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Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Anipal Olympics #Pawpawty

In celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the monthly #pawpawty was a tribute to the Olympics. The anipals all donned their special costumes. Sometimes I think that's my favorite part. This is my skiing avatar.

My pal @FergustheDog filmed me in a practice run on the slopes. Don't worry - some really hot Saint Bernard sweeties came and rescued me as I was eating myself out of the avalanche. This is a photo of one of them. Anyway, I got to DJ for the midnight EST time slot. This theme was pretty tough for the DJs although as usual I think we all did a good job. First time DJ @TeenysFriends blipped songs from various Olympic athletes personal playlists. @BunnyJeanCook blipped songs by the artists that appeared in the Vancouver Opening Ceremonies and @CathyKeisha had contests between artists from different countries performing the same song. Since there is always so much happening at the #pawpawty and my set was a little subtle, I wanted to share my playlist with you all. Aw shucks, I'm copying something @kittehboi did a couple of pawties ago. What can I say? You know they do say it's the sincerest form of flattery.

I started with the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 Theme Song ♫ "Winter Games" Stylus Mirek Rosh.

The Olympics are about the world coming together. In this song rappers from 21 countries around the world sing "World Peace Blue Olympics Remix."

Olympic Athletes start our as Dreamers ♫ "Dreamer" Supertramp.

An athlete has to be Hungry to win "Hungry Like A Wolf" Duran Duran

No matter how hard you work, "Only the Strong Survive" REO Speedwagon

Every athlete has "The Secret of My Success" Night Ranger

Everyone can't be an Olympic Athlete. Sometimes egos are like looking through "Rose Colored Glasses" Animal Logic

But if you persevere you might achieve fame "Ladies and Gentlemen" Saliva

After all the hard work, you win a medal and you're a "Sensation" The Who

An athlete might think they are a little invincible "I am the Warrior" Patty Smyth/Scandal

An athlete might get tempted by all of the stars and adulation "Glamour Profession" Steely Dan

Too much pawtying with "Fast Company" Eagles gets an athlete in trouble - not naming any names or casting any blame .... you might smoke a little nip, sleep with a lot of women.

But we all turn into a "Couch Potato" Weird Al Yankovic watching the Olympics (I always have to include a Weird Al song in my playlists)

The Olympics is one giant "Peace Train" Cat Stevens

Hope everybody had as much fun as I did. As usual it was all to raise money for an animal charity. This month it was The Pet Samaritan Fund in the Salt Lake City, Utah area and so far we have raised over $1,300!

And don't forget to vote in the poll on my new collar (top left above).

My New Collar

Dad paid some ridiculous amount for this collar for my brofur dog Goliath many years ago. Mom would never let him put that thing on Goliath. Dad was cleaning up last night and found it and it finally fits me.

Mom thinks it doesn't fit my image. Dad thinks it's way cool. We need you to help. Here are some shots of me in the new collar. What do you think? Take the poll at the left side of the bloggie.

Mom can't decide if I am ready to put the bitey on dad for putting this new collar on me or if I am trying to look like the collar fits my fierce image.

Please vote!

Bringing Home the Bacon

As you know from my last post, we had our vacation at Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry. Chippokes is right across the James River from Jamestown and Williamsburg but mom and dad have been to those places many, many times. So they decided we would make our day trip to Smithfield, Virginia.

When I heard this I was so excited because Smithfield is the home of the international company called Smithfield Foods and they make great bacon and pork delights at their Smithfield plant. The company was started in 1936 by Joseph W. Luter Jr. and Sr. They started getting really big in 1981 when they bought another Smithfield meat company Gwaltney.
This is a picture of the plant that is still in Smithfield. The smells coming from that place drove me wild! The plant and town are on the Pagan River - maybe you have heard of Pagan Hams.

You can see the river in this picture from the Smithfield Station Restaurant where mom and dad had a nommy seafood lunch. The plant is in the distance.

The Corporate Headquarters of this international company are in Smithfield. If you had to work in an office every day, this place looks pretty nice.

But if you think Smithfield is just about the plant and corporate headquarters you would be wrong. There is lots to see and do even if you are one of those vegetarians.

First, the river is really pretty. Little Creek goes into the Pagan River in the town and not far away the Pagan goes in the famous James River which ultimately empties into the Chesapeake Bay. Smithfield has been working on a beautiful new park called Windsor Castle Park. They were still working on some of the wooden boardwalk that crosses the wetlands around Little Creek when we were there.

That isn't all! If you like interesting old houses, Smithfield has some great ones and a walking tour so you can see them all. My favorite ones are the Victorian houses. I like all those castle looking turrets and fancy stuff.

This is my most favorite house, the P.D. Gwaltney House on Church Street.

There is shopping too! A lot of the old houses have been converted to stores and businesses especially on Main Street. This house is part of Victorian row, also know as the Painted Ladies, which consists of five typical houses of the late Victorian time period (early 1900's), each featuring bay fronts and gingerbread trim. The houses were built around 1901 by Burton W. Hearn, who, himself, lived at 346 Main Street.

This is my favorite store of all on Main Street and a really cute Victorian House too. It is my favorite because it is called Pet Persona and it's a pet store! This is where dad bought me the tiger I already ate. He also bought me two gigantic piggy hooves. I have been working on one all day to day and I am having trouble making much of a dent in it.

Most of the stores on Main Street are pet friendly and actually allow dogs to come inside!

So there is a lot more to Smithfield than bacon and it was a good day trip from our cabin. On the way back we stopped at historic Fort Huger and Fort Boykin. Both are on the James River. Fort Boykin was first used in 1623 and was constructed to protect the Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and raiding Spaniards. Jamestown was selected because it was up the James from the main waterway so they could put up forts to give them plenty of warning in case of attack. Fort Boykin also made history during the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and the Civil War. Fort Huger is a Civil War fort.

Other things to see in the area include Bacon's Castle (no bacon there really I'm afraid) and the Surry Nuclear Power Plant. They have an information center where you can learn all about nuclear energy. I will tell you that security is really tight. The plant is located on Hog Island which is also home to the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area. To go there you will have to go through the power plant security.

Well that's about it for this trip!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our February Vacation

I just came back from a great vacation at one of mom's Virginia State Parks. We went to Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry, Virginia. It is just an hour from home but we have to ride this boat that takes cars called a ferry to get there. Mom says there is a way to drive but it takes a lot longer. The ferry leaves from Jamestown which is the site of the first settlement by the English. Many people think that was Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts but they are wrong.

For some reason I do not like riding in the car. Well I found out I like the ferry even less. I think it's because we are stopped and I think my car ride is over but we have to stay there. Mom and dad were too afraid to let me out. I rode the ferry when we went last year (the time I ate the bedspread) but it was worse this year.

This is the park entrance sign. The park is the site of a plantation that dates back to 1619 which is even older than mom and dad. It is one of the oldest continually farmed properties in America!

This picture is from the riverfront part of the park.

This is our cabin. The picture was taken by my mom in November when she attended an event there. It is before the cotton was picked. Cotton is one of the crops they still grow on the park. The state leases the farmland to farmers. All of the cotton is gone in February and the field is ready for new planting. But this gives you an idea of how much space we had away from everyone and I could run and play.

Here is our cute little cabin close up. Mom says it is a restored tenant farm house. They just finished fixing this cabin up in November when mom took this shot.

Unlike some of the other Virginia State Park cabins which are very nice, Chippokes decorates the cabins in period looking furnishings. They are not real antiques but it is so cute inside and very comfy. This is the living room.

There are two bedrooms and this is the "master" bedroom. This was a cool bed and I got to sleep on it too. I liked jumping on and off the bed because it was so high. I am pleased to report that there was no further bedspread eating incidents as I am now a big boy. I did do some damage to my new pelican and practically ate my whole tiger stuffingless toy dad bought me though. As mom said - "better the toys than the furnishings!"

I did a lot of running around but I run so fast all of the pictures were blurry so you will have to enjoy the ones where I was standing around. The fence is protecting something called a drain field from cars driving on it. There is no gate so it was cool to run in and out of it.

There was lots of resting after all of the running around. Isn't it cool how I curl myself up like a kitty when I sleep?

When I wasn't out running around, I was looking out the window at all the birds who like to eat the worms I guess in the plowed earth. Mom had to clean the window before we left.

There wasn't much snow left when we got there. It snowed a teeny bit the first night we were there but melted pretty fast. I played in it where I could find it and always ate some.

More resting. This chair was made just for me!

Because of all the snow and rain we had a pond in the front yard. Made for some nice muddy feet and was good for a quick drink when I was out running around.

The Park Manager came to visit us because mom knows him. I liked him. He smelled like his dog Nubs and played with me with my kong bone.

These are some cows that live on the farm part of the park. There are other animals too.

I pronounce this a great vacation except maybe for the driving and ferry part.

Don't worry pals - another bloggie is coming with my trip to the Bacon capital of Virginia - Smithfield!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What a Week!

My week started and ended with snow. Last Sunday I was running and playing in the snow (surely you saw my post and the cute videos of yours truly). Now I just came in from my lunchtime walk and the snow was flying again. Mom and Dad says we are lucky cause the rest of the state is getting dumped on by the snow. We weren't supposed to get any so I am happy we are getting some since all of last week's snow is gone. It is very pretty coming down.

The in between part of the week was exciting. Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably know my mom was a finalist in the Shorty Awards. She tweets for @VaStateParks. In fact, she started their whole social media program which includes a blog that various staff post to, a Facebook page and the twitter account. She started doing it a year ago in December on top of the rest of her job. She is Operations Director which means she is in charge of a lot of things: budget, administrative and financial processes, the reservation center, volunteers, signs and some other marketing stuff. She works too much.

Thanks a LOT to anipal votes, she finished with the second highest votes in the government category. Mom has 8,000 followers for her Twitter account but we really brought in the votes! NASA got the most government votes. In our family we are saying since NASA is space, mom's Twitter account is #1 on the planet. Maybe mom should have been a politician since she sure knows how to spin. NASA won last year in the very first Shorty Awards. The final decision is with the Shorty Academy. Some really interesting people there like famous people like MC Hammer and Alyssa Milano and tech people like the men who started Wikipedia and Craig's List and the woman who helped start Flickr.

@FrugalDougal and @BrewskieButt's mom @BZTAT did well in the votes too so we are just waiting for the decision of the Academy. They also had "Crowdsource" categories. Our own @ZackRabbit won the Awesome category. Mom happened to meet the #2 guy in the Awesome category Thursday night. While the #shortypawpawty was going on there was a real pawty in Richmond, Virginia to honor the 5 RVA Shorty Finalists. Also, @obiweinerkanobi was #2 in the dogs category. If you don't follow Obi you should. He does great puns on Fridays. My favorite category was BACON. I was confused because only the person in the #6 vote spot actually seemed to have anything to do with BACON. Two of mom's friends won their regular categories. @LewisGinter (a wonderful botanical garden) won the votes in the Cultural Institution category and @Flack4Ric, our Richmond airport, won the #travel votes. But just like Team Anipal, we all have to wait for the decision of the Academy. The Awards will be presented on March 3rd in New York City.

While this was certainly exciting, next Friday I get to go with mom and dad to one of mom's parks for a week vacation. They are going to Chippokes Plantation State Park. Last time I went I ate the bedspread but that was last year and I am no longer a puppy so I will be good. We are staying in their newly remodeled cabin. I know February seems like an odd time for a vacation in a park in Virginia but mom and dad like to go to celebrate Valentine's Day. They have a romantic story of how they met. Apparently before everybody used the internet to find dates, they used to advertise in the newspaper and mom wrote her first letter to dad on Valentine's Day. I love a good love story. Mom will probably be working extra this week to get ahead of her work so she can enjoy the time off. Cell service is iffy at the park so we are not sure we will be able to tweet much. But that also means mom won't be able to sneak working on her job.

This is a picture of the cabin we will be staying in.
The picture is from November so all of the cotton has been picked now.

This is one of the inside shots of the cabin