29.7.07

TODAYS FAVE SONG

This is my favourite song at
the moment, proper
summer groove!



BEST BUDS

SUNSET OF
THE WEEK


At Palosaari in Finland.


CANCER CLAIMS
9/11 HERO JAKE


A black Labrador that burrowed through
smoking debris after
9/11 and flooded
rubble after
Hurricane Katrina
in search of survivors has
died after developing cancer.


Owner Mary Flood had 12-year-old Jake
put to sleep on Wednesday after a
last stroll through the fields and a
dip in the creek near their
home in Oakley, Utah.

Flood said Jake had been in pain,
shaking with a 105-degree fever as
he lay on the lawn.

No one can say whether the dog would have
gotten sick if he hadn't been exposed to the
toxic air at the
World Trade Center, and
cancer in dogs Jake's age is common.

Some owners of rescue dogs who worked at
ground Zero
claim their animals have died
because of their work there.

But scientists who've studied the health
of 9/11 search-and-rescue dogs
have found no sign of major
illness in the animals.


Many human Ground Zero workers have complained
of health problems they attribute to their time
at the site: the largest study conducted of about
20,000 workers reported last year that
70 percent of patients suffer respiratory
disease years after the clean-up.

The results of an autopsy on Jake's body will
be part of a medical study on the 9/11 dogs
started by the
University of Pennsylvania
more than 5 years ago.


Flood adopted Jake as a 10-month-old puppy.
He had been abandoned on a street with
a broken leg and a dislocated hip.

"But against all odds he became a
world-class rescue dog," said Flood, a
member of
Utah Task Force 1, a federal
search-and-rescue team that looked
for human remains at Ground Zero.

On the evening of the team's arrival in
New York, Jake walked into a fancy
Manhattan restaurant wearing his
search-and-rescue vest and was treated
to a free steak dinner under a table.

Flood eventually trained Jake to become one
of fewer than 200 U.S. government-certified
rescue dogs - an animal on 24-hour call to tackle
disasters such as building collapses, earthquakes,
hurricanes and avalanches.


After Katrina, Flood and Jake drove
from Utah to Mississippi, where
they searched for survivors
in flooded homes.

In recent years, Jake helped train younger
dogs across the country and
he also did
therapy work with children at a Utah
camp for burn victims and at
senior homes and hospitals.


"He was a great morale booster wherever
he went," Flood said. "He was always ready
to work, eager to play - and a master
at helping himself to any
unattended food items."

She said Jake's ashes would be scattered
"in places that were important to him,"
such as his Utah training grounds and
he rivers and hills near his home
where he swam and roamed.


28.7.07

THIS WEEKEND...

We've been painting.

Our house has four bedrooms and one
of them has always been a sort of
junk room which the occasional
guest has stayed in.

Well, KB has been living in the top bedroom
for about 14 months now but she's had it with the
fricking Poles couple of doors down who moved
in just before she did. Trust us to get white trash
Poles as neighbours when there's thousands
of them (whom I've met personally)
who actually know to behave!

Her bedroom window faced the garden hence Pole
noise day and night. There's like a million of them
and all they do all day is sit in their garden and
drink. And have millions of even
noisier friends over. Nice.

They've even erected a sort of rain proof marquee
(below) so they can sit outside whatever the weather.
Unfortunately when they drink the volume button goes
missing ("This one goes to 11")so I can understand
KB doesn't want to listen to that anymore.
I had enough of their drunken bollocks
today during the afternoon.

So she asked the main man of the house
Mr S a while back if we could convert
the junk room (which sits quite a way back
from the garden round the corner) into
her room and move the junk/quest
room upstairs.

The answer was yes so that's what we've
doing since Wednesday, slowly shifting the
gear (all of our bedrooms were like a
"stuff bomb" had exloded for a few days
as we had to spread the things
around!) and painting.

This what the room looked like before.
I asked Mr S if his son, whose room
it used to be, had chosen the colours when
he was young and he said: "Well I don't
think any sane adult woul've
chosen these colours..."


KB started with the ceiling.




I started with the window frame
this morning at half past eight.



We finished the painting about midday
and then it was time to put
the
new bed
together.

Had to get Mr S in a couple of times
with his
"man" strength to do
all the allan key bits.


Finally here we have KB enjoying
the fruits of her labour.

And after all that I am as good
as dead so goodnight!


DO I HAVE TO...

Wear this?

SCARY!

So far it's fiction but the worrying thing is
this might actually happen!

UPDATE 16.8.07
London's drowning


27.7.07

PUPPY LOVE

We've been clearing the spare room out
ready for painting this weekend
(more about that later) and found
this little treasure: a photo of
Archie The Wolfhound when
he was a puppy.

All together now: aaaaah!

And this is of course what he
looks like now, at 9 years old.


26.7.07

I CAN'T

Quite reach it...

FURRY GRIM REAPER

Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny
knack for predicting when nursing home
patients are going to die, by curling up
next to them during their final hours.

His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led
the staff to call family members once he has
chosen someone. It usually means they
have less than four hours to live.

"He doesn't make too many mistakes.
He seems to understand when patients
are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa.
He describes the phenomenon in a
poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the
New England Journal of Medicine.

"Many family members take some solace from
it. They appreciate the companionship that
the cat provides for their dying loved
one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and
assistant professor of medicine
at Brown University.

The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a
kitten and grew up in a third-floor
dementia unit at the
Steere House
Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

The facility treats people with Alzheimer's,
Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.


After about six months, the staff noticed
Oscar would make his own rounds,
just like the doctors and nurses. He'd
sniff and observe patients, then
sit beside people who would
wind up dying in a few hours.


Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work
seriously and is generally aloof.

"This is not a cat that's friendly to people,"
he said.
Oscar is better at predicting death
than the people who work there, said
Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University,
who treats patients at the nursing
home and is an expert on
care for the terminally ill.


She was convinced of Oscar's talent when
he made his 13th correct call.
Doctors
say most of the people who get a visit from
the sweet-faced, grey-and-white cat are so ill
they probably don't know he's there,
so patients aren't aware
he's a harbinger of death.

No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically
significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders
if the cat notices telltale scents or reads
something into the behavior of the
nurses who raised him.


Nursing home staffers aren't concerned
with explaining Oscar, as long as he gives
families a better chance at saying
goodbye to the dying.


Oscar recently received a wall
plaque publicly commending his
"compassionate hospice care."


TODAY ON THE
iPOD


The postie just brought my latest
purchase
Thomas Dolby's
12x12 Original Remixes

Best track? The sublime
"Flying North".

It's simply synth poetry
in motion.


WHY NOT...

Cut out the middleman?

24.7.07

GOODBYE
SIOUXSIE


Today our beloved Great Dane Siouxsie
lost her fight against bone cancer.

She was brave to the very end, she tried
her best and didn’t complain.

She had a lovely sweet nature and
she was the best friend one
could’ve asked for.

We will miss you every day.

Rest in peace Siouxsie.

We love you, always.

SIOUXSIE

28.5.1998 - 24.7.2007


23.7.07

LOVING IT

I'm totally loving the new song
and video
Latex Messiah
from
Toyah.


More in
MySpace Toyah Official
Toyah Offcial

For people not familiar with Toyah's work
it's not the first time she's opted for
big hair, here's some of the many
different images she had in the 80's.




Like the lady put it herself:
"People do extreme sports,
I do extreme hair!"


There's also another, fun version
of the video as well.

"What a bunch of prats!"



21.7.07

JUST CHILLIN'

LIKELIHOOD:
ONE IN A BILLION?


What are the chances
of this happening?


A North Sea fisherman has netted a
gruesome catch: a piece of skull
belonging to his missing friend.


Roseann Allison with pictures of her two
sons Brian Allison and Robert Temple.


Barry Hunter picked the skull fragment
out of his net in December while trawling
near the mouth of the
River Tyne,
about 280 miles (450 kilometers)
north of London, Northumbria
police said in a statement.


Hunter turned the bone over to authorities,
and forensic tests confirmed that it belonged
to Brian Allison, one of two fellow fishermen
who disappeared when their trawler sank
(below) during rough weather
in the area on Nov. 17, 2004.

Police said Hunter and Allison
were friends, but did not elaborate.


Allison and his brother Robert Temple
were the only two occupants of the boat
when it sank. The wreckage was later
discovered, but Temple's body
has never been found.


20.7.07

OH STOP IT!

Oh do stop it!
That is soo funny!
You crack me up!


WILL THE HEEP
CAUSE STRESS?


A researcher is to study fish in an aquarium
in Kotka on the south coast of Finland while
a rock group performs nearby, to see if the
sound causes any ill-effects or distress.


Bands including ageing rockers Uriah Heep
are performing tonight to about 3,000 fans
in a tent just a couple of dozen metres
away from the aquarium.


"I will be looking for any abnormal
behaviour or activity," said
researcher Mikko Erkinaro.


The 500,000-litre tank is home to salmon,
trout, pike and perch and other species
common in Finland's brackish
coastal waters.


SAM THE SEAGULL
IS HOOKED ON
CHEESE DORITOS


A seagull has turned shoplifter by
wandering into a shop and
helping itself to crisps.

The bird walks into the RS McColl newsagents
in Aberdeen when the door is open
and makes off with cheese Doritos.

The seagull, nicknamed Sam, has now
become so popular that locals have
started paying for his crisps.

Shop assistant Sriaram Nagarajan said:
"Everyone is amazed by the seagull.
For some reason he only takes
that one particular kind of crisps."


The bird first swooped in Aberdeen's Castlegate
earlier this month and made off with the
55p crisps, and is now a regular.
Once
outside, the crisps are ripped open
and the seagull is joined by other birds.


Mr Nagarajan said: "He's got it down to a fine
art. He waits until there are no customers
around and I'm standing behind the till,
then he raids the place.
He's becoming
a bit of a celebrity. Seagulls are
usually not that popular but Sam
is a star because he's so funny."



I CAN'T STAND
THE RAIN


We've just had the most
amazing rain storm.

Thunder, lightning, the works. I turned
the PC off as soon as it started,
learned my lesson last Sunday!

This was the satellite at 11 o'clock, it was above
us about half an hour ago (11.45) and
it rained as hard as I've ever seen
for about 20 minutes.

I took this picture with a flash
out of the back door.



UPDATE AT 5pm:

South London was deluged this afternoon,
flashfloods everywhere.

I went to the supermarket after it stopped
raining and the River Wandle which runs
next to it had burst it's banks so that the
normal route I take was a lake.

Luckily there's a slightly higher path which
was still passable although the water was
about two inches away from
flooding that as well!

The two nearest tube stations to us,
Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway
are both closed due to flooding.

19.7.07

I JUST LOVE...

This new chicken
flavour toothpaste!


80 DAYS

It's not very often that I return a book
I've read once. Apart from the odd
Bill Bryson I don't think I've ever
read anything twice.

I'd put some unwanted books into a plastic
bag in the hallway ready to take to charity shop
but last week I was looking for something to
read so I rescued Michael Palin's
Around
The World In 80 Days and thought
sod it, I'll give it another go.

I'm glad I did! It's even better and funnier
than the first time. I've seen the TV series
of the trip probably 3-4 times as
well but the book is brilliant.

I love his writing style, typically
dry English sarcastic humour
that makes you chuckle.