Apple Picking

Words change meaning faster than rabbits hatching. Say the words "apple picking" to me and I know what you mean. You go out in an orchard and pull apples off a tree, right? Wrong. "Apple Picking" is the new term for thieving critters out to steal your hand held devices, iPhones, iPads and other such devices. The article is primarily a warning for Portland's transit system riders but it applies to all of us I think. If your smart phone isn't in use, keep it out of sight. When listening to music, tuck it away in a pocket (and think about replacing Apple's telltale white ear buds). Watch for people casing riders for electronic devices. Be vigilant when a bus or train is coming to a stop and the doors are about to open. Sit or stand in an area visible to others. If your device is snatched, report it stolen (don't chase the thief).

How to Get out of Debt

Getting and staying out of debt it’s not an easy thing. But you can learn how to stop incurring new debt and, why not, change your life forever. Making the decision to get out of debt is one thing. We can say that it’s a real. First, you have to stop making your debt bigger. This means that you will have to limit yourself to one credit card only. You should also cut up from the list your favorite cards such as gas cards or department store cards. Your credit card should be used only for things that you know you are able to pay off in a short period of time. The main idea is to get your spending fully under control. You can also write a spending list because this can help you later getting out of debt. Certainly, you will meet people that consider this very annoying. Maybe it’s true. But we have a golden rule: don’t spend money you don’t have. We say this because your debt actually means more huge purchases. You can start with knowing what you are spending your money on. Each coin, no matter how small, should be written on a list every month. Have you bought a book, a necklace or a cigarette lighter? Write it.
It’s also useful to categorize your spendings. You can put your spendings in groups like: "Must have", "should have" or "like to have". In "must have" you can include things that are compulsory for a good quality of life such as: clothes, rent, food, medicine."Should have" includes the things you need and enhance your life, but you can live without them for a while like theatre tickets."Like to have" includes things that you don’t need but improve your life such as: dialy coffee with friends or a weekly trip with your family. Making a budget can also help. How much money do you monthly spend on each category? This can help you to be able to see which are the areas that let you to cut back. Or, why not, to see the areas where you can increase your spending. Gathering your bills may also be helpful. Why? Because this is the way to see which are the money that are not really yours. Writing  down all the pertinent facts, including the name of the creditor, your minimum monthly payment or your total balance. It's a good idea to set a priority between the debts to which you are going to divide this extra money. Do you have past debts and the creditors are beginning to be a nightmare for you? Consider these top priorities.

It is also useful for you  to figure out your spendings and what debs you owe. This can help you. After that, the secret is to keep it up. But the best advice is to continue to pay off each debt that is in your priority list. Perhaps your family or friends could help you. Who else can give you love and trust and a hug during bad times like they do? We do hope that you are not the black sheep of the family. They may even accept a late payment. A written agreement is the best if you want to keep the things simple without messing any relationship. If possible, see if you can pick up some extra hours at work. Yes, even there is no fun and you'll miss the time spent with your family and you'll have no free time, it is temporary. When you’ll be out of debt, you will forget about extra hours. Until then, work any additional hours as you can get and save all the extra money you earn. Take on a second job. It doesn't have to be high-paying. You can earn money by delivering pizzas, or you can work in a fast-food restaurant, or you can sort packages at some delivery company can add up to quite a bit when it is all put into your debt ladder. You’re your pillow will miss you and your family and personal life will be almost forgot-temporarily!

But there’s a period in your life when you can sacrifice your free time. Don't forget this is only to get yourself out of debt. Once you are debt free, you will feel very proud of you. Your marriage and your social life can also be a victim. Because after work you may feel without anergy for something else. Working so hard to bring in extra money will be very difficult, but you should remember that this is a good way if you want to be debt free and forget about financial stress. Of course it will be difficult, and will be useful to talk about it with the people you care about. Don't forget that this list is just a few ideas to get you started. Use your own creativity might provide even more opportunities to bring in some extra money. Another great secret is "don’t give up". Why? Because, it’s not easy to get out of debt in a day or to fix the problems in a second. Quick fixes don’t last but you can learn  how to manage your money and in the same time, bring a great peace into your life. This will let you to spend your energy on funnier or better things. Author biography: John Moulin, part of the bridging finance team at Vision Finance, specialist in financial marketing and bridging loans. I love fishing, hiking and water sports.

Strange things People ask

What does "Dog Rescue" mean to you? I ask this because I get some of the strangest comments and questions from people. I always answer them and I try really hard not to come off snotty or rude but sometimes I am sure I do. I know growing up you are taught there are no stupid questions but you know what sometimes I think there are. It seems whenever I have puppies I get the same questions. What was the dad? It always says in the petfinder/adopt a pet posting if we know who the dad was or not. Sometimes I feel like asking "can you read? it says in the listing the mom was a stray and no one knew she was pregnant. How big will they get? ok that one I can somewhat understand but what I don't understand is when this is followed by I don't want a dog over XX pounds. My response is usually "with a rescue puppy not knowing the dad it is probably best that you get a full grown dog." And of course they always email back but I want a puppy". Will the dog have health issues when it gets older? I don't know let me check my magical crystal ball! UGH! Oh my favorite question is "Will you take less for the dog then what you are asking?" OMG I am not e-bay or a flea market... OK so with that question I do get a little rude. I usually list all the expenses of what we have into the dog. I say nothing else just list what we have spent on the dog thus far. It is usually more then the adoption fee.

  • Does the dog shed? Why? Do you know why someone got rid of him or her? "Well the dog was a stray at the shelter whose owners never came looking for him but yes I know the exact reason not!".
  • Then the weird statements I get from people: "I don't want a dog that is already fixed because I want my vet to do it". 
  • "You are getting the puppy fixed at 8 weeks is that safe." No it isn't safe but I thought I would give it a try and see what happens.
  • "I really really like this dog but he is too skinny. I don't want to adopt a skinny dog".
  • "I don't want a dog that will bark".
  • "I don't think I should have to pay for a rescue dog" you are correct, I work a full time job trying support my family and volunteer all my free time so you can have a fully vetted, housebroken dog for free!

My favorite all time comment that was made but not to me but one of my rescue friends... let me set the stage for the comment real quick. My rescue friend had a litter of puppies, they were all pretty much identical looking very hard to tell apart. So, instead of having people pre pick she wait till they were all fixed and then had people come over as she approved their applications and pick up and take home a puppy. I forget exactly how many puppies she had but regardless she had left two messages for this one family. They finally called her back by that time there was only one puppy left. When the family found out that all the puppies but one were adopted this is what they said "Well what is wrong with this puppy that no picked it? We don't want the last puppy because something must be wrong with it". My friend was so shocked she said OK and hung up. LOL! Any other rescue folks out there are more then welcome to make comments on this post about the silly things people have said or asked you. We can all use a good laugh and it helps to know we aren't alone in this lonely volunteer work we do!

A Valentine's Day Feast

I've got a bunch of pieces to post today! Four to be exact! First up is a poster for this weeks upcoming Valentine's Day themed movie night at the Sidebar, presented, as always, by Cannibal Impalement Records. The movies being shown this time around are Poultrygeist and Valentine's Day, with an intermission by Thee Lexington Arrows! This is my favorite poster I've done for these guys, and probably one of my favorite posters I've done period. Next up is my piece for Zac Gorman's forthcoming Final Fantasy 9 fan-art zine! I chose to draw Freya (one of my favorite characters) stabbing a Malboro (one of my favorite monsters) right in his ugly-ass face! Next up is another little comic I did for Benn Ray of Magic the Gathering best cards blog "Said What?" comic strip for Baltimore's B Magazine. And finally, is a drawing of Death Race's Frankenstein beating the tar out of Machine Gun Joe Viterbo (Sylvester Stallone). This was a drawing that I did for fun, for the same thing I did that drawing of Jason Voorhees for. I'll have some more work coming your way soon, so check back later!
Magic the Gathering plains

88 Counties in Ohio

There are 88 counties in Ohio with each one having at least one dogs kill shelter. Some counties have more then one! OBW has taken dogs from about 90% of the counties. It is hard trying to balance all the requests... 88 counties with dogs in need, 88 counties emailing asking me to take a dog or 2 or 3 or 5, 100's of faces are emailed to me every week. It is not easy trying to decide who you can help and who you can't. Especially when you know that by saying no you just killed a dog. It is even harder when you walk into the shelter knowing you can only take 1 or 2 and the dog warden is walking behind you telling you "this one is scheduled to die today, and that one tomorrow". Making deals with the dog warden "if I take 3 will you give him another week". "What if I promise to come get him next week?". Then scrambling to find a place to put him and you think a week is enough time but it isn't enough time. Especially when adoptions are down and volunteers are limited and foster homes are on breaks. And you think to yourself, when do I get a break? To me a break is a weekend away.
Ohio bike week
Balancing family, work and dog rescue while trying not let the stress and pressure of making life and death decisions get to you. Knowing that the number that just came up on your phone is the dog warden but you can't answer because you are in a meeting at work. You know that you not answering probably means a dog will loose their life because you know that as soon as you call back the warden will say to you "oh you didn't answer and no one would take the dog so we put him to sleep". Trying to make sure that your friends, your family and your wife know that you do love them and that you are there for them if they need you but yet the dogs are always pulling you in 100 directions at the same time. Spending finally a nice dinner with your wife but your phone rings and it is an emergency situation with a dog in need... what do you do? Help the dog and risk making your wife mad again? Or say you can't help and the dog will die. Balance. Dog rescue is all about balance... taking the most urgent dogs and praying that the other pound that is full will hold off putting anyone down just a few days longer because maybe just maybe you will be able to figure out something in a few days.

Gilly Guilts me from Beyond the Grave

Okay, first I write this stupid thing: is there a firefox plugin, or config, to block BlogAds? Because that fucking crap keeps crashing my browser. Relentlessly. Then, and not before then, of course, I think to myself: how could I be so stoopid? Behold, the power of teh Googulz! And then what should I see in the no.3 spot of the Google keyword search “block blogads”? You damn right: This - News takes money. People who block Blogads are working against the blogs they support. Because that is the money which pays for the news. Just keeping up this site requires both contributions and ads. I’m not raising money until after the holidays. Sure, that’s a bit longer than the quarterly cycle I’d like to keep, but I rather any money now go to things like phone cards for Walter Reed. I can wait, I’m not going to starve, my computers work, and I can buy Christmas gifts. I also know people may well be broke after the holidays. But I can take that risk. But that cushion only exists because of blogads. That’s what paid for Thanksgiving dinner and the silly PDA version of Madden 2013 I impulse bought.

I’ll talk about transition issues later, but for now, I think what makes blogs viable is that people do support them, not only emotionally, but financially. Instead of selling out, we’re supporting what we believe in. And yes, I support blogs with cash as well. Why? Because things are not free. For too long, people have accepted volunteer work and amateurism as “grassroots” work. Well, we need to build an infratructure of sites which represents our beliefs. Does anyone think the Nation or New Republic is the best that we can produce? Or there is no need for new voices? Well, nothing is free. when you have the power to smack some dumb cracker like me upside the head from beyond the grave - then goddamn. You are a giant. Yet another reason the loss of this great man diminished us all. What the hell. If all it means is restarting firefox once in a damn while and losing 30 seconds of online time - that’s not much of a sacrifice, right? Respect to everyone at Group News Bite, and have a great weekend.

Very Ape

Warning: this post contains X-rated language. Late to the debate, but: WTF is it with all this “I don’t believe in evolution”? Or these polls that say “do you believe in evolution”? Come on all you jugheads and crackers. Let’s go back to kindergarten for a moment: the theory of evolution is not like santa claus, the easter bunny, or even like macrobiotics or acupuncture. It is not something one believes in or disbelieves in. It is something that one either observes based on an analysis of available evidence, or does not observe based on a lack of available evidence. Like any scientific theory, it is a model constructed from inferences. It doesn’t have one red fucking thing to do with “belief”. My country, my country. Overrun with jugheads, crackers, circus geeks biting the heads off of chickens, carnival fatsos, white trash sisterfuckers in doublewides chawin’ in their overalls. That is what you are: in love with your ignorance. Crack open a fucking book. Argue with and about the inferential theoretical model. But don’t say the word “belief”. Because the minute that word comes out of your mouth, I must infer that you are a double dildo fucking moron.