Friday, June 5, 2009


Julie: can't you see he's stuck? Do something already! You're the one with opposable thumbs!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blog, part Deux

It's been so long since I've posted anything of substance that it feels new again. The last couple months have been a whirlwind, especially with my decision to take on the fundraising responsibilities for my Greyhound adoption group ( It's a job in and of itself.

I will do my best to keep the material fresh and original, and hopefully in abundance.

A new twist I'm going to add is landscaping by committee. I say it every year, but this time I intend to follow through with freshening the yard around Greyhound Central. In the coming posts I'll solicit the advice of the blog world at large as to what will become of our little slice of terra firma.

The trip planning for this fall is interesting. Possible destinations out West. I can't promise bear encounters and dramatic pontoon boat rescues, but I'll try to make it entertaining.

Till next time!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mid-Spring Hibernation complete...

To Emerge Under Refreshed Management Soon...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Too Bad Tim Dinh...

I've never met you, and I'm quite positive you don't want to meet me.

For, you see, Tim, I'm not the gracious generous person you thought I was.

I am not sending you the new laptop you fraudulently paid for using an online account of mine. I'm not sure how you made it through, but bravo. That kind of energy redirected could bring about life changing moments for you.

Sadly, Tim, this is not one of those moments. I will be getting every last penny that you tried to take from me. You'll move on to other unsuspecting victims to try, once again, to obtain something for nothing.

So, if this post serves nothing more than a warning to my friends, family, and followers, so be it.

My advice to all of you? Go change the passwords to your critical accounts. You know which ones they are. Let me ask this rhetorical question...How many of those passwords are similar because it's convenient??

Not anymore, right? Be ever vigilant. Set a schedule. Every xx days, change your passwords. Make a point to look at your credit card and bank statements two to three times a week. It's a fact that if you commit three weeks to something, it becomes a habit. I'd love to say I'm a habitual password changer. I hope to get there someday.

Check your credit report often and please, please DO NOT go to It is anything but free!!

Most of you in the metro ATL area have heard of Clark Howard. Second only to the Queen (aka my personal Certified Financial Panther) I refer to his site often for information and advice. Click here and it describes how to get your truly free credit report.

Don't let this happen to you. Don't rely on someone else to keep their eyes on your money. They didn't work for did! Guard it fiercely!!

Sorry, Tim, go find someone else's day to ruin. This one is locked down...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Alysheba 3/3/84 - 3/27/09


Kentucky Horse Park Loses Thoroughbred Great

LEXINGTON, KY (March 28, 2009) The great Alysheba, Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year recipient, was humanely euthanized at 11:13 pm Friday at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. The 25-year-old stallion was buried this morning at the Hall of Champions, across from the grave of the legendary John Henry.

Alysheba fell in his stall on Friday afternoon and was not able to get up. Dr. Nathan Slovis was immediately called to the Kentucky Horse Park, and an equine ambulance transported Alysheba to the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute directly across the road from the park. Dr. Slovis and his team treated Alysheba and evaluated his condition. By evening, it was clear that he had sustained an insurmountable injury.

“Due to a chronic degenerative spinal condition that led to ataxia and instability, Alysheba fell in his stall yesterday injuring his right hind femur,” said Kathy Hopkins, Kentucky Horse Park Director of Equine Operations. “Complicated by his advanced age, this trauma resulted in severe pain that did not respond to analgesic therapy. The resulting pain and suffering, and the inability to stand unaided, led to a joint decision for euthanasia. This very difficult decision was made by the veterinary staff of Hagyard Medical, the veterinary staff of His Majesty King Abdullah, and those who loved and cared for him at the Kentucky Horse Park.”

Alysheba had just become part of the Kentucky Horse Park family last fall and we were looking forward to having him for many years to come,” said John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park. “Discussions with Dr. Slovis and King Abdullah’s team, however, led us to conclude that this was the right thing to do for Alysheba, and Hagyard’s staff performed admirably in such a difficult situation. I am grateful to His Majesty for giving us the opportunity to enjoy this special horse and share him again with his many fans, and I am happy that his last days were spent here on his native soil.”

Frank McGovern, General Manager of King Abdullah’s stables in Saudi Arabia, participated in the decision and thanked the park staff for trying to save Alysheba. He stated “his injury is one of those incidents that is not uncommon in older horses, and, unfortunately, nothing can ever be done. I am glad that he was back home and enjoying the first shoots of Spring before this happened.” He added his thanks to the Kentucky Horse Park team “for their work in making Alysheba a star again.”

Before coming to the Kentucky Horse Park, Alysheba spent the previous eight years of his life in the royal stables of His Majesty King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, after standing his first years at stud at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. Known on the track as “America’s horse,” he was sent to the Kentucky Horse Park as a gift to the American people in October 2008.

Bred by Preston Madden at Hamburg Place in Lexington, Alysheba (Alydar-Bel Sheba, by Lt. Stevens) was sold as a yearling to Dorothy and Pam Scharbauer for $500,000. They campaigned him under the guidance of Hall of Fame trainer, Jack Van Berg, who said, “He stuck out like a diamond in a rock pile.” Later, Van Berg observed, “He was so smart he knew what he was doing all the time.”

Alysheba won the 1987 Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness Stakes (G1), Super Derby (G1), and an Eclipse Award as Champion 3-year-old colt. As a 4-year-old, he was even better, winning six Grade 1 stakes: the Strub Stakes, Santa Anita Handicap, Iselin Handicap, Woodward Stakes, Meadowlands Cup and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was ridden in 17 consecutive starts by Hall of Fame Jockey, Chris McCarron. Alysheba is listed at #42 on The Blood-Horse magazine’s list of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century, one notch above another Kentucky Derby-winner, Northern Dancer.

His career highlights also included Horse of the Year honors and track records for 1 1/4 miles at Belmont and The Meadowlands. Along the way, he defeated Risen Star, Forty Niner, Bet Twice, Seeking the Gold, and another Kentucky Derby-winner, the ill-fated Ferdinand. Until two-time Horse of the Year Cigar came along, Alysheba was the world’s richest Thoroughbred, with earnings of $6,679,242.

A memorial service for Alysheba will be planned at a later date.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The First Saturday in May....

Ahhh....May. The sun is shining. The flowers are in bloom. Life is flourishing and the Run for the Roses draws near.

I'm going out on a limb here, albeit a pretty solid one at that. I'm making my prediction for the Kentucky Derby and I'm pulling for The Pamplemousse.

I really love his high stepping gallop and his gangly stride. Kind of like the awkward kid in kickball, not really sure what he's doing, but somehow, someway, he's doing it right.

The 'Mousse is breaking from the #8 spot

He's such a monster. If he gets to the lead early watch out. You're not going to real in this runaway freight train. Beyond that, I'm pulling for his jockey, Alex Solis. A Derby win would all but guarantee his appointment to the Hall of Fame where he belongs.

I do have to have a second pick and that is Friesan Fire. He's the #9 horse:

I like the connections behind this horse. Larry Jones, the trainer, is ending is career this year. For those of you that don't know, Larry was the trainer for Eight Belles, the filly that gave Big Brown a strong run in the Derby last year. She beat 19 of the 20 colts that day. In the run out after the race, Eight Belles broke down, breaking both ankles. Sadly, she was euthanized that day. There was a whirlwind of events following this tragic moment, many of them completely and udderly ludicrous. Seriously, why, WHY, does the federal government feel they need to intervene in every single freakin' event. I can think of way too many things they should be doing instead of sticking their noses in the horse racing industry. Sorry, there is no place for that rant in this post. Larry Jones is one of the great trainers and if the 'Mousse doesn't win, I sure hope Friesan Fire finds his way to winner's circle.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday's Fact.....


Navel lint, or more commonly belly button lint or navel fluff, is an accumulation of fluffy fibres in one's navel. Many people find that, at the beginning and end of the day, a small lump of fluff has appeared in the navelcavity. The reasons for this have been the subject of idle speculation for many years but in 2001, Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki of the University of Sydney, Australia, undertook a systematic survey to determine the ins and outs of navel lint. His primary findings were as follows: Navel lint consists primarily of stray fibers from one's clothing, mixed with some dead skin cells and strands of body hair. Contrary to expectations, navel lint appears to migrate upwards from underwear rather than downwards from shirts or tops. The migration process is the result of the frictional drag of body hair on underwear, which drags stray fibers up into the navel.Women experience less navel lint because of their finer and shorter body hairs. Conversely, older men experience it more because of their coarser and more numerous hairs. Navel lint's characteristic blue-gray tint is likely the averaging of the colors of fibers present in clothing; the same color as clothes dryer lint. The existence of navel lint is entirely harmless, and requires no corrective action. Dr. Kruszelnicki was awarded the Ig Nobel Prize for Interdisciplinary Research in 2002.

Hey Toast, something else to be proud about!

cited from:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Time to Vote Again!!!!

This time it's the home favorite......

Katie is campaigning for Southeastern Greyhound Adoption this week.

Click to vote for Katie and help SEGA win $10,000!!!

And she'll clean your shower!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


If I had wanted a loose-joweled dog, I would have bought a Mastiff or a Bloodhound...

Julie looks like she just robbed some poor squirrel of it's winter stash. This is allergic reaction number three to ????? in the last six months. First one was a yellow jacket. I was able to see it sting her because it stung me first and I inadvertently flung it on her. Fortunately, as I sit here with her, I can see the effects of the Benadryl we just administered. The swelling's going down and she's getting very, very sleepy. We'll check her again in a couple hours and she should be fine in the morning. Don't worry too much. Her breathing and appetite are both fine!

There's something lurking here in the air. Something that is.....that is just not right. More to come.....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The People's Horse Comes Back to the People

Funny Cide was officially welcomed to his new home at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions Dec. 5, becoming the second Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and champion to take up residence there in just over a month.

Like his immediate predecessor at the Hall of Champions, Alysheba, who arrived Oct. 31, Funny Cide was known as a “people’s horse.” This was due to the fact he was a New York-bred and a gelding, but also because his owners, Sackatoga Stable, were the epitome of the “small guys” in the business who reached the top.

At the Horse Park ceremony, Jack Knowlton, managing partner of Sackatoga, stated what he felt was Funny Cide’s legacy as the horse was paraded in the pavilion in front of him.

“He represents hope for the little guy,” Knowlton told several hundred people who braved the cold to welcome Funny Cide. “People tell us all the time that they’ve gotten into this game because of him. Also, racing needs more horses like him who fans can enjoy after their Triple Crown seasons. He was a huge fan favorite because he ran as long as he did--into his 7-year-old season--and because he was an underdog. We still get emails and letters from his fans everywhere.”

Funny Cide’s popularity grew through the Triple Crown series thanks to his ownership--10 partners who were small-time players in horses, including six who went to high school together in Sackets Harbor, a small town on the eastern shore of Lake Ontario in upstate New York.
The Sackatoga Stable partners each threw in $5,000 to buy horses, and they furthered their blue-collar reputation by traveling to the Triple Crown races in a yellow school bus, the only means of transportation they could find for their large group at a reasonable rate in Louisville en route to the Derby. After winning in Kentucky, they figured why break up a good thing, and rented school buses in Baltimore and New York.

A $22,000 yearling purchase, Funny Cide, by Distorted Humor --Belle’s Good Cide, by Slewacide, was running under everyone’s radar until he finished second to the powerful Empire Maker in the 2003 Wood Memorial (gr. I).

Three weeks later at Churchill Downs, Funny Cide turned the tables, laying close throughout the Derby and holding off Empire Maker by 1 3/4 lengths. He went on to crush his field in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) before finishing third behind Empire Maker and Ten Most Wanted in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).

New York in particular embraced Funny Cide as a hometown hero, as 101,864 patrons showed up for the Belmont Stakes, the second-highest crowd in history for the race. His popularity continued to skyrocket in Saratoga after the Triple Crown series, and a Funny Cide shop opened in town. Beer, ice cream, and souvenirs were marketed in his name.

Funny Cide went on to race 38 times over six seasons, winning 11, including the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) as a 4-year-old. He earned $3,529,412 for his owners and trainer Barclay Tagg. Funny Cide was named champion 3-year-old male of 2003.

After his retirement from racing in 2007, Funny Cide served as Tagg’s stable pony, but recently, infirmities from his racing career made it difficult for the horse to continue in that capacity, prompting his retirement to the Horse Park.

Knowlton thanked Tagg; Tagg’s assistant, Robin Smullen; Funny Cide’s regular jockey Jose Santos; Funny Cide’s fans; and the Horse Park.

“We are thrilled this will be his retirement home,” Knowlton said. “It is an honor to be here today. I know he’ll get the best care in the world.”

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday's Fact: High-Level Logic in Ravens and Crows

I'm going to let the videos speak for themselves...
Even though the second one is over 9 minutes....
It's totally worth it.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well, you've seen it in the both sidebars this's the post....

Drew is representing my adoption group, Southeastern Greyhound Adoption.

If he gets enough votes, he'll advance to the next round and a chance to win $10,000!!!

Be sure and tell all your friends!!

Hurry! Drew's week is up on March 10!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday's Worst: #14

Worst Sandwich

I was going to post about a random sandwich that was, by all means, not healthy for you. However, with this week being the worst sandwich, I couldn't resist to go after the burger. Let's not forget that they were initially called hamburger sandwiches. This one's bad enough that I see a repeat in it's future....

So, without further delay, I present the juggernaut to which all others are compared against and, all others whimper in it's presence....lifting the proverbial leg on health conscious eaters everywhere...

WARNING: Scantily clad waitresses ahead.

Hey, I picked the most modest one I could find!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fighting the Surge

Political soapbox post've been warned.....

Long ago my parents taught me about integrity and being honest. I know I've stumbled throughout life and I've paid the consequences. However, I'm just a middle manager in a nation-wide corporation. I'm not President of the United States. Last year, I sat and watched presidential hopefuls claim up and down that the surge in Iraq was the absolute wrong action to take. They fought it as hard as they could. Well, I came across this YouTube clip that is a compilation of speeches given by our former President, our current President (and then, Presidential candidate) and our current Vice President (and then, Presidential candidate).

For your viewing pleasure:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday's Fact: Bear Hibernation

During late fall, bears spend less time feeding and more time preparing to den. One of the primary factors that influence the time a bear will den is its fat reserves. When inadequate, the bear will be compelled to remain active in search of food. The timing of den entrance is also influenced by the age and sex of the bear. As a rule, a pregnant female or a mother with cubs will enter the den first, followed by subadults, while adult males are generally the last to enter their dens. Den entry further depends on geographical latitude - some southern bears do not den at all.

As bears travel their home range during the summer, they may make note of potential denning sites and return in fall. During the last days before entering the den, bears often appear lethargic. Bears will rest in day beds before they actually bed down for the winter in a den. Day beds are constructed by raking together leaves, conifer needles, and small branches into a pile. Bears may have several day beds spread throughout their territory.

Hibernation is a method to conserve energy when weather conditions are unfavourable and food is scarce. Most B.C. black and brown bears den for four to six months every year, entering the den in November or December and emerging in March or April. Of course there are always stragglers going in and coming out.

Dens are usually located in sites that are dry and well drained and where snow cover is deep. Bears like to use cavities in the base of old growth trees, small caves or rock cavities; often with remarkably small entrances. Bears will excavate suitable cavities in the ground, digging a small hole big enough for the bear to twist around in and that's all. Many dens have a tunnel leading to a larger chamber, while some dens have been found with multiple chambers accommodating several bears of the same family. Dens may be used again and again or a bear may choose a different site each winter. Some dens are dug below the roots of trees using the root mass as a ceiling. Bears usually line their dens with leaves, conifer needles and bits of branches or wood shavings. Some bears have even used surface dens, open to the elements. Bears generally prefer secluded sites for denning, although they've been known to den in culverts under busy streets.

Denning generally consumes more time in a bear's life than any other activity. Hibernation is a method to conserve energy when weather conditions are unfavourable and food is scarce.

Bears are not true hibernators. If you look inside a bear den in mid-winter, the animal may lift its head and look back at you, and if the bear feels threatened it may get up and run away, although its movements would initially be slow and stiff.

Bears actually enter a state of dormancy where their heart rate drops from 40-70 beats/min. to 8-12 beats/min.; their metabolism slows down by half; and their body temperature drops by 3° to 7°C. Bears do not eat or drink during this time, nor do they eliminate waste. In fact they actually recycle the build up of urea, using its constituents to manufacture new proteins. While hibernating, the bear lives off its fat reserves, and may lose a quarter to a third of its body weight.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #15

Worst Kid's Meal

Macaroni Grill Double Macaroni 'n' Cheese

1,210 calories
62 g fat
3,450 mg sodium

I'm not even going to denigrate Kraft's version by comparing the two. Look, your kid is only going to be as healthy as you are. Think about that when they're bypassing the salad bar and burning a path to the dessert station for extra sprinkles.

Next week: Mmmmm.....good.....NOT

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Ultimate A-Team Snag

Look who I have!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fortified Fire, 1/23/99 - 2/18/09

Please set your tails at half-mast....

My sister's first Greyhound lost her battle with osteo this week. Fire was a great hound and fit like a glove in their household. I've never seen a Greyhound at a coursing trial outrun a lure quicker than her.

I've attached her memorial below. My Sis' reads my blog so feel free to reply here and share your thoughts and condolences...


Fire came to us on an August day in 2003. Wayne and I went to the racetrack to meet the greyhounds, and little did we know that a greyhound named, Fire, would literally dance into our lives. As soon as we told her that she would be going home with us that day, she literally asked Kevin where she could put her paw print on the piece of paper, by jumping up on his desk, so she could go home. She knew that she was leaving that day. Fire has never won any titles or any trophies, but she has played with her cousins, Julie and Stacker who have won some titles and trophies. Her Uncle Stephen has noticed her “lightning” speed and yes he did admit that Fire can and did beat his Field Champion Stacker (when they raced for the fun of it).

Fire went to some field trials and even tried to become certified, but to everyone’s dismay, she outran the lure! Her speed was just unbelievable. She will always be remembered as one very fast dog. Her remaining days were lived in the backyard playing with her adopted greyhound brother, Tornado, and a mutt named, Lucy (part whippet). Lucy would chase her ball and Tornado and Fire would chase Lucy. Lucy would be in the middle and Fire would be on the right and Tornado would be on the left. Would it be a squeeze play?

Unfortunately, Fire had a case of “Happy Tail” and she lost a good six inches of her tail in November 2008. However, that wasn’t the worse thing that would happen to her. Fire started limping on January 8, 2009. She went to the vet on January 12 and our worst fears were confirmed. Fire was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and due to her age, we chose the best route of medication for her. She will be on pain medication until it is no longer enough. Why her? She is such a sweet and gentle girl with a great personality. She takes food out of your hand so gently and you can actually take food from her, but why would you want to? She gives you that sweet innocent look that makes you just melt inside. Why did cancer have to come to her? She turned 10 on January 23rd! She made it to her 10th birthday and she got a new stuffed bear. Another stuffie to tease her dad with! Sorry, Wayne. She got all the treats she could eat that day plus an extra chicken back. Hey, you only turn 10 once, right?

We have noticed that Fire is getting worse. Cancer is really beginning to take a hold of her. She can’t play in the backyard with Tornado and Lucy anymore and her long neighborhood walks are over with now as well. She still loves to play with her toys and she still loves to eat.

On February 17, 2009, her left leg looks so bad right now. Friday and Saturday were the last two days that she really used it. Sunday night when we got home from church, I noticed the protruding shoulder and the knot in the joint. The cancer had taken over her leg. We were told it could take 1 - 4 months and it took a little over a month for Fire. Maybe if she had rested more? Not my Fire. She didn't know the word rest. She wanted to stay active and that is what she loved, an active life style. So, not to copy you Jen, but Travis and Fire loved the active life....she played hard, she lived hard, and she fought this disease hard, now her fight is over.

Fire passed away on February 18, 2009. She loved life and she loved everyone that she met. She will be sadly missed. Our house just won't be the same without her around. Thank you for noticing her when you would come for a visit. Thank you for taking care of her when her parents went off on vacation somewhere. Seems like everyone who met her fell in love with her and she also fell in love with them. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

Rest in peace sweet girl, run in joy.

Forever Fire's Mom,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #16

Worst Mexican Entree

Chipotle Mexican Grilled Chicken Burrito

Bring burritos to America and, like most waistlines, they expand to a ginormous size. These seemingly innocent harbingers of myocardial infarctions pack a major wallop. Let's see the havoc they release:

1,179 calories
47 g fat
125 g carbs
2,656 mg sodium

Sodium? Here's a reality check for you. A regular (not family) size box of Kraft Mac 'N Cheese will, according to the nutrition label, serve 3 people. PER PERSON, the sodium serving from our childhood favorite is 580mg. How does that rock you? You could eat one and a half boxes of macaroni and cheese and still not hit the amount of sodium in this one burrito.

My average daily caloric intake is around 1200-1300 calories. Again, I'll use Kraft for a comparison. Calories, per person, in one box is 260. You do the math on this one.

Let's not forget that we just consumed more than twice the amount of carbs we're supposed to have per meal.

Saving the best - worst - for last: FAT

A single serving of Mac 'N Cheese will waylay 3.5g of fat on your body.

Are you ready for this?

You would have to eat almost FOUR AND A HALF BOXES of Mac 'N Cheese to reach the equivalent of this border crossing obesity inducer.

You'll notice I'm counting this list down from twenty. Stick with me and, at the end, I'll tell you why every single one of these on the list is ok to eat.

Ha, I've got you hooked now, yeah?

Next week: Is that a child by your side or did a hippo escape from the zoo?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tales From the Tail

Stack: Is my nose really that big?

Julie: They say if your paw is the same size as your nose it means you're exceptionally smart and highly intellectual. Hold it up and I'll show you...

Stack: Oh boy, Ok.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday's Fact: Biggest Living Organism

Armillaria ostoyae
People have known about the "honey mushroom" for some time, but were not aware of how large and invasive this species of fungus could be. The fungus was investigated more closely by researchers when they realized that it was responsible for killing large groves of evergreen trees. When foresters cut into an infected tree they would find spreading white filaments, mycelia, which draw water and carbohydrates from the tree to feed the fungus. Researchers collected samples of the fungus from a widespread area and analyzed the DNA. A large sample of the specimens they collected turned out to be from a single organism.

Until August of 2000 it was thought that the largest living organism was a fungus of the same species (Armillaria ostoyae) that covered 1,500 acres (600 hectares) found living in the state of Washington. But then mycology experts surmised that if an Armillaria that large could be found in Washington, then perhaps one just as large could be responsible for the trees dying in the Malheur National Forest in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Researchers were astonished at the sheer magnitude of the find. This most recent find was estimated to cover over 2,200 acres (890 hectares) and be at least 2,400 years old, possibly older.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #17

Worst "Healthy" Burger

Ruby Tuesday Bella Turkey Burger

"Healthy" and "Burger" have never gone hand in hand. Oh, but they want you to believe that this Turkey burger is sooooo healthly. It's good for you! Look, there's something that resembles a tomato. They care so much about your livelihood and ability to see your feet while standing, don't they?
I doubt it.....check out how this behometh weighs in:

1,145 calories
71 g fat
56 g carbs

Do you remember what I told you about carb intake? That's the least of your concerns. How many restaurants like this will serve just a burger? Gotta have those fries, yeah? How 'bout a Coke and smile? And a few more chins while your're at it.

Next week: Burrito de la Muerte!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The blog has been on cruise control while I rally the troops in my head. There's been a lot of things going on lately that pulled me away for one reason or another.

Although, it may just be the Sloth in me.

Curse you fourth deadly sin. Curse you...

The good weather last weekend allowed me to get back on the van pimping project I started last month. I finally cut the last panel for the remaining section of the wall. I also have the "rough draft" of a platform to store our extra crates and x-pens. Couple of tweaks here and there and it's ready for finishing. I have one gripe, though. I wish I owned a planer/jointer. It is so hard to find the right material to build everything straight and true. It would be nice to have something with straight edges and corners once in a while. Lowe's sure isn't helping me, though. They just kicked a nugget to me in the form of a gift card, although they left a couple zero's off of it. Just enough to draw me into the store (like that's hard) but not enough to realize the dream. I hope to get back to it this weekend, but we may be rather busy.

On a more painful note, my Volvo, Ingrid, as been admitted once again to the Grim Reaper's La Casa automotora de SeparaciĆ³n Financiera. She's been hemorrhaging black gold for the past week and the diagnosis isn't good. As soon as I heard, "The leak seems to be coming from a sealed component", my heart sank. Why can't it be, "Hey it looks like the drain plug was loose", or something like that? I may have to take her for a long drive out to the middle of nowhere one of these days...

Finally, to end on a finishing note similar to nails on chalkboard.....yeah, you just imagined that, didn't you? My portable hard drive is now a bona-fide Illinois Governor. Yep, it's corrupt. I'm hoping to find an unconventional (cheap) way to recover some important pictures and files off of it, so I'm open to any suggestions you might have. I've already done an inquiry at the local nerd brigade and the recovery fee is mighty steep.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday's Fact: Greenland

Because the coastline is made up almost entirely of numerous fjords, the Greenland coastline is approximately 24,430 mi (39,330 km) long, which is about the same length as the Earth's circumference at the Equator.

The weight of the massive Greenlandic ice cap, which covers over 80% of the surface, has depressed the central land area to form a basin lying more than 300 m (1,000 ft) below sea level. If this ice sheet were to completely melt, sea levels would rise more than 7 m (23 ft) and Greenland would most likely become an archipelago of islands with the central area completely under water.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Look Of Eagles...

With a freak flag ear kicker...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #18



Pepperidge Farm Roasted Chicken Pot Pie

1,020 calories

64 g fat

86 g carbs

I've seen my fair share of destructive food items in the freezer section. The Hungry Man series immediately comes to mind.

This box says it'll handle two, but let's be real. Who here has ever divided a small pot pie in half?? As soon as that crust is compromised, there's no holding back, right? Just a friendly health note. You shouldn't exceed 60 grams of carbohydrates in any one meal. 86? Ever been called, "Hey Big'un?"

Pot Pie = BAD

Next week: Isn't "Healthy Burger" a contradiction?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rush Hour Calm

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Fact: Scratch and Sniff

How do scratch-and-sniff stickers work?
Scratch-and-sniff stickers are one of those novelty technologies that sound like such a good idea... But they never really caught on except in children's books and the occasional perfume strip in a magazine. Why shouldn't nasal information be just as important audio and visual information? Perhaps because no one has figured out how to encode language in smells.

Nonetheless, if you have kids, you probably have a scratch-and-sniff book around the house. And even if the book is 20 years old, it still works! The reason the stickers last so long is because of the microencapsulation technology used to create them. The basic idea behind scratch-and-sniff is to take the aroma-generating chemical and encapsulate it in gelatin or plastic spheres that are incredibly small -- on the order of a few microns in diameter. When you scratch the sticker, you rupture some of these spheres and release the smell. The smell is essentially held in millions of tiny bottles, and you break a few of the bottles every time you scratch the sticker. The tiny bottles preserve the fragrance for years.

It turns out that the microencapsulation technology used in scratch-and-sniff was first developed to create carbonless copy paper. The top sheet of paper is coated with microcapsules containing a colorless ink. When you write on the paper, it breaks the capsules and releases the ink. The ink mixes with a developer chemical on the next sheet of paper to create a dark color.
"How do scratch-and-sniff stickers work?." 01 April 2000. <> 29 January 2009.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Say What You Will....

From the mind of Michael Ramirez, Editorial Cartoonist for Investor's Business Daily.

A pig is a pig whether you take it into town, or to the trough...

I guess the reason it didn't work last year was that there wasn't enough money in it. Yeah, that's it.

What's the old rambling about repeating something over and over again, hoping for different results?

Oh yeah, now I remember.....insanity.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday's Worst - #19



Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie

30 fl oz

900 calories

10 g fat

183 g carbs

(166 g sugars)

This is a smoothie???? Well, Jamba Juice thinks so. Ready for a pop quiz? Here we go. What has more sugar: One (1) Jamba Juice Chocolate Moo'd Power Smoothie or Two (2) pints of Ben and Jerry's Butter Pecan ice cream?

Ready to finish off that Michelin midsection? How about that third and fourth chin you've been dreaming about. Look no further. 75% of this chain's power smoothies are in excess of 100 grams of sugar. Their fruit smoothies are the only items with no added sugar. Do yourself another favor and order the small while you're at it.

Next week: Just how bad can bad be at your local grocer's freezer? I'll tell you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

What A Relief...It's Just A Virus!

And here I thought diet and exercise were the most effective. Looks like just keeping my hands clean, using Clorox wipes, and Lysol spray were all I had to do...sheesh

Here's your link.


Obesity can be "caught" as easily as a common cold from other people's coughs, sneezes and dirty hands, scientists are set to declare today. The condition has been linked to a highly-infectious virus which causes sniffles and sore throats. Professor Nikhil Dhurandhar said the virus, known as AD-36, infects the lungs then whisks around the body, forcing fat cells to multiply and also causing sore throats.
"When this virus goes to fat tissue it replicates, making more copies of itself and in the process increases the number of new fat cells, which may explain why the fat tissue expands and why people get fat when they are infected with this virus," Dhurandhar said. In one test, a third of obese people had the rare and highly contagious virus compared to just 11 percent of thinner people. Weight gain can last three months until the body has built up resistance to the bug. New research supports earlier theories from studies on weight gain; evidence in tests on mice and chickens shows the bug could cause overweight people to gain weight. "People could be fat for reasons other than viral infections, so it’s pointless for fat people to try to
avoid infection," said Dhurandhar. The study also reveals research claiming dieters always feel hungry because humans have a "natural body weight" and they will always suffer hunger pangs.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Look, He's Domesticated!

And almost housebroken...

One thing I really love to do is cook...

First comes the veggie pasta recipe I just found, courtesy of the

Use a vegetable peeler to cut the vegetables into slivers, similar to the fettucinni.

Then cook both until they are al dente, drain the pasta and combine with the vegetables.

Once combined, stir in a mixture of parsley, basil and grated lemon peel.

For the Queen I chose fresh salmon with a bourbon glaze...

And for me?

Why, meat of course!

I'll admit, the Queen keeps us alive, but I get to add a spark every now and then!

Disclaimer: Those that are knowledgeable know good and well that the Queen's father cooks $40 quality steaks at his castle while my father is the hands down King of Salmon, especially at Thanksgiving!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday's Fact: Drinking Ice Water to Burn calories

For anyone trying to lose weight, this question is an exciting one! If you simply want to know if your body burns calories warming up the water, the answer is yes. But if you want to know if drinking a lot of ice water can help you lose weight, or keep weight off, this "yes" needs to be qualified with some calculations.

Ice water won't replace a healthy diet, but it will burn a few extra Calories.First of all, calories are case-sensitive. There are calories and then there are Calories. Calories with a big "c" are the ones used to describe the amount of energy contained in foods. A calorie with a little "c" is defined as the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.

What most people think of as a Calorie is actually a kilo-calorie: It takes one Calorie to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 degree Celsius. So when you drink a 140-Calorie can of cola, you are ingesting 140,000 calories. There is no cause for alarm, because the conversion applies across the board. When you burn 100 Calories jogging a mile, you are burning 100,000 calories.

So, considering that the definition of a calorie is based on raising the temperature of water, it is safe to say that your body burns calories when it has to raise the temperature of ice water to your body temperature. And unless your urine is coming out ice cold, your body must be raising the temperature of the water. So calories are being burned.

Let's figure out exactly what you're burning when you drink a 16-ounce (0.5 liter) glass of ice water:

  • The temperature of ice water can be estimated at zero degrees Celsius.
  • Body temperature can be estimated at 37 degrees Celsius.
  • It takes 1 calorie to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
  • There are 473.18 grams in 16 fluid ounces of water.

So in the case of a 16-ounce glass of ice water, your body must raise the temperature of 473.18 grams of water from zero to 37 degrees C. In doing so, your body burns 17,508 calories. But that's calories with a little "c." Your body only burns 17.5 Calories, and in the grand scheme of a 2,000-Calorie diet, that 17.5 isn't very significant.

But let's say you adhere to the "eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day" nutritional recommendation. In 64 ounces of water, there are 1,892.72 grams. So to warm up all that water in the course of a day, your body burns 70,030 calories, or 70 Calories. And over time, that 70 Calories a day adds up. So, while you definitely shouldn't depend on ice water consumption to replace exercise or a healthy diet, drinking cold water instead of warm water does, in fact, burn some extra Calories!

sourced from How Stuff Works

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Keep You're Head on a Swivel

Keep both eyes and ears out for news involving Cass Sunstein. I usually don't jump on the conspiracy theory train, but this guy's background and his recent appointment to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in Obama's administration make him pretty dangerous if he chooses to implement his animal-rights ideals.

Here's the article.

Kudos to Todd for getting on this quickly.

Light the proverbial match and start spreading the fire.

Wednesday's Worst - #20

So here we go. Every Wednesday will feature a new worst in the realm of eating out, whether it be fast food or sit down. We all know it's out there, but did you really know what's in it???



Did anyone say KFC or Popeye's?? Maybe Church's? El Pollo Loco??? You're all wrong!

830 calories
55g fat
(4.5g trans fat)
48 g carbs
This is none other than the Golden Arches' Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips w/ creamy Ranch sauce. The only thing premium about this is the caloric assault on your body. At that rate, you can eat 20 McNuggets and receive the same wallop on your diet. That's just the meal, folks. Want large fries and Coke with that? Sure you do. Why don't we go ahead and bump that to 1700+ calories shall we? A semi-reasonable solution? Get the six-piece with BBQ sauce and you've just slashed 530 calories. Hooray! That means you actually have a spot in the day to eat again! I say semi-reasonable because if you were really wary you wascally wabbit (sorry, I was channeling Elmer Fudd and Barbara Walters at the same time) wouldn't eat there.

So, now you get the idea of what I'm going to be putting up on this thread. Is your favorite dish going to be on the list?

Next week: Is it a Smoothie or is it diabetes in a cup??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Bush

Never before in this modern era has a President been challenged as much as you have. I want to thank you for keeping us safe for the past eight years. I have come close to feeling as safe as I did on 9/10/01...not because I've forgotten, but because through the strength of your actions and courage, you have kept me safe, often at the expense of your own reputation.

Thank you for keeping my wife, my family, my friends and neighbors safe under your watch. Please relax and enjoy the private life. If anyone deserves it, it's you and Laura.

President Roosevelt said it best...
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat -
Theodore Roosevelt, 1910

President Obama


You have forever left your mark in history as our next President. Furthermore, you have also accomplished what no other man in any modern country has done; won the Presidency as a man of color.

I will admit I didn't vote for you and, if given the chance, would not vote for you again. I have too much pride and respect for what makes this country great. The personal freedoms we enjoy are second to none. But, with that freedom comes responsibility. Not from the government, but from the individual. I fear both of these qualities will be greatly diminished under your leadership. You were quoted recently saying "Only Government can get us out of this", when giving a press conference regarding our economy. I don't know if you'll change this country or not, but I'm afraid we're in for four years that will yield no noticeable improvements.

Your job's a tough one. However, you knew exactly what you were getting into. You knew you were being handed a turd and polishing cloth. You ran anyway. No excuses going forward.

You are my President for the next 1400+ days. When you do well, I'll recognize it. "Good for him. He got this one", I'll tell people. When you are wrong, I will voice my disagreement. However, I will not resort to the antics displayed by the left for nearly the last decade. I will not hold you responsible for every problem that exists in the world and I will not stomp my feet and hold my breath, demanding your resignation and impeachment every time you do something I don't like.

You've been handed the keys to the greatest nation in the world, maybe in history.
Don't drive it like a rental.

Obama the next Reagan??

Bet you will never find this in any major media outlet:


New Poll: Reagan, FDR Lead Presidential Role Models
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --

When American voters were asked which past President of the United States they believe Barack Obama should model his new presidency after, they did not pick Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy, or even George Washington as their top choice. They picked Ronald Reagan.

According to a nationwide survey conducted by Clarus Research Group this past week, Reagan was the top choice among all voters with 26 percent, followed by Franklin Roosevelt with 18%, Kennedy with 17% and Lincoln with 13%.

"Reagan was the overwhelming favorite among Republican voters," said Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus.

"He received 59 percent as the President GOP voters want Obama to emulate. Nobody else came close."

"Democrats scattered their choices more," Faucheux noted. "FDR was their top pick at 27 percent and was closely followed by Kennedy, with 26 percent. Lincoln, a Republican, ranked third among Democrats."

Other findings:

  • Independents favored Reagan, followed by FDR, Lincoln and Kennedy.
  • Younger voters (under 30) selected JFK as their favorite. Reagan and Lincoln followed.
  • Older voters (over 65) put Roosevelt first. Reagan was second.
  • White voters picked Reagan as their top choice with FDR in second place.
  • African American voters favored Kennedy by a wide margin. Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, came in second.
  • Home regions of past Presidents can still have political impact. Reagan, from California, did the best in the West (30 percent) and the worst in the Northeast (22 percent). FDR, a New Yorker, scored highest in the Northeast (26 percent) and lowest in the Midwest (15 percent).
  • Reagan dominated small town and rural America, winning 31 percent.
  • Among urban voters, FDR led with 23 percent.
  • Reagan was also favored among suburbanites, capturing 28 percent.
  • Reagan won high-income voters (over $100,000 a year) with 33 percent
    followed by FDR with 21 percent. JFK and Reagan, at 21 percent, tied among voters with incomes under $50,000 a year.
  • Education was a factor in some cases. FDR received 14 percent among
    voters without a college degree but 25 percent among those with graduate degrees. Kennedy won 27 percent of voters with high school educations and 14 percent among college graduates.

Presidents among the Founding Fathers

  • George Washington and Thomas Jefferson received 4 and 3 percent, respectively.
  • Cold War Presidents Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower also received 4 and 3 percent among all voters.
  • Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, captured 4 percent.
  • The Hero of the Battle of New Orleans, Democrat Andrew Jackson, received 1 percent.

Inauguration Day

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher price.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government - not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.

We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are no heroes, they just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they're on both sides of that counter. There are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life.

"They" are you.

I wonder if we'll ever hear a speech like this again...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday's Fact: Whale Falls

I've emerged from my cave.

It was refreshing to drop this for a while and enjoy something other than staring at my blog updates page like the fat kid staring at the microwave , waiting for that beep so he can score his next plate of pizza bagels.

I'm going to start posting random (mostly useless) facts each Friday. If anything, it will help you become masters in Trivial Pursuit...

Today's Fact: Whale Fall (sourced from Wikipedia)

Whale fall is the term used for a whale carcass that has fallen to the ocean floor. When a whale dies in shallow water, its carcass is typically devoured by scavengers over a relatively short period of time - within several months. However, in deeper water (depths of 2000m or greater), fewer scavenger species exist, and the carcass can provide sustenance for a complex localized ecosystem over periods of decades, or possibly centuries.

Some of the organisms that have been observed at whale falls are squat lobsters, Osedax (bone-eating worms), crabs, sea cucumbers, octopuses, clams, and even deep-sea sleeper sharks. Whale falls are often inhabited by large colonies of tubeworms. Over 30 previously unknown species have been discovered at whale falls.

Given that whale deaths occur at locations that are largely random, carcasses are believed to exist at many locations on the seabed, like oases in the nutrient-poor abyssal plain, with average spacings estimated at 25 km.

Marine biologists sometimes transport dead whales that have washed up on coastlines, towing them offshore to create a whale fall at a known location that can then be studied over a long period of time.

Stay tuned, next Wednesday will start a lengthy segment on eating out, and why you shouldn't.

Stay warm! It's 13 on the mercury this morning...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Freakin' Hate Storm Troopers

You know, the Death Star would be a little more tolerable if there were some brighter Storm Troopers running around. Seriously people, if you walk into a room and hear the tell-tale sound of stepping in water, WOULDN'T YOU THINK TO TELL SOMEONE THAT SOMETHING'S WRONG?????

Heck no, not here. We's got busy Storm Trooper work to do. Forget that it smells like somebody's thriving chicken farm/paper mill operation with a side business making liver treats in the dehydrator (nothin' but love GBD!).

0900 hours - I stroll down the main corridor at the D.S. Keep in mind that I've reported to my post 3 hours prior to this moment of reflection and there have been two dozen or so Storm Troopers milling about in that time. The aforementioned "ambrosia" fills my nostrils and warns of the meltdown that awaits me behind the door with the little man on it. Oh little man. If you could only speak I would not have witnessed the cataclysmic cauldron brewing behind your emotionless facade. I made the call to Mission Control and ordered the Level 5 HazMat special with a side of hurry-the-%^&$-up.

1300 hours - Not one single Storm Trooper has approached to even suggest that something is different today. Not one. ~sigh~

1320 hours - Level 5 HazMat team arrives and secures a containment perimeter around the biohazard. One hour later all biohazard has been removed. One mop was martyred in the process.

I honestly think the Storm Troopers would wither and die if there weren't any Trooperettes to maintain order at homebase. Fortunately for me, the Queen is quite adept at reminding me of the shortcomings of my previous living arrangements and the fallacy in thinking that my interpretation of "status quo" was how things actually were supposed to be. For that, I am grateful...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Stealing Away

There's something exciting about heading off for an adventure in the pre-dawn hours, especially on a day normally reserved for laboring at the Death Star.

Previously, I alluded to a future rambling simply titled "Close In, Far Out". Pardon the cliche, the future is now.

I'm hoping to keep a series going that details my hikes to show what is close enough to fit into a day trip.

Congratulations to the Poole's Pooches (poolie and ykngld) for correctly guessing the location of our adventure. However, I'm highly disappointed that you have not visited this location yet and you are hearby signed up for the next trip. Nevertheless, keep an eye on your mailbox. There's a $10,000 third party, out of state check heading your way! You'll notice that it's considerably more than the prize amount. All you need to do is deposit the check and send back the difference to cover promotional and advertising costs...

I love being the first out on the trail which is why we left before dawn to get up there as soon as the gates opened. Cloudland Canyon is about a 1.5-2 hr drive from home base (30 mins from ATL proper). There is one main trail that loops the east and west rim of the canyon. I think it's 4-6 miles. The majority of the hike is level ground, but there are also some sections with large rocks to traverse and the descent/ascent through the gorge can be steep.

The views are totally worth the effort...

The recent rain made for better waterfalls this time!

Had Riley not been with me I would have gone down to the falls for some better pictures. However, the path to the gorge floor is mostly man-made and there are several staircases with metal expansion steps. We've learned that it's a no-go for the hounds. They don't even try it and we'd rather not watch a toe go through one of the gaps in the steps.

When you abscond with an A-team hound you'd better bring your A game because this is the only view you're going to have through the entire trip.

Riley, you're welcome on my hikes anytime!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!