Friday, January 29, 2010

Bad Dog!



When I got home from work, I noticed that Oti was chewing on something. I assumed Oti was destroying one of his many toys. However, the item he was chewing was light blue in color.

I realized there was only one thing in the basement that would be Carolina Blue.

This is all that remains of Jeff's UNC hat.

I reprimanded Oti, but he just yawned in response. Looks like we will have to travel back to Chapel Hill to get another hat.

Did I mention that we are actively searching for a new dog trainer ?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Snow squall

This morning the weatherman said there might be snow squalls occurring in the afternoon and possible white out conditions.

When I arrived home the sun was shining as I took Otis out for his walk. I brought Oti back into the house and leashed up Cooper.

Cooper and I stepped outside and the first thing I noticed was the howling of the wind. The sky darkened and fat snowflakes began to fall. The driving wind combined with the blinding snow limited visibility to a foot.

As we walked in the road, I made sure to stick close to the edge. I doubted that anyone driving would be able to see me. I was glad that I was not driving on the Merritt Parkway. The 90 minute commute this morning was enough!

What surprised me was that in just a few seconds the weather completely changed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not Yet


It's been a week and the amaryllis continues to grow taller. However, the bud still refuses to open.

I am thinking of starting a pool where people can guess the bloom date. My best guess is 2 more weeks (Feb 10).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Color Splash




I love having fresh flowers in the house, especially in the winter when the days are gray and cold.

These cheerful flowers brighten the entire room and remind me of warmer sunnier days to come!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Norwalk Aquarium




With family in town, we did not want to spend the day inside. However, we did not want to drive too far to find something to do. The Norwalk Aquarium, which we had never been to was the perfect solution.

The Aquarium is just up the street from the Brewhouse. When we pulled into the parking lot, I was surprised to see a large number of cars. We finally found a free spot on the third level.

As we approached the Aquarium, I thought the building appeared rather small, but there are many interesting things to see. Some of the highlights are the seals and African penguins. I was surprised that most of the penguins are 20+ years old.

There are tropical fish, turtles and sharks. There was a special frog exhibit.

The Aquarium raises jellyfish. I was amazed by how beautiful and graceful these dangerous creatures are.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

The SONO Brewhouse Restaurant


To celebrate Jeff's birthday we went to the Brewhouse in South Norwalk (SONO). This was my first visit and I was surprised to see an upper and lower level eating area. On display in the restaurant is beautiful copper brewing equipment.

As the name suggests, there is an extensive selection of beer on the menu. The unique beers did not disappoint. The menu is varied from pub food to steak or seafood. The Brewhouse Burger was fantastic.

If you are in SONO, I would recommend stopping to eat at the Brewhouse.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Surprise


The Lexus needed an oil change, so New County Lexus dropped a loaner car off at the house and drove off in my RX-350. I expected the loaner to be another RX and was surprised to see an IS-350 (pictured)in the driveway.

The driver told me that there is no key, but instead a push button starter in the car. As long as you have the security card with you, the car will start. I have not driven a car in a long time, let alone a sports car.

It took a few minutes to adjust to the smaller interior and sitting low to the ground. I have to say that I was very impressed by the speed and handling of the IS. This car is a rocket and its effortless acceleration and smooth handling make it fun to drive. You could definitely get a ticket without even trying.

The second surprise was when the dealership called to say they had done some work which was covered under the warranty. It turns out that the Lexus has a 4 year/50K miles warranty, not 3 yr/36K as I had thought. Getting out with a bill less than $100 was the best surprise of all.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Is it winter ?


The snow has melted and the daffodils are starting to come up.

It seems that I am not the only one confused by the warmer weather.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

You Gotta Hate When That Happens

You've trained all your life to get to the Olympics. When you finally get there and you're on National TV:

Almost There



The amaryllis bud is getting bigger. It is now higher than the rim of the vase.

We are having family visit this weekend. If this flower opens before Saturday, it will be a great centerpiece in the dining room.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Massachusetts Miracle?

Let's re-evaluate at 8PM tonight...

Monday, January 18, 2010

6 months



It has been six months since Oti arrived in Wilton. I am amazed at how quickly the time has gone by.

Oti and Coop get along well. Coop likes to boss Oti around and Oti usually submits. Coop can take a toy from Oti, but if tries to steal rawhide, Oti growls and makes it clear that he will NOT share.

When Oti first arrived, the dogs would sleep in opposite ends of a room. Now, they often curl up near each other. Most mornings find both dogs and us squeezed together on the bed.

Coop used to be a slow eater. Now, with Oti nearby Coop gobbles down his food faster than Oti does!

I never thought that Coop would be jealous, but he sometimes is. If Oti is getting petted, Coop thumps his tail long and loud, until you leave Oti to pet him.

Oti does not like to be alone. When Coop is not around, Oti searches desperately for him. I worry what will happen when Coop loses his battle with cancer. Oti is happiest in a pack and loves to be around people.

Oti is a dichotomy, watchful and protective with Peter Pan's spirit. Oti refuses to grow up and at moments of pure bliss, acts like a puppy.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Netflix


I had been considering joining Netflix movie rental for a while. When Cablevision dropped HGTV and the Food Network, it seemed like the perfect time to sign up for a free trial membership.

On Sunday evening, I created a list of movies that I wanted to rent on the Netflix website. On Tuesday night, two DVDs were waiting in my mailbox. Having watched the first movie last night, I put the DVD into its prepaid envelope and dropped it into the outgoing mail.

Once Netflix receives the rental back, my next movie ships. I can't believe how easy the process is. Plus, you can keep a movie for as long as you want. For $14/month, this seems like a good deal. Also, I can download movies onto the computer and watch them.

One thing I don't like is that new movie releases are not available for one month after general availability. Also, a popular release which I selected has a status of "Extremely long wait". I still think the compared to $7 for a movie in the theater, it is worth a try.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Corporate Greed


Capitalism seems like a dirty word these days.  You would think the President would be happy that the companies he helped have turned around and actually started making money.  In fact, they've made huge profits, which Barack Hussein Obama now wants to tax.  His reasoning is the big banks are partially at fault for causing this financial mess.  I disagree with that theory, but I understand the reasoning.

Another contributor to the financial mess of 2008/09 was the Federal Reserve.  They kept rates unrealistically low for longer than they should have.  In fact, some people blame the Fed for bringing us from the Tech Bubble to the Housing Bubble.  Using Mr. Obama's logic, maybe we should tax the Fed's Profit since they are responsible.

Meanwhile, Chrysler is about a year away from being a collector's item and GM has Howie Long on the TV telling you why his Chevy is better than your Honda.  How stupid does he think we are?  Wait, don't answer that, we are the ones that gave GM 5+ Billion dollars for essentially nothing.  And because Obama knows Chrysler and GM will never be able to pay the money back, he thinks taxing corporations that are growing and providing jobs is a good idea.

Only in Washington.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bud


Finally, there is a bud appearing on the amaryllis!

It seems this Christmas flower may bloom for Valentine's Day

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Clingy



Ever since we got back from Alaska, Cooper has been extremely clingy. I am surprised by this, since Coop is usually very independent.

When I am working in the office, Coop wants to be with me. While on a conference call at night, I shut the door, to not be disturbed. Coop laid outside the door and tried to slide his paw underneath it. If I sit on the bed or the couch, Coop will paw at me to get petted.

I am hoping that this behavior is Coop's way of saying that he is glad to be out of the kennel. I worry that perhaps Coop is not feeling well. However, Coop is still eating and is ready to chase any bird or leaf in the yard.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Leaves


The amaryllis continues to grow. As you can see, the leaves are getting long, but there is still no flower.

Jeff says, "What do you expect for $5?"

I am still hopeful that this small bulb may eventually bloom.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Jon Stewart Poking Fun at Chris Dodd

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Donkey Gone
www.thedailyshow.com
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Gone in 60 seconds




Cooper and Otis received some new toys for Christmas.

Stuffed toys have a very short life in our house. In less than 2 minutes, this was all that was left.

There is no such thing as an indestructible toy. Even Kong's have been destroyed by our pups.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Christmas Spider


Since we were out of town for Christmas, we are still receiving Xmas gifts.

Our LI family, sent us a beautiful green glass spider. I had never heard the Legend of the Christmas Spider, until I received this unique gift. The story says that awed by the beauty of a Xmas tree, spiders climbed into it and covered it with their webs. Santa then turned the webs into silver and gold tinsel which is still placed on trees today.

I think the spider is too beautiful to put away until next Xmas. It is now hanging in the kitchen window. Green is our nieces favorite color and I think of our family whenever I see it.

Be Careful What You Wish For

As you've already heard by now, Christopher Dodd has decided not to run in 2010 for his Senate seat.  With Dodd in the race, there was a pretty good shot that either Linda McMahon or Rob Simmons would beat him out.  Now that Dodd has stepped aside, Richard Blumenthal has announced that he is running as the Democratic candidate for the seat his friend currently occupies.

Mr. Blumenthal enjoys a very healthy reputation in the state.  The Republicans will now fight it out for the right to go up against the hand-picked candidate from the Democrats.  It's not looking good for the GOP.  Perhaps Mr. Simmons should bow out and give the better candidate his support.

Nice play, donkeys.

A caller on one of the AM talk shows this evening wondered what would happen to all the money that Obama raised for Dodd's reelection campaign.  Lets see, a corrupt politician already proven to think he is one of the "special people"?  Any guesses?


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Boots





When we were in Alaska, everyone complained about how time consuming it was to get their boots on and off. I just laughed, because my kid boots do not have laces; they simply slip on and off.

When we were in Anchorage, we stopped at 6th Avenue Outfitters. In the store window was a children's winter clothing display, which included my Sorel boots! I told Jeff that I must be one of the cool kids ;)

These are just some random pictures from Alaska (Bettles, North Pole, NP, Fairbanks).

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Are we famous yet ?



I always wonder if anyone outside of our family reads this blog.

Well, two surprising things occurred recently. First, we received a mention in the Hartford Courant's courant.com under "Websites I missed". While I did not understand the reference to a CT based movie (Ice Storm), my thought is any press is good press.

Secondly, it seems our tiny blog was noticed by Wilton Patch.
The editor asked if I would like to write for them. If only I had the time!

Who knows, maybe someone will see Cooper and Otis and want to hire them in a dog food commercial. After all, they must be the most famous Goldens in Wilton!

In honor of the recent publicity for the blog, we've changed the masthead to something a little more recent.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Brothers


Coop and Oti were laying back to back, both sound asleep in the living room.

Suddenly, Cooper began to cry out, perhaps due to a bad dream. Oti awoke and laid his head on Coop's shoulder. Pacified, Coop stopped crying.

Oti waited about 30 seconds. When he was sure that Coop was sleeping peacefully, Oti put his head back on the carpet.

I guess protecting each other is what brothers do.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Aurora & Shooting Stars




Here are some pictures of the Aurora Borealis that we saw on Wednesday morning. All four pictures have shooting stars in them.

The first time I saw a shooting star in Alaska, I thought it was a rare occurrence. But the more time you spend in complete darkness without any light pollution, the more you see. In fact, you can see a couple shooting stars every minute.

Also notice how many stars there are. The night sky is incredible in complete darkness.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Bettles Lodge


We had lots of fun at the Bettles Lodge while in Bettles, Alaska. We took a tour of the National Parks Service building where we learned about the history of the Gates of the Arctic National Park. Of course, there were lots of outdoor activities to take part in like taking a Snow Machine ride (somewhere in the last 20 years snowmobiles became snow machines) or a walk in snowshoes. On the last day of your visit you will find yourself sitting by a bonfire making s'mores.

The town has a population of 25 people. I think we met most of the people, as they came to the Lodge for coffee and conversation.

There is no road into Bettles. All supplies must be flown into town. Typically, two flights a day land in Bettles, one carries the mail. To have cargo shipped on a plane costs 40 cents a pound. As you can imagine, this greatly increases the cost of groceries and other necessities.