Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Currently Absorbing: Melody Gardot

For a momentary change in pace from the usual music we promote around here, I present Melody Gardot. What? We're not always all NIN, all the time. Anyway, I've been listening to her album, "Worrisome Heart", all night and I just can't get enough. Sweet and soulful, a mix of blues and jazz that for tonight I can only describe as "perfect".

You know how there are some albums you have to listen to a few times before they really sink in and then there are those that you just feel it from your head to your toes the first spin through? This album definitely falls into the latter category. It's the kind of music that has inspired drunken emails to friends at 3am. I'll share more about the song that was in reference to another time. For now though, grab a glass of wine (or non-alcoholic beverage of choice) and sit back and enjoy. And if you want to read a little background on on Melody, this is a great article.

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We should have our Cedar Rapids NIN show review posted here "soon" so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On the Road Again...

Ro and I are heading out to our neighboring state of Iowa to visit Iris tomorrow, and we'll be seeing NIN in Cedar Rapids just in time for my birthday!

I've never been to Iowa, but I imagine the drive will look a lot like this:

So although we'll be absent for the next couple of days, I'm sure we'll have plenty to report upon our return.

In the meantime, you can use this thread to do what you guys do best...

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Must Be Pointed Out...

So given that Sasha and Malia will be moving into a Presidential fishbowl, I fully believe that they should be able to pick the puppy they've wanted for so long. However, just in case the Obamas weren't aware of all of the options...

(photo courtesy of Barbara Karant)

I mean, come HOTTT will Barack look walking a sleek greyhound? Sure, get the girls their goldendoodle puppy, but the White House is pretty big. There's room for more than one dog, right?

Retired racing greyhounds make wonderful pets. I currently have two (and would probably have at least a couple more if I had the room in my house); they are among the great loves of my life, and they have turned me into a greyhound adoption activist. The breed isn't for everyone, to be sure, but a lot of people either have just never considered one or have some misconceptions:

1) They won't necessarily eat your other really depends on the individual dog, and it depends on the dog's "prey drive." Some greys should not be around smaller dogs, cats, birds, small animals, etc. Other greys will be happy to curl up with your kitty or will even make friends with your pet rabbit, although with the latter, I would NOT recommend unsupervised conduct. They are a hunting dog and do have an instinct to chase. But again, it depends on the individual dog's temperament, and a good rescue organization will check to see if a greyhound is "small dog-friendly" or "cat-tolerant." My husband and I have two chinchillas. I NEVER leave them out of the cage, unsupervised, with the dogs. However, our dogs pay almost no attention to the chinchilla cage and will even take a nap in the same room without bothering the chins. Even Anubis, who wants to chase every squirrel and bunny he sees outside.

2) A greyhound's ability to get along with small children really depends on the individual dog...just like with every other breed. Through my work with Cleo and Anubis' adoption group, I've met many families with children and greyhounds, and everyone seems to get along just fine. A lot of it has to do with supervising kids' contact with ALL pets and making sure that a curious toddler doesn't molest a pet beyond its tolerance level.

3) They do not need any more exercise than any other dog. Some people believe that you need to walk greyhounds for hours and hours...they're racers, right? Actually, greyhounds are sprinters and can only maintain their incredible speeds (up to 45 mph!) for short periods of time. Greyhounds do need exercise and walks, like any other dog, but mine are happy with two 30-minute walks a day. They enjoy longer walks, of course, but they aren't bouncing off the walls if you don't provide them. Which brings me to my next point...

4) Greyhounds are LAZY. A lot of people, again, assume that because they are racers, they must have lots of energy. Well, from what I've seen over the past two years, greyhounds can sleep up to 20 hours a day, and what they most want in the world is a soft bed or couch to curl up on. The largest grey has a lot more in common with a housecat than a Jack Russell terrier, which really will bounce off the walls without tons of exercise.

5) They are larger dogs, but they have longer lifespans than many big breeds. 12-14 years is the average. Hopefully mine will live forever, or at least will inspire some blogger to keep their memory alive via online alter ego...ahem.

6) Greyhounds are quiet (except for Cleo, when she wants something), have short hair, and do not shed as much as other breeds (which makes them a better breed for allergy-sufferers) clearly, they would make good Oval Office companions. ;)

All that being said, there are two things I should point out:

1) Greyhounds must either be fenced in or MUST MUST MUST be on a strong leash. A runaway greyhound is much faster than a mere human can catch, and they could wander miles before they stop running. Also, a runaway greyhound is at serious risk of being hit by a car or other terrible injuries.

2) Once you get one, it's really hard not to get more. :)

If you have any questions about this wonderful breed, please leave them here, and I'll be happy to answer them!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

YouTube Discovery of the Week

Another weekend comes to a close and another video demonstrating just how others waste their time...ahem...I mean, embrace their creativity. Stick with it 'til about the 1:30 mark.

It's also noted at the end of the video that this kid cannot play the drums or piano. But who needs music lessons when you have Adobe Premiere at your disposal?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008