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