Dog giving paw to shake hands

“Dogtown: Crisis Dogs” features an animal shelter in southern Utah that cares for the most difficult of rescue dogs AND makes sure they find loving homes.  

 “They take dogs that have no place left to go. It’s their last chance and [Best Friends staff] do amazing things in dealing with the dogs’ medical problems and getting them adopted out.”
    He said a unique component of this series is showing the strong emotional bond forged between caregivers and animals.
    “It’s really a unique bond we don’t often see,” said Valentini. “The caregivers really love these animals and that comes across.”

 This is a 3-part series airing Fridays at 8 PM Central–see the online schedule below if you need to catch repeat episodes. And BTW, five more new episodes will air in October 2008.

See footage of a segment here (dogs rescued from a puppy mill):

Read more here:

Check TV listings here:


Gremlin napping

You are witnessing picture #1 of my picture-a-day project. Original intention: go outside and take a picture. Reality: I was so cranky about it being winter and me having to walk to the post office, I gave up. So you’ve got a picture of my cat, Gremlin.

In my fantasies, I am walking outside in the cold of Wisconsin and I am blissfully unaware of this state’s frigid winter because I am so busy capturing a beautiful photo of a graceful icicle or a perfectly sculpted drift of snow.

Today’s Score: cats 1, nature 0

(the emails I sent to my boyfriend who was at work at the time of the Iowa caucuses)
I have been watching footage (recorded) of a Republican caucus in Iowa. I was hearing their speeches and now I am watching them count votes.Yeah. Funnnnnnn.
They were in a pretty large meeting room – maybe almost as big as the library’s big reading room – but all seats taken plus people standing everywhere they could.
Voting is done by writing the name of the candidate on a slip of paper and sticking it into a manila envelope. So pretty primitive. No real monitoring of votes put in. Envelopes passed around in the crowd. I think people had to register to get into the room and each one was given an “official” piece of paper – so if the papers are fairly distributed…
Kinda messy nonetheless.
* * * 
This caucus thing is going on and on.
It is actually really hilarious.
Right now they have the count and a dude is trying to call in “headquarters” ( I assume) and we are just watching him dial, wait, dial, wait , dial.. cuz he’s going through the phone menu.And he gets cut off. And so we watch him laboriously go through some impossibly long phone menu again.
To top it off, he is wearing a plaid sweater.
But here we are, on the edge of our seats in the CSPAN viewing audience watching this guy carry out official caucus duties.
Now he is talking to the other party and repeating over and over that he lives in “Carroll”. “I live in Carroll”. “Carroll. Yes. Carroll!” (does the other party actually hear what he is saying???)
Apparently she does now understand that he is in CARROLL and he is giving the vote tallies.
And it is going on and on. Wow. I feel like I am _really_ in Iowa.
COUNTING slips of paper!

Fitness Queen gear

I’ll make this a brief confession with no tears. Once upon a time–as in over 20 years ago– I was a cross country and track runner. In track I excelled at the quarter mile. As for long distance, I could run 5 miles a day faithfully.

As a 20-something, I would continue to do aerobics at home, but less for fun and more out of the anxiety that I would not snag a guy if I wasn’t skinny. What a desperate “barbie” I was. Now in my late-30’s, I find myself feeling decidedly less agressive about the whole exercise thing and I confess that I do cringe at the thought of working up a full sweat. And to think, I used to be such a macho workout-until-I-get-legal-runner’s-high gal.

Now it’s all about making it fun and easy. If I can get myself to work out every day, I’ll be setting up a foundation I can build on. By the way, I have a nice start from last fall and I’ll share my sticker trick for that in a separate post.

And, hey, if I can exert myself once in a while, I might just avoid being a cranky so and so, be more hopeful, and ultimately feel like I can tackle even loftier fitness goals.

Feel free to confess here about your own fall from fitness excellence.

The world 

I must believe in the magic of promises made on this day.

So the New Year’s resolutions?

Fitness- mostly walking with sprinkles of exercise DVDs and a gym

Blog more -I have this blog plus 2 other anonymous blogs. May the best blog survive.

Economize more with my food budget, reduce meat

Increase my piano playing and composition writing

Figure out what my career focus is – web development?, GIS?, renewable energy? Informational interviews to do.

How to get there?

I have already developed some tried and true tricks to get me to follow through on goals.

*Journal daily.

*See the goals every day. In the past I’ve put a list in my bedroom. I think this year I’ll duplicate it on my account (this is an awesome news reader and personal organizing tool, BTW).

*Keep a calendar to log what I do every day. (This is great for exercise, for example)

*Using my yahoo calendar to give me plenty of reminder emails.

*Tie goals to dates.

*Keep on coaching with my friend Candace, weekly. This has been so important to me. I’ll try to give it its own post sometime.

*Write a to-do list the night before for the day’s activities.

Hope this inspires somebody else to start the new year with a hopeful outlook! Good luck, all.

Benita Albert.

Meet Benita Albert, a science teacher at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1983 she realized that although her community had a wealth of scientists, its high school science curriculum had no zing. Click on the link below to find out how she  and a band of hardworking students would ultimately score $800,000 to fund bioethanol research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Elephants coming to a river.

Ahhh, sweet randomness. Go to Blogplay and burn about 10 minutes viewing a slideshow of whatever random pictures are being added to the Blogger site at any given moment. No guarantees of “G” rated material, although when I came into it, the naughtiest pic was a cartoon giving me the bird.

If you must know more, see the FAQ for Blogplay here:

Take macho cowboys on the range and add cuddly cats.

Heaven on earth!


Do you listen to gut feelings? Gerd Gigerenzer thinks you are on the right track. My boyfriend recommended Gigerenzer’s book “Gut Feelings : The intelligence of the Unconscious” (he says I _need_ this book). I am in the habit of researching every decision to death. If I have gut feelings, I don’t know if I can sense them anymore.

But here are just a couple of tidbits from Gut Feelings that do resonate with me:

Amateurs frequently outperform experts when put to the task of performing a prediction about a future event. Amateurs have less information, and so focus on 1 or 2 important factors in making decisions. It so happens that when dealing with an uncertain environment, focusing on the most important clue and ignoring the rest is effective.

Most people require a selection of, at maximum, 5 to 9 things, or they are less liable to make a decision. Reason? Most people can only keep 5 to 9 things in their short term memory. For example, when faced with a table of 24 jams in a supermarket, many customers are attracted to look at them, but few actually buy. A table of only 6 jams in the same supermarket compels fewer customers to stop and look, but a much greater number end up buying one of the jams on the table.

This is the sort of book you can glean great wisdom from even if you only skim it. Gotta say, I think I will give a listen to my gut more often now.

What are this guy’s credentials? Gigerenzer is the director of the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. A link:


Note for the non-networker: Before I go on about this event, I want to get something straight. Networking = meeting people. For many of you, this is a big “duh”. My message: get over it and start right now whether you have a biz card or not. Do wear something nicer than jeans and be yourself. You need to get out there and press the flesh a little all the time for your self esteem and your career.

I attended a _great_ event about future careers sponsored by the Madison chapter of the World Future Society, I happened to win a free membership when there, so feel free to consider me a “futurist”. (Yes that does have a Star Trek ring to it that I like).

I am pushing myself to network right now so that I get connections, get some part-time work, and have a chance to talk to other people about what they do for a living. Wouldn’t it be neat if I knew exactly what my career mission was at this point? I think I gotta fake it til I make it at the moment. Here are the info-nuggets I took away from the panelists present:

*20 – 30 something employees work at a job an average of two to three years

*everyone who wants to be considered an “expert” in their field is supposed to have an online existence in the form of a blog

*everyone needs a mentor

*older people go to LinkedIn to network online while 20-something people go to DooStang

*figure out who the 100 people are in the world that you need to know to further your career/plans, call each one up and ask if you can take the person out to breakfast to ask a few questions.

*read Barbara Sher’s books and visit her blog’s forum if you don’t know “what you want to be when you grow up”

*become a Toastmasters member. you’ll get over fear of speaking and show you can present yourself under all circumstances

Our panelists: Donna Beestman of Career Success Strategies, Peter Gray of QTI Professional Staffing, and Ryan Paugh of Employee Evolution. Event organized by Hollie Hollister of H Cubed Group. I thought Donna, Ryan,Peter and Hollie offered up their best wisdom to the assembled.

BTW: I have an amazing book that is great for the people that DO have a defined career mission and are searching for work: The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search by Orville Pierson. 

Also BTW for newcomers to networking, I emailed or sent thank you cards to everyone I spoke to the next day. Amazing how much time this took. I also added everyone’s info in my Yahoo contacts. More time, but this is supposed to be the stuff of networking.

Because I went to this event, I met a renewable energy engineer who I will be taking out to coffee today or next Tuesday. Onward!

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