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Archive for the ‘Lifes Observations’ Category

In Trader Joe’s grocery store I found a bag of four bagels for five dollars. As I was turning them over in my hand a young man asked me if I was finding everything okay. I told him I was trying to figure out why theses bagels were so expensive. He informed me they were both Gluten and GMO free. I dropped them like they were evil and asked him if they had any gluten loaded bagels with a touch of GMO?  He gave me a horrified look and walked me over to the sane people bagels much like he was making the walk of shame.

I don’t remember why, but he started telling me about this diet he was on called the blood diet. I was about to ask him if he was a vampire but he seemed to think I actually cared and went on to explain how you eat food according to your blood type.

I know people breathe, I had the same stunned silent reaction. I am here to tell you there is indeed such a thing as the blood diet. Because I value your readership I went ahead and looked it up. Dr. Peter D’Adamo is the creator of a diet where you eat very specific foods according to your blood type. This diet will make you feel better, give you energy and enrich your life. As an added bonus it proves that not all doctors graduated at the top or even middle of the class. Right Dr D?

This ‘diet’ takes no other factors into consideration, just blood type. For example, All you 3 million Americans who suffer from Celiac disease you may want to check your blood type before you try the blood diet. If you happen to have blood type ‘A’ you will probably have a very painful death as type A blood type dictates you can only eat wheat and other grain related products. 

To add insult to injury your exercise will also depend on blood type. So while you blood type A celiacs will be cramping massively due to your gluten heavy diet at least you will be in agony while attempting the downward dog from the reverse warrior position.

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Quinn, our Anatolian Shepard mix firmly believes that like cat poop and cat vomit, pizza is mana from the gods.

 I put two pizza crusts on the kitchen table, went to the fridge to get the fixins’ to make the pizza and when I turned back to the table one of the crusts was gone and for some reason Quinn was high tailing it out of the kitchen. 

When at a dog rescue event a friend of ours commented how good Quinn was, lying down quietly amongst all the chaos. Then somebody showed up with a slice of pizza, illusion of good dog shattered as Quinn stood his 98 pounds up on his hind legs to get nose to plate. 

We brought pizza home. I was at the counter putting a few slices on a plate when Quinn stole one out of the box. Naturally I went after him, my wife joined the fray. such behavior is simply not acceptable.  I had my plate in my hand. We got him cornered, I bent down and retrieved the stolen slice from him. At the same time he stole one off my plate. He has no remorse, no guilt. I dare say he looked somewhat proud.

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My wife and I are very lucky living on the side of a mountain in Central Pennsylvania. Clary, our 100 pound Great Pyrenees loves the woods. We have made a habit of going on daily walks down one of the three trails that run through our 11 Acres. Every now and again when walking the trail furthest from our house Clary decides she doesn’t want to walk anymore she will stop and sit. Getting her to move forward is akin to moving a mule that doesn’t want to be moved. The only direction she will go is home dragging me the entire time.
I was telling one of my co-workers about Clary’s refusal to go into the woods, he told me she probably hears the barking dog.

 At the furthest point on the trail, mainly in the fall when the leaves have fallen off the trees you can just make out a little hunting shack on the next ridge, sometimes there is a little smoke from a fire and one can hear a dog barking and if you squint just right you can just see it running back and forth barking it’s fool head off. 

“Well, there  is that dog in that hunting shack off the back of our property” 

“You have seen and heard this dog?” He asked?

“Not often, but yes”

“Have you met the owners?”

“No, I can’t even figure out how to get to that house, there doesn’t seem to be a road or path that leads to the house.”

My co-worker looked at me strangely and said, “I guess it’s time somebody told you about the barking dog.”

Seventy five years ago a young family built and lived in that house lived off the land in true homesteader fashion. Nobody is sure exactly what made the young man snap but one evening he shot and killed his wife, both his children and the dog, set the home on fire sat down on the front porch where he perished in the flames. To this day nobody goes near the place, some still claim to hear the dog barking. Hunters who try and hunt the land say it is barren of all wildlife and in the wee hours of the morning some see wisps of smoke coming from where the house used to stand.  

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Yes Sir, May I Have Another? 

This was the week of June 26th.

To say it was an eventful week would be an understatement. So many issues collided I can’t exactly put them in order. But I can come reasonably close.

 I won’t bore you with all the gory details. Suffice it to say I had a root canal and crown buildup, neither of which went smoothly. I burned my arm while making pizza in the oven. My wife twisted her knee which already needs replaced due to her bone on bone problem with both knees. 

 The lights in our house would flicker every night around 9pm we had the power company out one night and they couldn’t find a problem. Then we lost our water. Turns out our well pump was going bad, and after the drilling company pulled the pump all 150 feet out of the well they found much of the wiring had rubbed away and also needed replaced. The bad wiring was causing the pump to pull in extra amps which made the lights flicker until it just gave up completely.

Early in the morning Clary who is not allowed on the bed, jumped on the bed so she could get a better vantage point to make a flying leap at Quinn. Which wouldn’t be horrible but she used me as a launching pad.

But it’s not all bad.

I have a scar on my arm from the burn which I can play with when bored. My mouth is still sensitive but I’m learning to chew on both sides of my mouth once again. Soon I’ll have another crown to add to the collection.
Denyce is gaining strength in her other leg and has mastered the art of the ‘hobble’. 
We experienced what it must have been like back at the turn of the century living for a few hours like barbarians without running water. And we only paid 1200 dollars for the experience. A deal at half the cost! 
I have two wonderful scars going down my inner thigh with which to remember Clary.

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Clary growls for all occasions. She growls when she plays and when she sleeps.  Those are good growls.  When She is on alert and doing her job, or thinks she is doing her job her growls can be a very scary experience. It is not one of those wimpy growls, she is a big dog with a deep serious voice, of course chasing away the unwanted is her job. Most of the time she jumps up and barks which is scary in the ‘boo’ sort of way but not in the ‘Uh Oh…Something Bad’s About to Happen’ Sort of way.

Great Pyranees are not only guard dogs but they are nocturnal. One late night, around two in the morning I heard the growl, chances are she heard a deer outside, a truck going down the street, a leaf blowing in the neighbours yard. Trying not to wake Denyce I try to calm Clary before she goes into an all out barking frenzy.

The growl deepens, “Clary” I stage whisper, “come here!” As I tap the side of the bed. Clary loves to be touched and calms her right down. But as my fingers dangle off the edge of the bed in total darkness feeling for Clary’s big snout I can’t help but wonder if this is a good idea. There is always the possibility of losing a finger or two. But dismissing the thought as her growl comes again, I repeatedly call her over while trying not to wake my wife. But alas I hear my wife mutter in a groggy voice, “you ever wonder if it’s us she is thinking about attacking?

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I know this is a question that has been burning deep within us all. Why did the dinosaurs leave Europe? As you all know, over 200 million years ago some of the dinosaurs packed up and migrated from Europe. A few points of interest here. 1. They moved after Pangaea (The earths super continent) broke apart . 2 Immigration laws were just as lax then as they are now. 3. Scientists know they migrated because of Facebook. No my wonderful but silly followers the dinosaurs did not document every single aspect of their lives by posting on Facebook, their fingers were far too clumsy to type. Instead scientists used Network theory, the same process used to track and study internet data like how we connect and move through Facebook. Because I value the readers of this blog I went to all the trouble to look up network theory so I could explain it to you. Unfortunately it requires a lot of words and graphs and all sorts of stuff.  I got rather sleepy after the first few words. So if you really want to know about network theory I suggest google, and please feel free to post your findings in the comment section below.

You may be wondering why I’m discussing this? You are not alone as I often wonder why I talk about certain things. Actually what caught my attention was the more specific question of, How did they cross the great waters? After all the super continent had broken up and I doubt T-Rex would have taken a boat even with an all you can eat buffet, I just don’t see it.  And air travel is out, their carry on would never fit in that little compartment above the seat.  If you have not traveled by air as of late, let me tell you the airlines have become very picky about that sort of thing.

The answers are two fold. 1. Land bridges of course. The second was more interesting. One scientist decided that they swam across the great waters. And how did he come up with this scientific theory? Through great research? No? Through fossil evidence? No, he surmised that elephants can swim, therefore dinosaurs should have been able to swim. Makes perfect scientific sense to me.

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My beautiful wife is the Pennsylvania State Foster Co-ordination for the National Great Pyrenees Rescue. For the lay people, Great Pyr’s are very large dogs who were bred to guard livestock. They are also known in the dog world as ‘Gentle Giants’. How did my wife end up with such an illustrious title? After we adopted Clary we were so impressed with the organization my wife decided to give back and asked if they could use some help, perhaps she could field applications and such. And they said, “sure, You are now the Pennsylvania State Foster Coordinator” After reading this and commenting in the comment section below, and of course hit the follow button if you are not already a loyal follower to this blog, you should go visit the National Great Pyranees website http://www.nationalpyr.org and see about adopting, volunteering or make a donation.

Usually when my wife is conducting a phone interview with a potential Foster/Adopter I can be found immersed in the world of the video game Assassins Creed. My ears perk up when my wife gets to what NGPR (National Great Pyranees Rescue) calls the good, the bad, and the ugly. This is when my wife tells the potential Adopter about the traits of a Pyr in order to make sure the victim knows just what they are getting involved with in order to secure a good fit between man and beast.
I can’t help but grin as I listen to my wife go through the litany: the over abundance of the hair, (y’all only think you know about shedding) their need to bark, they are nocturnal, stubborn, expensive, they drool oh yeah baby we got drool! Did I mention the shedding? If you walk them off leash they become a ‘disapyr’! Oh they…dig, jump and climb oh my. Did I mention the hair? Better be ready it’s everywhere.

I find myself wondering who would want such a dog? But then I look at my two beasts and I know, you know, we all know. This my friends brings me to the whole point of this post. ‘What Have I learned From My Dog?’ The following 10 lessons I either learned or already learned but re-enforced by our dogs.
1. There is a lot of shit in life, it works out better for all if we clean up after ourselves.

2. At least once a day find something to bark at, and do so without regret or remorse.

3. I am the Master of my domain.

4. I can yell all I want and it won’t change much. Keep calm, stay strong, take a breath and square up your shoulders. Everything will be just fine

5. Don’t surround yourself with clutter, have a space for everything and keep everything in its place.

6. Don’t go cheap on a vacuum cleaner. Learn to enjoy vacuuming and do it often.

7. Always have something handy to wipe stuff up with.

8. Get up and go out every single day. It doesn’t matter if you are sick, drunk or tired. It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing or blistering hot, go outside every single day

9. Just because you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it is not there.

10. A little mud never hurt anything.
The following were some of the responses I got from asking the question on Facebook. Both to my friends and the good people at NGPR.
-You have to have patience Dig deep to understand others.

-When you finally figure out what’s going on, it’s not the real story anyway.

-Unconditional love

-Why sweat when you find your stuff in pieces – it’s just… stuff… right?

-Never buy expensive shoes, only cheap ones.

-dog hair is edible

-You can be young all the way up to Your last days.

-Forgiveness, no matter how badly they were treated before they meet you they give you the benefit of being a good person.

-Love is free, give it away often

-How to “rule” non-violently. My Stinson could control an entire pack with a look and a woof.

-Be happy to see everybody.
If you are considering introducing a pet into your family please find a rescue and adopt.

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