Man’s Best Friend is here

Hi to one and all,

At last we got our Boxer dog, he is called Henry and he is about 2 years old with one eye and he is white with a host of black spots. He looks very much like a Dalmatian, with a squashed nose.

We have had him a month now and he has been very active in acquiring food that was not out of reach. He also has a liking for chocolate so we have now adopted a new approach to how we leave food, chocs etc about. Our old boy never stole anything, but Henry is making up for him. I guess that this often happens to dogs who have spent a considerable amount of time in kennels?

Anyhow it keeps us on our toes and with some more training we may eventually stop it. Depends which runs out first the double sided sticky tape or Henry’s stealing  desire.I’m not taking bets at the moment.

Henry has settled in well and got into the routine for going to the toilet very quickly. His main problem, a partfrom being a “tea leaf” is that he has not been socialised with other dogs, coupled with the fact that he was attacked by three dogs when he was a puppy. So we are ok walking him on the lead until another dog appears then he goes ballistic and it’s a struggle to hold him. But we are starting a technique soon that we are confident will sort this all out.

I must admit that it makes so much difference to come home in the evening to a wagging tail and much twisting and turning. Both my wife and I are no much fitter than of late with our daily exercise walking Henry. Unlike our old fella, Henry is OK travelling so we have no need to worry about driving  as he sits in the back and either lays down and sleeps or just sits looking out the window.

That’s it for the moment, I will post some pics soon and now it’s time to get back to doing John Thornhills course.

Mans best friend moves on

It is a week today that our Boxer left the family and its still a huge gap in our lives. However, we made a decision to have another one as soon as possible.

Unlike our last boy we are looking at getting a young one from a rescue centre. I am amazed and at the same time appalled at the number of Boxer dog rescue centres in the UK alone. Why attempt to have a Boxer and then shortly after wish to get rid of it. I appreciate that peoples circumstance do change but there are just too many in these centres for other reasons.

Boxer are an intelligent breed, powerful and can be strong willed if not given reason to change. They are very sociable dogs in a family environment and as such need to be included in the family. They are not very good ” back yard dogs”.

All of the rescue centre we have looked at over the last week are run by dedicated volunteers who rely on contributions and good will to help these dogs.

Whilst searching for a Boxer I did come across an organisation that I think is brilliant, it’s called Canine Partners. It’s focus is on the pairing of a specially trained dog to assist a person with specific disabilities to lead as normal life as possible. Have a look at their web site here these dogs and the organisation are doing a fantastic job in helping people to do things the majority of us take for granted.

We are being assessed this weekend both as suitable owners and the house  for a Boxer from one of the rescue centres. I will let you know how we get on. If all goes well we will be getting a 2 year old white Boxer with one eye.

White Boxer often suffer from deafness which can also be found in all Boxers, especially males. Our red had selective deafness when it came to certain things? My wife believes this is also common in males in general!

We now have one and a half Prime Ministers and a coalition Government so at last things should start to happen. I wonder what our boy would have thought of all this. If you take a look at his blog wooshus-boxer-dog-blog you will find he had quite a lot to say about governments and humans in general.

I will keep you posted on the outcome of this weekend as soon as possible after the check has been done and we know what comes next.

Man’s best friend

My old Boxer has moved on and it has left a big hole in my life and the rest of the family too. If you try to analyse just what it is that bonds you to a dog their is no apparent logic. You house train them and socialise them and ensure that they cause no nuisance to other people and you feed and house them. In return they somehow enrich your life and offer unconditional feelings and companionship.

Just the simple things like not being in his bed or looking at you to take him for a walk or knocking his bowl for some more food all impact on you at a sub concious level.

Although he was unwell of late he always did his bit to get the family going and attempted not to show the discomfort he must have been in.

We will all miss him and I will also remember all those early morning walks and his canine wisdom on what we humans are doing to screw up our world.

You may like to read his blog at wooshus-boxer-dog-blog which had some interesting views on our world.

Bye for now old fella’ may the sun always be on your back, the grass green and lush, your belly full and the smells fresh

Three wise monkeys

It would appear that this morning all indication are that the UK is likely to have a hung parliament, with no party having the clear majority to govern.

Although not unusual in some parts of Europe it is very unusual in the UK . Of interest to me is that the swing away from Labour has not been that large, although significant in terms of having a majority.

Is this an indication that voters are not that happy with the Conservative alternative. The Lib Dems have a small gain but again this is often voters having no strong preference for the other two parties. No one in the inner organisation of these parties should be happy about the outcome. Clearly people are unhappy with Labour, yet they don’t seem that much happier with the offerings from the other two parties either.

The financial situation the UK finds itself in is more to do with the banks and their actions than with Brown as Chancellor or PM. Also if I remember this all started in the USA, where the dollar is still strong against the pound and euro!

The EU is having it’s own problems sorting out how to salvage Greece without upsetting the nationalistic views of member countries. Some are drawing comparisons between what has happened in Greece to what is happening in the UK. One important point is that the pound is the currency used and not the euro and it can therefore be devalued if need be. Also the infrastructure of the countries is very different, although the UK is more reliant on tertiary services than production now.

The decline in the UK production base cannot be blamed solely on past governments or a poor labour force or the unions, they have all made a contribution. The most significant is consumer spending going to produce imported into the UK . Although some white goods are produced in this country or some components the vast majority of products are assembled else where.

So how are our three wise monkeys going to sort out the UK’s future? Form a coalition which could see trade off on issues in each parties mandate. Coalitions have not faired well in the UK . Yet dispite this the country will still carry on as the army of Civil servants still go about their business running the country. Taxes will still be paid and life will still go on, so what will change?

Is Free Sex the answer?

On the 22nd April I wrote about the use of certain words to encourage people to view your blog. This was as a result of another blog where the blogger had met someone who claimed adding SEX into your headline would increase people viewing your blog etc. This was based on his own findings of increased views and comments by including “sex” in his heading.

My own experience is that it did not increase viewings or comments one bit. Not surprising really as if people are looking for “sex”; on the Internet a blog about it’s use in a heading is hard likely to get any comment at all; other than an expletive.

Whilst I am certain that there are words or phases that are more likely to have a positive reaction on those that read them do they have any effect if the reader is just browsing?

Researcher have found that the word “FREE” has a reaction to almost all readers that could be deemed positive. This is why so many offers on and off the web use the word to gain attention. It’s use in emails had led to many mail providers screening out emails with the word in it. This had led to the use of spaces, full stops etc being woven into the word to reduce detection.

What is it about the word that courses people to react in a certain way? I know that I will often click to get a free report. I will admit that in most instances I am not expecting a lot for free. Is this part of the intrigue that you just might get something that is worth while or has value?

Buy one get one free is often used in supermarkets to entice people to buy. Is there a little bit of the bartering instinct in us all and getting two for the price of one is just titilating that instinct?

For myself I have a cynical approach to it all working on the premise that there “ain’t no free meals” but occasionaly I am suprised at the quality or content of a free report. What about you?

What no more Chocolate

A team of researchers in the USA have found that people who eat chocolate can if they eat to much become depressed. A team in Finland found that Mum’s to be who ate chocolate perceived their babies to be more lively and smile more. Personally I think that part of eating chocolate is in the pleasure of doing it. The feeling in the mouth of the melting chocolate and the variety of taste sensations makes me feel great. Too much and it looses the impact, other than on the waistline. I suppose that we should also ask,” what is defined as chocolate?” There are many products that have a coating that looks like and vaguely tastes of chocolate but has very little association with the cocoa bean; if any at all. The concise Oxford dictionary defines it as of the cocao-seed paste. There’s latitude for broad interpreation there as to what else can be added to the “cocao-seed paste” to enhance the eating experience.

Like so many things in life a little and often seems to work for me, like a lot of things I guess. Digressing a little but remaining on the taste effect I love puff pastries, but if as I eat the product it leaves a coating of fat on the roof of my mouth then it’s for the bin. Very few commercial bakeries produce puff pastry that melts in the mouth, because  I believe of the cost implications in using butter.

Like wise with chocolate there is chocolate that melts in the mouth and some that leaves a clagging feeling on your palate. Dare I suggest it’s because they are substituting cocoa butter for a fractionated fat. Now if that’s the case we need to know just what type of chocolate people eat that makes them depressed or makes babies smile. It depresses me when I have paid good money for some chocolate only to find that it has a poor taste and a lack of quality in the taste and feel in my mouth.

For me it’s all about the personal experience of chocolate, it can make me smile or make me feel cheated. What does it do for you or do you not like it in the first place?

Is Mandy right about Sex

Mandy over at  has an interesting blog from October 15th 2009 in which she tells of a discussion with another person who has found that using the word sex in the header and in the text will produce more hits. Now I don’t know if Mandy did any testing but I think she had 15 comments on that blog so it might work.

A number of informed people claim that the word FREE also has an attraction to people. What about FREE  SEX? No not the stuff from the hippy days! From my thinking the use of certain words only has value if they are related to your content or product. Free as in report, information,ebook etc is a well used way to get people to opt in to you list. So in a defined use I can see certain words will generate the required response. What do you think and what have you found?

Back to Mandy who has done a lot to help the World of Whispers to look after horses and get them a new location. I must admit that I am not a great fan of horses only because they have a habit of standing where my feet happen to be; and I have small feet. However, I do feed and poo pick for someone who has three Connemara ponies and they are very intelligent and miss my feet.The most interesting part about World of Whispers for me is the approach to treating animal behavioural problems including dogs and looking at using natural products for feeding and treating them.

I have a Boxer, who is presently having mega problems, no doubt partly because he is 12 years old and also he has had a high dose of antibiotics to treat an infection which is causing him to have bouts of vimitting.  I believe that using natural products and giving nature a chance will help my dog. Sometimes veterinary intervention is required but often we could prevent some of the problems by a better understanding of our dogs or horses. Have a look it’s another factet of life we still have not fully explored.

 Mandy’s most recent blog is most interesting and also facinating as she talks about her experiences of travelling in the USA and how the accent was an attraction to many Americans. Pop over and have a read of her blog I think she has some interesting thoughts and is, in my mind, contributing to the world in a small but very positive way.

John Thornhill’s Master Class 4 week $1 taster

I have been on this now and have some observations that I would like to pass onto you all.

Is it worth a $1, of course as the information that you get in terms of getting into the right mind set and the use of blogs is worth it alone.

I have been blogging for a number of years but certainly not with the focused intentions that is emphasised on the course. For no reason other than being to busyor lazy I have never used WordPress before, now I wonder at what a little push in the right direction can do for your overall outlook on blogging.

John also encourages a move to a different mind set. This is not new as many successful people talk about changing their mind set or outlook. What John does is gives you his example of how it changed him and then gives you a way to start the process yourself.

The whole Masterclass process is quite tightly formatted. There is homework to do and other suggestions with regard to hosting, free software to use and what templates to download for your blog. I have no problem with this as it keeps everything very relevant to the videos which form the core of the Master Class programme. For me this also made getting help both through the help desk and on the ” most frequently asked questions” a quick and easy process.

Every activity on the course is designed to slowly move you forward. What amazed me was that this is at least the second or third time this has been on offer yet the videos all showed 2010 and very recent months on the dates and times in the various on line activities shown. Even more suprising is that John talks about feedback from the last Master Class people and how that is changing the way things will progress in this one. This is not some old rehash but an evolving programme that it just looking to get better.

Does it require hard work? Yes & No. Yes in that there is, for me, adopting to a structured approach, I am a divergent person and it is difficult to stand still for very long. No you are not left to sort it out on your own and because of the pace it’s easy to keep up. Incidentally, I think that it’s not a problem if you fall behind, as I did one week. I just did a little more and kept away from the electric nanny and got back on track

Is this for everyone? Honestly, I would say No. Why because if you are not willing to pace yourself to the course and keep an open mind to what is being taught you could easily become distracted?  This is a very structured course even on the four week taster which is the beginning so it’s important to adjust to the pace and I found viewing the videos a number of times was very useful. John makes the point in week two, that this is a 36 week course and beyond not a “make a quick fortune” system.

I will let you know how it goes via this blog each month until then take care and have a great week and enjoy the sun.

Three wise monkeys

In the UK we are about to experience the three candidates for the Prime ministers post live in debate on the TV. In the USA they have had this since JFK days, so are well versed in the format and experience.

The present Prime minister is on the right, the Conservative candidate in the middle and the left is occupied by the Lib Dems. It has been occupying the news all day so lets hope that the event is well worth it.

Of more interest to me is the disruption caused by the volcanic eruption in Iceland that has grounded most of the commercial flights from and to the UK. Because this is a natural occurrence there is no compensation for the passengers. This is a prime opportunity for one airline to create great customer care by making a token offer of say a food voucher or assistance with hotel accommodation if required. It would cost but it would be an investment because I for one would always have preference for a company that helped out.

I stayed with the same bank for 40 years because of one gesture of customers service they extended to me when I first got a house and things were tight.

Same with cars whilst  got good service and was not ripped off I had a string of Renault Espace MPV. When they started to charge for service work they had not completed satisfactorily I moved to a small garage where I have been for some while. I also changed my car to a Ford which when I was younger never let me down.

Like wise on the Internet I have found a few genuine people who although not “gurus” are willing to help and make a fair living from the “net” too.

Which brings me back to tonight’s debate, which one will give the people of the UK and beyond the best customer service?

The answer was unclear. But Clegg and the Lib Dems gave a good performance and now the past few days have been spent by the other two parties trying to erode the peoples perception of what the Lib Dems really mean to the UK.

Personally, I think that Clegg had nothing to loose so gave a more natural response.

With respect to the volcanic eruption I see that some EU rules airlines are offering some help to stranded passengers. Whilst this is going on the volcano is still sending an ash cloud into the atmosphere and could do so for some time to come. Pity the Icelandic people are unable to harness the power. That way there would be something benefit from the environmental and commercial disruption it is causing.

As this post was mistakenly left in draft I am going to post it anyway as a reflection of what happened since!

Has the car really improved?

Alan from replied to my post about E-Co Friendly and it brought me to thinking more about the car. Way back my first car was a Morris 8 Series 1 1947 with wire wheels. It was very modern having Lockheed hydraulic brakes and a starter motor. It also had a sunshine roof and if it got really hot the front screen could be raised to increase air flow. No air con just natural cooling, talking of which it did not have a water pump but work by thermo cycling.

My point is that this car would, given a fair wind and downhill reach 70 miles per hour and would consistently return 48+ miles to the gallon. No sophisticated fuel injection just a single SU carb and it only had 6 volts to power the electrics too.

My Ford diesel returns around 46 miles to the gallon and is a mine of wiring, sensors and what not. Of course it is cleaner and more environmentally cleaner than my Morris 8? Well apart from not using any wood ( Morris 8 had wooden floor) I am not so sure. The Ford is safer as it’s got airbags everywhere and has a sophisticated form of crumple zone around the cabin and it had disc brakes, ABS and traction control. I drive it a lot faster than the Morris 8 because I can and so does everyone else on the roads.

I have in my time customise a few cars, owning a Hillman Imp with a 1300 Ford crossflow engine in it and a Ford 100e with a Lotus twin cam to name just two. My aim was always to get the greatest mph for the least fuel and I had fun trying to achieve it. My motive was not entirely environmental but one of cost and the fact that fuel was always going up regardless of the world situation.

Now I appreciated this is a simplistic comparison but my thinking is that what has changed is the marketing of the car. I never needed air con and the increase it puts on the fuel consumption, but it’s almost standard on even some budget cars. Do I need metallic paint and alloy wheels? The marketing of the car has become an psychological manifestation of desire, that we must have. The fact that in the UK the public transport infrastructure is no longer meeting our needs just adds fuel to the desire.

I don’t deny many people need their own transport. I get up at 04.30 and get into work at 05.15 and although I have cycled it, I use a car because I get there quicker and in comfort. There is no public transport running at that time and when the first buses start I would need to make 3 changes just to get to work. Also I need to get to my other job some 20 miles away within the hour, before returning to my first job then home at 19.00  That’s my excuse for having a car.

That’s my thought for the day, thanks to Alan for being the prompt. Must go as there’s work to be done. See you