Saying goodbye to a beloved family pet

IMG_0374“Puppy, puppy, puppy.” That’s the call we heard from the Jack Russell Terrier breeder in Belleville, Michigan as we were first introduced to her litter of puppies in the fall of 1996. In response to the call, out from the barn came bounding a delightful litter of darling Jack Russell Terrier puppies who had been born back on August 21st. You could have sworn it was a scene out of 101 Dalmatians.

Among these tumbling, bumbling, rolling, polling bundle of energy, was a sweet, four-spotted (on her back) female that all of us fell in love with instantly. A few days later, Kellie was ours and we begin and nearly 18 year love affair with this fun-loving, hilarious, and goofy dog.

As a Jack Russell Terrier, she was full of endless energy, which worked well for a household with three boys. Most memorable were her welcomes home, as she would tear through the entire house in excitement, up and down the stairs, from one room to another, around and around like a wound-up toy gone wild. It was simply hilarious to watch. Even in her senior years, she still showed snippets of such enthusiasm, though more running around the first floor and kitchen than the entire house.

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Other joyous memories include Kellie:

  • Chasing a soccer ball as a puppy with the boys in the back yard – it was much larger than her;
  • Sitting up on her bum and begging for food by moving her front paws up and down (see first photo at top of the post);
  • Barking at the waves on the lake;
  • Occasionally taking a dip in the lake;
  • Lying in sunbeams where ever they were around the house – I used to call her “beamer dog;”
  • Snuggling up next to you or on your chest while taking a nap;
  • Chasing flickers of light on the kitchen floor;
  • Licking the hardwood floors – I have no idea why;
  • Always insisting on riding in the front seat of the car;
  • Nearly catching a squirrel who was raiding our bird feeder;
  • Actually knowing which birds we didn’t like at the feeder (house sparrows, starlings, and crows) and barking at only them;
  • De-fuzzing tennis balls bit by bit;
  • Chasing balls across the house and then trying to slide to a stop on the wood floor; and
  • Many, many more.

I will always treasure each and every moment that Kellie was a part of our lives. She was the sweetest pet anyone could ever hope for and personified goodness. Rest in peace, dear Kellie – I love you!

Manchester United vs. Real Madrid in Ann Arbor

Source: espn.com

Source: espn.com

We had a grand old time Saturday afternoon with more than 109,300 of our closest friends watching the friendly match between Manchester United and Real Madrid in the Big House (Michigan Stadium) in Ann Arbor.

Source: freep.com

Source: freep.com

It was the largest crowd for a soccer match in United States history and the teams did not disappoint – a picture perfect bicycle kick shot on goal by Real Madrid, superb crosses and passes by Man U, dazzling footwork by Renaldo, and a halftime performance by The Fray. In the end, it was Man U who stole the show with a 3-1 victory, as their fans happily sang Glory, Glory Man United.

Source: freep.com

Source: freep.com

Cheers and thank you to both teams for bringing the beauty and excitement of Champions League soccer to Michigan!

Source: freep.com

Source: freep.com

 

 

 

Temples rock the Tonight Show

Source: xfm.co.uk

Source: xfm.co.uk

Temples absolutely kicked arse last night (July 30th) on the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon performing “Shelter Song” from their awesome debut album entitled Sun Structures. Here’s a weblink to the video of their performance. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Temples enshrine the psychedelic era…and more

Temples_-_Sun_Structures - wiki

“Sun Structures” – Source: en.wikipedia.org

I discovered Temples listening to Impact 89fm – Michigan State University’s student radio station when they played the richly 1960’esque “Shelter Song.” As the first track on their debut full-length album, Sun Structures, the song aptly introduces Temples and a whole new generation to the amazing guitar riffs and rhythms of great bands like The Byrds, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, early Led Zeppelin, the Moody Blues, and even in one song reminiscent of Heart. While this may sound like sincere flattery and a case of imitation, Sun Structures is also refreshing in its own right – for one it’s a hell of a lot better than most music being released today. It also exudes mesmerizing guitars.  Some may claim guitar rock is dying and/or dead – it sure isn’t when you listen to this album!

The great classic psychedelic rock sounds emanating from Sun Structures evoke memories of songs we Baby Boomers cut our teeth on and is far more enjoyable to listen to than the bass-thumping headaches of rap, the bubble gum schlock of modern pop, or the overtly corporatize and partisan blather of most modern country music.

For a band that formed just two years ago, Temples are a polished, poised, and immensely talented foursome from Kettering, England. So much so, that in 2014 they have already played SXSW, Coachella, and Glastonbury, with Lollapalooza next on their plate.

Sun Structures is my favorite new album to date in 2014 (Beck a close second). It contains 12 songs spread over 53 minutes – a welcome length compared to so many recorded sprint sessions. Of the dozen formidable tracks, my favorites include:

  • “Shelter Song”
  • “Keep in the Dark”
  • “Sun Structures”
  • “Mesmerise”
  • “A Question Isn’t Answered”
  • “Move with the Season” – a guitar riff eerily similar to “Love Alive” by Heart
  • “The Golden Throne”
  • “Sand Dance” – reminds me of Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
Who's Next - Source: en.wkipedia.org

“Who’s next” – Source: en.wkipedia.org

Lastly, I have got to say something about the album cover. Not only is it an uncanny reminder of Who’s next, but it is one of the coolest covers I have ever seen from an architectural and historical standpoint. According to the band’s interview on KEXP radio, Rushton’s Triangular Lodge, shown on the cover, is an historic structure built in 1593. Wow! – the building alone is worth a visit for architectural and historical junkies. Given its placement on this debut album, its place in British history has been secured for many centuries to come.

Mirroring the Beatles in tribute

Kathy and I had a chance to see Michigan’s top-ranked Beatles tribute band, Toppermost last night. They were excellent. Close you eyes and you’d swear you were listening to the original band, even the British accents while talking to the audience.

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The first half of the show was performed in original Beatles regalia, while the second half was in Sergeant Pepper”s attire.

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Kudo’s to Toppermost for a great show!