Saturday, April 30, 2005

Life Lessons from Dogs

Wallace & Gromit Posted by Hello

Classic list - Life Lessons from Dogs - with applicable truth...

Lewis Grizzard, US columnist & humorist offers up this nugget not included in the list - "Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes."

* Never pass up the opportunity to go for a Joy ride.
* Allow the experience of fresh air and wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
* When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
* When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.
* Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
* Take naps often and stretch before rising.
* Run, romp and play daily.
* Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
* Be loyal.
* Never pretend to be something you're not.
* If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
* When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
* Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
* Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
* On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
* When you're happy, dance around and wag your tail.
* No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run right back and make friends.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Bijou - every dog deserves a loving home

Bijou Posted by Hello

"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."

Bijou is a 3 year old Chow – German shepherd mix who stepped into my life back in February. I was walking to get the mail Saturday morning, when several neighbors asked if I had ever seen this dog before. Bijou was a stray with no identifying tags who had been running loose for three days. One of the neighbors couldn’t keep her and I was hesitant to do so myself.

When the suggestion was made to place her in a no-kill shelter Monday morning, this sweet dog had no place to lay her head for two nights, I agreed to take her in. February’s weather here in North Carolina was still cold and wet.

Ginny and Alison, my neighbors, joined me in prayer over Bijou that she would find her way back home and that her rightful owner would step up to claim her. We were full of faith that Almighty God would honor our prayer.

Was she housebroken? Well behaved? Could I trust her while I was at work? All of those concerns melted as I took her home. I didn’t know her name or where she came from, but she quickly touched my heart with her gentleness, gratefulness and attentiveness to me. She was my TV buddy, as we sat and watch The Simpsons together! In no time, we bonded… We took long walks together and played fetch in the house. Her antics, especially playing hide and seek were goofy!

"Dogs laugh, but they laugh with their tails. What puts man in a higher state of evolution is that he has got his laugh on the right end." - Max Eastman

At work, I put the word out to the various dog lovers. I couldn’t keep her with my back and forth travels between North Carolina and Tennessee (where I already have two dogs), but I was absolutely determined that in no way she was going to end up in a shelter. I had exhausted all leads and resources to find her rightful owner.

Kristen, my coworker quickly wrote back expressing that her mom and sister had been wanting a dog for a while and it seems like maybe this was meant to be that they hadn’t started looking yet, giving this sweet girl a chance to come along.

Well, God does answer prayers! Bijou (her new given name) now lives in Greenville, NC with a two acre backyard with a loving family. I am so grateful for Kristen, Kimberly & Katie (her sisters) and parents Linda & Andrew who had a such a big heart to give her a home.

Bijou & butterfly Posted by Hello

Kristen tells me that Bijou’s favorite toys are a squeaky sheep and a plush bean toy (which led them to call her Bean-jou sometimes). Kristen adds, “When I went home 2 weeks ago, I asked my mom why there were toys up on tables and countertops, and she said Bijou gets so excited sometimes when she’s playing that she just flings her toys into the air, and they land on tables and such.

She LOVES to go for walks around the neighborhood, and seems to get more excited about seeing her leash even than running free in the backyard. Still, my sister goes in the back yard and runs around with her often, and she goes on several walks a day.

Her “cousins” are my dogs Celia and Fuzz, and Katie’s dogs Roxy and Daisy, as well as Misty, the family’s crotchety 9-year-old Maltese.”

I am proud to call Bijou my “God Dawg” and look forward to having her stay with me when her family goes on vacation. It’s just like God to place people in your life for encouragement and divine connections; since God is truly Almighty, He can send a dog into your life as well when we need lots of unconditional love!

Bijou at home Posted by Hello

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Ally Dome - Barkitecture in motion

Ally surveying the land Posted by Hello

When we were remodeling our kitchen, there was quite of pile of construction materials and demolition scrap left over ready to haul to the local dump. Destined also for disposal was a large metal satellite dish that was taking up a lot of space in the yard and no longer functional since acquiring DirectTV.

After dismantling the dish, I flipped it over on top of milk crates to ensure that the grass underneath would not be harmed due to lack of sunlight. Ally, our precious eight year Labrador (then 6) was chilling out underneath the dish. Inspired, why not turn all of scrap into something useful! Besides, I always desired to build a shed, so why not prototype a smaller version a.k.a a dog house to try out my construction skill sets and framing techniques; plus I could use the large dish as the roof for the doghouse.

So I set out to build a doghouse worthy for Ally. (more about Ally in a separate post). Dubbed the "Ally Dome", the book Barkitecture served as a basis of inspiration.

Here's the framing... I remembered taking a water break from the framing - when I returned outside, there were two neighborhood dogs sitting inside! Talk about affirmation - I literally had tears of joy!

Framing for Ally Dome Posted by Hello

Interior: Fully insulated with 30 year old 1/2" knot pine paneling, trimmed out with crown molding. Later I added carpeting and tile flooring.

AllyDome interior under construction Posted by Hello

Here's a front view before the front doors were installed.

Front view 60% complete Posted by Hello

And a more recent photo, finished with insulated glass bay window in the back.

Ally at the backside of her house Posted by Hello

I added a deck for Ally and Digglet to lounge out on...

Diggy and Ally hanging out Posted by Hello

The Ally Dome is approximately 8 feet square (not counting the deck). The glass side windows are hinged and have screens to keep out the bugs. The inside is quite roomy, akin to sitting in a Volkswagen Beetle with the domed roof. Two adults can sit inside and stretch out with comfort. I have considered camping out in it one night, (but it has no electricity {yet]) plus I don't want anyone to say I literally spent the night in a dog house!

Becky and I decided on a Florida look with the pink and blue color scheme. We also landscaped the sides with monkey grass and irises. I will probably add some accent porch lights and a address plate to finish the Ally Dome off.

All in all, it was fun to build and a labor of love as well. Every dog deserves a loving home and a house of their own!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

barkitecture: noun. The architecture of doghouses

Barkitecture Posted by Hello

Barkitecture is Fred Albert's whimsical book, published in 1999, by Abbeville Press. This book has spawned a number of creative fundraisers run by animal service organizations with participating architectural firms and regular lovers of dogs like myself.

In celebration of our dog Ally Woo's 8th birthday, I'll be writing not only about my sweetheart,

Ally Woo Posted by Hello

but the other two dogs in my life - my first grand dog, Digglet Woo and my god dog, Bijou over the next several posts.

Meanwhile download a PDF sample of this inspiring book! Perhaps, you'll be inspired just like me in building a house for my dog Ally as my first outdoor project. I'll post some construction photos of the "AllyDome" later on...

Chessie's Doghouse Posted by Hello

Chessie's Doghouse. John M. Collins, Locust Valley, New York.

This exquisite English timber frame doghouse was modeled after an eighty-year-old children playhouse on Long Island. The antique hand-hewn beams are held in place with mortise-and-tenon joints, and are topped with an authentic thatch roof. Antique glass fills the custom-made windows, which are held in place by bone-shaped latches. A matching leash holder flanks the front door.

Think TV is a wasteland? Pimp My Faith - Commentary by Rabbi Marc Gellman

Pimp My Faith Posted by Hello

Pimp My Faith - Newsweek Society - "On 'Pimp My Ride,' a hunk of steaming junk from a hysterically grateful recipient is driven by Xzibit to West Coast Custom body shop in L.A. to be stripped and rebuilt from the metal up by a team of charismatic car trolls who delight in going to any lengths to make the new car a thing of beauty and fantasy for its needy owner. In 'Extreme Makeover,' the run-down house of hysterically grateful recipients is demolished and then a new house is built in one week, usually on a new and vastly enlarged foundation by Ty and his team of design and production hotties."

Rabbi Marc Gellman insightfully writes:

"What makes these two shows not just kind and weepy but actually luminous is the way they unselfconsciously obliterate the traditional ways we often treat the poor. First, both shows treat the needy without a hint of condescension or pity. They respect these people completely. It is that respect, more than the pimped-out ride or the new house, that is the real gift. Also the workers on both shows work with real joy. Charity is often seen as a dutiful burden, but in these cases it is a labor of love."

Read on!

Need Help Getting Things Done?

Work Is Hell (c) 1996 Matt Groening Posted by Hello

If you're feeling like Binky the cover model (who is a bitter, depressed, alienated and thus "normal" rabbit) for Matt Groening's book Work Is Hell, then it could be that you really need to adopt the practice of Getting Things Done.
Jeff Sandquist, a blogger and Microsoft Evangelist, has provided a nice tidy posting with all the resources in one place - It's never too late to rekindle that 2005 New's Year's resolution - or you could get a head start for 2006 now! Here's a treasure map to unstress your life...

GTD Workflow Posted by Hello

Monday, April 25, 2005

A Typical Day at the Factory

A Typical Day at the Factory Posted by Hello

and one more

Platforms Posted by Hello

When I stumbled across these cool little animations from and this link -(scroll down to the July 24 entry) - (and I swear under oath I do not know how I ever wound up on this page???) I was wondering out loud (like a dawg), would animation work in a blog? Yup - all I did was substitute the jpeg link with the properties of the animated gif file. Keep in mind, all this HTML stuff is very new to me - which is another side benefit of blogging! I guess that's why my Big Dawg buddies back in Nashville call me a Wonder Dawg... always thinking about how stuff works.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Here is Our King - david crowder*band

david crowder*band - Photo (c) Sherwin Uy Posted by Hello

View the latest song from the david crowder*band Here is Our King from the new Passion CD/DVD release recorded in Nashville during the Passion 05 conference.

Passion Posted by Hello

Passion 06—A generation united for His renown returns to Nashville, TN January 2-6, 2006. For more information on registration, click here. See you there!

Your Daily Art

Dominant Curve by Vasily Kandinsky Posted by Hello

Here is a effective use of a blog - compelling daily content with the added bonus of inspiration and art history.
Posted by Martha, the blog is simply named
Your Daily Art

"Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists." Marcel Proust

Martha writes: Welcome to my art history blog. It is simple and the purpose is to show you a piece of art, give you a little background and leave the rest up to you.

The above painting carries the following entry with extensive links provided as well -
Dominant Curve by
Vasily Kandinsky, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Kandinsky was one of the most influential
Abstract artists of the 20th century. He was a teacher of both law and later art, teaching for a number of years at the German Bauhaus. He himself claimed he became interested in abstraction after seeing one of his paintings upside down.

You'll find this link now under my Daily Inspiration - nice job Martha!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

NFL Draft & Salary Cap FAQ

National Football League Posted by Hello

If you been following the ESPN NFL Draft Coverage, then sooner or later you just might want to know the process of signing these high priced rookies under the NFL Salary Cap. Maybe not? - I know I do!

If a player earns a contract that is 5 years and pays him a total of $20 million, he counts $4 million per year against the cap, right?

Answer: If it were only that simple.

Teams with heavy payloads learned quickly that the best way to combat the Salary Cap was to circumvent it. They did this by back loading contracts, pushing all of the big money to the end of the contract.

Only the Commish knows! For the best explanation of how the NFL Salary Cap works, Ask The Commish is the place to go. Al Lackner explains about Caponomics, Free Agency and Mathematical Calculations in a sensible manner.

As a bonus, read a first-round NFL Draft Day analysis from a front office and scouting perspective should you want to get an insight how players are selected.

The Passover in the Holy Family

'The Passover in the Holy Family' Posted by Hello

Watercolour on paper, painted 1854-5
Tate. Presented by Charles Ricketts in memory of Henry Michael Field, 1916

To celebrate Passover, every Jewish household slaughtered a lamb and marked the doorposts with its blood. This was a sign for the Lord to pass over and not visit the plague on them. The Passover meal of roast lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread was to be eaten in haste, with shoes on the feet ready for quick departure.

Rossetti shows Jesus and his parents preparing for the ritual. This stresses the continuity between Judaism and Christianity, linking Christ's sacrifice with that of the Passover lamb.

Here Rossetti shows Zachariah marking the door with blood from a bowl held by Jesus. John kneels to fasten Jesus's sandal and Mary stoops to gather bitter herbs.

Passover Perspective

Passover begins on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Nissan. As the Jewish day begins at sundown the night before, for the year 2005, the first night of Passover will be April 23rd.

Here's a Passover Perspective authored by Don Finto.

On this day 3500 years ago lambs were slaughtered throughout Goshen.
On this day 3500 years ago hyssop brushes stroked Jewish doorposts with lamb’s blood.
On this night 3500 years ago Israel met quietly sequestered behind their bloodstained doors--waiting to depart 400 years of slavery.
On this night 3500 years ago the Lord went through the land looking for blood on doorposts.
On this night 3500 years ago there was deliverance--a pass over.
On this night 3500 years ago the wealth of Egypt became the wealth of Israel.
On this night 3500 years ago firstborn sons were slain in houses where there was no blood.
On this night 3500 years ago wailing and mourning was heard in Egypt.
On this night 3500 years ago shouts of joy were heard in Israel.
On this night 3500 years ago Moses led Israel out of Egypt.
On this night 3500 years ago lambs’ blood on doorposts brought freedom.
On this night 3500 years ago the exodus from Egypt came suddenly.

For 3500 years faithful servants of God have remembered this night.

On this day 2000 years ago another lamb was slain.
On this day 2000 years ago human hearts were stroked with lamb’s blood
On this day 2000 years ago hearts were freed from centuries of slavery.
On this day 2000 years ago the Lord began to look for lamb’s blood on doorposts of hearts.
On this day 2000 years ago there was deliverance—a passing over.
On this day 2000 years ago wealth was restored to the sons of Adam.
On this day 2000 years ago another Moses led another Israel out of another Egypt.
On this day 2000 years ago lamb’s blood on the doorposts of hearts brought freedom.

Today lamb's blood is still found on human hearts.
Today deliverance is found behind a blood stained door.
If the doorpost of your heart is stained with lamb’s blood, have a glorious Passover season.
If not, grab quickly the hyssop and look for the lamb’s blood.
The exodus will come suddenly.

Have a blessed Passover!

Learn more? Click here

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Tools for recording your ideas

Palm Tungsten E Posted by Hello

Ten power tools for recording your best ideas

Do you have a method or strategy for recording ideas when they occur to you? If not, you should. Ideas tend to be fleeting creatures, bubbling up from your subconscious mind without warning, and then disappearing just as quickly -- perhaps never to be recalled again.

Chuck Frey writes a good article Tools for recording your ideas - from in which he encourages you to try as many of these techniques (with pros and cons) as you can, determine which ones are the best fit with your work style, and retain them as part of your creative repertoire.

As for me, I prefer several tools - my Palm Powered Tungsten E that carries my electronic Bibles and contacts and Tapwave Zodiac 2 for games, a few tunes and a mini library of 50 eBooks; my trusty, don't leave home without it Hipster PDA; stacks of index cards everywhere in my house and notebooks with plenty of roller pens in coffee mugs.

Now if I can only learn to type beyond three fingers and master shorthand, I'll be in great shape!

Secret Worlds: The Universe Within

Earth Posted by Hello

Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You -
Secret Worlds: The Universe Within

Soar through space starting at 10 million light years away from the Milky Way down through to a single proton in Florida in decreasing orders of magnitude (powers of ten). This tutorial explores the use of exponential notation to understand and compare the size of things in our world and the universe, and provides a glimpse of the duality between the macroworld around us and the hidden microworld within.

Gives great visual meaning to the song "God of Wonders"

Lord of all creation
Of water earth and sky
Heavens are your tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on high

God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are holy, holy
The universe declares your majesty
You are holy, holy

God of Wonders - Written by Steve Hindalong and Marc Byrd