Monday, September 28, 2009

Establishing a Dog Park in your Community

Good info...I'm going to try and get a dog park in Miracle Mile (Los Angeles) very soon!

American Kennel Club - Establishing a Dog Park in your Community: "With cities becoming more and more crowded and leash laws becoming more restrictive, many concerned dog owners are looking to the creation of dog parks as a solution to their need for a place to spend quality time with their pets. But just what is a 'dog park' and what benefits can one bring to your city or town?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

TARFEST | Festival of Film, Music and Art | Los Angeles

I missed it this year...hope to check it out next year....

TARFEST Festival of Film, Music and Art Los Angeles: "TarFest is the premiere arts and culture event of the Miracle Mile District, produced by the Miracle Mile Players, September 25th - 27th, 2009. This three-day event turns the one-mile historic stretch of Wilshire Boulevard into a site of cultural dynamism and energy. Dozens of the nation's finest emerging artists, performers, and cultural innovators come together to showcase their talents and ideas at historic and notable venues on the historic Miracle Mile (Wilshire Blvd. Between Sycamore Ave. and Fairfax Ave.) Annually, over 150 artists and performers display their talents for over 5,000 diverse Angelenos of all ages."

Home Sweet Home: The Miracle Mile

About The Miracle Mile: "In the 1920's, A.W. Ross developed a shopping area designed to accommodate cars by providing wider streets and parking behind retail stores. This strip of Wilshire Boulevard, between Sycamore Avenue to the east and Fairfax Avenue to the west, is strategically placed within Los Angeles."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

The Associated Press: Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace: "KAMPALA, Uganda — He's hairy, his table manners are atrocious, and he wants to be your friend on Facebook.

No, it's not the ex-boyfriend. It's Muhozi, an endangered Ugandan mountain gorilla, who's appearing online as part of a fundraising program the Ugandan Wildlife Authority launched Saturday to help save the species.

Around 340 mountain gorillas — nearly half of the 740 remaining worldwide — live in Uganda's lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and 40 more live in another Ugandan reserve. The rest live in the Virunga mountain range, which stretches from Uganda into Rwanda and the war-ravaged Congo."

Film actress Kristy Wu, poses for a photograph with a artificial gorilla at the launch of the Friend a Gorilla campaign in Uganda's capital city Kampala on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thailand: which beach paradise? - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet

Thailand: which beach paradise? - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet: "It isn’t fair really – there are over 200 countries around the globe and Thailand has managed to snag a disproportionate amount of the world’s top beaches. These aren’t your average stretches of sand; you’re about to uncover perfect powder-soft dunes and dramatic limestone crags that pop straight out of the impossibly clear waters. Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out!"

Ao Bang Thao, Phuket
With 8km of white sand, expect calm seas in the high season and surfable waves during the low season. Don’t let the posh Laguna Complex scare you; this laid-back yet lively beach has something for everyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Randy and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle

YIKES...Randy, say it ain't so...sounds like a movie he would be in...maybe a spin-off from his "Vacation" character...good ol cousin Eddie...

Randy and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog - Bond With Your Dog Indoors

Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog - Bond With Your Dog Indoors: "Don't you just hate it when bad weather spoils your day? Rainy days, snowstorms or extremes in temperature can ruin your plans to go outside with your dog and play fetch, run in the park or just spend time together outdoors. To make matters worse, your dog can become restless or bored and begin to act out for attention. Fortunately, there are some indoor activities that can strengthen the bond between you and your dog, stimulate your dog's mind and sometimes even provide some light exercise. It might take some creativity, but the end result with make it worth your time."

(Photo © krossbow on flickr)

Welcome to Manly...Baby

I get a kick out of the name of this place. Manly is a northern suburb of Sydney, Australia…a nice beachy town. How it got its name is what cracks me up. Picture it…Australia, 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy left England with a fleet of ships to establish a colony in New South Wales as its first Governor.

As they explored north Port Jackson (named my Captain James Cool in 1770), Captain Phillips and his crew encountered a group of aborigines in the northern reaches of the harbor. Phillips was so impressed by the "confidence and manly behavior" of the tribe, he called the place "Manly Cove". I guess the name stuck.

These men were of the Kay-ye-my clan (of the Guringai people). While scouting for fresh water in the area, Phillip first encountered members of the clan and had a misunderstanding, resulting in him being speared in the shoulder by one of the clan. Apparently he was fairly progressive, as he ordered his men not to retaliate.

Their confidence and manly behavior made me give the name of Manly Cove to this

Today there is lots to here as Manly has Sydney Harbour on its western side with calm water, ferry wharf, swimming area, Oceanworld Manly aquarium, sailing and yacht clubs. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and Manly Beach.

What's the most remote spot on Earth?

HowStuffWorks "What's the most remote spot on Earth?": "We live in a technologically advanced and interconnected world. Places that were once almost impossible to reach are now accessible by road systems, waterways and airplane rides. Despite the ease with which we can contact people on the other side of the globe -- whether it be through the click of a mouse or a letter in the post -- about 10 percent of the Earth is more than 48 hours away, by way of land travel, from the nearest city [source: O'Neill]. While in recent years it definitely has become easier to reach far away lands, there are many places in the world that remain inaccessible, uninhabited and secluded -- in other words, the most remote spots on Earth."
What's the most remote inhabited location on Earth? A place called Tristan da Cunha. The approximately 270 residents of this archipelago see a mail ship only once a year [source: Weaver]. Tristan da Cunha is located at 37 South and 12 West, 1,242 miles (2,000 kilometers) from St. Helena and 1,739.8 miles (2,800 kilometers) from the nearest mainland, the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Tristan is circular in shape and is about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter with a total area of only about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers). The summer season falls between December and March. During the winter months, the central volcanic peak of Tristan, which rises to a height of 6,594 feet (2,010 meters), is covered in snow. Tristan da Cunha, the main island, is the only inhabited island in the chain.

Great Pet Sites From Woof Report

Favorite Pet Sites to Browse & Bookmark

When the Woof Reporters aren’t at the dog park, they’re online of course. Pet-centric websites are the first stop for the latest and greatest doggie news we share with you. And don’t you know it, we have our favorites. You already know some of the Links We Love for dog care, pet travel, senior pet resources, adoption and more, but the list keeps on growing. Here are some new ones we adore, and they’ve just been added to our Woof Report site too. Get those bookmarks ready.

Funny Video...Especially if you Like Bears...

Check it good buddy Stoney wrote and directed this funny funny funny sketch and it's on the Funny or Die featured homepage list. I hope you enjoy and laugh!

Heads up: May not be appropriate for work...

Sex with a bear!

Shared via AddThis

Sydney dust storm; flight chaos, health worries - Yahoo! News

Sydney dust storm; flight chaos, health worries - Yahoo! News: "SYDNEY – Australia's worst dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast Wednesday in a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country's largest airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the streets."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sydney Opera House

It’s hard NOT to see the Sydney Opera House if you visit Sydney. It’s a beautiful site. I didn’t take an in-depth tour, but I did learn some interesting things about it.

In 1956, the Australian government decided to to hold a design competition for a new performing arts complex. More than 230 entries from around the world poured in. One entry was from an unknown 38-year-old Danish architect named Jørn Utzon. The irony is that he was first rejected as being “too ambitious”. But in the end the decided to name him the winner and gave him a $7 million budget, and thus the building of a world icon began.

Fifty years and $102 million later…Utzon’s dream icon has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status (this is the only building ever to achieve this with the architect still alive).

The Construction and Drama

The design and construction of the sails took eight years in total, made up of 2,190 pre-cast sections, some weighing up to 15 tons. The total weight of the 10 roof sails is estimated at 27,230 tons.

And it predated green technology by 40 years by installing an air-conditioning system that uses Sydney Harbour to cool the building’s interior spaces. The self-cleaning ceramic tiles (over 1 million of them) that make the sails glisten in the sun were stuck onto plates and hoisted to coat the landmark exterior.

By late 1965, the Opera House was looking good on the outside and Utzon was being a perfectionist and holding up interior work. The government was not impressed and demanded more seats and fast (and on budget). Things hit a head around February 1966 when the newly appointed minister for public works, Davis Hughes, reportedly had words with Utzon causing him to resign and leave the country (wow, dramatic). He has never returned. A new team of architects worked for another seven years to complete the building and we all know how it turned out. The Opera House opened on October 20, 1973, inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1999, Utzon was reunited with his baby and reappointed as Sydney Opera House architect, designing many of the recent changes and renovations including the refurbishment of the Reception Hall which has been renamed the Utzon Room in his honor.

Today the Sydney Opera House stages more than 3,000 events for the benefit of two million art and music lovers every year. In terms of engineering, architecture, culture and iconic status, there is nothing like it in the world.

In 2003, famous architect Frank Gehry said the following poignant statement:

"Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available
technology, and he persevered ... to build a building that changed the image of an entire country."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great place to stay in Sydney: Darling Harbour

Planning a trip to Sydney, Australia and wondering where you should stay? If you want to be central to pretty much everything in Sydney, I suggest Darling Harbour, touted as one of the world's leading waterfront leisure and entertainment destinations. The area is very safe (as most of the city is) and I will admit a bit touristy, no doubt. But for a first timer to Sydney, you can’t beat it just based on the convenience alone. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (great service and prices, thumbs up).

Darling Harbour has quite an interesting history as well. Its journey from ‘derelict docklands to sparkling international playground' has been described as 'a miracle of inner urban rebirth'. Over the past 10 years, the area has won numerous construction industry and tourism awards.

What’s in a name?

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the original inhabitants of the area around Sydney Cove (the Cadigal people), called Darling Harbour Tumbalong, which literally means ‘place where seafood is found’. Simple enough.

Then 1826 rolled around and the bay was renamed Darling Harbour in honor of Governor Ralph Darling, Sydney's Governor at the time (snooze, I like the old name better).

Development time...Apparently by the mid 1970s, Darling Harbour was not ‘the place to be’ as it was ton of empty warehouses and rarely used train tracks, showing signs of its 150 years of industrial use.

A series of redevelopment projects began, the largest and most impressive was when more than $1.5 billion worth of private and public investment funds were spent to prepare Darling Harbour for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. This renovation is what made it the premium waterfront destination it is today.

Darling Harbour just about has it all... Darling Harbour is home to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, IMAX Theatre, Sydney Wildlife World and Powerhouse Museum, it offers some of the finest museums and attractions in Australia. They also host a yearlong calendar of outdoor events including New Year's Eve, Australia Day celebrations in January, the Hoopla Acrobatics and Street Theatre Festival in April, the Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival in June and Fiesta in October.

The area offers a diverse selection of Australian and international cuisine from fine dining to cheap eats and positioned along the spectacular waterfront promenades of Harbourside, Cockle Bay Wharf (where I tried kangaroo, which tasted like steak) and King Street Wharf. One cool thing about bars in Sydney is that they have to serve food in order to serve alcohol, so they have really great food for cheap prices.

Another item to check out at Darling Harbour is the Chinese Garden of Friendship - a ‘haven of peace and tranquility’ in the heart of Sydney.

San Diego - Del Mar Dog Beach

Man oh man do I wish L.A. had a dog beach! We had a blast down in San Diego back in May...hit up the dog beach in Del Mar...the pictures speak for themselves...a great time had by both human and canine (even though the human got a hefty parking ticket)...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Memories of Sydney, Australia

Ahh what a trip...back in 2006 I went to Sydney, Australia's biggest, oldest and most cosmo city. I gotta say, it is one of the cleanist cities I have been to, surrounded by national parks and beaches, and containing perhaps the world's most recognized harbor (with the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge so visible).

I saw so much in Sydney, so I will have more posts on the Taronga Zoo, Manly Beach, Bondi Beach soon...

Some fun facts I learned while I was there...

  • A resident of Sydney is known as a Sydneysider

  • Approximately 4.5 million people visit the Sydney Opera House each year

  • Most of the convicts to Australia were English and Welsh (70%), Irish (24%) or Scottish (5%)

  • Historically, more convicts were sent to American penal colonies than Australian (although Australia was mostly designated a penal colony whereas America had various religious refugees, needless to say, this is why Australia is known for its prisoner roots)

  • Some convicts had been sent from various British outposts such as India and Canada and there were also Maoris from New Zealand, Chinese from Hong Kong and slaves from the Caribbean

Stay tuned...more to come

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sup? I'm Eli...

Where do I begin? I agreed to foster a young cocker spaniel back in January, I wasn't sure if I was ready to adopt after my dog Timmy passed away in November. A nice couple found the dog roaming in a river basin, limping but still full of energy. They cleaned him up, got him his shots, but had several cats which this young dog enjoyed terrorizing.

The dog rescue I was working with, Cocker Connection, told me they had not met the dog yet but it sounded like he was about 3 years old and white (although cocker spaniels usually don't come in white). I was shying away from light colors, since my last dog was tan.

So they brought the dog over, he was very handsome and right away I could tell he had a great personality. He did seem younger than 3 yrs old though. I like to say I "fostered" him for about 15 minutes...then there was no way I would give him up. I named him Eli, pronounced EE-lye. It is of Hebrew origin, and its meaning is "high", which describes exactly where my dog fits on my list of priorities.

I quickly learned Eli was most likely around 1 yrs old, potty trained and knew how to sit. He liked to chew, but nothing too destructive. Keeping him tired has been my best strategy at keeping him 'out of trouble'. We go on several long walks a day and he goes to doggy daycare at least once a week, which I highly reccomend if you work a 9-5 job and can't take your dog to the dog park for hours on end. Doggy daycare has taught him so much, and he comes back really pooped.

Eli loves the beach, Runyan Canyon, NPR and he is obsessed with tennis balls. I spoil him, which really shows when people come over to visit and he doesn't listen to a word I say, just looks at me and laughs with his eyes.

We have a great time together, I couldn't have asked for a greater pal...more to come...

Ummm, St. Louis has the Arch and stuff...

OK...I may have not been the biggest fan of St. Louis. Maybe it started with my check-in to a downtown hotel at 9 p.m. when the staff told me
"Hello sir, downtown St. Louis isn't like a lot of other cities, it really isn't safe to travel around alone downtown and nothing is open. We suggest you stay inside and order room service."

I was there for work, so no biggie. Worked with the St. Louis Cardinals on a project, they were amazing. My room had a nice view of the Arch, which was impressive. I saw that Arch and I knew I had to play tourist and go to the top.

I walked over and explored the museum beneath the Arch and took some pictures. Kind of snoozy, just my opinion. The ride to the top was via these 4-seat pods...I never even know people went up to the top of the thing. Nice views, to be expected.

Would I choose St. Louis as my next vacay spot? Probably not...but Im glad I can say I've been there and I would explore more of the city if I was there again for some reason. Go cards!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ahhh Seattle

I was in Seattle back in 2005 for work and I took an extra day to bum around and do the whole tourist thing. I saw the space needle and took the "duck tour" which I highly was funny as see the city by land and air...check it out.

The space needle was very cool too. Seattle is a great town, kind of like an LL Bean catalog...everyone was so friendly. I stayed at the W Hotel downtown and I swear it was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. I got to hang out with my buddy Mikey who lived theere at the time and he told me about the Seattle Underground (which I didn't have time to see) and got me some cow chip cookies...good stuff.

Of course I checked out the Pike Place Market and had some great seafood at this little italian place tucked away, overlooking the water...would have been romantic if I wasn't alone, lol.
Did I mention it was July and felt like November? It only rained once though. Really beautiful city...I can't wait to go back some day.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ode to Timmy

So I finally saw Marley & Me on Sunday and I cried like a baby...I'm sooo glad I didn't see it when it came out last Christmas....especially since my dog Timmy passed away in November. It was a good movie, very sad ofcourse. To be honest, I tried to read the book years ago and just couldn't get into it. Its a movie that anyone who has lost a pet can relate to.

I adopted Timmy, a tan/buff cocker spaniel, when he was about 10 yrs young from Sue Kroyer at Cocker Connection. Getting an older 'senior' dog actually worked well for me, I worked a lot, he slept a lot. He only wanted to hang out with me a few hours a day when he was awake. He was house trained and a great dog in general. The vet bills did pile up, which I wasn't expecting, but I got through it...he was well worth it. We had some great times together. I could write a book...oh wait, I kinda did - its on my side bar :)

The movie hit home for me because I only had Timmy four short years and lost him similar to how Marley passed. Really complications due to old age, his stomach twisted and he got bloat, which is very scary. Timmy was fine one minute, then he literally looked like a beach ball the next, and he was in great pain. He survived that night, but it was a rough two weeks after.

When I had to make the very hard decision to put Timmy to sleep, I knew it was the right thing to do and a power greater than me was helping me that day. Now I'm glad I was there with him at the time and he didn't die alone or in pain. They say 'you know when its time'...and you really do.

Not long after I decided to foster a few dogs, which helped me at the time (I highly reccomend fostering if you are not ready to adopt). Then Eli came along...which is a WHOLE other post. I will say this, when Sue told me about him and he sounded like the same coler (tan/buff) as Timmy, I thought 'no way'. I didn't want to replace Timmy. Then I met Eli, who was probably 1 yr or so, full of energy.

Its funny, I always wondered what Timmy was like in his youth, and the first time Eli squeezed out of his collar and leash and charged two large standard poodles across the street...I think Timmy was laughing up in doggie heaven at me..."you wanted to see what I was like as a puppy, here you go..." Oh boy do I have my hands full now, but in a good way!

I'll never forget you Mr. Tim...thank you for all you taught me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pasadena Humane Society Needs Help Due to CA Fires

I was forwarded an email today about how the Pasadena Humane Society has taken in more than 350 animals that have been evacuated from their homes due to the wild fires in SoCal. Staff remains available round the clock to accept these evacuees - but they need more help.

"Responding to a disaster of this scale is an expensive and exhausting endeavor. It requires a huge amount of manpower, and hours upon hours of overtime. Our commitment to feed, shelter and care for the animals affected by this fire is unlimited, but unfortunately—our financial resources are not. "

You can help by making a financial contribution by visiting the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA Web site.

If you can't donate money, they also need pet food, blankets, crates (this is what I heard they need the most of).