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.