Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nearly but not quite

Sorry I have not been writing of late but I was under the weather for a while and at one point thought I was going to crossover. Well I didn't and it's been sorted. As I have got older the old back legs give me problems and I was getting a lot of pain, which made me feel down. Anyway as there is no way they can treat the cause I am on a daily dose of pain killer which means I can get around just fine.

The weather in the South has been all over the place from above average temperature only a fortnight ago to now wet, cold and rain filled days with grey skies. I don't like grey skies, still at least when we get blue skies we have something to make a comparison with!

The UK government and the Opposition are embroiled in misuse of allowances and it would seem many MPs have been taking tax payers money falsely no wonder the Banks have got of lightly there are all scratching each other backs. As I have said previously now is the time to re-adjust the whole financial situation and now make changes to how MPs are able to make allowance claims.

It's always sad when someone is killed "in the line of duty" especially when that is guarding a building or museum, as in the case reported today. Any extreme belief seems to me to lead individuals to a very narrow and bigoted view, be it religious, political or anything. Rationale thinking and actions give way to radical and often violent actions that have no apparent benefit to mankind, but rather slow down progress to a more unified world.

Whilst the world is slowly recovering from recession it would seem that no new order is in place and that things will still be as they were. A more cautions approach to lending maybe the call of the day, but once the money starts to flow again will caution slowly go with the wind? Basing a persons performance on how much profit they generate for the company is a system that will always lead to distortion and corruption. If customer care is a bye word of so many companies as they claim, how come they led their customers down a path of financial ruin? When customer care is thinly disguised as profit it never works in the end. Good customer care, adding value to the customer's experience are all worthy when they are the priority, profit will follow. Any company that was giving true value to their customers will still be in business, especially if their business plan was well structured.

Well I am uncertain if a walk is on the cards today as it's looking very grey and rain looks likely. D has been taken me most days in between the rain so I may just make it. I hope so as he is away for a few days, starting Friday, I shall miss him. Well ahve a good weekend and will talk again soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A mix of weather at present

May is now with us and the gardens and hedge rows are a mass of colour with flowers and budding trees and bushes. The robin has two young who feed from out of your hand. The blackbird had 5 young and they are quite bold too when trying to get food. Mason bees are busy in the ends of the bamboo blinds too.

because of the variable weather it has meant that D has been taking me out later when it's hot, because as a Boxer dog I have a very fine short coat which offers very little protection from the sun. The wild honeysuckle is every where on our walk along the boardwalk and is offering good cover for many birds and the insects they feed on. Seen the fox a couple of times over the last few days as well.

Here in the UK Monday was a bank holiday and as the weather was good we had a BBQ. I love them, everyone sits around outside and chatting and feeding me scraps. Makes a change to my diet, that's why I do it. Any how the eldest son come over and was saying how busy he is at present as his company changes from one version of Office to another and all the problems of rolling out across the EU with the many language differences.

The gardens are looking good with plenty of lawn cutting and general tidying and dead heading of the daffodils one the blooms die back. D & M's garden is maturing now and it's time to start the final planning of the various areas. The heavy snow has killed a nice bush which was dug up and now there is a need to think about a replacement. There is a flowering nutmeg and tobacco plant in the garden that also look as if the cold has either stunted their growth or they are dying; it's never ending keeping the gardens looking great.

Well the boss(he) is still sorting out his financial problems and has found that despite informing people via letters of his financial problems the credit card companies are very bullying in their approach, almost to the point of harassment. When this all started the boss(he) wrote explaining the situation and asking them for suggestions of how he could continue to pay, but not at the minimum amount. They never replied and now it's at the point we he is no longer able to pay more than a pound they are becoming very demanding. Like I have suggested in the past, if they had cut their interest rates the boss and others would have been able to continue paying but their APRs are still in double figure when the base rate is 0.5%!

What ever your current situation keep going and persist in getting through it and things will change and for the better. There are lessons to be learnt from this and I know the boss will be wiser for it in the end. Take care and speak soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Nearly the end of April already

How the seasons seem to march on irrespective of the happenings in the world at large. April is almost gone and Spring will shortly be giving way to Summer all in the blink of an eye.

The trees are now showing plenty of colour as the leaves begin to unfurl and the horse chestnuts are showing off their white flowers. It seems that this year every thing in the garden is racing along at a great pace. I mentioned the other day that the daffodils have been and gone. Primroses are showing in the banks and the geese are feeding in the water meadows. Last week the boss(he) heard a cuckoo calling and the blackbirds have five young now feeding as a family on the lawn.

The bosses are coming to terms with the fact that the boss(he) has got financial problems and has been talking to a debt company about it. Because of a loss of income and existing credit card debt the last straw was Am Ex doubling the monthly interest rate and the APR. At present we are hanging in there and the bosses are trying to sort it all out. If you are having any problems with debt get it sorted as soon as possible. The bosses left is later than they should have, but the company they are using , called Pay Plan, has been very helpful and the advice was free too.

Despite all the problems the boss(he) is still keeping to his "to do" lists and is now working at getting even more "little" jobs sorted; like the shed and garage. They certainly focus him on what needs to be done and the work is getting done.

D has been taking me out for walks and although the weather has changes from fine to wet and variable I am getting about. Yesterday was wet and damp and my front joint was very stiff. Today there has been a frost and the sky look quite clear so it could be a sunny day.

Where ever you are may your day be better than the last and the sun warm you with its rays. See you soon and take care.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How time flies

It only seems like yesterday that the bosses were getting ready to go to Pembrokeshire, in South Wales. I get lots of walks and by the end of the few days we were there I was walking the whole field with ease and no stiffness in my front leg.

The weather has been fine and sunny, for the most part. On my walks with D we have spotted a fox. The robin and blackbird are still busy collecting for the offspring. The robin will take from peoples hands and is very quick. The garden is a mass of colour as Spring gets under way. The daffodils have not lasted as long as they have in the past, but have provided a blase of colour.

Despite the problems with the world economy there is a slow move to cautious spending by some sections of the population. Japan a nation more of savers than spenders will be better positioned than most to benefit in the coming years. In the UK and not doubt in the USA house prices are showing a marginal stabilisation, although considering the inflated prices 2 years ago they are now more likely to be reflective of their value.

The UK government is still pushing ahead with measures to encourage people to dispose of their old( 10 years) cars and buy new "electric" cars. I am amazed that the government is again encouraging people to get into debt and for what? The production of cars 10 years old has already had it's mark on the carbon footprint. Now we dispose of those cars and get new which will still have added to the problems of carbon emissions in production. The bosses 10 years old car still returns over 40 miles to the gallon and as it's 10 years old still needs parts which have already been produced, thus saving on new production and using up spares that would other wise need to be recycled; using both energy and increasing carbon outputs. There is also the problem of disposing of the spent energy cells from these cars in the future.

Another idea back on the front burner is to use coal fired power plants for electricity generation. The carbon emission would be captured and piped to offshore oil fields where the gas would be pumped into the void left by the oil extraction. Neat idea but what will happen to the gas in say 100 years time. Nuclear power stations are also on the agenda and many old stations are likely to be recommissioned in the future; part of the Blair legacy.

Now is the time for the people of the word to exert their feelings on those in power to bring about a change in the way we exploit our world. Their is a great deal at stake. On the one hand all those with vested interests in the trapping of the good life will encourage a return to material acquisitions whilst exploiting people from other nations in keeping production costs low and profit margins high. The exploitation of raw materials and the deforestation of the rain forests will cause problems for everyone, so why get on the wagon? Technology has and can be used, to both the natural world and humans advantage, but not if greed and monetary gain are the impetus.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April showers bring forth May flowers

Great weather with plenty of sunny spells so I have been out on lots of walks which is helping my joints. Today it was raining this morning so I decided not to go anywhere, best to wait until the rain stops.

I am glad that we have had some rain as it will help the plants and the grass to grow which always makes everywhere look radiant after the showers and the sun shines. Spring gives us a glimpse of what is in store for the summer months. In the garden the robin and blackbird are busy collecting food for their young, soon we should see them on the lawn or in the scrubs as they venture from the nest.

Schools are on Easter break and the roads are that much less congested. Odd really when many schools have a policy that requires the child should live in walking distance of the school for admission! It's the same in the Summer, surely if parents walked with their children it would be a double win-win. Save fuel and money spent on fuel, reduce the Carbon footprint and get healthier with the exercise? I know many parents both have to work, but surely they can do something it's for their benefit and their child too.

The G2 is over and there appears to be a consensus that a new era is on it's way with respect to banking. Meanwhile, in this country the banks who also have credit cards are using an old law to take money from people accounts to pay their credit card. This is regardless of the fact that it may effect their mortgage, service bills or council tax. This clearly shows the ruthlessness of the banks who got the world in this situation in the first place. The important issue is that this is not "fair" treatment and the banks know it but are exploiting peoples ignorance to get back money they are owed, regardless of the consequence. Lets see what the Government does to get itself distanced from this as they have yet to sort out the banks and the banks freely giving credit even when it was not requested.

It's now 3 clear months since the setting of those New year resolution, so how have you done. The boss(he) is going great guns with "to do" lists and has so far exceeded his expectations. We have had rooms wallpapered, skirting's painted, lawns mown and all sorts of jobs done that would still be "getting there" if he had not had the "to do" lists. Try it and as always have short lists for things that can be done in an hour or so to long term lists that require a series of actions to bring about; like re fencing or sorting out the garage.

Have a good Easter and may the sun warm your face or back, depending on the road you take.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Feeling Blue

Not a good couple of days for me as I have been under the weather. Not to sure if I have a chill or it's just the stiffness in me front legs that's making me feel down. Despite it I have been out on some interesting walks and yesterday saw the fox for the first time, sunning on the fallen tree.

The mornings have been frosty, Monday and today and the days either sunny and bright or cloudy, but the colour in the gardens more than makes up for it. There is a collared dove nesting in the tree in D&M's garden which with the robin and blackbird looks like a good start to the season.

Boss(he) is at the hospital on Friday to have his kidney stones blasted yet again. Hopefully this time all will go well and there is some positive outcomes.

My 47% owner might be down this weekend depends on her shift pattern and if she is well enough. Seems she has been unwell these last few days, so I'm hoping she has a speedy recovery and comes and gives me lots of extra cuddles and strokes.

Michelle the veterinary blond has emailed the interview to the boss(he) but it was too big and his email provider would not let it through. I reckon he should use Google mail they seem more realistic on what people use their emails for in terms of sending and receiving information.

It looks like today should be sunny so I should get at least one walk, even if I have to take it slow. Take care and smile it makes the sun brighter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

More showers and sunnny periods and it's not April yet

A chilly wind has been with us all the week and now showers and sunny periods. This heralds that April is on it's way. Here in the UK the clocks all went forward an hour so in the morning it's dark again but stays lighter in the evening. Some historical thing going back to the children helping with the harvest and not interrupting schooling; or something similar.

Boss(he) did not get his kidney stones blasted properly because the machine went wrong and then he went for an interview, one of six, and did not get the job. He reckons he has had better weeks.

47% owner was down for the whole weekend, so got plenty of extra strokes and fuss made of me. Very nice, and the house was just a little more alive. Boss(he) has finished the papering of the room and done the final coat of paint, just a case of moving his computer in and wiring it all back into the network. I think I might take a nap downstairs when he does that.

There has been a little positive light on the financial markets with some upward movement. Although the retail trade looks no better with a clear suggestion that there is little prospect of an up turn in the next few month.

It was frosty this morning and after my two walks yesterday I was a little stiff in my front joints this morning. Glad the boss was cold so we did not go the full circuit. I hope the frost does not get the magnolia blossom as it is just in bloom and the birds all play about in it and sing their tunes. The robin is still feeding and collecting so it looks like there is a hen on a nest in the ivy with young on the way. The last remaining pampas grass heads have been stripped by the birds for nesting material so I guess there are a lot of birds getting ready to hatch fledglings in the coming month?

Michelle has sent the boss a copy of the interview so hopefully will get it on here soon. She has now got a full time position in NW London which means that some people's pets are going to be very lucky. I know that there are many people who will be wishing her the very best, including this one very grateful boxer dog.

No walk with D today as he is out all day at a meeting so will get maybe one more walk if the boss (she) gets back early from work.

Have a good day and lets hope we get some blue skies and sun to warm our backs a little.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March winds and April showers

What a difference a day makes? The weather is changing from sunny periods to cloud and cold winds to showers and then bright skies. How am I supposed to get my walks sorted with this sort of weather patterns? The good point is that when the sun shines its very welcome and people seems to perk up; I know I do.

It would seem that in the US that senior staff at the insurance company bailed out by the tax payers are handing back their bonus payment. Good on them, that's the sort of spirit that we need to see this side of the pond starting with the ex CEO of the RBS. Will it happen, I doubt it.

The flowers are all in bloom or well on the way and in the lanes there are primroses flowering. Spring has sprung and despite the recession Nature still amazes me with it's ability to get it together.

Boss(he) has to go to hospital today for another blast of his kidney stones so I hope something happens this time. That meansI will have him for company tomorrow as it gives him some problems with pain the day after then everything seems to settle down again. He has also applied for another job and has an interview so will hope something positive comes out of it.

The morning is looking brighter and that could mean another walk with D today. Might catch sight of the fox sunning on the fallen tree if we are lucky.

Enjoy your day and may the future bring us all closer to a better understanding of each other.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another weekend went in a flash

Despite a little down turn in the weather the weekend seemed to be over before it began. Although the weather was bright and sunny the wind had a chill to it and it mean that on my walks with D there was even a touch of frost on the ground.

The house was full on Sunday as all the children came round to give boss(she) Mothering Sunday cards, flowers and even some chocolates. Interesting that one large supermarket kept it's flower prices the same as the weeks previous whilst others appear to have raised prices?

Boss(he) was busy with his "to do" list and was going like a "good un". Cooking and making a lasagna, mowing a lawn, stripping off the last of the wallpaper, filling holes and finally clearing up all the dust and then undercoating; all on Saturday.

Sunday was a little more leisurely, shopping with D&M then mowing two lawns then cooking dinner and clearing up in the garden and hard pruning a shrub that was pushing other plants forward. Lastly moving rubbish from the garden into the boot of the car ready to take to the skip on Monday morning.

There is a blackbird and a robin nesting in the ivy on the garage next door which is encouraging. The male robin is collecting as well as eating so it may well be that the hen has laid eggs although it seems a little early. Still no sign of any foxes on my walks only lots of birds going about their business.

Boss has a big problem with the school network this weekend as the half on the end of the fibre optic link is not working properly. Seems that the converter one end is sending all the correct signals, but the one the other end is not receiving all the signals. Boss thinks that the link has a fault, swapping out the converters makes not difference nor does turning the network off?

Well after cloudy start on Monday with some heavy rain for a while in the early evening things seem a little more settled today. Well the sun is shining and it's just warming up a little so I may get another walk today with D. Wind is cold though so I may need my coat on getting old and feel the cold, especially in my front legs.

Have a great day and may the sun warm your back on your journey today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

And the sun still shone.

What a wonderful week with sunny days, although the wind is now making it less warm. No doubt the next thing will be drought warnings because we have had little rain for a week. If they stopped building on reservoirs like the one outside East Morlsey then we would have more water? As a canine I wonder at the rational behind this thinking. No doubt the reservoir was becoming porous due to poor maintenance so cheaper to sell the site for housing development. Thereby creating a greater call on water usage and increasing traffic congestion, yes a good decision that one!

Michelle the veterinary blond did a talk on the evolution of the dog the other night and it was well received. Hope to be able to link into the finished video and also there is an interview too.

The FSA has published it's recommendations of how the banks should ensure that this recession does not happen again. One of it's suggestions is that banks are more carefully about lending money. Surely, that means that they will make less profit and therefore less big bonus payments to their staff? Seems to the boss(he) this is just what banks did in the 1980s when we had a fairly stable economy in terms of debt. Toxic debt was a term not commonly heard in the news, it may well have not even existed as such!

The UK government has made a big issue about how it had been tackling knife crime and using unverified statistics to show it's campaign has been working. Now it appears that that is not the case as the same stats indicate that there was a gradual decline before the start of the campaign anyway? There is a good book called "How to lie with statistic "which the boss(he) often refers to when some body starts quoting stats. From my understanding they can often be used to fit a set of circumstances providing a "positive" result to anything.

The weekend is nearly here and the boss(he) has got his "to do" list already and waiting to go. He almost seems to enjoy doing them as a challenge to see if he can get it all done. How are your "to do" lists going?

Enjoy your weekend as I understand here in the South of the UK the weather will change to a more cold outlook, with rain?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Is this Summer?

What a glorious week of sunny weather we are having, it makes the heart glad. I have had lots of walks and Spring look as if its arrived. There are birds starting to collect nesting material from the garden and one blackbird is near completion of a nest in the garden hedge.

St Patrick's day has been celebrated here and in the USA with President Obama meeting Northern Ireland ministers and express support for the continued process towards lasting peace, despite the recent killings in the province.

The ex CEO is still in the news and it looks as if the tax payers also paid the tax on a lump sum he was given on leaving his post. The RBS did not have to give any more than a years salary. Yet despite this they gave away tax payers money to a person who is almost solely responsible for the collapse of the RBS. Where is the logic in all this and what retribution to those that allowed the wasting of yet more tax payers money?

As a canine I am amazed at the lax way the whole situation with the banks in both the UK and USA has been handled. People in positions within these banks knowingly allowed this situation to occur yet resign and get "golden hand shakes" as reward, for what their incompetence?
They no doubt also received big bonuses in the period when this whole situation was manifesting itself. They can then move away and retire on a yearly pension of more than most who work for the banks earn in a life time.

Greed seems to be the driving force which has led the world to this situation. A small number of people have been able to cause greater chaos than the 9/11 and afterwards with impunity. There are many lessons to be learnt from this and as a canine I am hopeful that they will be acknowledged by humans and measures taken to prevent a recurrence in the future.

On a much more positive note, how are the changes to a habit going? Remember consistency and persistence are the way forward. Like the boss he is now doing "to do" lists every day and amazed at how much more productive he is becoming and more important, focused. Very important if you have a 72 hours working week and then more to do at the weekend.

Take care and may the sun warm your back some time today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How come the weekends go so quickly?

Wow the weekend was over before it began, it seems. The weather was fine and this meant that their was activity in the garden and in the house. My 47% owner was over for the weekend which was good as I had lots of fuss made of me. The boss(he) got his new glasses and started stripping the wallpaper off the upstairs bedroom, a job that lasted for two days . Last night there was a surprise as the eldest son came over for tea and was talking about his new house. He wants me to go over and mark the garden to stop the cats from depositing on his grass?

This morning it is cold with a heavy frost forming and a big old moon in the sky. The day was just starting to break on the horizon and there was some birds singing it in. No sign of any other man nor beast, might get lucky if I get a walk with D later today.

Michelle the veterinary blond has just about finalised the book and the picture have all been sorted with the correct captions. If you follow her blog from here you should be first with the news of her recent talk about the evolution of dogs. I believe that it was being filmed for later release. Incidentally she was interviewed for a dog magazine and the article will be on her site soon.

Amazing in conversation that the eldest son was saying that in his county the recycling bins are black and the ordinary rubbish bins are green? Also they have much smaller bins for their recyclable glass, which seems odd. If you are recycling then its all or nothing, why do a half hearted approach? I have a feeling that cost is a big factor in how a council views the whole subject of recycling.

What are you still doing to keep on track to achieving your New year resolutions? If you have persisted with changing a habit you should be seeing results, if not just review your target to ensure that it is achievable and that you have set smaller obtainable targets to get to your overall target. Dogged perseverance will overcome, but only if you have set realistic targets. Trying to give up smoking after twenty years can only be achieved by setting smaller targets, like reduce the number of cigarettes per day and use the saving to buy healthy foods or go towards a fitness course. You are replacing a long established habit with a new one, but it takes time and patience.

Well the sun is up and it looks like a fine start to the week. Have a good day and I will see you on Wednesday.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Another week draws to an end

What an interesting later part to the week this has been. The weather had continued to been mixed with rain, sun and cold winds. I am saddened by the loss of some many young lives in Germany. The prince has acknowledged the emptiness that loosing his mother has caused him in a heartfelt speech at a trust meeting his mother was associated with when she was alive.

The garden is looking good and tidy with many flowers now showing full formed buds in readiness for the heralding of spring. Along the hedgerow there is a showing of colour now as the buds swell too. The sun brings out many of the birds to feed and have a quick splash in the bird bath. Their colours add to the changing spectrum in the garden making a welcome addition for the eyes to see.

At the moment the sun is rising in a watery way with a mix of high cloud and lower darker rain cloud, so it could be an interesting day to see who prevails; sun or rain. I hope it stays dry as I will get at least one more walk in with D. We don't go as far as we used to but we often walk the boardwalk and see what's around. No foxes yet although they are in the gardens because I can smell them.

Hopefully my 47% owner should be home for the weekend and that means bosses will have a different focus and the house will take on a new life for a while. There has been some room changing in the house as the youngest son has moved to the eldest sons room. The vacated room will become the bosses study so the back room will have all his computers and toot moved. Boss(she) is very happy at this as it means the back room will be less cluttered and appear to be bigger too.

It looks like another busy weekend what with food shopping on Sunday with D&M and boss(he) getting new glasses as a late Christmas present from boss(she) Still waiting to hear when boss(he) has to next go to hospital with his kidney stone problem. seems odd that this is a common problem both in the young and old yet they don't treat the cause just the symptoms?

Have a good weekend and try making a "to do" list and see how much better focused the weekend will be and how much more you will achieve. Take care and speak to you on Monday.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An interesting week so far?

Despite the changing weather most days have been dry and some mornings have been sunny, although with a touch of frost. I like sunny crisp mornings with plenty of fresh smells. Still not many other animals on my walks in the mornings. Just as we get used to the sun rising early the clocks will change and it all gets confusing for a while.

As a Boxer dog I have expressed my amazement that the pound is so low against the dollar despite the USA being in at least the same state of recession as the UK. I am assuming that this is based on the people who play the money market thinking that the UK is in a more difficult situation than the USA. If that's the case why is the Euro so high when at least four countries in the EU are also having recession problems and the newer Eastern European members are asking for money to stabilise their countries. Something very wrong with all this, seem to remember the boss(he) saying someone did this with silver many years ago.

How are things with the new habit forming? Remember persistence will prevail, just keep at it. Remember I was telling you about the boss and his "to do" list well it's working a treat. Last weekend because they were so busy it kept him focused on what needed to be done and he has already done two of the items on his "before the summer" list . Have a go it has made a difference and enabled the boss(he) to get more done because he has a focus and targets to meet.

It seems that companies in the financial sector are dumbing down the effects of wide spread redundancies by using the services of companies that offer virtual offices for those made redundant to get advice on writing their CV, letter of application and getting in the right mindset for job interviews. It seems that companies are concerned that when they recession is over people will remember the way companies treated staff in the downturn and be less likely to want to work for them. Of course the companies offering this virtual office package are having a reported better than average year on year profit return. As Einstein remarked, "in every crisis there is opportunity"

At the moment the sky is ablaze with the early morning sunrising and it looks beautiful. I guess the maker was having a painting moment this morning. Blackbirds are busy looking for food and a robin is flitting about looking for a morsel to eat. Boy, despite what the news says, it make you happy to be alive to see. Have a great day and hang in there with those changing habits. Speak to you on Friday, off to see if there is any treats to eat:)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another busy weekend.

Despite the chill there was much activity in the household this weekend. Room changes where the order of the day for the youngest son which required the assembly of a bed and all the bits that go with it. Very comfortable bed too I must say.

On Saturday the two lawns in D&M where given a light cut to keep growth uniform and I was able to do some sun bathing on the decking. Boss (he) replaced another rotten post and replaced another fence panel so the back of the garden is looking a lot neater now.

Sunday and they all went to do the weeks food shopping with D&M and I got some nice liver to have for my food with pasta and carrots, peas and bran. Supposed to be good for me and keep the carbs in check as I am getting well past my sell by date. In the afternoon the bosses took D&M across to see his cousin as there is no bus service to the hospital on Sundays?

Despite the chill the weekend was mostly sunny and there are daffodils in flower now and many plants and bushes are showing forming duds or even some colour. The dogwood looks colourful with it's bright red against the bare bushes around it. The robins like to land on it's branches before they come into the summerhouse to get their food.

Boss(he) has been busy when he had some spare moments to finish the photos for Michelle the vets new edition of Puppy Power, which will be on sale shortly. Well worth investing in if you have a dog or are considering getting a puppy. Interesting that Crufts this year had record visitors despite the loss of sponsorship from Pedigree and coverage due to concerns about breeding practices amongst breeders? Michelle covers this in her Puppy Power, in particular the docking of puppies tails for no reason another than fashion. The Kennel Club does not police those who are registered breeders with it and neither do they enforce the law which bans docking other than for legitimate reasons relating to working dogs. Whilst people are unaware of these facts they are perpetuating the illegal practice and funding it through purchasing dogs from breeders who they think must be the best because they are Kennel Club registered!

Hopefully I will get another walk today with D if the weather holds and we might see some of my canine friends. Take care and speak to you on Wednesday.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Is there any interest in the Bank interest rate?

The Bank of England cut it's interest rate to the lowest in over 300 years? How is this going to stimulate the economy? Savers who supposedly outnumber borrowers 7 to 1 are not going to gain by it and borrowers can't borrow as the lenders wont lend. How can any country expect to start an economic growth on this basis? There needs to be money circulating to allow for purchasing and the flow of money and goods will start the process of recovery.

Perhaps the whole base of this recession was when the banks and other lenders borrowed more money than they received from savers in their quest to make increased profit and gain bonuses for individuals. Simply greed took over and caution and due diligence went by the board. Governments rode on the back of this "prosperity" and are therefore as much to blame as the banks and lenders in as much as they did not apply measures to curd the ease of borrowing but chose to remain popular.

On a different note the weather since we spoke on Wednesday has been very variable with rain, sleet, frost, sunshine and some mist in the mornings. Today it was very frosty on my walk with clear skies so it may be a sunny day today.

Talking of sunny days how are the resolutions going, if you have been persistent and made a change to an existing habit you should be well on the way to changing the habit for a better one. No one claims it will be easy, because it's not, but a steady change day after day will slowly change a habit. It's important not to give up or beat yourself up if you miss your target or have a relapse; it happens accept it and get back on target.

Busy weekend ahead as there is work to be done in the garden and the boss is going to sort out the area for D&M to have a patio, before the year advances to far. On Sunday I think after shopping the bosses are taking D&M over to see a relation in hospital in another town as there are no buses running that go there by an easy route. Boss(he) is doing a long term as well as short term "to do" list and is amazed at what help it is on focusing with greater clarity on what really needs to be achieved. Try it a see the difference, you maybe surprised that you will have more time to bum around at the weekend, instead of just rolling alone and doing very little to reduce all the things you should do.

Well the sun is rising and although cold it looks like it could be sunny to day. That means I may get another walk in this afternoon. Take care and speak to you all on Monday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Interesting week so far, weather wise

What a swing in the weather as the low takes over from the high pressure. A bright sunny day on Monday was followed yesterday with light rain and at times strong winds with a drop in temperature. Today it appears to be very cloudy and cool with possible sleet or snow.

Whilst the rain may help with growth much of the land still seems to be saturated from the wet spell in late 2008. This no doubt will mean that crops will be less than good and be reflected in increased costs to the consumer. D has noticed that the price of the wine he buys had steadily increased. Is this a reflection of the value of the pound against the euro or is it just the super market adding to their bottom line by stealth?

Remember the saying, "do nothing and nothing changes" well the boss has changed his weekend habits by producing a "to do" list for the weekend that starts on Sunday night and is added to until Friday. Last weekend he was able to accomplish so much more and do things not on his list that he was amazed. Now this is not earth shattering but is a clear example of how setting achievable goals can work, even on something as simple as do a list of what to do over two days.

Think what you could achieve if you started to write a "to do" list every evening for the next day. This could relate to personal things or how you look at the day job in a different light. Any changes that make you feel good raise your vibrational level which has a positive affect on your life in general. Try it and see. Let me know how you get on.

Boss (she) took me out yesterday afternoon as D was not feeling 100% probably a mix of the damp weather and too much vino! This morning it was cold with rain in the wind. The clouds looked dark and full of rain or snow. Not to keen on snow because the melt always seems to produce slush and ice which can be dangerous for D when we go out.

Well breakfast calls and then I think a little light relaxation on the settee when everyone has gone will do for this morning. This allows me the time to philosophise about the human race and how they are getting it sooooo wrong.

Take care and remember looking up stops you feeling down. Try it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Busy Weekend

Although the weather was not as sunny as Friday it was dry with a chill when the wind blew. Very busy in the garden over the two days with last minute trimming and renewing fence posts and preparing for the Spring.

The robins are getting bolder and will now take from your hand although they still find me a bit of a problem. All I want to do is play, but their more interested in eating. can't say I blame them.

Eldest son dropped in on Friday and had a bite to eat before going home. Meeting all his targets so has won a pay award, which will be useful with just buying a house. My 47% owner went to to see the house on Sunday so we are hoping she found it OK, as it's not the easiest place to find.

I am amazed that despite much of the current financial situation arising as a result of the sub prime in the USA the dollar is so strong against the pound? Seems daft that the root cause of the problem is fairing better on the currency market because the UK banks had a share in the toxic debt of the USA!

Japan is also in the grip of a recession according to the papers and news on TV. The bosses did a quick count of all the good or interesting news in the weekend papers and on TV. Surprise, there was no good news on any TV or in the papers within the first few pages or minutes of the broadcast. Yet it is rumoured that there is a millionaire being made every 4 minutes somewhere in the world. Someone must have it wrong or they just do not see a recession but a time of opportunity? Maybe they don't read the newspapers or listen to the news on TV or radio!

Small businesses in the UK are saying that the banks are making it difficult to get money or are being very strict on the meeting business plans. What happened to all the tax payers money that went into these banks, not only to keep them afloat but to ease the availability of money for small businesses and home buyers? Bring in regulations to stop the payment of bonuses to managers on their performance that has led to this situation in the first place would be a good start and then get the money available.

I see that credit cards are still charging interest rates above 12% APR when the base rate is 1%. Force them to reduce their rates would in the long term allow people to pay of their debt (not what the credit card companies want) and allow so disposable income to allow people to purchase. They will not save because the rate is low but will buy or spend on household goods, thereby starting the slow economic recovery of production.

Well it's cold this morning with a frost on the cars and no sign of life on the walk. Hope to see more when I go out with D later as the day should be bright and sunny, hopefully.

Take care speak to you on Wednesday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Another week draws to an end

The boss(he) had his procedure on Wednesday and althougth he looked a little white was OK and by Thursday was taking things easy but moving around fine. Only discomfort was at night when laying down, but that had gone by Thursday too.

Out with D these last few days and the number of Wrens flitting in and around the bushes is amazing. Most of the year you hardly see them. Many birds are now actively starting to look for a mate. Before long the nest building will start in earnest and the garden will be alive with activity.

Michelle has posted on her blog about the latest "Rogue Trader" which dealt with puppy farms and one that she had first had knowledge of too. She also covers this in detail in her book "PuppyPower" which I have mentioned before as a good book for any would be or existing dog owner.

I hear that the ex head of RBS, Sir Fred Goodwin, has declined to give up his over £693,000 per year pension. If he gave half of it back that's still more than many people earn in 10 years,as his pension. No wonder the banking system is in a state with sums of money like that going out to someone no longer there (at RBS)and responsible for the state that bank got in. #
If they paid less at the top and distributed it throughout the bank then customers would get a better service and not be changed ridiculous sums for refusal of a cheque or the likes. A complete overall of the banking system is needed including bonuses, if any, and what the customer gets and pays for and the services and advice they receive.

The weather has been pretty good for the time of year. Mild with temperatures reaching double figures, although a keen wind has made it appear colder when it blows. The family have a lot to do this weekend. Me I'm going to chill out and enjoy any sun there is. Take care a remember change nothing and expect nothing to change.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sunny spells more like cloudy and rain

Friday already and in this part of the country there were few sunny spells but a lot of cloud and light rain instead. The main affect this has is my walks are not so interesting as there a few other dogs out on a walk and few wild animals to see.

Buster has now been pensioned off and is now retired. Although he is still required to be on standby should the need arise. It was good to catch him early this morning out and about and looking so fit.

I hear that another fraud has been revealed that has caused yet more problems for savers and investors. Yet again a few people (maybe 3) have been able to dupe both the general public and others into parting with money for a scam. Because of the ability these people have to filter the money away so only a percentage is ever found, they can have a good life if they go to prison and if their sentence is short enough still have a hoard when they come out.

I heard on the news this morning that a young teenager received first degree burns to most of her body through over exposure on a sun bed at an unattended "salon". Seems in the UK that these "self service" tanning salons are not regulated with respect to age of users and time they can stay under the tanning bed. Coupled with the fact that the salon does not have to have anyone in attendance to oversee the correct use of the equipment it looks like a "good little earner" as Del Trotter would say!

US President Obama has had a long haul to get his administration going and it ain't going to get any easier. The war in Afghanistan is still ongoing and will continue whilst the allies employ the military tactics the are using at present. The stupid reality is that the might of the USSR could not do it, so why are the allies employing similar tactics?

The car industry is a barometer of the financial state of the world it would seem. If that is correct then this recession had it's infancy long before the sub-prime problems, as car sales had started to slow in the early part of 2008, not significantly but it had slowed!

Well all this will not get me nearer to my walk or understanding why the human race is so totally immersed in money as the means to find what it is they seek.

Enjoy the weekend, you never know the weather might just be brighter.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Schools out

It,s half term week in the South and there is a noticeable difference in the number of cars on the road at the peak times. The boss(he) has halved his journey time this week and the normal traffic jams are not there this week. It's the same during the long summer holiday too.

Perhaps this is a contributing factor as to why the young in Britain are becoming more obese? Couple that with both parents working and the use of convenience foods high in carbs and you have a picture forming of an unhealthy diet.

Because of the car many teenagers today expect parents to act as a unpaid taxi. Parents do it because of fear for the safety of their offspring and because public transport is now so poor and unreliable that they may well arrive home way past their intended "home time"! Walking seems to be a no no as their clothing is inappropriate and in some style dangerous if cycling. Then there is the increased likely hood that the cycle maybe stolen as there are few secure cycle parks anywhere.

Although the weather has not been as bright as forecast nature marches on and more bulbs are starting to show buds and all around the signs of the impending Spring are there to be seen.

More problems with the car industry in the UK and USA. Mini a BMW company has made people redundant, yet I recall they received Government money ( tax payers money) to keep the plant here in the first place. If they close the plant completely do the tax payers get their money back?

Next few days offer some bright spells so I hope to see more on my walks with D. The last few days have only spotted birds flitting about in the trees and bushes. No sign of the fox resting on the tree or any foxes else where. Soon with Spring so nature starts it,s courtship and there will be much activity to secure a mate.

Well food awaits and then a walk. I will tell you what I see on Friday, until then take care.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Busy weekend

Saturday looked good with some sunny spells and the boss(he) has sorted out the garden after the snow damage. There where a number of bushes that take broken branches due to the weight of snow on them. The pampas grass lost almost all it's plumes for the same reason.

After a lot of cutting and hard pruning the garden is again looking tidy. The bulbs are on form and pushing through very well. Some of the early crocus have suffered as the snow had settled on the flowers and many just could not hold the weight.

Boss(he) is due to go to hospital next week to have something done about the kidney stones he has. Seems after the last renal colic attack they are concerned that his kidneys are not damaged due to the backing up of fluid causing the kidneys to swell.

How are we all doing on keeping persistant on the resolutions? Remember just keep at it and the change will slowly occur. Celebrate your little achievements each one is a milestone in reaching your destiny .

Funny the boss (he)had been off work last week for three days with his kidney problem his boss has been most off with him. Seems she is very seldom ill and as a result thinks everyone else should be the same. Maybe the holidays in warm climates and relaxing allows that to happen?

Well what ever the reason it's another day in another week so lets get to it and see what we can learn from the week- take care.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rain,snow ice and more rain

Icy roads and then last night a light snow fall followed by light rain. It's very difficult to know whats coming next. The water meadows at the local farm have been flooded and then froze so the geese could not wade about and get food. This morning the water has receded and hopefully the waterbirds will be able to feed.

The President of the USA has lost another nominee member of his cabinet. I admire both for their ideals and in fairness to Obama he needs people to be with him and not just yes people. He like the other world leaders have their work cut out to start the process of financial recovery.

As a canine my concern is that I have yet to hear about the checks and balance being put in place to stop this ever happening again. The sub prime could have been prevented, but because money was easy to get and credit too it's effect was to increase the overall debt of everyone for the benefit of a minority.

There is still debate about the banks paying bonuses, although now many of the boards are hinting that they will pay only to customer face employees. If people have to rely on bonuses on the lower levels of a company to have an overall fair wage then something is very very wrong.
I still can't understand why the person at the top gets paid a very good wage and then gets monetary bonuses or share options when those who do the work and take care of the running of a company get the least. I guess the indication is that working hard does not get you that far above the poverty line if at all?

Michelle the Veterinary blond has revamped her book and it's now even better and at the same price as the old one is extremely good value for money, go buy it now. Michelle is also encouraging dog owners to sign a petition to get the Government to micro chip all dogs, I think that this is a brilliant idea as then dogs that are abandoned will have their owners information on the chip. They can then be found and reunited with their pet or if they don't want it be fined to at least cover the cost for a new chip and to give the dog basic care until a new owner is found.

The weekend looks variable weather wise and the boss (he) has to fit a blind for nan whilst she is away with boss(she) as part of her Christmas present. I hope they have some dry weather to enable them to get out a bit.

Well it's time for some food then in an hour or so D might take me out if the rains not to heavy. Take care and have a good weekend.
Oh bye the way how have you all been doing with your resolutions the new habit should be replacing the old, if not keep going and good luck.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

First the snow then the floods

What a weekend it was for me. The snow on Friday missed us and went further North. Boss(he) was taken into the surgical assessment unit and stayed overnight with a kidney problem and everyone was at home on Saturday to see how their Dad was, so I got lots of strokes.

At first the snow melted very slowly and although it meant side road and lanes were still dangerous the melt was gradual. Then came the rain heavy all day on Monday and lighter the first part of Tuesday. The common was flooded in places I have never seen it before, not helped by the pond being frozen; I suppose?

Many places have been flooded in the South of England, whilst in Australia fires have devastated the bush and destroyed whole communities in Victoria. Many lives have been lost as a result of the speed the flames where spread by a strong wind. Many household also lost pets and livestock too.

Despite the lowering of interest rates there is still no move to curd the high interest rates on credit cards and loans that are on offer to people at present as a way out. Then the banks look at given the people how where instrumental in the problems big bonuses. Never mind the people at the coal face who get a small amount and meet customers every day and keep it all running. The faceless ones who are responsible are now considering giving themselves bonuses, for what? They should be made to pay the last two years bonuses back, their basic pay is still more than many earn in years.

More dogs are being left to their own devices as families feel the effects of the recession. Canine rescue centres are overloaded and also not receiving the money that need, as all charitable institutes feel the effect of the downturn. Dogs will eat cheap meat and offal which costs little and will keep them healthy. All it takes is a little change in the owners mind set to move from the convenience of opening a tin to getting some offal or cheap meat. Shin is good for making stews for a family with vegetable and some can be kept for your dog, It's not difficult just needs a different approach.

Despite the adverse weather the garden is starting to come alive. There are crocus in bud and flower and snowdrops should be showing their heads too.

Enjoy the sun, if you have any and take care. I'm off soon for a walk with D to see if the water on the common has receded.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Then the snow came

What a week it's turning out to be with chaos on the roads, the railways and airports. Not much fun being a canine in the snow we have had as it was so deep one could not lift ones leg. Despite the weather conditions the week has been good to me. I have had snowball fights, help build a snowman and watched the robins eat mealworms just a few inches from my feet.

The boss(he) said it was like this in Finland one day after the heavy snow and nothing moved. The next day it was all back to normal. They are better prepared than we are as they get more of the white stuff and for longer periods too.

The Bank of England has dropped the interest rate to 1% but how will that help the economy when people are still struggling with credit card debt at 14% or more. If the credit cards reduced their rate to half what they are at present that would allow people to afford to pay more and also put a bit more disposable income into the economy.I think people should remember what the credit companies are doing and when they have the opportunity ditch them for good or pay off what you owe every month and pay no interest.

Friday tomorrow and there is snow on the way. It may miss and carry on or deposit large amount in the South of England. We will see tonight when I go out last thing or it will be quite and white come the morning.
Where ever you are take care and have a good weekend

Friday, January 30, 2009

Only two days to the month end

What a change in the weather from wet and windy to cold with a wind the is best described as lazy; it just goes straight through you not around you.

The garden is showing signs that Spring is in the wings waiting to take centre stage soon. Remember the birds in this cold weather and put out feed for them.

If you have been doing something different for the last 30 days you should have changed a habit or created a new one. The boss(he) has been sorting out his priorities and has seen some changes to his attitude as a result so signs are very encouraging .

According to the news the UK will be the worst hit European economy in this recession. If the population of the UK believes it then that's what will happen. It's time to stop focusing on the recession and refocus on how to start rebuilding. If the news had a more upbeat view then so would the people. In a survey of small companies in the UK most are still looking to continue to exist and look for new products or business; only one had laid off staff and that was a joinery company reliant on the building trade. Maybe they should be considering how to diversify their products or look at new markets?

As a Boxer dog I got to wondering, as one does with does when you are being a dog and not doing anything. Why have the Governments of the USA,UK, EU and others being quick to say they will inject money into the country to get things going? Why did the sub prime come about? Why did the UK have debts expressed in Trillions? Because the whole basis of the world economies is on consumption of goods and services. The governments by not taking a more proactive part in cooling the rate of consumer spending contributed to the problems now. Credit card companies where not curtailed in their advertising and the banks loaned far in excess of their means. As we are all learning there is no free lunch. what an expensive lesson it is for many.

Well the weekend looks to be cold, but with some sunshine so there is some hope that a busy weekend will be at least a dry one. Take care and stop reading newspapers or looking at the TV news.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday morning was cold with a frost, at 08.30 it was minus 2 degrees C. However, the sky was blue and the sun was shining and the spirits were lifted. D took me out for a walk and it was still cold and chilly in the early afternoon. No sign of any foxes just a few robins and sparrows along the board walk.
Today it's back to light rain at present and looks to be grey and cloudy all day. Not my kind of day at all. Still it makes you appreciate the sunny dry days like yesterday

As the month draws to an end how have you done on the New Years resolutions? If you have stuck at it you should be seeing a change, no matter how small. Like the plants you are just starting to grow and as you continue you will change, just like the plants from nothing to shoots above the ground. Keep at it and you will replace an old habit with the desired one you want. It takes time, like it took a minimum of a month to create the habit you wish to get rid of now.

The boss (he)was talking about the finding of a report concerning asbestos in schools in Southern England and how it is in one form or another in too many schools. Mainly it seems that the schools are all post war, when it was used before the danger was known and the school are now getting old and the problem is there waiting to create potential health risks for both the children and adults who work in them.

The president of the USA is now firmly in office and his first major task is to ensure a lasting peace in the Gaza. Why these people can't live together amazes me as the only people who benefit from this are the arms dealers and the few at the top orchestrating the violence. Both sides no doubt have their reasons but the reality is they are there so stop fighting and use that energy to resolve their differences and prosper together.

Have a good day where ever you are and keep on changing the old habit for a new one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who is this Noah guy?

The weekend was a mix of wet weather and some sunny spells. This morning the lanes are still covered with water and in some cases it is still deep. Many rivers have been put on flood alert and it,s now down to see if the northern front can push the Atlantic front away from the coastal areas.

Bosses(she) mother has not been well since before Christmas. She is 86 and got this bug that was circulating at the time, which in the young and elderly can cause problems in prolonging recovery times.

As we enter the last week of the month how have the resolutions been doing? If you have been changing one thing consistently every day you will have started to create a new habit. Three biscuits with your coffee down to two is a good beginning, next is to get it down to one and then if you wish to none.

The eldest son is due to move out on Friday which will be sad as he torments me in a nice way and I will miss the fun. Still he will not doubt be around on his way home on occasions when he is hungry. He has been very focused on what he wants to do and has done it all. It will be interesting to see what his next goal is now he has got a house.

My 47% owner was home on Friday night and stayed until Saturday afternoon; which was good. I see more of her now as she sorts out her life and refocuses on what she wants to achieve. Boss (he) likes talking to her as she is of a similar mindset as him.

Another week begins and how its pans out for the week is down to how you think and feel it will be. Have a great day and remember in every crisis lies opportunity.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Rain and more rain

The last two days have seen a lot of rainfall during the night and this morning the lanes had many areas of localised flooding across the lanes from ditch to ditch. The forecast is for more over the weekend and Monday which will mean many areas will be on flood alert.

The USA has a new president and the 44th has a lot to do and a lot of expectations riding on his shoulders.He is also getting a puppy for his children which if done properly should bring much happiness to the White House. His speech told it as it is there are problems but with the backing of the people the American dream would be rekindled and rise again. No doubt this time there will be more regulatory controls on the financial institutes that contributed to the situation the US and the world finds it's self in?

Despite all the gloom and doom the media is happy to pour on the world there are signs that the small business sector is managing to weather the storm in the short term at least. In every crisis there is opportunity so lets hope that a complete rethink on mortgages and borrowing will create a more stable future. Why not have more fixed rate mortgages which allow people to budget over a long period and know what their commitment are to pay for their borrowing. This may mean that credit cards are less likely to be needed in the future. Take AMEX why in the midst of the problem hike up interest by 5% when they are receiving regular payments?

Once the sun starts to show the plants will start to rise some more and as spring starts it's early call we will see more colour in the early flower buds. Hedgerows are already starting to show signs of change as small leaf buds start to form.
More birds will be seen in the gardens and then the quest for a suitable nest site and collecting of building materials will begin.

Only a week to go and how are the resolutions? If you have been doggedly keeping it up then now is the crucial time don't look back or down just ahead and keep going for the next goal as ultimately you will get there.

Have a good weekend and despite the inclement weather take a walk or get out if you can just for a while, especially if the sun shines.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Still wet and cold but some sun maybe?

It rained during the night, but not very heavy. Still very dark in the mornings and nowt to see, not even a fox. Despite the rain the overall fell is still cold and I am still moulting. Mind you my old friend the Gordon Setter is moulting too.

As the month starts the final third how have you done on the New Year resolutions? Take time to reflect and see how far you have progressed and what it feels like when you have made some progress. Remember if you want to loose weight go for a little at a time and keep off the scales, once a week is all. You will get a better idea by the fit and feel of your cloths.

Now as a dog I love going for a ride in the car. You may remember me mentioning that the MPV went as it lost a cam belt and despite the little damage the bosses decided it had to go? The global problems at present have had a dramatic affect on the car manufacturing industry with the USA government attempting to bail out with loans. What I can't understand is that in this age of technology why these companies fall when car sales drop.

There had been lots of early signs that there was a slow down in mid 2008. At that point the manufactures should have got together with their dealers and looked at how to improve their customer care. Most of my bosses experiences with main car dealerships has been negative. Once they have your money then move on to the next punter. Getting problems sorted is never easy and the impression is that they are doing you a favour booking your car in for a service.

Now this will on it's own have very little impact now, but in the long term people remember and tell other people. The dealership that offers quality customer service and at a reasonable price will be in a better position when the upturn comes. Then building on that service they can survive. With the technology available today there is no reason why people can't be sent updates, offers and just good car care advice for free.

Keep going with the resolutions and see if you can offer some exceptional customer care today and if you have no customers to a neighbour, friend on someone in the street. Take care.

Monday, January 19, 2009

rain,wind and more rain.

The Atlantic is having an affect on our weather at present. the weekend was a mix on early rain, then sunny periods with a cold wind. Today it has been raining almost all night. Nothing to see this morning other than puddles and in the lanes the ditches are running fast and some of the rain water is laying in the roadway.

Boss(he) sorted out the file sending problem it was to do with the total file size being to big, which he was amazed at as it was not that large but did contain some large jpegs.

Over half way through the month and how are the resolutions going? Keep on changing and it will happen. Slowly at first but once it starts it's difficult to stop; bit like jogging or weight training.

The garden is looking good as the bulbs start in earnest to push their way to the surface. If the rain is followed by sunny days then the prep for Spring will be starting to gather momentum. Of course frosts and falls of snow are always a threat but most will survive and flower.

Remember the birds this time of year as all the berries disappear from the hedge rows and they look to the gardens for food. The robins are feeding from the table in the summer house if D puts meal worms on it. They are two of the young ones from last year. I wonder what happened to the one with a stubby tail?

Despite the rain I am going to have a good day even if it means no more walks today. You have a good day too.

Friday, January 16, 2009

All safe if not a little wet

I am happy that all the passengers on the plane that was forced to land in the Hudson river are safe and well. No doubt quick thinking on the part of the pilot and the air crew was a key factor in the outcome. It was also remarkable that so many boats where able to be in attendance so quickly.

The boss(he) is having a problem at the moment being able to send a large document via email to someone and is uncertain as to the cause as he can receive email but not send, all of a sudden. I shall watch this with interest to see if he remains calm and sorts it or looses it.

Wet morning and dark so little to see not even a scavenging fox this morning. The evenings are starting to draw out a little now. Yesterday I went on two walks with D. In the morning I was a bit stiff so only made the end of the board walk. In the afternoon made it down to the pond, which has now thawed completely.

How's the resolutions going? Over half way now to changing a habit or still thinking about it. Remember to climb Everest you first need to take a step in the right direction. Don't beat yourself up if you don't make it every day just keep at it. There's nothing like persistence to get to your goal.

D is off today to get some meal worms for the birds so I will stay indoors with M in the warm. There are at least two of last years robins that come into the summer house to get their feed and a male and female blackbird will feed off the decking. Blue tits and chaffinches have been seen on the feeders as have sparrows. Two collar doves feed from the lawn and a couple of wild pigeons frequent the garden.

We have had a complete change in the weather as the Atlantic starts to contribute to a more mild front. This means we get more winds and rain both not on my list of favourite weather conditions. Still the wind ensures the leaves get collected into neat piles and the rain will soften and help nourish the soil.

Have a good day and learn something new.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mild and damp, well wet really

Mild morning and wet although the rain had stopped by the time we went out. It seems that lately mild weather includes rain at this time of the year. I prefer cold crisp mornings with a blue sky and the sun. great for smells and helps the soil break down after it's been dug.

Met one of my canine chums yesterday on my walk with D, seems that his boss throws sticks for him and one was a little rotten and splintered in his mouth. Saw the vet as one splinter had got into his gum and turned nasty. Best to throw a soft ball or "ragger" that does not have bits that can stick in our gums.

It's day 15 of the New Years resolutions so how's it going? Boss(he) is looking at getting fitter. But at the moment he is not doing much in the way of changing a habit with another more beneficial one, so he is not getting any fitter. 30 days of consistently doing something different will change a habit or replace it completely. The problem is to be consistent and do it.

This brings me to another problem with humans. They spend a great deal of their time doing things without being truly involved. When you change from doing to being you change your perspective and outlook. One way of doing this is being aware when "doing" say the day job that opportunities to learn something are there every single minute of the working day.

Now I appreciate that if your up to your eyes in debt and working like stink just to live then it's difficult to reflect on being able to learn something every day. Perhaps the first thing is to learn from your mistakes that got you in debt in the first place. Secondly, very important don't blame anyone else for the problems accept that it was your choice. You did not ask the credit card company to give you all that credit, true, But, they didn't make you use it all, you did that. It was your choice.
Lesson learnt is understanding more how credit cards really work and you will realise that you must be their master not slave. If you can't afford to pay the balance off each month then stop using it. Resist the urge to spend on credit. It feels much better to buy with cash knowing that it's paid for, completely.

If you only learn one thing and that is as a human being you are responsible for your actions. Given any situation you have free choice. That free choice may have unpleasant consequences, but it's your choice. Rant and rave at the driver who cuts you up or just ignore it. The reality is it's happened so why go berserk after the event it's pointless and although you get a rush of chemicals coursing through your system it's not doing you any good.

Look out for opportunities today and you may be suprised at what turns up when you begin to start looking. Take care and have a good one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Is it all bad news for 2009?

Good morning world. It's a frosty morning and still dark so unable to see much this morning. Yesterday was mild with some sun and the fox was laying on the tree just off the path where D and I go for a walk.

There are signs that despite the world monetary problems nature is continuing, as early signs are that the daffodils, crocus and snowdrops are starting to make a show above ground. Before we know it the mornings will become a little lighter and the sunsets a little later.

Despite all the promises that Governments made to the banks we are not seeing any filtering down to the consumer. Is this because the money has yet to be given to the banks or are the banks just filtering it in such a way that share holders get their money. Listening to many people at Christmas time they felt that if they had money to spend they were reluctant to as friends who were less able may think badly of them! The boss(he)was talking to an accountant who was not going to buy a new car because he felt his clients would take a dim view of it in the current situation. What does that do, if multiplied, to the car making industry?

Money needs to flow to enable economies to flourish and if people are not using money but hoarding it then the economy will stagnate. The knock on affect is that because of globalisation the world starts to have an economic downturn.

There still needs to be a deep and thorough investigation of why the financial institutes and their backers were allowed to bring about this whole situation, starting with the sub prime in the USA which then spread to the UK, then the EU and from there to the rest of the world. Of course the sub prime was only the beginning of the realisation that people were allowed to borrow way beyond their means and like in the UK debt was being expressed in trillions not billions.

We canines are also feeling the recession and I hope that people who brought puppies at Christmas did so after careful consideration of the cost implications?

Then frost is here for a while so it will be interesting to set at first light what it looks like in the gardens. Remember to put food out for the birds and learn something new today.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mild weather to start the week

After a very cold Saturday, Sunday was mild with some sun and today it feels mild; with the inevitable chance of rain. Sunday was helping D get down the Christmas lights from out of the Box tree and packing everything away until December comes around again. They all looked at seed catalogues whilst I was busying myself around the garden sorting out the smells and tracking the fox who visits.

How are the New Year's resolutions going? I talked about this last year and the need to set achievable ones and to make a substitute action to replace the one that has prompted the resolution. Loosing weight then change a habit like having a couples of biscuits with your coffee or tea to having one or none keep it up for 30 days and you will have broken the habit. If you can substitute something else say eat a piece of fruit then you will be getting more benefits. Never set impossible tasks for your self, remember that only way to achieve anything is in small steps that create success then the next and so on always getting positive results.

The boss (he) was having a moan on Saturday as Amex have increased their interest rate by 5% when in the UK and USA interest rates are at n all time low. His point is that they should be lowering them to allow people to continue to pay off the debt not hike the interest rate up. All this will do is cause more people to default or go into insolvency. Seems that the banks having been bailed out by the tax payer are now through their alignment with the credit card companies still generating more hardship.

Well the day is still young and there is much to learn so take care and speak to you soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Much milder today and little frost

Although I spent a greater part of yesterday snoozing I was also thinking too. I had two walks yesterday with D and we both had a good time. I like walking along the board walk they have made in the first common, it saves getting muddy paws and I get to see what's happening in the bushes and lower trees.

Plenty of active robins and some chaffinches with the occasional blackbird and yesterday a little wren appeared briefly. The trees are starting to form the shape of buds ready for Spring and some of the tall grasses are still keeping their green colour.

What did you learn yesterday? I learnt that there is no point in being grumpy about the weather. The reality is that its cold accept it and move on to finding ways to stay warm. In my case that meant finding a suitable place to get some shut eye that was also out of the cold.

Now is the time to start making plans for the garden, seed books should have arrived and it's time to start thinking about getting trays of seeds ready for germination in the coming months under cover. With the abundance of seeds on many plants after their flowering there are plenty of FREE seeds if money is tight this year.

The bosses have been looking at ways to reduce their outgoings by simple things like turning off lights when not in a room, maintaining the rads and boiler at lower than 20c to name just a few. Cooking more stews and other dishes that use a slow cooker and incorporate plenty of vegetables helps on fuel and the food bill too.

I am lucky that the family treats me as one of them and they ensure that I have food and fresh water some pets are less fortunate. Pets are a great responsibility and getting a pet is not a simple decision. Most people will change their car at least once in 10 years, some every 5 years. Often a great deal of time and effort goes into the model,colour make etc yet a pet purchase can be just on a whim. A dog or cat can live for 10 to 14 years, now consider that as a car and you then have some idea of the running costs. Of course dog food is cheaper than petrol of diesel but it's still a cost. Car insurance, pet insurance, car services and yearly pet vaccinations.

Have you learnt something today already? Every day is a new opportunity to acquire more knowledge so just take advantage of it, Most times it will cost you nothing but will prove invaluable to you now or later.
Have a good one and may the sun shine in your world.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Very cold but no snow

What a chilly morning, the frost was very light early this morning although it was very cold. My paws felt cold and my ears got very cold. It's a problem being a Boxer that the coat is very fine and short but does not offer the protection that some of my long haired canine friends have to keep warm. Just have to sort out some extra cover when I am at home.

A couple of people have emailed at my web site for the blonde vets blog which has a lot of information about her day to day life as a vet and also some interesting chats she has had so pop over and say hi at

Well what did you learn yesterday? Only by looking at each day as an opportunity to learn can humans move on and expand their horizons. Regardless of any religious beliefs you are a part of the universe and not an isolated being. Just check on your quantum physics and what that has to say about all your inner structure, it's just energy some may call this our spirit.
But its there and it should be every one's aim to get to find the time to quietly listen to that inner voice that will offer the greatest guidance to what each and every human is here for.

The cold weather is all but stopped any activity in the garden other than tidying and picking up the last of the fallen leaves. I noticed the other day, on my walk with D, that there are daffodils showing full leaves and will, if the frost does not have an affect, soon be showing buds. Some of the hedgerows are starting to produce the beginnings of buds in readiness for Spring.

There have been a number of changes to the car situation in the family in the last few months. The MPV died with a broken cam belt even thought it was not due to be changed and the clutch cable, which had been changed was causing problem. So it went as an exchange for a very old Fiat Punto 55SX, which to the amazement of the boss(he) is a good little runabout. A smaller engine means more economy and less road tax so we will see how it goes. Not so much room for me though. Having said that the back seat it comfortable and there is less vibration than in the MPV on the floor.
This is just one of the families efforts in the present situation to get themselves on a better financial footing for the future. There's still problems with short falls on the endowments to get sorted so I guess I maybe moving in the future. Two of the eldest in the family are spreading there wings, one has already left and the other goes end on the month. Boy will it be a lot quieter around the house.

Have a good day and make the effort to turn it into a learning situation.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Still cold but the snow has all but gone

Despite the fall of some more snow yesterday the thaw started by mid afternoon and this morning there was a frost but no overnight fall of snow. Pity as I like to follow the tracks animals make in the snow and when day breaks the world looks so different with a dusting of snow.

Remember this cold will mean many birds will come into the gardens seeking food so leave out some seed and fat balls. If we had made an effort to retain the fat from Christmas there would be fat balls enough for all the birds and we would have saved a load of washing up liquid and fat going into the sewage system too.

Michelle the blond vet phoned boss (he) yesterday to see how I was and will visit when she is this way to catch up on things. Great lady and a caring vet too. Took her dog out for lots of walks over the Christmas period, very important to keep bonding with your dog and make exercise for dogs and humans part of your routine. That way we all stay fit and keep control of our bodies. She is to give a talk shortly on the evolution of the dog so I will keep you posted when it is available on the net.

My web site has had some additional material added and you can get PuppyPower the definitive e-book on choosing and caring for your puppy there as well. I am in the process of getting together all the articles about dogs, and boxers in particular, to add as a resource for people who visit .

Have a good day and remember look at every day as an opportunity to learn something new or increase the knowledge you already have about something. Only by furthering our knowledge and taking some positive action can humans continue to survive.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New year new thoughts?

A happy New year to everyone. Despite the current world situation there is reason to believe that 2009 can offer hope to us all. If humans would just stop for a moment and tune out of reading and watching and listening to the doom and gloom they would find opportunity. Einstein is quoted as saying in every disaster there is opportunity.

Blame is lame. There is no point in blaming the greed of a financial advisor that got you into a mortgage that now means your facing a shortfall on your final payment or worse. Action is what is required to change the thinking of Governments that allow this to happen and to banks and other financial institutes that have been part of the current situation. A concerted shift by humans into their financial awareness and seeking ways to sort it out will offer more opportunities than just blaming it on others or worse "bad luck."

A white blanket had covered most of the UK this morning and it was interesting to note all the different tracks in the snow. I will enjoy building a snowman and chasing snowballs if the thaw does not happen to quickly.

On a personal front I have had a mild seizure which will need to be monitored. The bosses have found a holistic remedy that should help if they become more frequent. I am also moulting at present which is odd with all this cold weather; I put it down to my age!

I must consult the blond vet michelle about this as she is really good and more important has a mission to help animals big and small. She is also a dog owner so that is a double bonus. She has a book called PuppyPower which is a must for anyone considering getting a puppy or a dog owner. With Christmas over it will be a testing time for many puppies that will find life may have an unfortunate twist come the end of January. Again on the news the recent increase in dog and other pets being abandoned is blamed on the recession? Reading the advice in PuppyPower would have prevented that from happening. How much does it cost to feed a pet in comparison to a pack of cigarettes, bottle of wine, a newspaper?

Well here's to hoping that the snow does not cause to much turmoil on the roads and rail this morning.
Have a good day