Tuesday, October 27, 2009

WTF Is Up With These Damn Prescription Costs

This is the medicine I take to stop a migraine currently in progress. I'd say that it is effective about 95% of the time in stopping a migraine dead in its tracks! This is pretty amazing for migraine medication!

In 2002, this prescription cost me $50 for 18 pills (about $2.78 per pill.) Yesterday, when I had this prescription re-filled, it cost me $85 for 9 pills (about $9.44 per pill!) WTF is up with that?!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Loved by the Sun - Tangerine Dream

I have seen the mystics play there
Once or twice but I knew they had a reason
Enchantment plays it's cards all right
Hand in hand with the working of the seasons

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun, loved by the sun

Two and two go so close together
Whether there is hope that is torn apart
In the words of all that's singing
Hand in hand the beginning is at the start

Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Loved by the sun
Loved by the sun

Who sings of all of love's eternity
Whose shines so bright
In all the songs of love's unending spells

Only lightning strikes all that's evil
Teaching us to love for goodness sake
Hear the music of love eternal
Teaching us to reach for goodness sake
Legends can be now and forever
Teaching us to love for goodness sake

Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom [x4]
To believe in the good in man. [x3]
Both this song and this movie (Legend, for you youngsters who are not familiar with the 80’s) have always epitomized the word and definition of “fantasy” for me. This is one of those movies that I saw at an extremely impressionable age, and it has forever made its vestige upon me (as so many other movies – Star Wars, The Lost Boys, Indiana Jones, The Goonies, Superman, Fright Night, Ghostbusters, The Exorcist, The Never Ending Story, etc .)

When I read a “fantasy” book or go watch a “fantasy” movie, it is the movie (and this song) that immediately comes to mind and stands as a unit of measurement upon which all “fantasy” media is measured in my mind. The movie and song are absolutely iconic and will always bring me back to younger, more care free days.

Tim Curry’s portrayal of Darkness is simply remarkable! He scared the crap out of me! Despite what some might argue, I personally believe that his portrayal of Darkness is his best work as a villain (yes, even more than Pennywise in It… though I absolutely loved his Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers – great character, but I digress!) I have yet to see a movie that captures the classical representation of a devil-like character visually the way this movie does!

The battle between good and evil is so perfectly captured in this movie… especially for a six year old who sees this movie and is beginning to comprehend the limitless radiance of love and what is means to be good, versus the incredibly dark and frightening depths of “evil.” Sometimes differentiating the distinction between good and evil in this day in age isn’t quite as simple as the imagery of unicorns, the sun, fairies (and hot guys) versus the devil, goblins, and darkness.

Sweetie Bird

This sweetie is Dante, although we also call him Pancho! I'd love to bring him home, but he's pretty expensive ($650), and most importantly, Jimmy won't let me get him. He doesn't love animals the way I do. :-(

Besides the money, I'd also be concerned that I wouldn't be able to properly care for him. These birds require a lot of attention, and I don't know if we can give him the time he deserves. I'd also be afraid that the dogs may try to or accidentally hurt him.

I guess I'm also concerned on who would care for him when I'm gone (dead.) Jenday Conures can live up to 30 years! You may not be able to tell from the picture because he has grown quite a bit, but he's still a baby! He hatched in July! He's got a long life ahead of him!

At some point I'd love to get a bird because I've never had one and think it would be exciting!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tea and a Movie

Typically before watching any movie at home, I like to make some Irish Breakfast Tea to enjoy with the movie. I usually finish the tea very early on in the movie, and I find myself craving more tea throughout the movie... At which point I either have to pause the movie and go downstairs and make some more, or I simply just endure the craving. Neither choice is very appealing to me.

Then today, I noticed something I haven't used in a while... The vacuum-pumped thermos (s-mart's top of the line) that Mary got me for my birthday years ago. Epiphany! Why not make a ton of tea, store it in the thermos, and bring it upstairs to the movie! Genius! It's the little things in life!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Apollo and Ares Graduated!

So my boys finally graduated from the entire training program last night, completing the Advanced Education Class. The next step for them would be to take a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Test and become certified by the AKC (American Kennel Club.)

Both Apollo and Ares are pretty close to being ready to take this exam; they each just have one major thing to work on before attempting the test… supervised separation. This means that they need to be able to stay with a stranger with both Jimmy and I out of sight and essentially be cool. During this supervised separation they are not allowed to bark, whine, howl, pant excessively, strain their leash, lung, or pace. Needless to say, both dogs have some separation anxiety issues, especially Apollo! So once we can get their out-of-sight stays (a stay command in a different room from you where they cannot see you) longer in duration, they should both be ready to go.

The CGC Test itself is pretty comprehensive! Dogs must achieve a 100% on the exam to pass it and become certified. There are 10 parts to the exam.
  1. Accepting a friendly stranger – The dog must not bark, growl, show any signs of aggression, jump, lung, be out of control in any way, and must not break their sit.
  2. Sitting politely for petting – Again, the dog must not bark, growl, show any signs of aggression, jump, lung, be out of control in any way, and must not break their sit. The must also not hide behind their owner or fight with the leash to avoid petting.
  3. Appearance and Grooming – They must be clean and allow the tester to examine their front feet and ears, and brush them. The dog must not be overly excited, struggle to avoid the brush, pull feet away, chew on hands or brush, or show any signs of resentment, aggression, or shyness.
  4. Out for a walk (Heel) – The dog must be able to walk with attention paid to their owner, making left, right and u-turns without pulling on the leash. The dog must not sniff the floor excessively or require harsh leash corrections.
  5. Walking through a crowd – The dog must not pull on the leash, lung, jump, hide behind owner, bark, growl, require harsh leash corrections, or show any signs of shyness or aggression.
  6. Sit and Down on Command / Stay in Place – The dog must sit, lie down, and stay on command. They must not get up, change positions, go to owner or move excessively.
  7. Coming when called – Dog must come on command.
  8. Reaction to another dog – The dog must not attempt to go to the “distraction dog,” jump on the “distraction dog,” or cross over owner to get to “distraction dog.” The dog must sit calmly by owner’s side without breaking sit, barking, growling, being inattentive, require harsh leash corrections, or show signs of shyness or aggression.
  9. Reaction to distractions – The dog should not attempt to run, bark more than once, lung, growl, attempt to attack distraction, or not respond to owner’s directions.
  10. Supervised Seperation – The dog must not bark, whine, howl, pant excessively, strain leash to get away, lung, jump, or pace.

If at any time the dog urinates or defecates during the test, they automatically fail the test. The dog may miss only one item and may try it over once at the end of the test to try to get it right once more. They must score 100% to pass! It's the last item, number 10, that we're still working with Apollo and Ares on. They just get so upset when we leave them!

So what are the benefits to CGC Certification? Some animal control agencies use the CGC test as guidelines when dealing with dog problems. Medical facilities may use the certification as a screening tool for therapy dogs. Many property managers consider it when making housing rules regarding pets, and some 4-H groups use it as a dog training program for children. Any dog who passes the test earns a certificate and tag from the AKC, while proudly adding the title ‘CGC’ after their name.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Quiet Night With The Boys

Finally completed a pretty rough week at work and have the next two days off. I am pooped! Currently home alone with Apollo and Ares. Apollo seems very intrigued by his shadow, and Ares is making his never-ending rounds around the house over and over again.

I've decided to sit back and take it easy tonight - continue watching my new He-Man series (which I'm still completely impressed with) and a relaxing drink (a Mexican Martini with a red Sierra Mist variation.)

I downloaded a new app for the iPhone which appeared to be promising, yet has left me slightly disappointed. I downloaded an RSS Reader thinking it would be an easy way to keep up with my favorite blogs; however sites (i.e. Myspace and Facebook) are so damned protective with their RSS feeds. So be it then! I guess my new app will only help keep up with blogs from more traditional blog platforms.

Speaking of blogs, it's sad to see that some of my favorite blogs seem to have been abandoned... Which I don't have a lot of room to complain as I certainly haven't kept up with my blog the way I used to years ago (I'm trying to correct that now though.)

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone

Saturday, October 03, 2009

By The Power Of Grayskull

I was (and many would argue still am) a child of the 80's. One of my most favorite cartoons was the classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe series. I've seen literally every single episode at least 10 times, own the entire series, and used to own nearly all of the characters' toys by Mattel (before my mom tossed them out.) Hell, I used to even have Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain!

What's new now is that I've recently purchased the complete series box set of the 2002-2003 "fresh take" on the classic He-Man story. Of course it has the exact same name as the original series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Not to knock the original series, which I absolutely love even to this day, but this newer 2002-2003 series has blown me away. It has all of the same characters, is still very true to the original concept, has amazing action sequences, slightly more mature plot and story lines, and pretty good art work.

Let me go a little more in depth on the art work. The characters are drawn more realistically. For example, Prince Adam is a young kid, but when he transforms into He-Man, he then becomes a huge, muscular hulk of a man. In the original series, the only noticeable difference between Prince Adam and He-Man was a deeper voice and a sun tan. For that matter, all of the characters in the older series had essentially the same body build and size. This just isn't so in this new series. Characters come in all shapes and sizes which is way more entertaining to watch, especially in the many action sequences!

I could go on and on about all of the wonderful surprises I've duscovered with this new series, but I won't, at least not right now. If you were a fan of any kind of the original He-Man series, I highly recommend that you check out this newer series! It is truly awesome, and I highly doubt you'll be disappointed!

-- Posted from Frank's iPhone