Ridin’ the Storm Out

Huge waves are pounding the Lake Michigan shoreline all along the Chicago waterfront. The beaches and waterfront are closed. Chicagoans are in better shape than their East Coast counterparts, but nonetheless, today is a great day to “hunker down” and pick out a few good old movies to watch.

That is exactly what Buddy and I are going to do today.

We are ridin’ the storm out.

Hope you are as well.


Detroit Tigers Fan

Buddy loves the Detroit Tigers.

He has to.
He belongs to a family with a long tradition of being Detroit Tigers fans.

I remember the voice of Ernie Harwell on the transistor radio at my grandfather’s house in Detroit in the ‘60’s, when sports reporting was no-nonsense. There were no announcers in peach suits with matching handkerchief and ties then, just Ernie’s grainy voice telling the triumphs of Mickey Lolich, Denny McClain and Willie Horton.

In 1968 the Tigers played in the World Series and we were allowed to bring in our own transistor radios to school. As we listened at our desks, no-one really cared about doing their long division, including the teacher. The Tigers won the World Series that year – the year after the Detroit 1967 race riots. Detroit needed something to cheer about – and the Tigers gave it to them.

In the 80’s my husband and I were living in Philadelphia, but we drove down to Baltimore so we could see the Detroit Tigers team of 1984 play. They won the World Series that year too.

The Tigers are a no-nonsense team. No frills and trash talking. They are a tough playing, straight shooting team, and just like the tough Midwestern town of Detroit, they put their heads down and go do their job. Nothin’ fancy here. Just baseball.

Tonight the Tigers will play the first in a series of games against the San Francisco Giants.

Buddy and I will have our Tigers gear on tonight and will “root root root” for the home team!

The Tigers!

We love the Detroit Tigers!

Multi-National New Millennium Pen Pal Dog

Do you remember having a “Pen Pal” in elementary school?

This was a popular program in the sixties. You would look through a list of addresses of other available pen pals and then write letters to one another. Yes, you used paper, and a pencil and a stamp!

I selected a British pen pal, of course, because I had a huge crush on Paul McCartney. I also kinda sorta thought that I just MIGHT have been switched at birth with Princess Anne, and would be returned to England when I was eighteen. Thus, having a British Pen Pal would give me insight into British culture. See? I was thinking things through.

Buddy is now a Multi-National New Millennium Pen Pal Dog through his blog. Blogging takes Pen Pals to a whole new level, sort of like the Blog Olympics. I try to explain this to him, but he doesn’t understand what I am saying because when I talk all he hears is:


His map reading skills are sorely lacking as well. However when I check our Word Press “stats” that keep a record of the countries of people who read his blog, each day shows a reader from a different country. Buddy has pals all over the world!

This shouldn’t surprise me. It is all about “world domination” in the McIntyre household. My sons used to play the game “Risk” when they were younger. If you aren’t familiar with the game, the object of the game is “world domination” by occupying all the territories on the game board.

I like the concept of “pals” better than “world domination.” But anyway you look at it, I must confess, every day I check the stats to see if someone from another country has checked in on his blog.

So, thanks for reading! Oh, and if you know someone from Germany or Italy – would you pass this along?

Buddy doesn’t have a pal there.


Things That Go Bump in the Night

Chicagoans take their Halloween decorating seriously.

This isn’t the suburbs with its Martha Stewart inspired decorative gourds, bronze-dipped pumpkins and cute witches that look like they smashed into a tree on their brooms.

Oh no.
And I have to tell you, it is getting pretty spooky out there.

Buddy has been a little reluctant to go for a walk recently.  This is a dog that is afraid of plastic bags for Pete’s sake, so the ever expanding array of ghosts, goblins, zombies and other spooky creatures that are taking over the neighborhood are enough to scare ME let alone a little sixteen pound wimpy dog.

Before we even get outside he has to navigate past a pretty creepy looking “butler” that is currently residing outside of our next door neighbor’s apartment and it pretty much goes downhill from there.

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Sunday Drive

Going for a ride today…


”Crusin’ and playin’ the radio
with no particular place to go.” Chuck Berry

My family used to go on “Sunday Drives” when I was growing up.

We would pile in to my father’s 1960’s era Chrysler New Yorker with no destination in mind. The car was so big that you could be  in different zip codes riding in the same car. My sister and I were allowed to pick directions at each intersection; “Right!  Left!  Indifferent!” we would call from the back seat. We would end up in some unexpected Michigan small town and get ice cream cones from an ice cream shop named something like “The Freeze” or “The Whippy Dip.” On the ride home, my parents would smoke in the front seat, windows rolled down, looking eerily like Don and Betty Draper from the TV show Mad Men while my sister and I would sing along to the…

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Winter Is Coming

“Winter is Coming”
Stark Family Motto from Game of Thrones

Buddy just might think he is a squirrel.

I am basing this observation on his recent behavior of “hiding” dog treats. He thinks they are hidden; however they are in plain sight. I am not going to bring this to his attention, because it might embarrass him.

Everywhere I turn around I happen upon a little doggy treat, in the corner of the room, hidden behind a plant, under a pillow on the bed.

This really doesn’t bother me except for one thing.

I think he is doing this because winter is coming. Of even greater concern is the fact that he hasn’t done this in the past.

I am afraid that he knows something on an instinctual level that, yeah, WINTER is coming. Not the somewhat-warm kind of Chicago winter we had last year, but the frozen eyebrow, up-to-your-knees-snow-hang-on-to-your-hat-windy kind of winter.

I think you are right, Buddy.

Winter is coming.


Buddy tries SO HARD to understand what I say to him.

I think when he hears me talk, this is what he hears:


With apt attention, he turns his head side to side, trying to decipher a snippet or catch a phrase.

Somehow, we communicate my Buddy and me. Even if it only means to him, “If I turn my head side to side when she makes that funny sound, I will get a treat.”

Awww, that’s OK Buddy, do you want a cookie?

The Great Mum Challenge

Buddy, like most dogs, feels it is his responsibility to pee on every Mum plant.

He doesn’t take this responsibility lightly, and on walks around our Chicago neighborhood, seeks out and delivers on the promise on every mum plant he happens upon.

He may have met his match though, in the long row of mum plants in front of our building. The plants stretch out, seemingly forever, three deep, two hundred plants long.

Buddy has taken this on as a personal challenge, some kind of doggy endurance test. Every morning he starts at the end of the plantings, ready to give it his very best, but sort of runs out of steam half-way down the line.

That’s OK, Buddy. You gave it your best. I will give you an “A” for effort.

Maybe tomorrow.