Friday, February 26, 2010


This has been the kind of week that has me thinking the second drink on that list has my name written all over it. We're buried in two new feet of heavy, wet snow, and a local meteorologist has just predicted hurricane force winds for Vermont beginning this evening. I'd say that's better than a stick in the eye, but if I venture out tomorrow I may have a chance to test the validity of that statement. Just last evening a twenty foot tree branch dropped in our driveway - tragically far from the neighbor's cat dangerously close to the garage. I jest, of course - but am actually concerned for what tomorrow will bring. A mountain rises from our back yard, and the potential for damage from trees falling has me nervous. So before we batten down the hatches let me get to the point.

It's party time.

If you played along Monday, thanks! I know I made the games utterly annoying, but that's all me. Would you have expected anything less? Or more? Either way, I have to tell you that the e-mail responses I received were a laugh riot. It has been impossible to reply to individual messages, but know that reading them made my week. And for those who asked, the answer is yes - the squirrel really exists. I'm not that cruel. Just ask these ten people. Not only did they find that little bugger, they also answered all questions correctly and had the highest total score (combined height and distance) in the Cat-a-pult. Let's meet our winners! For the sake of simplicity I'm just going to list Cat-a-pult scores for each, since the answers to the pic quizzes were obvious.

1st    Linda M.  from Montreal                   139,330  Yep, you read that right. I'll include a pic below to fend off disbelief. I have never even come close!
2nd   Kristin G   from Virginia                    53,126
3rd   Cynthia G  from Connecticut              41,384
4th    Hannah B from  Oregon                    27,839
5th    Heather C from Georgia                    20,486
6th    Huskee and Hershey from Singapore 14,468
7th    Maryann P from  New Jersey             13,600
8th    Andrea J  from   Ohio                        13,113
9th    Christine W from Maine                     12,141       
10th  Traci L from California                       11,628

Nice going players! I have to tell you that I wish I had enough prizes to send to all who played - you made this more fun than work for me, so thank you! Winners - please drop a comment here to acknowledge that you've found yourself in the list. An e-mail will follow.

Now let's look at two quick pics.

First, that high score. Impressive - despite what the cat may have to say.

And for the haters - that elusive, furry little rodent that had you squinting and cursing me is right...

Thanks to all who made this such a fun exercise. I cannot wait for the summer Olympics when we can do this again. And I'll make this promise in advance - no squirrels!

Have a great weekend and hug your dogs for us.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Blind Leading the Sighted

I did not have a post planned for today - I've been busy tallying scores from Monday's games so we can announce winners tomorrow, and yesterday's storm was a big distraction. I also spent the majority of the evening on a site layout enhancement. Regular readers will notice the difference. :) That said, I had no time to test multiple browsers, so if you could be my eyes for me and leave a comment if you have any errors I'd appreciate it.

While I continue to dig out and do the math, let me share a story that is just plain inspiring. Caught this on TV on my way to work and ended up being a few minutes late. It was worth it.  ♥

Enjoy the clip. See you tomorrow with great news for ten of our fans...


Monday, February 22, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

Mondays suck. Even the dogs look at me sideways when the laptop bag rears its ugly head to indicate the start of another work week. So I thought I'd find a way to make this Monday a little less painful while giving our friends a shot at wining some of the great dog products that have been sent our way for giveaways. So before the fun begins, let's see what's at stake with a quick review of the prize pool.

Prizes will be awarded as follows: the first place winner gets to review the pool and their pick. The second place winner gets to pick from what is left. And so on. Tenth place gets whatever has not been taken, so as you can see, it pays to be competitive - but don't fret - at least we're not handing out fruitcakes! And let me thank Heart U Back for making the games possible. If you did not catch the buzz surrounding our Wordless Wednesday post, Heart U Back is a great company. A certain person in this house suffers from an acute case of fashionitis, so when I saw two thumbs up after a recent purchase from them and learned that they donate piles of cash to animal charities, it only made sense to get our paws on some of the great items they make so we could share them. 

Here are the prizes!

Beautifully made. Not inexpensive, and worth every penny.

 A very popular piece. Whimsical and substantial.

 This was a review sample and got a bit beat up in shipping. Don't give me hell about the packaging - it's the content you'll enjoy!  :)


 A lovely good luck charm.

 Something any of us could use. This is fun and loaded with great ideas.

A tag for you, and a matching tag for your pet. Beautiful idea. 

 I think I just threw up a little bit. ;)  All joking aside, there may be a cat lover or two lurking here today, so let's make sure they have a shot at something they can use. This is a great book - if you love cats!

 Killer nom noms. The choice your dog would like you to make if you win.

Another wonderful piece from the companion jewelry series.

More yummies - Wellness makes great, healthy food. Here is your chance to sample some of the goodies they offer.

The Rules: 
You must e-mail your answers and scores in one e-mail to The deadline for submittals is midnight Tuesday, 2-23. Answers posted in the comments will be deleted and those posting answers in the comment section will not be eligible for prizes. Please mention your first name and last initial, and the state you reside in with your submission. Winners will be announced here Friday using the criteria above. This is the only prize notification - so I urge you strongly to subscribe via e-mail - look at the upper right hand side of this page to do so. Winners who do not respond to us via e-mail by Monday of next week will forfeit their prize and another winner will be substituted. In other words, don't forget to come back and check if you have won.

Not bad! Now that you know what you are playing for, let's get started with an easy warm-up.

Game One: Solve the picture puzzle.

That was a gimme. Let's test your powers of deduction and judgment!

Game Two: Which does not belong?

Ok, I admit it, even I had an easy time making the call and I'm slow on the uptake. Let's see how your visual acuity is holding up!

Game Three: Find the squirrel. (When submitting answers, give approximate location and description of at least three adjoining images.)  See you when that headache wears off. And as always, you will want to click on the picture to enlarge. 

Are you crying? Is it the pressure of competition, or that blurry loss of vision thing you're experiencing? :p
Let's do something that will dry those tears and make you feel a little better.

Game Four:  Do some good. You'll notice that the picture below is permanently featured in our sidebar, and with good reason. This is the honor system folks, but don't let me down. Click it now. Click it every day.

Ok, we've done some good, wasted a bunch of time, and learned nothing useful at all. It's time to hone your skills in our final challenge. This one is a little unique - you'll have to submit your high score with a screen shot. If you do not know what a screen shot is it's time to give it a try. There is a video tutorial here. If you didn't know how to do this before today, you'll be glad to have that new trick up your sleeve. And you're going to need it, because it's time to see who's got the right stuff. That's right, it's time for....

Game Five: Video Challenge

You'll recall that we mentioned one day only for the games. But here is your workaround. You have until midnight Tuesday to submit your high score. PLEASE only submit your score once. Please do not play daily and send updated high scores or I'll be buried in e-mail. Ok, enough with the rules, it's time to flex your keyboard and show us what's you're made of. This one will put a little spring in your step! And note that it is a half luck/half skill proposition - chosen by design to give everyone a chance.  :)

No cats were harmed in the making of this video game - and hopefully you didn't hurt yourself playing.  Those repetitive motion injuries can be hard on an index finger! Play all you want and send us your best score!

This concludes our 2010 Winter Game challenge. I hope you have enjoyed reduced work productivity, found fun in our antics, and have forgotten - however briefly, that it's still just another Monday. Hey, at least your dog will be there to greet you when you get home!   ♥

Good luck!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

On This Day

On this day...

A Happy




Adventurous little dog came to be. 

Happy birthday Ms. Truffles. Who loves you? 

All of us. ♥


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fat Tuesday: Skinny Dog

Nigel here! My keyboard monkey is slacking this week - he said something about special occasions. I haven't had a special occasion since the cat wandered tantalizingly close to the crockpot last week, so I'm taking over for the day.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm a night owl. Or to put it another way, I sleep all day so I can warm my dangly bits with sunbeams. So when the two-leggers pass out my night is just getting started. And what does a lonely hound turn to for comfort in the darkness of night? The boob tube of course! Speaking of boob tube, I've been seeing a lot of commercials for this movie:

I'm sitting here wasting away in the boonies of Vermont, and these ladies are getting all of the glory. Every time they lift their shirts people go crazy and throw shiny things at them. And they only have two ta-tas a piece! I have like a bazillion. Hell, when it gets cold out I look like a pencil eraser factory reject and nobody throws shiny things at me. Unacceptable.

I decided it was time to mix up a mean melon ball to fill my canteen, fuel up my jet and see what all of the noise was about!

I chose my flight pattern carefully. I did fly over Canada briefly because I heard that the US might be buying it on eBay and I wanted to see if it was worth it. I learned that you can buy beer without ID, so I bookmarked the auction before bidding Canada farewell and pointing my plane south for a Fat Tuesday adventure.

 My first plan failed miserably. I thought if I set up a roadblock I could stop the parade right in front of me and collect shiny things until I needed a wheelbarrow to haul them away. I even brought a few of my own shiny things to make it look like I was already getting a lot of play. The bad news: I was on the wrong side of the city, so the only shiny things I got were a pair of cuffs.

Once I posted bail I made my way to the French Quarter, and the party was in high gear, There was no time to waste, so I immediately shook an ice cube around in my shirt and unleashed some hound belly on the revelers. I saw this crowd of goofy looking dudes and figured if there was no lady competition, I'd need safety goggles to protect my delicate sighthound eyes from the impending downpour of shiny things.

Nada. That snaggletoothed wingnut to my right is decorated like a Christmas tree, and I'm playing the chopped liver role. There is no justice in this world.

I saw a lot of people filing in and out of this bar (and it reminded me of one of my blogger pals) so I stood out front for an hour while I displayed my wares. No takers. They obviously wouldn't know a nice rack if it stood in front of a bar holding up its shirt for an hour.

Believe it or not, I actually had a thought, and if I were any smarter I would have known it was useless. Since I am blissfully unaware of my mental deficiencies, I went with it. I found a couple of hoochie mamas that looked a lot like the ones in that movie that inspired my trip. I figured if I stood really close to them, I could collect their sloppy seconds and make it look like I was getting all of the action.

Much to my chagrin, the only thing they were sharing were their iPhone camera ta-ta pictures on Facebook.

Now this is what I'm talking about. Hell, my name is already on the sign. I emptied my wallet and prepared to sparkle.

The hoz won every time.

I'm giving up for now. You two-leggers are impossible to please. I'm out of money, so I can't refuel my jet. My jeans are chafing. To make matters worse, the Patriots were bored with winning Super Bowls and feeling nice enough to lose on purpose this year so the Saints could try it, and now it everyone here is just rubbing it in.

Of this, I am certain: It sucks to be a skinny dog on Fat Tuesday.


Friday, February 12, 2010

The Other Winter Games 2.22.2010

February is a busy month here, and an exciting one at that. Truffles and I both celebrate a birthday in February. My tenth wedding anniversary is this weekend. And we have Valentine's Day fun on tap. Of course, this month is a little more exciting thanks to the Olympics. And if that isn't enough, I just got an e-mail explaining that a message I sent out to the Labsr4u yahoo group led to the adoption of Buster, a six year old Lab with special needs who lost his owner to cancer a few days ago. He'll be romping on three acres in a loving new home in the DC area. I hope he is loving the snow! If I received nothing for my birthday, that news would suffice.

All of this calls for a bit of celebration. What that means for me: a little time off. If I get anything other than a wordless Wednesday post done next week I'll be surprised.

What it means for you: I'll actually be spending time putting together a ridiculous post for the 22nd of this month.

I've been quietly collecting serious goodies from a few companies that we have been in touch with. A full list of prizes will be included in that post on the 22nd, but we'll have books, DVDs, jewelry and other goodies for you to take home. Expect the prize pool to be ten deep. We'll have a few insane games and bizarre puzzles for you to play and complete. 

I'll say no more for now, except that you'll love some of the items we have, and the games are one day only. I do need to answer a question that a number of you asked about our Wordless Wednesday post. The bracelets in question are from a great company called Heart U Back. Mrs. Author discovered them in her bracelet shopping travels and fell in love. They sent us a number of pieces to give away to our readers. So if you were drooling over them you'll want to come back and play along. For that matter, you're going to want to play along either way, because like everything around here, these games will be quite different.

Have a great week. I'll be spending it giving thanks to my wonderful wife and remarkable dogs for making me the luckiest man alive. Please don't forget to mark your calendar - or better yet, subscribe via e-mail now. You won't want to miss the other winter games. There's nothing like them.