Archive for the ‘dogs’ Tag

07-27-2016 Journal – Unexpected Vacation Days!   Leave a comment


I’m still on my first cup of coffee this morning. I’ve been awake for an hour and only left my bed once. I’m relaxing and preparing for my day which I hope will remain calm and restful.  I’m trying to decide what I’ll be doing with my unexpected few days of  vacation I’m on. Anyone who is in a lengthy relationship knows that any day your spouse or partner is away doing something is a free vacation (mental health) day. We certainly never tell them that’s how we feel but facts are facts.


My better-half has once again volunteered to help out her daughter and son-in-law by babysitting their children for three days while they’re on vacation in Los Angeles. I volunteered to stay at our home while she travels to their residence to be with the kids.  She’ll be staying there until the weekend and it’s my job to arrive in a timely fashion with takeout meals and moral support.  That’s the kind of job I really like.  For a change I’m able to avoid a total commitment of my time and energy to others and to enjoy my alone time   Hooray for me.


I get to spend my day working on a painting I started a few days ago for which I need real peace and quiet to do.  I hope to make serious progress over the next three days while listening to music that soothes me instead of hurting my ears.  It could be as close to heaven as I can get these days  and I intend to make the most of it.  It will end soon enough.


My biggest chore for today is to decide what food I need to buy for their dinner and  when to deliver it to her and the kids.  I suspect she’ll be damn glad to see me after chasing the two toddlers, two dogs, and two cats around the house for half a day.  I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy but she seems to love it. I’d better remember to throw a couple of cold beers into the food bag as well.  It’ll be just like tossing a life vest to a drowning man.


Well, I’d like to keep writing but my stomach is rumbling and wants to be fed. I’ll make us a delicious breakfast, drink another cup of excellent coffee, and count my blessings once again. I can picture in my head my better-half, the two little boys, two dogs, and two cats all snuggled together in bed for the next two nights. I can’t help but smile a little and when no ones around to hear I can laugh my ass off.

Special Note to Self: Be sure to give her a thorough flea and tick inspection upon her return. We don’t need any tiny livestock catching a ride to our house.


07-02-2016 Journal – The Holiday Weekend!   Leave a comment

I’m not one to become overly excited about holidays but the 4th of July has a little extra meaning for me. Not because it’s the nations birthday, which is important, but because it was the birthday of my favorite grandfather.  It’s the only day of the year that brings back in vivid detail the many memories that I have of him. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY USA and grandpa Jeff.

My better-half surprisingly started her vacation yesterday which will include the holiday weekend. Since the day was beautiful and sunny we once again took a day trip to Bridgeton, Maine located an hour east of our home. It’s located in the foothills of the White Mountains along the New Hampshire border. It’s a quaint small town filled with many interesting shops that we enjoy visiting.


Here are a few shots of the Maine street which was fairly busy with visitors. We hit our usual favorites to look for anything old and interesting. It’s always fun to people watch and roam around and not have to be concerned about the time.




If you like bells . . . they’ve got plenty.

It was very relaxing day but since we were starving we made a stop at Towanda’s Deli for a nosh. We relaxed at an outside table and had one of the freshest and most flavorful sandwiches we’ve had in a long while.


At the next table sat this handsome fellow. He lounged quietly with his owners and seemed to be enjoying his day as well. His name is “Russ” and what a sweet and friendly dog he is. He came over and said hello and goodbye as he and his family were leaving. An awesome dog.

Our drive home was pleasant and the day was a perfect start of our holiday weekend.


08-20-2015 Journal–A Return to the Sanctuary!   Leave a comment

The Dog Days of August are upon us with all of the heat and humidity that they bring.  I’ve been staying fairly inactive due to the heat but it’s driving me crazy.  I just need to get the hell out of the house.

I decided to visit an old friend today. That’s the Wildlife Sanctuary in Scarborough, Maine.  Over the last five years I’ve spent a great deal of time there documenting the plants and wildlife.  I was driven to create a photo book of the place which took me two years to complete.  I was very proud of the result but knew all along it could be a double-edged sword.  My biggest fear was that people would read the book and then decide to visit the place in large numbers that might change things in the Sanctuary.  Unfortunately I was correct.

In past years the Sanctuary wasn’t visited all that much and remained a pristine place to monitor and photograph the wildlife.  In just two short years the place has dramatically changed.  Since the town received copies of the book, they’ve begun promoting the place.  The trails are now mowed to twice their original size and from all of the piles of dog feces, it’s becoming a dog park rather than a wildlife refuge.

Vandalism is evident in certain places with hints of teenage visitors from nearby high schools occasionally appearing. Most of the wildlife I initially photographed is now almost impossible to find.  They must have decided to leave the immediate area due to the increased human and canine traffic.

Here are a few photos I snapped as I made a casual walk-thru just looking for anything.


‘The milkweed fields are as healthy as ever.’


“Thistles continue to flourish.’


‘Lots of elderberries available for use.’

The birds and squirrels are harder to find these days and even the deer seem to have moved on.  I decided to made a quick stop in the swamp, hoping for some dragonfly activity but even it was minimal.  In years past they completely filled the air over the swamp but that’s no longer the case.  I was hard pressed to get more than a handful of usable photo’s.


I continued on to a second small pond looking for damn near anything.  Usually the place is overrun with frogs but I found just these two.



There was a time when I could visit the sanctuary three times a week and never see another person.  Today there were three cars plus my own. A family with three small children and three dogs were running here and there while the parents picked blackberries nearby.  They spent part of their time trying to keep the dogs from attacking me, which I greatly appreciated. 

I’m sorry I ever made the book available to the public. I should’ve visited the Sanctuary, created the book for myself, and kept my mouth shut about it.  I may have helped ruin the place and that makes me sad.

11-05-2014 Journal Entry– Furry Birthday Greetings!   2 comments

This is my week for celebrating.  There aren’t many days during the year that I choose to remember fondly but this is one of them.  Today is my cat Stormy’s fourteenth birthday.  Don’t worry, this posting will not be some crazy-ass cat lovers gushy and sentimental rant.  I’m not some over-the-top PETA idiot who thinks animals are more important than people but I do have a soft spot for certain ones.

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I’m what most people would consider a cat person.  Over the years I’ve had a number of dogs, a snake, a ferret or two, hamsters, and a few cats.  For some reason I like having a friend who keeps his or her opinions to themselves, who is that perfect listener we all seem to be looking for, and is somewhat self-sufficient.  A friend whose who offers a fair amount of unconditional love and will listen to whatever nonsense I decide to spew.  If he doesn’t like it he just walks away without snide remarks or any rolling of the eyes.

Of all of my pets two stand out from the others.  They’re both cats and both lived to be more than fourteen years old.  I started out as a dog person due to my father’s decision to raise and sell hunting beagles.  We always had dogs and puppies running around the yard and I shoveled my fair share of excrement as part of my chores.  I really do prefer shoveling it from a litter box instead of scraping it up from different areas of the house.


Once I returned from the Army and started my working life, dogs became more responsibility than I could handle.  My jobs required that I move around from apartment to apartment, state to state, and having a dog would have been impossible.  Dogs for me are much like small children who never grow up and remain needy as long as they live.

Stormy came into my life for a number of reasons.  I found him in a local shelter the week after 9/11.  One of my ferrets had just died and her bonded mate was grieving terribly.  I brought Stormy home and that cat and ferret eventually became inseparable.  Years later when the second ferret passed on Stormy was inconsolable and slept on top of the empty ferret cage for months.  We’ve been together every since, thirteen years and counting.

He’s makes friends easily, had his own Twitter page for a while, and even had a children’s book written about him.  Now that he’s reached middle age he’s slowed down some but still the best mouser I’ve ever seen.  Just last night he was on patrol all night because he saw one of those annoying field mice that decided to take shelter in his house.  It’s only a matter of time before that stupid mouse makes a fatal misstep and I’ll find his corpse in the kitchen next to Stormy’s food bowl some morning.  That’s where he leaves his trophies so I can see and appreciate them.

He’s also attached himself to my better-half and slowly over time has become her official bed buddy.  So a big Happy Birthday to Stormy and hopefully he’ll have many more years with us.  I might even spring for a can of Fancy Feast for dinner tonight, after all it is a special occasion.

08-08-2014 Journal Entry – Boring, Strange & Weird!   Leave a comment

It’s been one of those typical summer days.  A little boring, a little strange, and a whole lotta weird.  The weird occurred this morning when I received a “Friend Request” on Facebook from a person I haven’t seen or spoken to in almost twenty years.  I immediately recognized his name, remembered his face, and then remembered more. 

This guy I’m discussing worked for me when I was managing criminal investigations for a national corporation that will remain nameless. Part of my duties involved training the newbies in criminal interrogation and the handling of potential suspects.  He was tagging along with me on a case involving the theft of thousands of dollars by some of our more nefarious associates.  I’d completed a number of preliminary interviews with persons of interest and had narrowed the suspect list to three possible’s.  My politically correct boss advised me by telephone to give the "new guy" a shot at the final interviews. I wasn’t too happy with that decision but there was nothing much I could do but sit in the room with him and watch. The main suspect was a female department manager who was known to be confrontational and extremely belligerent.  As she entered the interrogation room she snarled at me and just stood there staring at him. You should also know she was a somewhat large woman.

It’s always important for an interrogator to quickly build a rapport with the interviewee before getting into the more difficult questions. This guy was trying to be so cool and suave that he began schmoozing the woman by asking her how many months pregnant she was. Unfortunately while she did look pregnant, she wasn’t. She jumped to her feet,  screamed a dozen obscenities at him and then slammed the door as she stormed out of the interview room. It was all I could do to remain professional and not laugh out loud. He was utterly mortified and totally speechless. He violated the cardinal rule for doing a successful interrogation. Never, never, never, ask a question unless you already know the answer. 

Fortunately I reinterviewed her the next day and managed to use his screw-up to get a full confession out of her. She stated after a few minutes of questioning that she’d tell me anything I wanted to know as long as I kept that no good SOB away from her.  While she was at it she ratted out three of her alleged friends as well. It was a thing of beauty and something I’ll never forget.

Needless to say, I denied his friend request immediately.

I then made my daily trip to look in on my two new best friends. It was my last day of dog sitting before the better-half and her daughter return from their Maryland vacation.  These first photos are of Jasper.  He’s the elder statesman of the two who isn’t quite as peppy as he once was.  He seemed pretty damn happy to get out of the house for a while and who wouldn’t be.  He was locked in the house with two cats and a second spastic dog named Rihanna.


‘Jasper Showing His Good Side’


‘Jasper Being an Idiot’

This is Rihanna his nutso step-sister who’s half pit-bull and half lunatic.  She has more energy than three dogs and will play fetch with you until you drop. She loves to jump up and greet people when she meets them and I have a scar on my forehead to prove it. Crazy freaking dog.


“A Rare Shot of Her Actually Standing Still’


I returned home and ended my day with two hours on the riding mower trying to cut this wet grass before the next thunder storm arrives.  I really will be glad to have my better-half home on Saturday. At least she’s housebroken.

10-17-2013   Leave a comment

Yesterday I was a little bored which might explain why I was visiting Craig’s List.  I’m not a huge fan of the site because getting up close and personal with anonymous crazies is not my thing.  The history of Craig’s List and it’s problems are well known and need no further explanations from me.  I do enjoy reading many of their ads which can be both unusual and occasionally funny.

Funny ads are nothing new.  Over the years I’ve been drawn to newspapers and magazine ad sections to get a laugh or two.  The Penny Saver newspapers and their ilk are by far the best.  The following  collection includes a few of those types of ads that made me “laugh out loud” when I read them.  It amazes me how the ad writers can inject such humor into their ads and most times don’t even realize it.

* * *


$850/best offer

1 5-finger, 1 3-finger, PAIR: $15







CALIFORNIA GROWN – 89 cents lb.








* * *

Why is it that spontaneous and unplanned humor like these ads can be funnier that a lot of the professionally constructed jokes we hear every day. I find this stuff  hilarious and there seems to be an endless supply.

11-18-2012   1 comment

I’m a cat person as are millions of others in this country and I’ve been told there are currently more cats than dogs being kept as pets. You’d think that cat’s would now be considered “mans best friend”, but they’re not.  I’ve written before about how I believe cats think we humans are their pets and we’re actually “a cats best friend”. That being said, it appears that I am owned by an exceptionally inscrutable and sly cat. In general cats are pretty laid back and appear to the uninitiated that they are aloof and uncaring. I agree to a point on aloof but cats really do have personalities that are as different from each other as human beings.

I’ve been acquainted with five cats in my life and each one has had it’s own peculiarities and personality quirks. After years of observing them closely I’ve determined that one characteristic is common to them all. It’s called the Twenty Second Delay Response Syndrome (TSDRS). With dogs you shout a command and they spring to their feet wagging their tails and just begging to do your bidding. I think that cats get the same rush from your attention but choose not to show it quite so openly. They sit and wait for approximately twenty seconds then nonchalantly stroll over to see what’s going on. Try it out yourself if your owned by a cat, it’s amazing.

You’ll also note that I continually say “owned by a cat” and I’m not kidding in the least. Let me explain further. My better-half was for years a dog person. When we finally decided to live together I was more than a little  concerned about her relationship with “Stormy”, my feline friend. He and I have been together for almost twelve years and we lived the swinging bachelor lifestyle for almost eight years. It was a “Mexican Standoff” with my better-half and her son Chris for the first month or so after we moved in. Slowly but surely Stormy began to reel them in until my better-half was finally converted. Chris was more fortunate when he moved to California and broke free of the cats hypnotic effects.

We buy Stormy the best food, we give him fresh water every day, and we shovel and clean his disgusting litter box. He also has access to an outside deck where he can lounge all day in the sun and chase a bird or two. My better-half and I once had a double bed to share our nights together. It has now become a triple bed with Stormy deciding who sleeps where and how much room is allowed for each of us. In the morning God forbid we don’t immediately run to the kitchen to get his breakfast ready or he will bother, harass, and annoy us until we do. He’s a twelve pound, hairy alarm clock with a huge chip on his shoulder.

He loves to play but he can be more than a little rough. I have years of scars on my hands, arms, and feet to prove it. Recently during a play session I really pissed him off and he latched onto my foot. I screamed an obscenity which quickly ended the play time with him scurrying away and me limping to the bathroom for hydrogen peroxide and a band-aid. We didn’t speak for a week and every time we were in the same room he would sit with his back to me and begin the “Big Ignore”. After a week of his shunning I began to feel bad so I made sure his water was fresh, I changed his litter box early, and fed him a treat or two which he refused to eat until I left the room. Finally last night as I was just dozing off he jumped up on the bed and allowed me to move the hell over and make room for him. What a guy. He nudged me a few times expecting to be petted and loved-on a little and of course I complied.

Now I hope you understand if you’re an actual cat person  just exactly who owns who. I’d like to continue this little story but the sun’s out and Stormy has been bugging me for the last twenty minutes to open the door to the deck. He’s getting as much deck time as possible while the Fall sunshine lasts and before the snow begins to fly. He gets a bit grumpy if he doesn’t get his deck time because he’s concerned about losing his summer tan.

A lot of people use the term “a dogs life” to define the perfect way to live. I’d much rather have “a cat’s life”.

Posted November 20, 2012 by Every Useless Thing in Humor, Just Saying

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10-28-2012   Leave a comment

Another restless night for me last night due to a constant stream of really odd dreams.  I’ve always liked dreaming and I find myself looking forward to them.  Of course there’s the occasional, sit up and scream, nightmare but they can be interesting too.

Dreaming is the great way our mind can play with us a little.  You fall asleep and can be instantly visited by old friends and family who have passed making it seem like they’ve never left.

Last night I was traveling by car with an unidentified female when we pulled into a wooded area and stopped.  I looked down the nearby trail and saw a pack of approximately fifty dogs just sitting there staring at us.  The leader was a huge brown Great Dane.  I told my friend to stay in the car because if we wandered off they’d be on us immediately.  I slowly opened my door and they all ran away in the other direction. Go figure.

I’m not much for dream analysis since I believe it’s just our mind drawing on random memories to create a story.  I do find it a little strange that there seems to be an overlying theme in many of my dreams.  I’m always searching for something.  My car, a briefcase, and very often my clothing.  I occasionally have those dreams when I’m naked in public somewhere but they don’t bother me much because I truly love being naked.  Some times I find myself in flying dreams and they’re a great dream to have. My ultimate favorite without question is the dream where I’m flying and naked.

Well I’ve had my coffee and I’m ready for the day.

Posted November 1, 2012 by Every Useless Thing in Humor, Just Saying

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