Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Great day with dogs and positive dog people

Today I took Frog with Angel and I to the park. I don't always take him because he grinds his nails to the point of bleeding due to the way he walks on the pavement, and he tends to behave very badly around other dogs. He runs in circles barking at them until he starts a fight. On our way there today, I ran into a woman that I've seen other times with her English bulldog. Frog, as predicted, started lunging and barking, which sent Angel into fits as she tried to control everything.

The woman asked me about Frog, saying that she knew Angel but not him. I told her, "Now you know why."

We decided to let him off lead at the park. He was PERFECT. He ran and played with the bulldog, and he even completely submitted to him. They ran and played, and if Frog got too excited, Marcus (the English Bulldog) would pin him down until Frog was still and calm. I have NEVER seen another dog with the ability to subdue Frog. I think that dog and the other owners being so calm and assertive was really helpful. Frog tried to run away a few times to see other people or dogs, but he came back as soon as I called him. That almost never happens! He usually ignores me.

So if you are a dog owner, let this be a lesson to you! Your energy and behavior may not just affect your own dog. It will likely affect other dogs as well. Keep calm and let dogs be dogs! I'm so grateful to the ladies I met today for being patient, calm, and assertive with their dogs and mine.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Culture Cafe in Aberdeen

I know I've probably written about this already, but I'd like to mention it again. Culture Cafe (link to tickets and info) is an event held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Music Hall.

For only £12 you get soup and a sandwich in the cafe, which is really nice inside, and you get a one hour performance/reading from an artist or writer.

Maybe it doesn't sound like your thing, but I think that stuff like this is an important and unfortunately dying culture. I'd hate to see it cancelled (last week's attendance was a bit low). Take your kids. Go during lunch! I think it's important to stimulate our brains in different ways. Last week we heard a flautist (flute player) and a pianist. It was the best I've heard! The flute was so (and surprisingly) exciting! No joke. He made sounds come out of that flute that I didn't know were possible. It was great!

The inside of the Music Hall is beautiful too. I still stop to take pictures and just enjoy it each time I go through the front door.
Queen Victoria

Dome ceilings

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Walk from Seaton Park to the Beach in Aberdeen

I've posted photos from Seaton Park and the Brig O' Balgownie in previous posts (link1, link2), so I'm only posting pictures from the part of the walk along the river. You get there by walking down the stairs at the Brig O' Balgownie. At the Bridge of Don, you'll have to cross to road and continue down the street until you see the sign for the walk down the beach

There were lots of ships lined up.

Angel loves the beach!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mid-week catch up - TMNT and Beach Walk at St. Cyrus

Wow!! This week got away from me! This weekend was busy. We went to the theater to see the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I was disappointed. It seemed like they tried to cram all 3 of the original films into one movie, which resulted in too much in the storyline with little character or plot development. Also, Michael Bay must have just transferred the Transformers soundtrack to TMNT because shredder sounded like one of the Transformers every time he moved. Lame.

On Sunday we drove south to St. Cyrus with Ana and Dan for a walk on the beach. It was raining at first but cleared enough for a nice evening. The dogs got lots of running in, so that was good! (Thanks to Dan for sending me pictures!)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Top Android Apps

I think smartphone users really love applications. It seems like there is an app for everything now. Let's get to the point. Here is my top 5 list. These are the apps I use the most and recommend to others.

Tectrify Temperature Converter

    • Cost: Free
    • This app instantly converts between Fahrenheit (to the tenth decimal) and Celsius (to the thousandth decimal). As an American living in the UK where the oven is in degrees Celsius but my recipes have degrees Fahrenheit, I need this often!

iSyncr for iTunes to Android

    • Cost: £3.00
    • Syncs your iTunes library from your desktop to your Android using either wifi or a USB connection. It's really easy to use. Install the app on your phone. Then, install the application on your computer. You can import your entire iTunes library including music, album covers, podcasts, and video. If you don't want every song, you can create a playlist on your computer and only import that playlist to your Android device. I'm really pleased with this app. Don't forget to keep both the Android and desktop apps updated.

MyFitnessPal and MapMyWalk

    • Cost: Free
    • I'm listing these two together because they work well together. MyFitnessPal is a great way to keep track of what you are eating/drinking every day and the amount of calories in those items. I lost 6lbs in 2 months (I exercise frequently but didn't change that routine, just watched my calories.) using this. It provides caloric guidelines for you to follow depending on your selection of weight preference: lose, gain, or stay. It's easy to use. You can scan barcodes and the nutritional information will pop up with a choice of the number of servings you had. Many recipes are also easily found, especially as users continue adding the information. If you can't find something, you can create your own recipe and then enter the number of servings you had. The nutritional information is calculated as you add each ingredient via the database or barcode scanning.
    • MapMyWalk will use the GPS to track your workout, calculate the calories burned, and then send that information to MyFitnessPal to include in your daily calorie count. You can select the type of work out including hiking and dog walks.


    • Cost: < £1.00/year
    • This app is great for families who live in different countries. It allows you to send text and multimedia messages internationally with no fees. It works with wifi. It syncs with your contacts in your phone, so even if you don't use your mobile to call international numbers, it's best to add the numbers (with the appropriate country and area codes) to your mobile contact list. As long as they are in you contact list, when your friends and family download the app, they will be automatically added.

WellsFargo App

    • Cost: Free
    • This app allows you to make deposits (up to a certain amount) from anywhere, schedule an appointment, and locate the nearest Wells Fargo ATM. It's been great for us living overseas because we have a rental property in Texas and other accounts in the US that sometimes results in us getting cheques in US dollars here. Typically, you'd have to mail in the cheque to a Wells Fargo branch to have it deposited, which could take up to 6 weeks. With this app, it's done instantly. It's also very secure. The app wouldn't even let me take a screenshot on my mobile BEFORE logging in.