Monday, September 29, 2008

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty(Nine)!!


In honor of my not that much younger sister's birthday, I will be doing another cookie giveaway this month and Superdoodles are the Cookie of the Month for October. If you want to be in the drawing, just leave a comment. Good luck!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where's The Little One?

I had to take Jo to camp, the kennel, today because we are leaving for Houghton early tomorrow morning. As I was standing in the office talking to Pam, the owner, her young son came running in asking where the little one was. Pam told him that she was in the back. He reappeared a couple of minutes later saying he couldn't find her. She told him she would show him where she was in a couple of minutes. She then turned to me and said that he likes to roll around in the kennels with the small dogs and the "little one" he was looking for was Jo. He isn't allowed in with the big dogs but the small, friendly dogs are fair game. Lucky Jo. What can be more fun than rolling around with a small boy?

I watched Survivor tonight. I am sure my not that much younger sister will be giving a full report but I do have a couple of comments to make. If you have been watching the show for any length of time you know you should come dressed to play. What is it with these people showing up in dresses and suits? Get a clue, people. And when you are choosing your team, choose the strong ones. You need them for the challenges. Wow, these are basics so I don't know why I need to spell this out for you so called super fans.

As I am writing this USC is getting beat by Oregan State 21 to nothing. Is it going to be one of those kind of weeks because if it is maybe ND has a chance against Purdue this week. Who is Sarah rooting for this week? She is a graduate of ND but a current student of Purdue. Wow, what a choice. And Michigan plays Wisconsin. I am picking Wisconsin to win for no other reason than I like watching Michigan lose.

I will be back late Sunday hopefully with some fall color pictures.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy 25th Birthday, Bug!

Sarah's birth day, give or take a couple of days.

sarah's bday, 9.24.83

Now she is two.


Ahhh, six.


And now she is eleven.


And finally she and Cory celebrating her 25th birthday on Mackinac Island this past weekend. Well, her birthday and their engagement. This may be her best birthday celebration so far.


Happy birthday, Bug. We are so happy you came into our lives.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Sunday Recap

It is Sunday night and time for a recap of the weekend's happenings.

First, I have a new camera. Yes, I wanted something between D's small pocket camera and my big SLR. I got a Canon G9. It will almost fit in my back pocket. It can be used on auto or I can manually set the aperture, shutter and ISO. It will be the best of both worlds I hope. Anyway all the pictures to follow were taken with my new camera. Some turned out better than others but I am learning.

After all of my virus problems it turned out somehow something important got deleted from my Photoshop Elements program. That wouldn't be so bad but I gave the disc to my dear brother thinking I wouldn't need it anymore. Not to fear, at Sarah's high school auction I bid and got the newest version of Photoshop. I just hadn't installed it because frankly I wasn't in the mood to learn another program right now. It is now installed and I am learning my way around. I found my familiar buttons but there are many I have never seen before.

So between my new camera and new Photoshop the following pictures are experimental.

We spent Saturday afternoon watching the ND/Michigan State game. It was a disappointment and I think Jo might have had the right idea on how to watch that game. We are young and it showed. Almost all of the offensive line are sophomores so hopefully there are good things coming in the next couple of years.


Next, we headed to everyone's favorite city.


And what was our destination in this fair city? No other than this.


Because of the football game we didn't arrive until the fifth inning. But consider this: This is a team that has now recorded its 16th consecutive losing season and the fourth in a row with 90 or more defeats. There was no hurry to get there early.


Because this is the Pirates, the real highlight of the game is the pierogi race


and the wave.


The real reason we went down to the game was this.


It was the reason we were there and the reason the sell out crowd was there. Let me tell you they did not disappoint.


pnc park, 9.08

They learned their lesson this time and didn't have the fireworks alternating with the band. The band played and then they shot off the fireworks. It was much better this way.


They ended the concert with Free Bird. Fantastic is all I can say. This was the only clip I could find but I hope you enjoy it anyway.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming For This Important Announcement


Today is Saturday and it's football season so I should be posting my football predictions for the weekend. But I have something more important to post about today. Today is Puppy Mill Awareness Day. As you know, Jo herself came from a puppy mill. Here are some excerpts from a USA Today article that ran in yesterday's paper.

"Grass-roots puppy mill protests and events are planned for today nationwide, from Northville, where about 50 people are expected to parade through town to raise awareness and distribute information about puppy mills, to Fresno County, Calif., where volunteers will gather at a mall "to publicize the atrocities of puppy mills," says organizer Joyce Brandon."

"Puppy mills -- large, inhumanely run breeding operations that sell puppies to some pet stores and online -- have for years been in the crosshairs of animal welfare groups. Breeding stock, they say, are kept in tiny cages, fed subsistence diets and given no medical care, exercise or socialization; then the animals are killed when they no longer produce large litters. The puppies, they say, are often sick when sold, or genetic issues soon emerge."

"In South Bend, Ind., the annual Mutt March in St. Patrick's County Park to benefit a no-kill shelter will have a significant anti-puppy-mill component this year, says event chairwoman Linda Candler." Yea, South Bend!

"The biggest event -- with 600 to 1,000 participants expected -- will be held in tiny Dutch Village in the middle of Lancaster County, Pa., which experts say is ground zero for puppy-millers. Organizer Carol Araneo-Mayer says people are flying in from all over the country to bring awareness -- for the fifth straight year -- to the number of farms in the pastoral surroundings where "dogs are being treated like a commodity." (Hanging my head in shame)

Yes, today is Jo's day. She came to us as one of those who had been used as breeding stock. When we got her she didn't wag her tail, was afraid of all men (including D), and had no idea to do with the toys we had given her. And now? Her tail wags constantly, is falling in love with D (those car rides sure do help his cause!), and has figured out what to do with her toys. All in all, life is good for Jo. My sister-in-law sent me an article last week about the things we can learn from dogs. If Jo could talk, I am sure this is what she would say.

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it."


Friday, September 19, 2008

Thank You, Geeks

What a mess. I spent all of last night trying to fix it and no luck.

What mess you ask? Last night I decided to download Darius Rucker's new country song, Don't Think I Don't Think About It. And of course that led to more songs and suddenly this virus warning pop-up appeared. It looked official. It said it was Antivirus XP 2008 and I needed to run it. I clicked Ok and not long after realized my mistake. It wasn't official and created a mess of my computer.

I tried to go to some tech forums to figure out what to do and this program had blocked the ability to get to those web sites. Somewhere in my search I saw there were youtube videos on the subject. Score, the hackers hadn't thought to block that. Yup, I had a problem according to youtube users. Of course, the solutions they offered involved downloaded spyware which I couldn't access. Kind of a catch 22. What to do? I gave up at midnight.

But lying in bed I realized D's computer still worked and I could access some help forums. So this morning I got on his computer and found a forum that discussed this program and how to fix it. The best part it didn't involve downloading programs I couldn't access. Just follow this guy's detailed instructions and all should be well. I did and believe me it makes me nervous when I am deleting files that I don't understand. But it worked and I am back in business. Thank you, Microsoft. It was in one of your forums I found the information I needed. The geeks do run the world.

So beware of Antivirus XP 2008 or variations which also exist. Don't click on it. It looks official but it isn't. Take it from one who knows.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


What can I say? My standards are low for what I consider funny.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Do I Think?

Yesterday I received this email from Sarah.

Just tried to call you....

Here were the recommendations the dealer called me back with (in addition to the 30,000 service):
-new tires $517 for Yokaham or something like that(extra $100 if I get the kind i have now-Michelen)
-alignment $99.95
-fuel induction service $139
-transmission power flush $159
-rear brake rotor replacement $352

Talked to several knowledgeable people at work about it (the engineers who actually get car magazines). The fuel induction service and transmission power flush are recommended by the manufacturer at 120,000 miles. Did not get a clear answer from the dealership on why the huge discrepancy between the two numbers besides "local experience has shown this is a good idea". So I nixed those.

The rear brake rotor replacment was because they say it has excessive rust. I got a good explanation from engineers here about brakes/rotor setup etc so I understood. Asked them why the brakes were engaging to allow a rust build up and they said they needed lubrication because the brake pads weren't moving fully and the slide pads were sticking. I knew that was part of the 30,000 service I'm getting and said that should fix the problem, then they said that the rust wouldnt wear off with this fixed because the pads would wearr extremely fast in those spots. The people at work said this shouldnt be a problem and if I'm worried about it I can ask someone to look at it the next time I get my oil changed but it should be fine, especially since I don't see any problems with the brakes during operation.

They said I needed new tires because of wear. I called back and asked for clarification and to quantify the tread that was left. It is 4/32'' on both front, 5/32'' on one rear and 7/32'' on the other rear. Then they said they recommended replacement not because they were worn but because they were worn unevenly and looked wavy and choppy and thats what was causing the vibration/rumbling I noticed while driving. I clarified that the only consequence of this might be some vibration while driving but nothing else. Again people at work said I shouldn't need tire replacements except maybe the front tires in a little bit.

So I'm not doing any of it for now. The next time I get my oil changed I might get an alignment or wait a little longer until I actually need new tires and get an alignment then.

What do you think?

What do I think?

You may be blond and think the circuit doesn't include both the switch and the light fixture, you may wash your clothes with no detergent or softner, but no one is going to take advantage of you. Good for you. You are more like your dad than I thought.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Take A Hike, Ike!

I had a weekend recap all set in my head to write last night, Sunday, and then poof it was gone. Gone like the wind. More like a wind named Ike. We lost our power just as I was sitting down to write my blog entry and we didn't get it back until four o'clock this morning.

The most tragic part of the whole night was we were just minutes into the Pittsburgh/Cleveland game. Could you hear the yelling coming from Western PA last night? They take their football seriously around here and losing cable in the middle of the game is not a good thing.

Because we could hear the wind howling outside (50 - 70 mph gusts) and we could hear lots of limbs hitting the roof we decided it might be prudent to go to the basement until the worst of it had blown over. So with candles and a our trusty battery operated radio we sat in the candlelight and listened to the football game.


We both fell asleep during halftime with a score of 7 to 0 and woke up with three minutes left and a score of 10 to 6. It wasn't supposed to be that close of a game but they pulled it out and Pittsburgh is breathing easy today. The wind had died somewhat so we went to bed and woke up to this.


We have branches all over our yard. I don't even want to think how long it is going to take me to pick them all up. D conviently left town today and won't be home until Thursday.


Can you see why I was a little nervous when I was standing outside with Jo last night? Stuff was falling around us and all I could think of was I am going to get hit by something and it was going to hurt.

One of the trees in our backyard.


We got off lucky. We have lots of neighbors with whole trees blown over in their yards including the neighbor to the east of us. But what can you expect when your yard is full of trees?


Come on, Jo, we have work to do!


And now on to my football recap which was my original plan.

I had predicted a ND win by single digits. Final score ND 35, MI 17. I thought it would be a lot closer game than it was. And that's all I am going to say about that. Do we get bragging rights for a year? Of course. But am I going to gloat? Nope. Karma kills.

I predicted a USC win and they didn't disappoint. I said 34 - 14. The final score was35 - 3. Three points? Wow. Maybe MI has a chance this year.

And now on to the Lions. How can you have a 1 point lead with 6 minutes remaining and still lose by 23? I guess if there is a way the Lions will find it, but sheesh. I had predicted a Green Bay win 42 - 7. Final score 48 - 25. At least they put some points on the scoreboard so I guess that is something to be happy about. But to give up 24 points in the last 6 minutes. I am speechless.

And in case my not that much younger brother is having second thoughts about cutting that last thread he was hanging by from the Lions. Heed this advice I found on the Freep's Lion gameday blog.

Replying to Tassiedevil:
I'm relatively new. Have the Lions evr had an NFL quality quarterback, or coach?

New to football, or just new to Detroit?
Give it up now while you still can. DO NOT GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO THIS TEAM.
Go get a Steelers jersey and rest easy.
09/14/2008 3:35:11 p.m. EDT

Yes, little brother, get a Steeler's jersey and you will sleep much better at night.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All I Can Say Is...

I didn't see that coming.

Cheer, Cheer For Old Notre Dame!

Ah, game day. I do love football. I am sitting at my computer watching the rain fall outside and hoping that isn't an omen for how my day is going to go today. After all, today is the game we have all been waiting for all week......


Yes, it is the University of Notre Dame du lac vs the University of Michigan. Who is going to win this game? Your guess is as good as mine. From what I have read everyone is calling for a close game by two not very good teams. I am hoping for a ND win, but realistically I think it is a toss up. The team who commits the fewest turnovers and mistakes will probably win this one.

The next game of interest is Ohio State against USC. Can the Big 10 repair its national image? They don't seem to fare well against other conferences around the country. Is it now two trips in a row for Ohio for the National Championship? Two trips, two losses. And today will be no exception. I predict a USC win tonight. D and I will both be watching that one.

And now the Lions. Here is a quote I found in the Free Press about the Lions.

Nationally, people think the Lions are irrelevant 364 days of a year. The 365th day is Thanksgiving -- when everybody wonders why the Lions are on TV.

Thank goodness they aren't completely irrelevant because I would never get to see them play. I am so hoping we get the game tomorrow. I may need a pick-me-up after today's ND game. I don't know what my brother has been smoking, but I don't see the Lions winning this game against the Green Bay Packers. From what I have heard Green Bay looked pretty good last week and we all know how the Lions performed against the worst team in the NFL.

There you have it, my picks for the weekend. I am hoping for a ND win, and predicting wins for USC and Green Bay. Let the games begin!

Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

They Call This Work?

A couple of weeks ago D had the opportunity to fly to Wyoming for a couple of days of hiking and fishing. He was being entertained by one of the vendors his comapany buys from. He had done this trip about ten years ago so he was excited to be going back.

For fun I decided to apply some filters to the photos he took while he was out there. It has made for some interesting effects. I put the name of the filter in parentheses for anyone who is interested in such things.

He flew commercial to Chicago then boarded a private jet for the rest of the trip. (dreamy)


The jet was a tad bit cramped. No wonder I wasn't invited! (fall colors)


Here is the bustling airport which was their destination. (sixties slide)


The spent their time at a 10,000 acre ranch. I'm used to 40 acres, I can't even imagine owning a ranch that big. (mountain)


Here is one of the many houses that are on the ranch. (landscape)


One of the many trout that they caught and ate for dinner. (charachter)


He even got fancy with his camera. (reminiscing)


He saw a moose (bright shade)


and a real cowboy. (faded)


The views were incredible. (snap)


Can there ever be too much fishing? (brownie)


All good things must come to an end and so it was time to head back home. (spooky)


C-2 if you are interested in having these fun little filters for yourself go to They have really good directions on how to get this program right into your Photoshop program. If I could figure it out, I know you can. I see they have some more that I may have to download.

Monday, September 8, 2008

This Is Steeler Country

pittsburgh, pa, 9.08

Yup, there is no doubt about it, this is Steeler Country and after the Lions embarrassment yesterday this may be a better place to be. This week anyway.

Our company has season tickets for the Steelers but they almost always go to customers. But suprisingly noone asked for the tickets this past weekend so we got to go to the game. It was a perfect day. Temps in the seventies, a slight breeze, and the anticipation of a Super Bowl run in the air.

But first we have to get to the stadium. Parking is thirty dollars near the stadium but five dollars across the river with a 20 plus minute walk. Guess what we chose? To get to Heinz Field you first must pass PNC Park.

pittsburgh, pa, 9.08

And for you baseball fans out there here is an interesting fact.

pittssburgh, pa, 9.08

And of course we passed many of these on our walk to the field.

pittsburgh, pa, 9.08

Here is our destination. Our seats are the second row from the top on the left side. If you look close you may be able to see them. I actually like to be that high, well, except for the climb to get there. You don't make many trips up and down. Plus, we are under cover which is really nice when the weather is nasty.

pittsburgh, pa, 9.08

We were feeling a little underdressed.

pittsburgh, pa, 9.08

And now this is when the camera died. Not the whole camera just the screen. Sometimes it comes on and sometimes it doesn't. And for the rest of the day I couldn't get it to come back on. Oh well. But we had lunch at Primanti Brothers (yum) and listened to a live band for awhile. They were really good but I have no idea who they were because for the 20 minutes we sat there they never said their name. It was a local band and they played a more country sound with a lot of guitar. From there it was the climb to our seats and a great game with the Steelers winning 38 - 17. It wasn't as close as the score indicates because the Texans scored twice late when the Steelers had the second string in.

Now while I was enjoying my game I could see by the scoreboard that the Lions fans were having a much harder time of it. This is Mitch Albom's take on the game.

Before a half-empty stadium, in a city that has no expectations, against a rookie quarterback, against a rookie coach, against a team whose former star passer sits in a jail cell, the Lions had their butts handed to them.

"Don't be trying to write us off," defensive captain Cory Redding warned, after the 34-21 loss. "We're good. We just didn't show up today."

Actually, Cory, if you didn't show up, it'd be a forfeit, and the score would have been closer.

All I can say it is going to be a long season for the Lions fans.

But, don't give up hope Michiganders. The state does produce some winners.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Charlie Says,

"I will take an ugly win over an ugly loss."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

Here Come the Irish

Yes, it is that time of year again. Football season. I thought for fun I would post my predictions for the weekend. Trust me I know nothing of stats, who is playing, who is injured, or anything for that matter. I am thinking of trying Tiff's (Sarah's friend from Monroe who at one time detested sports) way of picking winners. She was in a football pool last year and based her picks on two criteria. First, she made her choice based on the team with the cutest players. If that was equal then she went to the tiebreaker. She would chose the team who came from the city she would most like to visit. Don't laugh. She picked the most winners last year and won. I'm thinking that could work for me.

First up, the Irish vs San Diego State.


D says if they lose this game, it's over. It can't be over so soon in the season, otherwise we would be called the Wolverines. The Irish by double digits.

I believe the Wolverines are playing Miami of Ohio. I know they can't beat Ohio but they sure better beat Miami or they are as good as done this season.

The Lions, who knows? I am hoping for a loss but preseason didn't go so well. Don't let me down Lions. There are some things in life that one should always be able to count on.

Go Irish!!

D is Officially Out

Yup, we are best friends again. Sorry, D.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

To That Lone Lions Fan, And You Know Who You Are

This article appeared in the Free Press today and I thought some of your would find it interesting.

ESPN recently ranked the fan bases for each NFL team. Don't ask me why. It is not for us to question the wisdom of the almighty ESPN. What ESPN giveth, ESPN taketh away, and let's face it: you don't want your screen going black during "Monday Night Football."

Anyway, I wanted to see where Lions fans ranked in that list. First? This is a team that has won only one playoff game in the last half century, yet the fans have never abandoned ship. It's almost like the organization is trying to lose fans. How else do you explain Matt Millen?

So Lions fans must be ... hmm, not first. That honor went to Steelers fans. OK, fine: We all know Pittsburgh has great fans. We don't need numbers to tell us. It is impossible to imagine Pittsburgh without the Steelers. If the team left, the fans would just lift all the downtown buildings and carry them to the Steelers' new city.

So Lions fans must be second ... hmm. Nope. Not second. Second was Packers fans. I understand that. Tiny market + rabid fan base = high ranking.

Third was Cleveland. Good. I love Cleveland. So the Lions must be fourth ... um, Philadelphia? I love Philadelphia. What a great city. But fans there boo volunteers at homeless shelters.

Of course, Detroit can still be proud that it has the fifth-best NFL fans in America ... Kansas City? NFL tailgate capital of America. Sure.

Washington ... Denver ... New England? Come on. You could put that team in Roswell, New Mexico, and it would sell out every game.

Finally, I just scrolled down to find Lions fans.


THIRTY-FIRST. Out of 32 teams.





Wow. I am convinced that people around the country have no idea how hard it is to be a Lions fan. They don't know what it's like to have the most exciting running back in NFL history win just one playoff game, then retire. Mostly, they don't realize that the team grossly underachieved in the Barry Sanders era and that was still the best stretch of football most Lions fans have ever known.

Do you realize that if you remove the Sanders years from Lions history, the Lions have had exactly three winning records in their last 25 seasons? Treat that little fact like a wine tasting for a moment: swirl it around your mouth, then spit it out.
Since 1971, the Lions have reached double digits in victories three times. They have lost at least 10 games 15 times.

Since Millen arrived before the 2001 season, the Lions have been the worst franchise in the NFL by a significant margin. It is quite possible that they have been the worst franchise in the modern history of the NFL. Yet interest has actually increased.

That's not always audible at Ford Field, because it's hard to be loud when your team is losing, and a lot of fans stay away on principle. But the interest is definitely there.

The funny part of this is that most people around the nation would agree that the Red Wings have great fans and the Pistons have great fans. Yet people from those organizations know that the Lions are an obsession on their own level around here.
If the Lions ever make the Super Bowl, it would be the biggest thing ever to happen in Detroit sports. It would be the NFL equivalent of the Cubs making the World Series.

Of course, whenever you start a sentence with "If the Lions ever make the Super Bowl ..." Detroiters laugh. They doubt it will ever happen. Yet they pull for the Lions anyway.

I'll say this: Those first 30 teams must have some really great fans.

Contact MICHAEL ROSENBERG at 313-222-6052 or

Sometimes I Get the Packages

When I got back from my little business trip with D I found an Amazon package in the pile of mail. I have to admit, I cursed Amazon for messing up an order I had placed with them the week before. I knew I had put Sarah's address down for the recipient and what did they do but send it to me. Now I was going to have to send it over to Sarah. I even let it set there a couple of days before I opened it. Well, guess what? This wasn't my order for Sarah. No, this was a book from my not that younger brother. Look what I have.

butler, pa, 8.08

I have just skimmed through the book and I see many recipes that I am going to try in the coming weeks. Thanks, brother! And my apoligies to Amazon, I should have never doubted you.

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I'm strange, but I've got a great sister!

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