Wednesday, May 16, 2007

TechTrax Update

For those of you wondering why the April issue of TechTrax isn’t out yet, it’s because serious family health issues are on the rise again. But I am working on it and hope to have it out in the next week or two. I also am not planning on taking a summer hiatus this year. I’ll save my vacation time for family leave this round.

Many of you know my 58 yr old brother was given a year to live in April 2006. He’s been having a rough time this 13th month into his sentence. A couple weeks ago his daughter found him bleeding on the floor in their home. He’d collapsed for some reason and ended up breaking his nose, as well as a few ribs on his flight to the floor! So now he gets to deal with a broken nose and broken ribs as well as his blood disease and chemo treatments.

Lots of folks ask me about mom. She’s recovering well from her stroke and the pacemaker is doing it’s job keeping her ticker tocking, but recently I had to take her to the plastic surgeon to have skin cancer removed from her eye lid. And she may have cracked her hip somehow now, too, because she has a lot of pain and walking is quite difficult. That doctor appointment is in a few days.

On Mother’s Day, my cousin Larry called me so I could let mom know that her sister-in-law (his Mother!) had died! Geez! He visited her that day...she died that night. Granted, she was nearly 91, but come on. Auntie Rose was one of the family’s favorite people. The aunt who never missed sending out a birthday card to everyone and the kids always got that extra dollar inside. I’ll tell ya about her sometime. Rose’s departure now makes mom the oldest person in the family. A position I know she doesn’t really appreciate holding. But does always say she plans to hold it until she's 105. She's out to beat Rose Kennedy!

And although I was supposed to take mom to have her stitches out this last week, Greg had to do it for me. Why? Because I was balled up in bed looking like something that fell out of a Petri dish. A flu bug was busy turning my insides into liquid. I was miserable for four days, telling Greg I think it was time that he just shoot me and put me out of my misery. The dogs sat Shivah on my bed nearly the entire time.

Poor guy. Now not only did he have to deal with all his own busy work, but also take care of me and our many pets, as well as mom. Greg's an amazing man and did it all without complaint...although he was thrilled to see me back on my feet recently, as were the dogs. The cats could have cared less!

So I’m sorry the April issue is late, but I hope to have it out ASAP. In the meantime, you can view the promised pictures from Bark in the Park now on our Pet Lover's page.

Talk to you, again, soon...I'm sure!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

We Have Our Winners

The true winners are the dogs and cats who benefit from the funds we managed to collect from all the very generous people who contributed to our Bark in the Park walk. Lexi and I, as well as Stacy and Simon, managed to collect over $2,800 to help needy dogs and cats through Anti Cruelty Society.

It costs about $50-$90 to shelter a cat or dog at ACS for a week. Thanks to your generosity, we have helped to ensure that several dogs/cats will have a safe home until they are able to find a permanent one.

Late last night, I pulled out all the names/emails of those who contributed, I gave Greg's random number generator a few kicks and came up with winning numbers. Those numbers were matched to the names of the people who the order in which they donated...and we found our software winners.

We are giving away two copies of Office 2003 Pro with OneNote. A copy of Microsoft Expression Web and Microsoft Digital Photo Suite. The winners get to choose in the order in which their names were drawn. Our first winner was Norman Pearce of the UK. He selected Expression Web.

Norman says..."Dogs are a part of our life (my wife Sue & I), although we lost our Welsh Border a few years ago. My daughter & son-in-law have 4 welsh borders and very much into dog obedience and agility training & shows. One of their dogs was from the famous Battersea Dogs Home. They keep our interest and love of man's best friend very much alive. I am very much involved in the Royal British Legion, and intend in the very near future to develop a web site for the regions (North West London) branches, so Expression will be very useful."

Congrats to Norman. We have yet to hear from our other winners, who are: 2) John Mon 3) Steven Nichols 4) Jackie Payne

But I'm sure we'll be in touch with them soon...and will let you know what they choose and their software plans.

Again, big virtual hugs from Stacy and me to all of you who contributed to our walk!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Bark...We DID it!

We survived!

Although, I must tell you we tried to get home through traffic afterwards...I was concerned Lexi may have a heart attack on the way home! She literally panted for hours. She was so excited that she got herself into a panting jag and was hardly able to swallow due to her constant and heavy panting on the way home.

But she did great! Thank you Cesar Millan! Cesar (the dog whisperer) explains in his Cesar's Way book, that dogs fall into a pack mode when walking together. I put faith in that and trusted that Lexi would not cause trouble, like she tries to do at the park when confronting another dog. And sure enough...she did great! Not even one little snarl at any other dog. She knew this event was something special and handled it like a pro...well, until the end when she got into her pant jag and made me worry about her. But that was due to excitement. (Simon had his own way of showing excitement...he barfed all over the back seat!)

And although the above picture shows Lexi (and Simon) in Lake Michigan, I was surprised that she wasn't as enthusiastic as I assumed she'd be about the lake. Turns out the waves freaked her out!

You can view all our 2007 Bark pictures, here

HUGE thanks to all who donated! We managed to raise over $2,800 for needy dogs/cats!

To learn about the Bark software winners, see my post here entitled We have our winners or just click the "Bark in the Park" link below this article to see all of my blog posts related to Bark.