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May 18, 2009


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You might consider some tranquilizer darts for the Fred and Hank Re-mark America Tour 2013 trip: http://www.blowgunsnw.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Category_Code=TranquilizerDarts&Screen=CTGY (Up to you whether you use them on the dogs or yourself...)

Sorry that you didn't have much time in Michigan. The lake scene, though, looks lovely. And thought I've been to Stevensville, I've never been to that particular spot. Also sorry that the weather did not cooperate. We really got slammed that day.

As for bones...yes...Elvis is our Fred. Food (you have to up the ante a bit, though) works as a distraction, though.

Drive Ins...still the place to go is the Hi Lite in Marshall, MI. BEST onion rings EVER. Homemade. Period. Remember that for your next trip. And Marshall's worth the visit, anyway. It nearly became the capital of Michigan and has a lot of things related to that and the fact that they were very involved in the Underground Railroad.

Oh that is the worst feeling when your dog is eating something and you just have to let them down whatever it is. Our current dogs let us pull food out of their mouths or will trade for a treat pretty quickly, but we used to have a dog where we were just helpless in those situations - he was not fooling around when he growled. I once watched him eat a huge slice of god knows how old and gross pizza at a park and there was nothing I could do about it. Frustrating.

Hank certainly took full advantage of his extra time in front of the camera to show off his handsome self.

Sorry you missed out on the Gerald R. Ford Museum. I hope at least during your visit in Michigan, you made at least one Michigan turn.

There are a lot of them in Grand Rapids as I recall.

Is it just my imagination, or is there a Rush track every day in the list of "Best Songs of the Day," regardless of the letter of the alphabet you are on?

(Granted, the progress is slow in moving down the letters, due to your impressively massive and varied music collection)

Sorry, but I howled with laughter reading of your exploits trying to get the bone away from Fred. And I sympathize about your own dog growling or possibly biting you. I don't attempt it, but it makes me so mad that they don't just drop it when I say to drop it. They should listen to their mother, or father, as the case may be.

On the anal gland front, they can be removed. My sister works at a vet's office and we discussed this after your last, um, incident. You might want to look into this. My other sister has a dog who needs to go to the vet periodically for the anal gland thing. I, luckily, have never had this problem with any of my dogs. My Beagle Fred, I'm pretty sure, would love it if he had this problem, considering the disgusting things he'll put in his mouth.

Have fun in my home state! I am distantly related to ER, and I hope you will be able to visit Top Cottage and Val-Kill as well as Springwood and the Library. I am sure Fred and Hank will want to pay their respects at Fala's grave.

Jim, i always stopped at Warren Dunes on the way home from grad school, one of my favorite parks. sorry u couldn't get it. Grand Mere also nice, but Warren Dunes has huge dunes, like ski slopes made of sand, racing the dogs down would have been a kick! oh well, the good news is you made it to Kentucky!!!! LOL! i will expect lots of misspellings and syntax errors as a result.

Your parking meter story reminded me of being in Wilmington, NC, a few years ago. I was circling for a parking spot and found an empty spot with neither a meter nor a yellow curb. Free parking!

When I came back an hour later, they had installed a meter and given me a ticket. LOL. I went straight to town hall, and they eventually dropped the ticket.

Parking meters are a particularly sore spot for Chicagoans right now. The city just gave a private company the right to manage the parking meters all over town. They are supposed to be installing new credit card metering systems. But they've raised the rates ahead of doing this. There have been endless TV, radio, and newspaper commentaries ever since about the outrageously high rates (several $ an hour many places downtown); the fact that they didn't replace the old meters before raising the rates, and therefore they keep jamming due to too many quarters in them; and their 'meter maids' being pretty ticket-happy. People have been getting tickets for broken meters, tickets way before the time was up, etc. Tempers are pretty short about this in Chi-town these days!

I see that you listen to the Talking Heads regularly. Mr. Jones, Life During Wartime, and Take me to the River are among their best. David Byrne is still good on his own, but not close to what he was with the ' Heads. Blondie is legendary, and Rapture is still one of my all time favorites. "Now you're in the Man from Mars & you go out at night, eatin' cars. You eat Cadillacs, Lincolns too, Mercurys and Subarus. I guess you gotta be there.

Oooooooooooops, forgot " Psycho Killer " by the Talking Heads. Can't ever forget that one. " My head's burnin', brains on fire! Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire.

Wow! 3 Rush tunes on the Best Songs list, including one of my all time favorites, "Circumstances." I have seen them every tour since Signals, and never heard them do that song live until last year.

Spike, our true beagle (the other 2 are Beagle/Boston Terrier mixes), also won't give up something once he has it in his teeth. Never tried a black Jujyfruit, though. Now I know why they even make those!

Funny thing - I called in a broken meter in DC myself this weekend. Didn't think it would actually work, but the person on the other end of the line gave me a confirmation # and told me to put a note on the dash of my car with it. It was at one of those new automated machines on 7th St., NW. I didn't get a ticket, either!

Funny about the growling-dog thing. Almost every dog I've known has, when he has a real bone of something formerly alive in its mouth, has that primal throaty death-rasp growl when you try to take it away. Something way deep in that dog brain must be activated by traces of decomposing marrow. The fact that for Fred it was somehow de-activated by black licorice Jujyfruit is a sign of just how evolved a creature he is.

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