The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Wine for Cats

Nyan Nyan Nouveau, Wine for Cats, On the Market in Japan

I’m delighted to report that Japan no longer has homeless people, orphans, diseases, or natural disasters so that the Japanese can develop wine for cats. Click on the title for the text.

Nyan Nyan Nouveau

Nyan Nyan Nouveau

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Fun, quick post from Jenny Hansen–Life is All About . . . Give Me One Word!

I don’t go on haunted tours. I let Susie Lindau do it for me. Ghost Walk

Some gorgeous photos from Award Winning Author Justine Dare Davis. Do You Love Where You Live?

International Giveaway and Interview with Allison Brennan at Larissa’s Bookish Life. Allison is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Lucy Kincaid series and a fun lady, to boot.

And to get the rest of the bad news over with, the NSA is collecting millions of contact lists, including those of Americans. Yes, this one is so undeniable, even MSN is reporting it. Also, the Washington Post article: NSA Collects Millions of E-Mail Address Books Globally

And for the latest on whistleblower Edward Snowden . . . Edward Snowden: US Would Have Buried NSA Warnings Forever.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, time to cheer you back up again . . .

image from Bored Panda

image from Bored Panda

This one via literary agent Chip MacGregor cracked me up. 15th Century Flemish Style Portraits Recreated in Airplane Lavatory from Bored Panda. I know how I’m killing time on my next airplane flight.

Saudi Cleric Warns Driving Could Damage Women’s Ovaries

The video in this piece from Kitt Crescendo had me actually ROFL, but beware that the language evokes some quite graphic sexual images. What I Brought Back

Brickhouse Chick gives us a far more interesting Story from the Shutdown than the things you’ll find in mainstream media. Brickhousechick Gets Arrested

And a big thanks to Julie Glover for pointing me to this gem. If this guy doesn’t give you a smile, not much will. One Man Dances Like Nobody’s Watching . . . While Everyone Is.

All the best to all of you for a week of pampering.

Piper Bayard

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . $24k Guinea Pig Armor

Now, there’s a First World Problem for you. “I need armor for my guinea pig!”

Meet Lucky. Lucky passed away, and his pet human put his suit of armor up for sale on ebay on behalf of a Virginia non-profit, Metropolitan Guinea Pig Rescue. The bidding at the time of publication had reached $24,300, with 156 bidders throwing their names in the pot. Deepest condolences to Lucky’s pet human. This little guy seems like he was a really cool companion.

Lucky, ready for the Renaissance Fair image from ebay

Lucky, ready for the Renaissance Fair
image from ebay

BLOGS AND ARTICLES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER

Peace in Relationship and Dystopia. KM Huber discusses the nature of relationship and gives her take on my debut dystopian thriller, FIRELANDS.

Important information from KB Owen. Staying Safe This Summer: Know the REAL Signs of Drowning

The Farm Five K by Callene Rapp–what a real 5k challenge would look like.

Congratulations to Paige Kellerman, who appeared in an interview on FOX 4 in Kansas City! How To Almost Not Be On TV. Paige is the 21st Century Erma Bombeck. Check out her hysterical debut, At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles, available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles

Majority of Americans Don’t Trust Newspapers and Television News. Apparently, only 23% of us still trust what the news corporations tell us. One question comes to mind . . . There are seriously still 23%?

In case you missed it, the damning evidence about how the government is using our taxes to illegally spy on us keeps rolling out. Now, The Guardian has released two documents signed by Eric Holder — the guy who says no one is spying on Americans — that say it’s okay to use PRISM to spy on Americans. Apparently, he missed the class in law school about how it’s not legal just because we say it is. Revealed: The Top Secret Rules that Allow NSA to use US Data Without a Warrant

Via Melissa Coggins Borgioli

Via Melissa Coggins Borgioli

And since it’s not bad enough that the NSA is using our own money to spy on us, they’re outright stealing from us, too! How NSA Spooks Spaffed my Dad’s Data All Over the Web. Apparently, NSA’s logo for PRISM is not original artwork.

The ever clever Julie Davidoski of Go Jules Go — one of my all time favorite bloggers — asks, Who Wants to Be a Studio Audience Member? I always wondered about that.

New York Times Best Selling Author and Heckuva Guy James Rollins releases his next Sigma Force novel, The Eye of God, this Tuesday, June 25! Pre-order at Amazon, The Eye of God.

The Eye of God James Rollins

Thoughtful observations from August McLaughlin. Lessons Learned from My Blonde Joke-Free Year

Would that we were all so blessed. Ron and Eileen Everest were born in the same maternity ward, were “married” at age four at the carnival, married for real at age 21, and have just gone platinum. Ron and Eileen Everest Married 70 Years

Married at age four still together

Just in time for summer! Some delicious smoothie recipes from Kenzie Dodd at Jillian Dodd’s site, All That Glitters. Smoothies

Packaging matters. Nigel Blackwell’s take on the new look of the iOS7. Crap Packaging and iOS7 I’m currently enjoying Nigel’s debut novel, Paris Love Match, about an unlikely couple who must survive a brush with the mob. Not at all what one would expect from an engineer.

 

Tactical Bacon thinkgeek.com

Enter Now! FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge!

You, too, could be the proud owner of this can of Tactical Bacon, along with the Swedish Fireknife, a hand made stuffed Grumpy Cat, an Eddie Bauer Go Bag, and other necessities for surviving the apocalypse. Enter now by signing up for the Bayard & Holmes Newsletter or go to FIRELANDS Apocalypse Reader/Blogger Challenge for more details. FIRELANDS is available for purchase at Amazon in Paperback and on Kindle and in e-book at Barnes & NobleKobo, and iTunes for iPad and mobile devices.

In honor of Lucky, who clearly tolerated a great deal from his adoring pet human, today’s video is of some amazing animal escapes. RIP Lucky.

Campaign Style Poll Daddy Question of the Week:

All the best to all of you for the right outfit when you need it.

Piper Bayard

 

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Valentine’s Dog Kissing Contest

There are lots of jokes about kissing dogs on Valentine’s Day, but these folks really did celebrate by kissing dogs.

I’m really hoping you wonderful readers got to kiss something besides a dog yesterday, though dogs can sometimes be the best sweethearts.

image by Jlantzy, wikimedia commons

image by Jlantzy, wikimedia commons

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

A Party in Your PJs–PAJAMACON, the Ultimate Writer Fantasy. WANAMama Kristen Lamb is hosting WANACon, an online writers conference on February 22-23. World class authors, publishers, and attorneys will present classes on writing craft, publishing, and publishing law. As a special treat, Kristen will be topping off the event with PAJAMACON on Sunday, when she will teach her special jedi magic in her pajamas. Should be a great event!

Top 10 Rules of Bacon

Great info for authors from David Gaughran. The Author with the Biggest Mailing List Wins 

Rhonda Hopkins hosts Kassandra Lamb in Authors Give Back: Kassandra Lamb and Autism Speaks.

Harem Colin Falconer

At Write on the River, NYT Best Selling Author Bob Mayer and Jen Talty’s site, Colin Falconer tells us about Life in an Ottoman Harem. Fascinating!

Best Valentine’s Day story ever from Nigel Blackwell, and all the more better for being true. Is this a Sign?

Marcy Kennedy explores the question, Are Small Things as Valuable as Grand Gestures?

This has to be the coolest video I’ve seen all week. Stop action art creation from Shugo Tokumaru – Katachi.

And for our Campaign Style Poll Daddy of the week . . .

All the best to all of you for a week of satisfying kisses.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Driving School for Dogs

Though it is for a good cause, it’s too bad we don’t put this much effort into teaching humans to drive. Maybe the “click and treat” method should be employed in human Drivers Ed classes.

Perhaps we could get more people to adopt orphans and foster children if there was a program like this to show people how awesome those kids can be with time and attention.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

The Three Stages of Author Marketing by historical fiction author Susan Spann over at Writers in the Storm this week. Look for Susan’s debut novel, CLAWS OF THE CAT, next July.

Claws of the Cat Cover

Heather Konik over at Prawn and Quartered is one of the most astute people I know. How Bob Costas Got it Wrong

Sometimes it seems we can never do enough. Pack Your Bags, We’re Going on a Guilt Trip by the ever-clever Best Selling Author Kristen Lamb.

What have been your turning points? Life-Defining Moments by Award Winning Best Selling Author Vicki Hinze.

KM Huber shares her journey to digestive health. At a time when so many of us are going gluten free and making other dietary changes to avoid that daily handful of pills that seems to accompany middle age in the West, it helps to hear how persistence can get you there over time. And Then, You’re There

Dating Guru Blake Eastman Decodes Body Language

Five Things Really Smart People Do

Black Panther Magnus Manske wikimedia

Image by Magnus Manske, wikimedia commons

Black Panthers sightings have been common throughout the South for decades, yet scientists still don’t believe. Black Panther Folklore by Catie Rhodes.

And in case you’re wondering what to get those ladies in your life this holiday season, don’t forget we now have Bic Pens for Women. Hysterical video from Ellen Degeneres that comes to us thanks to mystery writer Kathy Owen. Thanks, Kathy! Good thing I can type. Not sure I could handle one of these.

And now for our Campaign Style Poll Daddy of the week.

All the best to all of you for a safe week behind the wheel.

Piper Bayard–The Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

Success Lessons from Parker the Drama Dog

By Piper Bayard

Meet Parker.

We got Parker from the Humane Society a couple months back when I had a feeling there was a dog waiting that would be a perfect fit for our family. Parker had been taken back twice because he doesn’t play well with others. He almost completely ignored us during our initial visit, and he was about twenty pounds overweight. Perfect, right? Yes. We saw it that way, too.

Once we got him home, we also discovered he was terrified of everything from the vacuum sweeper to the guinea pig to the staircase. But after three days and two pounds of ham to coax him up the stairs, he relaxed into a self-contained, happy pup that blended well with the family. And the best part? He didn’t seem to shed much at all.

Then came the bait and switch. We got back from Vancouver Island to find Parker had started to shed while we were away. In fact, it seemed to be his new mission in life.

In a heartbeat I had dog brush in hand and was calling our little fluff factory to the back door. But he would have none of it. Every time I stroked him gently with the dog brush, he yelped and snapped. I couldn’t even pluck away the loose tufts of hair without him acting like I was ripping off appendages.

So I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Traumatize the dog, or allow him to coat us and all of our belongings in his tresses?

DD and I decided to take Parker for a walk and contemplate the situation. While I glared at the dog and DD laughed about the matter, she started flipping the rope leash up and down along his hind end, coaxing off chunks of fluff and leaving his tuchus looking like a topographical map of the Rocky Mountains. Parker was so distracted by all of the sights and smells around him that he didn’t notice.

That made me bold. Every time he stopped to sniff some marvelous delight, I ran forward and started grabbing out handfuls of hair. By the time we finished the walk, it looked like we’d shaved a bear on the path, and Parker didn’t notice or object once. Clearly, when it came to helping him shed, Parker was a drama queen.

The next day, I took the brush with me on our walk and encouraged Parker to sniff every rock, plant, or animal trace we crossed as I left a trail of dog hair tumbleweeds to mystify joggers through the day.

I decided to push it and took him out on the porch at home and continued my work. Without a walk to distract him, he began yelping and snapping again, but this time, I knew I wasn’t hurting him so I gave him a firm ‘no’ and ignored his fussing. He soon settled down.

Now, Parker still hates brushing, but he tolerates it, and I don’t have to feel like a tribble every time I lie down on the couch. And the best part? After I took charge and told him to knock off the drama, he trusts me more than ever, and the new problem is not tripping as he  walks on my heels all day.

Success lessons? Some fears are nothing but bad habits, and discipline will save the day when indulgence fails.

What does your pet teach you about success?

All the best to all of you for knowing when to take charge.

Navigating a New World

By PiperBayard

Grief burns my heart. The friction of Time dragging me through its currents, away from my beloved companion.

The barest bloodstain remains in the cracks of the floorboards. A primal testament to her existence. A proof to my disbelieving mind that the only way out was death. I must accept this.

I thought the house would be quiet, but instead, it is loud with the sounds that were masked by her breathing, raspy with the cancer that ate toward her brain. The ticking of my favorite clock; the babble of the fountain on the landing; the gentle creaks of an old house offering me comfort. None of those are as beautiful as was the sound of her life.

Outside, I see her tracks through the snow. A whisper from the forever lost world of only yesterday. The world where she lay under my desk as I typed, careful to avoid disturbing her, because dogs train us that way. That whisper is already fading in the sunshine of today, and the melting snow abandons me to this new world and its uncertainties.

Who will I be without her?

I take out my toolbox labeled, “Moving On.” (There’s no such thing as “Getting Over.”) Inside, I find tears, pen and paper, long walks, good friends, and solitary afternoons on the back porch swing, listening to the lessons of the wind.

Maybe some day, my pack will expand to embrace another, but for now, there are only ghosts, and a profound sense of gratitude.

Daisy ~ September 1, 2004 ~ February 7, 2012

What are the tools that help you move on?