Traveling Dog Lady: March 2007

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dog Whisperer meets Ghost Whisperer

Check your local listings Friday, March 30th, when Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan makes a guest appearance on CBS's "Ghost Whisperer" starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. The show airs at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Since "Dog Whisperer" usually airs the same night, at the same time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, on the National Geographic Channel, the National Geographic people have graciously decided to run Dog Whisperer at 9:00 p.m. that night.

For information on March 30th episode of "Ghost Whisperer", follow this link. There's also a video preview.

Hail Cesar!!!!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

frank mueller day, march 9, 2007

Wish I'd been able to login here before midnight last night and do this post, but alas, I was at my brother Frank's retirement party and so this post will have to contain today's date instead.

The reason I'm concerned? Yesterday, March 9, 2007 was "Frank Mueller Day" in the tiny town of Northborough, Massachusetts.

Above, here, is my brother, Frank, our cousin LouAnn, and me (I'm the baby). Frank, 14 years old when I was born, is not only my brother, but also my godfather. LouAnn, my godmother. This photo was taken in 1960, the year that Mook (see previous post) gave birth to me.

Frank retired from the Northborough Police Department in December, 2006. The party honoring his career was last night, and it was one of the best events I've ever attended. Very well done. A lot of laughter, and a brief shedding of tears.

Frank was given a number of awards, by the town, surrounding towns, fire departments, and even the State of Massachusetts.

My brother is the true definition of "hero." Having self-enlisted in the US Army in the mid-1960s, Frank served in Vietnam on a one-year tour of duty as an MP. Tales of his experience there were never-before-heard until last night. I remember vividly his homecoming from Vietnam, myself having been pulled out of my second-grade classroom to drive to Logan Airport with my folks. My teacher, Mrs. Sullivan, tearful herself, practically jumping up and down at the news of his return home. After that, Frank worked 7 years as a New Jersey State trooper -- a job he qualified for after being accepted into the police academy literally two days after he stepped off the airplane from Vietnam in 1968. He began his career as a trooper with only a few weeks of training, a reportedly unprecedented career move. To his 30 years of service with Northborough, a job he also secured in only a couple of days, and which he accepted in favor of the Southborough Police Department's offer, which came on the same day, only minutes after he'd already accepted the job with Northborough.

Early in his career in "Jersey", as a very young man, Frank was one of hundreds of officers who participated in taking back control of Rahway State Prison from the inmates who had rioted and took over the facility.

Frank was responsible for a number of interesting well-known arrests in the Worcester County (Massachusetts) area, including the infamous "Honeymoon Bandit" -- a man who would "crash" weddings throughout Worcester county and make off with baskets of gift envelopes. Frank was the officer who nabbed the guy, making front-page news headlines for the arrest.

Frank also saved a man from a burning car, twice. The man was so drunk, he crawled back inside the car after Frank dragged him out! Frank was given a medal of honor for saving the man's life.

The stories of Frank's heroism and dedication to "the department" are numerous and inspirational. I am honored to be related to this man, and thrilled to have been part of the celebration of his career.

In his personal life, Frank won several body-building titles in the 1980s and 1990s, rivaling the likes of "Arnold" and others. Frank's four children, (my nieces and nephew) pictured here, are beautiful and a source of pride in and of themselves.

On to bigger and better things -- what will it be next? One can only imagine, and dream.

Monday, March 5, 2007

mook turns 87

When she was a little girl, my mother's siblings called her "Mook". This is because she couldn't pronounce the word "milk," and it came out "mook." The name stuck. All the cousins call her Aunty Mook. Her sisters still call her Mook.

Mook turned 87 today.

Recently, we were at a family gathering at a local restaurant. I helped Mook into the ladies room. It was one of these fully-automated restrooms, the kind with motion-detectors on everything -- sinks, toilet, paper towel holder.

Poor Mook was completely lost. "How do I flush the toilet?" "You don't," I replied, "it flushes itself when you stand up."

Turning on the sink was a feat in itself. Even computer geek me couldn't get the motion detector to turn the water on.

Once Mook's hands were wet, it was another challenge to get the paper towels to come out of the electronic holder. Again, no matter how many hand-passes across its little red sensor, I couldn't hit it just right for those towels to come streaming out. I finally did it.

When we visited the restroom a second time that night, we went through the entire process all over again. It doesn't help that Mook is nearly 100% blind to begin with.

Here are just a few of the things that have been invented or changed since Mook's birth in 1920:

  • The tumble dryer

  • Refrigerator/freezers for home use

  • Hairdryers

  • Television

  • Color Television

  • Video-tape recorder

  • Digital video recorder

  • The Walkman

  • Portable cassette player/recorder

  • Cathode-ray tube

  • Computers

  • MS-DOS

  • Electric typewriters

  • Liquid Paper (aka "White Out")

  • Cordless telephone

  • Mobile telephones (1947!!)

  • Push-button telephone

  • The modem

  • The microchip

  • Remote control devices

  • Commercial (passenger) airplanes

  • Jet engine

  • Liquid-fueled rockets

  • The helicopter

  • Radar

  • Doppler Radar

  • Hi-fi/stereo sound equipment

  • The jukebox

  • The dynamic loudspeaker

  • The car radio

  • Frequency modulation (FM radio)

  • The transistor

  • Stereo recordings

  • The drive-in movie theater

  • 3-D movies

  • Polariod photography

  • The photocopier

  • Adhesive tape

  • The Band-Aid

  • Bubble gum

  • Pez candy

  • Barbie dolls

  • Cabbage Patch kids

  • The ball-point pen

  • The aqualung scuba-diving tank

  • The lie-detector

  • Insulin

  • Penicillin

  • Tetracycline

  • Oral contraceptives

  • Traffic signals

  • Frozen food

  • Cake mix

  • McDonald's

  • Spiral-bound notebooks

  • Nylon

  • Teflon

  • Neoprene

  • Velcro

  • Contact lenses

  • Aerosol spray cans

  • Canned beer

  • Credit cards

  • ATM machines

  • Post-It notes

  • The Segway human transporter