rumble. He was terrified of thunder and now every time we get a little storm, his absence is felt.
Play hard, GunMan. I hope that wherever you are, there's no thunder.

It really doesn't get any easier

How often have you had a chance to have a 20 pound bag of dog food donated to a shelter simply for writing a blog post? It’s really that easy. Pedigree has upped the ante big time. And please spread this message: The food drive is not limited to pet blogs. Imagine if we could spread this message beyond our circles and see how far it goes? The numbers could be substantial. Here is the full scoop:

•Each year, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters and breed rescue organizations. Pedigree created The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive to help shine a spotlight on the plight of these homeless dogs.

•This year the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive is raising awareness for homeless dogs by donating a bowl of food to shelter dogs for everyone who becomes a “Fan” or “Likes” The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive on Facebook. So far more than 1 million bowls have been donated.

•Special for BlogPaws West: For each blog that posts about the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive through September 19th, PEDIGREE® will donate a bag of their new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide. It’s simple: Write a post, help a dog.

•Thursday, September 16 through Sunday, September 19, the Pedigree BlogPaws bloggers will host a Blog Hop, to help raise awareness for the “Write a post, help a dog” effort.
It is so easy to make a big difference. Please set aside a few moments to write a post. Include the bullet points above. Copy the pics if you’d like. Add whatever you’d like in addition to help get the message out. Because this is not limited to pet bloggers, there is tremendous potential. Know bloggers in other categories that might be interested? Please share this post with them, write one of your own, and be here Thursday to leave a link to your post. Let’s make this huge. It would just feel great.

Don't forget to visit http://www.lifewithdogs.tv/2010/09/write-a-post-help-a-dog/

Link your entry so it can be counted. Shelters across the country are overwhelmed and in such need of financial support. Every bag, every donation no matter how small, is greatly needed and greatly appreciated.

Friday, September 10, 2010


It's hard to believe that it's been nine years.
Nine years and, more often than not, it seems like nothing has changed. It seems like none of us have learned anything. I have a hard time sorting out my own opinions and feelings about this, so I guess it's no surprise that the country, in general, seems to be in the same place.

We have one wingnut pastor in Florida who has managed to enrage the entire world with his ignorant attempt to gain his own fifteen minutes of fame. I certainly don't condone what he had planned, and may still, do. I feel that burning the Koran is offensive, regardless of what religion (if any) you subscribe to. But on the other hand, would Christians riot and threaten every kind of violence if a cleric in the Middle East planned to burn Bibles? Probably not. We should be calling for a stop to this stunt because it's the right thing to do. Not because we have to fear the backlash.

And then there's this planned Mosque near Ground Zero that seems to be moving ahead despite overwhelming opposition to its being built at that location. The Imam says that it's all about "mutual respect" and "building bridges." His refusal to even consider other locations tells me that it's about anything but respect. He says that it could anger the Muslim world if they cave to American pressure, so to speak, and agree to build the mosque elsewhere. He has a point there and I'm sure he's right - the backlash could be bad. But again, the line seems to blur. Is it a matter of doing the right thing, or tiptoeing around Muslims?
Sometimes it's hard to tell.

The Colbert Report

Best episode, ever!
He may use humor to get his point across, but as usual, Stephen Colbert was spot on. So many of his remarks in this episode needed to be made.

It was also nice to see that at least our Vice President has enough class to give credit where credit is due.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Animal Instinct

Every now and then, it can still surprise me.
Riley is, without a doubt, my "main man". He's my heart; my partner. This is the normal state of being for us. So much so, that I'm not always conscious of it. Then he does something that snaps me out of my complacency and reminds me that we truly are partners and just as he trusts me, I need to trust him.

Riley isn't a terribly 'social' dog. He's usually aloof with new people. He normally won't go out of his way to meet someone and tends to be shy and a little timid if someone new approaches him. On rare occasion, he'll encounter someone who, for whatever reason, sends the right signals, gives off the right vibes or whatever, and he'll march right up to them.

Rarer still, are the occasions when he reacts very strongly and very negatively to someone. This happened yesterday. Maintenance came around with an outside contractor to clean our chimney and get our fireplace ready for Fall. Riley went right up to the woman who was doing the chimney-cleaning, which was surprising not only because he normally doesn't approach new people so readily, but because she was carrying all kinds of gear with her and things like that normally scare him. Apparently he wasn't going to let the big, scary brush and the big, scary dropcloth stand in his way. He liked her and wanted to check her out.

Then he took one step toward the maintenance man, quickly backed up again and growled at him. It was a very deep, very serious growl. I was more than a little surprised, as he's reacted this way to someone only one other time in his life. That was to my mom's older sister (who, in my opinion is either clinically insane or damned close to it.) I was not surprised that he reacted that way toward her. I was surprised that he reacted that way towards this guy. He's an older man and always seems so very pleasant. He's quick with a smile, a wave and a 'good morning' or a 'hello.' He's the head of our maintenance crew and has been here for years, so obviously no one has ever had a problem with him. He just seems like a very nice man - certainly not one that I would normally be on-guard around.
Riley, apparently, feels differently. Who knows why, but whatever the reason, he obviously has his own thoughts and opinions. And when he shows them so strongly, and so rarely, I think I'd do well to trust him.

Friday, April 30, 2010

"Drill baby, drill."

Remember that obnoxious republican campaign mantra? I wonder if they can feel it biting them in the ass yet?

Watching the coverage of this is making me sick. It's just horrific to think of the destruction this spill is going to bring to the gulf coast and its wildlife.

At least President Obama has put on hold any plans to open up more offshore drilling. I have to give him credit for that, even though the decision was probably the biggest no-brainer of all time. I didn't agree with his decision to open up more drilling in the first place, so maybe this will show him that doing so would be heading in the wrong direction and he'll put it on hold, indefinitely.

I admit, I may lean toward the conservative side of the aisle when it comes to certain aspects of the economy and national security, but never where the environment is concerned. I may not be convinced that all the global warming hysteria is founded, but this environmental disaster is happening right here, right now and it's because of our dependence on oil. If this, and the recent mining tragedies, aren't an argument for investing in alternative energy, particularly wind and solar, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This made me smile

PORTLAND, Maine— A former teacher who founded the Dead Poets Society of America and traveled 15,000 miles to document the graves of poets has a new mission to create a Dead Poets Remembrance Day on Oct. 7, the date master of the macabre Edgar Allan Poe died.

Amateur poet Walter Skold of Freeport launched his new endeavor Friday, beginning a 22-state tour of the graves of fallen bards. He's enlisted 13 current and former state poets laureate to help drum up support.

His "Dead Poets Grand Tour 2010" kicks off on what's believed to be the anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth in 1564 with a poetry reading at Portland's Eastern Cemetery, the burial place of British and American sea captains cited in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "My Lost Youth."

"Of course, it takes a little chutzpah to say we're starting a holiday," said Skold, who left his job as a public school technology teacher to pursue his passions of poetry and photography. "But we believe it's a really good idea, and we hope it catches on nationwide."

As in last year's tour, Skold will drive a boxy cargo van, dubbed the Poemobile, to graveyards. But this year, the 49-year-old Skold will be accompanied by a couple from Georgia who will film the journey for a documentary they hope to make.

Having learned from past mistakes, Skold sought permission from cemeteries ahead of time so there's no suspicion about satanic rituals or disrespectful behavior.

The idea of a day of remembrance was inspired by Skold's discovery that the nation's literary forebears have been neglected. Communities have readings at the graves of Poe, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton and other famous poets, but many others are in danger of being forgotten, he said.

Wisconsin's poet laureate, Marilyn L. Taylor, said Dead Poets Remembrance Day is a wonderful idea.

"There's all kinds of commemorative dates for things like National Potato Week or something like that," she said. "And I think it's time that the poets got some recognition."

Tennessee's poet laureate, Margaret Vaughn, noted that April is National Poetry Month. She said it would be nice to have a day set aside to honor poets, as well.

"When people write speeches, it's poets that they quote most of the time," she said. "I think to take one day to really recognize them would be great."

Since founding the Dead Poets Society of America in 2008, Skold and others have documented the final resting places of hundreds of poets. All told, he has a list of the graves of more than 600 American poets.

To drum up interest in documenting poets' graves, a photo and video contest will offer $4,000 in prize money, said Skold, whose society's name was partly inspired by the 1989 Robin Williams movie "Dead Poets Society," about an unconventional English teacher who inspires his boarding school students to love poetry.

For the trip, Skold has printed T-shirts with a rock tour-style list of stops, including Abraham Lincoln's tomb in Springfield, Ill., the Poe Museum in Richmond, Va., and the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, R.I., where Poe courted poet Sarah Helen Whitman. The farthest west he'll go is Iowa City, Iowa. Eventually, he hopes his travels reach West Coast cities.

Skold insists the graveyard events are about history and celebrating the lives of the poets, but he's not above a little graveyard humor. The society's motto is: "We Dig Dead Poets ... You Dig?"

Modern poets dig the attention he's generating.

"Dead or alive," Taylor said, "I think that Walter is seeing to it that we gain a little higher profile through this and also give our sincere respects to these people who have gone before us and on whose shoulders we're all standing as we write our 20th- and 21st-century poems."

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Daily Rant

This is one of those things that annoys me enough to post about.

So help me god, if I see one more person scoop up their little yappy dog and cling to it for dear life when I walk by with Gunner, I'm going to scream. I'm sick to death of having to say "He's friendly." or "Don't worry about him - he won't bother you." It's ridiculous. There are so many other big dogs here who are completely untrained and out-of-control; barking and growling at other dogs, pulling their owners all over the damned place. But these are Labs, Boxers, Puggles, etc., so no one thinks anything of it. They see a well-trained, well-mannerd German Shepherd coming their way and they act as if they're in fear for their very lives. Idiots.

It's all I can do not to say something along the lines of, "Yes, good idea. Scoop up that little squeaky toy because my dog would love nothing more than to eat it." If I didn't think they'd run right up to the management office and report that I have a vicious dog, I would.

It's bad enough when the owners of these other big, untrained dogs avoid us. But when these women practically go into a panic, scoop up their Toy Whatever-It's-Supposed-To-Be (all wearing little outfits, by the way) and I hear them cooing things like "Mommy's little baby..." I want to vomit. Then I feel bad for the little dog because it has to live with such a moron and probably doesn't have much of a life.

I suppose that's one of the trade-offs of living in a complex like this, in the center of Yuppieville.
~End Rant~

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Some photos of the new place

This is a shot of the kitchen that I very much love. I thought it would take some time, getting used to a much smaller kitchen than we had at the old house, but I love it! It's much more efficient.

This is our view. (Took this one from the living room.) Just beyond those two trees in the foreground is a deep ravine and a big creek.

Living room. (Taken from the kitchen.) I love that it's open and I can see the TV and talk to mom while I'm cooking.

This is one of our pool, taken last year. (It's not open yet this year. Can't wait till it is!)

A shot of the creek that winds through the property. There are walking trails all through the area, too.

Mom has the camera out. That can only mean one thing: Time for a wrestling match! (lol)

No photos of the bedrooms or bathrooms. We don't have them "done" quite to our liking, yet. I'm waiting for some new bedroom furniture to be delivered for my room and mom's bathroom needs some serious decorating help. We're planning to take our time and find things that we really like, so we're not wanting to re-do everything again, six months from now!

Deni, in the 21st Century

Okay, so it seems like everyone in the world, with the exception of yours truly, has a bliggety-blog, or a facey spacy, or a tweetie page. (My apologies to Dennis Leary for borrowing his humor, there.)

So here it is: My very own blog. Don't get too excited. You won't read anything deep or profound here. (Well, on occasion you might.) Mostly it will be mundane, day-to-day stuff, more photos of my boys than anyone really cares to see and things that either interest, amuse or annoy me enough to post about.
This blog is still under construction and probably will be for some time, so bear with me when it comes to layout and things of that nature.